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Thermally Modified Wood: A sustainable alternative

Photo of thermally modified wood
Picture credit: University of Minnesota

**This has been cancelled due to low enrollment.**

When:  Thursday, October 27, 2022

Where:  St. Paul Student Center, Room 202, on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus, 2017 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108


Cost:  $50

Registration:  Click here     Cancelled due to low enrollment.

About this Course

In this course we will explore Thermally Modified Wood (TMW) as a material for interior and exterior uses. TMW are wood species harvested in a sustainable manner in the United States and subjected to high temperatures to modify the properties and color. TMW is chemical free, has high decay resistance, is more dimensionally stable, and is a renewable, sustainable way to sequester carbon in a useful building material. Due to the darker color of TMW, it has been used as an alternative to many tropical hardwoods in decking and siding applications. We will discuss what is TMW, how it is made, its sustainability, uses, lessons in specification/application and a trip to visit a structure where it has been used. Speakers will include faculty from the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech who study TMW properties, industry personnel who manufacture and sell TMW, and architects who have used TMW in projects. The course will include a tour of the Bell Museum, where TMW was used on the exterior of the structure. 


The course will be held in the St. Paul Student Center, Room 202, on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus, 2017 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

To Register:

Please contact Brian Bond, with questions or to register for the course. The cost to attend is $50 and covers the Bell Museum entrance fee. This course has been submitted for AIA CES credit.

Learning objectives:
Highlight the unique benefits of using exposed thermally modified wood on buildings

Explore types of projects that would be suitable for thermally modified wood use.

Explore lessons learned relative to best practices and material procurement of thermally modified wood.

Discuss how the use of thermally modified wood can economically support healthy and sustainable forests

Discuss the need for modifying or treating wood for external applications

Explore the properties of thermally modified wood and how the material behaves in application

Discuss the produced specifications and purchasing options for TMW

Highlight the recent use of thermally modified wood in the Bell Museum Project

9:00 am  Welcome and Introductions 
9:15 Why wood modification? – B. Bond Welcome and Introductions , Virginia Tech
9:30 Environmental Aspects/Green building/hardwood advantages – Omar Espinoza, UMN
10:00 Thermally Modified Wood Process Virtual TMW Plant Tour – Matt Prior or Andy Dalzell, Bingaman Lumber
10:30    Break
10:45 Thermally Modified Wood Properties – B. Bond, Virginia Tech

Thermally Modified Wood:  Opportunities and Challenges – Matt Aro,

Research Program Manager of Wood Products at the University of Minnesota Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI)

12:00 Break for Lunch
1:00 The Bell Museum Project - Doug Pierce and Tyler Mcneal
1:45 Designing with Thermally Modified Wood:  An architect’s perspective – Brian Grieb, AIA, NCARB Principal / GriD architects. Associate Professor Morgan State University School of Architecture and Planning
2:30 Break

Specifying/Purchasing/Care – Kelly Bartz, Arborwood


Tour of Bell Museum and Example of TMW Use – Tyler Mcneal

4:30 Adjourn


AIA Provider Statement:

Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech  is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number 600114177. All registered AIA/CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider of learning program may be sent to AIA/CES ( or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3).

This learning program is registered with AIA/CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA/CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA/CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.

Course Title:  Thermally Modified Wood: A sustainable alternative

Delivery Method:  Live In-person

Complaint Resolution Policy:
Complaints regarding this course can be emailed to or by calling (540-231-8752).  Dr. Bond will respond within 72 hours to resolve the complaint, which will include, but not limited to, access to another CE activity at no or reduced cost or a full or partial refund.  Each instance will be resolved on a case-by-case situation.

Thermal modified wood siding
Thermal modified wood siding
Deck made from thermally modified wood
Deck made with thermally modified wood