In this paper, we discuss the structural design of one of the tallest timber-based hybrid buildings in the world: the 18 storey, 53 meter tall student residence on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The building is of hybrid construction: 17 storeys of mass wood construction on top of one storey of concrete construction. Two concrete cores containing vertical circulation provide the required lateral resistance. The timber system is comprised of cross-laminated timber panels, which are point supported on glued-laminated timber columns and steel connections between levels. In addition to providing more than 400 beds for students, the building will serve as an academic site to monitor and study its structural performance, specifically horizontal building vibration and vertical shrinkage considerations. We present the challenges relating to the approval process of the building and discuss building code compliance issues.
Timber-Concrete Composite (TCC) systems have been employed as an efficient solution in medium span structural applications; their use remains largely confined to European countries. TCC systems are generally comprised of a timber and concrete element with a shear connection between. A large number of precedents for T-beam configurations exist; however, the growing availability of flat plate engineered wood products (EWPs) in North America has offered designers greater versatility in terms of floor plans and architectural expression in modern timber and hybrid structures. The opportunity exists to enhance the strength, stiffness, fire, and vibration performance of floors using these products by introducing a concrete topping, connected to the timber to form a composite. A research program at the University of British Columbia Vancouver investigates the performance of five different connector types (a post-installed screw system, cast-in screws, glued-in steel mesh, adhesive bonded, and mechanical interlocking) in three different EWPs (Cross-Laminated-Timber, Laminated-Veneer-Lumber, and Laminated-Strand-Lumber). Over 200 mid-scale push-out tests were performed in the first stage of experimental work to evaluate the connector performance and to optimize the design of subsequent vibration and bending testing of full-scale specimens, including specimens subjected to long-term loading.