PATH Architecture’s Catalytic Condominium in Portland is the Tallest Timber Building in the US


via Baumberger Studio

via Baumberger Studio

Continuing the ever-increasing growth of timber construction architecture in North America and around the world, Carbon12’s recent topping out has resulted in its newly achieved status as the tallest mass timber building in the United States. Situated in Portland and designed by PATH Architecture, the 8-storey condominium is an example of the cost-effectiveness and labor sensitivity of engineered wood products while helping regenerate Oregon’s local timber industry. 

With a growing population and rapid development, much of recent focus has been on Portland’s city center, in an effort to preserve the existing natural landscape that surrounds the urban areas. Built of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and glu-lam beams around a steel core, Carbon12’s hybrid construction aids the city’s densification, given its off-site construction and quick assembly that help both reduce costs and respond to residential needs.


Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

The building rises to a height of 85 feet, with two ground floor retail spaces that activate the neighborhood beneath 14 condominium units. Thinner floor plates allow two units per floor, facing east and west, in addition to recessed balconies, 22 underground parking spaces are also situated within a mechanized system.


Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

Another advantage to the use of mass timber is its environmental benefits, primarily carbon sequestration. As trees decompose or burn, the CO2 they previously naturally captured is released back into the atmosphere, but timber harvesting keeps the CO2 trapped within the wood. An increase in the use of timber for construction is also a catalyst for tree planting and employment within a revival of the industry.  


Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

Courtesy of Structurlam & Munzing Structural Engineering

Further complimenting the sustainable aspects of the material, Carbon12 also includes an advanced earthquake reduction system and rooftop terraces with a solar-heated domestic hot water system. The building is the first phase of the redevelopment of its block, and years after the site’s rezoning in 2013, now, construction is well underway on the tallest timber building in the US.

News via: PATH Architecture.

New Timber Innovation Act Advocates for Nationwide Timber Construction in the United States

A new piece of bipartisan legislation has been tabled by The United States Senate and House of Representatives named the Timber Innovation Act. The bills were put forward to further the development of tall timber buildings in the US, thereby supporting the nation’s considerable timber market and the rural manufacturing jobs it entails.

Kjellander Sjöberg Designs Four Cross-Laminated Timber Blocks to Enrich the Uppsala Cityscape

Swedish architecture firm Kjellander Sjöberg has released images of their proposed new city block to enrich the Swedish city of Uppsala. The four competition-winning residential buildings, known collectively as the Tunet, will feature cross-laminated timber construction and wood detailing, creating an environmentally-friendly addition to the city.

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