A construction worker helps guide the installation of cross-laminated timber for the Oregon Conservation Center in Portland, Oregon.
Mass timber construction A construction worker helps guide the installation of cross-laminated timber for the Oregon Conservation Center in Portland, Oregon. © Courtesy LEVER architecture

Finance & Investing

Investment Opportunities in Mass Timber

Newly developed mass timber products, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), offer lighter, stronger, and more sustainable alternatives to traditional construction materials like concrete and steel. 

First developed in Europe, mass timber is expanding rapidly in the US, creating new design options for large low-rise and mid-rise buildings, addressing consumer preferences for more natural built environments, and creating new investment opportunities in the $9 trillion global construction sector.

Mass timber offers the potential to dramatically increase construction productivity and drive disruptive innovations, such as modular and flat-pack construction techniques, across the industry.

These new uses for timber can also benefit forests, rural economies and the climate by creating new high-value markets for sustainable forest products, storing biogenic carbon in the built environment, and displacing the use of conventional, carbon-intensive building materials like concrete and steel.

Announcing a special 1-day event to discuss opportunities to invest in this new technology.

When: May 31, 2019

Time: 9:30 am–3:00 pm

Where: Bank of America Tower, 1 Bryant Park, New York, NY 10036

This one-day event features industry-leading practitioners and experts to provide a deep-dive across the mass timber value chain, focusing on areas of rapid growth, innovation, disruption and opportunity. This invitation-only event is appropriate for investors, financial institutions, developers, and others with an interest in real estate, home building & construction, timberland, impact investing, sustainability, and related sectors.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Karim Khalifa, Director, Building Innovation, Sidewalk Labs (an Alphabet company)
  • Peter MacKeith, Dean, Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, University of Arkansas
  • Dillon Lorda, Principal, Conrad Asset Management
  • Marc Rivard, Regional Manager, WoodWorks - Wood Products Council
  • Ben Kaiser, Principal, Kaiser+Path
  • Brendan Lowney and Art Schmon, Forest Economic Advisors
  • Craig Curtis, Chief Architect, Katerra Architecture
  • Jeff Spiritos, Principal, Spiritos Properties
  • Thomas Robinson, Principal, Lever Architecture
  • Doug Donnell, Specialty Asset Management, Bank of America
  • Tom Hodgman, NatureVest
  • Chris Aiello, Specialty Asset Management, Bank of America
  • Melissa Jenkins, Innovation Manager, Wood Innovations, USDA Forest Service
  • Steve Marshall, Director, Wood Innovations, USDA Forest Service
  • Mark Wishnie, Director, Forestry & Wood Products, The Nature Conservancy
  • John Schaefer, Head of Land and Development, Lionstone Investments
  • Jeff Morrow, Program Manager, LandLease
  • Jean-Marc Dubois, Director, Business Development USA, Nordic Structures 

Speaker Bios

Chris Aiello © Bank of America

Chris Aiello
National Sales Executive | Bank of America

Christopher M. Aiello is a managing director and national sales executive within the Specialty Asset Management group at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In this role, Chris is responsible for building and managing the sales initiative integrating the sophisticated and disciplined investment approaches of Real Estate, Timberland, Farm & Ranch, Oil & Gas, Minerals and Private Business Group solutions across all lines of business within Bank of America. He works with a team of specialty asset professionals that develop, implement and execute these strategic non-financial assets into a broader asset allocation and investment strategy for individuals, families and institutions.

Previously, Chris was a trust consultant and senior trust advisor with Bank of America where he provided guidance in the development of estate planning and investment strategies for high-net-worth clients.

Prior to joining Bank of America, he served as corporate counsel to both Raymond James and Associates and AEGON USA in the field of securities litigation; he has also practiced law in the state of Florida and was a Portfolio Manager with the Bank of New York.

Chris earned his B.A. degree from Guilford College and his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University. He does not provide legal advice in his role at Bank of America. 

