New airport terminal showcases 9 acre timber roof

5 November 2023
All the wood for the 9-acre roof was sourced from within 300 miles of the airport. It could be a game-changer for mass timber.When Portland, Oregon, opens up a soaring new airport terminal in May 2024, it’s widely expected to become a signature building. Part of the draw will be the sweeping, mass timber construction, including a 9-acre roof boasting gracious curves and skylights.

The project’s uniqueness in no small way is thanks to its supply chain. Every piece of wood was sourced from within 300 miles of the airport, and about half of it came from 13 small and tribal landowners in Washington and Oregon. The process was so exacting, the architects knew every board that frames the skylights above the 26 Y-columns came from the Yakama Nation, and all the double beams in the six massive oval skylights came from the Coquille Indian Tribe.

“We’re a natural resource state, and creating that connection into our community was really important,” says Vince Granato, chief projects officer at the Port of Portland. This forest-to-frame system used for the Portland International Airport sought out more sustainably minded landowners, who supported better forest practices, says Jacob Dunn, principal at ZGF, the firm that designed the terminal.

“Architects usually talk to the top of the supply chain, the manufacturers,” he says. “We don’t usually talk to landowners.”

More >>