Wood Design & Building Winter 21/22

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P ubl i c ati ons M ai l agr eem ent #40063877

Wi n te r


Subaru Dealership

Roger Bacon Bridge

A case study

An auto industry first

Design and integrity in timber

Engineer-Build Structural Engineering

Computational Design

Fabrication & Installation

Beautiful Structures The Soto Office Building | San Antonio, TX Client: Hixon Properties | Design Architect: Lake Flato | Architect of Record: BOKA Powell | General Contractor: Byrne Construction | Concrete Structural Engineer: Danysh & Associates Inc. | Timber Structural Engineer: StructureCraft

c o n t e n t s A b ove a n d o n t h e c ove r: Clayton Community Centre, Surrey, BC

PHOTO: doublespace

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Clayton Community Centre 26

Arts and culture and recreational programming lead the way in a new rec center

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PASSIVE HOUSE Subaru Dealership 16

Steering a new direction into an environmentally friendly showroom and garage

1 Lonsdale 20

A revitalized Vancouver neighborhood gets a revitalized commercial building

Against the Grain 6

Restoration of New Brunswick’s covered bridges

Wood Chips


Projects to watch and more industry news

Wood Ware 46

Classic wooden toboggans

Catalyst 11

Washington State’s first CLT office building also provides an eco-friendly footprint

Roger Bacon Bridge 30

Why timber underpins the design and integrity of this Nova Scotian bridge

Riptide House 33

“Passive House-ish” in Dartmouth with a nod to design

T e c hn i c a l

S o l ut i ons

Movin’ On Up 36

Mass timber use is increasing in the low-rise building market

Hayward Field: A Case Study 41 The University of Oregon’s historic stadium is reimagined with its heritage in mind

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Taking an Active Approach to a “Passive” Issue Passive House design has its roots in residential builds. According to Statista, back in August 2016, there were 210 single-family detached homes and 50 single-family attached homes in North America designated as Passive. Six years on, this design concept continues to be an option for many eco-conscious Canadians looking to build their dream homes. Riptide House (p. 33) is a good example of this trend. Although it is not a certified Passive House, the house has many of the same qualities and has been termed “Passive House-ish” by the architect. Passive design today is not limited to residential applications. It has grown to encompass other areas such as high-rise, multi-use, commercial, and institutional. Regardless of the type of building, Passive structures aim to be energy efficient, comfortable, and ecological – all at the same time. In this issue, we feature a few non-residential projects to showcase just how versatile Passive House is. A community center in the Clayton Heights neighborhood of Surrey, BC, (p. 26) provides residents with arts and culture programming, a gym, and a library; a revitalized commercial building, 1 Lonsdale (p. 20), breathes life into an equally revitalized neighborhood in North Vancouver; and, in Red Deer, AB, the Scott Subaru Dealership (p. 16) achieved Passive House certification and overcame the challenges of incorporating a showroom and garage. Passive House design is multifaceted and multifunctional. Architects and engineers in Canada and around the world have repeatedly demonstrated their interest and ability to produce world-class eco-conscious designs. With environmental issues at the forefront of national and international concerns, it really is time to fully embrace Passive design.

Brooke Smith Editor

Wood Design & Building magazine invites you to submit your project for consideration and possible publication. We welcome contributed projects, bylined articles, and letters to the editor, as well as comments or suggestions for improving our magazine. Please send your submissions to wood.editorial@dvtail.com.


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inspiration BOARD


2020 www.WoodDesignandBuilding.com

Winter 2021-22, Volume 21, Issue 90 PUBLISHER ANDREW BOWERBANK abowerbank@cwc.ca

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SKELLEFTEÅ, SWEDEN More than 700 km north of Stockholm lies the city of Skellefteå, the southern entry into Swedish Lapland. With a long tradition of timber building, Skellefteå has had much to celebrate in the world of wood recently. Its latest venture into mass timber is the Sara Cultural Centre, which was completed in October 2021 by White Arkitekter. The cultural center houses the Västerbotten Regional Theatre, Museum Anna Nordlander, Skellefteå Art Gallery, the new City Library, and The Wood Hotel.





