First mass timber institutional building in Ontario under construction

Centennial College: Progress Campus A Block (Photo: Dialog and Smoke Architecture; Courtesy of UrbanToronto)

According to UrbanToronto, the first mass timber institutional building in Ontario, Canada, has began its construction in November. The Centennial College Progress Campus now has a total of 1,057 individual pieces of timber, with a 136,000ft2 extension of the existing A-Block Building using FSC-certified, cross-laminated and glue-laminated black spruce from Northern Quebec.

The construction is slated to finish by early 2023, with building occupancy scheduled for mid-2023, and the opening of it in 2023 Fall semester.

The campus in Scarborough, Toronto was built using timber for sustainability purposes, since timber can sequester carbon, thus making the campus a net-zero carbon building.

It also has a goal of reconciliating with the indigenous people of Canada by honouring the indigenous land in which the building is built upon. Thus, the building will reflect both indigenous and Western cultures, designed by Dialog and Smoke Architecture of Hamilton, a firm that focuses on First Nations and indigenous spaces.

EllisDon, which specialises in offering building and construction services, is also in on the project, together with workers from the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program. H2H is a construction industry gateway for personnel who have served in Canada’s military, providing opportunities in construction and related industries for serving, transitioning, and former military personnel.

After two months of construction, the six-storey campus is already on its fourth and fifth levels. Vincent Davenport, Director of Building Material Sciences at EllisDon explained to UrbanToronto that the base, stair cores, and elevator cores are all concrete, while the rest of the structure, all the way to the roof, is made with timber.

With the concrete sections done, the focus is now on the construction of the mass timber structure which will be completed by the end of January 2022. Following that, glass, drywall, mechanical, and electrical will all be installed.

Dan Beadle, the project manager on site, expressed optimism for the future of mass timber in Ontario, believing that mass timber will become a standard choice for building material: “It seems to be becoming another popular option, to ask a client, ‘Do you want to do concrete, steel, or mass timber?'”

Source: UrbanToronto