Speed Reads

new and improved?

The country's first all-wood high-rise is going up in Portland, Oregon

Oregon has just okayed the nation's first wooden high-rise building, The Associated Press reports. The structure, called Framework, will stand 12 stories tall over Portland's Pearl District.

"Projects like the Framework building present a new opportunity for Oregon that we are perfectly suited to take on," said Gov. Kate Brown (D). "Oregon's forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon."

The key to making such a large structure out of wood comes down to the use of "cross-laminated timber," or CLT. The wood boards are glued together in perpendicular layers, making them super strong. In the rumbling Pacific Northwest, experiments showed Framework would be able to withstand even a significant earthquake.

Framework will be finished sometime next winter, builders expect. And yes — it meets fire safety codes.