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Construction & Design

Brookfield to build largest mass timber office building in America

The building is part of the 28-acre Pier 70 development in San Francisco

Brookfield Properties plans to build the largest mass timber office building in North America as part of its 28-acre Pier 70 waterfront development at a historic shipyard property in San Francisco.

“Our decision to use mass timber is inspired by the neighborhood’s culture of creativity, sustainability and strong opinions,” said Brookfield Properties senior manager of development Cutter MacLeod.

“By applying emerging technologies and innovative designs to the structures we’re building here, we are reinforcing that Pier 70 will be a thriving place for creative industries in San Francisco.”

The new 310,000 s/f mid-rise mass timber building will be 85 ft. high with six-floors. It will be the first ground up office parcel built at Pier 70, where construction is underway on a $3.5 billion waterfront neighborhood with housing, offices, parks and space for artists and local manufacturing, and rehabilitated historic buildings.

The building will feature cross laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glue-laminated timber (Glulam) columns and beams, steel lateral seismic framing, and metal cladding.

CLT is a relatively new building material that can be used for mid-rise buildings. CLT floor panels laminate layers of solid wood that change direction in each subsequent layer, making the panels strong in two directions, and giving them comparable strength to traditional building materials like steel or concrete.

The lead designer for the Pier 70 mass timber office building is Hacker Architects of Portland, Oregon. The company specializes in the use of mass timber and is headquartered in a CLT building.

“The Pier 70 office building will make a statement about how mass timber technologies are pushing design and construction towards environmentally sustainable design solutions that better connect the workplace to the natural environment,” said Hacker principal Corey Martin.

Among the building’s interior features will be one- and two-story ceiling heights and windows ranging from 14-28 feet-high, using 27-inch exposed wood beams.

Mass timber is a renewable resource with a lower carbon footprint than other structures. The amount of resources and energy it takes to produce CLT is a fraction of what was required to extract steel or produce concrete.

According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, it would only take approximately 90 minutes for Oregon’s managed timberlands to grow the amount of wood that will be used in the Pier 70 building.

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