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David Moses in Daily Commercial News: Course looks to train the next generation of mass timber builders

Daily Commercial News writes:

As architects and engineers get up to speed on designing buildings in the fledgling mass timber industry in Ontario, many contractors remain on the sidelines hesitant about the new building type they are hearing more about.

“Right now, really the need is that we have trained people who know how to build,” said David Moses, principal with Moses Structural Engineers.

Working with Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Carpenters’ Local 27 and the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades (CCAT), Moses is developing several mass timber modules that can be built and disassembled by apprentices and carpenters.

The full-scale modules will be at the heart of a four-week training course starting up next March at the CCAT in Vaughan.

One of the modules is a tilt-up balloon frame cross-laminated timber (CLT) stair shaft.

CLT proponents say they are easy to install and are fastened with screws, Moses recently told delegates at a mass timber seminar at The Buildings Show in Toronto.

A full-scale two-storey working model that “looks like a house” will expose students to “the many interfaces” in mass timber buildings, he said. Students will learn how to frame headers, attach ledgers and roofs. Another module illustrates various bracing options, including chevron, cross, k-bracing and CLT shearwalls.

Moses added that a small-scale module of an eight-storey mass timber building will help students and others understand the various systems and materials in a mass timber structure.

Design flexibility is paramount in mass timber structures. The ability to disassemble and reassemble with design revisions is one of the benefits of the system, he said.

“These buildings are built with a thought to the future.”

But the mass timber industry is still in its infancy, evolving and experiencing growing pains.

Material manufacturers produce products with a range of grades and dimensions designed to do the same thing.

“That lack of standardization makes it difficult for us,” he said.

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Image courtesy of Daily Commercial News / Don Procter