Tall story

Identity - - SUSTAINABILITY - TEXT: STEVE HILL

Van­cou­ver is to be­come home to the tallest hy­brid wood struc­ture in North Amer­ica, Philippe Starck has col­lab­o­rated with Bent­ley to cre­ate a smart power dock for the lux­ury car brand’s new Ben­tayga Hy­brid, and plans have been un­veiled for the world’s largest and most pow­er­ful off­shore wind tur­bine.

MASS AP­PEAL

Due to be com­pleted in the sum­mer of 2020 is Ter­race House, Pritzker Prize-win­ning ar­chi­tect Shigeru Ban’s Van­cou­ver water­front con­do­minium, which will be­come the tallest hy­brid wood struc­ture in North Amer­ica.

The top seven sto­ries of this 19-floor project by PortLiv­ing will, for the first time in Canada and the United States, fea­ture ex­posed mass tim­ber, fol­low­ing of­fi­cial ap­proval from the city of Van­cou­ver. This was achieved af­ter a process of per­for­mance­based fire and struc­tural en­gi­neer­ing tests which demon­strated that this hy­brid mass tim­ber struc­ture is as safe, if not safer, than a con­ven­tional con­crete or steel high-rise.

And the ap­proval is seen as a ma­jor step for­ward in Van­cou­ver’s goal of be­com­ing the green­est city in the coun­try.

Wood is a sus­tain­able and ver­sa­tile build­ing ma­te­rial that stores, rather than emits, car­bon diox­ide for the life of the struc­ture and beyond. The en­vi­ron­men­tal and per­for­mance ben­e­fits of wood con­struc­tion also in­clude re­duced green­house gas emis­sions, re­duced em­bod­ied en­ergy, re­new­able ben­e­fits, and di­rect oc­cu­pant and builder health ben­e­fits.

Homes within the up­per tim­ber lev­els will fea­ture ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal wood struc­tural beams and col­umns of Dou­glas Fir har­vested from sus­tain­ably man­aged forests 700 kilo­me­tres away in the Koote­nay re­gion of Bri­tish Colom­bia.

Ter­race House is a de­vel­op­ment of just 20 unique homes, al­most half of which oc­cupy en­tire floor­plates. Cus­tom fea­tures, from door han­dles to cab­i­net pulls, can be found through­out and have been de­signed by Shigeru Ban, while each res­i­dence will boast a full suite of smart home tech­nolo­gies, mu­seum-qual­ity glaz­ing plus fully-in­te­grated air con­di­tion­ing and heat­ing sys­tems.

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