Brookfield Properties plans to build the largest mass timber office building in North America as part of its 28-acre Pier 70 waterfront development at a historic shipyard property in San Francisco.
The new 310,000 sq. ft. mid-rise mass timber building will be 85-feet-high with six-floors. It will be the first ground up office parcel built at Pier 70, where construction is underway on a $3.5 billion waterfront neighborhood with housing, offices, parks and space for artists and local manufacturing, and rehabilitated historic buildings.
The building will feature cross laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glue-laminated timber (Glulam) columns and beams, steel lateral seismic framing, and metal cladding. CLT is a relatively new building material that can be used for mid-rise buildings. CLT floor panels laminate layers of solid wood that change direction in each subsequent layer, making the panels strong in two directions, and giving them comparable strength to traditional building materials like steel or concrete.
The lead designer for the Pier 70 mass timber office building is Hacker Architects of Portland, Oregon. The company specializes in the use of mass timber and is headquartered in a CLT building.
Among the building’s interior features will be one- and two-story ceiling heights and windows ranging from 14-28 feet-high, using 27-inch exposed wood beams. The wood is given even more prominence by hiding utilities like piping and conduit in gaps between CLT panels and colonnades where there are no beams. To add a sense of movement, a cantilevered section will extend on four sides, with each corner used as the switching point for the direction of the beams. The strength of CLT also minimizes the need for beams at the building perimeter, allowing for larger floor-toceiling window heights and more natural light at its edges than traditional steel and concrete buildings.
While mass timber can be costlier to build with than steel, the costs are offset by various factors, such as the lighter weight of wood can result in lower foundation costs or the speed of construction improves because offsite prefabrication is done in advance of building assembly. Pier 70’s timber building will reduce construction time by approximately 4-6 months compared to a similar-sized concrete building.
Design approvals for the Pier 70 timber office building are underway. Pending approvals by the Port of San Francisco and the City of San Francisco, construction is targeted to begin in spring 2020 and to be completed within two years.
Brookfield Properties is a fully-integrated, global real estate services company.