AWC backs Department of Defense move on mass timber

A mass timber project from Structurlam underway.

The American Wood Council (AWC) is applauding the approval Amendment 358 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021. 

The amendment includes language directing the Secretary of Defense to review the potential for incorporating innovative wood products in the construction or renovation of Department of Defense facilities. This includes the use of mass timber building techniques, according to the AWC.

“Innovative wood products, such as mass timber, present an unparalleled opportunity for military installations to shorten facility construction times while utilizing low-carbon alternatives to traditional building materials,” Robert Glowinski, president and CEO of the AWC, said in a statement issued by the council.


“Mass timber panels are prefabricated, meaning that a building can go up as fast as one or two floors per week, a rate unmatched by other construction materials. Various design firms have found that this increased speed of construction saved, on average, a total of four-to-five months from the overall construction process,” Glowinski said.

He also pointed to a January 2019 Pentagon report, which identified climate change as a serious national security issue. “Wood products store carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere indefinitely, thereby reducing a building’s environmental footprint,” Glowinski said.

The council also gave its thanks to U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger and Austin Scott for their leadership on incorporating innovative wood products in Department of Defense projects.

Based in Washington, D.C., the American Wood Council represents the North American wood products manufacturing industry, including 450,000 family-wage jobs.