Master Builders, Designers and Investors

Timber Structures 3.0 AG


Timber Structures 3.0 AG
Niesenstrasse 1, 3600 Thun
Tel: (+41) 058 255 15 80

Developed by Timbatec

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oN5 - the first TS3 project in North America



With oN5, Equilibrium, a Katerra company, is building the first TS3 building in North America. The office building oN5 is an homage to the beauty, structural performance, and sustainability of mass timber.

oN5 is built by Equilibrium, a Katerra company, the general contractor is Naikoon Contracting Ltd. This company has already completed the first staircase with TS3 technology in Vancouver and was trained by TS3 employees on site at that time. Located in the heart of Mt. Pleasant, an up-and-coming neighborhood in Vancouver, the choice to use mass timber was an altruistic one and made by Robert Malczyk, a structural engineerturned-developer. Robert Malczyk, the director of Equilibrium, says: "We feel that as engineers, we have a responsibility to put our money where our mouth is. We want to provide an example to society while doing something good for the environment by using mass timber."

The construction

5-ply and 7-ply cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall, floor and roof panels will serve as the building’s primary structural system, complemented by a concrete and masonry base. Manufactured at Katerra’s CLT factory in Spokane Valley, WA, a total of 32 master panels equating to roughly 15,360 square feet arrived by trucks from WA state. The use of advanced logistical software allows for just-in-time delivery, making for precise installation on this tight urban site. Due to the lightness of the prefabricated solid wood construction elements, the components can be lifted into place quickly and efficiently. Installation is expected to be 60 to 80 percent faster than typical construction methods. At 9,042 square feet, the mixed-use four-story commercial building will house light manufacturing in addition to a range of businesses reflecting the eclectic, indie vibe of the community on which it prominently stands on its main thoroughfare.


The CLT panels are pretreated in the manufacturing plant

The advantages of wood construction combined

The oN5 project uses advanced building technologies designed to improve the structure’s efficiency and long-term performance. TS3 is not the only innovation used in this building.

In Canada, building codes require that exterior walls to directly adjacent outbuildings be made of non-combustible materials. Equilibrium's team was able to convince local fire authorities that the solid wood panels are combustible, but that charring creates an effective insulating layer that protects the interior portion of the building.

The load-bearing CLT wall panels will arrive at the jobsite prefabricated for quick, easy installation. Insulation, rain screen and finishes will be pre-applied to the outside of the CLT wall panels. Other design considerations is a prefabricated assembly for the floor panels, with materials added to the CLT to improve both acoustic and vibration performance. 

The building will use an innovative, resilient slip friction joint system, developed in New Zealand, that will dissipate seismic energy and restore the structure to center after an earthquake. Solid wood works particularly well with mass timber since wood is one-sixth the weight of concrete, reducing forces during a seismic event. Thus, major damage to the building can be avoided.

CLT wall and roof panels are left exposed to the interior, which not only highlights the natural beauty of the solid wood. Research suggests that the use of suc organic materials has a positive impact on employees' stress levels, productivity and overall well-being.