An Innovative Residence in West Vancouver

Photograph Courtesy of DGBK


Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a promising engineering material.

Designed for increased dimensional stability and strength in framing systems, CLT is made of multiple layers of wood, with several layers of boards stacked crosswise and glued together . Used for long spans in floors, walls or roofs, CLT can be prefinished, which reduces labour onsite, and is equally suited to new construction and additions to existing buildings.

Compared with other wood materials, it also has better thermal performance and seismic performance under earthquakes and has been an effective alternative to concrete, steel and masonry in many building types.

In Canada, more and more houses use CLT these days. The first CLT house fully designed and built in North America is located in West Vancouver, British Columbia.  The family house is approximate 4800 square metres. CLT panels serve as the main components of the wall, floor and roof assemblies, which offer a long span and allow a column-free expanse in the main interior spaces. For the upper floor particularly, the plan is designed to provide sweeping ocean vistas and a closer view of greenery on the mountain side of the house.



Photograph Courtesy of DGBK



The dominant feature of the house is the triangle balcony off the second floor living room.

Compared with reinforce concrete, the light weight and excellent mechanical performance of CLT makes it possible to build the cantilevered balcony into different shapes. The special balcony makes the house lively.



Photograph Courtesy of DGBK



The use of CLT also provides some practical benefits for both the owners and the environment. Not only does it have better resistance to earthquake and fire, excellent thermal insulation which reduces heating and cooling costs, but CLT also offers good acoustic insulating properties ensuring the residents are less impacted by external noise. Environmentally, CLT has a neutral emission of carbon dioxide contributing to a lower carbon footprint.

This is but one example on the benefits of CLT materials.

As a student researching CLT buildings, I’m concentrating on improving their resistance to earthquakes, which is a critical factor for west coast housing.

Here's more information on CLT technology

Click the link for more information on this elegant residence designed by DGBK Architects.


Researched and Written by Sylvia Ma, Master Student of Timber Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Posted In: British Columbia

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