The rebirth of wooden construction in the workplace?

 

We might be tapping into our past in the near future... that is if Hines Interests has their way with a new project they have planned for the North Loop as the Business Journal reports. 

Called "T3" the name stands from "Timber, Transit, and Technology." Personally we love the name because it represents three different elements that are essential to the site and it also shows that a little time and effort as been put into making the project unique... starting with the name. The name however is just the beginning of things.

Hines Interests plans to build the seven story project out of wood. Wait. Hold up a minute. WOOD? Not steel? No concrete? Just wood?! What has the world come to? Oh yeah, our senses.

We're going back to the basics and back to the start of quality construction. It doesn't take long for someone to look around and see that buildings that have been standing the longest are those that were built in the late 19th century and early 20th century and are those constructed out of wood. Wood is strong and wood lasts and it isn't something we really need to argue about.

The project will be modeled off of the nearby warehouse district buildings that are all from the early 20th century and will pull in design elements such expansive windows and exposed wood elements inside and out into T3's design. Hines Interests hopes to have the project completed by late spring 2016 and is building it on spec meaning there are no tenants lined up for the spaces at the current moment.

The project will consist of a 210,000 square foot building of which each floor will have around roughly 32,000 square feet of space. Floors two through seven will be devoted to office space while the first will house retail and communal space. Unique amenities for the project include a shared roof-top deck, a bike repair, storage facility, and fitness center for those who work within the building. There also will be 70 parking spaces in an underground ramp.

Why Wood?

Why challenge something that has already shown success? That's the question we pose. Wood has been used from the very start of construction and has proven to be one of the strongest elements over time. Using wood allows for faster construction which equates to shorter building time and therefore reduces labor costs. While some of the materials may cost more upfront the short construction period helps balance those costs out. 

Wood today is also much more reliable than wood in the past as it's not technically the same thing. This isn't your grandfather's wood construction. Instead of using timber and large logs, new wooden construction is used from wood that is actually made from several layers of younger trees.

By using wood we are working on the sustainability aspect of construction. Wood is able to be replenished quite easily, in fact quicker than ever before, by using this new modern engineered wood that uses younger trees. By using renewable resources like this we are able to work towards the modern idea of creating a building that is 100% sustainable in its design, construction and ultimately its life and function over time.