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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Mass Timber Symposium
RESCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 28 The Marriott Syracuse Downtown in Syracuse, NY

The Mass Timber Symposium has been rescheduled to October 28.

The symposium will build capacity in the NYS AEC community to design and deliver all the potential that this new approach offers.

Contact Us
Open Academy
Phone: 315-470-6817


Register Now!

Conference Fee if registered by February 21 Fee if registered by October 21 On-site Registration Fee (charged after October 26)
Professional: Symposium Only $60 $70 $80
Professional: If also attending NYS Green Building Conference $45 $45 $45

**Discounted rates are available for students. Please contact Katherina Searing at kbsearing@esf.edu for more information.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Marriott Syracuse Downtown, Syracuse, NY



8:00 - 8:45 AM


8:45 - 9:00 AM

Welcome and Introduction 
David C. Amberg, Interim President, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)
Paul Crovella, Assistant Professor, SUNY ESF

9:00 - 10:00 AM

What is mass timber, and how can it help?
Jeff Spiritos, Principal, Spiritos Properties

10:00 - 11:00 AM

Why mass timber is turning the corner in the US
Rick McLain, Senior Technical Director, Woodworks

11:00 - 11:15 AM

Coffee break

11:15 AM -
12:15 PM

How to deliver a mass timber project in North America – start to finish
Jean-Marc Dubois, Director, Business Development, Nordic

12:15 - 1:15 PM

Announcement of mass timber design competition awards and announcement of SUNY mass timber construction opportunity

1:15 - 2:15 PM

Mass timber in Europe: an overview
Oliver Neve, Associate Engineer, Ramboll Engineering

2:15 - 3:15 PM

Mass timber in Europe and in the US - similarities and differences
Rodrigo Tome, Project Engineer, New Energy Works

3:15 - 3:30 PM

Coffee break

3:30 - 4:30 PM

Mass timber as part of an integrated urban solution
Evan Reidel, Sidewalk Labs

4:30 - 5:00 PM

Roundtable: Where is mass timber headed - US and Europe?
Jean-Marc Dubois, Nordic; Oliver Neve, Ramboll Engineering; Evan Reidel, Sidewalk Labs; Jeff Spiritos, Spiritos Properties; Rodrigo Tome, New Energy Works; Liz Conner, Unalam.


Liz Connor, Sales Associate, Unalam

Liz Connor is a sales professional at Unalam, a custom glulam manufacturer with over 125 years of wood product experience. She specializes in continuing education for building professionals. Liz has given over 100 presentations across the Northeast to architecture and engineering firms, universities, and members of the fine arts community. Her background in design and arts collaboration gives her a strong sense of what it takes to design and actualize a project with all members of the design and construction teams.

Evan Reidel

Evan Reidel, Associate, Sidewalk Labs

Evan Reidel is part of the Building Innovations group at Sidewalk Labs. After having spent several years building thousands of excruciatingly similar units in Toronto it became clear that the current construction practices were unsustainable and inefficient. Modular construction became an obvious and attractive alternative. In order to contribute to the future of this new construction methodology Evan pursued a Dual MBA and Master of Structural Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, and completed a thesis for Sidewalk Labs on a strategy for modularization of structural and building Systems within cores of tall wood buildings. His continued work at Sidewalk Labs is focused on the constructability of its modular building strategy.

When Evan is not dreaming of large wooden buildings, he can be found planning his next remote adventure, most recently road tripping across Bulgaria, exploring the Chinese mega cities and hiking the Andes in Peru.

Jean-Marc Dubois

Jean-Marc Dubois, Director, Business Development, Nordic

Jeff Spiritos

Jeff Spiritos, Principal, Spiritos Properties

As a long-standing property developer, Jeff Spiritos has turned to building only mass timber buildings. Mass timber structural systems are the only way to build a truly healthy building. Taking the renewable resource of trees and storing their carbon in our structures makes that happen. We will touch on what mass timber is, share the myriad benefits of mass timber, and then present a picture of what is happening in the US and the World. Our firm was the developer partner for 475 West 18th Street, the east coast winner of the USDA/SLB/BSLC 2015 national tall wood building competition, and although the building did not get built due primarily due to the discomfort of the NYC Fire Department, that project, plus the west coast winner, Framework, have played a role in mass timber building’s rather speedy uptake. 90 % of the US’s multistory residential buildings are 12 stories or less and the percentage is 80% for multistory commercial construction, right in mass timber’s sweet spot. We will overview the construction benefits, touching on fairly recent US code changes and the holistic costs of building with mass timber, compared to concrete and steel, while sharing some detailed information and analysis about one of our projects currently in design.

Ricky McLain

Ricky McLain, PE, SE, Senior Technical Director, Tall Wood, Woodworks - Wood Products Council

Ricky is WoodWorks’ in-house expert on tall wood buildings, providing analysis and guidance on architectural, fire and life safety, and structural design topics related to tall mass timber projects. He supports the AEC community both directly and collaboratively with WoodWorks Regional Directors, and guides the development of education and resources related to tall wood buildings in the U.S. Prior to this emphasis, Ricky’s role encompassed all building types and wood systems. He also has extensive experience in lead engineer roles related to structural design, project management and construction administration. Ricky is very active as a member of numerous committees and councils related to building design and is the Executive Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Vermont.

Oliver Neve

Oliver Neve, Structural Engineer, Ramboll

Structural engineer, over 10 years’ experience. Cross laminated timber (CLT) expert. Modular construction (DFMA). Application of digitalisation technologies. International speaker.

Rodrigo Tome

Rodrigo Tome, Project Engineer, New Energy Works

Born in Madrid (Spain) in 1982. After graduating from the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) as a Forest Engineer in 2010 I went to Switzerland to work with Professor J. Natterer as a junior engineer in his company Bois Consult Natterer. After a brief Research Assistantship at the Polytechnic University of Lausanne (EPFL) with the Timber Construction Department in 2011, I began working as an engineer and designer in the international studio CBS-CBT with Jean Luc Sandoz. I developed a career in design and structural analysis of mostly mass timber projects. Some of which received different national French awards. In 2017 I expanded my competencies in the USA by completing a MPS in Construction Management at SUNY-ESF followed by my current position as project engineer at New Energy Works where I am in charge of the design, engineering, fabrication and installation of a variety of projects.