France plans to build first wooden towers in Bordeaux

France is gearing up to make the country’s first tall timber construction in the form of two towers. The pair of wooden towers are planned to be 50 and 57 meters high (164 and 187 feet) and will built in the center of the city by Bordeaux Euratlantique.

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(Artistic design of Hypérion, a planned 18-story wooden tower in Bordeaux. Photo credit: Jean-Paul Viguier & Associés)

Global Construction Review details the plans which include multiple design teams. The taller of the two towers, “Hypérion”, will be an 18-story residential tower with 82 apartments. The project team includes Eiffage, specialist wood contractor Woodeum, landlord Clairsienne and architect Jean-Paul Viguier & Associés. The other tower, nicknamed “Silva,” will be an office building. The project team includes developer Kaufman & Broad and is designed by architect Art & Build. 80% of Silva will be made with locally sourced cross-laminated timber with glulam plywood bracing.

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(Rendering of the 50 meter tall wooden building, Silva, in France. Photo credit: Art & Build)

Both of the designs were chosen in a competition held by the city. Global Construction Review reports that construction on Hypérion is expected to begin in September 2017 with both towers completed by 2020.

Read more about the timber towers and learn about other wooden buildings in France.

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Mass timber building tour an informational start

With the Mass Timber Conference in Oregon officially concluded, NEFF’s Emily Kingston reflects back on the conference’s kick-off event: an all day tour of Portland’s leading mass timber buildings. Emily, NEFF’s Build It With Wood project coordinator, joined 100 other conference attendees in donning hard hats as they explored Portland on an all-day tour.

The mass timber buildings were in varying stages of completion, from under construction to fully completed and in use. The five buildings that were on the tour were Framework, The Hudson, Albina Yard, The Courtyard, and Clay Creative.

The tour began with Framework. The Framework building is designed by Works Partnership Architecture around the idea of a “ship in a bottle” and recently won the WoodWorks 2016 Wood Design Award in the Commercial Wood Design category.

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(The interior of the Framework building. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

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(The exterior of the Framework building with the wood beams visible through the windows. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

After Framework, the group moved on to the second building on the tour,  The Hudson. The Hudson is a three-story brick facade, glass, and exposed timber structure. The 45,000 square foot building will house offices for Killian Pacific and Mackenzie, the architecture and design firm that is a partner in the building’s construction. The ceiling is exposed nail-laminated wood supported by wood beams and metal connectors.

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(The interior of The Hudson, currently under construction. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

Wrapping up the morning was the third building, Albina Yard. Albina Yard is a 16,000 square foot creative office building currently under construction in Portland’s Mississippi District. Albina Yard is the first building in the U.S. using domestically-fabricated cross-laminated timber as a structural element. We’ve talked previously about Reworks and LEVER Architecture gearing up for Albina Yard.

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(Albina Yard was under construction during the Mass Timber Building and Construction Tour. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

After lunch, the group toured multiple buildings at an area known as The Courtyard. The Courtyard at One North includes three separate buildings; The Radiator, Karuna East, and Karuna West. The Radiator is a 5-story office building at the gateway to North Portland and is the first all-timber building of its scale built in a century. Karuna East is 4 stories and Karuna West is 5 stories. Both Karuna buildings are clad in cedar. The Radiator recently won the WoodWorks 2016 Wood Design Award for Multi-Story Wood Design.

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(The cedar clad exterior of Karuna West. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

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(The exterior of 5-story Radiator building. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

The tour concluded with the Clay Creative building. Clay Creative is developing this 72,000-square-foot, six-story, wood-framed office building. The LEED Platinum building is currently under construction and uses Oregon-sourced heavy timber and built with glulam beams.

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(The first floor of the Clay Creative building features thick glulam beams. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

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(The wooden beams in Clay Creative’s building. Photo credit: Emily Kingston)

Thank you to all the people involved in putting the Mass Timber Building and Construction tour together and demonstrating the newest building designs in wood buildings!

USGBC announces new LEED pilot credit

Last week the U.S. Green Building Council announced in a press release a new pilot credit related to wood. The new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit is designed to help eliminate irresponsibly sourced materials from the building material supply chain, such as illegal wood.

USGBC says the credit is to “further advance environmentally responsible forest management” and to reduce the use of illegal wood in buildings by “promoting the use of wood that is verified to be legal.” Builders and developers can now earn credit after verifying the legality of the wood which is certified by organizations such as the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC’s CEO and founding chair said, “This focus of the green building industry on the various wood certification standards has produced measurable progress… With the pilot ACP, we are increasing the scope of LEED related to wood with an eye toward possibly applying what we learn to other industries. Beyond this credit, LEED v4 takes steps to reward progress related to all raw materials sourcing issues and encourage all sectors to continue to improve.”

This new pilot ACP will be applicable to LEED 2009 and LEED v4 systems. LEED projects previously were awarded credit for only a percentage of wood used in a project, not the total. This made it possible for a building to earn the LEED wood credit, even though illegal wood might have been used in its construction.

Visit USGBC to learn more about LEED or to read the press release.