US$3 million grant for U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition winners

An artist’s impression of Framework, a 12-storey urban and rural ecological project, in Portland, Oregon. Photo credit: LEVER Architecture


Winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, Framework and 475 West 18th, have each been awarded US$1.5 million in funding to support the development of tall wood demonstration projects in New York and Portland, Oregon.


The Competition is organised by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. As part of the Competition evaluation criteria, both winning teams have also obtained early support from their respective authorities having jurisdiction to proceed.

“Tall wood building systems have been embraced by developers and architects around the world for many years,” said Marc Brinkmeyer, Softwood Lumber Board Chair. “Moving forward with these projects is a step in the right direction for the U.S. building industry in having the ability to take full advantage of the inherent benefits of wood from both an environmental and economic standpoint.”

Framework: An Urban + Rural Ecology

The proposed Framework is part of an urban redevelopment programme in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. The 12-storey urban and rural ecological project – constructed primarily of cross-laminated timber (CLT) – will have a blend of functions including street-level retail, office, workforce housing and community space. The main community space is designed to include a public tall wood exhibit featuring resources related to the realisation and design of the building.

“We consider Framework to be a totally transformative, mission-driven project that will promote social justice, environmental well-being and economic opportunity at the building, regional and national levels,” said Kat Taylor, president of Beneficial State Bancorp and landowner of the project site.

“On a national scale this project will be catalytic, leading to more tall wood buildings, driving more wood products and wood product innovation, and boosting rural economic development,” added Anyeley Hallova, partner at real estate developer project^.

475 West 18th: Harmonising Innovation, Engineering and Architecture

475 West 18th is a proposed residential condominium by 130-134 Holdings LLC, in partnership with Spiritos Properties, SHoP Architects, Arup, Icor Associates, and environmental consultancy Atelier Ten.

475 West 18th is a proposed residential condominium by 130-134 Holdings LLC. Photo credit: SHoP Architects PC

The building’s extensive use of wood 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, it reduces overall energy consumption by at least 50%. It will also target LEED Platinum certification, as well as pursue higher levels of sustainability not captured in the LEED system.

“By choosing to develop a timber building, we hope to pave the way for a new method of urban construction that is ecologically conscious and supportive of rural economies,” said Erica Spiritos of Spiritos Properties. “Rooted in the forests and erected in the city, this building is a celebration of habitats that are at once ancient and cutting edge, interconnected and individual, natural and technological.”