WholeTrees April/May 2019 Update


Pokagon Sun & Moon Pavilion

One great feature of building with trees is nature has already made some incredible designs for us to use. To get the right structural curved members for this pavilion, we used our laser scanner to create 3D models of naturally bent trees.  Seven Generations A+E architects have now placed our 3D models of the actual trees we've harvested for this project into their designs to create an exact rendering of the structure. Now we are ready to produce shop drawings and move into production.

Architect: Seven Generations Architecture & Engineering
GC: CSM Group
Engineer: Nehil Sivak

Lakeridge Shop Drawings and Renderings

When trees needed to be cleared for new construction at Lakeridge Junior High, WholeTrees was able to help give them a forever home.  We reviewed the arborist report, identified trees with "good bones," used a laser scanner to create 3D point clouds of the trees, refined those clouds into wireframe renderings, and provided that data to Mahlum Architects to incorporate into the design of the new building. Our shop drawings draw from the same data to define precise connections for each of the unique columns.

Architect: Mahlum Architects
GC: Skanska 
Engineer: KPFF


Sheridan Memorial Park

This new monkey bar system will soon be ready for play at the Sheridan Memorial Park. Fuled by National Parks Service and Minnesota Parks and Trails funding, the park improvements will  create more playspace for the Sheridan neighborhood while maintaining the historic characer of  the adjacent Minneapolis Brewing Company Historic District.

Architect: Damon Farber
GC: Blackstone
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

Columbus Zoo Elephant Shade Structure

This shade structure is ready to go! Our second elephant shade of the year is a new iteration on a prior design. Massive oak columns are custom-cut to wrap steel poles. This structure will be installed at the Columbus Zoo in May.

Architect: WholeTrees
GC: WholeTrees
Engineer: Engineering Ventures


Columbus Zoo Elephant Shade Structure

Installation phase one is complete with the steel and rafter structures in place. During phase two, the custom-cut oak column wraps will be installed to complete the assembly. We asked the elephants if they wanted to help but they decided to let us do the heavy lifting. While on site, we are also looking at trees for potential site-sourcing for future projects.

Architect: WholeTrees
GC: WholeTrees
Engineer: Engineering Ventures

R + D

Structural Curved Trees

For the Pokagon Sun  & Moon Pavilion, we were in the field finding trees with the right natural curve to meet the aesthetic and structural needs of the project. Using our laser scanner, we are able to create exact renderings of each unique tree to ensure they meet the structural and spacial design parameters. With this technology, we are able to take full advantage of round timber's tensile and compression strength in straight, branched, and curved peices.

Architect:  Seven Generations Architecture & Engineering
GC: CSM Group
Engineer: Nehil Sivak


Board Meeting in Seattle

Now that we have a Seattle Division, our board had its first destination meeting. Before talking shop, we toured The Spheres with the perfect guide, John Savo of Spheres architect NBBJ. A huge thank you to John for all the insights into this awesome structure. 

Meeting with RedBuilt

WholeTrees CEO Amelia Baxter travelled to Boise, Idaho to meet with a company we have admired since our inception. In the 1980s, RedBuilt (originally Trus Joist) innovated commercial truss products in partnership with the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. Their leadership then carved an entirely new market for their products, competing with steel in commercial construction. WholeTrees has tried to emulate their process in our R&D and market development strategies. It was a true pleasure to finally meet with some of their executive leadership. The Boise trip also involved some rad cycling and mountain biking - something else we share in common with RedBuilt's culture.

Biophilic Leadership Summit

For the second year, WholeTrees joined other thought leaders in Serenbe, Georgia at the Biophilic Leadership Summit. We talked about the increasing number of studies confirming what many of us already intuitively know: we are healtier and happier when we live and work in a built environment that incorporates nature. WholeTrees products can help you achieve at least 5 of the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design.

AZA Midyear

We are proud to be a commercial member of the AZA and had a great time meeting folks in Phoenix, Arizona at the midyear meeting. WholeTrees provides natural materials for animal habitats and playscapes in zoos across the country to help encourage learning and conservation. Thank you to OdySea Aquarium, the Phoenix Zoo, and the Arizona Grand Resort for being excellent hosts. If only every conference had penguins scampering and camels to ride.

WholeTrees in Kansas

It is important to build and maintain relationships with clients and our projects. Seattle Division Director Joe Terrenzio spent a week visiting firms across Kansas, including an Earth Day presentation, exploring the local trees, visiting our recent installation at Lake Olathe Park, and getting some inspiration for a new playstructure design. Let us know if you would like a lunch and learn presentation for your office.

Living Future unConference

WholeTrees is proud to be a sponsor of the International Living Future Institute. This year's Living Future unConference brought together over 1,300 people for deeply inspiring  conversations on how we can change the world through the built environment. Between tremendous keynotes from Bill McKibben, Mustafa Santiago Ali, and the incomparable Mary Robinson, we found some time to 3D scan some impressive trees and Seattle icons. We will see you this October 8-10 at the Living Product Expo in Nashville. With a Red List Free Declare Label and carbon squestration with very low embodied energy, WholeTrees products are a great option for Living Building Challenge projects. 

Current Events in the Wood World and WholeTrees in the News

How Green Is Mass Timber?
Aria on the Bay

How Green is Mass Timber?

Measuring carbon is a complex process . The forestry industry has its fare share of emissions, but data shows the CO2 savings from building with sustainably sourced mass timber are significant. As we continue to expand where, how, and what we build with mass timber, we need to ensure spply chains originate from sustainable forest management. WholeTrees sourced from sustianably manage lands, can use site-sourced trees scheduled for clearning, and can be Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Comprehensive Mass Timber Report

Forestry, timber, wood products manufacturing, and business analytics experts combine to give us real numbers in the first of its kind 2019 Mass Timber Industry Report. From material sourcing to building occupants, the report covers it all. Check it out.

ArquitectonicaINTERIORS and Aria on the Bay

Did you see these beautiful decorative trees in Aria on the Bay designed by ArquitectonicaINTERIORS? Awesome organic shapes and use of wood for interior design.