Minding the Gap: How to Really Make Mass Timber Housing Pencil


International Mass Timber Conference

Portland, OR


Joe Swain

Date & Time:

03.29.2023 | 1:15 pm–2:45 pm

In high-density multi-family housing, the critical design question has always been: can we close the cost gap between concrete and mass timber construction types? If so, then mass timber’s future in housing is clear. However, the path is unproven and particularly challenging in affordable housing, where public funding imposes strict design requirements and wood aesthetics cannot compensate with higher rents.

Join Mithun senior associate Joe Swain for “Minding the Gap: How to Really Make Mass Timber Housing Pencil” to hear about the paths forged toward a solution to making mass timber pencil against conventional concrete construction in two Type IV-B housing projects. The first is an eight-story mixed-use, affordable housing building in Santa Cruz, California. Lessons learned from this effort were optimized a second project, an 11-story market-rate housing building in Portland, Oregon.

Joe’s co-presenter is Holmes associate principal Megan Stringer.

Date Posted: 03.29.2023