The benefits of building schools with wood

Advantages of wood use in schools

There are numerous benefits to building schools with wood, especially in British Columbia (B.C.). It can be sourced from healthy and certified sustainable forests, while also supporting the provincial economy and communities across B.C.

Over the last 10 years, more than fifty K-12 schools across B.C. have incorporated wood. Wood is versatile, resilient and renewable, making it an excellent choice to build or renovate schools.

Safe + durable: Mass timber construction has a proven safety and performance record for a full range of conditions including fire, seismic, and wind.

Building better: Wood schools can be built quickly and cost effectively due to off-site assembly and collaborative early design processes.

Local supply: B.C. has hundreds of wood product suppliers, mass timber fabricators, and experienced contractors.

Health + wellness: Wood use in classrooms creates a healthier environment, promoting both mental and physical well-being while enhancing learning potential.

Culture + future: Schools can be a place of cultural expression and celebration with wood detailing creating a strong architectural expression, whether contemporary, artistic, technological or Indigenous cultures.

The benefits of building schools with wood

This infographic highlights the benefits of building schools with mass timber, light-frame and interior wood products.

Wood In Schools Report Cover Page.
Wood use in B.C. schools

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Glue-laminated timber (Glulam), Laminated veneer lumber (LVL), and Plywood prominently featured in this interior view of Wellington Secondary School
Cost comparison report: Four-storey wood school design in British Columbia

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Internal daytime view of low rise Wellington Secondary School showing central circular open air atrium and Glue-laminated timber (Glulam) 'spokes' radiating outward
Seismic design with wood: Solutions for British Columbia schools

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Interior view of low rise Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary School main hallway showing hybrid construction utilizing paneling, post + beam, and a roof of stacked wood planks
Podcast with Ray Wolfe of thinkspace on designing wood schools

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