Side Walk Talk: Exploring the Future of Mass Timber Building

Sidewalk Toronto is a proponent of mass timber, a sustainable new building material with great potential for efficient factory production. The Aspect team is proud to be part of the engineering team on this state of the art project. Learn all about the Sidewalk Toronto Proposal, a new approach to inclusive urban growth.

We also invite you to explore Side Walk Talk a blog where technologists and urbanists discuss the future of cities:

We think timber buildings could be even taller, so we spent the past year working with a world-class team of architects, engineers, and environmental designers to create a mass timber "proto-model" at 35 stories  — a height yet to be achieved in practice. We call this project Proto-Model X, or PMX. What's a proto-model, you ask? Associate Director of Development Cara Eckholm explains that and more in a PMX mini series on the Sidewalk Talk blog.

Their blog will take you through this project and the potential of mass timber building:

  • Introducing PMX: Our model for how tall timber buildings could work in cities (Introduction)
  • How to design a timber building that can reach 35 stories (Part 1)
  • How to design a timber building that's easy to make in a factory (Part 2)
(Image: Michael Green Architecture and Gensler)

Tall Wood Buildings Hoped to Boost Lumber Sector

Check out the Global Okanagan News footage of our associate Ilana Danzig discussing the future of Mass-Timber buildings in BC.

The story covered the The Wood Design Luncheon Conference in Kelowna. These annual conferences in two BC locations feature presentations on current topics in architecture, engineering, design and construction with wood by experts in wood design and building while suppliers are on hand with their exhibits to answer questions about wood products and systems. The same three presentations are given in each location. Learn more about the conference...

This year Ilana presented on:

Tall Wood Case Studies in Canada
Ilana Danzig | P.Eng., M.Eng., PE, SE | Associate – Aspect Engineering
Review and discussion of two tall mass timber buildings: A 12-storey building and a 30+ storey building. Discussions will included the structural system, fire requirements, lateral load considerations, opportunities for prefabrication, and the new 2020 NBCC Encapsulated Mass Timber construction type.

Go to the 12:45 mark of this video to see the Mass-Timber story:


New mass timber projects a glimmer of hope for B.C. forestry industry

Our Associate, Ilana Danzig was featured on CTV News to discuss the possible growth of the BC forestry industry because of changes to the building code:

Starting in 2020, the national building code of Canada will allow for mass timber buildings to be constructed across the country. Currently, buildings made of wood are only allowed to stand six storeys high. After the mass timber policy change next year, buildings will be permitted to stand up to 12 storeys tall.

The increase in size and scale of wooden buildings could help revitalize the forestry industry, according to professionals in the field.

Ilana discussed one of our current projects, Terminus and Tallwood in Langford, BC:

"There's an explosion in mass timber projects right now that we're seeing in B.C. and all through Canada and all throughout the U.S.," said Ilana Danzig, a structural engineer for Langford's upcoming Tallwood 1 building.

"Mass timber is a very hot item. There's going to be very high demand both on the design side and the supply side," said Danzig.

Read the full article by Adam Chan... 


Distillery District Tower at DRP

ASPECT is thrilled to work with the team on the mass timber portion of this new development in the Distillery District.

proposal for the development of a 29-story tower with a “heritage feel” and timber interior that creates the feeling of an old industrial warehouse.

Two developers and two design firms have come together to collaborate in this effort: DreamCityscapeShoP Architects and Quadrangle.

Read the full article on BlogTO.com

 

ASPECT'S contribution will be:

On the inside of "The Ribbon", mass timber construction is being considered for its warm feel—the use of a timber structural system could add a historical aspect by replicating the common structural system of Toronto's old industrial warehouses, while simultaneously adding a contemporary aspect by joining a growing roster of new buildings in Toronto using mass timber following the recent changes to the Ontario Building Code.

Read the full article on urbantoronto.ca

Image: Rendering looking west along the Ribbon, image courtesy of Dream and CityScape.

 


Malahat Summit Skywalk

We are excited to announce a proposed project on the Malahat Summit, an elevated ‘Skywalk’ with a 40-metre spiral viewing tower. It has been featured on Global News:

“Inspired by our exploration of elevated forest walks in Europe, we want to bring the concept of an accessible, environmentally sound and culturally significant tourism experience to Vancouver Island,”

A.Spire by Nature Principal David Greenfield

 

“The Malahat Skywalk is a project that our Nation is proud to partner on. Not only is it a tourism experience that speaks to sustainability and the connection to our land, but it will also provide opportunities for many generations of the Malahat Nation to come,”

Malahat Coun. George Harry Jr.

 

Click here to view the full article and video.


Sea to Sky Gondola Tree Walk

We are happy to announce the Sea to Sky Gondola Tree Walk, an elevated tree walk that spirals 34 metres into the sky. It has been featured on Global News.

“The tree walk will preserve, connect and enhance access to natural areas while protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.”

Sea to Sky Gondola general manager Kirby Brown

The Sea to Sky Gondola’s planned elevated tree walk is envisioned to be an accessible outdoor recreation structure comprised of an elevated boardwalk which meanders through the tree tops and over natural features, eventually leading to a timber viewing tower. The boardwalk is over 700 feet long and up to 75 feet above the forest floor. A gently sloped ramp winds its way up the tower to provide an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountains and Howe Sound, making this structure not only unique to North America, but the world!

Click here to view the full article and video


Building Employee Trust and Respect

We are happy to share an article feature on Kent Employment Law’s website. They are an employment law firm with offices in Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria. They advise employers and employees throughout British Columbia on all employment-related legal matters. They recently interviewed our principal, Gina Sheppard about some of our employee polices:

 

Aspect Structural Engineers: Building Employee Trust and Respect

When Gina Sheppard, Partner at Aspect Structural Engineers, told us that her firm had recently introduced policies allowing employees to take unlimited vacation and set their own work hours, we were intrigued. As a B Corpand strong proponents of sustainable employment – workplace practices built on transparency, collaboration, respect and fairness – we are always on the lookout for companies striving to “do good” for their employees.

Wanting to learn more and to share ASPECT’s successes with other forward-thinking employers, we asked Gina if she would be willing to fill us in on the inspiration for and implementation of their progressive workplace approach. Luckily, she agreed.
Here’s what she had to say:

What sparked you and your partners to start your own firm?
We wanted to combine our collective experience as associates and employees elsewhere, both good and bad, to create a new, modern engineering firm that focuses on employee growth and development.

How do you motivate your employees?
By challenging them personally & professionally while providing them with a fun working environment free of “red-tape” and bureaucracy. We constantly ask for, and actually act on, the advice and input of our employees in regards to many aspects of the business – we recognize that good ideas come from all over. Listening to everyone on the team and valuing their opinions is paramount. We try to provide challenges and learning opportunities and allow them to make mistakes, while still maintaining strong support and easily accessible mentorship. Constant communication and feedback.

 

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