Lunchtime Learning: Early Design Decisions - Priming Mass Timber Projects for Success

  • Date

    Wednesday, January 26 2022

  • Time

    12:00pm - 1:00pm

  • Location


Mass timber is a unique, non-commodity building material and, to lay the groundwork for success, certain critical decisions must be made as early as possible. These decisions can have a big impact on cost and can either increase or limit opportunities later in design. There are many cases of project teams that want to realize the full benefits of mass timber, but, because they base their designs on traditional building practices instead of optimizing them for mass timber, end up with avoidable price premiums. This presentation will walk through early project decisions and design steps, focusing on how to optimize projects for mass timber and how one early decision can influence others. Topics will include construction types, fire ratings, column grids and beam/panel spans, acoustics and MEP integration. Completed mass timber projects will be used to illustrate the variety of viable options when navigating these key decisions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify construction types within the International Building Code where a mass timber structure is permitted;
  • Discuss the impacts of construction type on required fire-resistance ratings of structural elements, noting the impacts that these ratings have on effective member spans and resulting grids;
  • Review code-compliance requirements for acoustics and primary frame connections, and provide solutions for meetings these requirements with tested mass timber assemblies; and
  • Highlight effective methods of integrating MEP services in a mass timber building and discuss the relative impacts of each on cost, aesthetics, occupant comfort and future tenant renovations.

Sponsored by: WoodWorks - Wood Product Council