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Tall Wood Building Enclosures - A Race To the Top

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Interest in taller wood buildings utilizing cross laminated timber (CLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), and structural glued laminated timber (glulam) is growing rapidly in Canada and the United States. On the west coast, recently completed projects including the 97 foot tall, 6-story Wood Innovation and Design Center (WIDC) in Prince George, BC, the 180 foot tall, 18-story UBC Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver, BC, and the upcoming 12-story Framework project in Portland, OR, have captured the attention of the international construction industry. Several other taller wood buildings are on the horizon and feasibility studies are currently being performed for mass timber buildings over 30 stories in height. Tall wood buildings have been a reality in Europe longer than North America, and there is much to learn from the European experience. However, conditions unique to the North American construction industry create many challenges for the design team in demonstrating the safety, durability, and economics of these buildings, all while forming public perception of wood at taller heights.

Presented at the 15th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology.

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Tall Wood Building Enclosures - A Race To the Top

  1. 1. 1 Tall Wood Building Enclosures A Race to the Top CCBST VANCOUVER, NOVEMBER 2017 BRIAN HUBBS, P.ENG – PRINCIPAL, SENIOR FAÇADE SPECIALIST
  2. 2. 2
  3. 3. 3 Design Considerations for Tall Wood Buildings
  4. 4. 4 Taller Wood Building Precedents – Europe, Australia & North America LCT One, Austria Forte, Melbourne WIDC, Prince George T3, Minneapolis Murray Grove, London TREET, Norway UBC Tall Wood House, Vancouver
  5. 5. 5 The Future of Tall Wood? – Concepts & Actual Projects MGA CEI Architecture Terrace House – Shigeru Ban / RDH
  6. 6. 6 The Building Enclosure Image Credit: MGA - Wood Innovation Design Centre Structure
  7. 7. 7 Taller Wood Building Structures  Fast  Sensitive to moisture  Greater movement (shrinkage & drift)  Fire code challenges  Mixed steel, concrete & wood materials  Is not the same as stick- built wood-frame and also different from high-rise steel or concrete structures
  8. 8. 8 Potential Challenges with Mass Timber Buildings
  9. 9. 9 Building Enclosure Design Fundamentals  Primary function of the Building Enclosure/Façade: Separate the exterior & interior environments  Protect mass timber during construction & in-service  Serves functional and aesthetic & purpose  Controls heat, air, and moisture transfer along with noise and fire  Designed to accommodate building movement, structural loads, initial & seasonal wood movement  Key passive design element for an sustainable, energy efficient building
  10. 10. 10 Tall Versus Shorter Mass Timber Buildings  Tall Wood Structures  More repetitive, more exposed, difficult access, need for more speed – ideal for prefabricated facades  Less focus on roof and more on walls for weather protection  Low to Mid-rise Wood Structures  Easier access to walls from ground  Greater focus on roof for weather protection than walls  Prefabrication of façade also possible though less economies of scale
  11. 11. 11 Tall Wood Building Enclosures  Need for Speed  Erect and seal fast  Protect wood structure  Accommodating of inclement weather  Ensure Durability  Robust materials – high-rise appropriate  Tolerant of movement  Thermally efficient  Non-combustible
  12. 12. 12 Façade Systems - Load Bearing vs Curtain-wall
  13. 13. 13 UBC Brock Commons, Tall Wood House Façade Challenge
  14. 14. 14 UBC Brock Commons, Tall Wood House Façade Challenge
  15. 15. 15 Initial Concerns & Questions from Project Team  Vancouver = Temperate rainforest  How to protect mass timber from rain during construction in any season  Giant tarps?  Temporary roof lifted by crane?  Waterproof the floors?  Enclose as fast a possible?  Enclosure must keep up with pace of structure  How long can mass timber floors get wet for? Best way to protect it?  How to enclose & seal the walls quickly and not be slowed by inclement weather?
  16. 16. 16 UBC Brock Commons - Façade Design Criteria Fast installation – 1 floor/day & water tight to protect structure Thermally Efficient, >R-16 effective walls Inexpensive, <$50/sqft installed & finished Installed without access to exterior – no sealing or finishing Pre-installed cladding & windows Durable & High- performance Resistant to water & able to install in rain
  17. 17. 17 Precedents for Prefabrication of Tall Wood
  18. 18. 18 Precedents for Prefabrication of Tall Wood
  19. 19. 19 Precedents for Prefabrication of Tall Wood
  20. 20. 20 UBC Brock Commons- What Wasn’t Feasible
  21. 21. 21 Unitized Curtain Wall Option Problem: Cost, Schedule, Energy
  22. 22. 22 Window-Wall Option Problem: Schedule, Energy
  23. 23. 23 Small Panel Prefabrication Wall – Precedents Problem: Schedule
  24. 24. 24 Orchard Commons
  25. 25. 25 Tall Wood Prefabrication Option – Large Panel with Pre-installed Windows
  26. 26. Tall Wood Concept Panel
  27. 27. Tall Wood Concept Panel
  28. 28. 28 UBC Brock Commons - The 4 Panel Contenders! Pre-Cast Concrete Sandwich Panels Steel Stud Framed Panels Wood Stud framed or CLT Panels Aluminum Window-wall Not thermally efficient enough for project nor met the design intent, but kept as contingency and costed
  29. 29. 29 Prefabricated Panel Competition Mock-ups
  30. 30. 30
  31. 31. 31
  32. 32. 32
  33. 33. 33
  34. 34. 34 Performance Mockup Proposed RDH (Similar Cost) Proposed Construction Team
  35. 35. 35 Laboratory Mockup & Physical Testing
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. 37 Centura – Factory Floor Prefabrication
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. 39 Site Installation – at Pace with Structure – 1 floors/day
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. 42 Field Testing and Commissioning
  43. 43. 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45 Future of Wood High-Rise Passive House vs Terrace House
  46. 46. 46Brian Hubbs, bch@rdh.com
  • FedericoBirolo

    Feb. 1, 2018

Interest in taller wood buildings utilizing cross laminated timber (CLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), and structural glued laminated timber (glulam) is growing rapidly in Canada and the United States. On the west coast, recently completed projects including the 97 foot tall, 6-story Wood Innovation and Design Center (WIDC) in Prince George, BC, the 180 foot tall, 18-story UBC Brock Commons Tallwood House in Vancouver, BC, and the upcoming 12-story Framework project in Portland, OR, have captured the attention of the international construction industry. Several other taller wood buildings are on the horizon and feasibility studies are currently being performed for mass timber buildings over 30 stories in height. Tall wood buildings have been a reality in Europe longer than North America, and there is much to learn from the European experience. However, conditions unique to the North American construction industry create many challenges for the design team in demonstrating the safety, durability, and economics of these buildings, all while forming public perception of wood at taller heights. Presented at the 15th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology.

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