Édifice Complan, 5th Floor
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Located at Québec City’s doorstep, the Complan headquarters project represents a first for Canada. The addition of a fifth floor made of engineered wood offers an innovative, practical and economical solution for gaining new building height in denser urban areas.
Never before had a storey in engineered wood (considered to be combustible) been stacked atop a four-storey concrete structure (considered incombustible) that was more than 30 years old and was not sprinklered. The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ, provincial building authority) does not normally authorize the erection of buildings of over four storeys with load-bearing components made of combustible materials at the time of construction – which meant having to come up with an alternative. Among other features of the solution opted for, the fifth floor was set back 1.2 metres from the building perimeter, thereby limiting the potential spread of fire from the lower floors. In addition, the use of glulam columns, girders, joists and decking offered numerous advantages, such as greater structural stability in the event of fire than could be afforded by steel.
The structural concept consists of a simple assembly of glulam beams and columns given a diamond shape. Being four times lighter than concrete, wood was truly the material of choice for reducing the weight of an addition built on top of an existing structure. Thanks to the stacking of components, it was possible to reduce the number and complexity of the metal connections. All in all, this system helped reducing the cost of the structure by 25%.
More than $342,000 was earmarked for various structural components, out of a total budget of $2.2 million.
Winning Project Quebec (Cecobois)