The nation’s first wooden skyscraper will break ground this fall in Portland, Oregon, after an historic series of state and local building permits were issued this week.
At 148 feet, or 11 stories, Framework will be the nation’s first high-rise building made of wood. It will provide offices for Albina Community Bank and its parent, Beneficial State Bank, as well as retail outlets and five floors of subsidized housing in Portland’s Pearl District.
Project^ is the developer; Lever Architecture is the designer.
Here is how Lever’s Thomas Robinson describes the record-setting high-rise: “Framework is part of a mutually beneficial cycle between natural resources, the rural timber industries that rely on these resources, and the cities served by the completion of these buildings. Demand for tall wood buildings in urban areas drives economic opportunity in rural areas by the creation of jobs and manufacturing of wood products to meet the market need.”
Framework will be built from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam), building materials that have passed stringent fire and earthquake safety tests at Oregon State University and Portland State University.
That necessary testing was supported by a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Softwood Lumber Board and Binational Softwood Lumber Council.
Because of that sponsorship, all the test results are available to other architects and developers, and so will help promote the use of mass timber in high-rise construction.
In fact, Oregon officials led by Gov. Kate Brown, hope to inspire a mass-timber building boom in cities across the U.S.
“Projects like the Framework building present a new opportunity for Oregon that we are perfectly suited to take on,” Brown said. “Oregon’s forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon.”
Because of the construction efficiencies afforded by CLT and glulam, Framework is expected to be completed in 2018.