A mass timber tower slated for West 8th Avenue and Pine Street in Vancouver will be the tallest wood building in the world once complete.
The building is a mixed-use, hybrid Mass Timber podium and tower project designed to be up to 34 storeys tall.
An official rezoning or development application has not yet been filed with the City of Vancouver.
If approved, Pineview would be taller than any other structures in the Burrard Slopes neighbourhood, where most buildings max out at around 15 storeys. The proposed tower is expected to be granted additional height due to its innovative wood construction, as well as the site’s proximity to the Broadway SkyTrain extension.
GHL Consultants, Glotman Simpson, StructureCraft, RDH and Integral Group are consulting on the project.
UBC student residence currently the world’s tallest wood building
The 18-storey Brock Commons student residence on UBC’s Vancouver campus currently holds the title of the tallest wood building in the world.
The building was completed in 2017 and was built at a speed of two floors per week, using prefabricated façade panels, glulam columns and CLT floor slabs.
The entire construction process was completed in 18 months, compared to 22 months for a similar concrete structure.
It houses more than 400 students in 33 four-bedroom suites and 272 studio suites, and was designed by Acton Ostry Architects Inc., in collaboration with structural engineers Fast + Epp, tall wood advisor Architekten Hermann Kaufmann of Austria, and Structurlam of Penticton, B.C.
Urban One Builders completed the construction.
Terrace House hybrid timber building on the rise
Currently under construction in Coal Harbour, the 19-storey Terrace House tower, designed by Shigeru Ban, will be the world’s tallest hybrid timber structure once complete — one storey taller than the UBC student residence.
The luxury condominium tower contains 20 homes with vertical and horizontal wood structural beams and columns set against a minimalist design.
B.C. allows wood buildings up to 12 storeys
In March of 2019, the provincial government announced it was increasing the height limit for wood buildings from six to 12 storeys.
The changes to the B.C. building code come one year ahead of expected changes to the national building code, where the height limit is also expected to be increased to 12 storeys.
The changes are voluntary for municipalities. Local governments must meet the following conditions in order to be eligible to construct wood buildings above six storeys:
- council support
- planning, development and fire department support
- lead building official holds a Level 3 Certification from the Building Officials’ Association of BC;
- Land-use bylaws support buildings greater than six storeys in height