As one of the first tall wood market rental housing buildings of its kind in Canada, this 21-storey mass timber design aims to be a model for more affordable eco-friendly housing solutions.
- A sustainable, cost-effective mass timber 216-unit residential rental building.
- The design team is exploring two possible mass timber hybrid systems: a post and platform system and a post, beam, and panel system.
- Targeting low carbon, zero-emission standards for the project’s materials, construction and operation.
One of the first of its kind as a tall wood building delivering affordable market rental housing
This 21-storey mass timber residential building, Prototype, demonstrates how low-carbon tall wood construction is a viable option for purpose-built rental housing. Located in Vancouver’s vibrant Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, the project aims to deliver a mix of units affordable to moderate-income residents. As its name suggests, Prototype sets out to be a model for future tall wood housing projects that are sustainable, cost-effective, and replicable. This includes optimizing wood usage, minimizing the number of elements required for each floor, and connection designs to reduce crane time and quicken construction.
Exploring two possible innovative mass timber hybrid systems
Currently, in the design concept phase, the Prototype team is exploring two mass timber hybrid systems. The first, a post and platform system made up of 5-ply cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels spanning two ways to steel posts. With this system, steel posts are best suited due to their reduced cross-sectional area. The second system is a post, beam, and panel system comprised of beams spanning to steel or timber columns, supporting a one-way heavy timber panel. With this system, beams are situated to align with partitions when possible to avoid impacting the head height. The project will keep the mass timber exposed when feasible as an architectural expression of warmth, texture, and tactility. In doing so, attention will be given to advanced fire design and protective measures.
Project design to meet bold environmental targets
Due in part to its use of mass timber, the building will surpass the requirements of the most aggressive municipal building code in the country, the City of Vancouver’s Zero Emissions Building Plan (ZEB). In addition to reporting embodied emissions, the project aims to select materials with carbon emissions below 100 kg/m2/yr. This represents more than a 75 percent reduction in embodied carbon. The project will purchase offsets for residual operational and embodied emissions. When it comes to meeting operational greenhouse gas emission intensity (GHGI) the project aspires to exceed ZEB requirements. The GHGI of the proposed system will be 2.2 kg/m2/yr, a 60 percent reduction over ZEB compliance, and an over 90 percent reduction relative to a conventional gas-heated building.
The Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) provides funding for incremental costs in the design and construction of buildings that showcase emerging or new mass timber and mass timber hybrid building systems and construction processes. The program supports jobs and employment recovery in the design, engineering, construction, and product manufacturing sector. BC industry will benefit from lessons learned, results, and research findings that can help support future mass timber projects in the province. Learn more at masstimber.bc.ca.