Commercial and industrial buildings are incorporating more wood into their construction. Along with the strength needed to last in heavy duty applications, wood has its own unique advantages.
Wood’s warmth makes it perfect for adding a cozy feeling to retail and office spaces, and the speed and efficiency that prefabrication offers is perfect for manufacturing buildings with a repeatable floorplan. Modern mass timber buildings arrive at the construction site in components prefabricated off-site in a climate-controlled environment to be easily installed when they get to their destination.
Wood was a natural choice for the construction of StructureCraft’s facility in Abbotsford, B.C., which was built from a simple kit of parts composed of glue-laminated timber columns and beams, tall wood walls, and wood roof panels.
“It gives you a warmth you just can’t get with steel and concrete. In a workplace it feels at home, in an office you can pin things into it, it curves easily, it’s inherently natural, it’s a familiar material to us.”
– Gerald Epp, president of StructureCraft and former partner of structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp. “
The company’s facility was erected in just five days. In the past, industrial types of buildings have been built with tilt-up concrete walls and steel roofs; however, StructureCraft designed theirs with wood, which cost around the same as a tilt-up building, only with increased energy efficiency and more appealing aesthetics.
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.
Four case studies and architectural drawings that provide solutions to common issues in mass-timber building design are now available.