On-Site Magazine

Construction of the tallest wood condo tower in North America officially begins

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June 15, 2016 by On-Site Magazine

A ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Origine green condo project on June 14th. It is set to become the tallest solid wood condo tower in North America. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume both attended the event to celebrate the project, which has positioned Quebec as a leader in eco-friendly wood construction. Origine will also be the flagship building of the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ecodistrict, in the heart of Quebec City.

The 41-metre-tall building, to be delivered by the end of the year, will feature 12 storeys made of gigantic cross-laminated timber above a concrete ground floor. It will house 92 condo units.

“By supporting innovation and the use of new techniques in the construction of wood-based high-rise buildings, we are supporting the growth of a strong and competitive forestry industry. These investments in research and development lead to cleaner, more sustainable construction practices, all while promoting the creation of employment opportunities in the forestry sector. Innovative, entrepreneurial ideas like these are integral to our fight against climate change,” said Jim Carr, Canadian Minister of Natural Resources.

Partnerships to bolster Canada’s wood construction leadership

The project could not have come to life without the vision and involvement of the Government of Canada, the Quebec government, the Ville de Québec and many research partners, including FPInnovations. Origine is the first major project in a promising new industry that can meet demand for sustainable buildings.

The project was selected by Natural Resources Canada and received $1.175 million in funding under the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative. That federal program helps to cover some of the additional construction costs of such buildings, including research and development projects.

The Quebec Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs paid for unprecedented fire-resistance testing to demonstrate the concept’s structural stability in the event of a fire. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec never compromised on safety and compliance as it analyzed and eventually approved the project with great open-mindedness. In the wake of the Origine project, the Quebec government even released a construction guide for medium- and high-rise buildings.

As for the Ville de Québec, it designed the Pointe-aux-Lièvres ecodistrict and authorized construction of Origine.

Why choose wood

  • Assembly time up to 50% shorter and faster occupancy
  • Lighter materials
    • 20% lighter than concrete
    • Lower foundation costs
  • 100% made in Quebec
  • LEED certification

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