Wood is more flexible and more economical than other materials, making it the ideal choice for a project like this. Whistler is in a relatively remote location; they have a shorter construction window and we absolutely needed to have the Lodge ready for the Games. Modular construction allowed us to meet the deadline, saving 30 to 40 percent in construction time.
The four-storey Whistler Athletes’ Centre Lodge was originally developed to provide comfortable accommodations for athletes of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games. Both the Vancouver Olympic Committee and Whistler community leaders also wanted an affordable, sustainable facility that could continue to be used long after the games ended. This building has lived up to that goal. The fully-accessible, 100-bedroom Lodge provides housing for Canadian athletes in training as well as for cultural and educational groups; it’s even used for weddings and other events.
The Lodge was built using 59 prefabricated modules, each of which was approximately 3.7 metres wide, 15 metres long and 3.4 metres high. The modules, built at Metric Modular’s facilities in Agassiz and Penticton, were assembled using traditional wood framing with dimension lumber for the roof and floor joists and wall studs. To stay true to the project’s sustainability goals, Metric Modular used wood sourced from mountain pine beetle-affected forests when possible.
The resulting structure is virtually indistinguishable from a conventional site-built project, and the durability of wood allows it to continue to provide comfortable housing for Whistler athletes and visitors.