AROUND THE NETWORK: BuiltWorlds Member EllisDon Secures Support from Natural Resources Canada for Timber Research Projects

In a significant step to push the boundaries of offsite prefabrication and low carbon construction, longtime BuiltWorlds member EllisDon has secured support from Natural Resources Canada on two large-scale timber research projects.

EllisDon worked with partners from world-class firms to design and prototype two distinct mass timber products: a volumetric modular system targeting residential occupancies and a structural floor panel product for use in commercial projects.

The Government of Canada supports buildings and projects that use sustainable and renewable resources as Canada transitions to a net-zero economy. The effective and innovative use of Canadian forest products has the potential to transform the construction industry. As part of this transformation, mass timber and modular construction is now a leading material and method in energy-efficient and cost-effective builds. Lighter than traditional building materials but equal in strength, mass timber and new, innovative modular construction methods are important in advancing toward a greener future.

EllisDon has designed and constructed a prototype of a mass timber–based volumetric modular system that can be used in the delivery of various residential occupancies, including affordable housing, student housing, hotels and market housing sectors. In modular construction, components are built offsite into large volumes and then assembled onsite; this approach results in reduced on-site activity for the contractor, which in turn minimizes disruption and noise to neighboring areas. The project is examining the benefits of using mass timber in a modular application and is quantifying the efficiencies gained in production as well as the overall embodied carbon benefits over traditional materials. Not only does mass timber have environmental and production benefits, its incorporation in modular construction methods has also inspired new and creative architectural styles.

EllisDon is also considering what this project could mean for affordable housing. The company has undertaken significant market analysis for affordable housing to understand the outlook for potential modular projects in the coming years and to align this project’s outcomes with Canada’s National Housing Strategy.

We are pleased to announce that EllisDon President & CEO Geoff Smith will be speaking next week at our 2022 BuiltWorlds Americas Summit. He will be delivering an Innovation Leadership presentation discussing how this 70 year-old firm is positioning itself for the 21st century.

Hope to see you there!


BuiltWorlds “Around the Network” Briefings offer BuiltWorlds Members an opportunity to keep the Community informed of their own initiatives, resource offerings, and other things they are excited to share about or collaborate around. We generally pull these posts as “highlights” from Member Company PagesInnovation Exchange Posts, and other places our members share with us what they are up to.


BuiltWorlds is the buildings and infrastructure industry’s leading professional network for open innovation, keeping companies in the worlds of engineering, construction and related fields informed and connected, and helping them find avenues to collaborate for their own strategic success and for the betterment of the industry, as whole. For more information about BuiltWorlds, visit the BuiltWorlds Network  or sign up for the BuiltWorlds Newsletter to stay connected to the Community for free.