FPL’s Research Demonstration House brings Wise Use home

A recent article fromĀ ForestIndustry.com highlights the American forest products industry and its contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product, over $100 billion annually, and job opportunities with over 1 million direct jobs nationwide.


FPL’s Research Demonstration House was built in 2001.

The forest products industry strongly promotes wood as a sustainable “green” building material, through LEED certification and other avenues. Showcasing such innovative uses of wood in residential construction is the FPL Research Demonstration House, a project of FPL’s Advanced Housing Research Center (AHRC).

The Research Demonstration House, located on the FPL campus in Madison, Wis., is a 2,300 square-foot, two-story structure representing a “typical” cold-climate Midwestern house. The structure was conceived and designed to conduct full-scale research on moisture and mold, energy efficiency, durability, and re-use of wood across a variety of engineering and design applications.


Multiple species of wood are monitored for durability on this walkway and within the house.

The house also demonstrates the wide range of possibilities that exist for wood products in homes. A showcase of wood (quite literally) from top to bottom, the house features a wood-plastic composite roofing material and a permanent wood foundation. It also features wood flooring milled from forest thinnings and from deconstructed buildings, finger-jointed stud framing, engineered i-joists and glulam beams, and cellulose insulation.

Research at the AHRC evaluates technology needed for both new and existing housing and encompasses all types of residential structures in which wood or wood-based products are used as primary or secondary building components. The AHRC studies the improved use of traditional wood products, recycled and engineered wood composite materials, durability, moisture control, and natural disaster resistance.