Multi - Unit Residential Buildings

55 Franklin – Affordable Housing

Type: Residential

Address: Kitchener, Ontario

55 Franklin (Franklin Flats)

Multi-Unit Residential

Development is well underway on the Franklin Flats, a 4-building mid-rise mixed-used complex containing approximately 240 affordable housing residential units with commercial units located on the ground floors, walkways and landscaped areas between buildings and a 1-storey parking structure on 2 acres of property.

Exploring Building Variations 4X Over for Apples to Apples Comparison

One of the purposes of the project was to build the same-sized building 4 times over, side-by-side, with each building designed using slightly different construction methodologies and solutions. Then when each building has been completed, the team will  fully analyze each design to see which one is best for delivering quality affordable housing and for sustainability impact.

The idea is to control as many factors as possible – such as design, site conditions and regulatory approvals, allowing the developer to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the four buildings. Construction for each building will include mass timber, light-wood framing, and some form of masonry/precast concrete, full precast and cast-in-place concrete.

Building One – 55 Franklin

The first of the 6-storey buildings was completed in 2023 (and occupied in July 2023), and is a hybrid structure using conventional light-wood frame for exterior and interior wall panels, mass timber CLT for the floor and roof slabs alongside concrete elevator cores and exit stairs. CLT was chosen over conventional materials for speed of construction.

This certainly proved to be the case as each of the CLT floors (which were about 7,700 square feet), were installed in only one day, cutting eight weeks off the schedule. Other sustainable features include photovoltaic solar panels, rainwater collection for greywater uses and a high-performance envelope.

Building Two – Currently Under Construction

The structural approach for the second building (currently under construction), builds on the success of the original light wood frame and mass timber design by taking advantage of a recent code update that permits the use of mass timber for elevator and stair shafts. Going with CLT shafts instead of poured concrete will save 8 days a floor, approx. 48 working days ahead of previous schedule.

The 3rd and 4th buildings in the series are scheduled to break ground 2024.

> View the Element5 Affordable Housing Brochure online
> Download Element5 Affordable Housing Brochure [pdf: 35 MB]

About 55 Franklin – Affordable Housing

Architect / Designer

Kitchener, ON


Maxwell Building Consultants


Supply of 5ply CLT Decking 

Assembly team

The Contract Framing Group


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