DIALOG files for patent of hybrid timber floor system

The zero carbon prototype received an award for Fast Company’s “2021 World Changing Ideas” in architecture earlier this year.

DIALOG has officially filed for the patent of its Hybrid Timber Floor System (HTFS), a zero carbon prototype that received an award for Fast Company’s “2021 World Changing Ideas” in architecture earlier this year. Once approved, the system could lead to the introduction of mass timber structural solutions into the supertall tower category. 

Image courtesy of dialogdesign.ca.

The Hybrid Timber Floor System (HTFS) combines cross-laminated timber panels with steel, and concrete to build high rise towers with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. When incorporated with other smart building technologies, such as photovoltaic panels, algae bioreactors, or other renewable energy solutions, towers as tall as 105-stories could achieve carbon neutrality.   

“Floor plates typically comprise approximately 70 percent of building material utilized in high-rise towers. By focusing our talents and resources on creating more innovative floor plate solutions like this one, we believe that we can make a major dent in the environmental footprint of the built environment in the not-so-distant future,” said Craig Applegath, AIA, a founding Partner at DIALOG and one of the project’s key leaders. 

The patents have been filed by the international design firm in Canada, the United States, the European Union, Australia and China.    

With post-tensioned steel cables encased in concrete bands and embedded into Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, DIALOG’s HTFS will allow for a 40-foot (or 12-metre) column-free span, where standard CLT design systems currently span just three-quarters of that distance.

Image courtesy of dialogdesign.ca.

“This HTFS will maximize the use of sustainably harvested wood in high-rise construction in the most cost efficient, energy efficient, and elegant manner. In doing so, the design will also give occupants access to sustainable, beautiful, exposed natural wood in their spaces,” said Thomas Wu, a structural engineer and Partner with DIALOG.   

Once the patents are approved, the structural system will then require localized approvals to coincide with area code requirements around fire, health, and life safety. While awaiting patent approval, DIALOG is working in partnership with EllisDon to develop scaled panels for thorough structural testing.  

“The hybrid panel presents a unique value proposition allowing for carbon sustainability, the ability for offsite prefabrication, and long-span exposed ceilings desired by many commercial tenants,” said Mark Gaglione, P.E. the Director of Building and Material Sciences with EllisDon, “We are excited to be working with DIALOG to help make this concept idea a reality as soon as possible,”