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Wooden high-rise shares $3 million USDA design prize

The project will use cross-laminated timber panels. A Southern Oregon mill, D.R. Johnson, recently became the first U.S. manufacturer certified to make CLT panels.
Eric Mortenson

Capital Press

Published on September 17, 2015 9:51AM

Courtesy of Edelman Public RelationsFramework, a 12-story Portland project, shared a $3 million USDA tall wooden building design prize. It will be built using cross-laminated timbers.

Courtesy of Edelman Public RelationsFramework, a 12-story Portland project, shared a $3 million USDA tall wooden building design prize. It will be built using cross-laminated timbers.


PORTLAND — A high-rise to be built using cross-laminated timber panels is co-winner of a $3 million USDA prize designed to spark the use of timber products in tall construction.

Framework, a 12-story project in Portland’s upscale Pearl District, split the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition with a project in New York City. The USDA sponsored the competition in conjunction with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the awards Sept. 17.

The Portland project will have ground floor retail, five levels of office space, five levels of workforce housing and a roof top amenity space.

According to the developers, the building’s design is intended to “communicate at street level the project’s innovative use of wood and engineering technology in the development of a high rise structure, along with its relationship to the rural economy.”

The building will feature an engineered wood core and lateral system to withstand earthquakes, and cross-laminated timber floor panels up to 50 feet long.

The design team is led Thomas Robinson, of LEVER Architecture. Construction schedule details were not immediately available.

Cross-laminated timbers, or CLT, are panels made by bonding dimensional lumber in perpendicular layers. Boosters of the technology say the panels — which can be up to 8- to 10-feet wide, 10 to 20 inches thick and 64 feet long — are strong, lightweight and much faster to install than standard steel and concrete construction.

D.R. Johnson, a mill in Riddle, Ore., south of Roseburg, is the first U.S. manufacturer certified to make the panels. State and industry officials believe CLT technology could revitalize Oregon’s timber industry.



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