The Canyons in Portland, Ore., a 76-unit mass timber apartment building of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and light wood-framing above a concrete slab. Courtesy: Kaiser + Path

Our podcast series has explored code changes and safety studies that enable developers to lower labor costs and create sustainable buildings. In this podcast, we speak with Ben Kaiser, one of the pioneers of tall mass timber building development in the United States.

As owner and principal of Kaiser Group and Path Architecture, Kaiser successfully worked with Oregon state officials to waive the restrictive codes that limit the height of wood buildings. This accomplishment has made mid- to high-rise cross-laminated timber buildings possible for the first time in the United States, and was essential to developing his signature project, Carbon 12—an eight-story, 14-unit condominium in Portland, currently the country’s tallest wood structure.

Lowering the carbon footprint of his projects was Kaiser’s primary motivation for building with mass timber. But in the process, Kaiser discovered that mass timber construction has far-reaching benefits for the housing industry as a whole.

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