Seeing the Forest for the Trees

By Steve Schneider | Account Director

Sometimes in the world of marketing and advertising you get to work with really interesting clients. And sometimes their products are groundbreaking. They can change the way we think about entire industries and the world we live in. With Earth Day 2022 coming up on April 22nd, one interesting and innovative HMH client comes to mind – Structurlam.

With over 60 years of experience, Structurlam is North America’s leading mass timber manufacturer. So, what is mass timber? Mass timber includes beautifully designed and constructed wood-based components used to build some of the most stunning locations where people to work, live and play. Structurlam’s products are not only sustainably harvested, but also sequester carbon for the life of any given project. That’s right, trees collect carbon and building with wood captures that carbon. Building with mass timber sequesters carbon in the floors, walls, ceilings and anywhere wood is used in a constructed building. And now with recent code updates, mass timber construction can include buildings up to 18 stories in the U.S. and 12 stories in Canada, so the options are endless creating beautiful buildings ranging from apartments and condos to offices, schools, and government facilities.

One of the obvious benefits of working with wood includes the natural beauty and aesthetics it provides. Rather than traditional, (some say “cold”) structures created with concrete and steel, building with wood provides unparalleled warmth and beauty. In addition, less energy is consumed in the production of mass timber components than other traditional methods of construction. By some estimates, wood construction is as much as five times more efficient than cement for concrete and up to 20 times more energy efficient than the production of steel. Talk about an earth friendly relationship!

Working with mass timber also cuts down on construction time as many of the elements of a structure are designed, planned, built, and eventually delivered on-site for assembly. So rather than bringing in a litany of building elements by the truck load, you bring in a designed and mostly finished product that can be assembled on site. Mass Timber construction is also sequenced, so ready-to-assemble components are delivered allowing contractors to build from the ground up saving time, money, and energy. Think about building Lego projects. They are ready to assemble just like a well-planned Mass Timber project. So, everything is set up in steps to keep you looking smart in front of your kids when building a new condo or a replica of the Millennium Falcon.

OK, now you have a little background on some of the benefits of mass timber, but let’s get back to carbon sequestration since this is an Earth Day post. As humans we unfortunately produce a good deal of carbon. It’s just a fact. Our use of fossil fuels, industrial processes we depend on every day, and many other areas such as agriculture create carbon dioxide. The good news is that trees absorb carbon and can hold on to it. While some carbon is naturally released in forests when trees die or forest fires happen, those same forests help us capture carbon minimizing the impact of global warming. The more we can capture and hold within our forests and the wood we harvest for construction, the less we have in the atmosphere. It’s a win, win.

In addition to natural carbon sequestration inherently found in their products, Structurlam only sources raw materials harvested from certified, sustainably managed forests. Their products are manufactured to achieve Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) or Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification. They also meet or exceed environmental regulations regarding waste materials, including the use of waste fiber as biofuel. They are truly a producer thinking of the future of the planet.

As Earth Day approaches, we hope you’ll look to companies that think about the overall impact to our planet and work to make it a better place. To learn more about the company and its earth-friendly products, visit www.structurlam.com. For other information on sustainable forestry, visit the Sustainable Forest Initiative website at www.forests.org and the Forest Stewardship Council www.fsc.org.

If we all do a little to help the earth, we can all do a lot. Happy Earth Day!