Final wood panel installed on Brock Commons

It seems like just last week we were writing about construction beginning on a new dormitory and now it’s finishing up. The world’s tallest wood building installed the last wood panel last week, wrapping up this stage of construction in an impressive 66 days. After this milestone, focus will turn to completing the interior and preparing the building for the 404 University of British Columbia students that will soon call the dormitory home. Construction is expected to be fully completed in 2017.

Brock Commons 5
(The last wood panels being installed on Brock Commons. Photo credit: Unknown)

Acton Ostry Architects, the firm that designed Brock Commons, posted on Twitter a time lapse of the construction process. REMI Network details the project, saying the building is made up of 1302 glulam columns and 464 CLT panels.

Construction on Brock Commons wouldn’t be possible without a team of experts. The engineered wood products were provided by Structurlam and made from locally harvested trees. The structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp, used the nature of wood to produce the 18 story building. Paul Fast, founder of Fast + Epp, said of Brock Commons, “We pushed ourselves relentlessly over months of work with the design team and the CLT manufacturer to simplify the structure — think LEGO. The building blends the simplicity and modularity of LEGO with the concrete-like strength of cross laminated timber to help ensure structural efficiency which in the past has been one of the major barriers to building tall with wood. Our solutions effectively address that concern.”

As if being the tallest wood building isn’t enough, Brock Commons also comes with a great view.

To read more about Brock Commons, check out our other blog posts, “Construction on UBC’s new wood dormitory begins” and “Construction on UBC dorm continues.”

Forest to Frame

Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) produced a new video called “Forest to Frame.” It focuses on how people in the future will need more buildings as the global population rises, the building technologies that use wood, and the important role forests play.

“The choices we make about the materials used as we develop the built environment have long-term effects on our society and the environment,” OFRI says in the video’s description. “Choose wood. It’s beautiful, strong, versatile and renewable.”

Watch the video below or visit their website WhyBuildWithWood.org to learn more about the benefits of mass wood timber construction.

Amsterdam’s plans for a ‘Haute Couture’ building

Amsterdam has plans in the future for a new  residential tower made from wood. Arch Daily reports that the tower will be 73 meters (240 feet) tall and will become The Netherland’s tallest timber framed building.

HAUT 1
(Design rendering of HAUT, Amsterdam’s newest tall timber building. Photo credit: Team V Architectuur)

The project is called HAUT, short for “Haute Couture,” and will located next to the Amstel River. HAUT will be designed by Team V Architectuur with Lingotto, Nicole Maarsen and ARUP.

The building will be made up of 55 apartment units within the 21-story building. The interiors are currently designed with exposed wood and large windows overlooking the river and city.

HAUT 5
(Photo credit: Team V Architectuur)

HAUT 3
(Photo credit: Team V Architectuur)

The sustainability of building with wood is also apparent in HAUT. Arch Daily says that over three million kilos of carbon dioxide will be stored in the cross-laminated pieces once completed. Energy-generating facades and wastewater purification systems are also planned to reach a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)  Outstanding rating.

HAUT 2
(Photo credit: Team V Architectuur)

HAUT 4
(Photo credit: Team V Architectuur)

Construction on UBC dorm continues

Back in June, we wrote about construction beginning on University of British Columbia’s new timber dormitory. Pictures of the construction process have just been made available and the frame is quickly taking shape.

Brock Commons 2
(Construction is underway on July 18th for the new 18 story dormitory at UBC. Photo credit: Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British Columbia)

Brock Commons
(More than half of the floors have started to become assembled. Photo credit: Acton Ostry Architects Inc. & University of British Columbia)

Canadian Architect reports that a new floor is being built every 3 days and is expected to increase. The dormitory is made out of a combination of glue laminated timber (glulam) and cross laminated timber (CLT). The building is scheduled to be complete by Spring 2017.

Plans for tallest hybrid timber structure in the world revealed

Preliminary plans were recently revealed for the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world, Architectural Digest announced. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and Vancouver developer PortLiving have teamed up to build a residential building thought to break current records.

shigeru-bans-first-canadian-project-tallest-hybrid-timber-structure-world-01
(Design rendering of the planned Terrace House. Photo credit: PortLiving)

Details for the project are still under wraps, but it is believed the skyscraper will be the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world once complete.  The building, currently known as Terrace House, will be located in an area of Vancouver called Coal Harbor.  Nick Mafi reports that the upper portion of the structure will be a combination of a timber frame supported by a concrete and steel core.

Vancouver is not a stranger to building with mass timber. Construction at University of British Columbia’s campus is underway for an 18 story tall dormitory.

Construction on UBC’s new wood dormitory begins

Vancouver will soon have the world’s tallest mass-timber building. Construction has begun at the future home of University of British Columbia’s 18 story tall dormitory. At 53 meters tall (173 feet), Brock Commons student housing will be 4 stories taller than Treet in Norway which currently holds the title for tallest mass-timber building.

