USAA, Seefried Raise the Bar for Sustainable Warehouse Construction

USAA Real Estate and Seefried Industrial Properties are nearing completion of a 161,000-square-foot industrial building in the 157-acre Southfield Park 35 in Dallas that will be one of the first industrial warehouses constructed with sustainable building materials to reduce its carbon impact by more than 45 percent.

Set for delivery in June, the building is being constructed with cross-laminated timber, a precision-designed wood product that replaces the concrete tilt-wall panels of a typical industrial warehouse. Conventional construction methods use concrete, which produces 8 percent of global carbon emissions annually. By using CLT instead of steel and concrete, the carbon-intensive construction process is mitigated almost by half. The developers said the 60-foot CLT panels originate from a forest in British Columbia, Canada, which is closely regulated by federal authorities who allow only 1 percent of available timber to be cultivated and mandate that two trees be planted for each one that is harvested.

The cost of CLT comes at a slight premium to concrete. But according to Lange Allen, managing director at USAA Real Estate, the use of CLT in the warehouse project is consistent with the company’s ambition to be more imaginative about limiting the environmental impact of its developments and leveraging renewable resources harvested in a sustainable manner. In addition to the dramatically reduced carbon footprint of the CLT, Allen said in prepared remarks that tenants will also recognize the material as aesthetically superior to the standard steel and concrete design of the tilt-up walls and the operational benefits from related energy efficiency.

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