SHoP conceived 475 West 18th as a model project to promote and demonstrate the potential of mass-timber construction.
The recipient of the Tall Wood Building Prize sponsored by the USDA and several industry groups, 475 West 18th explored the possibilities of this ecological, economical, and psychologically beneficial building technology. At ten stories, this was the first tall building proposed for New York City to specify the use of modern wood systems, and the lessons learned in its research and development are being put to use in other innovation timber projects. The design targeted LEED Gold certification, while pursuing higher levels of sustainability—and the well-documented wellbeing benefits of living in wooden spaces—that are not captured in the LEED system. Unique among contemporary construction methods, mass-timber also acts to actively sequester carbon (approximately one ton per cubic meter), offering an exciting new path for designers everywhere who seek to meet ambitious sustainability goals.