Applications sought for Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator
Georgia Mass Timber Accellerator

The Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator will support the growth of sustainable development in Georgia by increasing utilization and awareness of mass timber. 

FORSYTH, Ga. -- The Georgia Forestry Foundation (GFF), in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board, are accepting applications for the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator.

The Accelerator will support the growth of sustainable development in Georgia by increasing utilization and awareness of mass timber. According to an analysis by Oregon State University, mass timber both stores carbon and reduces GHG emissions by 60 percent when compared to traditional building materials.

Architecture, engineering and development teams who submit applications for pending mass timber construction projects by July 2 will be evaluated by a panel of wood design, engineering, and construction experts. Up to six selected teams will be awarded a $25,000 grant and a suite of expert technical assistance to support the advancement of the project, including: design and planning, carbon assessment and cost-benefit analysis.

Applicants should be in the early stages of planning and permitting with sufficient staffing capacity to fulfill the Accelerator requirements. Applicants must also have a commitment to sustainable development, with preference given to projects that plan on using regionally sourced mass timber made with Southern Yellow Pine. Sustainable mass timber construction is advantageous for Georgia because of the regenerative, privately-owned, managed forests that blanket two-thirds of the state.

"Georgia is the number one forestry state in the nation with more commercially available timber than any other state and while growing 50 percent more wood volume than we harvest annually," said GFF President & CEO Andres Villegas. "Our state is well-positioned to deliver locally grown and sustainably managed wood for mass timber projects that store carbon for the life of the building and decrease carbon emissions through construction efficiency. We are excited to launch the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator to advance key projects that will stand as real examples of how the forestry and development communities can partner to make the built environment more sustainable."

Selected projects will receive technical assistance from staff members of WoodWorks, a non-profit committed to the advancement of sustainable materials and construction efficiency. WoodWorks will also engage selected projects in a high-level carbon accounting analysis using its Carbon Calculator tool, and a select number of projects will participate in a full building Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

Accelerator Selection Jury members include a diverse group of forestry and mass timber representatives, including:

  • Andres Villegas, Georgia Forestry Foundation
  • Jason Reynolds, WoodWorks
  • Simon Hyoun, Softwood Lumber Board
  • Sam Culpepper, Southface Institute
  • Dr. Russell Gentry, Georgia Tech School of Architecture
  • Kevin Naranjo, U.S. Forest Service
  • Todd Dolson, SSOE Group

The Mass Timber Accelerator Program, piloted in Boston starting in spring 2022, was launched in Atlanta through a grant funded by the USDA Forest Service and the Softwood Lumber Board. The first round of the Georgia Mass Timber Accelerator was launched Fall 2023 to focus primarily on Atlanta-based construction projects. 

For more information and to apply to the Accelerator program, visit seedlingstosolutions.org/the-accelerator. Contact Olivia Parrott at [email protected] or (478) 992-8110 with any questions.
 

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Rich Christianson | President/Owner/C-Level

Rich Christianson is the owner of Richson Media LLC, a Chicago-based communications firm focused on the industrial woodworking sector. Rich is the former long-time editorial director and associate publisher of Woodworking Network. During his nearly 35-year career, Rich has toured more than 250 woodworking operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has written extensively on woodworking technology, design and supply trends. He has also directed and promoted dozens of woodworking trade shows, conferences and seminars including the Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Conference & Expo, Canada’s largest woodworking show.