The timber used was sourced locally from regional sustainable forests and processed at a sawmill about 50 km from the site.

PHOTO: Jonas Westling

EDITOR BROOKE SMITH wood.editorial@dvtail.com


The 20-story hotel, standing 75 m tall, is constructed of prefabricated modules of CLT, stacked between two elevator cores made entirely of CLT. PHOTO: Åke Eson Lindman The center has a timber frame with columns and beams of glulam and cores and shear walls of CLT. Trusses above the grand foyers are composed of a glulam-and-steel hybrid.

PHOTO: David Valldeby

BARBARA MURRAY bmurray@cwc.ca

Just a 20-minute drive from the city center is Skellefteå Airport, which also claims a mass timber structure. The airport’s six-story control tower was constructed by Gisteråsjöstrand Arkitektur in 2004.


EDITORIAL BOARD Shelley Craig, Principal, Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver, BC Gerry Epp, President & Chief Engineer, StructureCraft Builders Inc., Vancouver, BC Laura Hartman, Principal, Fernau & Hartman Architects, Berkeley, CA Randall Kober, Master Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON

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CANADIAN WOOD COUNCIL 99 Bank St., Suite 400, Ottawa, ON Canada K1P 6B9 1.800.463.5091 www.cwc.ca www.WoodDesignandBuilding.com www.WoodDesignAwards.com ISSN 1206-677X Copyright by Canadian Wood Council. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. Views expressed herein are those of the authors exclusively. Publication Mail Agreement #40063877 Printed on PEFC certified paper Printed in Canada

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Against the GRAIN

We’ve Got You Covered Images of covered bridges are found on jigsaw puzzles and postcards, and the structures themselves conjure up romantic encounters and provide great backdrops for wedding photos. “Most of our covered bridges in Canada are over 100 years old,” says Dr. Dan Tingley, senior engineer at Wood Research and Development. “They were covered, simply, to protect the old Howe trusses,” he says, “by keeping the moisture off the joints and preserving the wood. Moisture means decay, and decay means timber bridge degradation, especially around the joints and connections.” Canada is home to 131 of these wooden gems, with 58 found in New Brunswick alone, according to Tourism New Brunswick.


The oldest covered bridge in this province is the Nelson Hollow Covered Bridge. According to Ray Boucher, president of the Covered Bridges Conservation Association of New Brunswick, it was originally built in 1870 but then replaced or renovated in 1899 and reopened the following year. “The bridge was restored in 1977 due to the efforts of the Doaktown Historical Society. It’s no longer in service, but is still open to pedestrians, ATVs, and snowmobiles.” Built of wooden beam and plank in the Howe truss design, the bridge measures 80 ft. 6 in. “It’s one of only two covered bridges in New Brunswick with a hip (cottage) roof,” Boucher says. A more recent restoration has been Milkish Inlet No. 1 Covered Bridge in Bayswater, NB. It was built in 1920, but under Tingley’s direction the bridge underwent a major retrofit and restoration in 2021. It’s a two-span, single-lane timber covered bridge; each span is 108 ft. long. “The timber originally put in the bridge was 180 years old,” Tingley notes. “We extended its life. We increased its capacity from 5 tons to 30 tons and extended those 180-yearold timbers another 100 years.”


Next on the restoration lineup is the Vaughan Creek Covered Bridge in St. Martins. It will be a two-lane highway bridge with regular 62.5-ton capacity. It’s currently under construction and scheduled for completion this summer.

1. Nelson Hollow Covered Bridge Photo: Ray Boucher 2. Milkish Inlet No. 1 Covered Bridge Photo: Mark Baladad 3. Milkish Inlet No. 1 Covered Bridge (construction) Photo: Mark Baladad


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From rendering to reality.

When execution matters Innovative glulam and timber solutions Contact us to discuss your project (888) 898-1385 | sales@fwtimber.com www.fraserwoodindustries.com

Photo credit: Kyle Slavin, St. Michaels University School



hcma heads up the design of the Fire Station #2 Redevelopment. The structure will use a steel and timber post-and-beam system supporting CLT floors, a CLT roof suspended from glulam beams, and a mass timber shear wall. The new two-story, 2,190-sq.m structure will replace the current one-story, 353-sq.m building. Completion is scheduled for 2023.