Craig Curtis © Katerra

Craig Curtis, FAIA
Chief Architect | Katerra

Craig launched the Design division of Katerra in January 2016 after spending 30 years with the Miller Hull Partnership.  At Miller Hull, Craig was responsible for design of the firm’s largest and most complex projects including The Bullitt Center, the world’s first commercial office building to meet the stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge, and the $700m replacement of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry for the GSA. His projects have received multiple local and national design awards and he has lectured nationally and internationally.

Since joining Katerra, Craig has grown Katerra’s North American design office to over 300 design professionals. As the design leader for Katerra, Craig oversees the development of Katerra’s Building Platforms, resulting in fully optimized buildings enabled by Katerra’s unique end-to-end delivery model, which optimizes every aspect of design, supply chain, off-site manufacturing and site assembly. 

Taking integrated design to the next level, Katerra has an opportunity to change the building industry through adoption of a productized approach to designing and assembling buildings. By shifting away from a one-off, services-based approach, Katerra can capture many of the efficient practices pioneered in other industries—improving the efficacy of building projects for everyone. 

Doug Donnell © Bank of America

Doug Donnell
National Timberland Services Executive | Bank of America

R. Doug Donnell is a Managing Director and National Timberland Services Executive within the Specialty Asset Management group at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In this role, Doug leads and manages the timberland services team which provides timberland asset management, including investment acquisition, disposition and active forestry management. His team consists of timberland professionals including foresters, forest economists, analysts, and forest operations specialists.

Prior to joining Bank of America Doug was an analyst and administrative forester for one of the first institutional timberland investment management firms. In this role he helped develop many of the timberland investment protocols in use by the industry today. He was also a forest analyst and field forester for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, where he worked on major mergers and acquisitions as well as management of company timberland. He was named national manager for the timberland services group in February 2000. He has also guided the development of the direct investment separate account model that has provided alternative solutions for high net worth individuals and not-for-profit organizations.

Doug holds a B.S. in Forestry, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and an M.S. in Forestry Management Economics from Virginia Tech University. Doug is a Georgia Registered Forester® (RF®) and a frequent speaker on timberland investing. He has authored and been quoted in numerous thought leadership articles and other timberland investing commentaries, as well as having appeared on several business and investing networks, such as Bloomberg and Fox Business. 

Jean-Marc Dubois © Nordic Structures

Jean-Marc Dubois
Director, Business Development, USA│Nordic Structures

Jean-Marc Dubois, director of business development for Nordic Structures has over 39 years’ experience with regional, national and international engineered wood products companies. 

With Nordic for 19 years, Jean-Marc’s penchant for delivering customer solutions through value engineering and process optimization led to the development of a number of new products directed at improving energy and building performance for residential and light commercial construction.  He works with architects and engineers other Mass Timber collaborators to help bring mass timber solutions to a variety of projects, including the first Net-Zero public building in Maine, and a Net-Zero charter school to teach sustainability to inner-city children, in New Haven, CT.  

With the Nordic Structures team, he helped deliver the first CLT structure in New York City, the first multi-story commercial CLT structure in the USA, and the first CLT University building in the USA.   A passionate advocate for sustainability, Jean-Marc serves on several domestic timber research councils, and has been a guest lecturer at universities as well as architectural, engineering, sustainability and alternative energy conferences across North America, Scandinavia and Japan.

Tom Hodgman © TNC

Tom Hodgman
Senior Director, NatureVest | The Nature Conservancy

Tom Hodgman is a finance professional who has spent his career focused on forestry, conservation and sustainable natural resources finance.  As Senior Director at NatureVest—The Nature Conservancy’s impact investing arm—Tom is responsible for NatureVest investments in sustainable forestry, forest conservation, and carbon offset projects. Since joining TNC in 2011, Tom has closed on some of TNC’s largest conservation transactions including the 165,000-acre Great Western Checkerboards in Washington and Montana and the 100,000-acre Ataya property in Tennessee and Kentucky. Prior to TNC, he worked for Equator LLC (now BTG Pactual Timberland) financing and managing timber investments in Brazil and Latin America for institutional investors. Tom holds a BA from Wesleyan University in Environmental Science, a Masters in Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He is a founding Board member of Evanston Lakehouse & Gardens, a non-profit focused on preserving a landmark mansion in Evanston, IL and repurposing it for environmental education and community development. In his spare time, he enjoys running, biking, paddleboarding and hiking. He lives in Evanston, IL with his wife, son and daughter.

