Community and recreation facilities play a vital role in the social, cultural and physical health of British Columbians. The province is increasingly incorporating wood innovation in these public sector buildings, helping contribute to the quality of life in B.C. communities.
In smaller towns and remote regions of the province, these facilities may be one of the few public spaces where residents can come together and access important community services.
Recently, Wood WORKS! BC presented five Community Recognition Awards at the 2018 Union of BC Municipalities Convention, recognizing leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments. Criteria included the specification of wood in a community project and/or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood.
“Through their new wood projects, these communities have realized wood’s many benefits including cost-effectiveness, a reduced carbon footprint and enhancement of their streetscapes through beautiful and expressive new buildings. They have also demonstrated that traditional and new technologically advanced wood products and building systems can be used effectively and distinctly in many types and sizes of civic buildings.”
Lynn Embury-Williams, Executive Director of Wood WORKS! BC
2018 Community Recognition Award recipients
LMLGA — Lower Mainland Local Government Association:
- City of Surrey for the South Surrey Operations Centre
- Township of Langley for the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre
- MERIT: City of Coquitlam for Rochester Park
AKBLG — Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments:
- Village of Radium Hot Springs for the Radium Hot Springs Community Centre and Library
- MERIT: City of Kimberley for the Civic Centre North Wall Replacement
NCLGA — North Central Local Government Association:
- Village of Hazelton for the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre
- Town of Smithers for the Smithers Airport
- MERIT: City of Quesnel for South Quesnel Park
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.