Washington, DC’s First Mass Timber Commercial High-Rise Opens

Designed by engineering firm Arup with assistance from developer Columbia Property Trust and architect Hickock Cole, Washington, DC’s first mass timber commercial office building has opened at 80 M Street.

The new mass timber structure is located atop the oldest high-rise building in DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood. The new addition adds 105,000 sq ft of vertical space and three stories to the existing 286,000 sq-ft office building to reach the 130-ft height limit for the site in DC. The team opted for the mass timber addition to add height to the existing 90-feet, seven-story building without the reinforcement that a steel structure would have required. The ground-breaking choice provided both structural benefits and was less disruptive to tenants already occupying the building.

Columbia Property trust says that the sustainable 80 M St. building will sequester 834 tons of carbon emissions equivalent to a carbon offset of about 1,000 acres of forest over a full year of growth. The project used about 1,380 tons of mass timber fabricated from hardwood grown in the Pacific Northwest and eastern Canada. Montreal-based Nordic Structures fabricated the glue-laminated timber beams and columns and Katerra fabricated the cross-laminated timber used to construct the addition.

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