Advanced wood products are making a major breakthrough this month, with the first use of U.S.-produced cross-laminated timber panels in a building-wide structural system. The CLT panels are being installed at Albina Yard, a creative office development in north Portland.
The second of four installations of Oregon-made CLT panels on the project will occur early next month. The third tier of panels is scheduled to be installed a few weeks later, according to the project's developer and contractor, Portland-based Reworks Inc.
Construction on the 16,000-square-foot creative office building in the vibrant Mississippi District began last fall and is expected to be completed by July.
The building owner is Albina Yard LLC. The project architect is LEVER Architecture and the structural engineer is KPFF Consulting Engineers.
Albina Yard's unique design incorporates mass timber construction with a glue-laminated timber frame and CLT panels fabricated at D.R. Johnson Lumber Co. in Riddle, Ore. D.R. Johnson is currently the only U.S. manufacturer of CLT panels certified for use in structural applications.
"The building design reveals the material qualities that are inherent to these new and innovative mass timber technologies," says Thomas Robinson, founder of LEVER Architecture. "Because of the strength of the CLT panels, we are able to span longer distances with fewer beams and employ large angled cantilevers that give the building façade a dynamic presence."
"We see Albina Yard as a catalytic project, paving the way for broad market adoption of mass timber construction in Portland and throughout the country," says Aaron Blake, principal of Reworks and Albina Yard, LLC. "Mass timber products derived from sustainably managed forests allow us to build faster, stronger and less expensively with fewer environmental costs."
Wood products were chosen in part because they store carbon, giving them a significantly smaller carbon footprint than other traditional building materials. Albina Yard incorporates approximately 161,000 board feet of solid wood products and 19,550 square feet of wood panel products, with a combined storage of some 80.5 metric tons of carbon – the equivalent of offsetting 295 metric tons of CO2 emissions.