OAA Webinar: Lessons Learned from Mass Timber Rapid Housing Projects - TSA

OAA Webinar: Lessons Learned from Mass Timber Rapid Housing Projects

Since it’s establishment in 2017, Edge Architects has worked with diverse stakeholders to develop sustainable and efficient housing solutions using modular & prefabricated methods. These efforts were validated in late 2020 when CMHC announced the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). In early 2021 a design-build team assembled by Edge was selected to deliver a project for YW of Kitchener-Waterloo (YWKW) focused on supporting homeless women in the community with funding from the RHI program. The team was tasked with creating 41 compact barrier-free accessible 1-bedroom transitional housing units on a narrow parcel of surplus land within 1-year of contract award. The team’s design response utilized specific properties of mass timber to achieve time and cost savings during construction, while reducing carbon emissions through the carbon embodiment properties of wood. Exposed mass timber elements also imparted a sense of warmth and well-being on the building’s interior. As word of this ambitious development spread, opportunities for collaboration between Edge and other like-minded groups emerged. This presentation by Edge co-founder & principal, Matt Bolen, will identify lessons learned from this first completed mid-rise mass timber housing project in Kitchener, along with multiple other similar projects in varying stages of design and construction.



Learning Outcomes

Climate Action through use of carbon embodiment properties of wood.
Climate Action through net zero ready design and prefabricated building systems.
Equity, Diversity and inclusion through the delivery of rapid housing to vulnerable portions of the population (homeless women, children, aging, and those with development disabilities).
Building Science – Envelope Inspection, Acoustic and Moisture Control Testing.




Matthew Bolen is a Principal at Edge Architects in Waterloo, On. In addition to providing professional consulting services, the firm has been involved in several innovative research/development initiatives. Matt’s area of expertise is multi-res building design ranging from mid-rise supportive housing to high-rise market rate. His professional interests include mass timber, modular/ prefabrication, and high-performance design. Matt is a licenced Architect with the OAA and a certified Passive House Designer. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture program & has worked as an adjunct professor at the school since completing his masters degree in 2009.


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Register Here

When January 19, 2023

Duration 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Cost Licensed OAA Member: $39 + HST, OAA Interns: $29 + HST, Non-Members: $59 + HST