Bell Structural Solutions offers green alternative for telecom providers

By Maddie Lemay, Copywriter, Lemay Story Studio

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of WIA or its members.

Bell Structural Solutions, a wood pole and engineered wood manufacturer and distributor based out of St. Paul, Minnesota, recently joined the Wireless Infrastructure Association as one of the first companies in the United States to offer wood telecommunications structures as an alternative to steel.

Bell Structural Solutions’ wood structures offer the telecommunications industry the opportunity to invest in a highly sustainable product.

Wood structures are the only building materials in the world that are carbon negative; meaning they actually reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Steel structures, on the other hand, release carbon into the atmosphere. For every 2,000 steel poles purchased, the equivalent of 156,000 gallons of gas is consumed due to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

“As technology advances and we move towards faster and more concentrated 5G networks, I think it’s important to remember what got us here in the first place,” said Bell Lumber & Pole President Tom Bell. “We can’t continue to innovate and build without having sustainable solutions to support our growing infrastructure.”

Bell’s wood telecom structures are also sleek and unimposing, and their stature doesn’t feel disruptive, especially when surrounded by nature.

The Future May Be Timber

It’s only a matter of time before major industries start to consider timber as an alternative to steel, according to urban planning documents outlined in Sidewalk Toronto – a futuristic cityscape project created by Google’s urban planning arm, Alphabet Company.

According to the plan, which was tabled in the midst of the pandemic, mass timber was to be used for building most major complexes in the city.

“The decision to experiment with timber construction can and should be part of any strategic look for construction practices,” the plan documents state. “Knowing the imminent changes, leading companies must venture into innovating the future of mass timber.”

If Google’s urban planning arm provides any indication, it’s that timber is part of the future. The question is not if, but when, major U.S. telecom providers will start to follow suit.

“World-changing, cutting-edge industries, like the telecommunications sector, now have the option to be kinder to the planet by using timber as an alternative to steel,” said Bell. “We’re here for them when they’re ready and willing to make that change.”