Upcoming Events

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Northeast Wood Design Symposium and Tour

October 16, 2019 – 8:15 am - 6:30 pm


Portland, MEPortland, ME

$75 – $100

With a full day of seminars and an industry showcase, the Northeast Wood Design Symposium will pack an informational punch for architects, engineers, contractors, developers, code officials and anyone interested in wood’s exciting design possibilities. During the day, access wood design experts, informative seminars, technical information from manufacturers, engineering consultants and industry associations, and exhibits featuring a wide range of structural and finishing products.



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

Marc Rivard, PE, SE, WoodWorks

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 these building scales, this session will set the stage for the in-depth technical talks taking place throughout the day.

Marc is a licensed Structural and Professional Engineer in California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and received his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UMass Amherst. Prior to WoodWorks, he was a Senior Structural Engineer involved primarily with seismic design and analysis of new and existing buildings. Marc has experience providing structural calculations, plans, specifications, construction administration and structural plan review services for a wide range of building types, including multi-family/mixed-use, education, commercial, office, institutional, and military.

View Schedule

ROOM 1 – Mass Timber


Hybrid Mass Timber + Steel at the Rhode Island School of Design Residence Hall

David J Odeh, Odeh Engineers

The Quad, a new 6-story residence hall on the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design, is the first major student housing project in New England to be constructed using a hybrid cross-laminated timber and steel structural system. In this presentation, the structural engineer will provide an overview of the project—from the process used to evaluate options for the superstructure and reasons why mass timber was chosen, to the resulting code path, and aspects of the design, such as fire-resistance and differential movement, that are unique to this type of structure. The use of integrated project delivery will also be discussed, highlighting the collaboration required between design team, fabricators and on-site installation in order to achieve the project’s goals.

David J. Odeh is a Principal at Odeh Engineers, Inc., a leading structural design firm with offices in Providence and Boston and projects throughout the United States. He is a Past President of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE, and currently serves on the ASCE Board of Directors. He also teaches at the Brown University School of Engineering as part of its adjunct faculty.

View Schedule


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

Ricky McLain, 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 cross-laminated timber 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.

Ricky is WoodWorks’ in-house expert on tall wood buildings, providing analysis and guidance on architectural, fire and life safety, and structural design topics related to tall mass timber projects. He supports the AEC community both directly and collaboratively with WoodWorks Regional Directors, and guides the development of education and resources related to tall wood buildings in the US. Prior to this emphasis, Ricky’s role encompassed all building types and wood systems. He also has extensive experience in lead engineer roles related to structural design, project management and construction administration. Ricky is Executive Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Vermont, and a member of numerous committees and councils related to building design.

View Schedule


Structural Design of Mass Timber Framing Systems

Paul B. Becker, PE, SECB, Thornton Tomasetti

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), cross-laminated timber (CLT), and nail-laminated timber (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.

The founder of Becker Structural Engineers, Paul has over thirty years of structural engineering experience in New England and the mid-Atlantic States. He has worked with all major building material systems, on projects that range from historic restoration and adaptive reuse, to new commercial, industrial, municipal and educational facilities. Paul has served as lead design engineer and project manager responsible for establishing and monitoring schedules, budgets and quality control on projects with construction costs of up to $60 million. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut, and holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a Structural Specialization.

View Schedule


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

Tom S Chung AIA LEED BD+C, Leers Weinzapfel Associates

Completed in early 2017, the Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the first of its kind in the US. At four stories and 87,500 sf, this mass timber project features a glulam timber column-and-beam frame, mass timber lateral force-resisting system, hybrid 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 US, 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.

View Schedule

ROOM 2 – Architectural Design


Advanced Detailing Techniques for Building Enclosures

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

This presentation will provide an in-depth look at a variety of wood-frame building enclosure assemblies and details. Beginning with a review of building enclosure design fundamentals and considerations, it will then focus on best practices with references from technical guidelines and case studies. Finally, the critical detail interfaces between different enclosure assemblies (i.e., walls, roofs, balconies, windows) will be reviewed with a focus on continuity of critical barriers. Details and case studies will be presented for each.

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.

