WholeTrees & Forestry Partners
In recent years architects, engineers, general contractors and building owners (collectively, the “AEC community”) have become increasingly interested in mass timber construction. The motivations for this increased interest and corresponding market growth include:
- Growing demand for, as well as public policies that require, building with products that have lower embodied energy and/or smaller carbon footprints.
- Interest in contributing to “circular economies” where beneficial impacts to the broader society are considered alongside traditional drivers such as cost and availability.
- Emerging trend toward biophilic design and the use of natural materials in buildings.
- Expanding desire to differentiate from the built environment that has resulted from 20th century approaches and products.
These drivers, initiated by the Pacific Northwest AEC community and its increasingly carbon-conscious building owners, are now present in markets throughout the U.S.
Mass timber’s influence on the built environment continues to grow, largely because its advocates in the AEC community pair mass timber’s persuasive carbon sequestration story with the positive impacts of these new markets on the forest ecosystems and economies that produce these products. As the AEC community continues to prioritize a deeper understanding of its procurement decisions on forestry, it begins to ask questions about the “origin stories” of these forest products.
WholeTrees' Forestry Partnerships are a direct response to this growing market for “Origin Story” structural products such as Sawn Heavy Timber and Structural Round Timber. Through partnership, WholeTrees will allow architects and builders to trace wood products back to the specific trees harvested. When properly managed, forests can give back a lot more than lumber.
WholeTrees Structures is collaborating with Port Blakely to explore and develop markets for Structural Round Timber (SRT) and Sawn Heavy Timber (SHT) derived from Douglas fir and other species produced by Port Blakely's Pacific Northwest Forestry operations, and, whenever possible, the Winston Creek Certified Carbon Forest.
The initiative is born of both entities’ belief that, as markets realize “Single-Origin” SRT and SHT meet the basic requirements of scaled commercial construction, market differentiators such as true traceability and greater carbon sequestration will lead to increased market share.
About Port Blakely
Port Blakely is a renewable forest products company based in Seattle, WA, with close to 150,000 acres of forestland located in Washington and Oregon, and another 90,000 acres in New Zealand. A family-owned company whose forestry roots run five generations deep in the Pacific Northwest, Port Blakely’s story has been one of innovation, determination, and stewardship. The company has prioritized cultivating a healthy world by stewarding its forests to produce the sustainable forest products it grows and enhance the communities it supports. The Winston Creek Carbon Forest is the company's latest initiative demonstrating their commitment to exceptional forest management that results in high-quality wood products along with enhanced carbon sequestration and improved forest ecosystems.
Winston Creek Certified Carbon Forest
Port Blakely’s 10,000-acre Winston Creek Carbon Forest is the Pacific Northwest’s largest privately-owned carbon forest project to participate in the voluntary carbon market. Certified by the American Carbon Registry, the forest is managed on a 60 year or more rotation, up to 25 years longer than the industry norm. This generates additional carbon sequestration, resulting in carbon credits that Port Blakely offers on the voluntary carbon market. Additionally, the longer rotation yields trees that are much larger and of higher quality than is typical and it provides ecosystem benefits including greater biodiversity, improved habitat for fish and wildlife, and cleaner water.