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There is no relationship at all between the 'need' for housing the poor and homeless and wood structures, which are a valuable concept.

I deal with engineered wood products all the time of which cross laminated timber is an excellent example and helps free wood from building strictures. Other such [products include glulam beams, laminated veneer lumber & proprietary products: Parallam, Lignor, Scrimtec. They all allow high rise wood buildings. Fire and termite protection are readily achievable with treatments, coatings, etc. However, housing the homeless is a social and economic issue and has nothing to do with building materials. We could house the homeless today with anything from wood, concrete, steel, brick, stone, aluminum, straw, rammed earth, bamboo and combinations of these. What is lacking is the will, and the money and a social structure that allows this to happen. Sadly, most public housing in the US has been terrible, often designed as a punishment for being poor. High rise public housing are often war zones, gang and drug ridden, filled with despair. If they were built of wood, there would be no different outcome.

  • Jul 14 2013: I think you misunderstood his involvement of the issue of providing homes for the homeless/poor. His point was, I believe, that those people WILL have homes in the future and those homes will have to be constructed. What material they are constructed with will have a significant environmental impact. Today many of the poor and homeless are living in developing nations which are, just as they are called, developing. That development is going to involve the building of millions of new structures and homes. That is why there is definitely a connection between the poor/homeless need of homes and wood as a building material. Even if those nations never have any kind of government-provided housing, they are still going to need millions of new homes.
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    Jul 15 2013: Agreed. When the price is free the demand skyrockets. When government provides free housing there is no desire to better one's situation
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      Jul 15 2013: Unless you want to live in that mansion with a jacuzi, just sayin'.
  • Jul 14 2013: Thanks for your comment. I do not think I misunderstood Michael's comments. I simply asserted he was mixing oil and water. Housing the poor is completely separate from (and indifferent to) the means of such housing. What is required is the will to do so and money. Frankly, I believe neither will be forthcoming in anywhere need the amounts needed, just as in the past.
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    Jul 14 2013: I agree, it wouldn't make a difference. We like to shovel them into areas that is satisfactory to the current political players at the time. Can i ask a Q? Since you are in that industry, Do those embedded protection coatings have a limited effective life span? Do they leech? In my country New Zealand, we allowed the building and manufacturing industry to use kiln dried wood and it was a disaster as housing built from this wood began to rot and fall apart.