View Schedule


Achieving AAA in Passive House Multi-Family: Approachable, Achievable, Affordable

Todd Rothstein, Avesta Housing, Michal Kaleta, Lassel Architects and Ryan Sylvia, PE, AlliedCook Construction

The Meadows in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire is a 72-unit, senior apartment campus that, once complete, will be among just a handful of passive house multi-family projects in New England. Thanks to close collaboration between the owner and design/construction team through all stages of the project, it will also be a model of both high-performance and affordability. In this panel presentation, the developer, architect and contractor will discuss why wood framing was chosen to meet passive house levels of energy efficiency, details that reduced budget while meeting core objectives such as thermal continuity and continuous air barriers, and aspects of the design and construction process that led the project to success.

Todd Rothstein is the Director of Construction Services at Avesta Housing, a non-profit affordable housing developer working in Maine and New Hampshire. In addition to his primary role in pre- and post-construction development, Todd oversees Avesta’s building design standards and processes for new and major-rehabilitation projects. He also supports the Property Management and Asset Management divisions, helping to improve energy efficiencies, purchasing, contract mechanisms, contractor warranty work, and overall physical integrity of Avesta properties. Todd is a Certified Passive House Consultant, teaches a Facilities Management Certification course at Southern Maine Community College, and is a member of Efficiency Maine’s Low-Income Advisory Group.

Michal Kaleta is an Architectural Designer and Project Manager at Lassel Architects, a Maine-based firm that emphasizes energy efficiency across a wide range of projects. He is also the company’s Certified Passive House Consultant and energy modeler, but his responsibilities are simple: design, model for energy efficiency, pre-certify, specify. Michal emigrated in 2016 from his home in Poland, where he worked as an Architect on commercial projects, pursuing energy efficiency per European Union standards. His experience with various building technologies has led him to understand that every project is a prototype with case-dependent options, and to strive for approachable and simple solutions.

A project manager with AlliedCook, Ryan works in Maine and New Hampshire utilizing Construction Manager-at-Risk and Design-Build project delivery methods. He practices an integrated construction/design approach on all his projects, and particularly enjoys working with owner/designer/construction teams on high-performance buildings. Ryan’s experience includes affordable housing, healthcare centers, K-12 schools, university facilities, offices and historic building renovations. He is currently working with Avesta Housing on The Meadows II & III, designed to achieve PHIUS certification, and West End Apartments, which utilizes many Passive House techniques. Ryan holds a BS in Construction Management Technology from The University of Maine.  

View Schedule


Code-Compliant Fire-Resistance Design for Wood Construction

Matthew M. Hunter, BCO, 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.

Matthew M. Hunter, BCO, is the Northeast Regional Manager for the American Wood Council (AWC), which produces internationally recognized design standards for wood construction. Matt is a certified Building Code Official, and his role at AWC includes providing education related to mass timber buildings to code and fire official organizations, as well as state and federal agencies. His experience includes all phases of commercial and residential land development, building inspection, plan review, and civil engineering. Matt is a member of the ICC, holds nine ICC and Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry certifications, and serves as a governing member on the ICC Sustainability Membership Council. He is also a member of the ASTM E60 Committee on Sustainability, and an active duty Army veteran.

View Schedule


Designing with Glulam and Timber: The Art of Engineering Really Cool Structures

Jim DeStefano, P.E., AIA, F.SEI, DeStefano & Chamberlain Inc.

For architecturally exposed structures, nothing beats the look and feel of timber when drama is needed and a more mundane structure just won’t do. Glue-laminated timber (glulam) has long been used as an architectural element, but there’s a new tradition emerging that combines glulams and traditional timber frame construction with mass timber panels. The engineering of a dramatic glulam structure is as much an art as it is science, particularly the design of timber connections that complement the architecture. This entertaining and informative presentation will cover the basics of designing and engineering such a building. Topics will include a review of traditional and contemporary approaches to glulam construction, connection design, and design and detailing considerations such as durability and fire resistance.

Jim is president of DeStefano & Chamberlain Inc. located in Fairfield, Connecticut. He is a structural engineer and licensed architect with 40 years of experience designing timber structures. Jim has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a founder and past-chairman of the Timber Frame Engineering Council (TFEC), and has served as a Director of the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, Timber Frame Business Council, and Structural Insulated Panel Association. Jim is also past-chairman of the Structure magazine editorial board.

View Schedule

ROOM 3 – Products & Applications


Ushering in the Timber Age: Economic & Sustainable Opportunities for the 21st Century

Frank Lowenstein, New England Forestry Foundation

Building owners and designers have a unique opportunity to help address the significant environmental and development demands placed on the built environment by the twin needs to expand housing and address climate change. At a moment when the built environment is facing dramatic shifts, the need for innovation and sustainable design approaches is more essential than ever. This session will outline current research on how forests can link to cities through demand, design, technology, supply, and sustainability. Topics will include: a summary of the latest climate science, energy efficiency, the importance of local sustainability criteria and sourcing, and technological opportunities associated with mass timber methods of construction.

