PORTLAND, Ore. – A 12-story building is on its way to becoming the first mass timber tower in the United States.

The Framework Building, approved this week for construction by Portland and the State of Oregon, will measure nearly 150 feet tall and will be constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam).  

Project^, developer of the building, expects construction to begin this fall. The goal for completion is Winter 2018.

The Framework tower will feature retail space on the ground floor, five stories of office space, and five more of apartments. The building will house an estimated 60 homes.

Portland-based CLT pioneer D.R. Johnson will supply many of the building’s CLT panels. D.R. Johnson is the first U.S. company to receive APA/ANSI certification to manufacture structural CLT panels. The company worked with USNR to build a custom CLT panel press for its Portland operation.

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Timber construction has lumber milling machinery rolling

D.R. Johnson is ready to serve a new market spawned by a recent boom in worldwide timber construction.


Portland State University and Oregon State University performed extensive testing on the proposed building to make sure it met U.S. code for seismic, fire, and acoustic requirements.

Cross-laminated timber has been gaining popularity as of late, due to its lightness, sustainability, and ease of use. Planks of timber are glued and orientated at 90 degrees to each other and are then cross-laid in layers. Those pieces are then shipped to construction sites and can be assembled by just a few workers - even for large buildings.

Its use in tall wooden buildings has also been growing. London, Stockholm, and Quebec are just a few of the cities who either already have large timber towers or have one in the works.

Building codes are being adjusted in Oregon and Washington State to permit the tall wood structures.

D.R. Johnson CEO Valerie Johnson and Oregon TallWood Design Institute Manager Iain MacDonald will speak about cross-laminated timber at the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum at AWFS 2017.