Tall Timber Americas – Challenges & Solutions

Dmitri Jajich
Director
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, London

Several large-scale buildings recently completed in North America showcase the growing presence of tall timber construction. The design of timber buildings in the Americas must contend with restrictive fire codes and regions of high seismicity. These pressures have resulted in timber construction trends in the market, namely composite timber-concrete and timber-steel construction. This approach is being selected to satisfy the stringent seismic and fire requirements in a fast and economical way. This presentation reviews recently completed timber projects in the Americas and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s composite approach for timber construction.


SOM has been developing timber technologies for high-rise construction since 2013 with the release of the Timber Tower Research Project. Since then, SOM has refined the initial concepts and published three additional reports. The additional research has included a full-scale physical testing program of timber-concrete composite floor systems performed at Oregon State University. Additional research has included the combination of timber and steel framing for high-rise residential construction. The concepts and benefits are highlighted through a case study of two SOM-designed projects that use composite timber systems.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation