As a 'Living-Learning' environment for trades students, wood material choices for the building's construction was appropriate. Wood surrounds students as they learn various trade techniques for working with wood products and within wooden structures. Wood products have been used in various combinations and applications including prefabricated structural elements, various wall and ceiling finishes as well as furniture throughout the structure.
Reflecting the teaching philosophy of “show, don't tell,” the Okanagan College wanted a new centre for sustainable building technology to be built using advanced, green construction. The resulting Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technology and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College in Penticton is one of the world's greenest buildings. Featuring extensive use of wood products and advanced wood technologies—such as innovative composite floors and walls—the centre met LEED Platinum standards and the Living Building Challenge, a program to build the most sustainable buildings possible using today's design and construction technologies.
Composite Walls: Innovation
Radiant heating was embedded in a concrete mixture poured on top of wood flooring in the Centre, leading to energy and embedded carbon savings.
Okanagan Wood: Local Economic Benefits
Except for the hardwood floor in the gym, all of the wood used in the Centre comes from B.C. forests, including pine from Interior forests that have been impacted by the mountain pine beetle outbreak. This wood is structurally viable and using it helps mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the mountain pine beetle infestation on forestry communities.
Salvaged Wood: Environmental Responsibility
One of the requirements of the Living Building Challenge is the use of environmentally responsible materials. The Centre used wood from forests in B.C. affected by the mountain pine beetle, which qualifies under this high standard because it comes from third-party certified forests with chain-ofcustody labeling.
Natural Choice, Clear Benefits
Wood is a natural choice for a centre for sustainable building technology and energy conservation. Woodbased building designs have a lower energy and carbon footprint. Wood is durable, adaptable and versatile.