Learn, understand, and enjoy everything here. Three recent developments, including its inclusion in building codes and insurance coverage, imply that CLT might soon be used more frequently in residential and commercial buildings in the United States. To further alleviate the space constraint in New York City’s biotech industry, Suffolk Construction of Boston has begun renovating an old industrial facility into a state-of-the-art life sciences center, according to a press statement shared with Construction Dive. As per a study conducted by the New York City Department of City Planning, the New York metropolitan area now boasts more bioscience jobs and funding than any other metropolitan area in the United States. In addition, with the $26 million from Project Homekey, Palo Alto city can begin construction on an apartment complex for the homeless. Furthermore, Governor Laura Kelly, together with Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03), Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz, and Miami County officials, celebrated the start of construction on the K-68 highway extension project.

The U.S. may use more glued-laminated timber

Original Source: Use of cross-laminated timber may rise in the U.S.

As demand for CLT rises, timber companies will have greater incentives to cut down CLT-making trees, which could minimize forest fires.

Despite its eco-friendliness, prefabrication, and design possibilities, U.S. builders have been sluggish to adopt CLT. Rising production costs may be one explanation. Also, the material may be new. Few U.S. structures have been built with CLT, so many builders are afraid to utilize it.

Three recent developments, including incorporation into building rules and insurance coverage, suggest U.S. builders may soon use CLT more often in residential and commercial projects. This could increase demand, lessening the risk of forest fires.

Building codes are changing to accommodate CLT.

In 2018, Oregon became the first state to allow CLT structures greater than six stories. The same year, Washington signed State Bill 5450, adding Section 19.27.570 to the Revised Code of Washington, declaring that Washington’s building code council “must create standards for the use of mass wood products,” which includes CLT, “for residential and commercial building construction.”

In July 2022, California modified its building codes to allow 18-story CLT skyscrapers.

Many U.S. counties that follow the International Building Code (IBC) accept CLT construction. In 2015, the ANSI’s International Code Council (ICC) adopted CLT into the IBC, and in 2021, the ICC amended the IBC to allow higher CLT structures under specific conditions.

Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Virginia, and Utah, as well as Austin, Dallas, and Denver, have adopted CLT from the 2021 or 2024 IBC.

As more states and localities allow or encourage CLT through building code changes, more developers may use it in their projects. As we are still early in the adoption of CLT in the U.S., new CLT projects are likely to garner press for their builders and the jurisdictions where they are located. This will certainly have a domino effect, luring more developers eager to enter the CLT building boom early.

Insurers are warming up to CLT buildings.

While building rules have enabled or encouraged CLT in new construction for years, builders still must secure insurance for these projects. As long as CLT structures continue to rise without mishap, insurers are showing a readiness to cover them.

Historically, insurers were hesitant to cover CLT structures due to fires and structural damage. As more CLT buildings are finished without trouble, more insurers feel comfortable insuring CLT construction, removing another impediment.

Insurers are warming to ensuring CLT structures post-construction, while some still demand builders to cover exposed wood beams with gypsum board. These precautions can modify the looks of a CLT building and increase construction costs, discouraging builders from employing the material.

Unfortunately, the tide hasn’t turned for insurers offering Commercial General Liability (GCL) coverage for CLT projects to cover construction defect lawsuits. Few CLT construction defect claims have been made, thus the insurance industry is uncertain. Insurers aren’t as familiar with these claims, so there isn’t much GCL insurance coverage for CLT projects, and what is available is pricey.

As more CLT projects crop up around the country, especially on the West Coast, more insurance products may enter this new sector.

CLT houses are healthier.

CLT is a healthier building material than standard materials, so developers like it. “Outgassing” releases dangerous volatile chemical substances from conventional buildings.

Over the past decade, the EPA, OSHA, and state environmental authorities have focused more on indoor air quality. Recently, large organizations have begun improving indoor air quality as part of an emphasis on “staff wellbeing.”

Traditional building materials can contribute to poor indoor air quality, but CLT isn’t made with volatile substances like formaldehyde or outgassing sealants. CLT creates a healthier built environment, which appeals to health and employee advocates. Using CLT for a building reduces its carbon footprint since the wood sequesters carbon.

