Academic Venture Fund - 2020
Upcycling Ash Trees for Sustainable Wood Construction
The invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) epidemic has killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America, drastically transforming entire forest ecosystems and creating a massive climate risk. Infested and dying ash trees also provide an enormous and untapped resource for sustainable wood construction. Unfortunately, they are often comprised of mature growth trees which cannot be processed by standard lumber mills. In collaboration with glued laminated timber manufacturer UNALAM, this project will develop an innovative method to reuse EAB-infested timber. By introducing high precision 3D scanning and robotic fabrication technology, researchers will create a new building process to transform irregularly shaped "ash waste wood" into a useful high-tech engineered wood product.