Was 2021 the year mass timber broke through?

22 March 2022

2021 might be remembered as the year when mass timber finally broke through as a construction material in the US.

Last year, the International Code Council updated its International Building Code by adding three new construction types that allow for the use of mass timber for construction up to 270 ft tall, or the equivalent of about 18 stories. In October, New York City, the country’s largest construction market, approved the use of mass timber for buildings up to 85 ft tall, or the equivalent of six to seven stories. One month later, the insurance firm Zurich North America expanded its coverage to $50 million per project for commercial construction using mass timber.

This is all good news for the general contractor Swinerton, which opened its first office in New York last year, and whose Portland, Ore.-based Timberlab brand has been involved in 20 mass timber projects across the country including the residential tower Ascent in Milwaukee, Wis., which at 284 ft and 25 stories will be the tallest mass timber building in North America when it’s completed in the summer of 2022.

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Source: Building Design + Construction | Image: Swinerton

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