Melissa Jenkins © U.S. Forest Service

Melissa Jenkins
Innovation Manager, Wood Innovations | U.S. Forest Service

Melissa Jenkins leads the mass timber portfolio for the Wood Innovations team at the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, DC.  She manages the Forest Service Wood Innovations Grants and other investments to support wood products markets. Melissa joined the US Forest Service as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2012.  She has a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Ben Kaiser © Kaiser Group, Inc.

Ben Kaiser
Principal | Kaiser Group, Inc.  Path Architecture, Inc.

Ben Kaiser brings a unique perspective to urban development, informed by over 20 years of serving as the owner, developer, architect, and general contractor on his projects.

Ben has a Bachelor of architecture and Bachelor of fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was involved in the early stages of Portland’s Pearl District and has spearheaded redevelopment in NE Portland, including the Historic Mississippi District and the Williams/Vancouver corridor. Ben was the Vice Chair of the Portland Design Commission from 2008–2016, and was recently appointed the Governor Kate Brown as a member of the Capitol Planning Commission.

Five years ago Ben committed his firms, Kaiser Group, Inc., and PATH Architecture, Inc., to focus solely on mass timber projects. He and his colleagues believe that these materials represent the future of truly sustainable development. To bring Carbon12, presently the tallest CLT building in the country, to life, Ben successfully worked with state officials to overcome the restrictive codes that limit the height of wood buildings. This accomplishment has made mid- to high-rise cross-laminated timber buildings possible for the first time in the United States. His team recently broke ground on a 70 unit elder housing project, constructed using mass timber products, and is presently designing a 450' tall, CLT building, called the SPAR.

Karim Khalifa © Sidewalk Labs

Karim Khalifa
Director, Buildings Innovation | Sidewalk Labs

Karim is Director of Buildings Innovation for Sidewalk Labs. He has spent his career in the design and construction world, most recently leading the global hotel innovation and design team at Marriott, where he launched the company’s first innovation lab/collaborative design space (The Underground). While at Marriott, he also led the LEED Volume Build program for hotels and launched Marriott’s global modular construction initiative.

Prior to joining Marriott, he managed Parsons Corporation’s South American engineering practice in Lima, Peru and earlier worked in Bechtel’s power and water resource group in the U.S. and overseas.

Karim served in the U.S. Peace Corps as the Western Regional engineer for The Honduran Ministry of Health working in sanitation and vaccine distribution. While he is not tinkering in his workshop, Karim can be found scoping out his next remote adventure.

Dillon Lorda © Keene Studio, LLC

Dillon Lorda
Managing Member | Conrad Investment Management

Dillon Lorda is the founder and Managing Member of Conrad Investment Management, an investment management firm focused on generating compelling risk-adjusted returns from strategies with positive social and environmental externalities.  Prior to founding Conrad, he was a Managing Director at Pension Consulting Alliance, where he helped invest and manage institutional real asset portfolios on behalf of large, sophisticated institutional investors.  Previously, he worked as an investment professional in acquisitions and development roles at Time Equities and Del Mar Real Estate, after having started his career in agricultural commodities with Bunge and ED&F Man. Mr. Lorda received a M.S. in Real Estate Investment from New York University and a B.A. from Hamilton College.

Brendan Lowney © Forest Economic Advisors LLC

Brendan Lowney
Principal | Forest Economic Advisors LLC

Brendan Lowney is a Principal of Forest Economic Advisors LLC, the top choice for North American wood products analysis. As Principal, Brendan develops and implements FEA's business strategies. While he is thrilled to be playing a key part driving the commercial aspects of FEA's business, he is most excited about his role as FEA's Macroeconomist. In this capacity, Brendan interprets and forecasts the North American and international economic landscape—analysis that forms the basis of FEA's industry projections. Brendan is also responsible for deepening FEA's coverage of the key end-use markets in the residual, manufacturing, and trade sectors. Brendan writes FEA's Macroeconomic Advisor and he is a contributing author to each of FEA's Quarterly Forecasting Service publications. These reports will be the industry's must-see sources for forecasts and analysis of the North American lumber, wood panels, and timber markets. Brendan also contributes macroeconomic and policy analysis to FEA's single and multi-client research projects.

