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July 20, 2005

Sustainable Resource House Links Forest Practices with Efficient Building Materials

Thousands of visitors to the nation's capital saw the link between our forests, our homes, and green building practices in North America when they toured the Sustainable Resource House, a 1,200-square-foot wood demonstration house on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Endorsed by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), the house was sponsored by APA -- The Engineered Wood Association, the USDA Forest Products Laboratory, the Structural Insulated Panel Association, and the Southern Pine Council. To demonstrate the link between sustainable forestry, modern efficient wood products and green building, the Sustainable Resource House was displayed from June 23 to July 4 as part of the annual Folklife Festival sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution. Following the festival, the house was dismantled and moved to North Carolina, where it will be reconstructed and donated to Habitat for Humanity.

"The response to the house has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic," said Mike Ritter, assistant director, USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. "It's been incredible. People are loving the house because it's resource efficient, energy efficient and comfortable."

The festivities kicked off with an opening event attended by more than 100 representatives of the wood products industry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, and other government agencies. The family selected by Habitat for Humanity to receive the home also attended, and was escorted by Marnette Colborne, director of the Haywood, North Carolina, affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. In addition to remarks by Dale Bosworth, chief of the USDA Forest Service, Dave Tenney, USDA deputy undersecretary for forestry, John Murphy, APA -- The Engineered Wood Association chairman and Dennis Hardman, APA marketing vice president, the event included tours of the Sustainable Resource House.

The single-family dwelling was constructed with wood I-joists, tongue-and-groove plywood floor sheathing, structural insulated panels that are manufactured with oriented strand board (OSB), laminated veneer lumber, glulam and engineered wood lap siding. The interior walls were framed with finger-jointed southern pine lumber. The front porch, rear deck, and accessibility ramp were constructed with southern pine treated decking and lumber.

The engineered wood products used in the demonstration house are manufactured from timber that comes from managed, renewable forests. Wood performs well over the life of the building, helping to maximize long-term benefits of a renewable resource. The house was prefabricated and assembled on-site by PanelWrights, LLC, a West Virginia-based structural insulated panel builder. More information on the products displayed in the house can be found at the Sustainable Resource House Web site.

For more information:
Kevin Hayes, APA The Engineered Wood Association
253-620-7445

Content updated on 7/27/2005

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