Building Carbon12

Leading the Movement to Build with Cross-Laminated Timber

Kaiser + Path and the USDA Forest Service have joined forces to encourage US builders to use CLT in commercial building. Kaiser + Path is the design/build team behind Carbon12, the tallest CLT building in the United States, and their dedicated team of architects, designers, and project managers made this project possible in spite of daunting odds.

Challenge

Encourage building of cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings in the United States.

Solutions

An interactive case study featuring video, animation, illustration, and deep packets of information for use by experts across industries; including foresters, manufacturers, builders and developers.

Results

The Carbon12 case study has been called the “seminal piece on mass timber building” and is the centerpiece of a communications plan that included the annual Mass Timber Conference and, when the event was canceled due to COVID-19, transitioned into a webinar. Building Carbon12 was also nominated for a Webby in 2020.

Carbon12 homepage displayed on a laptop

A Sustainable Building Alternative

Building with mass timber products, and specifically cross-laminated timber (CLT), could play a major role in reducing carbon emissions from construction in the United States, yet we are well behind many European countries in our knowledge, policy, and planning. In partnership with the design/build firm responsible for the tallest CLT building in the US, ThinkShout developed an interactive website to “open source” the process in a way that industry experts could easily adopt, and which will help build a groundswell of support from residential and financial audiences as well.

Screenshot of Carbon 12 construction page.
Screenshot of Carbon 12 the future of our city skylines page.

From Proprietary Process to Shared Knowledge

BuildingCarbon12.com is a multi-chapter interactive story that unfolds around video, animations, pockets of deep information, and an arc that carries visitors from a basic understanding of mass timber products to a bold vision for the future of our cities. By sharing many proprietary details of their process, our partners at Kaiser + Path have put shared knowledge above business advantage. In fact, their goal is to show how feasible — and indeed, necessary — it is to build with sustainable wood products instead of concrete and steel.

Carbon12 wood page viewed on a laptop and cross laminated timber page viewed on mobile.
Carbon12 design and approval page viewed on a tablet.

Encouraging a sustainable future

The Carbon12 case study website was launched and paired with a public relations push to encourage building with mass timber. The site immediately won the praise of industry leaders, one of whom called it “the seminal piece on mass timber building” when it launched in January.

Carbon12 design and approval page viewed on 3 mobile devices.

“Kaiser + Path is thrilled with the results of our interactive case study. Building Carbon12 has increased awareness and conversation about building with CLT, and our staff is able to refer people across industries to it to get the information they are seeking. It also meets the goals of our partner, USDA Forest Service, who generously funded the project and shares our passion for using wood sustainably.”

~ Kaiser + Path

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