Pushing Wood Framing To Higher Heights

November 11, 2013

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The advent of taller wood buildings is upon us. Recent changes to the building code have ushered in an era of wood construction, up to 85 feet in height, never before seen in the Boston area. In the past, urban midrise construction required the expense of steel framing; less costly wood framing was relegated to outer urban/suburban two to four-story low-rise residential construction. Now, however, wood framing can be built up to five stories in height, on top of a separate podium structure of one story above grade, achieving height and density appropriate in the urban environment at a cost far less than steel or concrete construction. Five- and six-story prototypes have already hit the Boston marketplace – including the recently completed Gatehouse 75 at 75 West School St. in Charlestown and 411 D St., now under construction in the Seaport – and others are in the pipeline.