GP, Georgia Forestry Foundation, real estate firm Jamestown discuss with state and local leaders the benefits of mass timber construction on Georgia's economy and environment; they met at 619 Ponce, state's first locally manufactured mass timber building

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

November 9, 2023 (press release) –

Georgia-Pacific, along with partners The Georgia Forestry Foundation and Jamestown LP, recently met with state and local leadership to discuss how prioritizing and utilizing sustainable structural building materials such as mass timber not only has a positive effect on our environment, but Georgia’s economy. The event was held at 619 Ponce, Atlanta’s first Georgia-grown and locally manufactured mass timber building, located at Ponce City Market. Attendees included U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock, along with various leaders from the state legislature and more than 40 CEOs from across the country.

The event was spearheaded by Jamestown’s Principal and CEO, Matt M. Bronfman, Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia-Forestry Foundation, and John Mulcahy, Georgia-Pacific’s vice president of Stewardship.

During the event, Mulcahy shared how utilizing Georgia’s vast forest resources, and partnerships with organizations committed to sustainable building initiatives, such as Georgia Forestry Foundation’s Seedlings to Solutions, led to the soon to be completed 619 Ponce project. The attention 619 Ponce has garnered from the construction, commercial leasing, and timber industries proves that the approach – using locally-sourced Southern yellow pine to create mass timber product to build a project of this scope - opens new opportunities for the forestry and construction industries. Mulcahy also shared ideas on how the nation’s forests can deliver meaningful solutions for a more sustainable future.  

The group also discussed the challenges related to development, land use, and growing populations. There is a strong demand for timber, which includes the state’s plentiful Southern yellow pine, nationwide. Wood, a constantly renewable resource, can store carbon for decades. Building with wood is also safer for construction workers, and construction companies can see hard cost savings due to a decrease in build time with wood products.  

 

Georgia-Pacific Vice President of Stewardship John Mulcahy give remarks on the economic impact of mass timber.

“Mass Timber is not only an exciting development for the construction industry, but the forestry industry as well. Georgia is well positioned to benefit from an increased demand in mass timber, as the state is first in the nation for its forestry industry and resources, and our economy, landowners, and forests will benefit as well,” Mulcahy said.

The Southern yellow pine used in the project is harvested by a local supplier and transferred to Georgia-Pacific's Albany sawmill. It is cut into lumber and shipped to mass timber design company SmartLam, which converts the lumber into cross-laminated timber (CLT). Georgia-Pacific was the first company to begin using Southern yellow pine in plywood panels back in the 1960s.  

The contemporary new facility, which is targeting net-zero carbon ready, LEEDv4 Core & Shell certification, and Fitwel certification, is four stories and includes 87,000 square feet of office space. The space has been leased by Sage, a leader in accounting, financial, human resources, and payroll technology. Retailer Pottery Barn will open a new, 18,000-square-foot store on the ground floor of 619 Ponce in early 2024.  

There is growing interest in construction projects using mass timber because it is a sustainable building material. Mass timber materials such as CLT and glue-laminated timber (glulam), which were both used in the 619 Ponce project, are engineered for high strength ratings like concrete and steel but are significantly lighter in weight. They are typically formed through lamination, fasteners, or adhesives. Mass timber can complement light-frame and hybrid options, allow efficient construction and renovation, as well as facilitate disassembly and material repurposing at the end of the material’s usefulness. This contributes to waste reduction.

Learn more about Georgia-Pacific's environmental stewardship initiatives and building products on our website. 

 

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Dan Rivard
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