Mass Timber Essentials

Timber holds a unique place in the history and culture of the Northwest. Working with wood structures has been a part of KPFF Portland’s DNA since our founding, so we are particularly excited by the rise of modern mass timber technologies such as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). KPFF is at the forefront of modern mass timber design, research, and code development.

As of fall 2017, KPFF has been involved with 9 CLT projects in 5 states – including Framework, with Lever Architecture, winner of the USDA/SLB/BSLC-sponsored Tall Wood Building Competition and first high-rise mass timber building to be permitted in the United States. KPFF Portland’s Structural Engineer Eric McDonnell is contributing to a research team at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure site (NHERI) at the University of California San Diego studying post-tensioned timber rocking walls as a seismically resilient lateral system for tall wood building.

So what is mass timber construction? What are its benefits? What’s next? A few of our engineers have sat down to explain this burgeoning technology.

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