The project is the first multi-story office building in North America to employ dowel laminated timber (DLT), a mass timber system relying on a friction-fit bond between softwood dimensional lumber and hardwood dowels. The 65,000-sf building anchors a high-visibility 265’ x 65’ site two blocks from the river. Retail spaces activate the street level with three floors of office space above.

Project location: Des Moines, IA
Completion Year: 2019
Gross Built Area (square foot): 65,000 sf
Photo credits: Mike Sinclair
Photographer’s website: mikesinclair.com

Other participants
Mass Timber Engineering & Construction: StructureCraft Builders Inc.
Contractor: Ryan Construction
Structural Engineer: Raker Rhodes Engineering
MEP Engineer: Baker Group

Brands / Products

  1. StructureCraft Builders Inc – DLT Panels
  2. Hasslacher Norica Timber – Glulam Columns & Beams
  3. Millennium Forms Metal Reveal Panel – Zalmag
  4. Delta Millworks – Accoya (Natural Finish) Exterior Column Wraps
  5. ACGI – Southern Yellow Pine Fire Rated Wood (at levels 3&4 soffits and returns)
  6. Delta Millworks – Douglas Fir VG B&B Delta Black
  7. Pella – Aluminum Clad Wood Window
  8. Oldcastle – Storefront System
  9. PDM – Interior / Exterior Precast Panels
111 East Grand by Neumann Monson Architects - Sheet6
© Mike Sinclair

Spruce glulam beams and columns frame the 40’-0” x 6’-8” DLT panels that serve as floor and roof decks. The system facilitates quick erection time and a smaller site crew, minimizing disturbance to the neighborhood during construction. A precast concrete service core buttresses the south of the building functionally and structurally.

111 East Grand by Neumann Monson Architects - Sheet7
© Mike Sinclair

The wood construction’s refined aesthetics enable the structure to remain exposed as an interior finish. This minimizes tenant improvement work and the potential for chemically impregnated finishes while providing visual, tactile, and olfactive stimulation to its occupants. Operable windows within each structural bay allow natural ventilation. Balconies on the west take advantage of downtown views. Natural Accoya wood soffits and columns complement the exposed wood interior. Black Zalmag panel rainscreens clad the east, north, and west elevations.

111 East Grand by Neumann Monson Architects - Sheet8
© Mike Sinclair

The project is innovative in both design and project delivery. The core design team of architect, civil engineer, and structural engineer collaborated closely with the mass timber engineers and general contractor from the onset of the project. This relationship enabled the project to push the boundaries and convey the accessibility of a sensible material.


Neumann Monson

For over 40 years Neumann Monson Architects has merged talent and expertise to drive positive change through relevant design. Iowa’s pragmatic sensibility guides all our work, crafting lasting solutions with a clear sense of purpose. We empower our people, our clients, and our communities through thoughtful problem solving.  Our ability to toggle between empathetic and analytic modes is critical to Neumann Monson’s practice.  We employ an understanding of our communities, our geography and its buildings to fuel our very Iowan ideals. 

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