13 story timber tower to be built in Quebec City, will be tallest in North America

May 22, 2015

By: Tree Hugger

The province of Quebec has a lot of trees and forests, and a nascent Cross-Laminated Timber industry. Now Quebec City’s Pointe-aux-Lièvres eco-district is getting a 13 storey tower constructed of mostly CLT, 12 storeys of apartments on top of a concrete podium. Designed by Yvan Blouin, the building is a condominium being marketed as the Origine;it will be interesting to see what the market acceptance will be like.

The interior renderings don’t show any exposed CLT, which is a shame; it is lovely to look at. Perhaps the fire authorities are not yet convinced that it doesn’t have to be protected by drywall.

It is being built by Nordic Structures, who write that it is ” A long time in the making, the project has drawn on input from federal and provincial officials as well as research institutes, and will help pave the way for the development of a North American market for solid wood building products made in Quebec.”

In the not too distant future we will all be looking out at tall buildings made out of wood. CLT and other mass timber technologies let us build with a renewable resource that packs away carbon for the life of the building. Architect Michael Green was right when he noted that his Wood Design and Innovation Centre would not be the tallest for long; at 40 meters (131 feet) The Origine will soon take the title.

By: Tree Hugger

Your comments.

  1. Tim Keating says:

    Well, it’s largely a mistake to account for “packing away carbon” within wooden structures. After all, the trees are packing away carbon and continue to do so until they are cut. In the harvesting and processing, much of the carbon is lost. The best materials to sequester carbon on recycled ones, such as recycled plastic lumber. But that’s not yet approved for building construction. In the meantime, simply promoting wood as renewable misses the finer, specific information that can spell the difference between sustainable and catastrophic. No wood products should be seen as sustainable without further information about exactly where they’re coming from and how they are logged and processed.

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