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California Codes for Mass Timber Buildings: Project Approvals and Fire Performance

April 21, 2022 – 8:30 am - 12:30 pm




Join online 8:30 am PT

Mass timber construction has experienced tremendous growth in the US over the past decade, and California is no exception. Now with expanded code provisions for mass timber buildings in the July 2021 California Building Code (CBC) updates, the construction of tall mass timber structures up to 18 stories is possible. These provisions are based on three new construction types introduced in the 2021 International Building Code—Types IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—with CBC amendments. This event, intended for building officials and plan reviewers who are assessing specific projects as well as building designers working on mass timber designs, will address practical details related to implementing the provisions in California. Following a review of mass timber’s fire performance, the State Fire Marshall’s office will describe the process undertaken to adopt the new provisions, and why the California Building Standards Commission unanimously approved them. An interactive discussion on project approvals, plan reviews, and building official interactions on mass timber buildings will lend key insights into what those having jurisdictional authority can look for on project submittals, and what those submitting project drawings can expect for review and feedback. Building officials and designers can expect to take away the knowledge they need to assess and pursue mass timber projects.


Chelsea Drenick, SE – WoodWorks

Chelsea is a licensed structural engineer in the state of California. She received her BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. Chelsea spent 9 years in structural design consulting prior to joining WoodWorks. Her experience is in a variety of sectors including residential, higher education and retrofit of existing and historic structures. She is passionate about sustainability and the use of wood as a building material to reduce the embodied carbon emissions of structures.

Katie Harrell – California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

Katie works for the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) and manages the Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation.  Prior to her work with the Board, she worked for UC Berkeley and the California Forest Pest Council for 17 years, addressing California forest health and invasive species issues.

Ray O’Brocki – American Wood Council

Ray joined the Baltimore City Fire Service in 1990 and held several positions within the Fire Marshal’s Office before being appointed the Fire Marshal for Baltimore City in August of 2008. He is certified as a code enforcement inspector and sit on the State Fire Prevention Code Change Committee and was also named to the State’s Child Care Advisory Council. He works with the fire service on construction fire safety programs and provides education to the fire service on engineered wood products and wood construction codes.

Greg Andersen – CAL FIRE

Gregory Andersen has been the Chief of Code Development & Analysis for CAL FIRE/Office of the State Fire Marshal since September 1, 2015 and has been with the state of over for over 27 years.  During Greg’s career has promoted through the ranks, from a field deputy, a plan reviewer, and a Supervising Deputy Fire Marshal responsible for the Fire & Life Safety Division in the Central Valley. Greg started on the education path with a major in physics, but holds a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management, an Associate of Science in Business Administration, and an Associate of Science in Fire Technology.  Greg is also a certified Fire Marshal by the State Board of Fire Service.

Bevan Jones, PE – Holmes Fire

Bevan Jones, P.E. 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, Bevan 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.

Lisa Podesto – Lendlease

A graduate of both Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and San Francisco State, Lisa earned her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Engineering. With her professional engineering license, years of design practice and a decade of experience in market development for wood structures, she carries unique expertise in innovative mass timber systems, mid-rise design, fire and life-safety code, and sustainable structures. Lisa serves as Lendlease’s Timber and Innovation Specialist, responsible for advising construction, development, and design-build projects nationwide where the use of mass timber and componentized solutions are being considered.


Earn 3.5 AIA/CES LUs, 3.5 PDH credits or .35 ICC credits


8:30 am:  Welcome & Mass Timber Introduction – Chelsea Drenick, WoodWorks

9:00 am:  State of California’s Perspective on Mass Timber – Katie Harrell, California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

9:30 am:  Mass Timber Fire Testing to Establish Tall Wood Code Changes – Ray O’Brocki, American Wood Council

10:20 am:  Mass Timber Code Provisions in the CBC – Greg Andersen, CAL FIRE

10:50 am: Mass Timber Fire Design – Bevan Jones, Holmes

11:20 am: Challenges and Opportunities for Cities: Assessing Mass Timber Project Approvals – Panel Discussion

12:20 pm: Leadlease Introduction – Lisa Podesto, Lendlease


Jaime Krohn, CMP


Ph: 312-841-8272

Refund Policy
Refunds up to 7 days before event

Eventbrite’s fee, which varies by state, is nonrefundable.


April 21
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:

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.