Dezeen Magazine

New York City incentivises mass-timber construction with assistance program

Nonprofit New York City Economic Development Corporation has launched New York City Mass Timber Studio, an assistance program for the development of mass-timber construction within New York City.

The program aims to raise awareness of the benefits of mass-timber construction, connect building industry professionals interested in the technique and identify development opportunities throughout the city.

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor's Office for Climate and Environmental Justice (MOCEJ) will run the studio with assistance from the USDA Forest Service, softwood lumber initiative Softwood Lumber Board, wood building consultants WoodWorks, the AIA New York and the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB).

"Bold step" for city

As part of the initiative, $25,000 grants will be awarded to design teams in order to "conduct design, technical and economic feasibility assessments for mass timber".

"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 Andrew Kimball.

Teams can submit projects ranging from residential to industrial development.

If selected, the program will offer preliminary designs and plans integrating mass timber materials, a life cycle assessment and a preliminary cost-benefit assessment for mass timber, among other deliverables.

The program is slated to begin 2024 and will run for a duration of nine months, during which teams will work with WoodWorks and the DOB for technical assistance and feedback.

"The Mass Timber Studio will help connect design teams and industry professionals with investment and technical assistance, will spur industry growth, and teach us lessons about how building code and policy can support clean, sustainable construction," said MOCEJ acting executive director Victoria Cerullo.

New York City has recently launched a number of programs targeted towards lowering embodied carbon in construction, including PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done, a long-term strategic climate plan for the city.

Mass timber encompasses a variety of engineered wood that can be used as a structural building material.

The material has recently grown in popularity as it has been found to be a cleaner, lighter and more efficient alternative to traditional carbon-intensive concrete and steel.

Dezeen recently explored the building material further in the Timber Revolution series.

Recent projects that include the material include Mexico's "largest" mass-timber building by Dellekamp Schleich and a mass-timber pavilion installed at Rice University in Houston.

The photography is of the Timber House in Brooklyn and is by Travis Mark.