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Bay Area Wood Design Symposium

November 7, 2018 – 8:00 am - 4:45 pm


San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA


A Wood Design Symposium is a multi-faceted, day-long educational event on the use of wood in commercial and multi-family buildings.

Attendees can earn up to 6 AIA/CES HSW LUs, PDH credits, or 0.6 ICC credits (one per attended seminar). Professional Development Certificates (AIA/CES and ICC) will be available on site.

Cost: $120
Price includes lunch and evening reception 

Onsite Check-in begins: 7:00 am
Exhibit Area Open: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Reception: 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm

Join us for a reception immediately following the symposium including beverages and light appetizers. Sponsored by:



The Mass Timber Revolution: Removing Obstacles, Breaking Ground

Dean Lewis, PE, SE, DCI Engineers and Janelle Leafblad, PE, WoodWorks

Mass timber represents a rapidly advancing technology that can be utilized as an alternative to steel and concrete to frame a variety of mid- and high-rise building types. This presentation provides an overview of mass timber products, their advantages and unique design considerations. Topics will include available mass timber systems, code provisions, connections and fasteners, and reasons cited by designers and developers for embracing this revolutionary timber approach. Mass timber is not only being used worldwide and across the country—it’s being used here, close to home in the Bay Area. Local project examples will be highlighted, with an emphasis on the variety of applications seen so far in Northern California, and vast potential for growth.

Dean Lewis is a licensed structural and civil engineer and Associate at DCI Engineers. He is a crucial member of DCI’s San Francisco office, which, within a 5-year timespan, has amassed a portfolio of more than 5,000 units of multi-family housing at various stages of design and construction. Dean’s expertise spans a wide variety of prefabrication and modular construction methods. His earliest work involved prefabricated steel projects in Africa, Indonesia and South America. Later, in Seattle, his experience included both light wood-frame projects and the Bullitt Center—the largest modern mass timber project in the US (at the time) and the first office building to achieve Living Building Certification. Since calling the Bay Area home, Dean continues to emphasize prefabrication and modular approaches utilizing materials such as mass timber, and integrate these techniques into office, residential, commercial and industrial projects.

A California-licensed professional engineer, Janelle has been an active building technology consultant since 2002, primarily in the area of wood technology, investigation and design of building envelope components, and construction for both historic and contemporary structures. She earned her BS in Architectural Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and her MS in Wood Science and Technology from the University of California at Berkeley. Janelle is a regional board member of the Forest Products Society and a member of the Society of Wood Science and Technology and Association for Preservation Technology.

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ROOM 1 – Mass Timber Design Topics


Knock on Wood: Acoustical Solutions in Mass Timber Structures

Denis Blount, CTS-D, Arup

The use of mass timber in multi-family and commercial buildings presents a complex set of acoustic challenges. While laboratory measurements of the impact and airborne sound isolation of traditional building assemblies, such as concrete, steel, and light wood-frame, are widely available, fewer resources exist that quantify the acoustic performance of mass timber assemblies, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and nail-laminated timber (NLT) systems. Furthermore, acoustical professionals are not typically retained for mass timber projects, placing the acoustic responsibilities on the design team. This presentation will review common mass timber assemblies and acoustical rules of thumb for architects and designers. Topics will include detailing strategies, options for eliminating flanking paths, and best-practices for achieving good acoustic performance in mass timber buildings.

Denis Blount leads the Acoustics, Audiovisual and Theater Consulting team in Arup’s Seattle office. With a background in engineering and music, he is uniquely positioned at the intersection of acoustics, technology and architectural design. Throughout his career, Denis has worked closely with architects, engineers and clients covering a wide range of building sectors. His acoustic consulting experience includes room acoustic design, measurement, modelling and analysis, airborne and structure-borne sound isolation, mechanical systems noise and vibration control, environmental noise assessments and specification of acoustic materials and methods. His innovative work in the SoundLab has advanced Arup’s auralization and visualization capabilities, while his technical system design experience has resulted in forward-thinking designs for theaters, museums, production studios, broadcast facilities, transit facilities and state-of-the-art classrooms.

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Structural Design of Mass Timber Framing Systems

Ian Boyle, PEng, StructEng, PE, SE, Fast + Epp

Mass timber structural framing systems have high strength-to-weight ratios, are dimensionally stable, and are quickly becoming systems of choice for sustainably-minded designers. This presentation will provide a detailed look at the structural design processes associated with a variety of mass timber products, including glued-laminated timber (glulam), CLT, and NLT. Applications for the use of these products in gravity force-resisting systems under modern building codes will be discussed. Other technical topics will include use of mass timber panels as two-way spanning slabs, connection options and design considerations, and detailing and construction best practices.

