Press Releases

Obama Administration Endorses Wood as Green Building Material

• Wood products, including responsibly forested American Hardwoods, recognized by Congress as environmentally preferable building material.
• U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a strategy to promote use of wood as green building material.

The American Hardwood Information Center is pleased to announce the Obama Adminstration’s official endorsement of wood as a green building material. Following the passage of House and Senate resolutions in 2009 and 2010 acknowledging that the American hardwood industry sustainably manages an environmentally preferable natural resource, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilscak recently announced a strategy to promote the use of wood as a green building material.

Proclaiming 2011 as The International Year of the Forest, Vilsack has directed the U.S. Forest Service to preferentially select wood in new building construction and maintain commitment to certified green building standards; examine ways to enhance research and development projects using green building materials; and actively work to identify innovative non-residential construction projects that utilize wood as a green building material.

“Forest Service studies show that wood compares favorably to competing materials,” said
Vilsack in a statement released by the USDA. “Wood has a vital role to play in meeting the
growing demand for green building materials.” Vilsack said this policy shift for USDA is
consistent with President Obama’s executive order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.

According to a recent Forest Service study of lifecycle analysis, it was determined that using wood yielded lower air emissions, including greenhouse gases, than the processes of using other traditional building materials.

In conjunction with the USDA’s three-part strategy, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell has asked for an “increased use of locally milled timber in all new agency buildings and facilities,” while Vilsack has directed other USDA agencies to “incorporate the Forest Service policy of using domestic sustainable wood products as the preferred green building material for all USDA facilities and buildings.”

“This recognition is a testament to what we’ve long known to be true – that American
hardwoods are truly the most sustainable building product available,” said Terry Brennan of Baillie Lumber and representative of the American Hardwood Information Center. “Coinciding with our initiative to promote American hardwoods as the building material of choice, we’re looking forward to seeing the efforts of both the American Hardwood Information Center and the USDA come to fruition.”

About the American Hardwood Information Center
The American Hardwood Information Center is the authoritative resource for consumers and professionals seeking information about American Hardwoods. With the goal of promoting the use of American Hardwood products ranging from flooring, cabinetry and furniture, to millwork and building materials in both residential and commercial applications, the Center offers advice from industry experts on design trends, care and maintenance, installation, finishing and professional specifying. For more information on American Hardwoods, visit


Editorial Contacts:
Ashley Eisner, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Phone: 212-697-2600 email:

Lauren Weybrew, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations
Phone: 212-697-2600 email:

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