Project contact is Hongmei Gu at the Forest Products Laboratory
The FPL team is in charge of developing a full comparative LCA study for three multiple-story mass timber buildings and their concrete alternatives in the U.S. Northeast region, with Boston as the point location. Using these three comparative LCAs, this research will determine the GHG emissions reduction potential from mass timber use in the building sector for the U.S. region. This may increase potential for growth in wood utilization, timber harvest, and forest management practices through the market demands.
This Wood Innovation Grant studies four separate cross laminated timber column/beam and topping slab combinations, to demonstrate the most suitable parameters for a commercial office building in a high seismic area. The study takes direct aim at a perception that mass timber limits a commercial building’s ability to have column-free spaces as well as floor-to-floor heights that preserve utility/MEP flexibility. The case study examines the eighty-five foot, new 4C Building Type. Engrained construction habits can too easily table innovations. We would like to give the industry more to work with - and feel secure about - when specifying materials in built projects.
3161 Elliott LLC will develop a 4C type office building on Seattle’s downtown waterfront. The site is controlled by Greg Smith, of Urban Visions. Our architect-engineer-contractor team leads in the mass timber space: atelierjones, DCI Engineers, McKinstry Engineering, Swinerton and includes design partners from the ICC Tall Wood Building Committee, including Sam Francis, formerly with AWC, Carl Baldassarra, Fire Protection Engineer from Wiss, Jenny, Elstner, as well as consultants from Woodworks, including Bill Parsons and Ethan Martin. All are united in solving whatever potential limitations may be encountered while designing for a new building type, with a new material. Our collaboration will make us stronger.
In 2020, Urban Mass Timber Floor Heights Study-3161 Elliott LLC design is on-track to complete City of Seattle Design Review Board Process and Building Permit Drawings. Wood Innovation Grant Funds will be used for systems design, structural and fire protection engineering, mass timber costing, and code analysis. The project will submit Permit drawings, move into final costing, and Mass Timber pricing in mid-2021. Following the receipt of a City of Seattle Building Permit, and successful leasing, construction could start the following year. The foundational work of determining the critical clear spans and floor-to-floor heights will lay the economic success of the new ICC Building Type 4C for years to come.
The Urban Mass Timber Floor Heights Study-3161 Elliott LLC will be shared with the Mass Timber community and public. As a WoodWorks Case Study, it will be shared through events, from webinars, national presentations, to publications through ThinkWood/USDA/USFS channels to showcase how Mass Timber can create typical midrise commercial office buildings with large, natural open spans of beautiful local timber and new experiences for commercial office tenants in US communities.