The use of wood in schools across British Columbia (B.C.) as a primary building material is increasing as communities, builders and government across the province recognize its value from traditional dimensional lumber framing to innovative mass timber systems.
Wood buildings are safe and resilient, meeting or exceeding the most demanding seismic, fire and wind requirements. School districts can also demonstrate a commitment to climate action and the environmental future of their students by choosing wood, a renewable product that stores carbon.
An increasing body of evidence further recognizes that the design of indoor environments is critical to human health and that building with wood can contribute to our sense of well-being. Studies have found that wood interiors reduce stress, and that it provides productive and high-quality learning spaces for students and teachers.
I think you definitely feel better once you’ve been in a space that incorporates wood. It clears your head. We often have students that just come to the rotunda to be there, enjoy the space, and hang out. It’s open and the wood beams are beautiful and inviting. I think it helps with anxiety.
– Rob Comeau, Principal, Abbotsford Senior Secondary School
With carbon neutral government commitments, the use of wood will continue to be showcased within upcoming schools in the province. To discover resources showcasing the benefits of wood in B.C. schools including the report by Stantec and Fast + Epp, visit naturallywood.com.
Four case studies and architectural drawings that provide solutions to common issues in mass-timber building design are now available.
Advancements in construction technology, modernized building codes, and a demand for sustainable design are making wood the right choice for a variety of residential and hotel projects. Wood products from B.C.’s sustainably managed forests are also helping to meet the growing demand for affordable housing; wood is well-suited for economical and timely construction — notably in hard to reach places, including downtown sites and remote locations.
More multi-family developers are discovering that the innovative use of wood and mass-timber construction doesn’t just save money, it can be an advantage that sets you apart in a sea of condos that begin to all look the same. Increasingly, both buyers and renters are placing importance on organic materials, sustainability, and warm, inviting interiors—all areas where wood construction excels.
The Shore is a multi-building residential development located a few blocks from the North Vancouver waterfront. The project includes both five and six-storey wood-frame buildings constructed over a single storey concrete parking garage. On completion of the fourth building in 2017, the complex will include 359 apartment units.
Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver.
People spend the vast majority of their life inside buildings. For children and young adults, many of those hours are spent inside educational institutions. Having wood visible in learning spaces has been shown to lower stress and improve concentration and test performance. Along with health and wellness benefits, wood construction is cost effective and often faster than other methods. Learn more about the benefits of building with wood in schools.