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2017 Northeast Mass Timber Symposium

November 16, 2017 – 9:00 am - 4:30 pm


New York, NYNew York, NY


The Northeast Mass Timber Symposium is a multi-faceted, day-long educational event on the use of wood in non-residential and multi-family buildings.

Attendees can earn up to 5 AIA/CES HSW LUs or PDH credits (one per attended seminar). AIA/CES forms and professional development certificates will be available on site.




Aspen Art Museum – Wood Roof Structure Case Study

Gregory R. Kingsley, PhD, PE, KL&A, Inc.

The Aspen Art Museum, designed by architect Shigeru Ban, includes a long-span three-dimensional wood space-frame roof. Ban’s charge was to create a wood space frame with spans of more than 50 feet and cantilevers of 14 feet, in a structural depth of 3 feet. The space frame was to have two planes of intersecting diagonal webs of curved members that undulated up and down to touch the planes of the top and bottom chords with no visible connectors. This case study presentation will describe the design and construction of the wood structure, including paths explored but not chosen for the final design.

Greg is the president and CEO of KL&A Inc., Structural Engineers and Builders in Golden, Colorado, a firm of 65 that includes structural engineers, steel detailers, and construction managers. He enjoys working with design architects on innovative structures, especially in wood.

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Designing the Tallest Mass Timber Building in the World

Tanya Luthi, PE, Fast + Epp

The 18-story TallWood House at Brock Commons is the tallest contemporary mass wood building in the world. An exceptional example of the advantages of timber prefabrication, this project aspires to be the model for a future that includes extraordinarily ordinary mass wood buildings. Starting with an overview of available mass timber systems, with an emphasis on their advantages and unique design considerations, this presentation will then introduce the project, discuss the various design approaches considered and explain the process used to arrive at the final solution. While providing a focused discussion on the structural design and unique engineering challenges, the presenter will also provide an introduction to the fire/life safety approach, construction methods and project coordination.

Tanya Luthi is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Senior Associate at the structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp. Although fluent with all structural materials, Fast + Epp is known for projects that incorporate a significant amount of timber. In 2000, Tanya graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, but decided on a career change before beginning graduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She completed a Master of Science in Civil Engineering and graduated from the Structural Engineering program in 2005. Tanya has designed a wide range of structures in steel, concrete, and wood, including commercial, institutional, and residential buildings. She initially gained experience working with the New-York-based firm Leslie E. Robertson Associates. Tanya joined Fast + Epp’s Vancouver head office in 2011, and started the firm’s New York branch office in early 2016.”

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Exposed Wood in Fire-Resistive Applications

David Barber, Arup

For buildings, the fire resistance of structural elements is a code-stipulated requirement often dictated by the construction type chosen rather than building materials used. Wood structures are unique in that they can be unprotected while still providing a level of fire resistance. However, both designers and jurisdictions tend to be unfamiliar with this approach. This presentation will cover the use of a variety of exposed structural wood products (solid sawn lumber, nail-laminated timber, glue-laminated timber and cross laminated timber) in different fire-resistant applications for construction Types III, IV and V. Discussion will include implementation of char calculations, considerations for connections, and information on when calculations or fire tests are required for proving fire resistance in these scenarios. With a better understanding of the challenges and potential solutions, attendees will be able to confidently pursue exposed wood for their projects.

David is a Principal with Arup, based in Washington, DC, where he works as a fire protection engineer. He has been involved in the research and design of timber structures for over 20 years, assisting with testing and development of new timber technologies, authoring fire safety design guides for construction, working with wood product suppliers and completing fire safety design for mid-rise and high-rise timber buildings. David assists architects, engineers and contractors with timber designs, and also works with timber product developers. He is currently working with the project team for the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition winner, Framework in Portland, Oregon.

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Structural CLT Floor and Roof Design

Scott Breneman, PE, SE, PhD, WoodWorks

This presentation is intended for structural engineers and building designers seeking to familiarize themselves with the design of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in horizontal applications. Topics will include manufacturing and product performance standards, structural design standards, and recognition of CLT in the International Building Code. Specific attention will be given to the design of horizontal CLT when resisting gravity loads—i.e., as panels of floor and roof systems—and when resisting lateral loads, acting as a structural diaphragm. Discussion will include an introduction to meeting serviceability requirements related to deflection and floor vibration design as well as important connection details.

Scott is a licensed Structural Engineer and Professional Engineer in the State of California and Senior Technical Director of the Project Resources and Solutions Division Team of WoodWorks-The Wood Products Council. Scott received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida and a doctorate from Stanford University. His doctoral research entailed novel methods to reduce seismic damage to mid-rise and high-rise-frame buildings. Scott has experience with the structural design of new single-family, multi-family and mixed-used buildings; the seismic rehabilitation of institutional buildings in California; and high-end analysis and technology development. Scott is a Director on the Executive Board of the Structural Engineers Association of California, Past President of the Structural Engineers Association of Central California, an Associate Member of the ASCE/SEI 7-16 Seismic Sub-committee and Member of the ASCE/SEI Design of Wood Structures Committee.