Prior to joining FEA, Brendan worked at RISI Inc. from 1994 to 2008. Most recently, he served as the chief macroeconomist and Vice President of the Pulp and Paper Economic Analysis group. He has also managed RISI's Cost Benchmarking unit. Brendan headed RISI's macroeconomics service for 11 years. In that capacity, he authored RISI's Monthly Economic Commentary and was responsible for all of RISI's North American and international macroeconomics analysis. Brendan has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. When not delving into the world economic situation, Brendan can be found careening through the woods of New England on his mountain bike. Brendan lives in Groton, Massachusetts with his wife and three children. Brendan earned a master's degree in economics from Boston College. He holds a B.S. in mathematics and economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York. 

Peter B. MacKeith © Joe Angeles

Peter B. MacKeith
Dean and Professor of Architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design | University of Arkansas

Peter MacKeith is Dean and Professor of Architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, University of Arkansas; appointed in July, 2014, he is the fifth dean of the School. A nationally recognized design educator and administrator, MacKeith was Associate Dean, Professor of Architecture, and Adjunct Associate Curator for Architecture and Design at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, from 1999-2014. MacKeith was the Director of the Master of Architecture—International Program at the Helsinki University of Technology Finland) from 1995-99, and held previous academic appointments at the University of Virginia and Yale University. He received his BA in Literature and International Relations as an Echols Scholar from the University of Virginia (1981) and his Master of Architecture from Yale University (1985).

MacKeith was selected as Design Educator of the Year by Design Intelligence (2017-18) and has been recognized twice by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture with national awards for “creative achievement in design education,” for his design studio teaching and curatorial work. He is the recipient of research and exhibition grants from the Graham Foundation of the Advancement of the Visual Arts, the National Science Foundation, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Finnish Cultural Foundation. MacKeith has served as editor of Perspecta, the Yale Architecture Journal (issue 24, On Materiality), and The SOM Journal, a journal of professional history, theory and criticism (9: Collaboration/Teamwork and 10: Leadership/Authorship). He currently serves as chair of the advisory committee for the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program, a regional initiative of the Walton Family Foundation.

Since receiving a Fulbright Fellowship to Finland in 1990, MacKeith has worked as a liaison between the architecture, art and design cultures of the United States, Finland, and the Nordic region, through educational programs, teaching, exhibitions, and publications; he has written and lectured extensively on modern and contemporary Finnish and Nordic architecture. He was Curator for Lighthouses: On Nordic Common Ground, the exhibition of The Nordic Pavilion in Venice, Italy, for the 2012 13th Architecture Biennale, working with The Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Swedish Center for Architecture and Design and the Norwegian Museums of Art and Architecture. Author or editor of ten books, he has also led the organization of exhibitions and conferences in the United States with the National Building Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Brookings Institute, and the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis.

Honorary Consul for Finland in the state of Missouri from 2012-2014, and a member of the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York advisory board, MacKeith was installed as a Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of Finnish culture in February, 2014.

Steve Marshall © U.S. Forest Service

Steve Marshall
Director, Wood Innovations | U.S. Forest Service

Steve Marshall directs forest product market development for the U.S. Forest Service.  Since 2013, he has had a primary role in introducing cross laminated timber and related forms of mass timber to the U.S. market.  Through his creation of the Wood Innovations program he has prompted significant federal investments which have helped the sector grow.  This has included: training for architects, engineers and developers through WoodWorks; funding of the first International Mass Timber Conference; capital investments in new factories; feasibility and/or engineering studies for multiple early-adopter buildings; materials testing; creation of the Timber Innovation Act; primary sponsorship of the National Building Museum’s year-long Timber City exhibition; successful support of the International Building Code revisions to accommodate tall wood buildings; and more.