Frank is Deputy Director and Chief Conservation Officer for the New England Forestry Foundation, a 75-year-old organization that advocates for sustainable forest management and conservation in New England. He also serves on the faculties of Harvard University’s Extension School and Brandeis University, where he teaches courses on climate change and land conservation. Since 2014, he has worked with other staff at New England Forestry Foundation to create the Build It With Wood program, which seeks to create a sustainable supply chain from well-managed New England forests to new urban mass timber buildings as an explicit climate solution. Frank has also published extensively on climate issues.

View Schedule


Design—Build Information Management: Leveraging Data, Printing Buildings

Randall Walter, AIA, Bensonwood

The presentation will focus on how to capitalize on the data generated in 3D drawing files during the integrated design process by using it to create building components ready for site assembly. Discussion will focus on differences in the design process when CNC (computer numerical control) technology is used for the purpose of manufacturing building elements and components. When manufacturing components/elements of a building come into play (in addition to drawings), what do the architect and engineer need to take into account?  With an emphasis on real-world examples, topics will include constraints and opportunities presented by the use of CNC as well as drawings, and how this affects all phases of the work flow—from design to installation.

Randall is a company steward and lead architect of the design/build firm Bensonwood. During more than 25 years with the company, Randall has championed the enhanced use of 3D modeling throughout the design/build process, resulting in projects—small to large—designed, permitted and delivered to sites throughout the US. Randall has a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a professor of architecture at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.

View Schedule


Western Red Cedar: Distinctive, Sustainable Design

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association

This presentation is intended to increase awareness of Western Red Cedar uses, properties and performance characteristics. Western Red Cedar grades and product specifications will be reviewed, as will proper installation, finishing and maintenance for a variety of applications. Through brief case study presentations, attendees will gain an appreciation of design trends that leverage cedar’s versatility and the enhanced appeal it brings to institutional, commercial and residential designs. Demonstrating Western Cedar’s value as one of the ‘greenest’ building material available, discussion will include facts about sustainable forests and forest certification systems along with a brief review of Western Red Cedar Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).  

The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association is a Vancouver (Canada) based non-profit association representing 70 North American producers and distributors of quality Western Red Cedar Lumber products. Founded in 1954 and known as “The Voice of the Cedar Industry”—the WRCLA operates an architect specifier/designer and select builder customer service program throughout North America to support its members’ cedar products with information, education and quality standards.

View Schedule


Integrated Air & Water Barrier Systems


This course provides guidance for architects, specifiers, waterproofing contractors, and other professionals regarding the selection, specification and installation of integrated systems for air and water barriers and wood structural panels. Topics covered include an introduction to air and water barriers, wood structural panels, code requirements and design best practices for energy code compliance, common design and installation practices and techniques, and potential benefits realized through the use of integral air and water barrier systems.

Georgia-Pacific was founded in 1927 as a hardwood lumber wholesaler, and through nine decades has maintained its roots in the wood products industry. With 38 plants across the US and Canada, GP is currently one of the largest wood products manufacturers in North America, producing a wide array of wood products for the construction industry as well as specialty applications.

View Schedule


A Mass Timber Breakthrough? Aligning the Pieces for Timber Construction in the Northeast

Noel Johnson, Cairn Pacific, Matt Tonello, Consigli Construction, Dan Burne, PE, Thornton Tomasetti, Naomi Beal, passivhausMAINE, Scott Barton-Smith, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Hacker Architects

There has been no lack of interest in using innovative mass timber products and technologies in the northeast. The combination of environmentally-minded designers, sustainably managed forests, timber framing pedigree, and desire to create structures that connect with nature has pushed the northeast closer and closer to a mass timber breakthrough. And yet, while several mass timber projects have been built, others have advanced through phases of design only to be switched in the end to more traditional construction materials. This dynamic panel of speakers, including design and construction professionals from both Portlands (Maine and Oregon), will explore factors that have caused some mass timber projects to be built in other materials, what led to the success of others, and what we can collectively do to advance the use of mass timber in the northeast and beyond.

