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How to Design Cost-Optimized Tall Mass Timber Structures

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Image courtesy of Paige McWhorter Photography

  • COST

    Free for BSA members, $10 for non members

  • TYPE





    Submitted for 1 LU/HSW AIA continuing education credits.

Session Information

The 2021 and 2024 IBC introduce a new era of prescriptive code paths for tall mass timber buildings that far exceed the allowable heights of previous codes. This educational session will explore these new provisions, discussing allowable building heights and associated levels of permitted timber exposure. The session will also explore the key decisions that can be made early on in a tall mass timber project’s design phases which have the biggest impacts on cost. Other topics will include designing for 2-hour fire-resistance ratings with exposed timber members, integrating MEPF elements while minimizing penetrations, considering the importance of acoustics and vibration and how to design for these factors and more. Through this, we will have the opportunity to delve deeper into code changes and understand these implications from both a national and regional perspective. There will be ample time for open dialog and interactive discussion.


Ricky McLain, PE, SE
Senior Technical Director, WoodWorks

Ricky is WoodWorks’ in-house expert on tall wood buildings, providing analysis and guidance on architectural, fire and life safety, and structural design topics related to tall mass timber projects. He supports the AEC community both directly and collaboratively with WoodWorks Regional Directors, and guides the development of education and resources related to tall wood buildings in the U.S. Prior to this emphasis, Ricky’s role encompassed all building types and wood systems. He also has extensive experience in lead engineer roles related to structural design, project management and construction administration. Ricky is very active as a member of numerous committees and councils related to building design and is the Executive Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Vermont.


This event is part of the Boston Mass Timber Accelerator program.