Tallest Mass-Timber Structure in Colorado Wins National Award

Katz Development was recognized today by the Softwood Lumber Board and USDA Forest Service for their efforts to reduce carbon and propel architectural innovation at their Denver-based housing project, Return to Form

Sixty project teams submitted proposals to the Mass Timber Competition: Building to Net-Zero Carbon and six proposals were selected. The competition awarded funds totaling $2 million to support the winning projects which demonstrate mass timber's application across select building types and the ability to aggressively reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment. 

Katz Development was awarded a $250,000 grant as a result of the competition. Winners were announced on June 23 at the AIA Conference on Architecture in Chicago. 

Lessons learned from the “Mass Timber Competition: Building to Net-Zero Carbon” will be shared with the broader design and construction community to help support future mass timber projects, including cost analyses, life cycle assessments, and other research results. 

About the Project

Return to Form is a boutique, nature-driven high-rise apartment building located in the center of the River North Art (RiNo) District of Denver, Colorado. Developed by Katz Development and designed by award-winning architecture and design firm Tres Birds, Return to Form employs an environmentally-conscious construction type that maximizes residents’ connection to nature while significantly reducing its carbon footprint.

The project located at 3495 Wynkoop will be built using ground-breaking mass timber technology. Rising 12-stories, Return to Form will be the tallest mass timber structure in the state of Colorado, and the second tallest in the United States. Katz Development has been involved in changes to the International Building Code to permit 100% exposure of mass timber in high-rise construction up to 12 stories. 

This cutting-edge project aims to maximize a small, urban-infill lot to add both density and value to the neighborhood. In a market where new development can feel like a commodity, Return to Form aims to rediscover a human-centric, community-focused approach to design. Some of Denver’s most desirable buildings are old brick and timber lofts found in LoDo along Wynkoop Street. Further north on Wynkoop Street in the heart of RiNo, Return to Form seeks to create a modernized version of these timeless buildings. Residents will experience a biophilic living environment surrounded by warm, natural wood harvested from U.S. Forests.

Project Team:
Developer: Katz Development
Architect/Designers: Tres Birds
Construction: Swinerton Builders
Mass Timber Consultant: Timberlab
Structural Engineer: KL&A
Owner’s Representative: Belay Development
MEP + Fire Protection Engineering: ARUP
Civil Engineering: Wilson & Company