With the advocacy for sustainable construction on the rise, use of timber as the main building material is being championed in large-scale construction projects. While the advancement of engineered timber products is addressing some issues that previously limited the use of wood in high-rise construction, there are still challenges such as fire and weather safety, code compliance and negative public perceptions. One main gap in the available resources is the lack of a comprehensive and detailed case study of a high-rise project with wood as the main construction material to capture constraints and innovations necessary in creating success, which has formed the direction of this research. This thesis is focused on documenting a case study of the Brock Commons project, an 18 storey, hybrid timber-concrete residential high-rise located at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus, which is the tallest hybrid timber building in the world. The overall research objective was to identify and document the delivery of this innovative project, with a specific emphasis on the innovations necessary to make timber high-rise construction successful and the use of VDC tools in the design and pre-construction process. The case study documents the project context, the design process, the business and industry drivers, and the motivation for construction. Moreover, it investigates the motivations for all stakeholders, identifies the challenges and constraints, and captures the innovative solutions that were utilized to ensure project success. The case study also documents the innovative use of VDC to support prefabrication and overall project coordination. Specifically, it investigates the role of the VDC integrators in the project, the paths of communications with the different project team members, and the inputs and outputs of each phase of design and construction. This research identified lessons learned that can be applied to other construction projects where timber is the main structural component and a heavy use of VDC and pre-fabrication is required. Use of timber and innovative methods in construction have been consistently rising in the past decade, and this research aims to provide a starting point for future efforts in mass timber high-rise construction.
Sustainable use of natural resources is essential in lean construction. Resource efficiency brings responsibilities’ for all actors in the whole building value chain. In wooden construction sustainable use of natural resources starts with sustainable forestry, but the design process is responsible for designing resource efficient solutions which are durable, material and energy efficient and long lasting. This paper focuses on studying resource consumption and consequent GHG impacts. The results are given for two wooden prefabricated multi-storey building technologies: for the construction with large elements and for box-modules. Life cycle based material flow accounting shows that the lightweight nature of wooden structures embodies efficiency in resource use. However it depends also on building shape, compactness and the type of on designed solutions. When the intensity of other materials is high enough and the building design is not favourable the final result for the wooden building can be on the same level with concrete buildings. This study clarifies the understanding about material efficiency in wooden buildings.