Take a look inside the largest wooden office complex in the US

An exterior rendering of the commercial office tower at Riverfront Square.

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An exterior rendering of the commercial office tower at Riverfront Square.
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Lotus Equity Group

More architects are turning to mass timber – or large, prefabricated wood pieces – to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition to being better for the environment, mass timber is cheaper and more resistant to fire than steel or concrete.

Despite the rise in popularity, building mass timber structures is still tough in many areas. In August, Oregon became the first state to legalize mass timber high-rises without story limits, but remaining states still place height restrictions on wooden structures.

More recently, New York-based real estate firm Lotus Equity Group made a proposal for Riverfront Square, a New Jersey-based wooden office complex that would be the largest mass timber building in the country. The firm is collaborating with Michael Green Architecture and released details for its plan earlier this year. Take a look.


Riverfront Square, an 11.8-acre site, is right next to Newark’s waterfront.

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An aerial rendering of the completed Riverfront Square, a 5 million-square-foot development in Newark, New Jersey.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

The project is expected to produce up to 2,000 residential units, retail space, a hotel, 2 million square feet of office space, and parking spots in downtown Newark.

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An exterior rendering of the commercial office tower at Riverfront Square.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

Timber construction projects can have environmental benefits, as they absorb and retain carbon until the wood is burned or decomposes.

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An interior rendering of the mass timber offices at Riverfront Square.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

Manufacturing of concrete and steel, meanwhile, accounts for about 10% of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lotus Equity Group noted in a press release.

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The exterior of the mass timber tower at Riverfront Square.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

The new office complex will replace the former Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium, a 6,200-seat baseball park.

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A rooftop terrace at Riverfront Square.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

Lotus Equity Group purchased the former stadium’s land in 2016 for $23 million.

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An interior rendering of the mass timber offices at Riverfront Square.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group

Source: GlobeSt.com


The project’s first phase — a mass timber office tower and a 733-unit apartment building with retail space on the ground floor — could break ground as soon as spring 2019.

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A view from the street for Michael Green Architecture’s proposed 500,000-square-foot mass timber building in Newark.
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Michael Green Architecture/Lotus Equity Group