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36 PROJECT REPORT: EDUCATION & RESEARCH FACILITIES


CONSTRUCTION


The 17 storeys of engineered timber were constructed using a simple glulam post and CLT panel system


Once everyone understood and accepted it wasn’t going to be a tourist attraction for architects and engineers, it made a lot of the decision-making very straightforward


regulations), meant that a clear view resulted that the exit routes needed to be in concrete. Four members of the fire panel were fire chiefs from Vancouver and surrounding cities. “They recognised a CLT core would be structurally sensible and could be used by emergency responders with confidence.” However Acton adds, “they appreciated that for a first of its kind building we were proposing a concrete core, because they knew a CLT alternative would be a hard sell to the firefighters.”


Design process


According to the project’s architect, “once everyone understood and accepted it wasn’t going to be a tourist attraction for architects and engineers, it made a lot of the decision-making very straightforward. It wasn’t about me, it was about ‘them.’” Acton says this anti-ego ethos ties in with the practice’s belief that “not all buildings should be showpiece buildings…the responsibility in designing ‘background’ buildings is to make them handsome, and fit in, as well as having a bit of exuberance. But they shouldn’t be trying too hard.” He summarises the firm’s approach to this project as “very matter of fact and common sense, we understood what [the client] was looking for.” Acton Ostry, like most Canadian practices,


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is well versed in building in timber – “the first half of our career was spent designing wood buildings, albeit not particularly tall and not in CLT. They have a strong relationship with the university, having previously designed several successful projects collaboratively. The budget was a “modest” $39m (Canadian dollars), so a primary challenge “was to ensure that the design team always keep the project objectives in mind”. One of the major selling points of CLT construction is of course speed and efficiency, and the 17 floors of CLT panels and glulam posts took only 46 days to erect, with the whole construction completing in 66 days. The project cost $240/ft2


cent “innovation gap” funding, however without that it was $221/ft2


comparator for a similar concrete construction was $220/ft2


Structural details


The layout of the building maximises repetition in the interests of efficiency, avoiding obstacles to easy distribution of electrical, mechanical and sprinkler systems. On the ground level (there’s no basement) a concrete podium houses student social and


ADF MARCH 2018


including the 8-9 per , and a 2017


. This was clear


validation of the “keep it simple” design and construction approach.


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