Winning Project: 475 West 18th (New York, NY)

130-134 Holdings LLC, in partnership with SHoP Architects, Arup, Icor Associates, and environmental consultancy Atelier Ten, proposed 475 West 18th as a transformative and sustainable prototype for the design and construction industry, demonstrating an innovative approach to going beyond a limited palette of materials and systems for high-rise construction. Expanding the palette with wood, a locally sourced and renewable material, provides developers with a low-carbon, more economically sound building solution than other materials.

475 West 18th’s extensive use of wood structural elements and other wood products allows the team to set ambitious sustainability targets in the building’s design, construction, and operation. By combining aggressive load reduction with energy efficient systems, the project team anticipates reducing overall energy consumption by at least 50 percent relative to current energy codes. It will also target LEED Platinum certification, as well as pursue higher levels of sustainability not captured in the LEED system.

“We are delighted to be developing this tall timber building in New York City, which has led the world in urban design and engineering throughout the last century,” said Jonathan Ghassemi, on behalf of 130-134 Holdings LLC. “We are confident that this project will once again position New York to serve as a leader in a new generation of sustainable building methods during the 21st Century and beyond.”


Winning Project: Framework (Portland, OR)

Framework, an urban + rural ecological project, is anticipated to be the one of the first tall timber structures in the country. This 12-story building will consist of one level of ground floor retail, five levels of office, five levels of workforce housing and a roof top amenity space.

The USDA grant will allow the project to engage the exploratory phase, including the research and development necessary to utilize Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and other engineered wood products in high-rise construction in the United States. This includes working with Portland and Oregon code authorities during the pre-permitting process to define and perform the necessary testing and peer review to demonstrate the feasibility of tall wood buildings.

Given its prominent location and public visibility, a key element of the building design led by Thomas Robinson, principal of LEVER Architecture, is to communicate at street level the project’s innovative use of wood and engineering technology in the development of a high rise structure, along with its relationship to the rural economy. Integrating lessons learned from tall timber structures in Canada and Europe, Robinson and his team are expected to incorporate new structural and architectural technologies that include an engineered wood core and lateral system for seismic integrity and CLT floor panels fabricated up to 50’ in length.

From a community perspective, this building will support a unique blend of programming including an Albina Community Bank Branch, street level retail, office space for Beneficial State Bank, B Corp businesses and social enterprise; along with public space and workforce housing in partnership with Home Forward.