Unlocking Decarbonization Strategies

Our exploration of cross laminated timber (CLT) and mass timber grew out of a body of research projects at SRG and resulted in Oregon’s first ever CLT structure: the Oregon Zoo Elephant Plaza Building. Since then, we have been passionate advocates of its continued use and popularity as a material and structural system—sustainably harvested timber known not only for its beauty and warmth but also its notable thermal performance, natural carbon sequestration, and fire resistance. Fresh ideas about materials, connections, structural options, thermal mass, coatings, membranes, manufacturing components, and modular construction pose provocative questions—and even more exciting design answers.

Setting the Standard for Sustainable Development

Edward J. Ray Hall

The meaningful use of mass timber at Edward J. Ray Hall is a plain indicator of the campus’ robust commitment to sustainability, setting the bar for future sustainable design in Bend. By selecting a mass timber structural system and sourcing responsibly—with 40% deriving from restoration timber and 14% from Native-owned and managed forests—the project realized carbon savings equal to removing more than 750 cars from the road. These design practices set an important precedent for how mass timber can and should be used in academic and lab environments, both in Bend and beyond.

Mass Timber and Net Zero Design for Higher Education and Lab Buildings

This white paper explores how we are taking advantage of synergies between the unique attributes of a mass timber structure and best practices enclosure design to unlock deeper decarbonization strategies, enabling migration to all-electric hydronic solutions and away from refrigerant-based mechanical systems with high global warming potential, without sacrificing beauty and experience in the process.

Walking the Talk

SRG Portland Studio

We want our studios to do as much for sustainability as we do. After a participatory design charrette open to the entire studio, the design of Portland’s SRG studio incorporates biophilic and deeply sustainable principles, such as dynamic and diffuse lighting, visual connection with nature, and natural materials and textures—including incorporation of cross-laminated timber (CLT). Manufactured from sustainably harvested timber with notable thermal performance, natural carbon sequestration and fire resistance, CLT’s warmth and elegance are a natural fit for our studio, paying tribute to the culture of research and the discovery of environmentally responsible building materials. The result is an EUI of 23.05 when fully occupied, surpassing our target EUI of 46.4.

First of its Kind

Elephant Lands Exhibit and Plaza Building

As an early adopter of cross-laminated timber (CLT), SRG worked with the City of Portland to permit the first CLT structure in Oregon. The Oregon Zoo Plaza Building was the perfect test case for introducing CLT into the design and construction industry in Oregon and paved the path for future CLT buildings.