American dream

Carbon12 in Portland, USA by Path Architecture

Say USA and many people think of skyscrapers. But although the country is known for its tall buildings, there is no real tradition of building higher than 3–4 storeys in wood. That is, however, beginning to change, and recently Portland, Oregon became home to the tallest building so far to be made from CLT. At almost 26 metres tall, the block will house eight storeys of apartments.

Carbon12 has a slightly unusual hybrid frame – a steel brace frame core, encased on all sides by a post-and-beam glulam carcass. The structure is stabilised with CLT floor units plus stabilising CLT walls. The building is considered a sign of the times and an indicator that the USA is also beginning to see a future for larger wooden structures.

Sustainability was a major consideration when Kaiser Group and Path Architecture chose the materials, which were sourced from Canada. But the exposed wood of the floors, ceilings and posts is also likely to inspire residents and visitors to live sustainably. The brown painted wood and generous windows that make up the façade lend the building an elegant and sustainable look. The roof has also been fitted with solar panels.


Read the latest stories

Get news & inspiration from Swedish Wood

Sign up and get information about publications and other news from Swedish Wood by email.

Sign up for the newsletter