DBI Expand Mass Timber Efforts After Successful Completion of 69 A Street

August 24, 2023

In 2022, DBI Projects completed the management of 69 A Street, the first building in the U.S. to incorporate cross-laminated timber (CLT) into a renovation and vertical expansion.

This project is an innovative example of how mass timber can not only be used within new construction but also to support adaptive reuse projects. For DBI, this was a particularly exciting project as we believe that adaptive reuse can be an excellent sustainability strategy – to use what is already there. Prior to its new life as an office building, 69 A Street was a former rivet factory in South Boston, its brick-and-timber façade marries the building’s 120-year-old history to one of the most environmentally friendly building techniques in use today.

Since this project, DBI has been engaging in other great examples of mass timber construction as it is used more frequently within the industry. At the recent SCUP Annual Conference in Cleveland, we thoroughly enjoyed the session titled ‘The Future of Carbon Neutral Campuses’ presented by Carol Phillips (Moriyama & Teshima Architects), Nerys Rau (Waterfront Development George Brown College), and Ted Watson (MJMA). While learning about Limberlost Place, an academic building designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects, it was insightful to hear about strategies used whilst advocating for the use of mass timber and was a reminder that mass timber construction, especially within a campus context, is a good choice not only for sustainability efforts but from a biophilic perspective too.

Earlier this year, DBI was lucky to tour Swarthmore College’s recently opened Sharples Dining Hall designed by DLR Group and built by Warfel Construction. This project was interesting as it is part of a campus that is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2025. As such, this project adopted a system of strategies to help achieve that vision, mass timber construction, an extensive rooftop PV array, and a central geothermal plant in the basement. Not only did this system work efficiently from an energy perspective, but the warmth of the CLT throughout the dining hall interiors offered a unique experience to the students.

DBI Projects is motivated and ready for our next mass timber venture. Reach out to Emily Puhnaty (ep@dbiprojects.com) if you have a project in mind or are interested to learn more about the process.

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Emily Puhnaty, Director of Business Development & Communications