Night shot of First Tech Federal Credit Union's office in Oregon

ENR Northwest’s Best Projects 2019: First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s Corporate Office in Hillsboro, Oregon was chosen as a 2019 “Best Project” by ENR Northwest.

ENR Northwest awarded the First Tech Federal Credit Union, Oregon Corporate Office as the best project in the Office/Retail/Mixed-Use category.

Located in the Dawson Creek nature area near Hillsboro, Ore., the First Tech Federal Credit Union is a new workspace for 500 employees. At five stories and more than 150,000 square feet, the office was the largest largest cross-laminated beam building by square footage in the U.S. at the time of nomination and remains among the largest in the nation today. The project achieved LEED Gold certification thanks to its use of locally sourced and refined materials, such as columns, beams and cross-laminated timber (CLT).

The team designed a timber structure rather than one of concrete or steel to reduce embodied energy toward a goal of carbon neutrality. The timber is SFI-certified lumber and beetle-kill pine salvaged from forests, and the glulam and CLT components were sourced and manufactured within 500 miles of the site.

Because CLT is a recent addition to the building code, there are no tested assemblies for fireproofing the steel to wood conditions. To satisfy the building inspector, the project team worked closely with a code consultant to develop engineering designs that were affordable and constructible.

Construction was broken into three 10,000-sq-ft overlapping phases, treating the five-story structure like a 15-story building. This modification from a one-story-at-a-time approach helped deliver the project four months faster than conventional steel construction.

The project owner also wanted uncluttered spaces. The team accomplished this by using a raised access floor design to minimize the visibility of exposed building systems while showcasing the exposed wood structure.