Wood use in B.C. schools

Opportunities for wood in B.C. schools

There are many reasons to use wood in schools. It can be locally sourced from sustainable, renewable, and certified forests, while also supporting the provincial economy and communities across British Columbia (B.C.). Wood creates optimal living and working environments for building occupants, while still meeting code and building requirements for safety and performance. There are also significant sustainability benefits to using wood for construction (a lower carbon footprint when compared to concrete), as well as an ability to store (sequester) carbon in the building once it is complete and keep it out of the atmosphere.

Wood Use in British Columbia Schools, by Thinkspace Architecture Planning Interior Design Ltd.and Fast + Epp is intended as a useful guide for individuals or organizations curious about the use of wood in schools in British Columbia. It is intended for experts and novices alike who are part of the community that builds, maintains, and works in schools.

This report is predicated on one authored by Stantec and Fast + Epp in 2018. Some of the themes and concepts in the 2018 report have influenced this report, but the overwhelming majority of the work in this document is original content.

Topics include

  • Types of wood construction in schools.
  • Utilizing wood in school construction.
  • Advances in wood use technology including mass timber.
  • Building codes that affect the use of schools.
  • A series of case studies on the various types of wood construction used in schools.
Wood use in British Columbia schools

This report by Thinkspace Architecture Planning Interior Design Ltd. and Fast + Epp highlights the advances in wood use technology, updated B.C. building codes, government support, and appreciation for the use of wood resulting in an even greater percentage of new school projects now having wood elements of varying sizes and scopes included in them.

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 view of UBC Earth Sciences Building atrium demonstrating multi-storey timber construction techniques for higher-density urban environments
Design options for three-and four-storey wood school buildings in B.C.

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Cover page of factsheet displaying a render image of a three-storey building, sunny sky and plenty of people enjoying the common areas and patios.
Wood use in British Columbia schools

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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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