Because of the inherent lightness, flexibility and ductility of wood-frame construction, it is particularly well suited to the construction of post-disaster buildings at this scale.
The community of Port Hardy (population 4,000) is located on the north coast of Vancouver Island, separated from the mainland by the waters of the Inside Passage. It is an important hub for the commercial fishing industry, with half the wild fish caught off the British Columbia coast being offloaded here each season. In addition, there is a popular sport fishery and significant recreational boating activity adding to the volume of marine traffic. This project, situated on the downtown waterfront, replaces existing operational and residential accommodation for the Canadian Coast Guard detachment.
Given the relatively remote location of Port Hardy, careful consideration was given to the design to ensure the maximum use of local materials and labour. Dimension lumber was locally sourced and connection details made simple, keeping with the local building traditions and expertise. Both structures are predominantly wood-frame with glue-laminated timber beams used to span the living area in the residential building and the open plan offices in the operations building. In this latter case, the glulam roof beams bear on a deep lateral beam and cantilever beyond the building to support the projecting eaves.