As the first affordable multi-family rental building in Canada to use cross-laminated timber (CLT) and the first building in Canada to combined CLT panels and cold-formed steel (CFS) in a wall-supported design, this project shows how mass timber construction can deliver cost-effective, quick and high-quality housing solutions.
- An 11-storey tall wood building to provide 120 much-needed rental homes in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.
- Repeatable prefabricated timber-build modules will deliver cost-effective, precise-fit construction.
- Demonstrates how mass timber can help deliver affordable housing solutions.
Quick, affordable high-quality construction
Main and Cordova (MAC) demonstrates the effective use of mass timber in a rental building to deliver 120 affordable homes for mixed-income families who rent in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The 11-storey mass timber hybrid building will use cold-formed steel framing between cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor panels. Adaptable, repeatable prefabricated modules will deliver cost-effective and efficient construction. The building will have two storeys of shops, learning space and a community theatre space, topped with nine stories of affordable apartments.
First in Canada to use CLT panels and cold-formed steel (CFS) in a wall-supported design
MAC is one of the first affordable multi-family rental buildings in Canada to use CLT and the first building in Canada to use CLT panels and cold-formed steel (CFS) in a wall-supported design. CFS adds to the project’s cost efficiencies, cleverly eliminating the need for additional beams and complicated connections. The demonstration project shows how mass timber construction can deliver cost-effective, quick and high-quality housing solutions. By embedding CFS framing into the walls the design eliminates the need for additional beams and complicated connections—a key contributor to cutting construction costs.
Nurturing wellness, community and a “living heritage approach”
At the neighbourhood scale, the project takes a living heritage approach to deliver a design that respects and continues the area’s historic importance. Downtown Eastside has a rich Indigenous, Chinese-Canadian, and Japanese-Canadian cultural heritage. The design team’s understanding of these teachings and ongoing engagement with the community will shape the project’s design. At the building scale, the team envisions shared spaces at different scales throughout the building to invite social interactions between neighbours.
A case study in sustainable, low carbon multi-family housing design
The design team is targeting a minimum carbon reduction of 50 percent relative to the baseline building by using eight floors of CLT panels. It’s their hope that the project can serve as a template for future affordable housing solutions. According to estimated calculations, if all mid-rise buildings in Metro Vancouver were built with MAC’s CLT-steel hybrid over the next ten years there would be 0.57 megatonnes of GHG reduction in Metro Vancouver municipalities. That’s nearly a third of CleanBC’s goal of reducing 2.0 megatonnes of GHG by 2030.
This project is supported through Stronger BC, British Columbia’s Economic Recovery Plan. The Mass Timber Demonstration Program (MTDP) provides funding for incremental costs in the design and construction of buildings that showcase emerging or new mass timber and mass timber hybrid building systems and construction processes. The program supports jobs and employment recovery in the design, engineering, construction, and product manufacturing sector. BC industry will benefit from lessons learned, results, and research findings that can help support future mass timber projects in the province. Learn more at masstimber.bc.ca.