Portland, one of the leading cities for sustainability initiatives in the U.S., is now home to the nation’s tallest mass timber and cross-laminated timber (CLT) building. Designed by local design studio PATH Architecture, Carbon12 soars to a height of 85 feet and comprises eight stories of mixed-use programming along with 14 residential units. Resistant to earthquakes and other natural disasters, the building is also said to surpass the carbon sequestration attributes of LEED Platinum-certified structures.

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open plan living space with timber ceilings, large windows and a kitchen with a white island

Carbon12 spans an area of 42,000 square feet and is set along the North Williams Corridor of North Portland. Cross-laminated timber was chosen as the primary building material, as opposed to concrete, because of the developer’s desire to create an environmentally friendly building constructed from locally sourced, renewable materials. Made from kiln-dried timber glued and pressed together, CLT is praised for its quick assembly, lightweight properties, strength and ability to sequester carbon.

living room with timber ceilings and a gray couch

dining space with round hanging lamp, long wood table and gray chairs

“In addition to its innovative structure, Carbon12 is one of the most well-prepared residential buildings in the country in regard to earthquakes and other natural disasters,” PATH Architecture said. “The Carbon12 team joined the inherent attributes of engineered timber structures, together with the innovative buckling-restrained brace frame core, to create a building that is extremely well equipped for any seismic event. With a thickened basement slab that rests on 41 steel pilings driven 45 feet deep into the ground, Carbon12 is built to protect its occupants.”

woman leaning over white kitchen counter with several timber bar stools

large bedroom with gray bedding, timber ceilings and large windows

Related: Architecture students build a tiny CLT classroom in just 3 weeks

Built of Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified softwood timber, the CLT building is only about a quarter of the weight of a concrete structure but equally as strong. “This project truly pushes the envelope on tall mass timber and CLT buildings for Portland, Oregon, and the entire U.S.,” the firm added. “It opens barriers and presents a new era for mass timber in the U.S., where it is well-positioned to be the go-to construction method for this region.”

+ PATH Architecture

Photography by Andrew Pogue via PATH Architecture

covered outdoor terrace with dining table and chairs