Boulder’s First Cross-Laminated Timber Building to Be Erected in South Boulder

OZ Architecture_Timber Building_Denver CO

Denver, COPenton, parent company of New Hope Network, is set to move from its downtown Boulder Pearl Street headquarters to a new state of the art 60,000 square foot, cross-laminated timber (CLT) building in South Boulder. Penton will occupy the former warehouse space in the building referred to as “The Loading Dock” due to its adaptive reuse of a former warehouse and loading dock. The Penton space will include the transformed loading dock, reinterpreted as a wood-planked, pedestrian-friendly elevated boardwalk that connects to the indoor office environment via floor-to-roof glazed openings. Ground breaking on the Loading Dock project began in May and CLT erection will take place in mid-June, with completion anticipated in September 2016.

The site also includes a 30,000 square foot addition that will house Sovrn, a Boulder-based technology firm that helps publishers grow their businesses on the web. The Loading Dock was designed by award-winning national architecture and design firm OZ Architecture and is one of only a few in the nation to fully integrate CLT into its walls, floors, roof and structure. The team hopes this unique building will serve as a catalyst to transform the East Boulder office park.

“The look of CLT has captured our imagination because of its inherent beauty and authenticity, as well as the opportunity to provide a built solution that is sustainable and high performing,” said Amanda Johnson, associate principal at OZ Architecture.

This construction type is relatively new to the U.S. but it quickly gaining traction in this region as companies continue to explore contemporary solutions with warm historic character and charm.  CLT is made from engineered wood panels laminated together in alternating directions to enhance its strength. The end result is exceptionally stable and solid with a look that emulates heavy, old-growth lumber.

Beyond the authentic feel CLT creates, it also offers substantial waste reduction and environmental benefits. CLT is sourced using sustainable forestry practices and the boards are precisely pre-cut, which creates less material waste. The pieces arrive organized and numbered, allowing the building to be assembled on site, extremely fast; the primary structure of the Loading Dock will be erected in approximately one day.

“The design concept is based on both connection and authenticity,” says Joe Anastasi, lead designer on the project and associate at OZ. “We wanted to connect to the existing warehouse and outdoor environment architecturally, but more importantly, we had the unique opportunity to connect to this local fabric in a transformative way. The potential for future development in this office park, the community, Colorado and even nationally required a distinctive solution that highlights an honest use of materials, one that exposed the beautiful structure and unique connections and details.”

To help reinforce this physical connection, a large CLT roof element cantilevers over the main entry and informal gathering deck space highlighted by string lighting above. Other notable features include photovoltaic roof panels and a green screen integrated into the balcony railing which helps shade the outdoor deck space during the summer months. The early collaboration between the construction and design team also allowed for alternative mechanical, electrical and plumbing coordination. Features include pre-cut lighting block-outs in the glue-laminated beams and concealing electrical conduit within the floor, each helping to expose the warm and natural wood ceiling.

Rendering courtesy of OZ Architecture

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