Ian graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering with Structural Emphasis from the University of Utah in 2000. Prior to joining Fast + Epp in 2002, he worked for Greene Structural Engineering and Mountain West Engineering in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been involved in numerous challenging projects since joining the firm, including Avon Village in Colorado, Arena Stage Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC, and concept designs for proposed monorail stations in Seattle, Washington. Having embraced the firm’s design approach in creating economical and expressive architectural structures, Ian was appointed Senior Associate in 2013 and Principal in 2015. He is a licensed Structural Engineer in British Columbia, Washington, and Utah, and a Professional Engineer in Alberta, California, and Oregon.

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Fire-Resistive Design of Exposed Mass Timber Members

Bevan Jones, PE, Holmes Fire

For many years, exposed heavy timber framing elements have been permitted in the building code due to their inherent fire-resistance properties. The predictability of wood’s char rate has been well-established for decades and has also been recognized for years in US building codes and standards. One of the exciting trends in US building design is the growing use of mass timber—i.e., large solid wood panel products such as CLT and NLT—for floor, wall and roof construction, or to create innovative, beautiful buildings. The 2015 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the American Wood Council’s National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction provide code-compliant paths for the implementation of these materials in many building and construction types, including exposed applications where fire-resistance ratings of the structural elements are required. This presentation provides information on the current status of code provisions, char calculation processes and successful tests associated with mass timber’s use in fire resistance-rated construction.

Bevan Jones is CEO and Principal of Holmes Fire’s US operations, based in San Francisco. With a background in structural engineering and over 15 years of international experience in performance-based fire safety design, he has consulted on a vast array of projects from residential design to large infrastructure projects. Bevan enjoys the challenge of applying first-principle-design, holistically, to achieve practical and efficient design solutions.

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Cross-Laminated Timber in California: Guidelines, Testing and Recommendations

Erik Kneer, SE, LEED AP BD+C, Holmes Structures, Shiling Pei, PhD, PE, Colorado School of Mines and Scott Breneman, PhD, PE, SE, WoodWorks

The 2016 California Building Code (CBC) prescriptively recognizes CLT as an acceptable building material in construction types III, IV and V. However, its use as part of a seismic force resisting system—either as a diaphragm or shear wall—is not yet codified. This panel session will focus on three topics key to the design, review and approval of CLT buildings. First, it will raise awareness regarding a process guideline document developed jointly by the California Building Officials (CALBO) and the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) in an effort to streamline mass timber project review and approval. Next it will discuss shake table testing conducted at the University of California at San Diego to investigate several resilient CLT shear wall configurations, including a post-tensioned rocking wall system and a repairable rocking wall system. Finally, it will discuss design processes and resources specific to the use of CLT in diaphragms.

Erik Kneer is an Associate Principal for Holmes Structures based out of San Francisco.  His experience includes a focus on sustainable design and prefabricated/off-site construction techniques.  He has been a strong advocate for the adoption of mass timber in California, and co-authored a paper on “Analytic Modeling of CLT Diaphragms.” He is a founding member and past Chair of the Structural Engineers Association of California’s Sustainable Design Committee. Publications also include “Structural Engineering Strategies for Sustainable Design,” “Disaster Resilience as Sustainable Design” and “Advocating for Resilient Public Policy.” Erik serves on the USGBC California Advocacy Committee’s Council of Experts and participated in the development of LEED v4 through the USGBC Northern California Chapter’s Regionalization Committee.

An expert in seismic building design and performance, Dr. Shiling Pei is currently leading a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded six-university collaboration to develop seismic design methodology for resilient tall CLT buildings. This project involves shake table testing of a 10-story full-scale tall wood building at the NHERI@UCSD outdoor shake table, which is planned for 2020. He is author of the Seismic Analysis Package for Wood-frame Structures (SAPWood), produced as part of the NSF/National Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) NEESWood project, and was one of the lead researchers in shake table testing of a full-scale 7-story wood-steel hybrid building in Japan. Dr. Pei currently serves as the Chair of the ASCE Wood Technical Administrative Committee overseeing four wood engineering-related committees. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in State of California.

Scott is a licensed Structural Engineer and Professional Engineer in the State of California and Senior Technical Director of the Project Resources & Solutions Division Team of WoodWorks. 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.

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ROOM 2 – Mass Timber Products and Projects


Dowel-Laminated Timber: A Next-Generation Mass Timber Product


As part of its new state-of-the-art facility near Vancouver, Canada, StructureCraft recently launched North America’s first dowel-laminated timber (DLT) manufacturing line, making another mass timber product widely used in Europe available to U.S. building designers. DLT is distinct in that it is made entirely from wood; in concept it involves no glue or nails. It includes softwood lumber boards stacked together like nail-laminated timber, but friction-fit with hardwood beech dowels instead of nails. This presentation will examine the use and specification of DLT, as well as potential applications, the design and construction process, and costs. A recently completed DLT structure in Houston and buildings underway in Des Moines, Atlanta, San Antonio, and Seattle will be highlighted to demonstrate the range of potential uses.

