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National Symposium: Toward Taller Wood Buildings

November 6, 2014 – 8:00 am - November 7, 2014 5:00 pm


Chicago, ILChicago, IL


Tall wood buildings have captured the imagination of architects and engineers who see them as an opportunity to reduce costs and lessen the carbon footprint of the built environment, while meeting standards for life safety and structural performance equivalent to those required for any construction type. Many designers are maximizing heights and areas allowed in the International Building Code (IBC), developing structures with five stories or more of light wood-frame or heavy timber construction. Others are closely following the research and testing that will enable North America to follow Australia, Austria, the United Kingdom and others, which already have operational eight- to ten-story buildings made from cross laminated timber (CLT) or composite wood-concrete and wood-steel building systems. Attend this symposium for a practical perspective on North America’s evolution toward taller wood buildings.

Click here to download a brochure.

November 5

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm  Onsite Registration

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm  U.S. Tall Wood Building Competition Q&A

  • The Competition invites U.S. developers, institutions, organizations and design teams willing to undertake an alternative solution approach to designing and building taller wood structures to submit entries for a prize of $2 million.
  • Oscar Faoro, Project Manager, U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition
  • Patrick Holmes, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment USDA 

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm  Welcome Reception

November 6

7:00 am – 8:00 am  Onsite Registration

8:00 am – Noon  Application Panel Discussion

  • Summary Report: Survey of International Tall Wood Buildings, Rebecca Holt, M.Urb, LEED AP, BD+C, Perkins + Will 
  • 14-Story Apartment Under Construction in Norway – TREET from an Engineer’s Perspective, Rune Abrahamsen, Lillehammer
  • Completed 10-Story Apartment in Australia: Forté from an Owner/Developer Perspective, Daryl Patterson, Lend Lease Australia
  • The London Trend toward Tall Timber Projects: Bridport House, Stadthaus and Whitmore from a Planning Commission Perspective, Vincent Stops, Hackney Planning Commission
  • 98-Foot Tall North American Wood Research Facility: Wood Innovation Design Centre from a Tenant Perspective, Guido Wimmers, University of Northern British Columbia
  • Canadian Tall Wood Competition Summary, Robert Jones, Natural Resources Canada
  • Feasibility of Taller Timber in an Urban US Market: Pacific Northwest Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Feasibility Report,Joseph Mayo, AIA, LEED AP, Mahlum Architects


1:00 pm – 5:00 pm  Structural Design Methods and Research

  • Strategies for Light-Frame Mid-Rise Structural Detailing, Scott Nyseth, SE, StoneWood Structural Engineers
  • Light-Frame Mid-Rise Shear Wall and Diaphragm Design Approaches, Including Use of the Special Design Provision for Wind and Seismic 2015, Sam Shiotani, SE, Hohbach-Lewin
  • Update on the Development of CLT Seismic Design Factors, John W. van de Lindt, PhD, F.ASCE, Colorado State University
  • 2015 National Design Specification (NDS) for Wood Construction Provisions for CLT, Michelle Kam-Biron, PE, SE, SECB, M.ASCE, American Wood Council
  • CLT Floor Design: Strength, Deflection and Vibrations, Scott Breneman, PhD, PE, SE, WoodWorks
  • Survey of Innovative Connections for Mass Timber and Composite Structures, David Moses, PhD, PEng, PE, LEED AP, Moses Structural Engineers
  • 42-Story Dewitt-Chestnut Apartments Reimagined: The SOM Timber Tower Research Project, Benton Johnson, PE, SE, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm  Reception/Exhibitor Showcase

November 7

8:00 am – Noon  Fire Protection and Building Envelope Performance


  • 2012 International Building Code Review of Height and Area Opportunities for Light-Frame and CLT, Michelle Kam-Biron, PE, SE, SECB, M.ASCE, American Wood Council
  • Detailing for Fire Resistance of Light-Frame Mid-Rise Structures including Fire Wall, Exterior Wall, and Shaft Wall Conditions, Lisa Podesto, PE, WoodWorks
  • History of Fire Codes and Current Fire Forensic Research, Peter Senez, MEng, PEng, Sereca
  • Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings: A Fire Protection Research Foundation-Funded Study, David Barber, ARUP
  • Enclosure Assemblies that Work: Light-Frame and Solid Panel Construction, Graham Finch, PEng, Dipl.T, MASc, RDH Building Engineering


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm  Keynote Presentation: Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers

Michael Green, MGA

From his TED talk to the landmark report, The Case for Tall Wood, to his own 30-story wood building design, architect Michael Green is a leading advocate for meeting climate change objectives with taller wood buildings.

Venue SIX10
610 S Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL  60605
Phone: 312.322.1765

Parking at Essex Inn, located on 8th St. & Michigan Ave. Venue security can validate — 12 hours for $12


Need a place to stay?  Our block of rooms is now full but rooms may still be available at the host hotel.  Please call Jessica Plundo, Catering & Event Manager, for rates and availability. 312.542.3433.  Mention the WoodWorks Symposium.

Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel

636 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago IL 60605

(lobby entrance on East Balbo Avenue)


Presentations not yet available – please check back.

WoodWorks is an approved AIA provider. Eligible attendees will qualify for a maximum of 12 HSW credits.

Engineers and non-member architects will receive a certificate of completion for their participation.

Professional Development Certificates and AIA CES forms will be available on site.

Contact Jaime Krohn at  or 312-841-8272.


6 November 2014 @ 8:00 am
7 November 2014 @ 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Venue SIX10
Chicago, IL 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.