FRISCO, Texas — It is the newest building to grace Collin County's ever-changing skyline.
The seven-story, 242,000-square-foot retail and office space building is along State Highway 121 and Spring Creek Parkway. It is dubbed The Offices at Southstone Yards, and it is unlike any other building you'll find in North Texas.
"They walk off the elevator and they say 'wow.' They smell it. Lots of times people say it smells like popsicle sticks. They can't help but come up and touch it," said Jim McCaffrey, managing director of Crow Holdings Development.
The Offices is built almost entirely of the environmentally friendly mass timber. The mass timber concept has been around for decades but has not been used in large scale projects.
McCaffrey said technological advances have allowed for the material to be mass produced and better utilized.
"By taking these boards and assembling them into panels and laminating them through a variety of methods you increase the strength of the wood," said McCaffrey.
The wood specifically used in the Offices project is southern yellow pine, which is harvested in Texas and Florida and southeastern United States. McCaffrey said cross layers of that wood help it withstand seismic and wind loads.
He said the first questions they get are about fires. The building is built to fire code, he said.
"It's engineered to all the same standards that any other building of other product types are," he added.
"Compared to more commonly used building materials like steel and concrete, mass timber construction is more sustainable, provides greater design flexibility, results in a lighter environmental footprint, offers higher thermal insulation, and creates a warmer, more engaging, and productive workplace," read a statement from Crow Holdings.
Floors two through seven are mass timber and the building's core and first floor podium are concrete. McCaffrey told WFAA that the International Building Code only allows for mass timber structures to be six floors high.
Jim said environment matters and that a mass timber space invites warmth and light.
"They want their employees to feel good about coming into the officer where culture, collaboration, and productivity thrives. We humans have an innate desire to connect with nature," said McCaffrey.
The project is part of a 45 acre mixed-use development with parks and multi-family units planned. Crow Holdings has given prospective tenants tours of the site.
McCaffrey said they are encouraged by the interest firms and the public have in the building. He could not elaborate on who or how many tenants have signed up to lease space, but only to say there is "significant interest."