2022 The Promise of Mass Timber — Oregon Department of Forestry

In 2018, First Stop Portland’s director Yachiyo Iisako asked me to show a delegation of visiting Japanese professionals around some of Portland’s important energy and climate related projects – on bicycle! I couldn’t say no.

Sustainable buildings built from wood, of course, were on my list. We visited the recently renovated headquarters of The Nature Conservatory, Oregon. We were given a first class tour by the lead architect and the organization’s director.

Did the City of Portland encourage or assist in the process? One would think so. At least if that one was me. Well, as it turned out, actually no. In spite of the environmental value of their design, they didn’t get any encouragement from the City. In fact, it seems that the process wasn’t exactly smooth (they told me in a politically correct sort of way). Hmm…

It seemed that some meaningful storytelling was needed.

So, I reached out to a long term story-collaborater at the Oregon Department of Forestry, Marcus Kauffman, and pitched the idea of creating some type of educational outreach content on this incredibly promising wood construction technology – collectively given the rather unfortunate name, mass timber.

It’s a long story, but to see how it recently turned out, check out what we did!

Here’s the resulting website!

We are working on 2 additional sections – sections I’m particularly proud to be part of. Stand by for that in the coming months.