Wood in Schools

  • Westview Elementary School, Powell River, B.C. | Photo: Ed White Photographics
    Mulgrave School, West Vancouver, B.C. | Photo: Ed White Photographics
    Samuel Brighouse Elementary School, Richmond, B.C. | Photo: Perkins+Will Canada, andrewlatreille.com
    South Okanagan Secondary School | Photo: Ed White Photographics

Wood’s resiliency and versatility make it an ideal renewable building material for schools, where studies show it also helps create safe, healthy and inspiring learning environments. Building designers have a variety of options for using wood in schools, from traditional dimensional lumber framing to innovative mass timber systems. The visual presence of wood has shown to correlate with decreased levels of stress and improvements in concentration and test performance. The sound attenuation and absorption of wood provide valued acoustic benefits — creating flexibility in its application through a variety of rooms from gymnasium to library. With the advent of new mass timber products and systems, wood is proving seismic, fire and wind resistance advantages to alternate building materials.

By choosing wood construction, B.C. school districts can demonstrate a commitment to climate action and the environmental future of their students, including lowering the cost of carbon neutrality to school districts through energy-efficient schools.

Learn more about the use of wood in B.C. schools in the Stantec and Fast + Epp report or the naturally:wood factsheet.

Take a virtual tour of Samuel Brighouse Elementary

For optimal experience, view the tour in full screen.