Saving Money, Saving Time
The team also challenged the norm that mass timber is best suited for projects where the wood can be left exposed.
oWOW designed 1510 Webster using veneer-based mass timber products, including mass ply panels (MPP) and mass ply laminate (MPL) columns, in an innovative point-supported beam configuration. It is the first prescriptive Type IV-A building in the U.S., and the requirements for this construction type meant they had to cover all the wood with three layers of gypsum wallboard. However, the choice to use mass timber still allowed oWOW to realize a $30 million savings in net project cost over that of a traditional concrete project of this scale.
“Wood is certainly a beautiful, sustainable material, which is important to us,” says oWOW President Andy Ball. “But our real target was speed of construction and cost, and that’s why we used mass timber for 1510 Webster. And that’s why we were also okay with covering it all up. I think people need to think beyond the beauty of wood and accept the fact that mass timber is just a great building material.”
Download the case study to read more from the team on realized cost-savings, structural testing, construction speed, and sustainability.
Location: Oakland, California
Stories: 19 (16 stories of mass timber plus a one-story steel penthouse over a two-level concrete podium)
Size: 179,020 square feet
Construction Type: Type IV-A over a Type I-A podium
Completed: Spring 2025 (scheduled)
Architect: oWOW Design
Structural Engineer: DCI Engineers
General Contractor: oWOW Construction
Mass Timber Installer: Webcor Timber
Mass Timber Manufacturer: Freres Engineered Wood
Column Contractors: Rothoblaas
Connect with the 1510 Webster project team on the WoodWorks Innovation Network (WIN)