This project is furthering the previous two years of Thinnings research. Half of all harvested wood is too small to be used for lumber and is instead used for paper and other pulpwood. The world as we know it is currently headed towards a paperless society. If this is half of our resource, we need to consider a better use of this material. 72% of the timber stands are privately owned and 20% of these stands are less than 50 acres. It is currently uneconomical to harvest stands less than 50 acres which leaves 20% of the resource without a market. This resource is either used as firewood or cut and left to rot.
This project is centered on understanding and utilizing a resource which makes up a large part of West Alabama’s natural environment. Through a partnership with the Talladega National Forest, the resultant material from proper forest management, thinnings, was designed to be used in a pedestrian bridge, connecting 2 existing trails within Payne Lake. The material was analyzed for durability, buildability, and structural integrity; the project attempted to redefine the language of built objects within the park.