Mass Timber Construction

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Mass Timber Construction

Quick Facts | What is Mass Timber Construction?

 

Mass Timber construction is an energy-efficient alternative to high-rise and commercial buildings. Wood is a natural, renewable and sustainable material for building, with a lighter carbon footprint than steel or concrete. Not only does it have positive environmental impacts, but it has also proven to be structurally strong and meet the same performance and life safety standards as concrete and steel structures.

C.D. Smith building mass timber construction for Ascent world's tallest timber tower in Milwaukee

 

Value-Added Benefits

Mass timber materials are not inexpensive. However, mass timber offers several cost competitive advantages and long-term benefits. Columns, beams and panels on average weigh 1/5th the weight of concrete and steel materials, reducing shipping costs and requiring a smaller workforce to install. With prefabricated panels delivered directly to jobsites, construction time can be reduced by approximately 25 percent, saving owners even more time and money. Furthermore, wood structures have a biophilic effect on people, increasing occupants’ overall health and wellness and give long-term value to the design.

 

Carbon Sequestering timber building carbon storage for negative carbon imprint mass timber building

 

Carbon Sequestering

Timber buildings store carbon in their structure for the life of the building. An 18-story mass timber building, for example, has a negative carbon imprint equal to taking 2,350 cars off the road per year.

Sustainably Sourced

Modern forestry practices ensure a continuous cycle of growing, harvesting and replanting timber. Lumber that is sourced for mass timber construction is sustainably harvested using these best practices. Alternating trees are cut during harvest, allowing the remaining trees to grow twice as tall and not compete for natural resources. Additionally, when timber is harvested, two saplings are planted for every tree harvested, ensuring future forest growth and resources.

 

Sustainably Sourced Wood for Mass Timber Construction - Modern Forestry Harvesting & Planting

 

 

 

CLT Cross-Laminated Timber & GLT Glue Laminated Timber for structural strength of mass timber construction

 

Structurally Strong

Mass timber comprises multiple solid, load-bearing wood panels bound together to create extraordinary strength and stability. Panels can be bound together through various methods, including nailing, gluing or using dowels. Depending on the desired structural integrity, compressed layers of wood will be stacked parallel or at 90-degree angles. While a fraction of the weight of concrete buildings, mass timber buildings can withstand seismic forces and embodied energy, including earthquakes and high winds.

Fire Resistant

Mass timber columns, beams and panels are fire tested and rated to ensure occupant safety and meet building code requirements. Fire ratings are based on building types set by local and state building codes. Type I Buildings, commonly multi-story or high-rise buildings, require a fire-resistant rating of three hours. Timber burns in a predictable way, charring the wood’s exterior; this is called the char zone. Once a char-zone is formed in the event of a fire, it insulates the remaining wood, allowing it to retain its structural capacity. Engineers determine the required thickness needed to maintain the structural integrity of columns, beams and panels and add upwards of 16 inches of additional material to create a char-zone that would be burned off in the event of a fire. This structural design ensures it will be structurally adequate under fire conditions.

 

Fire resistant mass timber columns beams panels with char zone for fire ratings

 

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Mass Timber Construction Projects

FASTENAL OFFICE BUILDING

Fastenal Company's new corporate office is more than a building. It's a SUSTAINABLY-built MASS TIMBER facility designed to pay homage to its HISTORIC riverfront surroundings. By incorporating mass timber construction as an alternative to the original steel frame concept, SUSTAINABILITY was one of THREE key accomplishments for Fastenal's landmark new building.

C.D. Smith Construction Manager for Fastenal Corporate Office Mass Timber Building Interior staircase with view of downtown Winona street

The nearly 100,000 square foot, multi-story building was designed by The Kubala Washatko Architects (TKWA) to pay homage to its HISTORIC surroundings. Through the use of locally sourced stone and mixed media materials, they achieved a perceived timelessness in the context of the downtown riverfront area. That was the second accomplishment.

And the third resulted from the goal of creating a workplace environment for attracting new talent and businesses to the riverfront. Fastenal brought 450 employees to downtown Winona to achieve an initial economic boost with hopes for lasting positive impacts for attracting and retaining talent at their company and throughout the city.

Learn more from the project profile!

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RIVERHEATH POPLAR HALL - EVENT SPACE

With its modern, two-story contemporary mass timber design, Poplar Hall at RiverHeath is by far the most unique building to date, both in architecture and construction materials, as well as the function of the space itself.

RiverHeath Poplar Hall Event Space mass timber sustainable building with C.D. Smith Construction Manager

The new, free-standing 8,400 square-foot structure consists of glulam and cross-laminated timber framing to create a new event space for live entertainment, corporate events and a wide array of social, celebratory functions.

Although the building has a relatively small footprint, this space has a high density of amenities to cater to all its occupants.

These amenities and features include 30’ tall windows to the west for brilliant views of the Fox River, two indoor gas fireplaces, two full-service bars, one full-service kitchen and servery, a decorative timber tread monument stair between floors, a green room and a stage for events and presentations, as well as seating and standing space to accommodate 395 occupants.

