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Tallest Wood Structure in U.S. Breaks Ground in Minnesota

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A Minnesota developer has broken ground in Minneapolis' North Loop on an all-timber, seven-story office building, the first commercial property in the U.S. to use an engineered wood material on a high-rise building that traditionally would have used concrete and steel. Once completed, this will be the tallest wood structure in the U.S. The developer, Hines, hired Vancouver-based Michael Green Architecture in conjunction with the DLR Group, to design the 220,000-square-foot building. Michael Green is an advocate for increased use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a material for taller buildings, promoting its reduced carbon footprint and lightweight assembly.

For the past few years, NRMCA has notice the renewed interest in wood structures to shore up the forestry industry. The wood interests took a major step in recent years by updating the International Building Code (IBC) to allow the use of CLT as a building type. Earlier this year, however, NRMCA along with fire experts successfully contested the wood industry’s drive for taller buildings in the International Code Council hearings, citing its fire risks and limited research. Unfortunately, local state officials may choose to take a performance-based approach to the design and not follow the national model codes.

For more information on the wood industry’s advances in the buildings market, contact Tien Peng at 206-913-8535 or

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