Delta Proposes Mass Timber Skyscraper in B.C.

Delta Land Development is planning to skip the small steps and surge the building industry forward with a giant leap.

Delta and its team is in the process of planning the world’s tallest mass timber building in Vancouver’s Broadway Corridor. Delta’s site is currently occupied by a four-storey concrete building from the 1970s that was formerly the data centre for CIBC. Delta aims to transform the site into the Canada Earth Tower to demonstrate what is possible for sustainable development.

Kirk Robinson, senior vice-president with Delta, explained that he and others at the company want to take bold steps to address the growing climate crisis.“There is a lot more the building industry can do to address climate change,” said Robinson. “Instead of just continuing down a path of incremental improvement, we can be bolder in terms of what we set out to achieve.”

With that in mind, Delta took the site they acquired in 2016 to Perkins + Will to collaborate on the project. The goal is make the greenest building possible that is also commercially viable.

“We started the project off a bit different than is typical,” said Robinson. “We gathered a group of experts together in a charrette process before we designed anything.”

The team created a list of core principles that included commercial viability, energy reduction, biodiversity and more.

“Our hope is that we succeed and demonstrate to the development industry that you can do a project like this today and still make a decent return,” said Robinson. “There are people who want this type of product.”

For now, the project remains on paper. Efforts to build a transit system to University of British Columbia through the Broadway Corridor have frozen rezoning in the area until the area’s planning is completed. But the team is in discussions with the city to get an exemption.