As The Province reports, construction began this week as engineered wood panels and pillars were trucked in. All the engineered wood products are made off site by Structurlam Products and delivered.  The building will consist of cross-laminated-timber (CLT) floors and walls held up by pillars composed of glue-laminated wood (glulam).

Nicholas Sills, a supervisor at Structurlam, told The Province, “If you can panelize (materials) and put things together tightly like a Lego kit of parts, it can be extremely efficient…We hope this project goes up very, very fast.”

To see pictures of the building under construction, watch the video by David Rigler in The Province’s “UBC’s timber tower starts to rise.”

 

Mass Timber Conference presentations now available

In case you miss the Mass Timber Conference in Portland, Oregon in March, now is your opportunity to watch full length videos of the presentations from the three day event!

The Forest Business Network just released the first batch of presentations on their YouTube channel. reThink Wood, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and Vaagen sponsored the conference’s video production.

Viewers are able to watch a variety of speakers, including Tom Tuchmann discuss “The Masses for Mass Timber: A Conservation Perspective,” Tom Chung explain “UMass Amherst Design Building: Navigating Design, Procurement and Construction Challenges,” Robert Malczyk talk about “Mass Timber for Mass Market.

26 videos are currently updated with more to come!

NEFF to investigate new uses for New England wood products

LITTLETON, May 18, 2016- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service has awarded a Wood Innovations Grant to New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) in Littleton, MA to analyze the potential for manufacturing engineered wood products in New England. The study will set the stage for expanded local production of wood products that are being used to revolutionize construction around the world.

Wood construction can be an important strategy in mitigating climate change and could also reduce construction costs, all while revitalizing New England forests. A 2015 study by Yale University professor Chadwick Oliver and colleagues found that using more sustainably produced wood in construction could reduce global carbon emissions by up to 31 percent.

“Renewable products like wood from New England forests are crucial to a sustainable future for our region,” said Monty Lovejoy, a member of NEFF’s Board of Directors and chairman of its Build It With Wood committee.

NEFF will use the USDA funding to analyze demand for engineered wood products and the suitability of local wood for use in such products. The grant will also identify the potential return on investment associated with the development of a mill. This investment analysis would inform public and private initiatives aimed at fostering construction of such a mill, which could then serve to reduce the cost of wood construction in major Northeast markets such as Boston or New York, while simultaneously improving forest health in the region’s abundant woodlands.

Of the 42 Wood Innovations Grants issued, NEFF was the sole recipient in Massachusetts and one of only four in New England. Grants are awarded to projects focused on expanding markets for wood products and wood energy.

The analysis funded by the grant is part of NEFF’s Build It With Wood project. Build It With Wood aims to expand the use of wood building materials in long-lasting infrastructure and increase the use of renewable and sustainable wood products. “We see Build It With Wood as a crucial part of our region’s response to a diverse set of challenges— declining forest health, a need for more affordable housing, and the ever present challenge of climate change,” said NEFF Executive Director Bob Perschel. “This grant is a key step forward.”

Founded in 1944, NEFF pursues innovative programs to advance conservation and forestry throughout New England. Through private ownership and partnership with land owners, NEFF has conserved more than 1.1 million acres of forest, including one out of every three acres of forestland protected in New England since 1999. For more information, please call 978.952.6856 or visit newenglandforestry.org.

NPR discusses CLT in Northwest

National Public Radio’s (NPR) Morning Edition presented a segment on the growing popularity of cross-laminated timber in Oregon.

Last week, David Greene and Rachael McDonald hosted the broadcast, “New Technology Could Revive Pacific Northwest’s Ailing Timber Industry.” McDonald opened the segment with a tour of the new Albina Yard with Thomas Robinson, architect and founder of LEVER Architecture. Robinson focused on the importance of Albina Yard during the tour; it is the first building to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) made in Oregon and built in the United States.

Mayor Christine Lundberg then discussed the CLT parking garage in Springfield, Oregon, which is currently in early planning stages. “It’s an entirely different looking structure than a typical parking garage… it’s a signature piece,” Lundberg said.

Doug Heiken, Conservation and Restoration Coordinator with Oregon Wild, voiced his concerns over the source of the materials, emphasizing that clearcutting the Pacific Northwest’s old-growth forests in order to produce CLT would not be the best solution.

The segment concluded with a trip to Riddle, Oregon where CLT is being produced by D.R. Johnson Mill. Todd Black, the Marketing Director for D.R. Johnson, explained that CLT is being tested in a varied of ways to ensure safety.

You can hear the NPR segment or read the entire transcript at “New Technology Could Revive Pacific Northwest’s Ailing Timber Industry.” Read more about Albina Yard on our blog at “Reworks and LEVER gearing up for Albina Yard” and at “Mass timber building tour an informational start.