Steenhof Building Service Group Logo

CLT and Glulam from Timber Structures Frame New Orillia Waterfront Centre

SBSG provided structural engineering services for the new Community Building located at the waterfront in Orillia, ON. This building included the first installation of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels in Ontario, with the entire timber structure being erected in just one day. Element5 provided the CLT panels and issued the following article describing the success of the installation.


Visitors to the Port of Orillia, north of Toronto, may soon begin using the City’s beautiful new Waterfront Centre, which features glulam columns and beams and CLT panels provided by Element5. Construction began in September and is expected to be completed by May.

Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke was quoted as saying, “As a Council, we are delighted that a local construction company came to the table with the right players and a winning proposal to deliver a progressive vision for the new Port of Orillia building.” Element5 was part of a design/build team that included architects BrookMcIlroy and Orillia’s own Bradanick Construction Services.

Because this was a design/build project, Rajko Jakovic, Senior Associate with BrookMcIlroy, said they not only had to provide an attractive design, but they had to do so economically to be competitive. “The engineers on Element5’s team worked very closely with us to size the roof members; they helped us push the boundaries of the design, keeping it innovative but economical as well. Timber Structures was instrumental in allowing us to meet the design intent while keeping the project competitively priced, which helped us get the job.”

Ease of installation was also important, since this was the contractor’s first time working with CLT. “The Element5 team was able to provide us with all the tools necessary to do a quick and easy installation of the CLT panels,” said Jim Storey, President and Project Manager of Bradanick Construction.

Storey said they expected installation to take longer than it did; instead of four days, they erected the CLT and glulam structure in just one day. “The CLT panels arrived prepared with proper lifting points, so they were easy to set in place with the crane, with considerable accuracy. In fact, we found that with the Timber Structures team, everything was very methodical, very precise and very accurate.”

“We received tremendous support from Timber Structures; they were very hands on,” added Jakovic. “When we had a question, we got helpful, immediate answers. Responsive is a good term to use; I found their response time to be unmatched.”

The new $2 million facility, built to LEED Silver standard (although they will not go through the certification process) is on schedule to open in time for the 2017 boating season. “The Orillia Waterfront Centre will serve as a beacon, drawing boaters from the Trent Severn Waterway to Orillia as well as drawing residents and visitors to our beautiful waterfront,” said Kent Guptill, Director of Facilities and Special Projects for the City of Orillia. “The design of the building and its surrounding civic space creates a destination for residents and visitors that will help revitalize the downtown, while also providing a dynamic space for year-round enjoyment.”

Click here to watch a time-lapse video of the timber structure installation.

© Steenhof Building Service Group | Website by Mediasuite