Architect's Newspaper (11/29/16) Martin, Olivia
The tallest modern wood timber building in the U.S. opened Nov. 30 in Minneapolis, Minn.'s North Loop District. Designed by Michael Green Architecture and the DLR Group, the seven-story, 220,000-square-foot Timber, Technology, Transit (T3) office features nail-laminated timber (NLT) enveloped in weathering steel. The T3 has only about one-fifth the weight of a similarly-built concrete structure, notes NLT panel manufacturer StructureCraft. Its bare interiors removed the cost of expensive coverings, and StructureCraft constructed 180,000 square feet of timber framing in less than 10 weeks. The NLT panels were integrated with a spruce glulam post-and-beam frame and a concrete slab, with the bulk of the wood sustainably harvested from the Pacific Northwest region where the trees were killed by the mountain pine beetle. In addition, the wood was certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Guidelines. Real estate firm Hines director Rob Pfefferle says the exposed wood delivers a simple massing with an airy brightness. "This will have the ambiance of the old warehouses with timber beams that everyone wants, but solves all the problems of energy efficiency and light," he notes.