Michigan State University has been awarded the WoodWorks Wood Design Award for Wood in Schools for using mass timber in its state-of-the-art STEM Teaching and Learning Facility.
The new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility features an abundance of natural light, exposed ceilings and a mix of modern and repurposed architecture, including a mass timber and steel structural system. Tucked inside the sustainably glamorous building are spaces for students to collaborate and learn.
The STEM Teaching and Learning Facility is Michigan’s first mass timber building. Mass timber is an umbrella term for a variety of panelized, engineered wood building materials such as large cross-laminated timber panels and glue-laminated columns and beams with an array of structural and decorative uses in buildings.
“Humans have been building with wood, for centuries,” said Sandra Lupien, Director, MassTimber@MSU, “But not with wood like this. By creating super-strong panels and beams from layers of dimensional wood, we can build bigger and higher than ever with timber. And that’s a good thing – wood is a renewable resource and building with it has many sustainability benefits. Mass timber emits comparatively less carbon dioxide during production than many common building materials and it stores carbon absorbed by trees while they’re in use in the building, keeping that carbon from releasing into the atmosphere where it would contribute to climate change.”
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