A true high rise timber building has been given the green light by the UBC board of directors on October 1st 2015. The project is planned to be an astonishing 53m (174') tall. This will be the tallest wood based building in the world once completed and contains no doubts that this is a true high-rise tall timber building.
The innovative design was produced by Acton Ostry Architects, of Vancouver BC, Architekten Hermann Kaufmann of Austria, and Vancouver's Fast + Epp Structural Engineers. This unique project team was able to combine the benefits of wood with an new structural design making the timber structure a competitive solution to alternatives on its own. CLT is used in a true two way span making it one of the most efficient floor systems possible. Quick connect steel systems are used between glulam columns and CLT floors.
Two concrete elevator cores are combined with glulam columns and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) flooring panels. This produces a robust structure in a high seismic zone while mitigating carbon impacts and allowing a relatively quick erection time. The project is set to be home to 404 student residences while attaining a LEED Gold level accreditation. Strict fire protection methods have been put in place for this one of a kind timber skyscraper arguably making it safer in terms of life safety in the event of any fire conditions. Vigorous testing and requirements were placed on the structure before it was allowed to move ahead the next levels of projects stages demonstrating world wide leadership in technical engineering with the Earth's most dynamic material, wood.
The University of British Columbia is a world leader in Forestry Management and Wood Products research. This project is one of many on the UBC campus to demonstrate innovative, sustainable and beautiful uses of value added local resources. The UBC Faculty of Forestry has something to be proud of today helping produce, demonstrate and be home to a clear example of sustainable forestry matched with modern technologies in Architecture and Engineering.
The project will likely be completed with SPF and Douglas FIr. Some of the tallest Pine trees in the world are reported at 83 m (260') tall, while the tallest Douglas Firs are around 120m (415') tall. Our engineering still has yet to match both the life cycle and structural efficiency of these beautiful organisms, however we are slowly closing the gap with projects like this.
This project will allow the British Columbia Forestry and Construction industries to leap ahead showcasing global leadership in technology, design and engineering.
More information is available in a formal press release from the University of British Columbia.
Images below courtesy Acton Ostry, Images above UBC.