Mass Timber Project Celebrates with Topping Out

A symbol of achievement and dedication – this topping out signifies much more than just the final beam.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021, the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters sponsored a topping out ceremony for the Intro Cleveland project.  The event was held to celebrate the feat of this historic project across from the West Side Market in Cleveland, OH.

Intro Cleveland will be a mixed-use building with apartments, an event center, and retail space.  The building is nine stories high and completely framed with mass timber.  Over 2,000 pieces of timber, cut and shipped from Binderholtz in Austria, will make this building temporarily hold the title of the tallest mass timber building in the United States.  Around 50% of the timber will remain visible in the building as it is filled with tenants, a reminder of the sustainability of the project. The wood began to arrive in the Port of Cleveland in December 2020 and the final piece was installed by IKORCC Union Carpenters on July 1, 2021.

IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Todd Pancake spoke at the ceremony about the hard work members have put into this project.

“Harbor Bay was hoping for 24 picks a day, instead our carpenters averaged 50 picks a day – essentially doubling the expected productivity. In construction, that is almost unheard of. In my 40 plus years of being a UBC member, this is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate an achievement quite like this.”

This project did not come without challenges; getting started in the middle of the pandemic, shipping delays, material shortages, not to mention this type of building is entirely new to the area.  IKORCC members had not been trained on installing timber of this magnitude before.  The Richfield JATC knew this would be something they had to prepare for to complete this project and future mass timber projects.

Directors and instructors from the Ohio JATC went to the Chicago Carpenters training facilities to study their timber classes and develop a way to implement a similar curriculum.  They took back that training to their facilities and offered classes for crews going onsite.  The Richfield JATC also sent an On-The-Job Trainer to assist the project and provide any additional training needed onsite.  To celebrate their huge role, Richfield Director Dan Sustin produced an 8’x8’ art installation out of wood for the “topping out” ceremony.

“I’d like to congratulate our UBC members for this feat. Because of you we will get that next project, because of you our organization has been strong for 140 years and will continue to stay strong in the future.” – EST Pancake



Special thanks to Richfield Training Center’s Dan Sustin, David Knight, and Larry Elder.  And a special thanks and congratulations to developer Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors and the contractors, Midland Contracting, T/Allen, J L J I, Cleveland Cement and Michels Corporation.  


Want to learn more? Watch our video on the beginning of the project.