The Timber Innovation Act, which was not without its detractors, was proposed “to create opportunities to use wood products, including mass timber, in the construction of tall wood buildings,” according to those who introduced the language to the legislation.
According to the American Wood Council, the act aims to:
- Establish performance driven research and development program for advancing tall wood building construction in the United States.
- Create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders, that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings;
- Authorize technical assistance for USDA, in cooperation with state foresters and state extension directors (or equivalent state officials), to implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications; and
- Incentivize the retrofitting of existing facilities located in areas with high unemployment rates, to spur job creation in rural areas.
Read more about how the act’s proponents hope it creates jobs, expands markets, reduces construction’s environmental footprint, and more.
The legislation made it through to the final bill despite opposition from many organizations, including the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, which cited issues with marketplace fairness (using taxpayer money to promote one type of business over another), as well as a lack of research in the safety and structural viability of tall wooden buildings.
The Mason Contractors Association of America and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association were among other groups that voiced their opposition.