Skip to content

BSA News

Sep 22, 2022

Mass Timber Accelerator moves forward with second round of funding

Resized for web DSC 0521

October 2021 Mass Timber launch event.

Photo by Paige McWhorter Photography.

As the end of the year approaches, the BSA is continuing to build on its work with mass timber by launching a second round of the Mass Timber Accelerator in partnership with the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA).

The first round of the accelerator awarded grants to seven projects across Boston and closed with some funding still available. As a result, plans were laid for a second round, applications for which are now open until October 28. This round will focus on funding mass timber feasibility studies for buildings that are nine stories or taller.

“As we take on climate change, we need to use every tool at our disposal,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a statement during the first round. “Adopting climate friendly methods of building, like Mass Timber, will help the City of Boston meet our climate goals."

Learn more about how you can apply.

The goal of the accelerator program is to make mass timber a more viable building material in the Northeast and beyond by providing funding, technical support, and educational and networking opportunities to project teams. The success of the program highlights the important role Boston is beginning to play in bringing mass timber into the national conversation about sustainable building.

“Boston will be the benchmark by which other cities will be measured,” said Kevin Naranjo of the US Forest Service, which is funding the project.

MTA 110 Canal Website 1

110 Canal Street by CBT Architects, one of the first-round recipients.

Support for the Boston Mass Timber Accelerator comes from USDA Forest Service, WoodWorks, Think Wood, Softwood Lumber Board, and the ClimateWorks Foundation. WoodWorks will provide technical support to grant recipients throughout the process.

A virtual information session will take place on October 4 at 12PM EST.

Throughout the first phase, groups met regularly to share ideas, provide feedback, and update each other about design plans. Gatherings at BSA Space and visits to Boston-based mass timber projects provided opportunities for city officials, architects, and others to convene and connect.

DiMella Shaffer received funding during the first round to use mass timber as part of Project Q, an assisted living facility designed for seniors in the LGBTQ+ community. “This study influences other projects in our office to consider mass timber as a structural option and provides a firm-wide educational opportunity,” wrote the Project Q team in their final report.

The City of Boston’s ambitious climate goals necessitate developing innovative ideas for breaking the mold and building sustainably. As the BSA moves into a new phase of strategy work, mass timber remains a key piece of the puzzle for carrying out the organization’s mission.

Learn more about mass timber and the first round's awardees.