The Wall Street Journal Property Report had a fascinating article on May 26 about the Country’s Tallest Wooden Building. There were several eye-catching parts of this article on the project coming out of the ground in Cleveland that I thought I should share. They are building with timber, constructing in an Opportunity Zone and continuing to work through Covid-related permitting issues by using Zoom video conferencing.
Building a nine-story development with wood construction is rare in the US, but not that unusual, as a seven-story wooden office building was opened in Minneapolis in 2016. Wooden beams and floors emit about half as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as steel and concrete, according to Galina Churkina, senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Another twist in the timber part of this story is that the timber is being manufactured in Austria and shipped to Cleveland by boat.
Opportunity Zones were created through a federal program that designates tax benefits to investors in low income areas across the US. This development, named INTRO, raised $38 million through this program in addition to loans from the city of Cleveland and the State of Ohio. Total financing on the project came in at $144-million according to the developer, Harbor Bay.
The article noted that the developer had to utilize Zoom calls to work through the permitting process. The folks at eVolve MEP have worked with most of clients over the past few months to allow them to be more productive with a variety of software and applications including Bluebeam and Autodesk BIM 360. Social distancing has been easy up to this point on the project, as it has been mostly heavy machinery; the engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti is focusing on building offsite to reduce the number of workers on the construction site.
It is exciting to see a developer try something new while also utilizing technology to make it happen. Let us know if you are working on anything similar and utilizing some of the same offsite construction methods.
The industry-trained experts of eVolve MEP are proficient with technology and consulting solutions to help you continue to grow through these challenging times. Contact eVolve MEP today and let us know how we can help.