Leers Weinzapfel Associates pioneered the first large scale academic Mass Timber building in the United States at UMass Amherst Design Building. Currently, we are leading the Nation's first large-scale mass timber residence hall at University of Arkansas, ready for occupancy in the fall of 2019. We understand the complexity of issues that must be addressed to successfully realize such a building with respect to design, cost, schedule, code issues, procurement, and constructability. Through our experience and research, we understand how this new building type can be applied to a steel construction dominated building industry.

At the UMass Amherst Design Building, we led the process of evaluating the applicability of Mass Timber through Schematic Design and Design Development phases before an official switch was made from a Steel structure to a Mass Timber structure. We then, at every level of detail, followed through completing the design and construction of this first of a kind building.

In the course of our work on Mass Timber, we have learned the importance of promoting forestry resources as an important economic driver. Tom Chung and Ashley Rao frequently speak nation-wide at wood conferences, and our Design Building is featured at exhibits.

“The Design Building is helping to lay down the foundations for the smart use of mass timber in ways that will soon enrich, and transform, our built environment.”
Wall Street Journal