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Pearl District could host nation's tallest wood building

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $1.5 million to a team hoping to build the first tall wood building in the United States at the site of the Albina Community Bank branch in the Pearl District.

The 12-story tower is proposed by Framework LLC at 430 N.W. 10th Ave. D. R. Johnson hopes to supply cross-laminated timber for the building, manufactured at its new plant in Riddle, in Southern Oregon.

If built, the Framework building would combine ground-floor retail, office space and affordable housing, as well as a public Tall Wood Exhibit. The project team includes Beneficial State Bancorp, the property owner affordable housing investor Home Forward Lever Architecture and Anyeley Hallova.

Framework LLC was one of two winners, along with a New York group, of the USDA’s U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition. The federal agency, in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, is promoting the use of cross-laminated timber to stimulate jobs in the wood products industry.

Cross-laminated timber or CLT is made of 2-by-6s glued together in huge sheets, then cross-hatched in three to nine layers. It can be up to 18 inches thick, 10 feet wide and 80 feet long. CLT enables midrise and perhaps highrise buildings to be made of wood, replacing steel or concrete.

Use of wood has a lower carbon footprint than steel or concrete, and many hope CLT will provide new markets for Oregon-grown timber.

The Oregon Zoo’s newly built Elephant Plaza Building used CLT on its roof, the first use of CLT in Oregon.

D.R. Johnson is currently manufacturing CLT panels for the next two applications of CLT in Oregon, the four-story Albina Yard office building in North Portland, and the Richard Woodcock Education Center at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

CLT was developed in central Europe and has been used to build tall buildings in Europe, Canada and Australia. Oregon is late to the game but hoping to play a leading role as the CLT industry develops in the United States.




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