Search
US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Wood Can Last for Centuries if Protected From Moisture

The Fairbanks House demonstrates design and construction details that have allowed this wood structure to stand for three centuries. Jeffery Howe, Boston CollegeSnapshot : Report dispels myths about wood construction through proper information that educates and empowers the public

Principal Investigators(s) :
Carol Clausen 
Research Location : FPL
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2012
Highlight ID : 2

Summary

Forest Service scientists dispel the myth that wood construction will not last as long or be as green as steel or concrete in a report that educates the public on home maintenance and empowers them to make an informed choice for their next construction project. With user-friendly information, homeowners can address many home maintenance issues before costly repairs. A new report, Build Green: Wood Can Last for Centuries, illustrates many common moisture-related problems that can lead to decay if ignored and points out that with proper attention to detail, wood that is protected from moisture can last indefinitely.

Wood as a construction material has seen fierce competition from alternative products, such as steel and concrete, under the auspice that wood will not last as long, and occasionally because of the misconception that steel and concrete are greener than wood. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As the United States is on the cusp of a green revolution, no time is better than now to promote wood in construction as a means to mitigate climate change and to highlight the environmental benefits of choosing wood for residential and nonresidential construction.

Educating homeowners with common sense maintenance advice gives them the tools they need to improve home comfort and durability and to influence their choice of building materials in future construction projects.

Additional Resources

Build Green: Wood Can Last for Centuries

(publication)

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Resource Management and Use
  • Climate Change