Mass-timber, modular laneway homes aim to fill a housing need

Sustainable, precision-built, time-saving, modular “accessory dwelling units” on display at B.C. Home + Garden Show.

Adera featured in several the Tri-cities newspaper, Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, and several other papers during the week for the use of CLT in building the condo development Virtuoso.

“Rockridge uses Penticton firm Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation as its CLT supplier – a company that has already seen some considerable take-up of its products in projects such as UBC’s 12-storey student housing Brock Commons. CLT also being used on a number of six-storey multi-family condo projects, particularly by Adera Development Corporation, which completed its CLT-built Virtuoso condo development at UBC last year and is now building another in Coquitlam, called Duet.

Hardy Wenztel, CEO of Structurlam, told Glacier Media in an interview, “CLT and other forms of mass timber have been used widely for more than two decades in Europe. Although mass timber is a nascent material here in B.C., we’re at a point where we’re seeing a groundswell of product acceptance in the marketplace – and B.C. is at the North Amercican forefront of understanding and proliferation of the product. That said, the U.S. is coming up quickly on our heels.”

He outlined the benefits of mass timber as “building faster, building sustainably, building economically and building higher quality, compared with steel and concrete buildings. We can prefabricate our CLT in a climate-controlled workshop using computer-controlled robots, within a tolerance of a millimetre – compared with steel framed buildings, where the tolerance can be half an inch.”

Wentzel said that adoption of mass timber is happening “slowly but surely” and that building codes are being changed to allow for 12-storey engineered-timber buildings. It is theoretically possible to build any height of building out of mass timber, he said, but eight- to 10-storey buildings are the “sweet spot” in terms of what’s needed.

“I really believe mass timber will become a mainstream building product – I just can’t tell you when,” Wentzel added”

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