Record-Breaking CLT Set in Place

By Zach Brehm

This November, the project team working at the First Tech Federal Credit Union jobsite in Hillsboro, Oregon slowed down to enjoy a pancake breakfast under a big white tent to celebrate the completion of structural erection.

What made this event different than most topping outs? Swinerton carpenters were fastening into place a CLT piece that marked 156,000 square feet of space—setting a record for the largest Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) structure in the United States of America.

The group of 126 craft men and women were accompanied by architects, owners, vendors, and construction management staff. All attendees had an opportunity to sign the final CLT floor panel that would later be flown into place as a traditional topping-out ceremony.

The project team’s preplanning and prefabrication efforts resulted in a swift fifteen (15) week duration for the erection of the complete superstructure with the mass timber portion only taking twelve (12) weeks with an additional three (3) weeks for the steel lateral frame. The mass timber elements consisted of prefabricated glulam columns, glulam beams, and CLT floor deck.

Heavy front-end engineering allowed the integration of timber and steel frame in BIM modeling, plus over 4,200 MEP/FP penetrations. All timber beams and columns arrived on site with connection hardware preinstalled. CLT arrived predrilled for lighting conduit, plumbing risers, and duct shafts.

Congratulations to all for your outstanding efforts: Senior Project Manager Andrew Georgesen, Superintendent Nathan Rebman, Project Manager Zach Brehm, General Foremen Brendan Kelly and Jeff Nading, Project Engineers Mike Korus, Elizabeth Litzenberger Van Rossen, and Troy Aiken, VD&C Manager Chad Tonge, Project Coordinator Kristi Roche, Preconstruction Manager William Silva, and Operations Manager Chris Evans.