Photo Courtesy of Ema Peter

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre serves as a focal point for academics and professionals seeking to advance the use of wood in construction. "The goal was to showcase British Columbia's wood industry as a leader in wood construction, engineered wood products and design, as well as to create jobs and to help get goods to market," says Gabrielle Price, public affairs officer at the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.

The eight-story, 29.5-m tall building is the world's tallest modern all-timber structure. The design incorporates a "dry" structure, virtually eliminating the use of concrete above grade. Glulam columns and beams with mass timber shear walls support systems-integrated mass timber floor panels. A slim line curtain wall system is backed by engineered laminated veneer lumber wind columns. The exterior features charred solid red cedar batten board prefabricated panels, which are low maintenance. Exposed wood ceiling structures are highlighted to the public by floor-to-ceiling glass.

Because all of the wood elements were prefabricated and shipped to the site for installation, BIM modeling was critical to ensure accuracy. In order to meet the fire resistance required by the provincial building code, the team had to subject the joints between the cross-laminated timber floor panels to rigorous fire tests. The building's wood components also had to achieve the necessary degree of rigidity and acoustic resistance.

The University of Northern British Columbia's program for a Master of Engineering in Wood Design occupies the lower three floors, while the upper floors provide office space for government and wood industry-related organizations.

Project Team

Owner: The British Columbia Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training

Contractor: PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc.

Lead Design Firm: Michael Green Architecture Inc.

Structural Engineer: Equilibrium Consulting Inc

Civil Engineer: RDH Building Engineering Ltd.

MEP Engineer: MMM Group Limited

Consultant: Hochschule RheinMain University Wiesbaden