Located at the centre of the fastest growing community within B.C.’s fastest growing municipality, this facility is designed to accommodate both international swim meets and a wide variety of water-related community activities. The aquatic centre, with its dramatic suspended roof form, is the first project to be completed on the ‘super block’ that is destined to become a regional campus of health, wellness and sports excellence. In addition to its natatorium which houses a competition-sized lap pool and a leisure pool – both overlooked from the main lobby – the complex includes two hot pools, a sauna, fitness centre and poolside cafe.
Wood was chosen for the roof structure as it met several important design considerations, both architectural and structural. Wood structures have a proven track record in high humidity environments, as glue laminated (glulam) beam roof systems have often been used in aquatic facilities for their resistance to warping due to moisture. The natural appearance of wood also lends a warm atmosphere to facilities that, of necessity, have large areas of hard, impervious surfaces. For the suspended roof at Grandview Heights, glulam beams also offered the required tensile capacity, self weight and inherent stiffness required to resists wind uplift, when compared to the commonly used steel cable system.
The City of Surrey is committed to building vibrant, healthy, sustainable communities and as part of that goal we have a policy to consider the use of wood in our capital projects. Because wood is a sustainable local resource and provides a sense of warmth, it fits well with these City goals.”
– Scott Groves, Manager, Civic Facilities Division City of Surrey
An increasing number of health-care facilities are incorporating wood to provide patients and visitors with a warm, natural aesthetic, and a calm, stress-reducing connection to nature.
Research begins to show the biophilic benefits of wood, which suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. Study results show students who spent time in rooms featuring natural wood exhibited lower stress reactivity. During all three periods of the study, stress, as measured by sympathetic nervous system activation, was measurably lower on average in the rooms featuring wood than in the non-wood office.
The bold, striking use of wood throughout the space — uncommon in such health-care settings— softens the hospital’s institutional feel and creates a calm, stress-reducing connection to nature, while standing up to weather, wear and tear, and rigorous maintenance. As the research on biophilic benefits of wood continues to grow, one of B.C.’s busiest hospitals leads the way in offering patients a comforting, supportive, and healing environment.
For architect and timber advocate Peter Busby, wood is one of nature’s greatest innovations
B.C. forest products are a predominant structural and finishing material for a wide range of transit infrastructure throughout the province, including airports, bus exchanges and SkyTrain stations. Learn more about the use of wood in transportation projects.
Learn about the latest wood design and construction trends within these four building applications while earning Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) recognized continuing learning units towards professional development.
With its wide-ranging use of different wood species, the Prince George Airport demonstrates how a high-traffic building can benefit from the resilience, versatility, durability, and thermal characteristics of wood. These were important considerations for this northern city, situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers, which is prone to cold, harsh winters.
An effective insulator with a warm aesthetic, wood is particularly well suited to the demanding atmospheres of swimming pools — as well as ice rinks in arenas. Wood tolerates high levels of humidity, offers acoustic and thermal benefits, and absorbs and releases water vapour without compromising its structural integrity. Indoor pool design has evolved to include ample use of natural light and bold, innovative uses of B.C. wood from sustainably managed forests.
Interview with Darryl Condon, Managing Principal of HCMA Architecture + Design, who has embraced and often pioneered the use of wood and mass timber in community, civic, and recreational aquatic facilities throughout British Columbia and Canada. He shares why wood is often an integral material in the buildings they design, and how they’ve pushed the boundaries of what is possible with wood.
Located in John Hendry Park in east Vancouver, this ice rink was the first phase in the replacement of an aging community centre facility. The rink served as a practice facility for competitors who participated in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and opened for public use after the Games.