Events, People

Benton Johnson to Present About Sustainable Mass Timber Structures

Images © SOM

Benton Johnson, SOM Associate, will present “Urban Mass Timber: Rethinking Embodied Energy” at The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Architecture and Design on January 21, 2015. The event, which is part of the Governor’s Chair Seminar Series, is held by the Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism, a partnership between the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and SOM.

Johnson will give an overview of mass timber technology and how it was utilized for the prototypical system proposed by SOM in the Timber Tower Research Project. Global population growth and urbanization will continue to have substantial impacts on existing infrastructure and will create enormous demand for new mid and high-rise buildings. These new buildings must be constructed in sustainable ways which limit additional carbon emissions. Wood has been shown to be the most sustainable structural material and can help achieve low carbon targets. Recent developments in mass timber technology such as cross-laminated timber have overcome traditional strength and fire limitations of wooden structures, allowing wood to play a role in mid and high-rise structures. 

As an engineer for SOM, Johnson has worked on several large scale projects around the world, including the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Johnson’s has also participated in competitions and research aimed at advancing building technology. This work has included the Wuhan Greenland and Fluidic Tower competitions, as well as the recently completed Timber Tower Research Project. Johnson joined SOM in 2007 after completing his M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota. 

Urban Mass Timber: Rethinking Embodied Energy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Reception: 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Presentation: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Fab Lab
525 N. Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee

The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to

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