Canadian government supports hybrid timber floor research

STONEY CREEK, Ont. – Canada is advancing toward net-zero through innovations in forestry and construction. The increased demand for renewable building materials is transforming design and architecture from coast to coast to coast. This transformation includes innovations in the combination of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and post-tensioned concrete.

Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced that a combined Government of Canada contribution of more than $550,000 was awarded to the Hybrid Timber Floor System Project led by EllisDon and DIALOG. 

The project is funded through the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program, a program that encourages the greater use of wood in construction and supports Canada's transition to a low-carbon economy; and the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT), a program that supports its recipients in de-risking the implementation of innovation in the Canadian forest sector.

EllisDon and DIALOG's patent-pending Hybrid Timber Floor System is an approach to the existing concept of hybridizing structural materials. The Hybrid Timber Floor System, a mixture of different materials such as concrete and steel combined with mass timber, offers a reduction in carbon and an increase in building design possibilities. As a composite of post-tensioned concrete, CLT, and a structurally engaged topping, it also allows mass timber–based floor systems to be used in non-residential long-span construction that had previously been limited to traditional building materials.

According to EllisDon and DIALOG's study, this Hybrid Timber Floor System means mass timber can be used to meet the clear spans often desired in the commercial and institutional sectors while delivering exposed finishes. This ability means greener construction options, meaningful use of local natural resources, and benefits to the bio-economy.

The EllisDon and DIALOG study is currently underway at EllisDon's modular fabrication facility, located in Stoney Creek, Ontario; the facility is an industrial building of over 27,000 square meters that is fully fit for prefabricated volumetric modules and panelized building components. The project will be completed later this year, with ongoing full-scale and long-term testing planned post-study.

Natural Resources Canada's IFIT program facilitates the adoption of transformative technologies and products by bridging the gap between development and commercialization. IFIT-funded projects help diversify the forest product market through high-value bioproducts such as bioenergy, biomaterials, biochemicals, and next-generation building products. The GCWood program supports innovative low-carbon wood construction as part of Canada's goal of reaching net zero by 2050. The program increases awareness of and capacity for innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges, and low-rise wood buildings.


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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).