On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the U.S. Capitol building was the target of an attack that left it ransacked and vandalized. The destruction of many irreplaceable historical wooden artifacts and objects, including doors, intricate millwork, moldings, desks, and podiums, was extensive.
Imagine being able to look straight into a wood beam and know its structural integrity.
It’s almost like a super power, except its really just amazing science—science that Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) researchers are practicing in order to be at the forefront of investigative timber safety and restoration.
The Forest Service has always been a conservation agency, focusing most restoration efforts during the past 100 years on rural environments. Today, however, the agency can use that century of experience and put it to work in urban areas as well.
The Forest Service and its partners are deconstructing and restoring vacant buildings in Baltimore, Maryland, to the benefit of many. Jobs are created in the process, along with economic opportunities and improved quality of life for neighborhood residents.
The yearlong study involved securing a contract with the City of Baltimore to complete a pilot deconstruction project involving 50 row houses. Leaders then tracked the volume of extracted wood, analyzed the costs associated with the deconstruction activities, and built partnerships with organizations to establish a distribution chain and market outlet.
Take a minute to watch this short video, where you’ll hear from Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and several partners about the impact of this work on the surrounding communities. You’ll see that the Forest Service can fulfill its unique mission, “caring for the land and serving people,” not only in the wilderness but also in the heart of the city.