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T3 building interior

Options for wood structural systems continue to expand. 

Today’s building codes coupled with advances in wood science and building technology have expanded the options for wood construction. Building codes recognize wood’s safety and structural performance capabilities and allow its use in a broad range of applications, from the light-duty repetitive framing common in small structures to the larger and heavier framing systems used to build larger and taller buildings—including highrises, arenas and factories. 

What is “tall timber” and is it right for your project?

The 2021 IBC includes three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—which allow the use of mass timber or noncombustible materials in buildings up to 18, 12 and nine stories (respectively). Under previous versions of the code, wood buildings can usually be a maximum of five or six stories depending on the occupancy group. The term “tall timber” is associated with buildings that exceed the limits of previous codes for number of stories, height and in some cases area.

allowable height and story limits for tallwood

Mass timber resources:
design efficiently for code compliance
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Whether you’re working on your first mass timber project or your 10th, we have resources that can make the process more efficient. Check out our inventories of fire resistance-tested and acoustically-tested assemblies, or browse our CAD/Revit tool for connection details. Gain insight from papers focused on code-related topics—such as fire design of mass timber members, concealed spaces or shaft wall requirements. Join our workshops, webinars and other events to hear firsthand from experienced mass timber professionals.

District Office building interior
District Office / Hacker

Maximize height + area with light-frame code provisions.


Heights and Areas Calculator App

The Heights and Areas (H&A) Calculator app for iPhone and Android is a joint effort of WoodWorks and the American Wood Council. It provides users with an app-based approach to calculating maximum heights and areas for buildings of various occupancies and fire protection based on 2006 to 2015 editions of the International Building Code (IBC). Input a potential building’s geometry, site conditions (e.g., open frontage), type of construction, and occupancy, and allowable heights and areas can be determined.

This calculator is not meant to be a replacement for the IBC and does not encompass all of its design options. The IBC should always be consulted for specific requirements related to designs and site conditions. Learn More

Aerial View of a Building Titled 1430 Q
1430 Q / D&S Development / photo Greg Folkins

Browse mass timber projects and connect with their teams.

For details on mass timber projects and their teams, visit the WoodWorks Innovation Network (WIN). The WIN site includes a dynamic project map, photos and profiles of mass timber buildings across the U.S. (and beyond), and information on the architects, engineers, contractors, and others who brought those projects to fruition. It gives developers and owners an easy way to connect with experienced mass timber professionals.