New wooden building product could be boon for Georgia in midst o - CBS46 News

New wooden building product could be boon for Georgia in midst of steel tariffs

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

An international contest to design better affordable housing in Atlanta is putting a spotlight on a new building material.

It's got special significance now that President Trump's tariffs on steel are in place. Mayor Bottom’s promise to spend $1 billion on affordable housing in Atlanta could be a boost to Georgia Pinetree farmers.

Remember the contest we’ve been telling you about to design new affordable housing in a rundown motel on the south side of town?

The top entries both build with this new wood product. If the product takes off, it could be a boost to the number one tree-producing state in America.  

Pine trees, the state's biggest crop, make a new building product. It's mass timber ross cut and glued into sturdy panels. The new steel tariff just makes this Georgia-grown wood more attractive. And attractive is what the 150 people now living at the seedy Santa Fe Villas really want in a rebuild. 

Standing in the rooftop garden in Midtown, sustainability architect Shane Totten thinks the contest could change developers’ ideas of how to build a greener Atlanta as well as a more affordable one.

Makers cut and glue wood into planks make giant slabs pre-cut in factories and ship it in flat packages to be assembled like a sturdy house of cards. It's cheaper, greener and prettier according to most builders. At the state capitol, Andres Villegas with the Georgia Forestry Association is bubbling over.

We should know in a few days which of the two finalists wins the pot of city money to actually build.

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