Case Studies

YW Block Line Supportive Housing Complex

YW Block Line Supportive Housing Complex noise control

Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Owner/Operator: YW Kitchener-Waterloo
Architects: Edge Architects  
Construction Management: Melloul Blamey
Mass Timber Manufacturer Element5

cross laminated timber (CLT)acousticsThe YW Block Line Supportive Housing complex is a 22,819 sq. ft., 4-storey mass timber residential building located at 470 Block Line Road in Kitchener, Ontario. The building includes 41 affordable 1-bedroom housing units for single women experiencing or at risk of homelessness. These homes come with built-in support services for residents, including case and crisis management, daily life skills, and access to food bank services. The housing project was built on land provided by the City of Kitchener with support from YW Kitchener-Waterloo, and from the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) 

A core requirement of the RHI funding is that the development be built within 12-months of the contract award. While the city offering the land certainly helped fast track the project, it was the optimized, prefabricated cross-laminated timber solution, developed by the project team member Element5, that was key to the successful, rapid delivery of the project. The use of prefabricated modular, mass timber components which were factory-built and then easily assembled on-site significantly help reduce the construction schedule while also delivering cost savings over a traditional site-built project.

ASTC testing of cross-laminated-timber (CLT) assembly
ASTC testing of cross-laminated-timber (CLT) assembly

HGC provided comprehensive acoustical services for this project which was initially a challenge given the lack of testing data available for the proposed exposed, modular mass timber assemblies.

In 2020, Ontario amended the Ontario Building Code (Sections 5.9 & 9.11) to consider airborne sound transmission concerns through flanking (indirect) transmission paths, introducing an added complexity with respect to designing mass timber buildings with exposed wood walls or ceilings. HGC designed acoustical isolations for the cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure at the junctions, as well as providing ASTC testing of the suite-demising assemblies during construction.

Acoustical Engineering Services Delivered Include:


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