Coast Mountain College


Smithers, BC


2,581 square metres



Structural Engineer

Herold Engineering

Construction Manager

Unitech Construction Management

Project Owner

Coast Mountain College

Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)


Solid-sawn heavy timber

Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Low rise

Post + beam


The major renovation of the Coast Mountain College Smithers campus involved extensive wood features and abundant natural daylight, creating a decidedly non-institutional atmosphere for students and staff. Key features include extensive wood siding and heavy timber roof elements.

  • A vaulted galleria connects new and existing buildings and brings natural light and ventilation into the structures.
  • Wood, rock and First Nations art symbolize forestry, mining and Indigenous culture of the region.
  • Sustainable energy solutions such as reflective roof surfaces minimize solar heat gain.

The college campus underwent a major renewal and expansion that nearly tripled its capacity, creating a wheelchair-accessible and energy-efficient facility. Additions included classroom space, labs, a multi-purpose shop for trades programs, library space and a computer lab. The renovation was accomplished in phases to minimize disruption to classes. The result is a contemporary and bright, inviting campus.

An abundance of wood and natural light

The structure is of post-and-beam construction, using glue-laminated timber (glulam) and round heavy timber columns. The roof is built from plank decking and glulam beams. The exterior features wood siding, and heavy timber and glulam elements are used on the underside of the roof overhang. The LEED gold-certified building—including its classrooms—is flooded with natural light and is heated with geothermal energy.

Connected to place

The campus addition established a strong connection to the mining and forestry industries, the culture, and the history of the rugged mountain region. First Nations art was incorporated into the design, as well as wood features throughout the interior and exterior. The design and materials speak strongly to the values and practices of the people of northwest British Columbia.