Mass Timber Case Study: University of Washington’s Founders Hall

Mass Timber Case Study: University of Washington’s Founders Hall

The University of Washington’s Foster School of Business is adding a mass timber building to its campus. Founders Hall is made of glulam columns and beams that support five-ply cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels.

University of Washington: Foster School of Business
University of Washington: Foster School of Business

The CLT panels were designed to act as the structural diaphragm. Fasteners and straps were specified from Simpson Strong-Tie for this project. This included our MDCST straps, plus our Strong-Drive® SDHR, SDWS and SDS fasteners.

Mass Timber panel
Mass Timber panel

Simpson Strong-Tie engineer Phillip Hui was instrumental to the success of this build. Originally, the Structural Engineer of Record (SEOR)  had specified a different brand of fasteners for use with the large collector plates. Due to the long wait time for those screws, however, they consulted Phillip to devise a substitute fastening solution.

Fasteners on the jobsite
Fasteners on the jobsite

Phillip was able to perform this service using testing information for the Strong-Drive SDWH27 Timber-Hex screw  that met the strength and deflection requirements for the collector plate application. With this indispensable data at hand, the SEOR approved the substitution. The collector plates were already all on the jobsite, and with our SDWH27 screws readily available everybody on the project saved a lot of potential downtime. 

University of Washington: Founders Hall under construction
University of Washington: Founders Hall under construction

In this video case study, we explore how Simpson Strong-Tie partnered with the project engineers and architects to help construct Founders Hall, a new building at the University of Washington Foster School of Business in Seattle. This 85,500-square-foot structure was built in a seismic zone using CLT and structural solutions developed by Simpson-Strong Tie. 

The project demonstrated that Simpson Strong-Tie has a wide variety of connector and fastener solutions for CLT diaphragms to meet the needs of large mass timber projects. 

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