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Colorado Wood Design Symposium

May 16, 2019 – 8:30 am - 4:45 pm


Denver, CODenver, CO


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



Progressive Wood Construction:  The Evolution from Low-Rise to Tall Wood

Dean Lewis, PE, SE, DCI Engineers

As a structural building material, wood has been a staple in the US for hundreds of years. However, recent decades have seen a dramatic change in the type and scale of wood projects. As codes have evolved due to recognition of the fire and life safety, structural, and resilient capabilities of wood-construction, new doors have opened that allow larger and taller wood buildings. Concurrently, advances in the technology behind the production of wood products and components have led to the introduction and increased use of off-site construction and mass timber. This opening plenary will take attendees through the progression of wood construction—from light-frame low-rise, to mid-rise, to mass timber and tall wood. With an emphasis on design topics and code provisions applicable to all of these building scales, this session will set the stage for the in-depth technical talks taking place throughout the day.

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.

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ROOM 1 – Mass Timber Design & Project Examples


Mile High View: A Colorado Perspective on the Mass Timber Movement

Joseph Anastasi, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, OZ Architecture

Mass timber is gaining momentum nationwide and the mountains of Colorado are no exception. Sustainable materials like CLT and glue-laminated timber are being used to bring a modern wood aesthetic to a variety of project types, including offices, multi-family/mixed-use, commercial, and more. This session will explore several mass timber projects in Colorado including Denver’s first CLT building, Platte Fifteen, a five-story mixed-use development that includes retail and office space, and The Loading Dock, a two-story, 60,000-square-foot office building in Boulder. Presented by the principal architect on these projects, topics will include why mass timber was used, unique design and detailing considerations, and interaction with building officials related to fire and life safety.

Joe Anastasi is a licensed Architect who brings a fresh design perspective and unique approach to every project. His expertise ranges from concept through construction, city master plans to individual building details, sustainability, and everything in between. Joe is committed to creating places that enhance both personal experience and the environment. He and his team designed the first CLT buildings in Denver and Boulder, and he regularly leads discussions on CLT and sustainable design solutions in the Denver area.

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A New Path Forward for Tall Wood Construction: Code Provisions and Design Steps

John “Buddy” Showalter, PE, American Wood Council and Scott Breneman, PhD, PE, SE, WoodWorks

We are at an exciting confluence in timber construction. The need for sustainable, urban construction has never been higher. Concurrently, mass timber products such as CLT have opened the door to many new opportunities for construction, one of which is tall wood. In January 2019, the International Code Council (ICC) approved a set of proposals to allow tall wood buildings of up to 18 stories as part of the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). This presentation will introduce the new tall wood code provisions in depth. Starting with a review of the technical research and testing that supported their adoption, it will then take a detailed look at the new code provisions and methods of addressing the new requirements. Topics will include fire-resistance ratings and allowances for exposed timber, penetrations, sprinklers, connections, exterior walls and much more. Designers can expect to take away the knowledge they need to start exploring tall wood designs on their projects.

Buddy Showalter joined American Wood Council (AWC) staff in 1992 and currently serves as Vice President of Technology Transfer. His responsibilities at AWC include oversight of publications, website, helpdesk, education, and other technical media. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards for Wood Design Focus, published by the Forest Products Society, and STRUCTURE magazine, published jointly by NCSEA, ASCE/SEI, and CASE. Prior to joining AWC, Showalter was Technical Director of the Truss Plate Institute. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

Scott is a licensed Structural Engineer and Professional Engineer in the State of California and a Senior Technical Director of Project Resources and Solutions for WoodWorks. He has experience with structural design and peer review of projects varying from single-family homes to high-rise hospitals; the seismic rehabilitation of institutional buildings; and advanced analysis and technology development. At WoodWorks, he provides project support to architects, engineers and other professionals designing buildings, oversees the development of technical educational content and educates designers on effective use of wood framing systems. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Florida and a doctorate from Stanford University. Dr. Breneman is a member of ASCE/SEI and past President of the Structural Engineers Association of Central California.

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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 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 Mass Timber Design: The Engineer’s Role in Optimization

Gregory R. Kingsley, PhD, PE, KL&A Structural Engineers and Builders

Achieving the highest level of cost efficiency possible with mass timber requires an understanding of both material properties and manufacturer capabilities. When it comes to laying out a structural grid, the square peg/round hole analogy is pertinent. Trying to force a mass timber solution on a grid laid out for steel or concrete can result in member size inefficiencies and the inability to leverage manufacturer capabilities. Knowing how to best lay out the grid—without sacrificing space functionality—allows the designer to optimize member sizes, but cost efficiency for a mass timber building goes beyond column spacing. This presentation will examine the structural engineer’s role in optimizing a mass timber structural layout by taking a systems vs. product approach. Topics will include known parameters for mass timber design, design challenges, connections, grid spacings, and lessons learned from the structural design of Colorado mass timber projects.

