Projects to Watch

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CANADA 

In April, B.C. announced provincial funding totaling $4.2 million for 12 mass timber demonstration and research projects, as follows:

Happy Harvest Inc. ($475,000): This 11-storey multi-family residential building will demonstrate the use of mass timber-steel hybrid for affordable rental buildings. The proposed design includes 120 affordable homes, as well as a learning space and community theater. 

BentallGreenOak (Canada) LP ($500,000): This 10-storey commercial office building will demonstrate an innovative use of timber brace framing to withstand the effects of earthquakes in a tall building application. The design includes primarily commercial office space with some ground-floor retail and outdoor amenity areas. 

Reliance Properties Ltd. ($500,000): A six-storey mixed-use commercial building that demonstrates an innovative use of mass timber-steel hybrid design to renovate a historic building. Built on top of an existing two-storey historic warehouse, the four-storey mass timber addition will provide more density and new commercial office space for the area. 

District of Saanich ($500,000): The redevelopment of Fire Station #2 will demonstrate how mass timber can be used in a “post disaster” building designed to withstand emergencies. The project will replace the present one-storey building with a two-storey steel and timber post-and-beam system that will accommodate a fire training tower and emergency vehicles.

Bellevue Properties Partnership ($500,000): This eight-storey multi-family residential building will demonstrate innovative use of mass timber-hybrid structural, flooring and balcony systems in tall multi-family housing. Construction will target Passive House certification
to meet carbon emission goals. 

First Nations Health Authority ($500,000): This six-storey building will demonstrate institutional use of mass timber supporting health and cultural activities. The design will expose as much mass timber as possible to evoke the plank house tradition of the Coast Salish people; space will be used for First Nations Health Authority employees, as well as social spaces for gatherings, cultural activities and education. The building will target Rick Hansen Foundation certification for accessibility. 

Canadian Wood Council, GHL Consultants, CHM Fire Consultants ($300,000): Mass timber demonstration fire tests will be used to educate key stakeholders about the performance of mass timber construction. Test data will support future code change proposals and new fire suppression systems. Cost is shared with Natural Resources Canada, National Research Canada and other provincial governments. Lessons learned will be shared with other jurisdictions in Canada.

Fast + Epp, GHL Consultants ($92,000): This research project will assess the transferability of international tall wood building codes to B.C. and Canada to advance the next-generation use of wood in buildings.

Morrison Hershfield ($105,000): The proponents will develop costing data on mass timber construction for wide use by developers, builders and other decision-makers. This will be especially pertinent as the B.C. Energy Step Code becomes more widely used to increase energy efficiency and meet CleanBC goals.

Westbank ($500,000): This 21-storey rental building will demonstrate mass timber-steel-concrete use in a tall building. The project will demonstrate cost-effective design solutions using materials for their highest value. Learning from the project will be shared as open source. The developers are aiming for the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan standard. 

Faction Projects ($137,000): This four-storey hybrid mixed-use building will demonstrate the feasibility of local trades, rather than factories, to produce mass timber panels. Local mass timber panel production using available suppliers and trades will create local jobs and reduce supply-stream risks. This project also will be used to educate the insurance and lending industry on mass timber to reduce premiums associated with mass timber buildings. Developers will pursue Step Three of the B.C. Energy Step Code, the highest level for buildings of this type in the region. 

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute ($70,000):
Lifecycle assessment research will demonstrate the carbon benefits of mass timber use and encourage wider adoption by building designers, policymakers and other decision-makers.

More information about these projects is available at: naturallywood.com.

MORE Projects in Canada

The McGill University School of Architecture will be constructing a $19-million, 18,000-sq.ft., mass timber multidisciplinary research center, the Building Architecture Research Node (BARN), in Sainte-
Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. The new structure will be the home base for McGill’s DeCarbonized Architecture and Building (DeCARB) research group. Federal and provincial funding is providing approximately $16 million towards the project.

 In Vancouver, T3 Mount Pleasant will be the tallest mass timber office building in Western Canada, at 10 storeys tall. The 196,000-sq.ft. building is being designed according to Hines’ proprietary T3 system which combines timber, transit and technology. Construction is planned to begin next year, with completion in 2024.

UNITED STATES

 The University of Washington is currently building Founders Hall, a $75-million, 85,500-sq.ft. mass timber facility for the Foster School of Business, on track to be completed next year. The structure, designed by LMN Architects, is targeting LEED Gold certification. 

 Also in Washington, construction is set to begin for the $73-million Darrington Wood Innovation Center, which will include a mass timber production facility, with plans for completion in 2023.

 INTERNATIONAL

 After winning a design competition, Norway’s Mad Arkitekter is set to build what will become Europe’s tallest wooden building in Berlin. The 322-ft.-tall, 29-storey mixed-use WoHo tower (consisting of four individual volumes) will feature 25 percent commercial spaces, affordable housing and amenities such as a daycare area, workshop and electric car charging stations.

 Mitsui Fudosan and Takenaka Corporation are planning to build the tallest wooden building in Japan, a 17-storey office tower in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023.

For more about upcoming projects and other industry news, be sure to sign up for the e-newsletter at WoodDesignandBuilding.com.

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