Senator Stabenow Statement on MSU Mass Timber Building Announcement

Monday, April 01, 2019

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, released a statement on Michigan State University's announcement that they will build the first large-scale wood building in Michigan.

“Michigan State is continuing its legacy of innovation by pioneering Michigan’s first mass timber building,” said Senator Stabenow. “Expanding the use of wood as a large-scale building material will grow markets for Michigan-grown timber, create forestry jobs, and help slow climate change.”

Michigan's forestry industry supports nearly 30,000 jobs. Senator Stabenow co-authored the 2018 Farm Bill, which included her bipartisan Timber Innovation Act to accelerate research and grants to expand the use of wood in building construction in order to create more economic opportunities in Michigan for forestry and manufacturing.  

While wood products have been an integral part of construction for centuries, wood is mostly used to construct smaller buildings like houses. However, with recent developments in wood products engineering alongside other new technologies, it is now possible to expand the use of wood into larger commercial construction projects.  Wood is considered a renewable and sustainable building material that helps reduce climate change. Trees clean the air we breathe by absorbing harmful CO2 from the atmosphere, and wood products continue to store this CO2 and keep the carbon out of the atmosphere for the lifetime of the structure.