CLT’s role in healthier buildings isn’t merely environmental. Unhealthy buildings can lead to workers’ compensation claims, more government regulation, and plaintiffs’ attorney lawsuits. If government agencies and plaintiffs’ lawyers scrutinize air quality, CLT structures could help control environmental risk.

What will more CLT structures in the US do?

38% of global CO2 emissions are from the construction industry. CLT offers a sustainable alternative to traditional materials and can lower new construction projects’ carbon footprints while using less precious timber as forest fire fuel. As building rules and insurers become more open to CLT, developers can see the big picture.

Alex Kleeman writes on environmental law for Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today.

Suffolk starts a NYC life sciences initiative

Original Source: Suffolk breaks ground on life sciences project in NYC

Despite improved financing, demand for life sciences-related premises in NYC remains high.

Suffolk’s New York GM, Tom Giordano, agreed.

“The creation of space to fulfill this industry’s specialized needs has not kept up with demand,” Giordano said in a release.

Suffolk and other building firms can capitalize. Lendlease has identified New York City, Boston, and Chicago as life sciences growth markets in the U.S.

According to Suffolk, New York City has less lab and office space than Massachusetts and California. Nearly 2.5 million inhabitants have degrees in science, engineering, and engineering-related areas.

Life science projects require more space than standard offices, contributing to the space constraint. Building codes, planning stages, structure details, retrofits, and infrastructure needs limit where life science construction projects can occur.

Suffolk’s New York operation has grown. The company now employs 160 people, up from four in 2015.

Palo Alto’s transitional housing project gets state funding

Original Source: State grant boosts Palo Alto’s effort to build transitional housing

Thanks to a $26.6 million grant, the Palo Alto City Council’s concept of creating a refuge for unhoused people near the Baylands is about to become reality.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that Palo Alto’s proposed shelter is one of 35 projects to receive funding in the latest round of Project Homekey, a grant program administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development that supports efforts to build dwellings for the unhoused through hotel conversions or new developments.

Palo Alto’s project is modeled after a 100-unit modular development in Mountain View, which Newsom called a “shining example” of a local response to the homeless epidemic. The development will be a three-story building with 88 units: 64 for singles and couples and 24 for families. It would replace the Los Altos Treatment Plant at 1237 San Antonio Road.

The complex will have solar-paneled modular homes. It will have case management offices, a community space, and dining areas.

Palo Alto was not included in previous funding rounds, so the project’s destiny was uncertain. Despite the setback, municipal officials continued to negotiate with nonprofit LifeMoves and Santa Clara County, which will cover some of the running costs.

On Aug. 15, the council approved a “standard agreement” with the state for grant financing, 6-1, with Greg Tanaka opposing. The city must build a shelter within a year. According to a city estimate, residents will stay between 90 and 120 days and no more than 180 days.

Mayor Pat Burt termed the funding “a terrific development we’ve been working on for a year.”

“The city demonstrated a lot of devotion and resourcefulness to find a place, overcome obstacles, and prepare it,” Burt said. We’ve been preparing for this grant so we can move rapidly.

The Baylands project is one of many the city is exploring to address its housing shortfall. Burt cited Charities Housing’s plan to build 129 low-income units at 3001 El Camino Real, the old Mike’s Bikes. Eden Housing is planning 50 below-market-rate apartments at 525 Charleston Road, while Alta Housing is finishing Wilton Court with 59 low-income and disabled flats. Burt said these developments will give Bayland people permanent housing options.

“I’ve had talks with the Charities Housing folks, and they’re being introduced to LifeMoves,” Burt said.

Newsom unveiled the new honors in Los Angeles. Since its inception two years ago, Project Homekey has supported more than 200 projects around the state, including 12,500 permanent and interim residences for homeless individuals. It’s “changing lives across the state,” he said.

Newsom added that Homekey’s success is a model for the nation, showing we can end homelessness in months, not years.

The Palo Alto award is part of $694 million in grants that Newsom announced Wednesday. Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, applauded the donation and said he hopes to see a Homekey project in every California city.

