Tallest solid timber tower in Toronto – Globe St. | NutSocia

Unix Housing Group has submitted plans for the construction of a 31-story residential building at 191-199 College Street in Toronto that, when completed, will be the tallest solid wood building in North America.

Designed by Icon Architects, the solid wood building will feature a unitary façade cladding made from BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) pallets, a high-strength, reflective, lightweight cladding interspersed with a layer of solar cells.

Four three-story Edwardian-style “house-form” semi-detached houses are retained and integrated into the design to maintain the “pedestrian zone” of the high-rise project, according to the architects.

About 80 percent of the apartments are designated as affordable apartments.

According to a report in archdaily, Icon is working with the Canadian Wood Council on a workaround for Ontario building codes, which previously limited solid wood buildings to 12 stories.

The architects plan to use amendments approved by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which has labeled timber buildings with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) anchored to concrete cores as “wood-concrete” hybrids.

According to Icon, the use of CLT in the construction of the Toronto Tower will reduce the structure’s carbon footprint by more than 3,300 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

An Oakland-based developer, which already has a 19-story, 236-unit residential tower under construction in Oakland that, when completed, will be the tallest solid wood structure on the West Coast, decided in August to double the size of the project.

Oakland-based developer oWow plans to build a second 19-story solid wood tower, this time with 269 units, on a half-acre lot at 1523 Harrison Street, which oWow will purchase in March for $9.3 million.

The company said the second tower will have the same design as the building under construction at 1510 Webster Street: 18 floors of solid wood on top of a single floor of concrete. The buildings will each have a cutout for a landscaped patio halfway up, and each will have approximately 15,000 retail and office spaces.

Last summer, California updated its building codes to allow solid wood buildings to reach 18 stories after the International Building Code approved high-rise solid wood buildings after conducting a battery of fire safety tests.

The Golden State also increased the allowable square footage for solid wood buildings and issued guidelines for architects. Prior to the change, solid wood buildings had been limited to six stories for residential building safety reasons.

oWow, which already had a project underway at the Harrison Street site when the building code update was published last summer, immediately revised its plans to convert the design into a solid timber high-rise.

Solid wood is growing in popularity as developers seek to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings by reducing the amount of concrete, which creates significant emissions in its manufacture. As a building material, prefabricated solid wood components can be assembled much more quickly than concrete and steel structures.

oWow aims to erect the massive wooden high-rise apartment buildings at a rate of two stories per week. The developer previously built a five-storey solid wood building in 316 12th Street in Oakland at the rate of one story a week.

Harrison and Webster’s massive timber towers will both offer one and two bedroom apartments ranging from 400,000 SF to 700,000 SF. The developer says the units will be “affordable by design,” with floor plans that reduce foyers and hallways.

The current tallest solid wood building in the world is the Ascent MKE Building, a 25-story building that opened in Milwaukee this year. The US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service supported the project with a wood products innovation grant for design and engineering.

The Forest Service’s Product Laboratory conducted critical fire tests on glulam columns, also known as glulam, a manufactured building product made up of layers of wood glued together.

According to the Forest Service, the three-hour fire test proved that oversized but unprotected glulam columns do not lose their structural integrity, as the charring of the outer layer protects the inner layers of the timber members.

Leave a Comment