The United States’ First Mass-Timber Highrise Receives Planning Permission


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

The United States’ first mass-timber highrise (defined by Emporis Building Standards as a building with an architectural height of 115-328 feet, or between 12 and 40 floors) has been granted planning permission, allowing construction on the landmark project to begin. Located in downtown Portland, Oregon, the building known as Framework will cap out at 12 floors and approximately 128 feet, ushering in a new era of tall building construction in the US. 


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

The awarding of the building permit follows a stringent Performance-Based Review process that required several tests of the building’s fire, acoustic and structural systems, carried out over several months in 2016. The results of the testing have shown that buildings constructed with mass timber including Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) and Glu-laminated timber (Glulam) can meet, and in some cases outperform, all current fire and life safety standards.


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

“Receiving a permit is a critical juncture for Framework and demonstrates the feasibility of using wood to build high-rise buildings in the U.S.”, said Anyeley Hallova, developer, project^. “With our path now clear to start building, Framework will start to unlock the demand for mass timber products at all scales justifying new investment into rural manufacturing and job creation.”


Courtesy of KPFF Consulting Engineers

Courtesy of KPFF Consulting Engineers

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Framework will contain a mixed-use program, including 42,000 square feet of affordable housing separated into 60 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Five floors of the building will be designated as office space, while the ground floor will house 9,000 square feet of retail. Other amenities will include a rooftop terrace and 102 bicycle parking spaces to encourage sustainable transportation methods.


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

“The innovations in wood construction that are part of the design of the Framework building will help change how America builds in the years to come”, commented Steve Lovett, CEO of the Softwood Lumber Board, a lumber industry organization which contributed $1 million to the R&D phase of the Framework project as part of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Competition, in which Framework was awarded top honors.

“Modern wood based building systems create opportunities to increase the use of wood products which is better for both the environment and rural communities.” 


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

The City of Portland is paving the way for new timber construction techniques in the United States – the current tallest timber structure in the US, Carbon12, recently topped out in the Pacific Northwest city.

Learn more about Framework on the project’s website, here.


Courtesy of LEVER Architecture

Courtesy of LEVER Architecture
  • Architects: LEVER Architecture
  • Location: 430 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, United States
  • Principal: Thomas Robinson
  • Project Architect: Doug Sheets
  • Project Manager: Jonathan Heppner
  • Owner: The Framework Project, LLC
  • Land Owner: Beneficial State Bancorp
  • Development Team: project^
  • Structural/Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
  • Timber Design Assist: StructureCraft Builders Inc.
  • Mep Engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers
  • Affordable Housing/Investor: Home Forward
  • Fire & Acoustic Engineer: ARUP
  • General Contractor: Walsh Construction
  • Landscape Architect: 2.ink Studio
  • Site Area: 10,000 sf (1/4 block)
  • Affordable Housing: 42,000 sf
  • Office: 39,000 sf
  • Retail/Ground Floor: 9,000 sf
  • Area: 90000.0 ft2

Proposals for Portland, New York Win US Tall Wood Building Prize

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, has announced the winners of the US Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. The two winning projects-Framework, by Framework, LLC, and 475 West 18th, by 130-134 Holdings LLC-will each receive $1.5 million in funding for their development in Portland and New York, respectively.

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

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.

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