Greg is the president and CEO of KL&A 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 masonry and wood.

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ROOM 2 – Structural & Architectural Design


Wood-Frame Shear Wall and Diaphragm Design

Tim Strasser, PE, WoodWorks

This course is intended for structural engineers and building designers seeking an overview of design steps, considerations and detailing best practices related to the wind- and seismic-resistive design of wood-frame diaphragms and shear walls. It provides an overview of relevant 2015 IBC provisions and AWC-referenced standards, a discussion of common design errors, and guidance related to load path continuity. Discussion will cover diaphragm load paths, chords, collectors and openings, as well as shear wall components, construction options, overturning restraint systems and detailing considerations. Design examples will be used to illustrate key principles and code provisions.

Tim has a BS in Architectural Engineering from the University of Wyoming. He was Plans Examiner for the City of Aurora, Colorado (near Denver) for four and a half years which gave him experience in reviewing plans and construction documents for code compliance. He has a variety of other work experience ranging from: Construction 2002–2004, Structural Engineering 2004–2009 and Forensic Engineering 2009–2013. Tim has experience with a wide variety of building materials, including wood.

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Factory Built Hotels: Is Wood-Frame Modular the Future of Multi-Family Construction?

Henry Wong, AIA,, Architects Orange

The benefits often cited for modular construction—including speed, reliability of workforce and quality control—are among the reasons one global hotel brand recently announced an initiative to increase the use of modular approaches for its U.S. hotels. In this presentation, an architect who has worked on one of these hotels, will explore the distinct aspects of modular hotel design, the reasons for using wood, and current trends in multi-family buildings and beyond. Discussion will emphasize opportunities to fully realize the benefits of modular construction by understanding of the unique design considerations and constraints, including manufacturing capabilities, trucking logistics, and third-party in-plant inspections.

Henry Wong is a Principal at Architects Orange and leader of the firm’s Hospitality studio. He has over 30 years in practice, and a broad spectrum of professional expertise that includes hospitality/hotels and restaurants, retail, commercial office buildings, corporate interior planning, and residential. He offers client-focused services, from owner’s representative and programming to architectural design, and has embraced modular construction for many hotel projects in particular. Henry’s focus on the guest experience spans from 4 and 5 star hotel resorts and conference facilities to limited service developments, including specialty food and beverage design, and from large properties to intimate boutique settings.

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Urban Solutions for a Global Carbon Challenge: Timber City

Alan Organschi, Gray Organschi Architecture

By 2050, sixty six percent 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, Connecticut, one of the first educational buildings in the US to use CLT 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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Code-Compliant Fire-Resistance Design for Wood Construction

John “Buddy” Showalter, PE, American Wood Council

Determining the proper code application for fire-resistant wood-frame assemblies and exposed wood structural members can be challenging and is often further complicated with increases in a project’s size and scale. In a building environment where the ability to maximize height and area is key to cost effectiveness, designers must understand the gamut of fire protection considerations applicable to wood structures. This presentation will include code requirements, compliance options and nuances related to assembly selection for required fire resistance-rated floors/ceilings and roofs/ceilings, interior and exterior walls, fire barriers, fire partitions, and fire walls. Topics will also include distinctions between fire-resistive elements for separation vs. type of construction.

Buddy Showalter joined AWC staff in 1992 and currently serves as Vice President of Technology Transfer. His responsibilities at AWC include oversight of publications, website, helpdesk, education, and other technical media. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards for Wood Design Focus, published by the Forest Products Society, and STRUCTURE magazine, published jointly by NCSEA, ASCE/SEI, and CASE. Prior to joining AWC, Showalter was Technical Director of the Truss Plate Institute. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

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ROOM 3 – National Partners


Meeting Fire Code with Oriented Strand Board

LP Building Solutions

Building code requirements related to fire and life safety can be challenging for designers, particularly when it comes to proving fire resistance and maintaining structural performance. As such, understanding the applicability of available products can be helpful. This presentation will provide an overview of fire-rated cementitious-coated oriented strand board (FRCC OSB) sheathing for wall and roof sheathing applications. Topics will include its structural and fire performance, available wall assemblies, and contribution to enhancing the sustainable built environment.

LP Building Solutions is a leader in high-performance building solutions designed for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction. LP specializes in advanced technologies to deliver uniquely engineered wood products that help you build everything smarter, better, faster and more efficiently—from a single-family home to a multi-family complex to a home owner’s remodeling project. Founded in 1973, LP is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under LPX.

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Mass Plywood Panels: Designing with the Newest Mass Timber Structural Product

Freres Lumber Co.

Mass plywood panels (MPP), a veneer-based engineered wood product, are a recent addition to the mass timber line-up of product options. This presentation will introduce MPPs with an outline of the manufacturing technologies, testing and certification that led to their development, followed by an in-depth look at the applications and requirements associated with their use. Topics will include methods of structural design, code compliance, product size options, and availability.

