Samuel Brighouse Elementary School


Richmond, BC


4,777 square metres




Perkins and Will

Structural Engineer


Roof Fabrication and Installation

StructureCraft Builders Inc.

Wood Species



Project Materials

Glue-laminated timber (Glulam)


Nail-laminated timber (NLT)


Structural Systems

Hybrid / Other

Mass timber

Post + beam

Being built of locally sourced timber including wood salvaged from BC’s mountain pine beetle outbreak and incorporating its own community garden—Samuel Brighouse Elementary School is a design of environmental education and stewardship.
  • Abundant use of wood includes a post-and-beam structure, wall framing, decking, millwork and interior panels.
  • An undulating nail-laminated timber (NLT) wood roof demonstrates the beauty and structural capacity of dimension lumber.
  • Makes efficient use of wood affected by the mountain pine beetle outbreak.

Making nature elementary  

Samuel Brighouse Elementary makes wood and natural materials central to its design.  Sustainable features and a community garden reinforce a curriculum focused on environmental stewardship. The school provides educators, support staff, and more than five hundred students from kindergarten to grade 7 with modern classrooms, offices, special education facilities, a computer lab, a library, and a gymnasium. A two-storey atrium offers students a dramatic and inviting entry to the school, built primarily of locally sourced wood and mass timber. Its double height glazing floods the common space in warm, natural light while giving views to the outside greeneryIt also contains an adult literacy centre that serves the wider community.  

Timber takes top marks 

The facility’s abundant use of wood includes a post-and-beam structure, wall framing, roof decking, millwork as interior doors, and protective wall panels. An undulating nail-laminated timber (NLT) roof, made with two-by-fours and steel V-shaped king-posts, demonstrates the beauty and structural capacity of dimension lumber. Its prefabricated panels—much of the wood coming from forests affected by the mountain pine beetle—were built off-site, expediting construction and cutting the installation time by half. The roof offers the added benefit of passive ventilation, through windows at the peaks of each wave—improving comfort, energy efficiency and air quality.  

We chose wood as the primary expressive material for this project, transforming it into an evocative architectural gesture that demonstrates the beauty and capacity of dimensional wood.

Robert Drew, Project Architect, Perkins and Will

Take a virtual tour

Interior daytime view of low rise Cordova Bay Elementary School showing wood paneling, ceiling, and accents throughout. Picture taken after seismic upgrades using nail-laminated timber (NLT) and cross-laminated timber (CLT)
Cordova Bay Elementary School

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Exterior daytime view of two storey Lord Kitchener Elementary School showing extensive wood use, including glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams, millwork, paneling, and siding
Lord Kitchener Elementary School

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Interior view of Samuel Brighouse Elementary showing student and demonstrating mass timber products, and hybrid timber systems construction
Wood in Education

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Exterior daytime view of four storey Revelstoke Secondary School and Begbie View Elementary School glass elevator shaft adjacent to glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams supporting a Douglas-fir deck
Revelstoke Secondary School and Begbie View Elementary School

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