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Milgard Hall

Tacoma, WA

During this holiday season, we are celebrating by sharing some of our favorite projects where we supported design teams to #deckthehalls with stunning, environmentally friendly and resilient #masstimber.

One of our newest projects -- and the first mass timber structure of its kind for the South Puget Sound region -- is University of Washington Tacoma’s Milgard Hall. Our team played a critical role ensuring code and fire standards were met for this center where community and students alike can collaborate in business, technology, and engineering for the future.

This higher education center was designed as a response to the need for more STEM-based programming in the region and urban community. The new building embraces innovation by countering the practical themes often associated with tech and industry. The design was well-thought out to maximize health, productivity and collaboration through subtle biophilic elements such as extensive daylighting, connections to revitalized exterior pathways and of course classrooms and hallways decked out in warm, natural, mass timber.

Our experts joined the integrated design build team early on to support informed decision-making on the right construction type for the hybrid structure. We found a solution that would be the best fit for the mass timber interior combined with the non-combustible masonry and glass exterior that avoided costs associated with additional fire rating measures.

Later in the design phases, we primarily focused on research and analysis of construction detailing for the combination of steel and wood. We ultimately developed solutions for protecting the structure with a combination of gypsum board, wood blocking, and intumescent paints to protect student and community gathering areas and the multiple laboratory spaces.

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