TallWood House at Brock Commons receives INSTRUCTE Structural Award for innovation

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TallWood at Brock Commons, Vancouver
TallWood at Brock Commons, Vancouver (The Think Tank)

The Institution of Structural Engineers (INSTRUCTE) presented TallWood House at Brock Commons, Vancouver, the Structural Award for Construction Innovation 2017 in a ceremony at The Brewery, London (UK)  on Nov. 17.

Winners were selected by a judging panel from a shortlist of 45 projects across the world, which demonstrated exemplary engineering, creativity and innovation. This 2017, 14 were selected by industry expert with British Airways i360 in Brighton receiving the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence.

Entries in the annual awards are judged beyond diversity of structural engineering, creativity and innovation. Factors such as sustainability, economic viability and value for money are also considered.

The TallWood House is an 18-storey mass timber hybrid building,  the tallest of its kind in the world. The project engineered by Fast + Epp, opened in July 2017 at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus and now houses over 400 students. It is made up of 17 storeys of five-ply cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels, glue-laminated timber columns and a concrete transfer slab at the second floor. Lateral stability is ensured by two full-height concrete cores.

According to project designer, Acton Ostry Architects, the timber structure, with 2,233 CMB of timber, went up in only 66 days. The structure was then encapsulated with gypsum board.

“The engineers developed this innovative solution to deliver a highly economic and sustainable alternative to more traditional construction methodology. The judges were unanimous in their admiration for the fresh approach that was taken across design and detailing, which has developed an economic new hybrid system for high rise structures and set a new precedent for what can be economically achieved in predominantly timber structures,” stated the judge’s comment on the project’s page in instructe.org.

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