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Enclosure Design for Mass Timber Buildings

Colin Shane, PE, MEng, PEng, RDH Building Science Inc.

Larger and taller mass timber buildings are becoming common in North America. These buildings typically utilize cross-laminated timber or nail-laminated timber panels, glulam beams and columns, and new engineered timber components to meet the structural and fire requirements associated with greater heights. With these larger wood structures and heavier timber components comes the need for efficient building enclosure assemblies that can be installed quickly on tight sites and are in many cases new and unique to the industry. Prefabricated building enclosure elements are now also commonly used. This presentation shares guidance on building enclosure design and detailing best practices for mass timber buildings. It includes case studies and lessons learned from the design, construction, and monitoring of enclosures for recently completed projects.

Colin Shane is a Principal at the San Francisco Bay Area office of RDH Building Science Inc., an engineering consulting firm dedicated to building science and building enclosure engineering. Colin’s experience includes design of all components of the building enclosure, including walls, glazing systems, balconies and roofs in climate zones across North America.  Colin has a broad knowledge of building construction and applies building science principles to evaluate, analyze and design durable, energy-efficient building enclosures.”

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UMass Design Building: A Firsthand Account from Design through Owner Occupancy

Tom S Chung AIA LEED BD+C, Leers Weinzapfel Associates & Peggi Clouston, PEng, MASc, PhD, University of Massachusetts

Completed in early 2017, the Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the first of its kind in the U.S. At four stories and 87,500 sf, this mass timber project features a glued-laminated (glulam) timber column-and-beam frame, mass timber lateral force-resisting system, hybrid cross-laminated timber (CLT)/concrete floor system, and unconventional cantilevered forms. This presentation will highlight two aspects of the project: the design process will be discussed by the principal architect and the construction and occupancy phases will be reviewed by an associate professor who was close to the process and now works in the building. From code approval through occupancy, this session will address the process and collaboration required to see this groundbreaking structure to fruition in a steel-dominated construction industry.

Tom S. Chung AIA, LEED BD+C is a Principal and design leader at Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, recipient of an AIA Firm Award in 2007. In over 20 years with the firm, he has been the primary designer for a number of award-winning projects, including the Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital and, most recently, the Design Building at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in the U.S., Tom received his degrees in Architecture at the University of Virginia and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. As an educator, Tom has taught design studios at Northeastern University School of Architecture and Wentworth Institute of Technology. As a design critic, he serves on design reviews and design award committees throughout the country.

Peggi Clouston has been working in the field of structural wood design and engineering for over 25 years. As an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), she teaches structural timber design, bio-based composites and material mechanics/tectonics to architects, engineers, and construction technologists. Author of more than 60 publications, she conducts research on the structural behavior and efficient use of bio-based composite materials. Current research topics include cross-laminated timber panels from low-value eastern species, timber-concrete composite floor systems, laminated veneer bamboo connections, and computational modeling of structural bio-based composites. Dr. Clouston has been a registered professional engineer (APEGBC) since 1992. She is Associate Editor of the ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and serves on numerous federal peer review panels and committees.”

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Nail-Laminated Timber and the Modern Workplace: A Developer/Contractor Point of View

Noel Johnson, Cairn Pacific and Kyle Warren, Turner Construction

Exposing structural wood to drive workplace aesthetics and ethos increasingly defines ideal millennial office development. It appeals to a new generation of workers driven by sustainability (low carbon footprint), wellbeing and comfort (biophilia), while offering investors long-term, differentiated assets. This presentation, given by a developer and a contractor who have worked together to build multiple mass timber office buildings in the US, will focus on investment, demographics, marketability, design, construction methodologies, and unique lessons learned from nail-laminated timber (NLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam) post-and-beam structures.

Noel Johnson is a principal at Cairn Pacific with development experience spanning approximately $900m, or 20+ institutional-scale deals.  Be it with housing, office or retail uses, his focus areas include: mass timber structures, adaptive reuse and brownfield, as well as mixed-use urban and suburban plans.  Noel holds degrees from Stanford’s Business School, Portland State and Williams College.  He is civically engaged with groups including: Social Venture Partners, Yale Union, ULI and Oregon LOCUS.

As Special Projects Division Manager for Turner Construction in Portland, Kyle  Warren has been responsible for the overall construction performance of a wide range of projects—including creative office, commercial, healthcare and residential, both new buildings and multi-million dollar renovations. Under his leadership, Turner Portland has completed two mass timber buildings and has another two under construction, for a total of more than 300,000 sf. Each building contains a unique structural system utilizing mass timber to solve a specific aesthetic, occupancy, site, financial and/or program requirement. Kyle has a degree in Civil Engineering from Cornell University.

