Monday, August 29, 2016
For years, architects have flirted with the idea of tall buildings made from mass timber, an engineered wood product that some argue is more sustainable than resource-intensive, nonrenewable steel.
“Every design firm out there is trying to find more sustainable ways to build—it’s a good business practice,” says Benton Johnson, a structural engineer at SOM. Johnson has been working with Oregon State University to develop and test these new mass-timber structural systems, hoping that his research will help mainstream what’s currently an alternative and novel construction methodology.
On August 8, he completed the first test of a full-scale mock-up of the system. The results, which showed that reinforced wood framing can be just as robust as conventional building techniques, are the latest step toward making mass timber more commonplace in the U.S.