The Government of British Columbia conceived the idea of developing an innovative, all-wood facility in 2009, and through Partnerships BC, initiated the Wood Innovation and Design Centre as a design-build project. Following preliminary stakeholder consultation and planning, efforts began on a business case to define the project’s needs and requirements. The intent of the facility was to help promote expertise in advanced building systems, engineered wood products, interior wood design, and other value-added wood products. Located in the City of Prince George, the project would also support the revitalization of the municipality’s downtown.
Partnership BC wished to push the boundaries of what was possible under the BC Building Code for wood construction, and retained Associated Engineering as part of the Owner’s Technical Team to provide technical guidance. Our team members brought extensive experience and knowledge of heavy timber structures, as well as special wood products. As the owner’s technical representative, we developed the first Site-Specific Regulation and Building Code Compliance Strategy, addressing structural implications of using wood solutions for tall and multi-use structures.
By developing Site Specific Regulations to accompany the BC Building Code and the project’s Request for Proposal, the team facilitated the safe use of engineered wood. The facility shows the positive outcomes arising from expansion of current building codes - made possible with thorough risk analysis and project management. The final design effectively met the conditions outlined in the Request For Proposals documents, using a selection of wood materials sourced from throughout British Columbia, including Douglas-fir, cedar, hemlock, pine, and spruce. In addition, the project parameters enabled the use of engineered wood products prefabricated and/or produced in BC. Completed in fall 2014, the iconic six-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre is the tallest, multi-use wood building in North America.