The Wood Innovation Design Centre (WIDC) serves as a gathering place for researchers, academics, and design professionals generating ideas for innovative uses of wood. The lower floors of the building provide facilities dedicated to education in Integrated Wood Design. Upper floors provide office space for government and wood industry-related organizations. The eight-story building stands 97 feet tall — the world’s tallest modern all-timber office building, a benchmark soon to be surpassed by other mass timber buildings.
Conceived to showcase the potential for building mid- and high-rise structures using engineered mass timber products, there is no concrete used above the ground floor slab. The design incorporates a simple, ‘dry’ structure of systems-integrated CLT floor panels, Glulam columns and beams, and mass timber walls. The building’s structural simplicity is easily replicated, a fundamental choice made in the interest of seeing many more architects, engineers, and private developers recognize the value of mass timber design as alternative to steel and concrete.
This project has set many precedents in the North American building context through the extensive engineering research and testing by the project team to prove the safety and validity of mass timber construction techniques. The basic structural concept for WIDC can be used for buildings up to 20 and 30 stories in height with little modification, as described in The Case For Tall Wood (M. Green & E. Karsh, 2012). Soon, we expect that North American building codes will soon begin to adopt Tall Wood construction as a standard, safe practice.