Wood Performs

  • Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower, Surrey, B.C. Photo: Ed White, courtesy of CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects
    Surrey Memorial Hospital Critical Care Tower, Surrey, B.C.
    Photo: Ed White, courtesy of CEI Architecture and Parkin Architects
    Dominion Condominiums, New Westminster, B.C. Integra Architecture Inc. Photo: Wood WORKS! BC
    Dominion Condominiums, New Westminster, B.C. Integra Architecture Inc.
    Photo: Wood WORKS! BC
    ercy Norman Aquatic Centre, Hillcrest Park, Vancouver, B.C. Architect: Hughes Condon Marler Architects. Photo: KK Law
    Percy Norman Aquatic Centre, Hillcrest Park, Vancouver, B.C. Architect: Hughes Condon Marler Architects.
    Photo: KK Law
    Riverport Flats R5, Richmond, B.C.
    Riverport Flats R5, Richmond, B.C. Architect: Cotter Architects Inc
    Photo: John Bentley

British Columbia building codes recognize wood’s safety and structural performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of building types. Many public buildings in B.C., including schools, libraries, hospitals and government buildings, are using wood for its versatility, durability and environmental benefits.

Building codes and regulations across North America have recognized the advances in wood science and building technology, which have expanded options for wood construction in residential and non-residential buildings, including multi-family, mid-rise, educational, commercial, industrial, retail, public, recreational and institutional buildings.

Building codes in various jurisdictions, such as B.C., Ontario, Japan, France and New Zealand, have been amended in recent years to allow wood-frame buildings as high as six storeys. At 29.5 metres high with six floors and a mechanical penthouse, the Wood Innovation and Design Centre is the tallest wood building in B.C. and the tallest contemporary wood building in North America. Currently, Australia has the tallest building in the world, at 10 storeys. Multiple projects are underway in North America planned to be 12 storeys and higher.

In October 2015, the University of British Columbia (UBC) announced a new tall wood building project set for completion in the fall of 2017. The 53 metre-high (173 feet) building will be a student residence, housing approximately 400 students.

Some design guidelines to consider for wood use include Allowable Stress Design, Load and Resistance Factor Design and fire resistance ratings. To find out more about the building codes and regulations in your jurisdiction, contact your local authorities.

Wood design tools include:

• WoodWorks Wood Design Software

Canada focused resources:

• WoodWorks® Sizer- size beams, joists, columns and wall studs to meet the CSA O86-01 Standard.
• WoodWorks® Shearwalls - complete shearwall design and lateral load analysis.
• WoodWorks® Connections- design new connections or check the capacity of existing ones.

U.S. focused resources:

• WoodWorks® Design Software - engineering software for wood design is based on the National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction.
• WoodWorks Sizer - size beams, joists, columns and wall studs, one at a time or in a system, under various load conditions.
• WoodWorks® Shearwalls - automatically generates seismic and/or wind loads following either ASCE7-05 or UBC 97.
• WoodWorks® Connections - design new connections or check the capacity of existing ones.