Skanska breaks ground on Cincinnati’s first mass timber project

Skanska and Cincinnati Public Radio broke ground Tuesday on a new headquarters for CPR, which, when finished, will become the first two-story mass timber building in the Midwest and the first of any size in Cincinnati, according to a release shared with Construction Dive.

Set for completion in winter 2024, the $32 million, 35,000-square-foot building will include two on-air studios, two interview studios, one performance studio, office space and a public gathering area.

The project will use cross laminated timber — Skanska will build the whole column and beam structure, second floor, roof and selection of interior walls using mass timber.

A push for sustainable projects has rapidly elevated the popularity of the building technique in recent years. Mass timber reduces carbon emissions, increases energy efficiency and utilizes renewable resources, proponents say.

“Mass timber projects are gaining traction throughout the country, including the heartland,” Dean Lewis, Skanska’s director of mass timber and prefabrication, said in the release. 

Lewis said that although many mass timber projects use hybrids of materials, often where the lateral system is comprised of steel or concrete, the new CPR building will have a lateral system composed of CLT shear walls, making the structure almost completely built out of timber.

“I look forward to seeing more mass timber projects in the Midwest, as cities aim to build healthier, more sustainable built environments,” Lewis said.

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