Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team

Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team

Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team has won the 2018 Federal Wood Utilization Grant!

The Hawai‘i Wood Utilization Team is a group of experts from various wood-related industries aiming to produce and initiate innovative, cross-sector ideas and projects that expand wood product markets in Hawai‘i. The Team held its inaugural meeting on July 25, 2017, is meeting on a quarterly basis, and includes experts from

Forestry Architecture Design Engineering
Wood Products Construction Marketing Cultural Practice


With the aid of the U.S. Forest Service 2018 Wood Utilization Grant, the team will be overseeing three projects with the purpose of promoting the use of hazardous fuel forest resources.

1) a Hawai‘i Forest Products Directory

2) the design/building of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) prototype

3) the design/planning of an Education Center. 

Each year, about 0.5% of Hawaii’s total land area is burned by wildfire which is equal to or greater than the proportion of any other state. More than 25% of the state has been invaded by non-native, fire-prone grasses and shrubs and that percentage grows each time fire burns into a native forest. As a result, wildfires are increasing in frequency, size, and severity on all islands, which threatens communities, agricultural lands, natural resources, and ecosystem services. Hawai‘i has over 75,000 acres of timber plantations in need of management and use to reduce the threat of wildfire and reduce post‐fire environmental impacts. These projects will promote the use of hazardous fuel wood, as well as increase the visibility, connectivity, and confidence in Hawai‘i wood products and local manufacturing for commercial building markets. 

Result of Koke‘e wildfire, 2012


The main goal of the Wood Utilization Team is to stimulate innovation and expansion of wood product markets in Hawai‘i, with a focus on wood-based building materials. The team’s sub-goals include the following:

1) Create pull demand for forest resources from fire-prone areas in Hawai‘i

2) Increase visibility of and confidence in wood products from forest resources

3) Incentivize commercial thinnings by promoting productive utilization of forest products

4) Create sustainable and scalable solutions for improved natural and built environment             management

5) Increase local milling capacity and reduce forest management costs by attracting private      investment in wood processing infrastructure;

6) Establish building code compliance for statewide certification of local wood species

7) Catalyze local manufacturing of innovative wood products in commercial building                     markets.

Hawaii Wood Utilization Team Director Joey Valenti (middle), with some of the Committee Members


Green Jobs for a Sustainable Forest Industry

As awareness and popularity of wood products increases, jobs will be created along the entire value chain of activities necessary to plan and implement projects within existing plantations, logging, transportation, processing, value-added manufacturing, and marketing. By demonstrating the use of innovative wood products, the Committee seeks to stimulate the forest products industry.

Hawaii Wood Utilization Survey

The purpose of the Hawaii Wood Utilization Survey is to provide a knowledge base on the most pertinent issues in the wood industry, as well as provide priorities for the Hawaii Wood Innovations Steering Committee’s work.