Page 17 - Georgia Forestry - Issue 4 - Fall 2019
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  products, it’s only going to help in that regard. But it’s not going to be overnight.”
Construction, like forestry, is almost always a long-term endeavor, requiring a firm under- standing of how communities interact and adapt to change. While the payout is measured in decades — rather than in months or years — many architects believe that, with enough time and patience, the market for mass timber can help to connect city-based issues, like affordable housing, to the agricultural issues affecting less populous parts of the state.
“Timber is a product that brings the two Georgias together,” says Bill de St. Aubin, CEO of the Sizemore Group, a firm based in Atlanta. “But before that can happen, the incentive is going to need to be there. Architecture is a big investment, and so you have to educate the bank, the insurance company and everyone else in the process. It’s not like computer technology. It’s something that’s going to be around for a long time.”
Potential for Lower Emissions
Like other design professionals, de St. Aubin was particularly encouraged by the role that mass timber could play in addressing climate change. Living trees are prized for their ability to absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and harvested timber can store carbon indefinitely. In theory, harvesting wood from local, respon- sibly-managed forests can have much lower emissions than manufacturing steel or concrete.
At the Kendeda Building, Jimmy Mitch- ell said this was one of the main reasons mass
timber was involved in the Georgia Tech project. There’s just as much interest, however, among for-profit companies. Hines Interests Limited Partnership, a global real estate investment firm, sought out glulam and DLT to construct the frame and decking of T3 West Midtown, a 205,000-square-foot development in Atlanta. Because these components were fabricated off- site, they could be unloaded and installed with just a handful of people, leading to enormous savings in time and staffing resources. It also looks fantastic; the glulam components are as smooth and elegant as any material, with friendly earth tones that are soothing to the eyes.
“I think our customers really appreciate the story of wood,” John Heagy, a senior managing director at Hines, said during a tour of the site. Even for commercial projects, he said people were drawn to the sustainability and aesthetics of mass timber. And the company took pride in the ecological impact: by using mass timber instead of metal and concrete, the structure will store 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide and avoid 14,000 metric tons of emissions. This can be easy to overlook, since the building has a rustic wood core but is covered on the outside with dark zinc panels. Like the Kendeda Building, the modern and rustic effects are in perfect harmony.
“The exterior was designed to look like steel, but all of that is supported by wood,” Heagy said. “This is a beautiful new building, with an old soul. And from a technology standpoint, it’s top notch.” 
Inside T3 West Midtown, Hines Interests Limited Partnership’s new 205,000-square-foot development in Atlanta’s Atlantic Station. | 15

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