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More with Less: An Overview of the First CLT Hotel in the US  

Jeff Morrow, Lendlease

The availability of cross laminated timber (CLT) in the U.S. is causing some designers to rethink traditional construction practices—and one progressive development company is helping to lead that charge. For the recently completed Candlewood Suites Hotel on the Army Installation at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Lendlease explored the use of CLT for improved construction efficiency, enhanced  performance, and blast resistance. The four-story, 62,688-sf project utilized CLT for nearly all floor, roof and wall framing, making it the first  mass timber hotel in the country. This presentation will review the economic, environmental and social benefits realized through the use of CLT on this project, and address CLT’s viability as a market changing technology. Lessons learned during the design and construction processes will be discussed, as will some of the perceived hurdles and associated solutions related to using CLT as a whole building system.

Jeff Morrow is a Program Manager for Lendlease specializing in construction. Prior to leading the construction of new Lend Lease hotels for the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, he was Senior Project Engineer at Fort Campbell, KY, where he pioneered new approaches to energy and resource conservation in Lend Lease’s groundbreaking Zero Energy Homes project. This project provided a creative and viable strategy for achieving real change in the environmental impact of Lendlease buildings. Jeff earned a B.S. and M.S. in Building Construction Management from Purdue University. In 2013, he was recognized by Professional Builder Magazine’s “”40 Under 40″” awards.”

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Minneapolis T3 Office Building – A Modern Heavy Timber Story

Amado Guevara III, AIA, DLR Group

For centuries, heavy timber construction has been a mainstay of builders and architects around the world. However, recent high-profile commercial and multi-family housing projects have heightened interest in the use of this traditional design approach. This presentation will examine the Minneapolis T3 office building, which, at seven stories, is (for now) the largest modern heavy timber commercial building in North America. Discussion will take attendees behind the scenes—from the early planning of a building designed to respond to a growing cultural demand for local authenticity, sustainability, and urban and social connectivity, to setting the first columns and beams, to the final punch list. Topics will include design considerations for the neighborhood and client, why heavy timber construction was integral to the final vision, and the implications for high-rise buildings moving forward.

Amado is a highly-experienced project architect with over 20 years of experience in project design, technical detailing and development. He has an understanding of many different building types and has been actively engaged in the entire project cycle, from design through project close-out.  His experience lies in his ability to conceptually understand and establish design aspects and vocabulary for the project as a whole and in its details. Amado managed the Minneapolis Hines T3 heavy timber project and offers a unique understanding and perspective on what it takes to build a commercial mid-rise building out of timber.

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Mass Timber in the Northeast: Urban Solutions for a Global Carbon Challenge

Alan Organschi, Gray Organschi Architecture

By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is expected to be living in cities. Accordingly, the need for more construction in urban areas is expected to rise. This presentation explores how new uses of wood and new techniques of carbon accounting for individual projects might be applied more broadly to address exploding demand for buildings and infrastructure. It will start by looking at new uses of mass timber through the lens of the recently completed science and art building at Common Ground High School in New Haven, CT, one of the first educational buildings in the U.S. to use cross-laminated timber in its primary structure. It will then review the efforts of Timber City, an ongoing research project that explores the environmental efficacy and the industrial, structural, and architectural potential of urban “mass” timber construction technologies.

Alan Organschi is a partner at Gray Organschi Architecture, a firm recognized internationally for its work in architectural design and environmental research. He also the founder of JIG Design Build, which engages in the research, prototyping, fabrication, and installation of building components and systems, and a faculty member at the Yale School of Architecture. In 2012, Mr. Organschi and his partner Elizabeth Gray were honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an American Academy Award in Architecture. In 2014-15, he served as a member of the USDA Tall Wood Building Prize Competition assessment team. Today, with support from the Hines Fund for Advanced Sustainability Research in Architecture at Yale, he directs the interdisciplinary research initiative Timber City, which examines potentially regenerative supply chains linking sustainable forest management and dense urban development of housing and infrastructure in wood.”

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Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
1605 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-977-4000
Click here for map, directions & parking information

Attendees can earn up to 5 AIA/CES HSW LUs or PDH credits (one per attended seminar). AIA/CES forms and professional development certificates will be available on site.

Click here to access the presentations – available a couple days prior to the event.

For questions or additional information, please contact:

Jaime Krohn, CMP, National Event Manager
Email: Ph: 312-841-8272


16 November 2017
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan
New York, NY United States

WoodWorks offers a wide range of in-person and online training opportunities, from Wood Design Symposiums that include concurrent seminars and a trade show, to half-day workshops, lunchtime seminars and webinars.