StructureCraft Builders is an engineer-led construction firm specializing in mass timber and hybrid-timber structures. Bringing the old-world tradition of Master-Craftsman to bear on the new-world of high tech construction, the company has been engineering and building efficient, signature structures for architects, owners, and general contractors in North America and Asia for 20 years. StructureCraft is an industry leader in the “prefab revolution,” answering the pressing need for increased quality and construction efficiency while reducing site erection time and risk.

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Enclosure Design for Mass Timber Buildings

Colin Shane, PE, RDH Building Science

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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Cost Dialogues: The Contractor Perspective on Mass Timber Buildings

Dan Lamar, Richard Hancock Inc., Matt Larson, LEED AP, XL Construction and Kyle Warren, Turner Construction

Innovation isn’t necessarily new, but it should always be better—and that’s certainly been the case for mass timber. Environmental performance, lighter weight, speed of construction and aesthetics are all cited as reasons for its use over traditional materials. However, one of the hurdles left before mass timber can become mainstream is cost. Cost of materials, manufacturer capabilities and efficiencies, erection processes, pre-planning and the level of prefabrication all play a role in the final cost of a mass timber project, and yet there is little widespread knowledge of these topics. This panel of three experienced installers and contractors will provide insight on the cost of real mass timber buildings in the US. Preconstruction planning, construction phasing, erection techniques and lessons learned will all be covered to help building designers assess the viability of their own mass timber projects.

Dan is a Project Manager and Estimator at Richard Hancock Inc., which has extensive experience with premanufactured wood structures (including 11 schools) and recently completed two CLT projects in California. Dan has worked in the building industry for more than 40 years, in roles that range from commercial framing contractor to the distribution and sales of engineered wood products.

Matt oversees the preconstruction department at XL Construction, where he works with some of the most innovative companies in the world—in markets that include healthcare, education, life science and technology. Having recently completed a mass timber project for the education sector, and with two others at the planning stage, XL continues to hone innovative approaches that maximize the value of mass timber systems. Matt holds a BS in Construction Engineering from Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

As Senior Project Manager for Turner Construction in Portland, Kyle 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 three mass timber buildings and currently has another 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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Nail-Laminated Timber & Modern Workplaces: 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 motivated by sustainability, wellbeing and comfort, while offering investors long-term, differentiated assets. Given by a developer and a contractor who have worked together to build multiple mass timber office buildings in the US, this presentation will focus on investment, demographics, marketability, design, and construction methodologies. This information will be set against a counterintuitive approach that has led to the speakers’ repeated success building large commercial NLT and glulam post-and-beam structures.

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

As Senior Project Manager for Turner Construction in Portland, Kyle 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 three mass timber buildings and currently has another 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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The Mass Timber Prospective: Tall Wood, Code Changes and Forest Resource Impacts

Kathryn Fernholz, Dovetail Partners, and Jeff Morrow, Lendlease

The future of mass timber is exciting. Increased awareness, product availability and construction of larger and taller projects has propelled interest in the use of timber—including applications not yet seen—to incredible heights. At the same time, such widespread fascination raises questions: How will increased use of mass timber impact the health of North American forests? Is timber construction a sustainable solution to long-term carbon and environmental concerns? How are codes evolving to recognize the potential of mass timber for taller buildings? What advanced fire testing has been done to validate code change proposals for tall timber? This session will answer these questions and more with the goal of giving attendees the knowledge they need to decide their own role in the mass timber revolution.

Executive Director of Dovetail Partners, Inc., Kathryn Fernholz is a forester by training and has worked on development and forest management issues in a wide range of roles. With a consulting firm, her work included natural resource inventories, comprehensive planning, environmental impact assessments and the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). While working for the Community Forestry Resource Center, she developed and managed a group certification project for family forests and worked to increase local capacity to provide forest management and marketing services that are compatible with certification standards. She is also an experienced Forest Management Certification Lead Auditor. Kathryn has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources from the University of Minnesota, College of Natural Resources.

Jeff Morrow is a Program Manager for Lendlease specializing in construction. Prior to leading the construction of new Lendlease hotels for the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, he was Senior Project Engineer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he pioneered new approaches to energy and resource conservation in Lendlease’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 Bachelor of Science and Master of Science 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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Mission Bay Conference Center
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94143


Parking garage available on site. $32 for up to 24 hours (under Mission Bay)

Click here for directions.

Public Transportation:

Attendees can earn up to 6 AIA/CES HSW LUs, PDH credits, or 0.6 ICC credits (one per attended seminar). Professional Development Certificates (AIA/CES and ICC) will be available on site.

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

For questions please contact:

Jaime Krohn, CMP
Director, Lead Management and Events
Email: Ph: 312-841-8272


7 November 2018
8:00 am - 4:45 pm
Event Category:


Mission Bay Conference Center
San Francisco, CA 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.