Expanding the use of B.C. wood in structural applications in India, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII India) is collaborating with MAK Projects—a leading infrastructure and housing development company—on a high-profile demonstration project for a hybrid wood-frame display home within a large residential community development.
A team of staff from MAK Projects initially visited B.C. in 2019, where they met with architects and designers, toured several homes and facilities in Whistler and Vancouver, and attended the Global Buyers Mission. The group wanted to learn about building with wood in the residential sector, gather insights from B.C. expertise and bring knowledge back to India to incorporate into local projects.
The community, called BTR Greens, will consist of 300 premium villas spread across 250 acres in Hyderabad, offering all the conveniences and luxuries of city-life in a peaceful, natural setting.
Within BTR Greens, the pilot project, called Canadianwood Villa, has begun construction with B.C. species and products, including spruce-pine-fir (S-P-F), western red cedar (WRC), yellow cedar, western hemlock and engineered wood products.
The two-storey 6000 square foot villa is designed with S-P-F dimension lumber, western hemlock glue-laminated (glulam) columns and oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing. The second-floor assembly consists of glulam beams and glulam mass timber panel floors, both made with western hemlock. The roof structure is detailed with western hemlock glulam beams, S-P-F trusses and OSB sheathing.
Windows, external doors and timber framed glass doors will be engineered and manufactured by Delhi based Artius Interior Products, using yellow cedar while all internal flush doors will be made by Metal World Furniture, based in Hyderabad, using S-P-F internal frames and western hemlock laminate.
A covered exterior deck on the second level is supported by glulam beams and columns with a floor that was fabricated on site with hemlock nail-laminated timber (NLT) and OSB sheathing. The home design also features a staircase specified with glulam stair treads, also made with western hemlock. All lumber and engineered wood products in the residence were sourced and produced in B.C. and shipped to India. As this is MAK Projects’ initial foray into wood construction, the FII India team is providing technical construction assistance throughout the building process. The plans for the villa were also developed and engineered in B.C., in collaboration with MAK Projects. The intent of the design is to expose key interior and exterior wood architectural and structural elements in an aesthetically pleasing, practical and sustainable manner.
The villa is a showcase for the many advantages of building with B.C. wood in India including durability of the material through design as well as construction flexibility and efficiency. The villa also highlights the benefits of wood construction using sustainably sourced B.C. products.
“Wood is amongst the few natural elements that can simultaneously achieve reduced carbon emissions, bring about increased sustainability in a building’s life cycle and offer improved occupant well-being. As compared to concrete and steel, it offers high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent design flexibility. It is known to be a very good insulator of heat and cold and is 15 times better concrete and 400 times better than steel. The Canadian Wood Villa is a significant step by MAK Projects towards demonstrating these intrinsic advantages of building with wood besides our commitment to sustainability.” Explains H.E. Dr. Nawab Mir Nasir Ali Khan, Promoter & Managing Director, MAK Projects Pvt. Ltd
A model of the villa was formally unveiled during a pre-launch ceremony event in early October announcing the project as part of the BTR Greens development. The launch was well received and was attended and supported by various local government officials as well as the Canadian High Commission and Canadian Trade offices based in India.