Freres Lumber Co. is an industry leader in the production of grade lumber, speciality veneer, plywood, and its latest offering, mass plywood panels (MPP). A family-owned and operated business since 1922, Freres also produces and sells a variety of wood by-products derived from its primary manufacturing processes, including small dimension lumber, wood chips, shavings, bark dust, and electricity. Throughout the company’s long life, it has focused on maintaining modern manufacturing facilities, providing high-quality wood products, and providing family-wage jobs in its local communities.

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Mid-Rise Engineering Considerations for Engineered Wood Products

Boise Cascade

Wood products take on a seemingly infinite variety of shapes and forms. While many designers are familiar with engineered wood products such as I-joists, wood sheathing and structural composite lumber, it is important to understand the structural requirements associated with each in order to achieve proper performance—especially in mid-rise applications. With an emphasis on products used in commercial and multi-family buildings, this presentation will cover fastening requirements, load capacity and proper detailing.

Boise Cascade has a proven track record of providing quality wood products and a nationwide building materials distribution network for its customers. Boise Cascade prides itself on being a consistent and stable partner with a strong sense of urgency to help its customers achieve success. Boise Cascade manufactures plywood, engineered wood products, lumber, and particleboard and supplies a broad line of wood products and building materials through 33 distribution locations.

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CLT in the US: Manufacturing and Applications

DR Johnson

Architects around the world are using mass timber construction systems to build taller wood buildings, incorporate the aesthetic of exposed wood, or increase the amount of prefabrication on their projects. Many use CLT panels and glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams as the building structure, often as a carbon-friendly alternative to conventional materials such as steel, masonry and concrete. In this presentation by an Oregon-based CLT manufacturer, successful US projects will be highlighted to demonstrate the variety of commercial and multi-family applications available for CLT under today’s building codes. Topics will also include CLT manufacturing, benefits such as structural versatility, and potential future uses.

Founded in 1951, DR Johnson is a second-generation, family-owned wood products manufacturer located in Riddle, Oregon—the heart of Oregon’s timber country. An affiliated company, Riddle Laminators, was built at the same location in 1967 to manufacture glue-laminated timber beams. Going forward, both the glulam beams and cross-laminated timber panels will be manufactured and sold under the business name DR Johnson Wood Innovations.

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Cost Dialogues: The Contractor Perspective on Mass Timber Buildings

Ankit Sanghvi, DBIA, LEED-AP, PCL Construction Services, Christopher Evans, LEED AP, Swinerton Builders, Shawn Brannon, Adolfson & Peterson 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.

A Preconstruction Manager with PCL’s Construction’s Denver office, Ankit is responsible for leading pursuits, preconstruction, and design management efforts for various projects within the higher education, office, commercial mixed-use, resort/hospitality, and institutional market sectors. In 2014, he was Project Manager for the Pavilion at Laurel Village at Colorado State University, which utilized cross-laminated timber, and he is currently leading preconstruction efforts on the Pioneer Career Achievement Center at the University of Denver, a three-story mass timber project that will break ground in summer 2019.

Christopher is an experienced, innovated, and energetic construction practitioner in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a BS in mathematics, he started a small residential construction company focused on structural retrofits. In 2008, he joined Swinerton Builders in Hawaii, quickly rising through the company ranks to become Chief Estimator. In 2015, Christopher moved to Swinerton’s Portland office to lead a $225M development in southwest Washington. More recently, he led the construction of a 156,000-square-foot cross-laminated timber office building, currently the largest installation of CLT in the US. Christopher is a LEED AP and holds an MS in International Construction Management from the University of Florida. In 2015 he was recognized as an ENR Top 20 under 40 in the Hawaii and California region.

Shawn is a project manager with 17 years of experience in the construction industry and has managed projects up to $90 million within the office, educational, municipal, medical, retail, and site development markets. In these roles, he has been responsible for managing the extensive communication needed to control pre-construction, contracts, project documentation, financial health, scheduling, safety, team member development, and quality control. He is currently working to complete Platte Fifteen, a 157,000-sf mixed-use office building and Colorado’s largest mass timber project to date. Shawn earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Clayton State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Colorado State University.


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Onsite Check-in Begins: 7:30 am
Opening Plenary Session: 8:30 am
Symposium Concludes: 4:45 pm
Exhibit Area Open: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Reception: 4:45 – 6:00 pm

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


Sheraton Denver Tech Center
7007 S Clinton St
Greenwood Village, CO 80112

Parking: Free self-parking on site.

Click here for a map and directions.


Attendees can earn up to 5.5 AIA/CES HSW LUs, 5.5 PDH credits, or 0.55 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:
LeeAnn Charpentier, CMP, Event Manager
Ph: (301) 633-0330


Thank you for exhibiting at the Colorado Wood Design Symposium! Please click here to access the Exhibitor Information page.


16 May 2019
8:30 am - 4:45 pm
Event Category:


Sheraton Denver Tech Center
Denver, CO 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.