NYCEDC opens Mass Timber Studio to encourage development

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has launched a mass timber studio to support development projects in the early phases of project planning and design. The studio is currently accepting applications for design teams to support project specific mass timber analysis and design work. Grants of $25,000 will be awarded to selected teams to conduct design, technical and economic feasibility assessments for mass timber.

The studio is currently seeking applications for design teams to conduct early design-phase mass timber technical and financial feasibility assessments studies. Selected teams will receive grant funding to participate in the program.

“As a low-carbon alternative to concrete and steel, the deployment of mass timber construction in New York City will be another bold step to drive the green economy while meeting the city’s ambitious climate goals,” said NYCEDC president and CEO Andrew Kimball. “We look forward to working alongside our agency and industry partners on the NYC Mass Timber Studio to move us one step closer to seeing mass timber buildings come out of the ground.”

The goals of the NYC Mass Timber Studio include:

  • Raise public awareness of the carbon and economic benefits of mass timber construction.
  • Connect design teams and City actors interested in advancing use of mass timber.
  • Introduce more practitioners to the details and feasibility of mass timber construction.
  • Identify development opportunities resulting in new building and infrastructure projects in New York City constructed with mass timber.
  • Identify the potential for new business and job creation through the expansion of mass timber construction.

The studio is expected to begin in 2024 and run for about nine months, during which design teams will regularly meet with Woodworks and the Department of Buildings for technical assistance and advisory support.

“We are excited to partner with NYC’s Economic Development Corporation to support this innovative program, which will highlight the benefits mass timber and wood construction can bring to the built environment and be a catalyst for reimagining how New York City can achieve its laudable goals for a more sustainable future,” said Cees de Jager, president and CEO of the Softwood Lumber Board. “Mass timber provides a market differentiating aesthetic while offering biophilic benefits, delivering a low-carbon structural solution, and realizing tighter construction timelines.

“We look forward to seeing the creative solutions New York’s design community will develop using this climate friendly material and how those projects will positively impact their city and the world beyond.”

In fall 2022, Mayor Eric Adams signed Clean Construction Executive Order 23 which requires the City’s capital project agencies to commit to actions that will lower embodied carbon from municipal construction projects.

The sector employs more than 150,000 New York City, growing 21 percent since 2016. The Green Economy in New York is expected to grow by 8 percent annually through 2030 and its gross city product is expected to grow 144 per cent percent to $61 billion by 2030, a reflection of ramped up attention on decarbonization and resilience efforts city and statewide.

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