Loading Dock – Boulders First Cross-Laminated Timber Building

OZ Architecture has designed Boulder’s first cross-laminated timber (CLT) building – one of only a few in the nation to fully integrate CLT into its walls, floors, roof and structure. The project, led by OZ’s Workplace practice area which specializes in office design and architecture, is referred to as “The Loading Dock” due to the creative, adaptive reuse of a former warehouse.

The existing building will be transformed and reinterpreted from its original function into a 60,000 square foot office for Penton, parent company of New Hope Network, and will feature a wood-planked, pedestrian-friendly elevated boardwalk that connects the outdoors to the office environment via floor-to-roof glazed openings. The Loading Dock project will also include a 30,000 square foot addition that will house offices for Sovrn, a Boulder-based technology firm that helps publishers grow their businesses on the web.

While CLT is a relatively new building material in the U.S., it’s quickly gaining traction in Colorado as companies continue to explore contemporary solutions with warm historic character and charm. CLT is made from engineered wood panels laminated together in alternating directions to enhance its strength. The end result is exceptionally stable and solid with a look that emulates heavy, old-growth lumber.

Beyond the authentic feel CLT creates, it also offers substantial waste reduction and environmental benefits. CLT is sourced using sustainable forestry practices and the boards are precisely pre-cut which creates less material waste. The pieces arrive organized and numbered, allowing the building to be assembled on site, extremely fast; the primary structure of the Loading Dock is expected to be erected in just one day.

A key feature of the Loading Dock’s architectural design is establishing a connection between the existing warehouse and outdoor environment. This was achieved, in part, via a large rooftop CLT cantilevered over the main entry and an informal gathering deck space punctuated by string lighting above. Other notable features include photovoltaic roof panels and a green screen integrated into the balcony railing which shades the outdoor deck space during the summer months.

OZ is excited to be on the forefront of introducing the use of this beautiful, high-performing and sustainable material in Colorado and throughout the nation.

Watch the live feed from the construction site here.