Timber Tower Research Project

In 2009, Simpson Strong-Tie participated in the NEESWood Capstone Test, which was the final experiment in a multi-year study to test and evaluate the seismic performance of various wood-framed buildings. The Capstone Test was a six-story apartment building constructed and tested at the E-Defense test facility, located in Miki, Japan. More information about the Capstone Test is available here.

NEESWood Capstone Test. Photo credit: Simpson Strong-Tie.
NEESWood Capstone Test. Image credit: Simpson Strong-Tie.

I only mention the NEESWood testing because I thought six-stories was pretty tall for wood-framed construction, since U.S. building codes limit us to four or five stories in wood. I recently came across a research project by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) for something just a tad taller than that. Looking to minimize the carbon footprint by using timber as the main structural material, SOM published a report for the design a 42-story, 405-ft. tall building. The solution utilizes mass timber for the main structural elements with reinforced concrete at highly stressed areas. The project used the Dewitt-Chestnut Apartments, a 42-story reinforced concrete structure built in 1965, as the benchmark building.

SOM Timber Tower. Image credit: Skidmore, Owings, Merrill website.

Abstract for the Timber Tower Research Project along with links to the full report and sketches are on SOM’s website.

So, what do you think of a 42-story wood-framed building? Let us know by posting a Comment.

– Paul