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The building enclosure design is an important element in all project construction types but is elevated more when considering the use of Mass Timber. In the Southern US region, the learning curve is high androject examples are low for Mass Timber. Two projects in the Houston area have experienced high rain levels and even a rare snow storm event during construction. These weather events have brought to the forefront the many challenges that exist in building a project constructed of wood in this wet weather climate. The typical construction with steel and concrete does not take into account the need to allow for rain water to be alleviated during construction. These lessons learned have created new responses that allow for water to be quickly removed off the CLT deck and all the pow for quick, noncombustible envelope installation. Therefore, the building dries out faster, providing a better working environment for the remaining installation trades.
Darrell Whatley, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is a Vice President with Kirksey Architecture and serves as a project manager on the Collegiate team. He has 24 years of experience focusing on higher education buildings that have ranged from 1,000 bed student housing, dining halls, classroom buildings to workforce training facilities. Currently he is managing the design of two mass timber collegiate projects. The first is the nation’s largest collegiate instructional building for San Jacinto Community College at 122,000 square feet. The second is a 5 story, 166 bed New Hanszen College for Rice University at 56,000 square feet. He has developed new detailed design approaches with the use of mass timber in these facilities with a thoughtful approach to sustainability. Recently he has presented and actively promoted mass timber at the San Jacinto College’s Gulf Coast Mass Timber Conference, Woodworks Texas Wood Design Symposium, ULI Tulsa Conference and the Gulf Coast Green Conference.