A new urban condo development in the Mayfair area is embracing the future of building technology — wood and sustainable construction.
Tresah West, a 12-storey mid-rise building containing 179 homes, will be one of the first residential mass timber buildings in North America.
“Mass timber is the future. That’s where we’re going to go,” says Edward Geric from Mike Geric Construction, the developer and owner of the project.
“So far we’re seeing that people are really responding to this development and embracing mass timber.”
Mass timber construction uses wood in place of typical construction materials such as reinforced concrete that is used in mid and highrise construction. It is a more environmentally friendly option, emitting less carbon than steel and concrete.
Manufacturing mass timber produces very little carbon and maintains the carbon that the original tree captured, holding it within its structure and reducing the amount of emissions in the atmosphere.
“Every home we sell is like taking one car off the street for its lifetime,” Geric says.
A renewable resource, wood creates less waste during construction. The small amount of waste that is created in mass timber construction can be repurposed into architectural elements or used as fuel. Because most of the building elements are modular and assembled off-site, the building requires less construction time and reduces neighbourhood disruption.
It also reduces the need for other construction materials, such as drywall and paint.
“The Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) floor system doubles as the ceiling of the home underneath it, reducing the need for drywall,” Geric says.
Wood’s natural insulating properties require less energy to heat and cool than typical concrete and steel. Mass timber fabrication is extremely precise, fitting the wood together perfectly, which results in lower overall heating costs. It also lends itself to a quieter living space, since wood does not transmit sound as easily as steel and concrete.
“The environmental aspects of using wood are significant, but it also really adds to the appearance and livability of the project,” Geric says. It supports the local wood industry as all mass timber products used in Tresah will be from B.C.
“Anyone will tell you that being surrounded by wood is a pleasing experience. That West Coast look and feel with exposed wood and the sustainable design is very well-suited to Victoria. ”
Exposed wood in buildings is considered a restorative property and has been linked to improved well-being. The presence of wood elements in our homes has been found to reduce stress and support creative thinking.
Part of the larger Burnside-Gorge neighbourhood, the Mayfair District is a vibrant and growing area poised for development.
Tresah will be located across the street from Mayfair Shopping Centre, one of the largest malls in the city. It is also just a few blocks away from Uptown Shopping Centre and a short walk to the Galloping Goose trail and the Gorge Waterway.
“The Mayfair district is at the beginning of a massive expansion and will continue to grow,” Geric says.
“The Mayor and council would like to see growth in that area and have already expanded the Douglas corridor with bus lanes to support the people who live and work in the area. It’s a really vibrant area with so many amenities.”
The neighbourhood is home to many shops, cafes, restaurants, grocery stores and microbreweries that are easily accessible by foot or bicycle. In the middle of it all, the area is easily connected to anywhere in the Capital Region District by bike, bus, or car.
The growing interest in the project has Geric considering an earlier construction date than initially planned.
“We’ve had significant interest from homebuyers and strong early sales so I expect to be announcing a construction start date soon,” Geric says.
The Tresah presentation centre recently opened in Mayfair Mall for anyone who is curious to see what mass timber construction looks like up close.
“I would encourage anyone to go down there and see it for themselves. It’s a beautiful space and a fresh and inviting display of the future of residential construction,” Geric says.
To learn more about Tresah and register for more information, visit its website at tresah.ca.