The NEB consortium (consisting of Nordic Structures, EBC Construction and Synchro Immobilier) have broken ground in Québec City on the Origine project, a 13-storey building of which 12-storeys are mass timber and one is concrete. A news release says it will be the tallest wood building condo in North America.
When completed, the 92-unit condominium complex will join the ranks of the world’s tallest wood buildings and serve as a Canadian example of the research and technology that is involved in taking wood construction to new heights.
“Advances in science and building technology, supported by renowned research organizations such as FPInnovations and the National Research Council, are resulting in innovative wood solutions, such as the Origine project, that are safe, sound, and sustainable,” Etienne Lalonde, vice president Market Development for the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) said in a news release.
“Tall wood buildings are no longer a new concept, with examples of 10 and 14-storey structures recently being constructed in Australia and Norway respectively. Ultimately, it is about creating more options for builders and architects in Canada and having the science and research in place to support the tall wood option.” The Origine project was selected as part of an Expression of Interest (EOI) that was launched by the CWC in April 2013, for Canadian developers, institutions, organizations and design teams willing to undertake an innovative approach to designing and building highrise demonstration projects. With funding support from Natural Resources Canada of $1.175 million, the goal of this initiative was to link new scientific advances and research with technical expertise to showcase the application, practicality and sustainability of innovative wood based structural building solutions.
“By supporting innovation and the use of new techniques in the construction of wood based high-rise buildings, we are supporting the growth of a strong and competitive forestry industry,” said Jim Carr, Canada’s minister of natural resources. “These investments in research and development lead to cleaner, more sustainable construction practices, all while promoting the creation of employment opportunities in the forestry sector. Innovative, entrepreneurial ideas like these are integral to our fight against climate change.”
Advanced construction technologies and modern mass timber products are making building tall with wood a viable option that is gaining traction and appeal from design and construction communities who face growing pressures to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. Wood product based construction remains a great solution to these challenges as it is a renewable building material, originating from sustainably managed forests in Canada.