Located at the corner of Yukon Street and 7th Avenue, Fast + Epp’s new 4-storey home office building embraces design elegance and curiosity, traits that our firm has become known for.

The office will serve as a “living laboratory” with new ideas and technologies being tested both during construction and throughout the life of the building. With an emphasis on promoting employee wellness and productivity, the building combines the latest in sustainable design strategies as well as taking full advantage of the spectacular mountain views to the north.

Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientFast + Epp
  • Architectf2a architecture
  • Size16,000 ft² (1,450 m²)

Design

The design of our new headquarters is a direct reflection of who we are as engineers, and embodies the notions of integrated systems, prefabrication, and of course, hybrid mass timber – all coming together in harmony for a truly holistic design.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be utilized extensively throughout the building for the floor plates, stair and elevator cores, as well as the demising firewall, while steel columns provide floor and façade support. All panels will be precut and placed in a pre-planned sequence directly from the trailer for speed and ease of construction.

Dynamic Glass

The shallow floorplate and significant western exposure of the building presents another challenge: how can employees experience natural light and views to stay connected to the outdoors, while reducing energy consumption and ensuring occupant comfort? Working with Impact Engineering on the mechanical systems, View Smart Windows was selected as the most cost-effective solution to de-carbonize the space.

As the sun moves around the building throughout the day, the View Intelligence control software dynamically optimizes the tint of each window. Transition between the four different tint levels help these windows control glare and solar heat gain while maximizing natural light and views to eliminate the need for blinds or other shade structures.

Tectonus

Designing office resiliency is also key to Fast + Epp’s new home. The lateral design of the four-storey structure utilised Tectonus devices installed at the base of CLT shear walls and within the steel braced frames – a first for North America.

These devices act as shock absorbers for the building during an earthquake, providing energy dissipation and damping through the earthquake cycles, with the ability to snap back to its original position once earthquake shaking ends.

The Tectonus connectors undergo no damage, a feature that will allow immediate return to occupancy after a significant earthquake, without facing uncertain delays that would be expected with a more conventional system.

Vibration Testing

The superstructure will feature an economical floor system which is currently being evaluated for its vibration performance. The floors consist of three-ply 105mm thick CLT panels and 50mm concrete topping spanning across glulam beams. A mock-up of the clear-spanning floor system was built for testing to compare with the vibration behaviour determined analytically during the design phase.

This study explores the effect of the panel-to-beam connections as well as the level of composite action on the overall vibration performance of the floor. On-site evaluation of the floors will also be conducted to determine the progressive impact of adding concrete topping, partitions and furniture on mitigating vibration.

Project Partners

  • Architectf2a architecture
  • CodeGHL Consultants Ltd.
  • InteriorsHCMA Architecture + Design
  • MechanicalImpact Engineering
  • ElectricalOpal Engineering
  • CLTStructurlam
  • GlulamWestern Archrib
  • GlazingView Glass
  • SteelSolid Rock Steel
  • EQ UnitsTectonus
  • InstallationSeagate Mass Timber
  • ContractorCompanion Construction