NIR Center — Portland, OR

Biotech Hub Elevates Mass Timber

274,000 SF
Hennebery Eddy Architects
R&H Construction
Summit Development Group

Covering a full block in Portland’s Central Eastside’s Innovation Quadrant is The New Industrial Revolution (NIR) Center, a bioscience and technology campus which will repurpose a formerly industrially-zoned site to spur scientific job growth, research, and innovation in the city center. Holmes is providing full structural engineering and fire engineering services, exploring cost-conscious hybrid systems for the towers. Holmes is also providing smoke control analysis for the project, focusing on how the building will be pressurized in the event of a fire while meeting high-rise requirements.



Two ten-story, interconnected mass timber towers will rise in H-formation over a shared courtyard and below-grade concrete parking structure. Collectively, the center will provide lab, creative office, conference, and event space—with retail stores and a childcare center on the ground floor.

Under provisions of International Building Code 2021, the hybrid systems will streamline approvals for tall mass timber projects in the US. Design will consist of Mass Plywood Panels (MPP) snapping to steel DeltaBeams, supported by Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) columns.

The lateral system will consist of steel-braced frames and reinforced concrete topping slabs acting as floor diaphragms. The solution will seamlessly accommodate MEP systems while addressing vibrational and acoustic goals. Holmes has provided engineering judgment documents for the mass timber design assemblies within the structure.



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