Wood & Panel

Mass timber movement cleared in California

 Thursday, September 15, 2022

Mass timber buildings as high as 18 stories and increased allowable square footage of such buildings are now adopted by new building codes of California. The adoption of mass timber in buildings is on the rise across North America. This coincides with the new building requirements in California. Most notable is the Ascent Tower, the world’s highest timber-concrete hybrid structure, which was just completed by Korb + Associates Architects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Engineered wood products are used to construct mass timber structures. These products are made of big, solid wood panels, columns, or beams that are produced off-site and utilized for load-bearing walls, floors, and roofs. 1 De Haro, being constructed in San Francisco by SKS Partners and Perkins & Wil, will be the state’s first multistory mass timber structure.

Leading the way for better forest management

The most recent International Code of Council (ICC) code contains provisions for Type IV-A buildings with upto 18 storeys of height for business and residential occupation. Jennifer Cover is the CEO of Woodworks, explains, “Mass timber products are large wood structural panels that are built up of small pieces of either lumber or veneer that are either glued up or nailed together. These create large structural members that are used for entire floor panels or wall panels and can be dropped right into place.” Because of its ability to resist fire, mass timber makes up for great construction material instead of steel and concrete.


“We anticipate an increase in tall wood projects in California as a way to address housing needs with more sustainable construction, and because of mass timber’s performance, aesthetic, biophilic attributes, and installation speed,” said Bill Parsons, chief operating officer of WoodWorks – a nonprofit program that provides support on building designs to architects, engineers and developers that are looking to build more sustainably. Also known as cross laminated timber.

Additionally, there are advantages to forestry management. Increased chances to use timber related to forest management activities are made possible by the use of CLT, which can promote forest management on private, state and federal lands. This creates a favorable market development and more chances for California to use forestry goods. In the end, this would benefit California’s forests by encouraging better forest management.

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