Urban Wood Conference Topics Go Full Circle

ILWUT_LogoA faculty of more than one dozen passionate and learned professionals, culled from all links of the urban wood supply chain, will share their knowledge and expertise at the inaugural Bringing the Urban Forest Full Circle Conference.

The conference, organized by the Illinois Wood Utilization Team (IL WUT), is set for Friday, March 18, 2016 at world famous Hamburger University on McDonald’s world wide corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, IL.

Edith Makra, chairperson of IL WUT, will kick off the conference with an overview of the growing but still largely untapped source of lumber and high-value wood products that could potentially be made from wood salvaged from end-of-life private and public community trees. Her presentation will set the stage for subsequent presentations that will highlight best practices for removing urban trees to optimize lumber recovery, strategies for successfully milling urban wood to manufacture salable products and marketing and retailing urban wood products that appeal to the burgeoning source local, buy local movement.

Invited presenters include urban wood proponents representing Milwaukee, WI; Ann Arbor, MI; and Chicago. In addition, case studies will illustrate real-world urban wood success stories, including i2i Design, a Chicago-area custom woodworking company that supplies displays, furniture and decorative millwork crafted from locally-sourced urban wood for the likes of Starbucks, Mariano’s and others.

The “greenness” of urban wood will be thoroughly explored in multiple presentations including by Laureen Blissard, a LEED certified architect, and Paul Pettigrew, who is teaching the next generation of architects and designers about the potential of urban wood for use in furniture, architectural details and other wood products.

Purdue University Prof. Daniel Cassens, a leading authority of North American hardwood lumber, will discuss urban wood’s place in hardwood markets. He will also conduct live portable sawmill demonstrations using logs felled at McDonald’s corporate campus. (Cassens will also present a full-day Hardwood Lumber & Sawmill Workshop, Thursday, March 17 at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook.)

The full-day event will also include plenty of networking, table-top displays by companies and groups invested in the urban wood market and an Urban Wood Products Showcase of furniture, artistic objects and other products crafted by students and professionals using urban wood.

View Conference Schedule & Details.

For more information, contact Rich Christianson, conference director, at richc.illinoisurbanwood@gmail.com or 773-822-6750.