Paving the way for further growth of tall wood construction in the North American market, Origine is a 13-storey, 92-unit residential tower located on the banks of the Saint-Charles River in the Pointe-aux-Lièvres district of Quebec City. Built by Quebec-based Nordic Structures, the tower, once completed, will be one of the tallest wood buildings in North America. It will boast 41 meters or 12 stories of solid wood construction, predominantly glue-laminated timber (posts and columns) and cross-laminated timber (CLT), supported by a concrete podium.
While offering a number of benefits, a building envelope of its height consisting primarily of wood made some uneasy. Fire safety a top concern, particularly since Origine is laying the groundwork for future sustainable wood buildings. The project was extensively fire-tested with mockups at the National Research Council in Ottawa. The tests showed that Origine’s building envelope could meet and even exceed existing fire safety standards. While proving that CLT holds up adequately in the event of a fire, passive fire protection remained an important safety element to be built into the structure. The non-combustible nature of ROCKWOOL stone wool made it the first choice in this application. ROCKWOOL Comfortboard® 110 was installed to provide a layer of continuous exterior insulation, offering important fire resistance while improving energy efficiency. To that end, the Comfortboard® 110, combined with Origine’s massive wood panels, reduce thermal bridging to a minimum. The panels themselves, meanwhile, provide a perfect substrate for the insulation fasteners. It is estimated that a wood building’s energy costs can be about 60 per cent of a standard building. Choosing lumber for the structure and other sustainable materials, like the ROCKWOOL insulation, will substantially reduce the building’s environmental impact in terms of embodied energy, as well as its carbon footprint.
Québec City, Québec (Pointe-aux-Lièvres district)