This project was made possible by a grant from the USDA Forest Service. It represents a continuation of the CTBUH focus on researching and furthering the dialogue regarding the use of mass timber in the tall building typology. In recent years, CTBUH has undertaken research activities aimed at better defining and classifying mass timber for the high-rise market, while an in-house team has conducted numerous data studies on the topic, such as 2017’s “Tall Timber: A Global Audit.” In addition, it has established a Tall Timber committee and continues to document burgeoning tall timber projects all over the world through its Global News platform. In 2019, the Council dedicated a “Building of Distinction” signboard for Mjøstårnet, located in Brumunddal, Norway, declaring it the “tallest all-timber building in the world,” in conjunction with updating the official CTBUH Height Criteria to include timber as a structural material in tall buildings.
As part of the Timber Rising project, CTBUH has produced a series of outputs in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service, all of which provide key information on mass timber innovations to stakeholders in the tall building industry.
USDA Forest Service Mission Statement
To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.
At the heart of our agency’s mission is our purpose—the ultimate answer to why we do what we do. Everything we do—across our broad and diverse agency—is intended to help sustain forests and grasslands for present and future generations. Why? Because our stewardship work supports nature in sustaining life. This is the purpose that drives our agency’s mission and motivates our work across the agency. It’s been there from our agency’s very beginning, and it still drives us.
To advance our mission and serve our purpose, we balance the short and long-term needs of people and nature by—
This is our value: what the Forest Service uniquely has to offer.
Rune Abrahamsen, Moelven
Jennifer Cover, WoodWorks
Kevin Flanagan, PLP Architecture
Philip Gardiner, Irwinconsult
Jeff Spiritos, Spiritos Properties LLC
Erica Spiritos, Swinerton
Philip Vivian, Bates Smart
CTBUH Editor-in-Chief Daniel Safarik discusses the design and engineering potential, and the constructability advantages of mass timber with Rune Abrahamsen, CEO of Moelven, a timber manufacturing company and construction firm in Norway, which has constructed Mjøstårnet, the world’s tallest all-timber building.
The adoption of mass timber for tall and large buildings on a greater scale is hindered by the prevailing fire safety codes in many jurisdictions, which are predicated on the fire properties of light or “stick-frame” dimensional-lumber construction. This episode addresses the real fire properties of mass timber, and considers the obstacles that must realistically be overcome to achieve widespread adoption. CTBUH interviews David Barber, Principal, Fire Engineering, Arup, on the subject.
Hannes Blaas is the CEO of Rothoblaas USA, a manufacturer of connectors for timber construction. He spoke to CTBUH on the design and engineering benefits of mass timber.
CTBUH interviewed Brian Brashaw, Program Manager, Forest Products Marketing Unit & Wood Innovations, USDA Forest Service. This episode focuses on the incentives and programs the US government has undertaken to promote mass timber and sustainable forestry.
CTBUH interviewed Ara Erickson, Director, Corporate Sustainability, Weyerhaeuser, about the timber industry’s role in sustainable forest management and interest in tall timber construction.
Sustainable forestry is key to the success of the mass timber construction industry. The fact that responsible and selective timber harvesting can actually help preserve forests and protect them against wildfires, blight and extinction through clearance for real estate or agriculture is a counterintuitive notion that will take some considerable public education to take hold. These experts talk about the education effort and some of the key premises behind sustainable forestry. CTBUH interviewed Kathryn Fernholz, President & CEO, Dovetail Partners, about some of the key premises behind sustainable forestry.
Robert Foster, Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge has participated in several cutting-edge design projects to push the limits of tall timber. He spoke to CTBUH about the true potential of mass timber, which can be competitive with steel and concrete in large and tall buildings.
Tim Gokhman, Managing Director, New Land Enterprises LLP, speaks about his project, Ascent – one of the tallest timber buildings ever constructed in North America – in the heart of Milwaukee.
CTBUH interviewed Carsten Hein, Associate Director, Structural Engineering, Arup, about the relative strengths and weaknesses of timber as a structural element, in terms of both performance and economics, relative to other materials.
CTBUH interviewed Phil McCormac, Senior Director, Development and Capital Projects, Ivanhoe Cambridge, about new mixed-use projects his company is developing for Denver’s up-and-coming RINO district.
CTBUH interviewed Mohammad Mohammad, Senior Research Advisor, Natural Resources Canada, about the seismic, strength and weight advantages of mass timber, as well as its value as a prefabricated construction material.
Lisa Podesto, Senior Business Development Manager, Lendlease, spoke to CTBUH about the advantages mass timber has delivered for her company, which has developed and built mass timber buildings on several continents.
In this episode, Jørgen Tycho, Founding Partner, Oslotre, talked to CTBUH about how the relatively young mass timber supply chain can be improved, improving sustainability and economics alike.
In this episode, Mark Wishnie, Executive Director, BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group, spoke to CTBUH about sustainable forestry, and how the development of a mass timber industry can be a climate-positive investment.
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