Research

Wood Use in British Columbia Schools

Opportunities for wood in BC 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. 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 BC Schools, by thinkspace 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 BC Schools Report

This report highlights the advances in wood use technology, updated BC 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

Learn More
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 BC

Learn More
Glue-laminated timber (Glulam) columns support the prefabricated wood frame ceiling in this interior view of the Skidegate Elementary School Gymnasium

Wood Use in British Columbia Schools

Learn More