Optimizing the NEXT Lab Building With Mass Timber

Chad Yoshinobu, Gensler
Jacob McCann, KPFF

Gensler's Future of Science Building research project began with reimagining how a science building could be a better caretaker of our tenants, differentiate itself for our developer clients, and how it decarbonizes itself for our world. This session will share insights into what our future-ready science building will function like, feel like, and look like—all measured by data.

Learning Objectives

  • Offer solutions that prioritize decarbonization as a method of resiliency (up to 80% less embodied carbon to build);
  • Discuss mass timber as a structural system for a science building and how it cracks the code on vibrational requirements for labs;
  • Examine the building as a kit-of-parts methodology (30% faster to construct) to address speed to market and product differentiation; and
  • Address the differentiation benefits of mass timber over typical concrete and steel construction to impact how it makes a tenant feel due to the warmth and connection to biophilia attributes, and the potential cost savings on interiors construction.


Chad believes in the aggregation of diverse design lenses from life sciences, office buildings, tech workplace, and hospitality. Over the course of his 25+ career, Chad has shaped a diverse range of environments from life science campuses + buildings to office towers, hotels, food + beverage, retail, and tech + life science company interiors.

Jacob McCann is a Principal in KPFF's Seattle office with 19 years of experience in structural engineering. He completed the Puget Sound region's first CLT project in 2014 and continues to be on the forefront of mass timber design. His resume includes two recently completed CLT projects at the University of Washington.


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