PCL installs mass timber pedestrian bridge at George Brown College’s Limberlost Place

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By Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

PCL is celebrating a significant construction milestone at George Brown College’s Limberlost Place with the installation of a two-story mass timber pedestrian bridge that was erected 65 feet above street level, connecting level five of Limberlost Place to level six of the college’s Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences.

Installation included prefabricating individual cross-laminated timber pieces at an off-site location before being shipped and built on site. After four days of assembly in mid-April, the team executed a complex and intricate one-day lift to install the structure.

The project team includes:

  • Owner: George Brown College
  • Architect: Moriyama Teshima Architects in joint venture with Acton Ostry Architects
  • Construction manager: PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  • Mass Timber: Nordic Structures
  • Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineer: Integral Group
  • Structural Steel Design-Assist: Walters Group
  • Building Envelope: Morrison Hershfield
  • Sustainability Consultant: Transsolar

“Thank you to all of our partners, consultants, and extraordinary tradespeople who have been integral in achieving this significant milestone,” said Myke Badry, PCL Toronto’s district manager. “This accomplishment truly showcases the exemplary level of skill, and patience it takes to ensure everything goes according to plan.

“Congratulations to the entire project team as we move one step closer to the completion of this revolutionary project that is setting a precedent in mass timber construction.”

Designed by Acton Ostry Architects and Moriyama Teshima Architects, Limberlost Place is a tall wood, net zero carbon emissions building and PCL’s largest mass timber project to date. The site will house the schools of architectural studies, computer technology and the Brookfield Sustainability Institute. The 10-storey building is GBC’s newest addition to Waterfront Campus; Limberlost Place is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024 and will open for classes in January 2025.

Fast Facts

  • Approximately 65 feet above street level, the bridge is 21.4 meters long and is made up of two glue-laminated trusses and four cross-laminated timber panels.
  • The two glulam trusses are made up of 10 pieces each with two truss chords and eight vertical members.
  • The vertical members are connected with 22 steel plates and 241 steel dowels that pin the truss chords and vertical members with the steel connection plates.
  • The truss cords weigh approximately 4250 pounds each. The vertical members weigh 640 pounds.
  • Each cross-laminated panel weighs approximately 7840 pounds each.
  • At the point of install, the bridge weighed approximately 31 metric tonnes.

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