While the outside of the new chancellor’s residence doesn’t look all too different, the inside is being transformed week by week. Recently, the drywall has been put up and trim, molding, windows, doors and details are being added.
The beautiful cypress and poplar detailing seen throughout much of the house has been harvested from NC State’s own Hofmann forest – an 80,000-acre forest located in the coastal region of North Carolina.
The cypress wood is used for the tongue-and-groove ceilings in many areas throughout the residence. Cypress is often used for its versatility, strength and stability. Use of a stable wood in a tongue-and-groove board application is an important way to help prevent gaps as the house settles.
The poplar material also was selected for its stability. The tight, smooth grain of the poplar allows for a very fine paint finish to complement the trim throughout the house.
But far beyond its use for building materials, Hofmann Forest has served as a “living lab” for the university – much like its use in basic and applied research and outdoor-classroom instruction.
Formal research in Hofmann Forest began in 1936, concentrating almost exclusively on hydrology and the growth of pines. Since then, research has expanded to include topics such as fire ecology, organic soils, site productivity, biodiversity and more.
Now, parts of this historically “NC State” forest will make a home for chancellors for years to come.