Joint work sets new standards

25. 01.2018

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre in downtown Prince George, Canada features inventive and conceptual use of wood solutions in the year 2013. As a result the deauty and diversity of wooden buildings are distinctly highlighted and displayed. The wooden building was meant to be a pioneer of its kind and encourage similar building projects. Especially since the government could be convinced that wood in terms of fire safety is better than other materials.

Joint work sets new standards

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada features inventive and conceptual use of wood solutions in the year 2013. The construction combines modern design and day-to-day demands. As a result the beauty and diversity of wooden buildings are destinctly highlighted and displayed. The construction system used is repeatable and expandable to other building types and sizes.

In autumn 2013the new building of WIDC was started with exactly this basic idea. The goal of the multi-storey building with its 29.5 meters was notto remain the worldwide tallest all-wood building of its kind. In fact the eight-storey building was conceived in the interest of stimulating and expanding the market of wood engineering. This was achieved afer completion in spring 2014. Many similar buildings were conceived and completed thereafter. The eighteen-storey stundent residence also biult from wood and being one of the tallest wooden buildings worldwide plays an important role in Vancouver. With the construction of both buildings new ideas were brought into the world of wood construction. New milestones could be created in terms of attractiveness and esteem of wooden buildings. With every new experience this sector can be further developed and knowledge expanded and enforced.

The WIDC is an qpplication for the modern use of wood, leading to social sustainability and durability. Especially since the wood used comesdirectly from British Columbia. With more than 1,400 cubic meters of wood used, with WIDC, conceived by Vancouver's renowned architect Michael Green, is an example for experience in design and construction of tall wooden buildings in British Columbia. To be able to securely screw together such large quantities of woof, connectors complying with certain standards are necessary. These quidelines and tolerances as well as design values are defined in the prevailing Canadian National Building Code "Evaluation Report CCMC 13677-R". Subject to complying with the standards the use of the products for wood construction can be ensured. Wood construction screws of SWG Schraubenwerk Gaisbach GmbH have the appropriate approval and are distributed by our sales partner MyTiCon Timber Connectors Inc. in Canada. MyTiCon Timber Connectors Inc. was able to obtain the WIDC construction project and contribute with 78,000 screws for this modern building. ASSY 3.0 SK and ASSY 3.0 Combi screws in the diameters 8 to 10 mm and a length of 160 to 430 mm were used for the WIDC.

The wooden building provides plenty of space for offices and education facilities. It is also a gathering place for scientists, graduates, professional designers and people who are interested in the innovative use of wood. The lower three levels will accommodate faculty and students enrolled in the so-called Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design Program launched by the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The upper floors will provide office space for the government and organizations associated with the wood industry as well as the University of Art and Design.

Many different teams participated in this joint work, i.e. from the province to the industry, from the foresty sector and the design world to all of the building companies. Only by the cooperation and joint efforts of all participants such joint work and such timber construction was feasible. The design should celebrate the beauty of the wood and the small integrated parts. So the building facade design in the North is nearly opaque and moving southwards increasingly transparent. This optimizes solar radiation, insulation and consequently also the energy efficiency of the building. Passive solar heat can be used in that way. This building design orientates itself mainly according to the weather conditions in the North.

The building was erected in a dry construction method, i.e. without using concrete. This is a new way of construction, away from the traditional building construction while nevertheless maintaining all safety aspects. To convince the government that all standards are complied with special fire safety tests were  carried out. The tests gave evidence that wood in terms of fire safety even achieves better results than other materials. During the testing phase the CLT panels were exposed to a fire of 1,600 degrees Celsius.

In addition the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) accompanied the project and hoped to entice world market leaders to the North of British Columbia and to Prince George. This region is considered to be the center of Canada's forestry. It is the home of many associations depending of the woods and forestry. They developed a system of sustainable forestry in order to preserve the ecological system and simultaneously use trees for building construction. Constantly new forest areas are being created and old areas reforested.

© Ema Peter / Zach Mortice

Category: Projects
Share article: