Multi-Storey Wood Timber Building

Last week was held the Timber Expo and UK Construction Week in Birmingham, UK.
Now that wood framed buildings in Ontario can rise to six storeys, several owners have opted to go that route, citing speed of construction and cost as their prime motivators, wrote Ian Harvey in Daily Commercial News Friday.
While there’s not a stampede away from masonry or even steel, there is a shift and that will in turn mean there’s a need for carpenters who are trained in how to handle the materials integrated into the timber structures.

Tall Wood Frame Timber Building

To that end, Ontario’s Carpenters’ union launched a mid-rise training program for their members last January and have been integrating it into their second and third year apprenticeship program.

Working with stick lumber for residential is different than the knowledge required when working with engineered wood products at six storeys.

Each level of the structure requires some slightly different materials such as I-joists and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL).



The training program in place now is also offered to journeymen carpenters to add to their repertoire and features a 33-foot high mock up of typical engineered wood and nominal lumber in a structure, with connectors, stairs and even a wood framed elevator shaft.

The union reached out to the leading authorities in Ontario on mid-ride design and construction and brought in David Moses of Moses Structural Engineers and Quadrangle architects’ Marco Lupi.


They’ve also had British Columbia architect Jim Taggart come to lecture about wood as a material in mid-rises. Taggart teaches history and theory in the architectural science degree program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and is editor of Sustainable Architecture and Building magazine (SABMag).


The winners and highly commended entries of the Structural Timber Awards 2016 were revealed on Wednesday 19 October at a gala dinner held at the Birmingham National Conference Centre (formerly known as the National Motorcycle Museum) during Timber Expo and UK Construction Week.

Sponsored by PEFC UK, the Best Education Project category saw Mellor Primary School, near Stockport, designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects announced as the over-all winner from 12 shortlisted projects.

The Best Education Project category showcases schemes that have used timber technology to create exceptional buildings.


Tree-like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally. Timber was specified as a robust and sustainable material, offering clear benefits in terms of sustainability, structural perfor- mance, durability and long-term maintenance.


Timber goes by many three letter acronyms these days — SIP, CLT, LVL, LSL, wrote Pamela Bell in New Zealand architecture magazine EBoss October 19. It comes in high-rise, mid-rise, stick, and mass timber solutions. Corresponding building code changes for our timber-trading Commonwealth cuzzies, Canada and Australia, are meaning taller timber buildings are all the rage. And the reason? Cheaper, faster and more sustainable building solutions.


October saw two leading modular / prefabrication / off-site construction conferences in Edmonton (MOC Summit, Alberta, Canada) and Sydney (prefabAUS 2016, NSW, Australia) — both blitzed by the tall timber craze that is taking the construction technology world by storm.

Australia is trail-blazing with an updated building code that enables tall timber buildings up to 25 metres or eight storeys since May this year. Constructor developers such as Lend Lease and Strongbuild have been quick to import Austrian CLT for a range of multi-residential, commercial and social housing projects.

And both federal and state governments are pouring money into the construction and manufacturing industries in an effort to combat the 300,000 job losses from the car industry withdrawal. Victoria is pouring a staggering AUS$1.2 billion alone.


Construction technologies stand to benefit from a three-pronged approach to invest in testing facilities for material compliance to combat inferior imported products, a knowledge hub for prefabrication, and digital technology incubation. Victoria is leading the charge with its own state-wide Construction Technologies Strategy.

It’s no surprise then that Melbourne is housing the centre of excellence for linking federal funding with industry need and academic research capacity. The Centre for Advanced Manufactured Prefabricated Housing, or CAMP.H, is located in the engineering school at the University of Melbourne and connects several other Australian universities with housing manufacturer members of prefabAUS.


Another leader in tall wood-frame building is Germany. A fascinating exhibition about the current state of building culture with focus on timber – the natural renewable resource is being held currently in Berlin.

Based on selected distinguished national and international projects, the exhibition represents the state of the art in sustainable and modern timber architecture. The presentation spans from spectacular projects by Toyo Ito, Shigeru Ban, and Frei Otto, and upwards to the newest trends in highrise buildings realized in timber.

The exhibition presents sensational timber architecture which is being developed all over the world. It provides clear responses to the pressing questions of climate change. Visually it will be demonstrated how timber buildings retain the climate-relevant gas carbon dioxide and how conventional, energy-intensive building materials can be replaced by the use of a truly renewable resource. It is clear that wood has become the symbol of sustainability and of resource saving building.