July 14, 2024


Living – be prepared

Shawmut higher ed project utilizes cross-laminated timber for speed, flexibility

4 min read

For the initially time in 30 several years, Brown University commissioned a new college student housing building for its Providence, Rhode Island, campus. To enable satisfy the university’s objective of being carbon neutral by 2040, the project team, which includes Shawmut Style and design and Building and William Rawn Architects, selected cross-laminated timber (CLT), which also helped to help you save time and increase versatility around scheduling.

The merchandise was one aspect in serving to this structure-establish project complete on plan, even inspite of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early in development, according to Ron Simoneau, Shawmut executive vice president of education. The building software functions a 162-bed residence hall located earlier mentioned initially-floor services aimed at strengthening college student physical, mental and psychological wellbeing.

“We collaborated with William Rawn to produce a structure-establish method, which you frequently do not see with higher education customers,” Simoneau said. “This choice delivery method allows us get much more inventive in issue-resolving, ring out squander and optimize price holistically.”  

Added benefits: time cost savings and sustainability

CLT is developed by a approach of finger becoming a member of dimensional lumber to a unique size and gluing layers with each other perpendicularly. The layers — ordinarily a few, 5, or seven — get compressed to create dependable, solid planks. These structural parts can be purchased in sizes as significant as whichever will in good shape onto a trailer. The Brown U. building incorporates a hybrid method of CLT and steel. 

“We utilized a steel structure with CLT planking as the floor/ceiling method,” Simoneau said. “The hybrid method saves a whole lot of time in several means. CLT decking goes up at the exact time as the steel, for example, so crews do not have to wait for system concrete to dry and can start off functioning instantly soon after installation.”

This also implies safer functioning conditions because the floors are finished prior to any person starts chopping holes for pipes, ductwork or electrical runs. Simoneau said one more perk is that CLT offers shorter guide instances than lots of prefabricated structural materials, these kinds of as precast concrete plank. CLT is also flexible and simple to operate with on-web site. 

“CLT is a quality, extremely-sustainable merchandise with a higher price than concrete or steel, but when you net it out with cost savings on scheduling and finishes, it gets to be a wash,” he said. “It just goes up so speedy.” 

In this project, the CLT is being utilized for all floors and the roof assembly. The substance will be left uncovered for wood ceilings, which offers even much more price- and time-cost savings by removing drywall and portray. The heat of uncovered wood — along with the absence of any off-gassing — also improves the building’s feeling of wellness.

Issues: unfamiliarity with substance and installation

There were being some worries related with the substance, Simoneau said.

“CLT is a somewhat new substance in the U.S., so there is not a massive workforce educated in putting in or functioning with it. And there are nuances around fireproofing — whilst it has an inherent ranking as utilized in assembly — all building structure ought to be linked to steel,” he said.

Simoneau said tracking materials, which includes the CLT that arrived from Nordic Structure in Canada, produced one of the most significant hurdles to remaining on plan. ​Brown U. programs to make college student housing less dense and was motivated to hold this building going toward the slide 2021 open up day as lots of rooms were being now committed to one occupancy. 

“One of the most significant worries was COVID’s impact on supply chain with factories shut down,” he said. “We now tracked goods very carefully, but with COVID, it’s now a new level of tracking parts that go with each other to avoid delays.”

Shawmut Vitals screens personnel for COVID-19 indicators as they enter the jobsite or place of work.

Permission granted by Shawmut Style and design and Building


Building by no means stopped on the project as COVID-19 unfold throughout the state and Shawmut utilized the web site to locate means of keeping crews healthier. In accordance to officers, the project helped the business determine out protection protocols, these kinds of as individual protective gear, day by day temperature having and testing for Shawmut Vitals, the company’s self-screening app

The jobsite — like all Shawmut sites — is staffed with a COVID-19 officer who enforces protection guidelines. The organization also developed a command center to enable guidebook COVID-19 protocols and make certain they observe all federal, point out, neighborhood and CDC recommendations.

“The project began prior to COVID strike and Rhode Island by no means shut down development, so we continued to operate by way of it,” Simoneau said. “When it strike, we were being all nevertheless functioning exterior and ready to adapt with the studying curve. We managed distancing conveniently and as we uncovered much more, we labored with various corporations to hold up with standards.”

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