Expanding Structural Markets for Wood

The fast-evolving range of engineered wood products collectively known as mass timber has opened up new possibilities for wood to be used as a primary structural component in larger and taller buildings traditionally built using steel or concrete. Reflecting the widespread interest among developers, architects, engineers, and contractors in using these materials, the US recently adopted changes to the International Building Code that allow the construction of wood structures up to 18 stories tall.

Key benefits of using more wood in larger buildings include (1) substantial reduction in the carbon footprint of our built environment; (2) reduction in construction time, cost, and productivity due to prefabrication; (3) creation of high-value manufacturing jobs that can revitalize rural timber-dependent communities, and; (4) ability to utilize low-value forest restoration timber to create value-added mass timber products with associated reduction of catastrophic wildfire risk.

Mass timber systems were developed in Europe in the late 1990s, with the first US manufacturer certified only in 2016. Production is expanding globally at compound annual growth rates exceeding 15% per year, and in the last 5 years, several hundred mass timber buildings have been constructed, permitted, or are in the design stage in the US. There has been an accompanying increase in production capacity, and the opportunities are tremendous.
R&D Needs

Substantial product development, testing, and applied research are still needed, however, to answer urgent questions related to fire and seismic resiliencestructural engineering designacoustic performanceconstruction best-practicesconnector design and performance, and the development of cost-effective, standardized modular construction systems. At present, permitting authorities to have insufficient data to effectivelyevaluate building designs, and, consequently, developers, construction firms, architects, and engineers must conduct costly third-party testing and peer review for each building project, which raises costs and extends timelines. At the same time, manufacturers of mass timber products and related connectors, adhesives, and other supplies require testing support to facilitate the innovation and development of new products.
Pooling Resources for Common Benefit

An opportunity exists for the pioneering companies currently leading the charge on mass timber adoption within the United States to combine forces to jointly direct and fund applied R&D that will effectively answer questions of common interest to design professionals, construction professionals, and product manufacturers In response to this opportunity, the TallWood Design Institute has established the REACTS Consortium for Research on Engineering, Architecture & Construction of Timber Structures

Founding Members

We are delighted to introduce our cadre of founding members. All of them will be well-known as pioneers and innovators in North American mass timber circles.

Gold Level Members

Swinerton Builders

Swinerton is a construction company that has always been devoted to advancing the built environment.  Starting in 2017, Swinerton took on the challenge of building the largest mass timber building in the US, First Tech Federal Credit Union.  From this start, Swinerton has invested in a division devoted to accelerating the adoption of mass timber by providing turnkey supply and install packages.  After much success bringing many mass timber buildings to life, Swinerton decided to invest in starting TimberLab, a Swinerton company.  TimberLab provides engineering, detailing, procurement, and fabrication services to produce complete timber material packages ready for install.

Silver Level Members

KPFF Consulting Engineers 

KPFF is a collaborative and creative team of engineers who thrive on designing innovative solutions for projects of all scales. Founded in 1960 and now with over 20 office locations, KPFF’s focus is to serve clients by providing cost-efficient and valuable contributions to the built environment. The firm’s experience encompasses everything from new high-rise buildings to complex historic renovations. KPFF is a leader in building with mass timber and has utilized the material on a range of projects, helping to pave the way for broader adoption and bringing specialized knowledge of this material to project teams.


Bronze Level Members

ASPECT Structural Engineers
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DCI Engineers
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DR Johnson Wood Innovations

Founded in 1967, DR Johnson Wood Innovations is a second-generation, family-owned engineered wood products manufacturer located in Riddle, Oregon. For over 53 years, DR Johnson has been producing quality custom glued-laminated beams. In 2015, DR Johnson added cross-laminated timber to their product line and was the first manufacturer in the United States to meet the requirements of the Standard for Performance-Rated Cross-Laminated Timber. DR Johnson is committed to manufacturing sustainable engineered wood products such as cross-laminated timber and glue-laminated beams using locally sourced materials. DR Johnson is able to detail, manufacture, fabricate, and ship our product to meet any of your project requirements. We look forward to working with you on your next mass timber project.

