The event is scheduled on

Wednesday 8:25 am - 9:45 am, plenary room - Simultaneous translation FR | EN | JP | MAN


The development of new construction techniques or technological tools to speed up the construction of buildings has been growing at a fast pace in recent years. Whether it is the larger-scale use of BIM (Building Information Modeling) or the integration of innovative building systems that enable rapid installation of structural components, these new construction techniques and technologies are often cited as examples when building in highly dense urban environments.

Better planning combined with rapid construction of buildings help minimize impacts on residents. In this plenary session, examples of new technologies and construction techniques currently being used around the world will be presented.

Moderator: Beth MacNeil, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada

Arbora Project: The benefits and challenges of CLT residential construction in Quebec

Speakers: Nicolas Demers-Stoddart and Catherine St-Marseille, Provencher-Roy Architects, Canada

Presentation of various constraints that arose during key steps in the project, as well as solutions developed to resolve them.

The Arbora project, one of the first residential projects of its kind in Canada, mobilized the creative efforts of all its stakeholders, the majority of whom started out knowing very little about CLT construction. Regarding engineering and project management, as well as regulations, the project allowed for the development of work and construction methods that make it a reference guide for this type of construction in Quebec.

Tuuliniitty and Puukuokka – Phases 2 & 3

Speakers: Toni Kekki, Rahennuskonsultointi T Tekki, Finland

In the past decade, Finland has shifted from two-storey timber houses to 10+ multi-storey buildings. Mostly this has been due to changes in fire regulations, the use of massive timber combined with prefabricated elements and systems.

One groundbreaking project in Finland was the Puukuokka project, in the city of Jyväskylä. The first phase was completed in 2015, with phase 2 in 2016, and phase 3 starting in 2017. The technical evolution from phase 1 to phase 3 was enormous; it paved the way for cost-efficient, high-quality timber projects using massive timber, mostly CLT.

The latest development is combining the module system in a 13-storey seaside building: the Tuuliniitty project in Espoo, Finland. The problem with timber is the lightweight structure, which causes wind-induced vibrations in high-rise timber buildings. This was resolved in Tuuliniitty with vertical tension rods, which are widely used in multi-storey timber-frame buildings in North America. Combining tension rod technology with prefabricated volumetric modules, it is possible to construct cost-effective 10+ storey massive timber buildings in dense urban areas, where site facilities and disturbance to surrounding areas must be kept to a minimum.

The Journey to Optimum

Speakers: Lisa Podesto, Lendlease, USA

Starting in 2012 when Forte’ earned the title of “Tallest residential timber structure in the world”, Lendlease has been on a journey with cross-lamented timber; exploring different structural typologies, for a range of building uses at a variety of scales. In addition to componentization of structure, Lendlease has coupled their timber delivery with other pre-fabricated systems such as scaffold free facades, PODs and mechanical racks. Large new pipelines of residential work present an opportunity to further refine these systems and evolve them into a highly optimized solution for rapid, sustainable urban growth.


  • Beth MacNeil

    Natural Resources Canada, Canada

    Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Service / Natural Resources Canada

    Beth has spent over 25 years working in science-based economic and regulatory departments and agencies across the federal government. Beth began her career as a biologist working for Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service. She later moved to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, followed by five years with Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service, where she held the position of Senior Director, Science and Technology Governance. In 2014, Beth assumed the responsibilities of Director General, Strategic Policy, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, and in 2016, she became Director General, Policy Development and Analysis, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As of January 30, 2018, Beth returned to Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service in the capacity of Assistant Deputy Minister.

     Beth holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from STFX University, Nova Scotia, a Master degree in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, and a Certificate in Public Sector Leadership and Governance from the University of Ottawa.

  • Nicolas Demers-Stoddart

    Provencher-Roy Architects, Canada

    Nicolas Demers-Stoddart joined the Provencher_Roy team in 2011 and since then has played a top-tier design role. He has worked as design manager on numerous projects, including Gare Viger and the reception pavilion of the Québec National Assembly; the latter won an Award of Merit at the 2016 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence. He was also involved in the design of the Alexandra Pier Maritime Terminal; The Arbour international competition entry focusing on mass timber. Before joining Provencher_Roy, Nicolas worked at OMA New York, most notably on the design of the Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art (MAI). He initiated and led the ContemPLAY Pavilion project at McGill University, in collaboration with FARMM (Facility for Architecture Research and Media Mediation), where the use of parametrically designed hybrid timber-steel prefabricated structure constituted a first for a Canadian university.  Nicolas also teaches, is a visiting critic at McGill University, and has led a workshop on architecture and industrial design at the Université de Montréal, in addition to teaching emergency engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. He holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Concordia University), a Bachelor of Architecture (Université de Montréal), and a Master of Architecture (McGill University).

  • Catherine St-Marseille

    Provencher-Roy Architects, Canada

    Catherine St-Marseille joined the Provencher Roy architecture team in 2016. She holds a master’s degree in urban design and architecture and has participated in many projects in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto. Ms. St-Marseille is involved in all phases of projects from design, construction and execution, to project management and site supervision. She worked on Arbora as a project lead and is now working on TAK Village, a prefabricated wood-framed residential project in Montreal. She has a particular interest in public art, which led her to co-found Châssi, a collective dedicated to the appropriation of public spaces and citizen participation through the transformation and structuring of landscapes in a fun and eventful way.

  • Toni Kekki

    Rahennuskonsultointi T Tekki, Finland

    Toni Kekki is a 43-year-old master of engineering, father of two and grandfather of two who has worked in the field of structural engineering for the past 20 years. His career has included the design of concrete and steel structures, product development, development of prefabrication methods and project management. Since 2010 he has been working with massive timber almost full-time. The projects have been mostly multi-storey (>4 storey) residental housing projects, primarily in Finland, with some export projects. His largest projects have been Puukuokka in Jyväskylä and DAS Kelo in Rovaniemi, while the tallest projects were Tuuliniitty in Espoo (13-storey, responsible designer) and the Joensuu Lighthouse (14-storey, structural analysis consultant). Mr. Kekki stongly believes that timber is a useful and traditional material, and we haven’t seen its full potential yet. His mission is to create sustainable solutions for the reasonable use of natural resources and he is working for a better future for generations to come.

  • Lisa Podesto

    Lendlease, USA

    Lisa serves as Lendlease’s Timber and Innovation Specialist, responsible for developing the nationwide business strategy for the use of mass timber and componentized solutions in a range of projects and pursuits across Lendlease business units (development, design-build and construction management). In this role, she supports activities at Lendlease including master planning, design management, cost planning, and pre-construction, guiding early decisions to achieve innovative, sustainable project delivery. 

    As a co-author and peer reviewer for the 2012 United States Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Handbook, Lisa began her contribution to the market development of CLT and mass timber early. More recently Lisa led a research effort investigating the blast resistance of cross-laminated timber paving the way for its use in military construction. With her professional engineering license, years of design practice and a decade of experience in market development for wood structures, she carries a unique expertise in mass timber solutions, mid-rise design, fire and life-safety code, and sustainable construction.