Wood use in British Columbia schools

Utilizing wood in schools

For the better part of a decade, B.C.’s schools increasingly feature more innovative, eco-friendly, and flexible designs. Today’s schools are more versatile and adaptable, focused on health and well-being, along with safety and function.

Wood and mass timber provides flexible design, allowing for more open-concept designs in schools. This meets the learning goals and environment of teaching in B.C., keeping the student experience at the centre. This fact sheet summarizes the Wood Use in British Columbia Schools report by thinkspace and Fast + Epp—a practical report for school districts, administrators, and design professionals to include wood in school buildings.

Topics include

  • Benefits of wood use in schools including impacts on learning, health and wellness, culture and tradition, speed of construction, cost-effectiveness, and carbon emissions.
  • Technology advancements in the mass timber and wood construction industry.
  • Addressing building codes and the need for alternative solutions in certain jurisdictions.
  • Several case studies that profile wood in structural and non-structural applications.


Wood use in British Columbia schools

This fact sheet provides a synopsis of the Wood Use in British Columbia Schools Report by thinkspace and Fast + Epp.

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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