Design firm IKD transforms mill waste into hardwood CLT

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Massachusetts-based design firm IKD is changing the timber industry in Indiana, where the firm’s proposal to make use of “low-value” hardwoods has received $250,000 in backing from the US Forest Service.

As IKD co-principal and RISD Interior Architecture faculty member Yugon Kim explains, the 2017 Wood Innovation Grant will support the completion of Conversation Plinth– an outdoor installation designed for Exhibit Columbus in Columbus, IN – and fund new research into cross-laminated timber (CLT) products.

“The Indiana Hardwood Cross Laminated Timber project will upcycle sawn logs extracted from Hoosier National and INDR forest lands during salvage harvests,” says Kim. “We’ll use it to create mixed-hardwood CLT for use in constructing mid- to high-rise buildings.”

Transforming mill waste into Hardwood CLT reduces lumber waste by 50% and provides the strength of steel or concrete. IKD’s winning proposal was selected from 114 submissions nationwide and represents the only project proposed by an architectural design firm to win a grant this year.

“We have identified an underutilized trove of hardwoods in Indiana … with the potential to initiate a cascade of positive effects,” Kim adds: “job growth in rural forestry and manufacturing, the expansion and diversification of hardwood lumber markets, higher forest land value and improved forest management practices that reduce wildfires, encourage biodiversity and lead to an abatement of climate change.”

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