Castlegar, BC

PHOTO: Courtesy of Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc.

Kelowna, BC

Faction Architecture Inc. will design The Exchange, a fourstory mixed‐use industrial/retail/office building in Kelowna’s downtown. The project will feature NLT construction for the floor and roof panels supported by a glulam or PSL post-andbeam substructure. The project will meet Step Three of the BC Energy Step Code, the highest level attainable for this type of building in the region. Completion is scheduled for winter 2023.

Banff, AB

Drilling to excavate and construct bridge pilings for the Nancy Pauw Bridge has begun. The $5.5-million bridge will span the river without touching the water. With up to 8,000 crossings a day expected on foot, bicycle, and skateboard, the new bridge will provide a faster route for commuters. It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, as well as provide a lookout point for visitors. The official opening of the bridge is expected to occur this fall.

Saskatoon, SK

The Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce $5-million, multi-use, Passive House–certified building is scheduled to break ground this summer. Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. heads up the project, which will house the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, Destination Castlegar, the West Kootenay Gateway Visitor Centre, and a satellite branch of Community Futures. It will also include co-working spaces, a large collective space for community events and gatherings, tech-charging stations, a boardroom, and meeting and office spaces for rent. PHOTO: Courtesy of Formline Architecture

Vancouver, BC

The First National Health Authority’s Metro Vancouver Office will be constructed primarily in mass timber. This six-story facility, located on the Tsleil-Waututh Nation Land in North Vancouver, will pay homage to the Coast Salish people by evoking the plank house tradition. It will be built of glulam beams and CLT floor and roof panels. Although the building is mainly an office, it will also include social spaces for meetings, gatherings, cultural activities, education, and demonstrations. Completion is scheduled for 2023.


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Saskatoon has a new central library in the works. The design concept is by Formline Architecture, Chevalier Morales, and Architecture 49. The 136,000-sq.ft. project – which pulls inspiration from First Nations and Métis architecture – will be located in downtown Saskatoon. The exterior of the building references the traditional Plains First Nations tipi, made up of flat modular insulated metal panels, creating a curved appearance. The interior mass timber structure references the Métis’ log cabin, supported by a secondary wood and steel structure, with exposed wood columns and wood ceilings. The library is scheduled to open in 2026.


Guelph, ON

The Guelph Public Library Board of Directors has approved the schematic design for the new central library designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The new library will provide collections, archives, and community amenities. The 85,000-sq.ft., three-story building includes 160 below-grade parking spots. Construction is expected to start in late 2023.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Hamilton, ON

PHOTO: Courtesy of Kearns Mancini Architects Inc.

The Bay Cannon Affordable Housing building is currently in the design phase by Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. The 55-unit, 53,000-sq.ft., mid-rise affordable housing building will feature a combination of one- and three-bedroom units with amenity space on the ground floor and a large exterior amenity outdoor garden space. The building is designed to meet Passive House standards: a high-performance airtight envelope, tripleglazed windows, and zero thermal.

Clarington, ON

In 2019, Ontario Power Generation announced its plan to establish a new corporate headquarters in the Municipality of Clarington, east of Toronto; the hydro company will move all its non-station-based positions in Toronto and in Niagara and Durham regions to this new facility. Lett Architects Inc. will provide design services and perform the compliance design package with CIMA+. The three-story, net zero, 200,000-sq.ft. campus is being designed as a low-slung mass timber structure with Bird Construction. It’s scheduled for completion in 2024.

Peterborough, ON

Lett Architects Inc. heads up the design for the new Canadian Canoe Museum. The two-story, 65,000-sq.ft. facility will be a space for the museum’s collection and activities. There will be a 17,000-sq.ft. exhibition hall for new exhibits. It is scheduled for completion in 2023.


