A Carbon Neutral Campus: Maine’s First Mass Timber Buildings

Event Date: 

Friday, August 4, 2023




Brunswick, ME 04011

CEU Information: 

AIA (4 LU)


$25 Members/$35 Non-Members

Join NESEA in Maine for a Pro Tour of the first pure mass timber commercial structures in the state: Bowdoin College’s new Barry Mills Hall and the John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies.

With 1/4 the embodied carbon of a comparable steel structure, the buildings signal the College's continued commitment to sustainability after having achieved carbon neutrality in 2018. Attendees will hear from multiple speakers, including our event hosts, HGA, as they tour these spaces and get the interdisciplinary perspective that made these buildings possible. We’ll learn about the goals, challenges, and results of the design and construction process, from conception to project completion. 

The academic building provides the college community with classrooms, a cinema classroom, faculty and student offices, meeting rooms, and an event space with catering support. The second building houses the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and includes galleries, classrooms, research labs, collections storage, and offices. Both buildings are powered by all-electric mechanical systems. The landscape and civil design promote a number of site sustainability features, including native plantings and local stone and recharging all stormwater on site using filtration trenches and porous asphalt.

Aside from the physical building features, the project team also has a story to tell related to the availability and procurement of mass timber components. During the tour, attendees will learn more about the challenges that drove the project team to use timber members sourced and fabricated overseas and the evolving conversation around mass timber, the aspirations to start a local industry in Maine, and the impediments that were encountered by the team, including sourcing and supply chain, quality of materials and fabrication, and local workforce constraints.

The event will also provide reception/networking time for attendees to meet speakers, sponsors, and one another.

Edit: Thank you to our sponsors and attendees for making this event a success. We have uploaded some photos from this event here.


12:30 PM

Doors open, registration, networking and coffee

1:00 PM

Welcome by NESEA

1:10 PM

Overview of the project by the host

2:00 PM

Tour of project begins; attendees rotate through content-specific stations

3:45 PM

Group Reconvenes back at initial meeting point

4:00 PM

Reception with light refreshments

4:15 PM

Q&A Panel with members of project team

5:00 PM

Event Concludes


If you have questions about this event, you can contact us via protours@nesea.org.

2024 Pro Tour Series Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor


Event Sponsors