CLT Design Contest Winners Announced!

A Wooden Parking Garage and What Will be the Nation's Tallest Cross-Laminated Timber Building Share Oregon BEST CLT Design Contest Award

Award's funding and research will speed use of CLT, a new building material that sequesters carbon and could breathe life into the Pacific Northwest timber industry

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon BEST and its collaborators at the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design today announced the winner and runner-up in its Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Design Contest that awarded $200,000 in funding and research support to fast-track the use of CLT as a new green construction material in the U.S.

The funding will support additional design, research and testing to help advance the two winning Oregon CLT projects – a parking garage in Springfield and a condominium building in northeast Portland, as well as CLT construction projects across the country. Research and testing will be conducted by the new National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, a collaboration between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

Production of CLT – massive panels made by bonding layers of dimensional lumber together – has taken off in Europe in recent years, and an investment last fall by Oregon BEST helped DR Johnson Lumber in Riddle, Ore., become the first U.S. maker of structurally certified CLT.

But U.S. architects and builders wanting to use the new material in construction projects must negotiate a maze of additional documentation, atypical performance modeling requirements, unfamiliar construction methods and building code hurdles that can delay CLT projects and has slowed adoption of the material.

The design contest was a collaboration between Oregon BEST and the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design.

"We launched this design contest last fall to help fast-track the use of CLT in Oregon, speed the economic impact for rural Oregon communities where CLT is manufactured and advance adoption of this new building material that sequesters carbon and competes with concrete or steel in strength," said Johanna Brickman, Director of Collaborative Innovation at Oregon BEST. "The two winning projects demonstrate the breadth of CLT use, and the research results from both will benefit future projects in our region and advance our state's leadership position in sustainable built environment innovation."

Schematic of Glenwood CLT Parking StructureThe planned 4-story Glenwood Parking Structure (pictured, right) with ground floor retail space in Springfield, Ore., took top honors, winning $155,000 in research, performance testing and code documentation for a wide range of areas, including: vibration, moisture, post-tension loss in rocking shear walls and seismic instrumentation. The 360-space structure was designed by SRG and will feature open sides that showcase the CLT construction materials from the street. The building is slated for a redevelopment zone along the Willamette River in the Glenwood area of Springfield, and will highlight the city's long history with timber and wood products.

"The timber industry is very important to the City of Springfield, and this project celebrates not only our city's long history with timber, but also shows our young citizens how the timber industry is constantly innovating," said Christine Lundberg, Mayor of Springfield. "This is an incredible opportunity that creates a parking garage that is aesthetically beautiful, carbon-sequestering and will spur nearby development. The credibility of Oregon BEST reviewing this project and awarding the win, sends a clear message to developers and to our community that this project is innovative, groundbreaking and will continue to move Springfield and Glenwood forward."

Schematic of Carbon 12 buildingAn 8-story mixed-use condominium complex (pictured, right) in Portland called Carbon 12, which will be the tallest CLT building to date in the U.S. when finished, was named runner-up and awarded $45,000 for acoustic and moisture testing. The building, designed by PATH Architecture, has already attracted two tenants for the ground floor retail spaces: OnPoint Community Credit Union and Heart Coffee Roasters.

"I believe CLT is going to have as large an impact on the built environment as the introduction of steel and concrete had in the past," said Ben Kaiser, owner of PATH Architecture and the Kaiser Group, Inc. "Having this vote of confidence from an organization like Oregon BEST enables us to move forward with this project that not only creates local jobs and helps bridge the urban-rural divide in Oregon, but also sequesters carbon and will break through some of the difficult code and market barriers currently restricting large-scale wood buildings."

Research and testing for both projects will be performed at the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design and at the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, an Oregon BEST Lab located at the UO in both Eugene and Portland.

"We were really impressed with the Glenwood Parking Structure and Carbon 12 projects, as they truly highlight the innovative uses of advanced wood products,” said Thomas Maness, the Cheryl Ramberg-Ford and Allyn C. Ford Dean of the OSU College of Forestry. “These projects are a great example of how engineered wood materials like CLT can create sustainable spaces that are beautiful, inviting and healthy places to live and work. They will inspire others to create similar spaces and reinforce Oregon as a leader in the innovation, testing and production of advanced wood products.”

CLT panels, which can be up to 10 feet wide by 60 feet long and 18 inches thick, are made by bonding together perpendicular layers of dimensional lumber, such as 2-by-4s, 2-by-6s or other dimensions, to create massive panels that can be erected and used for walls, floors structures and roofs. The use of CLT not only sequesters carbon, but it also allows the use of shorter pieces of wood that can’t be used in traditional glulam beams, as well as lumber from smaller diameter forest resources.

Media Contact: Gregg Kleiner, 541-740-9654
Sources: Johanna Brickman, Oregon BEST, 503-313-4507; Michael Collins, OSU, 541-737-2668; Niel Laudati, City of Springfield, 541-221-3686; Ben Kaiser, PATH Architecture, 503-234-4718