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Low-Value Wood in Bamboo Reinforced Glulam

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Co-Principal Investigator/Co-Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Environmental Conservation
Project Description: 

Approximately 60% of the total land area in Massachusetts is forested. Most of this land is privately owned, and often overcrowded with low-value species. In the absence of a market for these trees, the cost of thinning exceeds the value of the timber produced, resulting in minimal to no forest management. Value-added products present a recognized way of marketing these trees while both defraying the costs of thinning and maintaining the economic viability of private forestland. As such, the intent of this research project is to investigate the structural viability of using low-value local trees as part of a new, value-added wood-bamboo glue-laminated building product. The low-valued wood would be paired with a high quality engineered product called Laminated Veneer Bamboo (LVB). This project would employ computer analysis to establish optimal composite lay-ups of the wood and the LVB for beam applications. The optimized beams would then be fabricated and proof-tested in a structural testing machine to determine structural viability. It is anticipated that through this research new markets for low-valued local trees will emerge, and ultimately help create green jobs in rural communities, encourage forest based economic development and ultimately secure investment in the future health of local forests.