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Holmes Structures

Holmes is an international design firm with employees around the Pacific Rim. We believe projects become great by what you put into them. With inspired practicality, we reconcile the complex, competing interests, and constraints, providing not just engineering but optimal solutions. In this way, we create more meaningful, integrated designs as a collaborative process in the vital pursuits of building great things. Holmes US offers structural engineering, fire & life safety/code consulting, and product testing to our clients.

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Katerra

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Kaiser Development Group/Path Architecture

Kaiser + Path is the combination of Kaiser Group and Path Architecture, based in Portland, Oregon. Kaiser Group focuses on building development, construction, and property management. Path Architecture is our architectural side. While two separate entities, roles, and responsibilities cross freely between the two, allowing all Kaiser + Path members to be involved in all aspects of a project – from inception to building operations, and give us a crystal-clear view of all project dynamics from financial, constructability and asset management.

We are pioneers in the mass timber movement, beginning in earnest with the Radiator Building in North Portland in 2013, followed by Carbon 12 and most recently the Canyons. Intermixed along the way have been several mass timber consulting projects.

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Lever Architecture
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MiTek Inc.

MiTek Inc. and its subsidiaries are a globally operating company organized in five divisions that serve the residential business segment (APAC, EMEA, Residential North America, Automation Solutions [including TBS Engineering], and Services) and four divisions that serve the commercial business segment (Commercial Builder Products, Mechanical Solutions, Mezzanine Systems, and Structural Framing).

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MTC Solutions

MTC Solutions is North America’s leading supplier of connection solutions for modern mass timber applications including commercial, industrial, and residential projects. MTC Solutions’ range of products includes structural self-tapping screws, beam hanger systems, rigging equipment, and connectors. All products offered by MTC Solutions are tested and proven and backed by sound engineering-based technical support for contractors, designers, and manufacturers.

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Odeh Engineers
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Rotho Blaas USA

Rothoblaas, a global company from the Italian Alps, is a leading creator of high technology solutions for the heavy and mass timber, energy-efficient, net zero, and other better building practice sectors. The Rothoblaas range of products covers fasteners and connectors, building envelope and acoustic solutions, worker safety and tools. By utilizing Rothoblaas standardized components, design professionals create economies of scale and cost-effective processes resulting in fewer labor costs, reduced energy usage plus safe and efficiently built buildings. With innovation at its core, Rothoblaas and its partners push the boundaries on all stages of the design and construction process.      

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SRG Partnership

SRG was founded nearly 50 years ago on a simple idea: partnership as both our name and an attitude that shapes everything we do. Partnerships define how we engage our clients, how we work with each other, and how we build our teams. Our NW roots contribute to this outlook through a deep appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds us and a pioneering spirit that drives us forward. This attitude is expressed in our work – design that is inventive, deeply sustainable, and based on the best ideas to achieve our clients’ highest aspirations.

 

Our offices in Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon both feature a light-filled, design-studio environment that supports inclusive communication, integration of disciplines, and shared learning.  With 75 employees, we are both nimble and able to tackle projects of any scale. We embrace a wide range of different perspectives in our culture and our work, which leads to new and innovative ways of thinking, and ultimately, to better design. Our experience has shown that by working together we can invent a better future.

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StructureCraft

StructureCraft is a structural engineering and construction firm specializing in timber and hybrid-timber structures; they have been engineering and building efficient, signature structures for architects, owners, and general contractors in North America and Asia for over 20 years.

They accomplish this by bringing the old-world tradition of master-craftsmanship to the new world of high-tech engineered timber construction. Seen as industry leaders in the “mass timber revolution”, they answer the pressing need for increased quality and construction efficiency, while at the same time reducing site erection time and risk.  StructureCraft specialties include mass timber buildings, long-span structures, and complex geometry projects.

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Thornton Tomasetti

Thornton Tomasetti optimizes the design and performance of structures, materials, and systems for projects of every size and level of complexity. Collaborating from offices worldwide, we apply scientific and engineering principles to solve the world’s challenges. Because we’re committed to being a sustainable and enduring organization and the global driver of innovation in our industry, we’re working to make mass timber a mainstream option for structural and façade systems. By drawing on the diverse expertise of our integrated practices and investing in research, we’re advancing the effectiveness and efficiency of designing with mass timber while achieving architectural excellence.


Non-voting Member

TDI gratefully acknowledges startup funding support from the USDA Forest Service for our CEACATS initiative.