North Vancouver City Hall


North Vancouver, B.C.


3,530 square metres




Michael Green, MGA

Structural Engineer

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.

Engineered Wood Supplier/Fabricator



Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)

Laminated strand lumber (LSL)

Parallel strand lumber (PSL)


Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Low rise

Mass timber

Post + beam


An innovative twist: Design team celebrates wood product that is usually kept hidden by drywall

  • The building used two timber structural systems: a composite glue-laminated timber (glulam) and concrete system, and laminated strand lumber (LSL) panels.
  • Exposed LSL panels are both the building structure and a finished ceiling.
  • Large-scale LSL panels offer dimensional stability and speed of construction

Inventive use of laminated-strand lumber, a locally sourced sustainable wood product

This adaptive rejuvenation of the City of North Vancouver’s existing 1970s municipal hall and library, makes inventive use of laminated strand lumber (LSL)a highly sustainable local-sourced material made of fast growing aspens or popularforming large-scale panelized mass-timber structure for this light-filled central atrium and civic gathering space. The nearly 70-metre long atrium, supported by glue-laminated timber (glulam) columns, provides linkages between various municipal departments and the public they serve. Along with this, the renovation provides public service counters and a conversion of the existing library into staff offices and meeting space. The result is a flexible, productive working environment that demonstrates the city’s commitment to sustainability.  

Warm glow of wood come with cost savings

The long LSL panels are fabricated into box beams. Inside electrical and other services are hidden from view. Prefabricated offsite and quickly assembled onsitethe panel design makes for a fast, less disruptive process than conventional on-site construction. LSL is an economical material, more often concealed by drywall. But in this instance its left exposed and given a clear finish. At sundown, the atrium’ rectilinear volume glows warming, showcasing its wood structure, as it floats out over the facility’s main entrance, emblematic of the City’s commitment to civic transparency.  

“The challenge was that we had two existing buildings that were concrete that we were going to join together with a central atrium space. We decided that space should all be built in wood for a couple of reasons—one, to make it a very beautiful space to be very inviting to the public. The other was we wanted a lightweight structure and ultimately an innovative structure that would really celebrate the importance of wood in our community”

Michael Green, architect 

Expert interview

Learn about the innovative new technologies and building systems that enabled longer wood spans and taller walls in this project

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