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Mass Timber + SPARC: Mass Timber in Residential Design - A case study and panel discussion

Mass Timber is coming into its own as an established type of construction, but most of the examples we encounter are medium-sized buildings. As the Pacific Northwest increases its production capacity, what are the opportunities to integrate this beautiful, warm, carbon-sequestering material into our homes and smaller-scale residential buildings? What are the cost, code, and engineering issues that must be considered? What resources exist to assist residential designers seeking to understand this medium?

We will discuss the topic generally, but also specifically through a case study of Miller Hull’s Matt’s Place project, a custom home of 1,561 SF in Spokane, WA. The project is currently nearing completion of construction.

We’ll start with a presentation by representatives from Miller Hull (architect), DCI Engineers (engineer), and Vaagen Timbers (vendor partner), and then transition to an open panel discussion with these experts in each of their respective fields.


Click here to view a full recording of the program.

This live, virtual program is presented with full closed captioning by AIA Seattle’s Mass Timber and Small Practice & Residential committees. Please indicate on your registration if you would like to be contacted regarding specific accommodations to fully participate in this program. Contact Member Engagement Manager, Connor Descheemaker, with any questions or concerns.


  • Learn what mass timber products are and where they come from.

  • Understand key design opportunities when using mass timber in residential design.

  • Understand building and residential code implications of using mass timber products.

  • Learn about the specific implementation of a residential project in our region that made use of mass timber.


Susan McNabb AIA, The Miller Hull Partnership
Susan has dedicated her career to providing sustainable design leadership and integrated project architecture. Her passion is design, informed by research to reduce environmental impact. Integral to her work is healthy and creative environments, in tune to client goals and values and budget realities. Susan has led retail, commercial, hospitality and healthcare projects from design through construction. Susan utilizes her deep experience in placemaking projects to explore opportunities for active thriving people spaces.

Brian Court FAIA, The Miller Hull Partnership
With over 20 years of experience, Brian demonstrates design excellence and leadership in his practice as he advances complex programmatic demands, rooted in a rigorous performance-based design process. His involvement with high profile and intricate landmark design projects and integration of innovative design strategies and emerging technologies, has earned Brian the reputation as a leader in ground-breaking sustainable design. Core to his approach, is the belief that architectural solutions should be reduced to the essential, and that architects should do more with less. He believes that architecture should have an honesty and integrity, with building forms not derived from metaphor, but rather from a systems-based response shaped by environmental and programmatic forces.

Ethan Martin PE, DCI Engineers
Ethan’s passion for the sustainability of wood design was engrained in his wood-first policy of a company he owned for 10 years, where if it didn’t pencil out structurally, then the option for less environmentally friendly products like steel or concrete would be considered. He continued pushing for wood design with his work at WoodWorks where he served as the Northwest Regional Director and in his spare time, started the International Mass Timber Conference with Forest Business Network.

Ethan is a firm believer in thinking outside the box, especially when it comes to mass timber design. While people have said certain codes won’t allow them to do something, Ethan is quick to remind them that the code is a minimum, and that providing rational arguments for different approaches will help them make their mass timber design a reality – not just a dream.

Tom Baun, Vaagen Timbers
Tom has been with Vaagen Timbers since March of 2019. He is the Sales and Business Development Manager based out of the plant in Colville WA. Tom and his wife Lori of 25 years have grown up in the Colville area. They have raised their three sons there and are excited that as of now, the boys’ plans are to move back to the area and raise their kids in Colville as well.

The forests and community have been a passion for Tom his entire life. Growing up, Tom was in the woods whenever possible. His goal is to do his part to make sure that the forests that he grew up in and loves are available and in as good, if not better, condition for his Grandkids’ Grandkids to play in. When Russ Vaagen started Vaagen Timbers, Tom knew that this was his opportunity to give back to the environment and make sure that the world knew how important Mass timber is to the future of our forests. Tom is very passionate about Vaagen Timbers products and has even used them to build his family’s residence and shop. Tom states: “building a new home is something that Lori and I have always dreamed about. Little did we know that we would be able to use Mass Timber to build our dream home and immerse ourselves in this amazing industry. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and can’t wait to see Mass Timber produced by Vaagen Timbers become an everyday household name.”


July 21, 2022
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit
2 LU


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938