Wood design + construction

From centuries-old craftsmanship to the latest cutting-edge timber technology, wood is a material for our time. Light-frame wood, mass timber and emerging hybrid and prefabricated construction is offering, versatile low-carbon building solutions.

Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, UBC
Photo credit: Don Erhardt

Light-frame design and construction

For centuries, buildings have been built using the trusted and proven methods of light-frame wood construction. It is now being used to construct a more diverse range of larger and taller building types from schools and health care facilities to commercial office and multifamily projects.

Light-frame construction beams and roof trusses shown being installed on low-rise residential structure by construction worker with nail gun and fall arrest harness

Light-frame construction

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Mass timber design and construction

Mass timber systems are creating new design opportunities in design and construction, from long-spanning roof structures to timber towers. The strength and versatility of mass timber is what is making taller and larger innovative wood buildings possible.

Mass timber used in MEC HQ, interior angle

Mass timber

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Hybrid design and construction

Further advancements are being made using hybrid construction systems that incorporate wood. Once the predominant domain of concrete and steel, these hybrid systems are creating new opportunities for sustainable timber-built architecture.

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam), parallel strand lumber (PSL), and solid-sawn heavy timbers are featured in this exterior view of sweeping glass and wood Surrey Central City Shopping Centre

Hybrid-timber construction

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Prefabricated design and construction

Factory-built, prefabricated technologies—using both light-frame and mass timber—are offering a nimbler, quicker, and more integrated way to construct today’s buildings.

Internal view of Brock Commins Tallwood House, showing mass timber columns, light frame construction, and prefabricated wooden panels.

Prefabrication

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