WholeTrees Lifts Roundwood to New Heights: Commercial Installation Complete in Madison

WholeTrees LLC, a long-time partner of the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), has completed the installation of structural columns and trusses made from- you guessed it- whole trees, in a Festival Foods grocery store currently under construction in Madison, Wisconsin.

New grocery store features WholeTrees technology. Photo credit: Heartland Images Photography

The new grocery store features WholeTrees technology. Photo credit: Heartland Images Photography

For the project, which broke ground last fall, WholeTrees worked closely with Tri-North, Gebhardt Development, and the City of Madison to re-purpose ash trees for use as structural columns in the store. The trees had previously been removed due to emerald ash borer disease .

WholeTrees also provided 88 structural trusses made with local red pine. The WholeTrees Wing Truss spans 30′ to 60′ with design loads of over 350 pounds per linear foot, and over 10 pounds of carbon stored per square foot.

Similar trusses were recently tested at FPL as the latest in a collaborative effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using tree stems in their original form as structural building components.

WholeTrees’ website features a great slideshow following the trees from harvest to installation that’s worth a look.

For more information on the project, see this feature story from Isthmus on WholeTrees’ involvement in the Festival Foods development.