Canadian Architect

News

Construction begins on North America’s tallest wood condo tower


June 29, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Image courtesy of Origine

Image courtesy of Origine

In June, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Origine green condo project, set to become the tallest solid wood condo tower in North America.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume both attended the event to celebrate the project, which has positioned Quebec as a leader in eco-friendly wood construction. Origine will also be the flagship building of the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ecodistrict in the heart of Quebec City.

The 41-metre-tall building, to be delivered by the end of the year, will feature 12 storeys made of gigantic cross-laminated timber above a concrete ground floor. It will house 92 condo units.

The project was selected by Natural Resources Canada and received $1.175 million in funding under the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative. That federal program helps to cover some of the additional construction costs of such buildings, including research and development projects.

“By supporting innovation and the use of new techniques in the construction of wood-based high-rise buildings, we are supporting the growth of a strong and competitive forestry industry,” said Jim Carr, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources. “These investments in research and development lead to cleaner, more sustainable construction practices, all while promoting the creation of employment opportunities in the forestry sector. Innovative, entrepreneurial ideas like these are integral to our fight against climate change.”

The Quebec Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs paid for unprecedented fire-resistance testing to demonstrate the concept’s structural stability in the event of a fire. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec never compromised on safety and compliance as it analyzed and eventually approved the project with great open-mindedness. In the wake of the Origine project, the Quebec government even released a construction guide for medium- and high-rise buildings.

As for the Ville de Québec, it designed the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ecodistrict and authorized construction of Origine.