Fast + Epp pushes boundaries for tall wood construction

Recent approval by the City of Vancouver for the construction of wood for commercial and residential projects of up to 12-storeys is great news for the architecture, engineering and construction community. Following the Tallwood House at Brock Commons – named the tallest mass timber building in the world in 2017, Fast + Epp has seen heightened recognition and demand for tall timber buildings. The up and coming 10-storey timber office in Vancouver, known as 2150 Keith Drive, is poised to stand among the tallest timber-braced frame and CLT shearwall projects in North America at the time of construction.


Testing Megant concealed beam hanger interstorey drift for 2150 Keith Drive is just one of the few mass timber testing programs Fast + Epp has in place in their efforts to push the boundaries forward for tall wood construction. This specific testing program aims to establish the rotational capacity of the project specific Megant concealed beam hanger to ensure that these gravity connections are able to withstand the movement this type of building would experience in a seismic event.

Other groups have also identified a need for larger three- and four-storey schools, such as the Vancouver School Board. In collaboration with Wood WORKS! BC and Thinkspace Architecture and Interior Design, Fast + Epp created a design and construction guide for taller timber schools, which includes a range of wood construction options, including both light wood-frame and mass timber.

The many state-of-the-art tall timber projects underway in North America and growing recognition of the benefits of mass timber including lower carbon emissions, cost-efficiency, and accelerated construction schedules, will open further discussions to extend the capabilities of this construction material.