This episode concludes ArchitectChats' "Timber On the Rise" series for the year. The four-part series introduces you to the innovators who are taking wood structural systems to new heights.

Andrea Leers
Courtesy Leers Weinzapfel Associates Andrea Leers
Tom Chung
Courtesy Leers Weinzapfel Associates Tom Chung

While the international community has embraced timber as a credible building material, the U.S. continues to play catch-up. However, for Boston-based Leers Weinzapfel Associates, designing and constructing projects with a timber structure has provided opportunities for creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

Recently, the firm worked with faculty and students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) on the institution's new Design Building, which became the first mass-timber structure on the East Coast when it opened in January. Leers Weinzapfel principals Andrea Leers, FAIA, and Tom Chung, AIA, had to think and act quickly when the project's original steel structure was swapped out for a glue-laminated (glulam) post-and-beam system after design had begun. Ultimately, the timber structure integrated new building technologies, such as custom steel-and-glulam zipper trusses and a composite floor system, both devised by UMass professors.

Overview of the day-lit commons
Alex Schreyer Overview of the day-lit commons

Episode 17: Timber On the Rise, Part 3 - Elevating Design Through Wood, featuring Andrea Leers and Tom Chung, is available on SoundCloud and on iTunes.

This episode of ArchitectChats was brought to you by reThink Wood, and produced by Lauren Honesty and Katharine Keane.