The competition challenges participants to interpret, invent, and deploy numerous methods of building systems, with a focus on innovations in wood design on a real site. For thousands of years, solid wood has been used as a building material. Modern timber products and systems, coupled with advanced digital fabrication technologies, have greatly expanded the potential uses of this historic material. Mass timber is an ideal green building material: it is well suited for a broad range of structural and aesthetic applications, it offers economical construction and high-performance characteristics in strength and energy efficiency, and provides an economic driver to maintain working forests and protect jobs in rural communities.
Wood is a natural, renewable, and sustainable material for building, with less environmental impact than other structural materials. Wood stores carbon and, with the least embodied energy of all major building materials, it requires less energy from the raw material extraction, transportation to the manufacturing facility, and production. Moreover, harvesting and replanting increases forests’ carbon sink potential as the rate of sequestration is greater during young, vigorous growth. Active forest management, or forest thinning, mitigates wildfires, cuts carbon emissions, replenishes area waterways, expands wildlife habitat, and creates jobs in rural areas.