George Brown’s mass timber building reaches construction milestone

by arslan_ahmed | August 30, 2023 1:32 pm

Limberlost Place after its topping off.[1]
Limberlost Place after its topping off.Photo courtesy Salina Kassam.

Limberlost Place, one of Ontario’s first mass timber, net-zero carbon emissions institutional building, has now reached the highest point in its construction. The final wood and steel beams were installed in the 10-storey facility located at George Brown College’s (GBC’s) Waterfront campus in Toronto.

To celebrate the topping off milestone, PCL Construction, other project partners, and the trades workforce signed a beam earlier this summer before it was lifted into place at the top of the building.

Limberlost Place’s structure was completed using an intricate installation method including a sequence where each mass timber column and cross-laminated slab band would be placed. The structure includes three, three-storey mass timber columns, which are among some of the largest in North America, and 139 cross-laminated timber (CLT) and concrete composite slab bands. The slab bands were piled in order of installation, indicating the exact spot where each timber piece would be installed in the building.

Weighing 7,711 kg (17,000 lbs) each, approximately 1,190 CLT pieces in the structure were prepared with kerf plates, screws, rebar, concrete, M&E sleeves, roof anchors, and column bases. Glue-laminated mass timber (GLT) pieces, 571 of them, were also used in the building.

The total volume of CLT used in the building is 3,310 m3 (116,892 cf), while the total volume of GLT is 822 m3 (29,029 cf). The structure also uses 850 m3 (206,5915 cf) of concrete, while the building Li has more than 22,306 unique steel components.

Topping off signifies the move to finish work on the exterior envelope, starting the interior fit-up (including the installation of other mass timber pieces, such as the learning landscape feature stairs), and commissioning the building.

Designed by Acton Ostry Architects and Moriyama Teshima Architects with PCL Construction managing construction, Limberlost Place will be home to GBC’s schools of architectural studies and computer technology, and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI). Its internationally award-winning design and construction surpasses the Toronto Green Standard (TGS) for reduced carbon emissions and is changing national and provincial building codes for tall mass timber buildings, especially those that are more than six storeys.

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