Owner
Hines
General Contractor
Kraus Anderson Construction
Architect
Michael Green Architecture / DLR Group
Base Building Engineer
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Our Services
Engineer + Build
Area
180,000 sqft
Location
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Completion
2016

T3 Minneapolis Office Building

Owner
Hines
General Contractor
Kraus Anderson Construction
Architect
Michael Green Architecture / DLR Group
Base Building Engineer
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Our Services
Engineer + Build
Area
180,000 sqft
Location
Minneapolis, MN, United States
Completion
2016

The Largest Modern Mass Timber Building in North America Is Up

T3, the largest modern mass timber building in the USA is now complete - our crews installed the 180,000sqft timber superstructure in only 9.5 weeks.

With the successful launch of T3 Minneapolis (timber, technology, transportation), tall wood construction in North America continues to reach new heights.

Replacing traditional structural systems such as concrete and steel, prefabricated solid wood panels, such as Nail-Laminated Timber panels, create a construction method which is fast, clean, and sustainable–not to mention aesthetically pleasing.

StructureCraft was chosen as design-assist builder, for efficient structural solutions, low-cost, and quick erection/delivery time. We were also the Engineer of Record for the timber superstructure.

See the live time-lapse of T3 being built.


Design

Designed by Michael Green Architecture and DLR Group, with MKA, this new office building's seven stories and 220,000 square feet of mixed retail and office space has a strong draw on local investors and the tech and creative tenant due to the warmth of wood and the embrace of green construction techniques and materials.

The bottom concrete level is set aside for both retail space and a tenant amenity centre which includes fitness, social workspace, and bike parking. Above it is six stories of pure wood office space.

NLT chosen over CLT, GLT, etc. because of structural advantages, lower cost, and faster procurement times

Our Role

Looking for efficient structural solutions and quick erection times to meet a fall 2016 opening, Hines and Kraus Anderson Construction engaged StructureCraft to work as design-assist builder for the timber structure. StructureCraft was Engineer of Record for the timber structure, working closely with MKA as the base building EOR.

As engineers, our love for pushing the edge in timber construction led us to create new connection ideas, erection methodologies, and carry out full scale testing for this project - in pursuit of creating the most efficient structure possible. We have a vision for perfecting this new system of building with wood and are eager for new opportunities to apply our ideas.

As builders, our role involved the engineering, procurement, fabrication, and installation of the timber superstructure leading to installation of 180,000sqft of timber in 9.5 weeks.

See the following sections for more details on the fabrication and installation.

Mass Timber System

There were many options for mass timber floor systems – CLT, GLT, and NLT panel systems were all candidates for the floor and roof panels which span the glulam post and beam framework.

The teams' decision to go with NLT (nail-laminated timber) was formed on a number of factors including structural advantages, lower cost, and faster procurement times.

In order to maximize the fabrication and erection process, we fabricated the NLT panels in a shop in Winnipeg and shipped them to Minneapolis - several hours to the south.

We arranged with a European supplier to ship the glulam members - CNC'd and ready for the steel connection plates - to Winnipeg. Here, we pre-installed all steel connection members to allow for JIT delivery and immediate erection on site.


Installation

  • Mass timber structures are 30% lighter than steel equivalent; 60% lighter than equivalent post-tensioned concrete building = smaller foundation, lower seismic loads
  • Close to cost of steel structure – no extra fireproofing necessary due to the charring performance of heavy timber
  • 30,000 sqft floor plates were erected in one week
  • Approximately 3,600 cubic metres of wood are used in the structure, which will sequester about 3,200 tonnes of carbon for the life of the building
  • Over 1100 8'x20' NLT (Nail-Laminated Timber) panels were used, the equivalent square footage of nine hockey rinks.

Watch our Installation Timelapse and Drone Footage of the timber structure going up!

We also attached a GoPro to an NLT Panel as it is flying into place.

Learn More About How We Work

Awards

2016 Wood Design Awards
Wood Design & Building Magazine
2017 Special Recognition Award
US WoodWorks Wood Design
2017 AZ Environmental Leadership Award
Azure Magazine
2017 AZ Environmental Leadership Award (People's Choice)
Azure Magazine
2017 Excellence in Green/Sustainable Project
Minnesota Construction Association Awards
2017 International Wood Design Award
Wood Design BC