When designing schools, you must be highly conscious of the overall learning environment, safety and the bottom line – you have to make it all work. The combined use of CLT and NLT here met budget and seismic requirements, provided acoustic benefits, and supported quick and efficient construction. An added feature is that we love how the timber elements contribute to the overall aesthetic of the Project.
In 2008, British Columbia launched a process to assess school earthquake preparedness. Cordova Bay Elementary School was originally constructed in 1945 using light-frame wood. The one-storey school had been renovated over the years with additions that used unreinforced concrete masonry walls. The structure needed significant seismic upgrades, but instead of remodeling, the School District demolished and replaced select portions of the school using a cost-effective combination of nail laminated timber (NLT) roof panels and cross laminated timber (CLT) wall panels.
Made using 2x8 dimension lumber set on edge and then fastened with long nails, the school’s NLT roof panels span more than 8 metres. As NLT has the narrow edge of the lumber visible, the panels provide a more textured appearance compared with the flat surface of CLT. The texture also helps manage sound, which is important in a busy school environment. NLT roof panels were set atop a glue laminated timber (glulam) post and beam structure framed with CLT walls.