CLT award winners announced

Oregon BEST announces winners of CLT contest, while Beneficial State Bank CEO Kat Taylor honors sustainability pioneers by belting out a version of Brandi Carlile’s “The Eye.” 

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UPDATE: July 14:

Todd Black, sales manager for D.R. Johnson Lumber, spoke to Oregon Business about the mill’s latest work on CLT.

OB: When we last talked with D.R., you were on the way to becoming a front runner in wood-based buildings.  What’s new?

TB: Our press has been extended to the point where we now offer 10’ x 32’ long panels in 3,5 & 7 Ply CLT Panels and we have added a Hundegger PBA CNC Machine to handle all of our panel fabrication needs. These changes have allowed us to meet project requirements that call out for longer spans and very precise fabrication specifications. We are basically set up to be able to efficiently handle a wide range of Mass Timber Construction Project Types.

OB: CLT has captured the Oregon imagination. Why?

TB: We now have an engineered wood product that is proving to be an adequate alternative to traditional building materials when it comes to constructing mid to high rise commercial buildings. And, aside from tall wood buildings, CLT Panels also allow for numerous advantages when it comes to single-family, affordable housing and modular type construction applications. Developers, architects & engineers now have a completely different, acceptable option to utilize when designing their projects.

Wood is the only major building material that is naturally renewable and sequesters Carbon. Engineered Wood Products offer a wide variety of design options that have previously been thought impossible. All of the CLT Product testing we are undertaking has outperformed expectations. I think wood is the material of “now” and the future.

OB: Oregon BEST just announced its winners for a CLT design contest. What are your thoughts on how the market will continue to grow?

As more and more CLT Projects are successfully constructed, people will see that Mass Timber Construction offers a wide range of advantages over conventional building methods and materials, the product is safe and, bottom line, these wooden structures will be aesthetically pleasing and provide for a comfortable environment to work or live in. The sky truly is the limit for Mass Timber Construction.


The cross-laminated timber phenomenon showed up in usual and unusual ways this past week.  

This morning Oregon BEST announced the two winners of its cross-laminated timber contest.  The organization awarded $155,000 to a parking garage project in Springfield, one of many municipalities interested in climbing aboard the CLT bandwagon. 

Oregon Best also awarded $45,000 to a Portland-designed complex called Carbon 12.

CLT is a high-tech wood product that can be used as a sustainable replacement for steel in building construction. 

“We launched this design contest last fall to help fast-track the use of CLT in Oregon, speed the economic impact for rural Oregon communities where CLT is manufactured and advance adoption of this new building material that sequesters carbon and competes with concrete or steel in strength,” said Johanna Brickman, Director of Collaborative Innovation at Oregon BEST, in a press release.

Springfield will use the funding to construct a 4-story parking structure with retail space on the ground floor. The project is designed by SRG. 

CLT Glenwood Garage

Carbon 12, meanwhile, will be the largest CLT building in the U.S. The $45,000 award will be spent on acoustic and moisture testing. The building was designed by PATH Architecture and has already secured two tenants: OnPoint Community Credit Union and Heart Coffee Roasters

Ben Kaiser, owner of PATH Architecture and the Kaiser Group, developed the Radiator building on North Williams.  The Radiator is the first structure in Portland to feature a technology designed to alert tenants in the event of an earthquake. 

Carbon 12 Cover Image

In other CLT-related news, Beneficial State Bank, a self-described “triple bottom line bank,” held its annual summer shindig at Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center last Wednesday. CEO Kat Taylor took the mic for a few minutes to deliver a rapid fire speech about better banking practices, the 2016 election and, yes, cross laminated timber.  

The bank has partnered with Portland-based LEVER Architecture, real estate development firm Project^ and housing agency Home Forward on a 12-story mixed-use building in the Pearl District that will be made primarily of laminated timber.

“We are going to march these tall wood buildings across the country,” Taylor said.

Taylor is married to Tom Steyer, a billionaire energy investor who founded the environmental group NextGen Climate. Steyer spent $74 million on the  2014 mid term elections, making him the largest individual political donor.

Taylor said Beneficial Bank hopes to open its offices as a polling spot during the 2016 elections. We need as many people to vote as possible, she said.

She capped off the speech with a rendition of Brandi Carlile’s The Eye.  Taylor selected the song because of the line “you can dance in a hurricane but only if you’re standing in the eye” — a phrase that reflects the quest for change during tumultuous times.

Here’s a clip from Taylor’s Ecotrust performance: