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38 PROJECT REPORT: EDUCATION & RESEARCH FACILITIES


The university is using this pioneering but simple building as a ‘Living Laboratory’


study amenity spaces and building services. Above that are 17 levels constructed from five-ply CLT floors, 169 mm thick, sitting on 265 mm x 215 mm glulam columns (these are 265 mm square at ground floor level). There are four bedroom units at each end with studio units between; all having kitchens and bathrooms.


This construction achieves the key challenge of a thin enough floor assembly to accommodate 18 storeys within the 53 metre height limitation across the campus. Acton commends how the structural engineers at Fast & Epp “rose to the challenge” of creating a relatively thin, strong and simple CLT structure, a two-way spanning CLT slab – which, he notes, “required machine stress rated timber at the outermost laminations.” This application of two-way spanning CLT is thought to be the most extensive ever used and, says Acton, “was a brilliant solution as the floor depth is quite similar to that of a comparable two-way concrete slab.” Acton says that the collaborative process need to consult all stakeholders and develop the fit-for-purpose solution for the budget was “a huge co-ordination exercise,” adding “that’s where you had to check your ego at the door.” The design achievement has been acknowledged with a clutch of awards, including the Award for Excellence at the


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2017 National Council of Structural Engineers Association Awards. The University of British Columbia performed tests on the structural characteristics of the CLT panels and glulam column system, and it proved to be considerably stronger than anticipated. Acton says that counter to expectations, rolling shear rather than punching shear was where there was a “point of failure” in tests, however even this had 25 per cent greater capacity than had originally been expected. The panels are simply bolted onto the steel connectors on top of each column, before the next column is dropped into the steel connector and held in place with a steel pin. Infill wall panels are steel stud framed, and the floor panels are screwed to the concrete lift cores, with additional steel drag straps attached to them to transfer seismic forces to the ground.


The wood structure has for the most part been encapsulated with gypsum board, as the budget did not permit the volume of timber that would have been needed for exposed timber to offer the necessary ‘char’ potential to conform with fire regulations. Building Code in British Columbia permits the top floor of a tall building to be faced internally with exposed timber however, so here a student lounge has exposed glulam


ADF MARCH 2018


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