New Report Highlights Steel and Timber Construction Benefits for Multistory Residential Buildings

AISC and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) have released a new report and a video presentation on steel and timber research for mid- and high-rise residential buildings, available for free at

Structural steel frames have many benefits that complement residential construction, such as prefabrication and speed of construction. These characteristics are similar to emerging technologies such as cross-laminated timber. AISC and SOM partnered to study the combination of these materials as they relate to the challenges of residential construction. The report covers the motivations of this research and a proposed steel-timber composite system for high-rise buildings.

The proposed system consists of structural steel columns and beams that support a cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor system, creating a flat soffit condition. This steel and timber framing system builds on SOM’s Timber Tower Research Project, launched in 2013 with Oregon State University, which studied timber-concrete composite construction for a hypothetical high-rise building. The purpose of the testing program was to validate CLT floor systems with a composite concrete topping slab, and the testing program established that the concepts developed by SOM are valid for high-rise buildings. AISC and SOM’s study successfully shows that the comparative steel-timber composite construction system could also be competitive in the high-rise residential market.

The report, AISC Steel and Timber Research for High Rise Residential Buildings - Final Report, and a video presentation by Benton Johnson, SE, PE, senior structural engineer at SOM, titled, Your Next Project Considering Steel & Timber Research for Residential Buildings, are both available for free at