Jeff Morrow © Landlease

Jeff Morrow
Construction Manager, Timber & Innovations Group | Lendlease

Jeff Morrow is a Program Manager for Lendlease. Prior to leading the mass timber construction of new Lendlease hotels for the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) program, he was a Senior Project Engineer at Fort Campbell, KY, where he pioneered new approaches to energy and resource conservation in Lendlease’s groundbreaking Zero Energy Homes project. This project provided a creative and viable strategy for achieving real change in the environmental impact of Lendlease buildings. Jeff earned a B.S. and M.S. in Building Construction Management from Purdue University. In 2013, he was recognized by Professional Builder Magazine's "40 Under 40" awards. 

Marc Rivard © Sarah Morreim Photography

Marc Rivard, PE, SE
New England Regional Director – Design & Construction Services | WoodWorks – Wood Products Council

Marc is a licensed Structural and Professional Engineer in California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and received his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UMass Amherst. Prior to WoordWorks, he was a Senior Structural Engineer involved primarily with seismic design and analysis of new and existing buildings. Marc has experience providing structural calcualtions, plans, specifications, construction administration and structural plan review services for a wide range of building types including multi-family/ mixed-used, education, commercial, office, institutional, and military. 

Thomas Robinson © Dina Avila

Thomas Robinson
Founding Principal | LEVER Architecture

Thomas Robinson is the Founding Principal of LEVER Architecture, a design practice based in Portland, Oregon that is dedicated to the creation of buildings that elevate human experience. The firm works closely with mission-driven clients and has a body of built work that includes student housing for the Pacific Northwest College of Art, campus planning and design for leading entertainment companies, and the L’Angolo Estate Winery. LEVER is nationally recognized for material innovation and pioneering work with mass timber construction. The firm designed Albina Yard, the first building in the US made from domestically fabricated Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT); and their research and testing for the Framework Project led to the first successful permitting of a wood high-rise in the US. Current mass timber projects include The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon Headquarters and a major expansion of Adidas’ North American Headquarters.

In 2017, LEVER was named to Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard and the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices. The firm’s work has been published in the Atlantic, New York Times, Surface, and Dwell among others; and was featured in Timber City, an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.

Prior to founding LEVER, Robinson led cultural and institutional projects for Allied Works and Herzog & de Meuron. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master in Architecture with Distinction from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Robinson has lectured throughout the US and Europe, and in 2018 served as the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant Visiting Professor at the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

John Schaefer © Lionstone Investments

John Schaefer
Head of Land and Development | Lionstone Investments

John Schaefer is responsible for managing the Firm’s development services platform, providing leadership and oversight of operating partners engaged in development or major renovations on behalf of Lionstone. He serves as the primary contact leading each phase of the process from pre-development to construction, providing progress reporting to the portfolio and asset management teams. Prior to joining Lionstone in 2014, Mr. Schaefer was a vice president for Hillwood Investment Properties in Southern California. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and is a licensed Civil Engineer.

Jeff Spiritos © Spiritos Properties

Jeff Spiritos
Principal | Spiritos Properties, LLC |

Jeff Spiritos is the principal of Spiritos Properties, LLC, a commercial and residential developer and development manager that participates in ground-up development projects in New York and the Northeast. Spiritos worked for 25 years with Hines before starting his firm in 2004 and for the past few years has focused on projects that will utilize mass timber as their structural system. Mass timber buildings have the characteristics to reduce carbon emissions, build more efficiently, safely and less expensively and to improve the quality of the living experience for their users and inhabitants.

Mark Wishnie © Mary Grace Long Photography

Mark Wishnie
Global Forestry & Wood Products Director
| The Nature Conservancy

Mark joined TNC from the BTG Pactual Timberland Investment Group, where he led portfolio management, research and analytics for the firm’s $3 billion global timberland portfolio. Prior to his work with BTGP, Mark led the Native Species Reforestation Project (PRORENA) at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and served as Program Director of the Yale Tropical Resources Institute. Mark holds a BS in Forest Management from the University of Washington and a Master of Forest Science from Yale University.

Join Us

Investment Opportunities in Mass Timber (by invitation only)