Timber Towers and Beyond: A Back to the Future Building Material for the 21st Century

  • Thursday, March 29, 2018
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • UI Labs, 1415 N. Cherry Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (Goose Island)
  • 94


Registration is closed
The A&E community has rediscovered the benefits of building with timber in large part because of the environmental and carbon drawdown benefits of using wood as a building material. There has been an explosion of timber towers proposed over the last five years, including a six story office building under construction in Chicago. According to Project Drawdown, building with wood has two key climate benefits. First, as they grow, trees absorb and sequester carbon, which remains stored in timber construction materials. A unit of dry wood is 50 percent carbon, and that carbon is locked in while the wood is in use. Second, the process of producing those materials generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than wood’s alternatives, like cement or steel. According to a 2014 study, building with wood could reduce annual global emissions of carbon dioxide by 14 to 31 percent.

This panel discussion will share the benefits and challenges of using wood as a building material. This will include highlighting the environmental benefits, myths of using wood, and challenges (like building code limitations, marketability, and engineering).

Featured Panelists:

  • Benton Johnson, Senior Structural Engineer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • Elias Fahssi, DIRTT Timber Research and Business Development Lead
  • Aaron Joseph, LM Commercial Real Estate
  • Brian Imus, Director, Illinois Green Alliance (Moderator)


  • 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Registration & Networking
  • 4:30 PM - 5:15 PM Panel Discussion
  • 5:15 PM - 5:30 PM Moderated Q&A
  • 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM Networking


Registration includes light appetizers and beverages. Please arrive by 4:00 to have time to find the venue and situated before the presentation begins at 4:30 PM.

Directions and Parking:
Visitor Info Flyer.pdf

Continuing Education:

Attendees will be able to self-report 1.0 General CE hour to GBCI toward their LEED AP or LEED Green Associate credential. Self-reporting instructions will be provided after the program.

Thank you to our generous event sponsors!


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