Build It With Wood

NEFF to Advise MIT Mass Timber Design Project on Affordable Housing

Aug. 21, 2018
New England Forestry Foundation

It seems that each month presents an exciting new partnership in service of bringing mass timber construction to New England. This August, NEFF has been invited to advise MIT architect John Klein on a project to bring affordable housing design to developers.

The project, “An Engineering Demonstration for a Mass Timber Affordable Housing Prototype for Large-Scale Urban Deployment,” was awarded a USDA Forest Service 2018 Wood Innovations Grant in May. It will bring the considerable resources of MIT to help streamline the mass timber building design and pricing process. The goal is to scale up mass timber deployment as an affordable housing solution in the Boston area and beyond.

Klein has been working on modular mass timber affordable housing designs for several years. Working in collaboration with MassPort, a state agency with considerable real estate along Boston Harbor, the Spring Studio in the MIT Master’s of Architecture program brought students and faculty together to develop affordable housing designs for Boston’s piers. Through his firm, John Klein Design, Klein has been imagining a range of housing solutions using the material.

Considering the need for more affordable and more sustainable housing in the Boston area, this project could be arriving just in time to make mass timber the new mid-rise, mixed use development solution.

Affordable housing building prototype; John Klein Design

Microstudio design; John Klein Design