Type of Building
2,415 sq. m.
Murdoch & Company Architecture + Planning Ltd.
Structural Engineer
United Building Systems Ltd.
Construction Manager
Innovation Building Group Ltd.
Project Owner
Solana Developments Ltd. / Innovation Building Group Ltd.
Wood Supplier
Brisco Manufacturing Ltd., Plasti-Fab Ltd.
I-Beams/I-Joists, Laminated veneer lumber (LVL), Lumber, Plywood

This project was innovative in its use of LVL for the exterior deck slabs. The Whistler location came with structural challenges; those large decks had to be designed to support both hot tubs and Whistler’s snow loads. When the LVL slabs were paired with the LVL post and beam structure, it became a very efficient structural system.

Ed Lim, Structural Engineer United Building Systems Ltd.

Project Overview

Designed for exceptional energy efficiency, Solana is a 20-unit, three-storey luxury condominium complex built for Whistler’s retired seniors. The developer wanted to build for quality, comfort and sustainability. Wood was chosen to meet the ambitious energy efficiency and aesthetic goals. Even with floor-to-ceiling windows, the high performance building envelope exceeded Built Green Platinum certification requirements. The combination of wood-framed, airtight walls together with triple-pane windows, a heat recovery ventilation system and passive solar heating made Solana one of the most energy-efficient buildings in B.C. at the time it was completed.

The project was framed using a variety of engineered wood products and sustainable building techniques. Wood helps reduce thermal bridging which leads to heat loss, and the wood building components were engineered to fit tight, reducing air leakage, which means residents will enjoy lower utility bills for years. 

Wood Use

Solana’s structure was framed using LVL posts and beams and then connected with an engineered wood fastening system. They even used LVL to frame the elevator shaft; the 18-metre-long, 5-1/2-inch thick LVL panels were lifted into place and installed vertically by crane.

The doubled exterior wall system features 8-inch thick SIP panels adjacent to walls framed with 2x6 dimensional lumber. The framed walls were insulated for extra energy efficiency, resulting in an overall wall R-value of R52. Interior non-bearing walls were framed with 2x4 and 2x6 dimensional lumber and sheathed with 1/2-inch plywood for shear. The roof used wood trusses packed with R70 insulation. 

The wood-framed assembly was configured not only for energy efficiency but also for maximum soundproofing.