Gibsons Elementary School is a new-build school originally meant to be a seismic upgrade project. Upon completion of a feasibility plan, it was determined that constructing a smaller, more energy-efficient academic space would be most cost-effective long term. The rebuilt school’s design has achieved several accomplishments: it is certified LEED® Gold, it follows the Wood First Act through extensive wood use and it serves the community’s needs as well as the students’ needs. The classrooms are in a different wing than the gymnasium, neighbourhood learning centre spaces and multi-purpose areas. This makes it possible for the community to maximize usage of these facilities without disrupting academic spaces.
Exposed structural wood elements are present throughout the building. Glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams and columns can be found indoors and outdoors supporting the roof and its overhang. Joists and plywood sheathing used for the roof are equally left exposed. Extensive indoor wood paneling lighter in colour, complement the deeper hues of the glulam, joists and plywood.