Ground has been broken in Delafield for its first mass timber building, The Grain. The $25-million development was designed by Johnson Design Inc. The two-building project includes 60,000 sq.ft. of office space, 18,000 sq.ft. of retail space, and 125 parking spaces. The site was formerly occupied by a gas station. Tenants are expected to move in by summer 2023.                    ‒ win t e r 2 0 2 1 - 2 2



Milwaukee, WI

A mass timber riverfront Milwaukee apartment tower project, The Edison, has received further city approval. The 15-story building will have 194 units and will include an indoor parking structure, a second-floor outdoor patio deck, and 15,600 sq.ft. of commercial space on two levels. Construction is scheduled to start by the end of this year.

Sydney, Australia

Bardstown, KY

PHOTO: Courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

Cedar Creek Quarry is a 420-acre piece of land in Bardstown. After pandemic- and leadership-related delays, it will soon become home to the Kentucky Owl Park, which will feature a new distillery, rickhouses, and a number of visitor amenities. The amenities – including a visitor center, a bar and restaurant, a hotel, and a train station to transport visitors to the area’s various distilleries – are still being configured. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this spring.

INTERNATIONAL Awaji, Hyogo, Japan

Shigeru Ban Architects’ mass timber retreat, called Zenbo Seinei, is nearing completion. Located on Awaji Island, the structure measures PHOTO: Courtesy of 90 m in length and 7.2 Shigeru Ban Architects m in width. It features a 100 m-long wooden deck, designed as an open-air platform for zazen (seated meditation). Zenbo Seinei also contains accommodations and a restaurant. It is set to open in the spring. 10

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PHOTO: Courtesy of 3XN

The Sydney Fish Market, located in Blackwattle Bay in Pyrmont – about 2 km west of Sydney’s business district – is the third largest fish market in the world. The 65,000-sq.m renovation project was commissioned from Danish design firm 3XN, working with local firms BVN, GXN Innovation, and Aspect Studios. It will take about 1,600 m3 of spruce glulam and over 150 tons of steel to manufacture the large roof that floats above the market. It is scheduled for completion this year.

Tarpeena, South Australia

Ground has been broken at Timberlink’s NeXTimber manufacturing facility at Tarpeena. Once completed, the $63-million project will occupy 15,000 sq.m. This will be Australia’s first combined CLT and GLT manufacturing plant.

Many more Projects to Watch can be found in the Wood Design & Building eNewsletter.


Catalyst for Change

Eastern Washington University (EWC) is located in Cheney, WA, just 16 mi. from Spokane. It was founded in 1882 by a $10,000 grant from Benjamin Pierce Cheney and originally named the Benjamin P. Cheney Academy to honor its founder. Throughout the decades, the institution has undergone several name changes; in 1977, the university was given the name used today by the Washington State Legislature.                   ‒ w i nter 2 0 2 1 - 2 2




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The newest building on the EWU campus is Catalyst, designed by Michael Green Architecture (MGA). The building connects to the University District by way of the Gateway Bridge, a pedestrian bridge that brings together the two main areas of the university. The MGA team envisioned a mass timber building that would exceed the performance of a comparable concrete and steel building and showcase the aesthetic, energy performance, and environmental benefits of CLT. That vision became a reality in 2020 when Catalyst was completed. It is the first office building in the state to be constructed from CLT. The 165,000-sq.ft., five-story structure uses over 4,000 m3 of wood in the form of CLT and glulam products. EWU is the main tenant of the building, which is now home to many of its academic programs, including business administration, computer engineering, design, electrical engineering, and marketing. In the near future, Catalyst will also house private industry tenants. This will allow EWU students and faculty to work alongside industry leaders and experts who will provide practical and multidisciplinary learning opportunities. Some of the new industry occupants begin moving in this July, including the Spokane office of McKinstry, who were the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing consulting engineers for Catalyst.                    ‒ win t e r 2 0 2 1 - 2 2



