Monday 9 June 2014

CEI's 40 Storey Wood Tower Model

We have back in our Vancouver office a weary traveler.... a 6' (180cm) tall wooden model of a 40 Storey Wood Office Tower that was built "in house" back in 2012. 

The instigator for exploring the possibility of tall wood frame construction has been the increase in the use of wood in the built environment. Combined with strong government support through the WoodFirst Act and the many environmental benefits of use of this material, such as its ability to sequester carbon dioxide and the fact that building with wood requires less overall energy than other materials led to the construction of this model.

The model has been traveling in a large and heavy crate to numerous events including Architectural conventions.

Our objectives included a design that would incorporate advanced sustainable strategies, would be visually iconic, would be attractive to tenants for its functionality and warmth, and would respond to the climate and environment of the Pacific Northwest.

Floors are built from engineered CREE panels, spanning 30 feet from the core to perimeter truss. An east-west axis helps maximize solar gain and control east-west exposure. Exterior sunshades are oriented vertically on the east-west elevations, with horizontal shades on the south that incorporate photovoltaic solar panels.

The resulting design addresses these issues through highly flexible, column-free spaces and a myriad of other highly sustainable and functional features. The scheme proposes a building footprint of 150 feet by 90 feet, with a central concrete core. Floor decks are made of wood-concrete composite elements that take advantage of the superior tension capacity of wood and the compression capacity of concrete.

Wood trusses with depths matching the 12-inch floor-to-floor heights are efficient structural elements and placed at the perimeter of the building at every alternate floor. The top and bottom chords of the trusses support the floor decks that span from core elements to the perimeter. The ability to support two floors with one trussed level allows the building to have clear span sky garden or sky lobby at chosen levels. The wood trusses are engineered using locally harvested wood; their visual presence contributes to a warm, inspiring work environment and also becomes the primary architectural expression for the building.

Four concrete piers, 30 feet from the end, are strategically positioned at building perimeters to support the wood trusses with cantilevers to achieve further structural efficiency by minimizing internal forces. Reinforced concrete is used for its structural properties of strength, rigidity, ductility and continuity, to resist lateral forces such as earthquakes and wind.

CEI Architecture’s preliminary costing has shown this scheme can be constructed with a five percent savings over traditionally constructed office buildings, an indication that innovative building approaches featuring substantial, sustainable and smart use of wood is an approach worth considering.

Engineering Team
Architect: CEI Architecure - Nick Bevanda partner in charge
Structural: Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers
Mechanical: Rocky Point Engineering
Civil: 2020 Engineering
QS: SSA Quantity Surveyors Ltd.
Area: 730,000 sq ft (67 820 sm)

Here are links for further information.


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