Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Atlanta Hosts Tall Timber Event
Thursday, 26 July 2018
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See More on the CTBUH Atlanta Committee

45 area attendees gathered at the Perkins+Will offices to hear experts discuss building mass timber high-rise structures.

ATLANTA –The CTBUH Atlanta Committee held a summer event, generously sponsored and hosted by Perkins+Will. The evening, which was held at the Perkins+Will offices overlooking the High Museum of Art, consisted of networking, followed by a series of three presentations from a variety of disciplines and concluded with a lively Q&A. A total of 45 local professionals turned out for the event. The event program was developed together by Perkins+Will, Uzun+Case and Skanska. The presentations offered expert perspectives on building high-rise structures out of mass timber.

Jeff Chermely, Technical Director, Senior Associate, Perkins+Will, started things off by asking the question, ‘Why wood?’ and talked about the positive environmental effects that can result from using wood over other materials. These included long-term carbon sequestration, reduction in carbon emissions and the benefits of using a renewable resource. While highlighting the inherent beauty of wood, Chermely said that wood also enhances user experience, and that people have a natural affinity for wood because it helps connect them to nature. Chermely then spoke about the River Beech Tower, a collaborative research effort conducted by Perkins+Will, Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge that identifies challenges and opportunities associated with designing increasingly tall mass timber structures.

Attendees network following the event (left); a variety of CTBUH publications on display
Jim Case, Founding Principal, Uzun+Case, then gave a presentation on his current mass timber work, which included the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at the Georgia Tech University, and its use of nail laminated timber (NLT) panels as part of a hybrid structure. Case explained that while the building code currently limits the height of allowable timber structures, the next iteration of the code is going to create sub-categories of Type IV construction that will allow taller timber structures, contingent on fire protection systems. He concluded by discussing the current limitations of supply chains currently in place in the US.

Finally, Jimmy Mitchell, Project Manager, Skanska, demonstrated his work fabricating and installing the nail laminated timber (NLT) panels at The Kendeda Building and the R&D that went into them. Mitchell explained that much of the timber material was salvaged film set framing from the growing Georgia film industry, while much of the fabrication labor was provided through the Georgia Works! program, which provides job placement and supportive resources for homeless populations. To conclude, Mitchell emphasized that the use of wood is integral to the project’s positive impact, citing the reduced carbon footprint, use of FSC wood, and the reduced impact on the waste stream.

Event speakers, left to right: Jim Case, Founding Principal, Uzun+Case; Jimmy Mitchell, Project Manager, Skanska; Jeff Chermely, Technical Director & Senior Associate, Perkins+Will
Brian Dillman Dillman Studio
Jerry Miller Fabric Developers
Alejandra Lopez Gensler
John Moores Gensler
Howard Wertheimer Georgia Tech
Stanton Stafford Integral Group
Rob Halverson John Portman & Associates
Ryan Haney John Portman & Associates
Zhixian He John Portman & Associates
Malik Leaphart John Portman & Associates
Adrian Tejada John Portman & Associates
Tim Milam Jordan & Skala
Heng Gu Kronberg Wall
Robert Hale KSi Structural Engineers
Lauren McCormick KSi Structural Engineers
Jeff Chermely Perkins+Will
Andrew Crenshaw Perkins+Will
Barbara Crum Perkins+Will
David LeFevre Perkins+Will
Brian Lindvall Perkins+Will
Bruce McEvoy Perkins+Will
Trent McGugin Perkins+Will
Dawn Mixon-Bennet Perkins+Will
Ivana Nikolic Perkins+Will
Allen Post perkins+Will
Don Reynolds Perkins+Will
Randy Holmes Seven Oaks Co
Andrew Roberts Seven Oaks Co
Carl Seville SK Collaborative
Jimmy Mitchell Skanska
John Gerondelis Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart
Allison Clark Stanley D Lindsey and Associates
Andrew Kern Third & Urban
Jim Case Uzun+Case
Sara Christians Uzun+Case
Martin Cuadra Uzun+Case
Jeff Milheizler Uzun+Case
Rob Weilacher Uzun+Case
Jonathan Hurff Walter P Moore
Brett Reichard Walter P Moore
Kelly Roberts Walter P Moore
Alesa Stallman Walter P Moore