Looking for a presale or condo built with masstimber?
If you are interested in midrise or tall projects in Greater Vancouver, or Tricities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody) call 604-307-9506 or email [email protected]
Masstimber construction for the masses
Building tall structures with wood has been gaining popularity in Europe and North America over that last ten years especially for larger innovative buildings like the Richmond Olympic oval and Brock Commons student residences at UBC. However, British Columbia is stepping up as first to have new building codes (announced March 2019) to allow woodframe condo buildings up to 12-storeys high (previous maximum was 6-storeys). BC is ahead of national building code updates that will come into effect next year Canada-wide.
What is masstimber?
Mass timber is an emerging term for products that utilize traditional wood products members to build up larger timber products for enhanced performance. Products include cross-laminated timber (CLT), nailed-laminated timber (NLT), glue-laminated timber (GLT), laminated strand lumber (LSL), structural composite lumber (SCL).
What are the advantages
Wood has naturally high strength to weight ratio and has been used in traditional building structures for centuries. However recent advances in engineering allow construction of multiple laminations (think of plywood but in large scale) to take on even better building properties.
- Inner core of masstimber is protected by insulating outer char.
- Fire resistance rating of masstimber is available in 30, 60, 90, 120+ fireproof minutes which is very good. Masstimber fire rating can be further improved 30min/60min with 1 or 2 thin outer layers of gypsum board.
- Earthquake resistance. Structural wood flexes and bends during earthquake unlike other materials that crack and fail. Japan building codes have long taken advantage of this benefit.
- Environmentally sustainable products. By using sustainable woods and engineering them into masstimber products, better performance is combined with sustainability. Example: the Adera Virtuoso midrise building used pine beetle destroyed timber in its masstimber flooring and other parts of the building.
- Faster construction. More readily available trade experience with wood construction allow faster economic construction.
- More affordable buildings because of lower cost of construction vs. comparable concrete | steel construction.
- Many local BC industries benefit from adoption of new code including Structurlam, Seagate Mass Timber, StructureCraft, and many more suppliers: https://www.naturallywood.com/resources/bc-supplier-directory
- Architects love the innovative designs that are possible with engineered masstimber products.
Vincent Chan is a Director and partner at Meryl.REALTOR. His background includes Business Development | Strategic Marketing for real estate and law firms. Formerly he was a Director of Development & Marketing at Electronic Arts. His passions include architecture, interior design, writing, photography and design. You can reach him via email: [email protected]