Northern Lights College Energy House

Type of Building
Commercial & Industrial
Dawson Creek
802 sq. m.
McFarland Marceau Architects Ltd.
Structural Engineer
Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Construction Manager
Dominion Fairmile Construction
Glue-laminated timber (glulam), Millwork, Paneling, Siding

The building super structure was specifically designed to showcase fir decking and glulam post and beam construction. The exterior and interior wood finishes give the building a very pleasing architectural look, good acoustics and does not look like your normal institutional facility. The wood finishes in the building gives its own personality.

Murray Armstrong, Northern Lights College Regional Facilities Manager Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Project Overview

A visit to Energy House on the Dawson Creek campus of Northern Lights College is like a trip to the future of green energy. It also shows the current and future benefits of building with wood. Energy House, the centerpiece of the Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology, provides certification and trades skills for the renewable energy sector and supports applied research into renewable energy. The multi-use facility produces all of its electricity and heating needs through wind turbine, solar, biomass and geoexchange systems, and the structure was built with as much wood as possible.

Wood Use

Energy House demonstrates clean energy technology, and shows students and visitors the efficiency, the effectiveness and the beauty of wood products. Wood construction is a great choice for educational institutions that want to set a good example by moving toward a more environmentally responsible approach to design and construction.

Local Materials, Local Benefits

By sourcing wood products and hiring construction trades locally where possible, the project provided economic benefits for northern British Columbia. All of the wood used for the tongue-and-groove ceiling millwork, wood-finished walls and glulam, cabinetry and countertops came from local forests, including some impacted by the mountain pine beetle.

Link To Nature: Positive Environment

Energy House chose wood for its tangible connection to nature and the outdoors, something that cannot be matched by other building materials. Wood creates productive and high-quality learning spaces for students and teachers, and research has concluded that wood interiors reduce stress.