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Date: May 27th, 2021

We have a BIG problem: buildings contribute nearly 40% of annual global CO2 emissions, more than any other sector. And so we need BIG solutions, ones that learn from and work with nature.

We believe sustainably harvested mass timber is one of those BIG solutions because it locks up biogenic carbon (timber contains 50% carbon by dry mass). The question we asked ourselves was: how to maximize the quantity of sustainably harvested mass timber in new construction? Floor systems comprise around 70% of a building’s structure so that’s where we focused our efforts. The result was a design for a patent-pending, prefabricated, sustainable mass timber composite: the Hybrid Timber Floor System (HTFS).

To test the system, DIALOG, in partnership with EllisDon and RWDI, designed a mixed-use 105-story Zero Carbon Hybrid Timber Supertall Prototype. The impact was significant: the HTFS reduced embodied carbon by 46% while incorporating 14x more carbon sequestering mass timber than the current tallest mass timber building at 18 stories. To achieve net-zero operational carbon, we augmented energy efficiency, smart technologies, and façade-integrated photovoltaics with a bioreactor that uses algae to capture carbon produced by an on-site co-generation plant.

Vertical urbanization will continue in major urban centers; the HTFS and zero-carbon prototype demonstrate that engineers and architects can solve the environmental challenges associated with development by turning to nature for inspiration.

FIG 1 – Street View of Tower_hiresjpg
FIG 8 – Interior vertical landscape as seen from below_FINAL-2_hiresjpg



Craig Applegath – Senior Architect,


Daria Khachi – Partner and Structural Engineer, DIALOG


Dr. Thomas Wu – Partner and Senior Design/Project Engineer, DIALOG

  • Craig Applegath

Craig Applegath is a Senior Architect at DIALOG and founding partner of the firm’s Toronto studio. He is a passionate designer who believes in the power of built form to meaningfully improve the wellbeing of communities and the environment they are part of. A noted advocate of density, sustainable building design, and urban regeneration, and a renowned expert in urban resilience, Craig was a founding Board Member of Sustainable Buildings Canada and is currently Acting Chair of the Mass Timber Institute.

  • Daria Khachi

Daria Khachi is a Partner and Structural Engineer at DIALOG with over 30 years of experience in the structural design and rehabilitation of buildings, incorporating the use of steel, concrete, and timber. He is a member of the Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering and has completed post-disaster building projects in Canada, California, Oregon and Tennessee. Daria has also been retained as an independent expert witness for the complaints and investigation department of Professional Engineers Ontario for nearly a decade.

  • Dr. Thomas Wu

Dr. Thomas Wu is a Partner and Senior Design/Project Engineer at DIALOG. Leveraging a Doctorate of Philosophy in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University, Thomas has focused on the complexities of designing and constructing commercial and residential high-rise buildings throughout his 35-year career. During his time at DIALOG, he has played a major role in developing the iconic skyscraper skyline of Vancouver, including Fairmont Pacific Rim, Shangri-la Vancouver and Shaw Tower.


Date: 10am – 10:30am May 29th, 2021

Alondra Chamorro foto

Dr. Alondra Chamorro – Associate Professor, School of Engineering of Pontificiaz
Universidad Catolica de Chile | Principal Investigator, Research Center
for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN)

Dr. Alondra Chamorro is Associate Professor at the School of Engineering of Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and Principal Investigator at the Research Center for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (CIGIDEN). She is civil engineer and Master of Science of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Chamorro’s areas of expertise include pavement engineering and management, infrastructure sustainable management, risk and resilience of critical infrastructure systems exposed to natural hazards. She has led applied research in collaboration with the public sector and industry, developing infrastructure management systems and risk management models applied to road networks and water systems. She has collaborated with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, Canada, The World Bank, PIARC, Ministry of Public Works of Chile, Ministry of Housing and Urbanism of Chile, among other institutions. She is co-author of the book Gestión de Infraestructrura Vial (2018), main textbook in Spanish on road infrastructure management.

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