The refurbished Butler Building, at the heart of Minneapolis' rejuvenated Warehouse district - built 1909
The Brooklyn Bridge Promenade's wooden boardwalk
Community sourced tropical timber, Nicaragua
Wooden benches on The Highline

Why Wood?

In the face of climate change and today's massive CO2 emissions...

Imagine a technology—a solar-powered 3D printer—that harvests CO2 from the atmosphere and converts it into a menu of versatile building materials able to replace polluting alternatives like concrete, aluminum, steel, and plastics. The by-products of this process are pure oxygen and life support systems for endangered animals, plants, and people.

This technology is the tree.

As tension mounts between our global population, warming climate, and natural environment, nothing is more important to our future than how we use our material and energy resources. Decision makers now have a choice between business as usual, or innovative solutions that look to synergies between humans and nature. Wood is understood to be the only truly renewable building material, simultaneously capturing carbon and conserving biodiversity as it grows. Its potential is enormous, but it is often overlooked.

So, how can we maximize wood's potential as construction material, conservation tool, and cultural building block? Answering that queston is our reason for being.

The Wood at Work Community of Practice

Our goal is to be a thriving community of practice: “a group of people who (1) share a common concern, set of problems, or passion about a topic, and who (2) deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area, strengthen their own work, or ‘practice,’ and that of the broader field, by interacting with one another on an ongoing basis.” 

With more than 250 members and growing daily, the Wood at Work community is working across boundaries to create new knowledge and structural changes in the systems we live and work in.

Since our inaugural 2015 conference, our members have initiated meetings, collaborations, and projects with one another, led professional talks, proactively sourced wood, designed new buildings, made films, continued researching the psychological benefits of wood in design, begun promoting portable sawmill use in New York City, and we believe many more projects that are propelling the entire discourse.

Wood at Work 2017 will be another fantastic opportunity to connect, learn, and co-create!

The Conference

Wood at Work hosts an annual conference for our community and interested guests. Our 2017 conference will be held in Montreal on October 26th and 27th.

Speakers will include world leaders in architecture, conservation, business, the nonprofit sector, and urban policy, and will feature:

  • Hands-on activities, including a live woodworking demonstrations
  • Presentations of cutting-edge research on wood technology, sourcing, policy, and procurement
  • World-famous authors, theorists, and historians on wood as a tool for historic and contemporary culture-building and craftsmanship
  • Innovative and exciting projects, including updates on last year's responsible wood sourcing resolution
  • Participatory discussions and workshops on our themes and current challenges