Portland Airport – A Mass Timber Dream Come True

26 September 2023

The showpiece of the new main terminal for the beloved Portland International Airport is a stunning mass timber roof that both celebrates Oregon’s history of forest product innovation and serves to consolidate 80 years of expansion and renovation into one floorplate. Comprised of approximately 3.3 million board feet Douglas Fir, the roof supports multiple goals: cost, constructability, sustainability, resiliency, and regional identity. The project team is regionally sourcing more than 2.6 million board feet of glulam beams and heavy timber structure, and over 400,000 square feet of mass plywood panels from Oregon forests and neighboring Washington state forests.
The roof is being fully prefabricated over the course of a year, with construction divided into 18 pieces called “cassettes.” Each cassette includes mass timber and steel superstructure, skylights up to 70 ft long by 30 ft wide, insulation, mechanical components, and finishes. Once prefabrication is complete, the cassettes, the largest of which is 220 ft by 110 ft, will be installed over several nights in 2022, during a four-hour window when there are no passengers or occupants below the construction area.

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