Canadian Consulting Engineer

New Fast + Epp HQ ready to use ‘groundbreaking’ seismic tech

July 28, 2020

Fast + Epp new HQ superstructure

Photo by Michael Elkan Photography.

Superstructure erection has been completed for structural engineering firm Fast + Epp’s new mass-timber hybrid home office in Vancouver, using Tectonus seismic technology for the first time in North America.

The four-storey superstructure, located near the intersection of 7th Avenue and Yukon Street, was erected in four weeks using cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor and wall panels, glued laminated timber (glulam) beams and steel posts. Exterior wall panels, including a firewall at the property line, have been pre-clad with membrane and insulation.

Tectonus connectors have been installed at the base of the CLT shear walls to act as shock absorbers, ‘snapping’ the building back into position without damage after a significant earthquake and allowing for an immediate return to occupancy. They will be left uncovered as part of the building’s design esthetic, along with exposed timber as the interior finish.

An electro-chromatic glazing system will be used on the north, south, and west elevations. This will allow window tint levels to be automated or remotely adjusted to accommodate natural daylight, so as to reduce energy costs and optimize comfort.


Meanwhile, Fast + Epp is using accelerometer testing to assess the vibration performance of the building’s floor system, comprising 105-mm thick CLT panels with a 50-mm concrete topping.

The firm designed the building in collaboration with F2A Architecture and HCMA Architecture + Design and expects to move in later this year.


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