Noel Johnson is a Principal at Cairn Pacific with development experience spanning 20+ institutional-scale deals worth an estimated $900 million. His focus areas include mass timber structures, adaptive reuse and brownfield projects, mixed-use urban and suburban housing, offices, and retail projects. Noel holds degrees from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Portland State University, and Williams College. He is civically engaged with several groups, including Social Venture Partners, Yale Union, ULI, and Oregon LOCUS.

Matt Tonello is Director of Operations for the Portland, Maine office of Consigli Construction, a leading construction manager and general contractor serving clients throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Before joining Consigli 16 years ago, he worked as a structural engineer in the Boston area, and led the initial development of the structural engineering application for Revit Technology. Matt holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, MS in Civil Engineering/Structural Concentration from UMass Lowell, and MBA in Real Estate Development & Entrepreneurship from the Boston University Graduate School of Management. He is a registered structural engineer in Maine and Massachusetts, and a LEED Accredited Professional.

Over the course of his nearly 20-year career, Dan Burne has led the structural design teams for numerous commercial, healthcare, residential, educational, and institutional projects. As lead design engineer and project manager, his responsibilities include contract development, construction administration, client relations, budgeting and schedule monitoring. He is well versed in the analysis and structural rehabilitation of historical buildings, has expertise in seismic upgrades and structural strengthening of existing structures, and has completed several building and façade investigations. His current design work includes several multi-story collegiate and residential facilities with specialized foundation systems.

Naomi Beal is executive director, a founding member and past Board Chair of passivhausMAINE, and current Treasurer of the North American Passive House Network. She is also the owner of ncob photo, which specializes in construction and architectural photography with an emphasis on high-performance, passive house buildings. Naomi lives in South Freeport, in a distinctly non-passivhaus 1760 cape and attached barn with south facing courtyard.

Scott Barton-Smith is a Senior Project Architect at Hacker with 28 years of experience crafting inspired architectural solutions tailored to each client’s vision. His career has focused on large, complex projects, including office and workplace, residential, and higher education. Scott is among Hacker’s most knowledgeable mass timber and CLT specialists, and a strong advocate for wood design and construction across the Pacific Northwest. His mass timber projects include First Tech Federal Credit Union in Hillsboro, Oregon (currently the largest CLT/glulam structure in the US) and CLT office buildings in design in San Francisco, California, and New Reston, Virginia.

View Schedule

TOUR AND RECEPTION 5:15 PM to 6:30 PM (Directly following the symposium)

Patrons Oxford Insurance Offices

Ryan Kanteres, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Scott Simons Architects, Christopher Williams, PE, SE, Thornton Tomasetti, and Mike Packard, Zachau Construction

This unique educational event will provide an in-depth look at a recently completed heavy timber structure—the Patrons Oxford Insurance building in Portland, ME. Attendees will tour the two-story, 19,900-sf facility, which, in addition to second-floor office space, includes public meeting areas, a fitness center, and access to outdoor gardens and trails. Members of the project team will share information on detailing and construction techniques, highlighting the use of glulam timber framing and tongue-and-groove decking as both structure and finish. The tour format offers a rare opportunity to engage with people who made the design decisions on a successful heavy timber project, ask questions, and gain insights into the factors that influenced material and detail selection.

View Schedule


Onsite Check-in Begins: 7:30 am
Opening Plenary Session: 8:15 am
Lunch: 11:45 – 1:00 pm includes Wood Design Award video and An Update on The Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center and The University of Maine – Russell Edgar and Ben Herzog, University of Maine

Symposium Concludes: 4:45 pm
Tour & Reception: 5:15 pm – 6:30 pm


Doubletree by Hilton
363 Maine Mall Rd
Portland, ME 04106

Parking: Free self-parking on site
Map & Directions


Patrons Oxford Insurance Building
97 Technology Park Dr
Portland, ME 04102

Parking: Free self-parking on site
Map & Directions


Symposium: Attendees can earn up to 5.5 AIA/CES HSW LUs, 5.5 PDH credits, or 0.55 ICC credits (one per attended seminar).

Tour:  Attendees will earn 1.0 AIA/CES HSW LUs,1.0 PDH credits, or 0.1 ICC credit.

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.


Mary Schramka, Event Manager

Ph: 708-204-9578


Thank you for exhibiting at the Northeast Wood Design Symposium! Click here to access the Exhibitor Information page.


16 October 2019
8:15 am - 6:30 pm
$75 – $100
Event Categories:


Doubletree by Hilton Portland ME
Portland, ME 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.