Talking about technology – Deploying mass timber projects with digital systems

The Tallhouse, as a catalog of systems, is intended to accelerate and derisk the adoption of easily digitized and sustainable materials.  The ICC BSJ Weekly provided an insight into the work carried out by Generate LLC.


Architectural technology company Generate LLC has developed Tallhouse, an adaptable catalog of four integrated structural design systems that use varying combinations of cross-laminated timber, steel and light-gauge metal for buildings eight to 18 stories in height.

Buildings account for 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions, through both embodied and operational energy. Rapid population growth, coupled with urban densification, translate into urgency to both increase and optimize national building supply.

As the US housing sector exhibits a four million unit-deficit, Boston—an epitomic city to this crisis—experiences the twin pressures of extreme housing shortage and unfeasible carbon-output reduction. By 2050, Boston expects to build 300,000 housing units, and 40,0000,000 sf of commercial buildings. In parallel, the city intends to have reduced its carbon footprint by 80% in 2050 —an unachievable goal if the status quo of carbon-emitting structures is preserved.

In “Buildings are Bad for the Climate,” Bill Gates similarly notes that “the world will add 2 trillion sf of buildings by 2060—the equivalent of putting up another NYC every month for the next 40 years.” The democratization of sustainable housing has never been as relevant, as the current, global pandemic exacerbates living inequalities, forcing industry to rethink the future of cities, neighborhoods and urban housing.

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