The groundfloor of Framework includes a "Tall Wood Exhibit", retail kiosk, Albina Community Bank, leasing office, bike room with ninety-three spaces as well as spaces for utilities. The Tall Wood exhibit seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of using engineered wood products in construction. The exhibit will showcase the features, materials and structural system of the building, highlighting the safe application, practicality and sustainability of mass timber structures.
Image credit: LEVER Architecture
Framework will be the 1st skyscraper made from wood in the United States.
The building design showcases the innovative nature of mass timber construction at both the street level and on the city skyline. The structural design is a glulam post-and-beam structure, surrounding a CLT central core, and topped by CLT floor panels and gypsum concrete.
Framework’s mass opens to display the exposed vertical wood core and lifts at the street corner creating a double height daylit public space. Laminated wood columns and a CLT ceiling frame this space and connect to a second floor community room and garden deck. This design features the building structure while bringing together the main entries into retail, housing, and office spaces. Apartment and office ceilings will feature exposed wood with circulation grouped around the exposed wood core.
A daylit stair provides a glimpse of circulation and the wood structure from a distance. The roof deck and People’s Garden is framed by the building structure which extends the expression of the tall wood structure into the skyline.
Image credit: LEVER Architecture
Framework employs a new model of sustainable construction called "Low Carbon" to what has otherwise become a (largely) technological pursuit. The low carbon strategy is pursued by using a wood structural system that provides carbon sequestration and demonstrates a measurable reduction in carbon emissions through new and sustainable supply chains.
Preliminary calculations show probable embodied carbon savings in the structure alone of over 60% compared to a conventional structure, with potential for a carbon negative structure if sourcing, end-of-life, and transport are managed stringently. This is preliminarily estimated to result in 1,824 tons of CO2 emissions offsets*, which is equivalent to taking 348 cars off the road for a year.
Framework is also aggressively targeting innovative sustainable building strategies when compared to an average building of the same size:
o Targets energy savings of 60% when compared to code, which is equivalent to 33 single-family homes being powered for a year.
o Targets water savings exceeding 30% compared to code, which is equivalent to the yearly water needs of 19 single-family homes.
* Based on industry averages for North America responsibly sourced wood.
Framework is a catalyst project, providing the groundwork for a new industry of engineered wood products in the United States. Cross-laminated timber and other engineered wood products have the potential to create needed timber and manufacturing jobs and to reactivate factories that have become dormant in rural Oregon and other timber producing regions in the United States. The demand for mass timber buildings will aid in promoting the capacity to produce in these communities.
o Framework is targeting a minimum of 50% of the volume of wood sourced locally from sustainable forests and/or manufacturers in Oregon.
A collaborative study* led by Oregon BEST assessing the potential demand for mass timber in the US construction market estimates that labor income generated in Oregon from the total impacts of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and related mass timber manufacturing could reasonably be between $338 million and $1 billion annually, with the potential to create a total (direct, indirect, and induced) of approximately 5,800 to 17,300 jobs for the state.
* 2015-2017 Advanced Wood Product Manufacturing Study for Cross Laminated Timber Acceleration in Oregon & SW Washington", Oregon BEST (+8 Partners), 2017.
Why is Framework a demonstration project?
Framework's research and testing will become open source after the building is constructed; providing a launching point for the entire building industry and technical data points for building code changes. Framework, a mixed-use building with retail, office, and housing, takes this concept to a deeper level by purposely designing a project with many replicable components. Additionally, it's a wood skyscraper; it is designed to be resilient to earthquakes; will be a learning laboratory for researchers after the building is operational; and seeks to unlock the demand for high-rise mass timber construction by demonstrating its feasibility. Based on the successful passing of fire and structural tests, Framework will likely be the first building in the following areas:
o First high-rise building with wood from ground floor, as the load-bearing construction, in the US
o First high rise building with exposed wood (of any %) in North America
o First project carrying out fire tests on exposed glulam connections, CLT and glulam beam-floor assembly in North America
o First fully loaded exposed CLT connection requiring a two-hour fire rating in the world
o First fully loaded exposed glulam connections requiring a two-hour fire rating in the world
o First post-tensioned rocking CLT wall system in the US
o Tallest Mass Timber Building in the US
o Tallest ALL Mass Timber Building in North America
o Tallest post-tensioned rocking wall project in the world
The upper floors of Framework will house a mixture of studio, one, and two bedroom apartments. All apartments are designed to have modern finishes; low flow fixtures; energy-efficient lighting; and large windows with ample natural light. The apartments will feature an exposed natural wood ceiling. All sixty (60) apartments are for residents earning less than 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). This affordability fulfills a need in the market, as there is currently a housing emergency in the City of Portland due to the lack of affordable housing and low vacancy. The impact of Framework is amplified by the fact that the site is immediately adjacent to jobs and transit in the amenity-rich Pearl District neigbhorhood.
Just as the farm-to-table movement changes how we relate to food; our team developed the phrase “Forest to Frame” to describe how a project can reshape the way people think about wood construction.
