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Boston Planning & Development Agency, Boston Society for Architecture announce second round of applications and funding available through Mass Timber Grant Program

Sep 19, 2022

The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) and the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA) today announced the second round of applications and funding are available through the Mass Timber Accelerator Program, launched last September to promote mass timber building practices in Boston and the New England region. Mass timber, short for massive timber, is an umbrella term for structural wood products joined to form larger panels. Mass timber is an environmentally friendly alternative to carbon-intensive building materials like steel and concrete.

The second round of the Boston Mass Timber Accelerator program will focus on tall building nine stories and higher and will competitively select up to three active private development projects for funding and technical assistance. With the  technical support of the WoodWorks team, the selected development teams will explore the benefits and assess the feasibility of incorporating mass timber structural building materials  and practices into their building projects.

Awardees will receive $25,000 of financial assistance as well as technical assistance from WoodWorks, a non-profit committed to providing free resources and technical support around the use and advancement of Mass Timber. Awardees will investigate a range of mass timber building practice applications and assess related building design, construction, environmental and cost feasibility, and benefits.

The first round of the Boston Mass Timber Accelerator Program ran from September 2021  through June 2022 and included seven development projects ranging from a few to nine  stories and included affordable housing, mixed use buildings, senior LGBTQ housing and more.

Launched in September 2021, through a grant funded by the USDA Forest Service, the Softwood Lumber Board and the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Mass Timber Accelerator Program is a technical assistance program that will advance Boston’s 2050 carbon neutral goals by providing support to projects in early planning phases on the use and benefits of mass timber as a building material.

Although relatively new, mass timber offers numerous benefits for the environment, and residents of Boston and New England, minimizing the impact of construction on the environment through its proven low-carbon structural properties and aesthetic qualities.

Selection Jury members:
Kevin Naranjo, USDA Forest Service
Ricky McLain, PE, SE, WoodWorks
Jennifer Hardy AIA, (BSA Rep.)
Richard McGuinness, BPDA Deputy Director for Climate Change and Environmental Planning
John Dalzell AIA, LEED Fellow, BPDA Senior Architect for Sustainability Development

Additional program information is available on the BSA’s and BPDA’s Mass Timber Accelerator web pages.

About the Boston Planning & Development Agency’s Net Zero Carbon Initiative

The BPDA has also launched the Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning Initiative to assess and identify strategies to strengthen green building zoning requirements to a zero net carbon standard for new construction, to meet the City of Boston’s goal for Boston to be carbon neutral by 2050. Boston’s buildings account for approximately 71 percent of local community carbon emissions, and represent the greatest opportunity for emissions reductions. The Mass Timber Accelerator Program is a critical step in reducing embodied carbon, the GHG emissions from building materials, by focusing on low carbon building structure systems. Wood is naturally more sustainable and low carbon and is regionally plentiful. Wood structures also sequester carbon, effectively helping to offset emissions from material production. Recognizing the significant carbon emissions due to building construction and materials, 23 percent of annual global emissions, the expansion of mass timber construction practices is a critical next step in reducing GHG emissions.

About the Boston Society for Architecture

The Boston Society for Architecture is a partnership between the Boston Society of Architects (BSA/AIA) and the BSA Foundation (Foundation). As a member-led association, the BSA is one of the oldest and largest chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in the United States. Comprised of world-renowned architects, designers, engineers, builders, and other industry professionals, the BSA benefits from a committed membership who are some of the leading thinkers and innovators in professional practice today.

The BSA operates as a convener, educator, and action leader to ensure that the power of design is fully employed in creating solutions to the equity and climate crises of our time. For more information, visit

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