“Building on the success of Mountain View Homekey, the Palo Alto shelter will provide vitally needed services,” Berman said. LifeMoves’ shelters show how the government, housing providers, organizations, and the community can work together to alleviate homelessness.

Palo Alto council members have also stressed transitional housing this month. Greer Stone cited the number of homeless in Santa Clara County and the city’s lack of shelters. Alison Cormack, who participated in the point-in-time homeless count this year, said the county’s homeless population grew by 3%.

Stone remarked on Aug. 15 that “We’ve all shown our unflinching support for this endeavor.”

LifeMoves has been scrambling to finalize city agreements, finish design, and engage a construction company before Wednesday’s announcement. LifeMoves has chosen XL Construction, which worked on the Mountain View shelter and the 240-unit Navigation Center in Redwood City.

Tanaka was the sole council member to vote against the project, citing its excessive cost. He objected to Palo Alto’s $200,000 per door pricing versus Mountain View’s $130,000. Price said Palo Alto’s facility had larger family units and more restrooms.

“It shouldn’t cost more than in our adjacent town,” Tanaka remarked. I think we should cut costs.

Governor Laura Kelly celebrates Miami County highway construction

Original Source: Governor Laura Kelly Celebrates Announcement of New Highway Construction in Miami County

Governor Kelly announced 11 expansion and modernization roadway projects totaling more than $520 million will be built as part of the Kelly Administration’s bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). The K-68 widening is one of these projects and is anticipated to cost $48 million by 2025. Today’s ceremony was at Louisburg Ford, the east side’s “Mile Zero.”

Governor Kelly said expanding K-68 will make driving safer, help businesses get products to market faster, and allow workers to spend more time with their families and less time traveling. I am happy to spend $48 million on a project that will help Miami County for decades.

As vice chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Davids helped enact the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will provide $89 million per year for Kansas highway projects.

It’s a truth that investing in local infrastructure creates good-paying employment, improves safety, and boosts economic development, said Representative Davids. “Our state’s bipartisan infrastructure law helps fund long-overlooked projects like this one.” “I am happy to support the K-68 expansion in Miami County and appreciate state and local officials for their work.”

Kansas Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz remarked, “Partnerships are the backbone of IKE, and I appreciate Miami County’s local contribution to finish K-68.” “Thanks to the foresight of Kansans, the bipartisan backing of legislators, the support of Representative Davids, and the leadership of Governor Kelly, we have built an affordable transportation program.”

“The K-68 corridor is a key link for Miami County citizens and the region’s transportation network,” stated Miami County Commission Chairman Rob Roberts. “We’re excited about the safety enhancements this project offers.” Governor Kelly, Rep. Davids, and Secretary Lorenz joined us in celebrating the project’s participation in the next round of IKE projects.

This 6.68-mile expansion will allow the route to meet 2009 recommendations in the K-68 Corridor Management Plan. It follows interim upgrades that began in 2021, including adding turn lanes and access roads.

Summary of today’s construction news

It is most likely that you have enjoyed reading this as you have made it this far in the article. 

There have been three recent developments that point to the possibility that CLT will soon be used more frequently in residential and commercial construction in the United States. These developments include the adoption of building requirements and insurance coverage. This may result in an increase in demand, which in turn may reduce the risk of forest fires. On the other hand, class A laboratory space will be included in the gut renovation and redevelopment of the 218,000-square-foot lab and research center at 43-10 23rd Street in Long Island City, Queens, New York. This space will have flexible floor layouts and few support columns as a result of this work. Furthermore, the idea that the Palo Alto City Council had of establishing a shelter for those without homes close to the Baylands is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality thanks to a grant of $26.6 million. The project in Palo Alto is based on a 100-unit modular development in Mountain View, which Mountain View Mayor Gavin Newsom referred to as a “shining example” of a local response to the crisis of homelessness in the city. Moreover, the route will be able to meet the recommendations made in 2009 in the K-68 Corridor Management Plan as a result of this 6.68-mile enlargement. It is subsequent to the beginning of interim upgrades in 2021, which included the addition of turn lanes and access roads.