In the Pacific Northwest, our forests produce some of the world’s best timber, renowned for its beauty and strength. Wood offers a cornucopia of delights in texture, color, patterns, feel, and sound. Buildings made from wood also benefit the occupant experience by triggering the senses to produce beneficial mental and physical responses through the nervous system.
Framework is driven by these ingredients, the materials that will go into constructing the building. Using wood that sequesters carbon is a natural extension of a longstanding commitment among the architects, engineers, and developers to produce truly sustainable buildings.
Albina Community Bank is a community bank with a mission to increase economic opportunity and promote community development in Portland neighborhoods. Albina demonstrates this commitment by promoting and maintaining jobs, rebuilding and assisting underserved communities as well as creating thriving, sustainable places for people to live/work. Albina Community Bank retail branch and offices currently on the site will be relocated back into the Framework building. With offices on the second floor, there will be a close relationship to a community room and the Albina bank branch on the ground floor. This office space is unique in that it directly connects to an ecoroof amenity providing light and an experience of natural elements.
Resilient Design refers to the ability of a building to be easily repaired following an earthquake. Framework was designed as a “low damage, rocking-wall resilient building”. This not only meets the code requirements for structures in seismic regions but goes above and beyond to ensure that the building will be easily reparable after a major earthquake.
To achieve this goal, the lateral force-resisting system includes post-tensioned rocking CLT shear walls, with “Low Damage Design” features pioneered in New Zealand. These features include a pre-determined rocking plane at the base of the walls; replaceable energy dissipating “fuses”; special detailing at the floor-to-wall connections; and the self-centering characteristics of the post-tensioning system.
Full scale tests where undertaken at Portland State University to validate that the custom glulam beam-to-column connection developed for Framework could undergo the maximum anticipated seismic drift from an earthquake and remain undamaged.
Office tenants will occupy the second to sixth floor of Framework. The second and third floor are pre-leased to Albina Community Bank and Beneficial State Bank respectively. The remaining floors are currently speculative office space, targeting similar B corporations or tenants with a strong social mission or values alignment.
B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It is the hope that combined co-tenancy with like-minded B Corps will provide synergies for business development and increased community impact inside the building with residents and in the Portland community and beyond.
Framework is located in the heart of the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon, an area formerly occupied by warehouses and light industry. The Pearl District is one of the most sought after neighborhoods, offering countless options to live, work, and play. Undergoing significant urban regeneration in the past 20 years, the district is known internationally for its upscale businesses and residences, and is home to several Portland icons, such as Powell’s City of Books, the Brewery Blocks, and the Park Blocks. The streetcar, a beloved feature in this pedestrian-oriented neighborhood, stops directly in front of the site, presenting an opportunity to showcase a prominent building.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in partnership with the Softwood Lumber Board and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, announced the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition in September 2015. Framework was selected as one of two winners and granted $1.5 million in funding to embark on the exploratory phase of the project, including the research and testing necessary to utilize engineered wood products such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) in high-rise construction.
As of January 2017, Framework successfully completed the research, modeling, and testing to prove that it meets the U.S.’s stringent fire, seismic, and acoustic codes. Framework was permitted through an alternative “Performance-Based Path” available through Oregon’s unique building code system. Given this, Framework is currently informing updates to national and local building codes that will allow mass timber construction by-right; unlocking potential demand for tall wood nationally.
One of Framework’s main missions is to provide a regulatory pathway for future mass timber projects while building local knowledge and skills on constructing from mass timber.
Mass timber has resistance to fire due to its charring properties. The resistance assessment was based on the worst possible fire that could occur within an apartment or office space and the duration of that fire. The performance demonstrated that the building will survive full burn and remain structurally intact, in the unlikely event of the sprinklers failing and the Fire Department not intervening.
For these standards, the project conducted component testing of the CLT panels and Glulam beams/columns. The testing met ASTM E11 and was carried out for a fire resistance rating of 2 hours. Testing included connections between beam and columns; the floor and ceiling area; and beam-to-floor assemblies.
There has been extensive testing and validation of concrete precast posttensioned rocking wall systems and timber rocking walls in New Zealand and the US as it pertains to their durability to withstand a seismic event. As a result, seismic testing of the structural system of Framework focused on structural components and evaluated any deviation from the results of previous studies.
Several tests were completed at Oregon State University to validate the structural resiliency of the self-centering post-tensioned CLT rocking wall. These included a series of bare panel tests on full scale nine-ply CLT panels, crushing tests on five-ply CLT panels, and testing of three different splice methods for joining the rocking wall’s nine-ply CLT panels. This video shows the epoxy rod panel splice option which was ultimately chosen for the project.
The NHERI Tall Wood project, which includes LEVER Architecture and KPFF Portland from the Framework project, completed shake table testing at UCSD in San Diego, on a full scale, two-story mass timber building to simulate the response of the building under earthquakes.
The building includes resilient self-centering post-tensioned CLT rocking walls, similar to Framework, and a near identical floor-to-wall connections. The test specimen underwent 10,000+ years of shaking in 5 days, including (6) San Francisco Design Basis Earthquakes with essentially no damage, and (4) Maximum Considered Earthquakes with only limited damage where expected.