Olver Design Building Earns Award of Merit

John W. Olver Design Building
John W. Olver Design Building

The John W. Olver Design Building has been honored with an Award of Merit in the Engineering News-Record (ENR) list of New England’s 2017 Best Projects.

ENR, an industry weekly, announced the award in the Higher Education / Research category.

The building is the most technologically advanced cross-laminated timber (CLT) building in the country and one of just two in North America using CLT for wind and seismic resistance. The other is the Wood Design and Innovation Center building in British Columbia. 

The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates, and construction was managed by Suffolk of Boston.

Constructed of CLT timber and glue-laminated columns, the 87,000-square-foot facility saves the equivalent of over 2,300 metric tons of carbon when compared to a traditional energy-intensive steel and concrete building.

The university’s Building and Construction Technology program developed some of the CLT technology and has been testing native Massachusetts species for CLT suitability with support from a National Science Foundation grant.

The interdisciplinary building is home to three academic units: architecture; building and construction technology; and landscape architecture and regional planning. It intentionally features exposed structural elements and service systems for teaching, while its Trimble Technology Lab provides advanced tools for design research and development.

The building’s multi-disciplinary program, organized around an interior courtyard of exposed timber and an exterior landscaped courtyard and outdoor classroom, fosters collaboration across the disciplines.