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Mid-Rise Buildings

Mid-rise buildings provide a critical part of our building stock from four to 12 storeys. The so-called “Missing Middle” refers to the role of mid-rise buildings in providing affordable options for our cities while creating livable neighbourhoods with a mix of residential and commercial occupancies. Whether condominium, apartment, or stacked townhouse, we work closely with our clients to deliver a process that best suits your needs. Contact us to learn how you can benefit.

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Whole building thinking

Mid-rise buildings are unique because of the many considerations that our clients face: zoning limits, site constraints, site lines / angular planes, step backs, zero lot lines, material options, availability of trades and materials, prefabrication, cladding options, thermal performance, energy use, and craning and lifting options. All of these factors influence the structural design. We help our clients weigh the benefits and drawbacks of structural solutions as they relate to the many factors.

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Hybrid mid-rise buildings

We design buildings in all materials, and quite often a mix of materials – known as the “hybrid” approach – is necessary to maximize the benefit to our clients. For example, the gravity resisting structure may use a different material than the wind or earthquake resisting structure. Mixing materials requires a clear understanding of designing with the individual materials. Our clients also benefit from our expertise in the integration of two or more systems, with consideration of multiple trades on site, and sequencing of construction.

Stick frame Concrete Light gauge steel Masonry
Mass timber Hollow core slab Structural (red) steel Others

Alternative solutions

Mass timber mid-rise buildings

Tight sites and mid-rise buildings create challenges that are not a concern in smaller buildings or in much larger buildings. For example, zero lot lines and egress (emergency stairs which can take up considerable space on floor plates but can be used structurally) can be a challenge in mass timber mid-rise buildings. We help our clients navigate these unique challenges and offer solutions every step of the way. Contact us to learn more.

Our services

Multi-unit wood-frame engineering Design in steel, wood and concrete Mass timber specialty design Mixed-use residential and commercial (ICI)
Peer review services Feasibility studies Inspections and assessments R&D for new products

Licensed in:

Canada: ON, AB, BC, NU

United States: CO, DC, IL, KS, MA, MI, MN, MO, PA, TX, WA

Notable publications & references

Building codes in Canada and the United States are adapting quickly to the demand for taller wood buildings with new rules on building height, new mass timber structural systems, seismic performance and fire performance that affect layouts and the amount of exposed structural wood in the building. We are at the forefront of this change, participating in codes and standards developments, and educating the trades to keep up with these changes.

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