Fast + Epp head office receives recognition by the Canadian Wood Council and BC forest industry

Fast + Epp’s new head office, designed by f2a architecture, is being recognized by the Canadian Wood Council and the BC forest industry for its innovation and ingenuity in wood design and building. It has been selected for funding support under Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction through Wood (GC Wood) Program.

The hybrid mass timber building, located near downtown Vancouver on Yukon Street, is among the first office buildings in Vancouver to use mass timber as a structural material, and will showcase the same structural technologies that are at the forefront of the engineering firm’s consulting practice.

“It’s a really special moment in our Fast + Epp company history to have the opportunity to move into a custom-built mass timber office building. It features a robust, sustainable structure, warm exposed wood interiors and the latest in seismic technology using self-centering, energy absorbing connectors,” explained Paul Fast, partner at Fast + Epp.

“The building will serve as living lab with ongoing thermal, moisture and vibration monitoring. It will also house Fast + Epp’s Concept Lab where physical testing of mass timber components and software development will take place.”

With design led by Austen Hawkins at f2a architecture, the Fast + Epp Home Office will feature an exposed hybrid mass timber structure and leading-edge seismic design technology. It will provide the broader construction and design industry with learning opportunities through monitoring performance results.

“Mass timber products have the strength, versatility, and sustainability attributes to meet the needs of a fast-changing commercial construction market sector. From long spans and open spaces, to demanding fire resistance ratings, wood and mass timber designs meet what the market demands. We’re excited to see the extensive benefits of building with wood recognized by leading designers,” said Kevin McKinley, president and CEO of the Canadian Wood Council.

“This project is an excellent example of an innovative, sustainable and high-performance wood building. It showcases technologically advanced wood products and systems, and how mass timber components work together for optimal designs that can be easily replicated,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC. “Projects such as this will address today’s urgent demand for more efficient construction using sustainable building materials, toward a goal of carbon neutral structures that will positively transform our built environment.”

The GCWood program was announced as part of the Government of Canada’s Budget 2017 with $39.8 million in funding available over four years, starting in 2018–19. The funds will support projects and activities that increase the use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects. GCWood provides non-repayable contributions to a project’s eligible incremental costs for the demonstration of innovative wood products and systems. Knowledge and information developed using GCWood funding falls under a Creative Commons license and will allow for future knowledge sharing among the design and construction communities.