Mississippi State University Architecture Students Gain Valuable Mass Timber Knowledge

Mass Timber Technology Studio
Why this project matters
The Mass Timber Technology Studio is a fourth-year architecture class at Mississippi State University. This studio will include programming and instruction from forest industry leaders as well as the requirement to design a state-of-the-art wood structure. The design will demonstrate innovative heavy timber construction and use wood certified to SFI.
After participating in this class, students will not only know how to design with wood; they will have an understanding of the benefits of proper forest management and the importance of certification. Students will have the opportunity to learn about local forest products and talk to SFI Program Participants about best management practices and sustainably sourced products.
Why is SFI involved?
The Mass Timber Technology Studio is directly aligned with the SFI’s focus on training and educating current and future practitioners who are engaged in actions affecting the future of our forests. Each student that participates in the Mass Timber Technology Studio will be taught about the SFI Standards. The Mississippi Forestry Foundation will feature SFI prominently throughout the lifetime of their Mass Timber Technology Studio project. Through the project, senior level architecture students at Mississippi State University will work collaboratively with the project partners to plan and design a building with Southern Yellow Pine certified to SFI, using wood‑building technology and mass‑timber construction. Sustainable forestry will play a major role in this class.
Another important aspect of this studio will be teaching the architecture students about the economic impact that forestry has on the U.S. South. Through this class, students will explore ways to incorporate wood in design and also promote the use of local forest products among their future peers. The curriculum will incorporate Continuing Education Unit resources, including “Creating a New Path for Forest Products in Green Buildings” from SFI. The building designs created through this studio will use advanced wood technologies with the goal of increasing demand and market value for Southern Yellow Pine. After graduation, an increased number of architects will join the work force with an understanding of the long‑term benefits of well-managed forests and the ability to design mass‑timber buildings.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
This project has the potential to equip many architectural students soon to enter the workforce with knowledge about how to use wood and the importance of forest certification. Architects have been a target audience of SFI’s for some time. The project also brings together the Mississippi State University’s School of Architecture and College of Forest Resources with the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts, providing for collaborative learning experience. Potential enhancements for the project include developing a how to guide, allowing this project to be leveraged by other SFI Implementation Committees, making the project scalable and replicable.
This partnership includes academics and an SFI Program Participant.
  • Project lead: Mississippi State University – School of Architecture
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Mississippi State University – College of Forest Resources and the Department of Sustainable Bioproducts
  • Shuqualak Lumber (SFI Program Participant)
Related information
  • SFI and green building.
  • SFI and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
  • Four ways responsible forestry supports wood construction
  • Michael Green, Principal Architect, Michael Green Architecture presents at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference where he talked about the future of tall wood buildings and the role of responsible forest management (video).
  • Why wood is an excellent choice for green building projects (video).
About Mississippi Forestry Foundation
The Mississippi Forestry Foundation was established in 1964 by the Mississippi Forestry Association to promote and carry out educational, literary, scientific, and charitable programs to better conserve, develop, and protect the forest and related natural resources of Mississippi for the best interest of this and future generations.