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Structural Steel in a Mass Timber Building: A Living Labs Lecture

December 7, 2023 from 2:15 pm to 3:45 pm PST

Tall Timber Student Housing is a mass timber building with steel at its core.

The BCIT Tall Timber Student Housing tower is supported by a two-way spanning cross-laminated timber (CLT) flat panels supported on steel HSS columns, resulting in a steel and timber hybrid system.

These “point-supported” CLT panels take advantage of the latest technology in wood innovation, comprised of the largest panel widths currently available in North America, and uses no beams, allowing for unobstructed service distribution.

Along with better understanding of fire resistance in mass timber, codified provisions for Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction in the National Building Code of Canada further allow for this tall timber tower to rise to new heights.

The lateral resisting system comprises of steel braced frames at the towers’ vertical egress cores, configured as self-stabilizing towers to avoid additional temporary bracing during construction.  These cores will be fabricated off-site and delivered in sub-assemblies, while the steel HSS columns are light enough in weight to be lifted into place without heavy use of cranes, allowing quick and efficient installation.  The pre-fabricated floor area provided within these stair and elevator cores during install, also permits four individual tower cores to be erected prior to install of any CLT floor.  This then avoids additional crane-sharing and further increases installation efficiencies.

This Living Labs lecture brings together experts from Fast and Epp (structural engineers for the project) and CRS Construction (steel fabricators for the building) to discuss how these two important elements are integrated together from design to installation.

Topics include:

  • Role of structural steel in a mass timber building
  • Logistics of preassembly and installation
  • Design assist


Jamie Pobre Sullivan, Associate, Fast and Epp

Tim Hough, Steel project manager CRS Construction

Virtual Meeting

Join the meeting on via Zoom


SW01, Room 4076
3700 Willingdon Avenue
Burnaby, BC, Default V5G 3H2 Canada
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