The first six-storey residential wood-frame building in B.C. has broken ground in Richmond.
Work on Remy, a 188-unit affordable housing project designed by Patrick Cotter Architect Ltd., started in June.
The development uses cross-laminated timbers (CLTs) to reduce the effect of shrinkage, which can trim as much as six inches from buildings made with standard dimensioned lumber. The risk that shrinkage poses on the stability of larger wood-frame structures pointed the firm to CLT, a manufactured wood product that's been used to great success in Europe.
"We've been able to reduce the shrinkage in the building down to equivalent with a three-storey building," said principal Patrick Cotter, who is planning similar projects for Surrey and Langley. "They'll actually perform better than a typical four-storey building."
Oscar Faoro, a technical adviser with the Canadian Wood Council, said the timbers could displace concrete, steel and wood in some construction projects, as well as open up export opportunities.
From Western Investor, September, 2010