FEATURES INCLUDE:
» Two Full-Service Bars
» Full-Service Restaurants
» Two Indoor Fireplaces
» Green Room & Stage for Presentations
» Zamboni Garage + Ice Skating Rink Floor to Ceiling Windows
» Accommodates 395 Guests

Learn more about this award-winning wood design from its project profile.

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THE ASCENT PROJECT - MASS TIMBER VS. TRADITIONAL BUILDING

Curious how mass timber construction schedules stack up against traditional concrete structures? Scroll past the image 👇 for a quick comparison sourced from an interview clip with Project Manager Chris Johansen on the Ascent project in Milwaukee.

Ascent mass timber construction project in Milwaukee Wisconsin Topping Off with FlagPer Floor Comparison
(typical concrete building the same size as Ascent)
⌛ Eight to ten days per floor for a concrete building
⏳ Five to six days per floor with timber

Other interesting construction schedule notes and insights from building the world's tallest hybrid mass timber tower include:
🏗 Curtain wall installation can follow more closely up the building (allowing interiors to start sooner than on a concrete structure)
🏗 The ~64 columns per floor could fly up in bundles of three. Once on their designated floor, all 64 could be set in a day.
🏗 Only one or two beams could be picked and flown up at a time. A typical floor has ~75 beams. Once staged on the deck, all 75 could be installed in a day.

The above is a quick snapshot with stats and insights taken from a 48-minute full-length video tour produced by WoodWorks | Wood Products Council behind the scenes at the Ascent project.

Interviews featured in the full-length version include representation with insights and expertise from C.D. Smith Construction, Korb and Associates Architects, Thornton Tomasetti Engineering, and Ascent owners, New Land Enterprises.

For access to the full-length video, go to https://www.cdsmith.com/ascent#woodworks-video. Or tour all of the information on the Ascent Project page, including the latest media news, by jumping to primary topics of interest from the ASCENT PAGE MENU at https://www.cdsmith.com/ascent#menu!


 

How Tall Can We Build with Timber?

Tomorrow's Build

 


 

World's tallest hybrid mass timber building construction: Ascent in Milwaukee


Get a behind-the-scenes look with WoodWorks for a video tour and project team interviews with the mass timber experts working on the Ascent project.


Step behind the scenes with Jennifer Cover, President & CEO of WoodWorks, as she interviews the project team on the Ascent project, currently under construction in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Get an in-depth look at Ascent straight from the experts - in a part video tour and part sit-down Q&A format - as they build their way to the top of the tallest mass timber structure in the world.

Video production courtesy of WoodWorks. Interview features include representation with insights and expertise from C.D. Smith Construction, Korb + Associates Architects, Thornton Tomasetti Engineering, and Ascent owners, New Land Enterprises.

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Beam to column connections and Building Information Modeling (BIM) on the Ascent project in Milwaukee


Visit the Ascent project jobsite with WoodWorks and Project Manager Chris Johansen for insights from the mass timber experts on beam to column connections and the use of BIM.


 

WoodWorks’ President & CEO, Jennifer Cover, P.E. and C.D. Smith Project Manager, Chris Johansen discuss beam to column connections and the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) on New Land Enterprises’ Ascent project at the project jobsite in Milwaukee.

Video production courtesy of WoodWorks.

*Note: This is a video excerpt from a 48-minute video tour with project team interviews produced by WoodWorks | Wood Products Council. Interviews featured in the full-length version include representation with insights and expertise from C.D. Smith Construction, Korb + Associates Architects, Thornton Tomasetti Engineering, and Ascent owners, New Land Enterprises.

Watch the full-length feature in its entirety to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Ascent project from various perspectives at https://www.cdsmith.com/ascent#woodworks-video.

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C.D. Smith Construction Ascent MKE Project Updates and Notifications | Latest Press and News from the Jobsite: Building the World's Tallest Hybrid Mass Timber Tower

Ascent luxury apartments Milwaukee housing project updates from C.D. Smith Construction on tallest mass timber wood building.Photorealistic renderings courtesy of Korb + Associates

At 284 feet tall, Ascent MKE is poised to become the world's tallest mass timber structure. The 25-story residential tower will be home to 259 luxury apartments constructed on a six-story cast-in-place concrete parking structure. As one of the construction team leaders on this project, C.D. Smith ensures you of our commitment to safety and a positive experience throughout construction by being your source for the latest news and construction updates. Discover more information and stay current with the latest media news on this exciting project by visiting our Ascent MKE page.

Learn More about Ascent MKE Building the World's Tallest Mass Timber Tower



 

Beneath the Hard Hat®, our company press and blog, offers an intimate look at the people and stories that make C.D. Smith Construction. With the latest industry news and project updates, we share insights on the superior spaces we are safely delivering year-round. Our team of technical experts provides useful tips and topics to help plan your next commercial project.

 

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C.D. Smith Construction is an industry leader in safely providing the highest quality commercial construction services. Utilizing an integrated approach and self-performing trade services combined with technical expertise, our team serves as a solutions provider throughout all phases of a project, from planning through construction. With veteran leadership and a dedication to our employees and clients, we proudly place our name on projects of all sizes across the United States.

 

 


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