Innovative use of wood products at Western Oregon University
The 6,000 students at Western Oregon University now have a new College of Education Building called the Richard Woodcock Education Center. The building is unique for several reasons…one of which includes the use of cross-laminated timber. The stand-alone two-story, 57,000 square-foot building houses 13 classrooms, 3 computer labs, meeting areas and 86 offices. The building opens to students in the fall of 2016.
The structure of the building uses a wide mix of wood products, and is the first completed multi-story building in Oregon to utilize cross-laminated timber. In fact, according to a Western Oregon University press release, the building received a designation from Oregon Governor Kitzhaber to promote “innovative use of wood products as a green building material, which encourages innovative uses of wood products and increases markets for Oregon wood products.”
“Following the Governor’s executive order, the Richard Woodcock Center is unique in utilizing nearly every kind of wood product on the market,” says Structural Engineer Ed Quesenberry of Equilibrium Engineers. “Working with Mahlum Architects, we developed a structural system that utilized cross-laminated timber (CLT) in wall and floor applications in the open ‘collaborative hubs’ at the two main entrances to the building, Lock Deck and exposed glulams in one large multi-purpose classroom, and more traditional joist and stud wood framing elsewhere.”
The Education Center primarily consists of classrooms and faculty offices. The classrooms are big, open spaces, while the offices are smaller. Quesenberry explains that this room layout required the use of open-web wood joists for the 30-36 foot-long spans over the first-floor classrooms and wood I joists over the smaller offices to maintain cost efficiency. Additionally, they needed to keep the floor-to-floor height to a minimum to provide economy for exterior cladding while allowing enough room for HVAC and other mechanical systems to be distributed throughout the building.
The final solution includes 7,752 lineal feet of RedBuilt™ Red-S™ open web trusses
with laminated veneer lumber chords that span 31 to 36 feet over the classrooms, and 9,718 lineal feet of Red-I65 joists
spanning up to 20 feet over the offices and corridors. The design team addressed the concern of noise transfer between the second and first floors by adding three inches of concrete on top of the second floor sheathing. No problem. The Red-S open web trusses and Red-I™ joists provided the load capacity to support the heavier floor weight, even with the longer spans.