Skanska USA hires first mass timber, prefab lead

Dive Brief:

  • Skanska USA, the American branch of the Swedish-based contractor and developer, has hired its first U.S. director of mass timber and prefabrication. Dean Lewis, who has 13 years of experience in mass timber and engineering roles in Washington and California, will fill the role, based in his native Seattle.
  • Lewis, previously employed by Swinerton Mass Timber, will lead prefabrication and mass timber projects across the U.S., increasing the scope of Skanska’s builds and consulting efforts around projects using the alternative building method. 
  • The hiring is a trend: At the end of 2022, San Francisco-based contractor Webcor created a timber division, tapping Matt Miller as superintendent. At the time, Miller told Construction Dive the demand for mass timber in California was “crazy,” adding “the appetite is huge.”

Dive Insight:

Skanska is among the many contractors turning to mass timber, highlighting its cost effective, schedule-friendly and carbon-cutting benefits on projects.

Seen as a low-carbon alternative to traditional building materials like concrete and steel, mass timber building employs wood panels nailed or glued together, and it is fire-resistant and load-bearing. 

Dean Lewis

Permission granted by Skanska USA


Skanska has completed 15 mass timber projects. They include:

  • The Kendeda Building. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, Skanska constructed the 36,978-square-foot education research building in Atlanta, completing it in 2019.
  • Portland International Airport. Skanska modernized 860,000 square feet of PDX, renovating and expanding the terminal, while building a new roof structure of Concourse B. The contractor prefabricated the 80-foot glulam beams on site, hoisting them into position to make the 9-acre roof.
  • Washington’s Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth Expansion. A new academic structure in Vancouver, Washington, is underway by Skanska, eyeing completion in time for the 2024-2025 school year.

“In addition to the enhanced aesthetics, the use of mass timber helps our clients achieve their sustainability goals while reducing construction time and costs,” said Lew Guerrette, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA in Seattle. 

Prior to Skanska and Swinerton, Lewis worked for DCI Engineers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has overseen mass timber projects like office buildings, campus dorms, multifamily developments and hotels. He has extensive experience with the design, fabrication, project management and delivery of mass timber projects, and has also published research projects within the space, according to a press release.

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