Envisioned as the office headquarters for the future lead-tenant, The Hive’s (2150 Keith Drive) first design mandate was the use of mass timber. The design team was looking for ways to incorporate the patterns of nature into a delicately detailed exposed mass timber superstructure with a powerful architectural façade for the prominent Vancouver site.

Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • Client BentallGreenOak
  • ArchitectDIALOG
  • Size150,000 ft² (13,935 m²)
  • Sustainable FeaturesTargets LEED Gold

Through much collaboration with the DIALOG architectural team, Fast + Epp developed a perimeter timber braced frame system that creates a striking façade expression and eliminates the need for conventional cast-in place concrete cores. The perimeter timber braced frames are paired with four discrete internal cross laminated timber (CLT) shearwalls. Once complete, this should be the tallest timber braced frame in North America.

Having learned that integrated service distribution is key to the successful architectural expression of a mass timber ceilings, Fast + Epp also developed a bottom-flush interior girder system, using custom steel members. This system creates a ‘flat plate’ ceiling, perfect for mechanical and electrical service routing.

The timber braced frame and cross laminated timber shearwall systems underwent small-scale and full-scale testing at the University of Alberta and the University of Queens, providing valuable engineering information back to the design community for future tall wood projects. (Read more about the perforated plate technology here, and the interstorey drift testing here.) The project design includes Tectonus supplementary energy dissipating devices at each of the braced frame members and within the CLT shearwalls. Fast + Epp has completed a full non-linear time history analysis on this ground breaking lateral system, which has been peer reviewed by a third party panel.

Conference Papers

The ‘all-timber’ system has been designed as a kit-of-parts prefabricated structure to facilitate rapid construction erection. Fast + Epp considers this a pioneering project that will continue to inform the design and construction movement towards mass timber.