Alberni District Secondary School

Type of Building
Port Alberni
12,820 sq. m.
Atelier Pacific Architecture, Meiklejohn Architects Inc.
Structural Engineer
Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Construction Manager
Yellowridge Construction
Project Owner
School District No. 70 Alberni
Wood Supplier
StructureCraft Builders Inc.
Glue-laminated timber (glulam), Lumber, Plywood

The use of wood for structural and aesthetic purposes is a stunning example of how design influences form and supports use. The building works extremely well. It's also pleasing to work in and to show off to visitors. The use of wood completely enhances the wow factor.

Mike Ruttan, Principal Alberni District Secondary School

Project Overview

Port Alberni on Vancouver Island's rugged Pacific Coast has enjoyed a forest-based economy for more than half a century. So when the decision was made to replace the city's only secondary school, the Ministry of Education turned to cutting-edge wood technology to achieve environmental benefits and celebrate the city's strengths. The new Alberni District Secondary School, which opened in 2012, has more than 1,000 students and is a local centerpiece—with two gymnasiums, a 500-seat community theatre, a First Nations gathering place, a youth health clinic and a Neighbourhood Learning Centre. 

Wood Features

Woodwave Roof: A Made-In-B.C. Solution

Alberni District Secondary School has a woodwave roof panel system, conceived and engineered by B.C.'s StructureCraft Builders for the Richmond Olympic Oval. Lumber and plywood are fastened together in a wave-like form to serve as a structural roof.

Relaxed Learning Environment

The use of wood throughout Alberni District Secondary School provides students and teachers with a productive and high-quality learning environment. Research by the University of British Columbia and FPInnovations has found that wood interiors reduce stress.

Efficient and Cost-Effective

Prefabrication and shop-based preassembly saved time, and ensured precision and consistent quality; Alberni Distric Secondary School's roof system was installed in one day. The wood supplied to the manufacturer came from the Alberni Valley.

Advancing Commercial Viability

The school received a grant from the Canadian Wood Council/Woodworks! and forest industry groups to demonstrate a commercially viable use of innovative wood-based products.