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Business Case Studies

Mass timber business case studies prepared by WoodWorks – Wood Products Council and Conrad Investment Management address the financial performance of U.S. developments constructed with mass timber. Created for the developer/investor audience, each case study discusses qualitative influences and provides quantitative data to examine investment success, challenges and lessons learned.

The goal of this WoodWorks initiative is to substantively communicate the business case of mass timber buildings across a series of building product sub-types. The current package, updated in April 2022, includes two speculative office developments, a multi-family development, and a multi-family redevelopment/addition.

WoodWorks is actively working to collect data for additional business case studies. Check back in the future for updates.

These case studies would not have been possible without the support of the developers/owners who shared their data. We are grateful to these firms and individuals, who have supported this endeavor to promote a deeper understanding of mass timber’s value to investors, developers, the community, and occupants of mass timber buildings.

Ice Block Building
ICE Block 1 / RMW Architecture & Interiors / Bernard André Photography

Mapping Mass Timber

WoodWorks tracks mass timber projects in design, under construction and built across the U.S. as a resource for developers and design teams who want insights into market trends. Information is updated quarterly.

Market Trends - Mass Timber Project in the U.S. displayed on a map.

Cost and value-added benefits.

Cost estimating mass timber systems requires a holistic approach to compare costs and yield savings. A direct comparison of the price of a mass timber structural frame to the price of a steel/concrete frame will not provide an accurate overall project cost comparison. Mass timber has the potential to shave time off construction schedules and has other benefits that can impact the overall construction costs.

Mass timber is a custom prefabricated structural system and the costs can be optimized by close coordination between designers and builders. WoodWorks’ Mass Timber Cost and Design Optimization Checklists guide coordination between designers and builders as they estimate and make cost-related decisions on mass timber projects. The pre-design section of the checklists has tips for developers/owners related to assembling a design/builder team and contracts, as well as a list of potential benefits of building with mass timber. Mass timber has intangible value-added benefits, such as a differentiated aesthetic and environmental advantages, that can appeal to prospective tenants/ buyers, real estate investors and society at large.

First Tech Federal Credit Union, Hacker, photo Jeremy Bittermann_600x450
First Tech Federal Credit Union / Hacker / photo Jeremy Bittermann
Mass Timber beams
Photo KL&A Engineers and Builders

Resources for Developers and Owners

Mass Timber Construction Management

Our Mass Timber Construction Management Program includes two distinct elements. Project management curriculum is offered by WoodWorks to individuals who estimate, procure, and manage new commercial and multi-family construction projects in the U.S. Mass timber installer training is offered in partnership with various entities and targets the crew leaders and installers who physically build structures on site.

Mass Timber Building Insurance

Because insurers often have similar areas of concern, WoodWorks maintains an evolving list of resources that demonstrate mass timber’s safety and durability, including the results of testing, research and ongoing monitoring. WoodWorks has also published a white paper covering mass timber insurance in depth.

Tall Wood

WoodWorks has a wide range of resources specific to mass timber buildings over eight stories tall, including FAQs and links to technical papers, education, and the results of testing and research.

Other Resources for Developers and Owners

Business Case:
Wildfire Resiliency + Timber Innovations:

Want to know more about WoodWorks? 

Staffed by engineers, architects and construction experts, we help project teams identify and successfully realize the most appropriate wood solutions for their projects. Watch this short video to learn more and contact us for free project support.