Catalyst also has an eco-friendly carbon footprint. The CLT panels were sourced from local working forests and manufactured at a CLT factory 15 mi. from the site. According to the Canadian Wood Council’s online carbon calculator, the wood volume in the Catalyst building stores 3,718 metric tons of CO2 , and, by using wood instead of more carbon-intensive construction materials, the building avoided emitting an additional 1,437 metric tons of CO2 . Removing that amount of carbon from the atmosphere is roughly equivalent to taking 1,100 vehicles off the road for a year. Material use in the building was also optimized. For example, the window cutouts that were created when the envelope panels were manufactured were used as exit stair treads, and Alaskan yellow cedar benches were created from salvaged dead wood. The building is powered by a solar photovoltaic array and a shared energy eco-district. These systems allow Catalyst to be independent from Spokane’s power grid; this helps prevent power outages. The building’s heating and cooling system is separate from ventilation, which improves efficiency. Catalyst’s air sealing exceeds Passive House International US standards and the envelope consultant, RDH Building Science, said it was the tightest building they have ever tested. Catalyst is currently targeting ILFI’s Zero Carbon and Zero Energy certifications. ARCHITECT

MGA | Michael Green Architecture; Architect of record: Katerra Vancouver, BC; Seattle, WA


KPFF Consulting Engineers Portland, OR



Seattle, WA P H OTO G R A P H Y

Benjamin Benschneider Bellingham, WA


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Steering a New Direction at Subaru 16

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The steadily increasing numbers of electric cars and amount of eco-friendly transportation on the road is not new. What is new and exciting are car dealerships housed in eco-friendly facilities. The 14,070-sq.ft. Scott Subaru Dealership in Red Deer, AB, is one of those facilities. In fact, when it was completed in 2019, it was the first certified Passive House dealership in the world. Typically, a client like the Scott family would build a dealership like this out of steel, concrete, and other noncombustible materials, says Lukas Armstrong, architect and principal at Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. “We convinced them early on that this building really

could be wood-based,” he says. “Part of sustainability is to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction, and that includes the carbon footprint of the materials.” “From a wood perspective, what was interesting was the use of engineered products for both the stud wall and the forces that span the roof system,” says Armstrong. “We worked with a number of manufactured wood products, including LVL studs and really deep trusses.” The 20-ft. ceilings, which would typically be constructed with steel, posed a challenge. “We worked with engineers, and everybody pushed the boundaries to get this done out of wood. That’s why we ended up with 20-ft.-long LVLs in stud wall array and then 4-ft.-deep wood trusses.                    ‒ win t e r 2 0 2 1 - 2 2



“We couldn’t have done the project the way we did, though, without the wood industry producing the technical materials it has,” says Armstrong. “It was a bit of a challenge for the structural engineer,” he adds, “but we reduced the carbon footprint of the building substantially. “The biggest challenge was the space itself; it’s both a showroom and a repair garage. The showroom was the simpler of the two to design,” says Armstrong, “because, even though it was large, its use is similar to other occupancies. “The garage was a different story. Vehicles are entering and leaving, and running, and the exhaust has to go outside,” he says. “All of the HVAC systems had to be very specifically designed. Each car had its own dedicated exhaust system so we wouldn’t be exhausting more air than was specifically needed for that car. In addition, wastewater heat recovery was implemented because the repair garage uses hot water to wash down cars as they come in, particularly in the winter and the spring,” he added. 18

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Understanding the heat balance was also key. “You’re bringing in cars that are 40 below in some occasions or you’re bringing in cars that are hot. You’ve got the heat loss from the building and all the heat loss from the air exchange. There was quite a lot of complexity in dealing with that garage and the way that energy flowed through the building.” For Armstrong, Passive House “really is the way construction needs to be headed in the face of the climate challenges we have. “As the industry matures, as more products become available in the Canadian market, and with the expertise in the building community continuing to grow, we’ll see the price coming down drastically for the production of these energy-efficient buildings,” he says. Armstrong adds that he’s grateful to the Scott family. “They took the risk – especially within the context of Alberta – to build a building like this in an oil-focused economy, to decide that they see it as valuable to their brand identity and to the success of the business.”


Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. Nelson, BC


LEX3 Engineering Inc. Red Deer, AB


Black Creek Developments Inc. Sylvan Lake, AB


Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc. Nelson, BC

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Rezoning and Redeveloping 1 Lonsdale for the Future At the corner of Lonsdale Avenue and Carrie Cates Court in North Vancouver lies one of the country’s first Passive House commercial buildings, but 1 Lonsdale Avenue didn’t start that way. The property has been in the same family for three generations and, until recently, housed an Italian restaurant in a relatively derelict part of town near the waterfront. Since 2009, when the city government began a revitalization plan for the area, residents have seen the neighborhood change dramatically. With the creation of a master bike plan in 2012, the construction of new condo towers, and the completion of the Polygon photographic art gallery in 2017, the Babalos family decided to rezone and redevelop the property to reflect newer sensibilities and aesthetics to fit the times. “When we realized there was an opportunity to redevelop, we had an idea that we could develop this in a different way, in a better way,” said Krystie Babalos, part owner of the project. “We started doing our due diligence…visiting other Passive House buildings across the Lower Mainland, in Whistler, and in Pemberton. 20

We started building our team, and the crux of this development process has been our team.” Once assembled, the team needed to create something that not only paid homage to the past, but also paved the way to the future. “The client wanted to do something aggressive from an energy point of view and had done their research on Passive House, and we had done a Passive House factory in Pemberton in 2016,” says John Hemsworth, the architect on the project. Hemsworth adds that one of the first challenges was being cognizant of the energy performance while at the same time using wood materials that are familiar to traditional Vancouver construction. Architecturally, Hemsworth also notes the desire to push the envelope of design and create more natural light by exposing the glulam connections and beams through the windows to “mess with the pattern,” again, with the nod to energy performance. In fact, 1 Lonsdale Avenue was built using a glulam post-and-beam system with 5-ply CLT roof, floor, and shear wall panels, all manufactured in British Columbia.

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Joel Kranc


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Fabrication of the materials and assembly lasted from April 2020 to May 2021 (although assembly of the prefab finished building took only 10 days). Hemsworth’s involvement with the project started about six years before. Why the delay? The previous restaurant owner is still slated to put a new restaurant in the ground floor of the new building. That portion has not yet been completed because the challenge is how to put a restaurant in a small footprint and get it to Passive House standards; this will require energy modeling and other approaches to make it work. Those standards mean the building will use up to 90% less energy than a conventional one. Mass timber helped the design team meet the stringent criteria while addressing the unique challenges of the tight space. Other challenges that contributed to the delay included city administrative processes and the pandemic. Because there is little space and other buildings are very close to 1 Lonsdale, all of the CLT panels were fabricated to exact specifications, which helped reduce gaps and improve airtightness. “In order to meet Passive House standards, you need a really high level of air sealing, and you also need to insulate it,” says Hemsworth. CLT shear wall panels were pre-insulated 22

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to Passive House standards, then lowered by crane to overcome the constraints of the tight lot. “We got the full Passive House envelope, plus the full lack of air leakage, and maintained the fire rating between the buildings. If you’re going to build a high-performance building, it’s not just the energy it uses, it’s the materials and embodied energy that go into it. Mass timber is better than using steel and concrete.” Because the building is located in British Columbia, which has a wood-first initiative, Hemsworth says his general approach to construction is “Why not wood?” He adds that mass timber is simply a better and more efficient material, and allows for sustainability and carbon sequestration, assuming the wood is harvested properly. Also, the province is in a high seismic zone and may be prone to tremors or earthquakes. Wood fares better in those instances than concrete because of its reduced weight. Lighter buildings also mean smaller foundations, which mean less material, cost, and embodied energy. Challenges remain, of course. Supplies have been disrupted due to the popularity of products such as glulam. Also, glulam has to be purchased early and money has to be put up front. This is not the case with steel. This, Hemsworth notes, may offer procurement challenges going forward. Nevertheless, the die for this construction model was cast a long time ago. “BC has been constructing buildings out of wood since people got here,” says Hemsworth. “We’re just using technologies to recapture those lessons.” ARCHITECT

Hemsworth Architecture Vancouver, BC


EQUILIBRIUM Consulting Inc. a KATERRA company, Vancouver, BC C O N T R A C TO R

Naikoon Contracting Ltd. North Vancouver, BC


Ema Peter (final)/KK Law (construction) Vancouver, BC


Joel Kranc is an experienced and award-winning editor, writer, and communications professional. Currently, he serves as director of KRANC COMMUNICATIONS, a full-scale marketing and content firm founded in 2011 serving a global financial services clientele.

