Given Quesnel's strong links to forestry and the wood industry, it was important for our community to incorporate wood. The wood ceiling provides an aesthetically appealing environment while also serving important functional purposes, concealing mechanical infrastructure and improving the building's acoustic performance.
With forestry being a central component of Quesnel's economy, it was natural for community leaders to further the area's culture of wood by featuring it as a key structural and finishing component of their new arena. The two-storey facility is a focal point for the community and will also serve as a venue for live entertainment, trade shows and community events.
Wood for the slat ceiling assembly came from the local mills around Quesnel, and installation kept an on-site crew of six workers busy for roughly eight weeks.
To improve the speed of construction, contractors for West Fraser Centre used CLT to frame the lobby of the main arena, the stairwell and a foyer, which leads to an adjacent existing ice rink. The CLT roof was not covered, leaving the wood exposed to visitors below both inside the lobby and in the exterior roof overhang.
Inside the new arena, strips of plywood were first fastened to the open web steel joists running perpendicular to the trusses, with 1x6 spruce-pine-fir (SPF) dimension lumber attached to the plywood. By leaving a 2-inch air space between each piece of lumber, the wood naturally absorbs noise from below.