King Edward Villa


Vancouver, B.C.


5,405 square metres




Richard Wong


GBL Architects

Structural Engineer

Bryson Markulin Zickmantel

Engineered Wood Fabricator

Mitsui Homes

Project Materials


Parallel strand lumber (PSL)


Structural Systems

Hybrid / Wood

Light frame

Mid rise


Post + beam


Off-site prefabrication accommodated construction on one of Vancouver’s busiest arterials

  • A prefabricated wood solution overcomes the challenges of a tight, difficult-to-access site.
  • The wood fabricator used an innovative installation of components with a build-by-numbers approach.
  • Prefabricated wood construction meant four months in saved time and 15 to 20 percent reduction in costs, compared with concrete construction.

This six-storey mixed-use residential project is located on a major commercial thoroughfare in East Vancouver and offers 77 rental units with easy access to transit and nearby shopping. The building’s structure is composed of one level of underground parking, one storey of retail space in concrete construction, and five storeys of rental apartments, prefabricated in light-frame wood construction.

Prefab-timber design takes in a tight squeeze

Prefabricated wood construction meant easier access to this exceptionally tight site, with minimal setbacks from the street, a narrow laneway and a small rear yard for storage and staging. All the light-frame wood components, including floor, wall and roof panels, were prefabricated off-site as ready-to-assemble panels. Components were delivered on a just-in-time basis, minimizing site storage and road closures.

Build-by-number approach saves time and money

Using 3-D technology, each element was given a unique code corresponding to a specific location in the building. The 3-D model’s accuracy meant that wall elements had their stud spacing precisely aligned from one floor to the next. This kit-like precision meant wall studs on successive floors were exactly aligned, and electrical, mechanical and plumbing services rapidly installed—a nimble approach uniquely suited to wood construction. This saved time and an estimated 15 to 20 per cent in costs compared with a conventional concrete building, according to the project’s construction manager.

Mid-rise 2.0 innovative approaches to mid-rise wood frame construction - A case study

With the advent of new mass timber panel products, the opportunity has arisen for developers and design teams to explore new forms of wood construction, including hybrid mass timber/light wood frame construction.

The six storey East Vancouver Heights residential rental building, a daytime exterior view of which is shown here, is one of the largest buildings to earn Passive House certification in Canada
The Heights

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Glue-laminated timber (Glulam) and Cross-laminated timber (CLT) are featured in this exterior daytime view of the Virtuoso, a six-storey mid-rise residential building

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Light-frame construction beams and roof trusses shown being installed on low-rise residential structure by construction worker with nail gun and fall arrest harness
Light-frame construction

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