More architects are turning to mass timber – or large, prefabricated wood pieces – to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition to being better for the environment, mass timber is cheaper and more resistant to fire than steel or concrete.
Despite the rise in popularity, building mass timber structures is still tough in many areas. In August, Oregon became the first state to legalise mass timber high-rises without story limits, but remaining states still place height restrictions on wooden structures.
More recently, New York-based real estate firm Lotus Equity Group made a proposal for Riverfront Square, a New Jersey-based wooden office complex that would be the largest mass timber building in the country. The firm is collaborating with Michael Green Architecture and released details for its plan earlier this year. Take a look.
Riverfront Square, an 11.8-acre site, is right next to Newark’s waterfront.
The project is expected to produce up to 2,000 residential units, retail space, a hotel, 2 million square feet of office space, and parking spots in downtown Newark.
Timber construction projects can have environmental benefits, as they absorb and retain carbon until the wood is burned or decomposes.
Manufacturing of concrete and steel, meanwhile, accounts for about 10% of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lotus Equity Group noted in a press release.
The new office complex will replace the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, a 6,200-seat baseball park.
Lotus Equity Group purchased the former stadium’s land in 2016 for $US23 million.
The project’s first phase — a mass timber office tower and a 733-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor — could break ground as soon as spring 2019.
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