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Alma Clark Glass Hall, Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA
  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

  • No. Of Stories


  • Sq. footage


This new, 400-bed residence hall was designed with accessibility, sustainability, and inclusion in mind. Its namesake, Alma Clark Glass, was the first Black student to attend Western in 1906.

Each section of this three-building complex features a different framing system with a variety of mass timber applications to respond to differing uses in each. The central section provided the greatest challenge because the first floor amenity spaces have different structural support and MEP system needs than residential uses above.

Fewer columns on the first floor created open, flexible space; above, efficient programming requires more columns and walls to maximize the number and layouts of different room sizes. The team’s solution uses exposed glulam beams and columns, a CLT deck on the second level as a mass timber transfer floor, and rigorous connection detailing to accommodate these dissimilar uses and meet critical fire safety requirements.

Another section features large apartments on the ground floor with typical student housing units on floors above. The design of this section reconciles the different layouts, using light frame walls transferred into a combination of glulam beams and steel beams supported by steel columns.

All units in the third section are the same configuration; light frame bearing walls with Lock-Deck™ in the corridors were an efficient construction solution.

  • Construction Cost:


  • Building Type:

    Student Housing

  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber, Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT or glulam)

Individuals Involved:
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