Detail-loving architects can turn timber from a material into a career | News | Archinect

2022-06-03 23:35:41 By : Mr. Lucas Xiang

It’s been a rough couple of years for timber. As we have previously reported, lumber prices across the United States saw a 90% increase in May 2021 on the previous 12 months, adding an extra $36,000 onto the cost of constructing a new home. In a relief for clients and contractors alike, that record high was followed by a record-breaking 40% decline in June 2021, although lumber prices have continued their wide fluctuation into 2022.

Most analysts have laid the blame for this turbulent lumber market on short-term factors. These include pandemic-era labor shortages and supply chain shutdowns, potential looming tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Canadian lumber imports, and even the 2021 Canadian truckers’ strikes.

However, as we outlined in February, these short-term contributors are further compounded by more fundamental long-term impacts. Canadian forests, for example, face ongoing battles with invasive species and forest fires, both caused by warmer, drier winters attributed to climate change. The ongoing struggles in Canadian forestry are of particular concern in the United States, which relies on Canada for 25% of its softwood imports.

In Canada, as in the United States, a combination of trees being destroyed by beetles and forest fires, and the over-harvesting of what remains, means forests cannot grow fast enough to replenish themselves. The result is an ever-shrinking supply towards the timber supply chain for construction, just as demand is surging.

For Wisconsin-based WholeTrees Structures, the need for careful management and use of timber inspired the creation of their company in 2007. Founded on an off-grid forest farm, and powered by solar panels and a generator, the team began using CAD and BIM to create structural round timber systems along with sustainable principles.

Today, the company operates out of Madison, WI, and Seattle, WA, with the goal of creating a restorative timber supply chain for the commercial construction industry. Among the company’s pre-engineered products are beams, columns, trusses, and assemblies to feed into architectural products, as well as in-house design services whose projects include event canopies, playscapes, and solar carports.

“The built environment needs low embodied carbon/carbon sequestering materials, and our planet needs climate-smart forestry,” the company says. “Using the inherent strength of structural round timber and millions of years of organic structural engineering, we provide beautiful, affordable, and durable biophilic structural systems which also restore forests.”

As part of our ongoing Job Highlights Series, we are covering WholeTrees Structures’ search for a part-time architectural shop drawing drafter, based out of Madision, WI. The team hopes to attract a detail-loving architect or graduate who can create functional 2D and 3D detail drawings annotating measurements, materials, and finish specifications while adhering to the company’s construction methods.

“The ability to coordinate projects with the design team and project managers is a must,” the team notes. “This is a great opportunity for a young Designer/Drafter to learn and get hands-on experience with a quickly growing company, while receiving direction and mentorship from an experienced Architectural Design Manager.”

The company also offers a highly-secure workplace through Moose and Lenny, the career-savvy dogs who double as Co-Chiefs of Security, and recreational duck chasers.

Full details on WholeTrees Structures’ job opportunity can be found here on Archinect Jobs. Stay tuned for future curated job highlights and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more exciting opportunities on Archinect's industry-leading job board. Recent editions of our Job Highlights series have seen career opportunities for a building simulation analyst at EskewDumezRipple, a building scientist at Payette, and computational designers at Nike.

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

View all   |   Firms

View all   |   Schools