Monad

Location

Vancouver

Size

1,171 square meters

Completion

2012

Architect

LWPAC (Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture)

Structural Engineer

Fast + Epp

Project Owner

Intelligent City Research and Development

Construction Manager

Trasolini Chetner Construction

Wood Supplier

Controlled Architectural Systems Assembly, Intelligent City Research and Development

Prefabrication

Modular

Project Overview

Located in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, MONAD contains four homes ranging from 79 to 186 m2 each. The four-storey structure is built on a lot that would have traditionally held just one single-family house.

Designed to change the way people view urban living, MONAD serves as the prototype for a larger building technology platform—an innovative approach to designing modular structures. The smart building methodology balances the prefabricated paradigm against the need for comfortable, urban family housing.

Wood Use

MONAD was built using a combination of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and parallel strand lumber (PSL) for the beams and columns, along with I-joists for roof and floor joists. Dimension lumber was used for wall studs and non-structural partitions, and plywood sheathing was used throughout.

The architects chose wood because they wanted an adaptable material that could be easily and accurately machined using their advanced software. They also wanted a highly sustainable, carbon-neutral building system, and knew that wood is efficient in sequestering carbon. The all-wood building was constructed over a concrete podium; the only steel used was for connectors.

“From the beginning, we said that the MONAD platform needed to be capable of constructing taller buildings, and it can. So, our original decision to use wood was based on our ability to prefabricate off-site and develop an even greater degree of automation with wood in that process”.

Oliver Lang, Principal and Creative Director of LWPAC
President of Intelligent City