Maine’s College of the Atlantic Soon to Be Home of New Residential Hall Built From Timber

The College of the Atlantic, located in Bar Harbor, Maine, is soon to be home to a new residential hall being built with a wooden structural design, according to reporting by the Bangor Daily News (3-14-23). However, while state residents see the environmental benefits of building with wood, and the state has ample forestlands, Maine itself does not manufacture such wood products.

The college’s president, Darrin Collins, told the Bangor Daily News on Monday (3-13-23) that the school—which has approximately 350 students and focuses on the environment and sustainability—plans to have 46 more student beds on campus when the project is completed in the fall of this year.

Not only will the three-story building help provide more on-campus housing to students in a town where housing have soared, it will also help to reduce the school’s carbon footprint, Collins added. It will also serve as a showcase of emerging technology that could help boost Maine’s historic forest products industry.

According to Collins and the report, the wooden beams and columns being erected in the new building were manufactured in and transported from Austria, but even when factoring in the trans-Atlantic shipping, their carbon impact is smaller than that of traditional steel.

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