Expanding the possibilities of wood building design
Albina Yard, Portland OR: courtesy, Lever Architecture
Mass timber is getting a lot of love these days. The strength, stability and design flexibility of products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) enable architects to specify building heights and spans that would have previously been thought achievable with only concrete, steel or masonry for structural support.
- A lighter carbon footprint: Mass timber products allow the use of a renewable and sustainable resource instead of more fossil-fuel intensive materials, which also aligns with the goals of Architecture 2030.
- Construction efficiency: Mass timber construction is fast. One firm reports that it takes 25 percent less time for construction when compared to a similar project in concrete. It also requires fewer workers and significantly reduces construction traffic and noise.
- Fire and life safety: Fire protection and seismic resistance of mass timber allow its use in larger buildings.
- Occupant well-being: studies of wood's biophilic aspects show that exposed wood in buildings has improved occupant health and well-being.