Seattle’s Skyline Set to Go Green: Mass Timber Emerges as Affordable High-Rise Construction Solution

By Weber Thompson
April 9, 2024
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE, WA – Building a hybrid mass timber high-rise is now nearly as cost-effective as building a comparable concrete tower. This could be great news for both the environment and renters in the Seattle area. A new study co-authored by PCL Construction, DCI Engineers, and Weber Thompson examines the decreasing costs of mass timber construction and its potential to expand residential space in densely populated urban regions. Intermediate high-rise towers (180 feet or shorter) are often under-built in urban areas due to an unfortunate intersection of construction cost and code requirements. Even if the zoning allows, many developers forgo developing high-rise residential projects that are under 200 feet due to the cost of concrete construction at this scale. Mass timber construction provides an alternative that can be cost-competitive or more economical under the right circumstances – paving the way for the construction of more buildings in the intermediate tower height zone, and potentially increasing housing density.

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