Today, the Framework Project has received approval for a building permit, allowing construction to begin on the tallest wood high-rise structure in the United States. Portland-based LEVER Architecture designed the 145-foot-tall tower, which Portland mayor Ted Wheeler called “a true technological and entrepreneurial achievement.”

The mixed-use building will contain office space, street level retail, and sixty units of affordable housing. A collaboration between developer project^, Home Forward, Albina Community Bank, and Beneficial State Bank, Framework aims to promote economic opportunity through sustainable building practices. Governor Kate Brown praised the project for demonstrating how timber construction can create jobs in rural economies. “Oregon’s forests are a tried and true resource that may again be the key to economic stability for rural Oregon,” she said in a statement.

The 12-story tower was one of two projects that split the $3 million U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Softwood Lumber Board, and the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. The building permit was approved following a series of stringent fire, acoustic, and structural tests that validated the resilient structural design meets fire life-safety standards.

Constructed with cross-laminated and glu-laminated timber, Framework also contains  so-called “rocking wall”—an innovative core system of vertical CLT panels and post-tensioned cables that allows the building to withstand an earthquake with minimal damage. (Read more about the rocking wall in the sidebar to this month’s Continuing Education story.)

Construction on Framework is planned to begin in fall 2017 and be completed by winter 2018.