North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex


Surrey, BC


10,219 square metres



Structural Engineer

Bogdonov Pao Associates (acquired by CIMA+ in 2021)

Engineered Wood Supplier/Fabricator


Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)

Structural Systems


Post + beam


An exposed prefabricated wood roof spans three rinks and turns heads. It also resulted in substantial cost and time savings for Surrey’s new ice rink complex.

  • Hybrid timber and steel trusses, 43-metres long, form the main roof supports.
  • The king-post trusses were fabricated with a double glue-laminated timber (glulam) top chord, steel rod tension chord, and steel web members.
  • Engineers were able to reduce the overall weight of the trusses and lower installation costs by reducing the size of the top chord glulam members.

When the City of Surrey decided to build a new sports and ice complex, the original design for the facility—which houses three rinks and other community spacesincluded a hybrid timber and steel truss system with an acoustic metal roof deck. The design-build team saw an opportunity to add value by using wood, so they replaced the metal roof deck with a prefabricated wood deck that not only saved money but also could be installed more quickly. The exposed wood also provided a warmer finish to the interior of the complex. 

Novel approaches to installation

The engineers reconfigured the trusses using parametric software. By considering roof curvature, the spacing of the vertical king posts, depth of the trusses, truss spacing and other variables, they were able to reduce the size of the top chord glulam members while still meeting performance requirements of the trusses. Doing so reduced the overall weight and lowered installation costs. And for ease of shipping, the engineer-builder assembled half trusses of about 21metres long. The pieces were trucked to the jobsite, lifted into place and connected in the centre with custom steel connections that were engineered to meet load requirements. The trusses were supported at each end on concrete shear walls, and in some cases, steel columns.  

Major savings in cost and time

Prefabricated wood decking panels were formed using horizontal glulam purlins topped with plywood sheathing. The panels, which ranged from 3 to 4metres wide and 11 to 16metres long, were easily lifted into place to rest on the tops of the truss’s glulam top chords. Because the deck panels were pre-assembled, it was a straightforward and streamlined installation. The team saved 30 to 40 percent in cost savings and significant schedule savings using prefabricated roof panels instead of a deep metal deck 

A roof that mirrors its surroundings

The arena is situated between the Fraser River and a heavily treed embankment, so the undulating roofline is a reference to its backdrop. At night the multi-storey lobby with its glazed walls is illuminated from within and visible from the Scott Road SkyTrain station. 

It was important for us to build an iconic building that the City of Surrey would be proud of. Most arena buildings are built with steel or concrete which look and feel cold, but this project, with its wood roof deck and structural glulam trusses, gives visitors a warmer experience. We were trying to make this more than just an ice arena, and with the switch from a metal to a wood roof deck, we got a better building.

Scott Groves, former manager, civic facilities, City of Surrey