John ‘Buddy’ Showalter
Vice President, Technology Transfer
American Wood Council
John “Buddy” Showalter joined the American Wood Council (AWC) staff in 1992 and currently serves as Vice President of Technology Transfer. His responsibilities at AWC include oversight of publications, website, helpdesk, education, and other technical media. He serves as Editor in Chief of the Editorial Board for Wood Design Focus, published by the Forest Products Society, and is a member of the Editorial Board for STRUCTURE magazine, published jointly by NCSEA, ASCE/SEI, and CASE. Prior to joining AWC, Showalter was Technical Director of the Truss Plate Institute. He is a registered professional engineer and a graduate of Virginia Tech.
U.S. Mass Timber Building Codes – Current Applications and Future Potential
Tall mass timber is an industry term to identify mass timber buildings, constructed of mass timber elements, that exceed current height limits for wood buildings set by the International Building Code. Mass timber includes any product currently permitted for use in Type IV Heavy Timber construction, such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Structural Composite Lumber, glued-laminated timber, and large section sawn lumber.
Because of the unique structural and fire resistance characteristics of solid timber walls and floors (CLT) and mass timber structures, in 2016 the International Code Council (ICC) appointed a balanced committee of building officials, fire officials, architects, fire protection engineers, and industry experts to examine and propose appropriate code requirements for tall mass timber buildings. The committee’s work, including extensive fire research, resulted in proposed changes to the 2021 building codes that once officially approved by year-end, would allow mass timber buildings to be constructed up to 18 stories in height.