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Case Study: Adding Mass Timber Extension/Renovations for Old Buildings

13 June 2023

(Boston) How do you add a 2-story vertical addition onto an existing 3-story, 100-year-old brick and timber building in Boston’s seaport district, which is not exactly square or plumb, and has a slight curve in plan all while aiming to avoid significant structural upgrades to the existing building?

Well, you laser scan the existing building, you pour a new concrete rim beam to cap off the existing exterior brick walls to create a more uniform surface for new structure install, you work closely as a team of structural engineer, architect, contractor and materials supplier to make sure that the first elements are fabricated to work within the dimensions of the existing building, and you use mass timber as a light weight and aesthetically appealing structural product for office space differentiation.

Boston’s first mass timber project! A renovation and adaptive reuse of a 3 story, heavy timber and masonry, former factory building. This core & shell project is intended to include office and retail space. Two additional stories were made possible by the use of CLT and mass timber; avoiding costly foundation upgrades that other steel and concrete solutions presented. The use of mass timber married perfectly with the existing heavy timber framing not only aesthetically, but in ease of erection.

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