As schematics formalize into designs, product decisions, material quantities and priority procurement options are narrowed.

This is the stage where planning and intention for sourcing CSW can be locked into construction and scheduling plans through:

  • Design refinement optimization, benchmarking.
  • Assessing sustainability goals considering current design and budget.
  • Gathering information from suppliers. Building relationships with suppliers is often critical to obtaining good information at critical decision points in procurement (early DD, building on relationships made in SD).
  • Constructability reviews which assess strategies for, and sequence of, erection and installation.
  • DfMA should be a key driver for geometry and system selection.

The end of DD typically coincides with “locking” of the geometry, size and location of the vast majority of structural and architectural elements, including mass timber, in the project.

Questions to be answered at this stage include:

  • Is virgin or recycled/reclaimed/salvaged wood preferable? Is there an available source of reclaimed wood that meets the structural and architectural design criteria?
  • If virgin wood will be used, which pathway is right for the project? Identify suppliers and vendors to target any previously established goals of engagement of local businesses, woman- or minority-owned businesses, indigenous peoples, etc.


This is ideally the stage at which specific material suppliers who can satisfy project priorities and criteria should be identified, though depending on the project and procurement schedule they may or may not be selected yet. Leveraging these suppliers to validate how procurement choices will enable the project to meet previously established criteria and validate budgeting through the design process is essential.

A firm commitment on pursuing a CSW path that has been developed throughout earlier project stages is ideally made at this time. Once the plan is in place, the next step is to implement that plan.

However, some projects arrive at this stage without having considered CSW sourcing as a fundamental goal. The project team should review general options for CSW characteristics, Traceability & Transparency, and Procurement Options to gain a stronger footing in what may still be possible and meaningful at this stage of the project.

Projects that develop a CSW procurement goal once they have already arrived at the procurement stage still have options. CSWG’s coalition is working to produce specification options for transparency, traceability, and CSF objectives that are in development and will be available for case study-scale utilization in early 2024. Until that time, CSWG is also available to review and assist with specification approaches on a project-basis.

Project teams’ specifiers who have been unable to lay advanced groundwork with vendors should, at minimum, require that responsive bids provide wood sourcing disclosure provisions, such as:

  • Location of the primary wood production facility (i.e., sawmill that produced the raw boards).
  • Time period of timber harvest and wood material production.
  • Geographic location of the harvest.
  • Characterization of business-as-usual (BAU) harvest practices for the forest ecosystem in question and narrative or quantitative description of how the procured materials’ harvest practices exceed BAU and are responsive to elements of the CSF definition.

In order to maintain procurement options and encourage transparent bidding behavior it is recommended that vendor selection be made preferentially on the basis of the depth and veracity of disclosure information provided.