The United States Senate, led by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) have introduced the Timber Innovation Act (S. 2892). A House companion bill, H.R. 5628, has also been introduced and was led by Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-PA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).
Both bills would:
- Establish performance driven research and development program for advancing tall wood building construction in the United States;
- Authorize the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition through the U.S. Department of Agriculture annually for the next five years;
- Codify the Forest Service's Wood Innovation Grant program and expand it to facilitate Centers of Excellence and provide grants to states to fund education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders, which will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings.
The House bill also includes language allowing the Wood Innovation Grant program to support proposals to use and/or retrofit existing sawmill facilities in areas with high employment to produce mass timber materials.
The bills have garnered the support of nearly 100 organizations including NASF, forest landowners, architects, wood products manufacturers, universities, labor unions and more.