Fire Defense Commentary

The Forest And Labor Shortage Are The Driving Truth Behind The Mass Timber Movement

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We can not go back to the forest to ask for more old growth timber

Fire Defense Commentary

The Forest And Labor Shortage Are The Driving Truth Behind The Mass Timber Movement

June 30, 2019 by Steve Conboy

Todays’ Timberlands are under attack from insects and wild fires. New wild fire elimination plans need to defend the forest that produce the timber that supports our housing starts and economy. The mass timber movement is similar to when the I-Joist arrived to market. The I-Joist supported housing starts when old growth wide lumber for floor joist and roof rafters were forecasted that the government would limit the amount that could be cut to save eco systems. The lumber and building industry adjusted to support housing starts with products like I-joist, LVL, LSL, PSL and Open Web roof and floor trusses. Since Juvenile lumber that comes out of our reforestation programs has less strength because of less growth rings when harvested in 1/3 the time it takes to produce old growth leaving the plywood and LVL industry scrambling for veneers. OSB has widely replaced Plywood because as veneers tighten the price of plywood and LVL goes north making OSB much less cost for our builders. OSB is known to have water and fire problems but leaves builders little choice either pay more for plywood or be willing to replace swollen OSB. OSB is probably the number one reason for buildings that burn at a pace beyond what firefighters can control with just water. The entire building industry ignored the fire vulnerability all these new products like I joist and OSB created in fire and changed fire fighting forever in Residential homes and High Density Apartments now using Juvenile lumber to build 5 stores over podium as we witness total undependable fires destroy buildings all around North America like last week in Santa Clara making it the new threat for our national builders and there insurance underwriters.

The Mass Timber CLT movement takes Juvenile lumber with less strength, less growth rings, less mass more sapwood and either glues or nails it together to eliminate the need for any stick framing or Plywood, LSL, OSB, LVL, Trusses and PSL.

The entire Mass Timber Movement think the thickness reduces the need for any additional fire protection during construction just like most of the stick framed buildings and builders still take the risk even though in recent years over 70 high density projects have been lost to suspicious fire under construction.

M Fire Suppression’s President and Founder is the inventor of a patented fire elimination program to defend builders, workers and insurance companies from this job site fire that sensor will not defend they will only notify the builder that you building is on fire. Todays Fire Fighters are very challenged to save these tall structures during construction when dry lumber advances hotter and faster then a wild fire. MFI is now the only company in the entire Mass Timber Movement that has developed another cost effective fire elimination program with proven test results and a white paper report making mass timber Class A fire protected. The goal for this whit paper and testing is to help this movement lower its loss perception so insurance underwriters can lower the risk premiums to help this movement be more cost effective then concrete and steel.

British Columbia building officials granted an earlier exception for Brock Commons, the 18-story-tall residence hall at the University of British Columbia — currently the tallest mass timber building in the world — in part because the project team agreed to cover the exposed timber with fire-rated gypsum wallboard.

More mass timber buildings are popping up, but the material as a replacement for concrete and steel is taking time to gain traction in North America's design and construction industries. The primary concern is that of flammability, but designers have pointed out that the heavy timber used in these structures first chars when exposed to fire, creating a protective layer that resists flames. The wood underneath can maintain up to 90% of its original strength, helping to preserve the building's integrity.

Designers and researchers are also exploring the structural capabilities of mass timber. Architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Oregon State University recently released two strategies that assessed the viability of a mass-timber composite and a cross-laminated timber (CLT) and concrete floor system supported by structural steel.

One study found that the floor system could function with up to seven times the weight of its design service load, and the other determined that prefabrication could hasten construction of a steel-supported CLT building. The Brock Commons project, for example, used prefabrication, helping enable construction crews to assemble the timber pieces around the concrete and steel cores in 70 days from the date of delivery.

Last month, construction came to an end on Carbon12, an 85-foot-tall mixed-use mass timber building in Portland, OR, according to The Architects Newspaper. It is now the tallest modern wood building in the U.S., and its CLT panels were prefabricated and cut prior to delivery.

MFI Carbon Tax Credit Bill Is Trying To Support Smart Builder

MFI and Steve Conboy are saying We Have To Be Smarter Then The Wood to defend this great Mass Timber movement from fire and loss during construction because we need more of it to sequester CO2 and build fire protected buildings that defend the carbon stored in the wood from fire that would only release it back into the ozone and until its fire defended its not worthy of a Carbon Tax Credit.

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