Construction began this week on Vancouver Island’s first tall wood building, located in the community of Langford just outside of Victoria.
The 12-storey building, aptly named Tallwood I, is being built at 2830 Peatt Road, within a neighbourhood that is increasingly seeing a mix of retail, restaurants, and multi-family homes within low-rise structures.
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This second phase of the District 56 redevelopment will include ground-level commercial space, with the upper levels dedicated to residential uses.
The height of this mass timber building is made possible by recent regulation changes to the BC building code that allow for tall wood buildings up to 12 storeys. The limit for such wooden structures was previously six storeys.
Such taller wood buildings are built with a concrete core for seismic stability and to encase the elevator and staircase shafts for fire safety reasons.
“Tall wood buildings are fast becoming the sustainable choice for eco-minded builders around the world,” said Matthew McKay, founder and director of development for Victoria-based Design Build Services in a statement.
“There are so many benefits to using mass timber, including a reduction in timeline for construction, meaning less impact on the community. When coupled with sustainable forest management, mass timber represents an altogether environmentally-friendly method of building.”
Adjacent to Tallwood I is Terminus, a five-storey commercial building at 2840 Peatt Road that is also a part of District 56. This shorter building, also constructed with the mass timber method, will entail ground-level commercial space and 47,500 sq. ft. of class AA office space within the upper levels. Tenants will have access to an outdoor rooftop amenity space.
According to Tyler Dolan, managing director of Colliers International’s Vancouver Island branch, the new redevelopment meets the growing demand for residential space outside downtown Victoria. With demand for suburban office space hitting record levels in Victoria, this will provide more people with the ability to live closer to where they work.
Terminus is slated for completion in the summer of 2020, while Tallwood I will reach completion by the end of 2021.
The highest tall wood building in BC remains the Brock Commons Tallwood House Student Residence at the UBC campus. This 18-storey mass timber building was the world’s tallest of its kind when it reached completion in 2017.