The Tallwood House

Mass Timber / Residential

Client: University of British Columbia

Location: Vancouver, BC

Architect: Acton Ostry Architect

The Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia is one of the tallest timber structure in the world.  At 18 storeys, the project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of using timber as the primary construction material in the residential highrise market.  The building is constructed with cross laminated timber (CLT) floors and glue-laminated columns as building structure, with two exit stair cores made of reinforced concrete. GHL provided fire engineering and alternative solutions for the Tallwood House to permit the use of timber, which is presently not permitted by the prescriptive solutions in the Building Code.  The engineering analysis was peer-reviewed by a panel of experts created by the provincial government, which lead to the approval by the authority having jurisdiction. In addition to the environmental benefit of wood, the project demonstrated that the building construction time can be significantly reduced due to the use of CLT panels, which were prefabricated off-site.