This is the second time we have used CLT in an industrial building on the UBC campus—the first being the Bioenergy Research & Demonstration Facility. Based on our positive experience with that project, it was a natural choice for the Campus Energy Centre. We have found CLT to be durable and cost competitive with steel.
The CEC is an integral part of the university's greenhouse gas reduction program with the new high efficiency water heating plant and district hot-water distribution loop replacing the pre-existing steam boiler plant constructed in 1925, reducing emissions by 33%.
The primary structure of the boiler process area is a Douglas fir glue laminated timber post and beam frame, with enclosing walls of seven ply (245mm thick) cross laminated timber (CLT) panels and sloping CLT roof panels. The 20-metre high CLT panels create a unified enclosure around the mechanical equipment, giving the vast space a sense of warmth, unusual in an industrial building.