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Protected every step of the way

1 De Haro | San Francisco, CA Photography: David Wakely

Naturally Perfect® Wood Protection Protect your mass timber masterpiece, even before it gets built. Sansin Precision Coat systems are designed to maintain the beauty and integrity of wood throughout production, shipping and construction – and then for years to come. Warrantied for up to 20 years, Precision Coat factory finishes deliver the colour, transparency and performance that architects, engineers and builders can count on.

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The Clayton Community Centre Is the First of Its Kind 26

It’s good to be first. That’s an accolade Surrey, BC, knows all about. The city, about 40 km southeast of Vancouver, is home to the first community center and largest non-residential building in North America to achieve Passive House status. Completed in February 2021, the 78,000-sq.ft., two-story Clayton Community Centre features a double-height social gathering space at the main entry, providing a hub for community engagement. It combines a mix of spaces into one facility: arts and culture programming (including performing and visual arts spaces), recreational activities (including a gym and fitness center), and a branch library. There are also spaces for communityled programming, including a community kitchen and garden, a workshop, a café, and preschool and childcare spaces. “The design process is quite different for Passive House,” says Melissa Higgs, architect with hcma and principal of the project. “You have to really understand how the client will be using the building, the occupant load, the type of equipment they’re going to have. All this must be considered in the very early stages of design. “We went into it designing on the basis of what a residence would suggest,” says Higgs, “which would be to super-insulate the building.” But the first modeling indicated that the facility would only have to be heated less than a week a year. “The heat generated by occupants in the building, the lighting systems, and the equipment – but mostly the people – meant that we had a cooling problem, not a heating problem. We were trying to reduce the energy load associated with cooling the space.” That’s the opposite issue for a Passive House residence. “You don’t have enough people in [a residence] to generate their own heat to heat the building.”

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As a result of the modeling, some insulation was removed from the design and “popped-up” clerestory windows were added to provide cooling at night. The spaces within the facility were placed according to both their program usage and natural light requirements. For example, the fitness center needed to have a cool operating temperature so it couldn’t be placed on the south side of the building. “We needed to think of these spaces and how the design of the building would work to accommodate them,” says Higgs. The design team also had to consider aspects of design that aren’t typically seen in recreation and community centers. One such design was the entryway into the facility. “It took us awhile to figure out because airtightness is such a huge part of the success of Passive House,” she says. “If you think of a community facility that’s busy and thriving, even if you have a vestibule, effectively, the door is open a lot of the time because people are coming and going.” The team mapped out the size of the vestibule they’d need to meet the airtightness requirement, but it was “enormous and unfeasible.” The end result was a revolving door. “It’s an airtight passage,” says Higgs, “but we haven’t seen community centers, especially in North America, where we have that kind of entry condition.” Higgs says you can feel the quiet when you go into the building. “The comfort piece of it is real,” she says. In fact, on one of the coldest days of the year (there was snow on the ground), while the building was under construction, Higgs visited the site. “I had my full-on insulated jacket and thought, Oh, it’s going to be cold on the job site.”

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Sustainable Design Clayton Community Centre’s mass timber construction contributes to an eco-conscious facility. The locally sourced wood used has a small carbon footprint, and the prefab glulam “pinwheels” allowed for simple erection at the site with not as much debris. The structure of the center is two stacked boxes; the larger upper level box hangs over the lower level to help control solar gain in the facility. There’s also insulation around foundation elements, thick insulation on the walls and in the roof, and structural details that minimize thermal bridging. Skylights also help maximize natural light and minimize thermal impact.


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At this point in the construction, the envelope was mostly in place. “Fifteen minutes in, I took my jacket off.” The tradespeople were in their indoor clothes and it was quiet. There was only one generator outside of the building. The contractors told Higgs as soon as the building was enclosed, they didn’t need to use the number of generators they’d budgeted for. Says Higgs, “The building was already operating the way it should.” ARCHITECT



Read Jones Christoffersen Vancouver, BC


EllisDon Corporation Mississauga, ON


Andrew Doran Nelson, BC


Scarborough, ON

Ema Peter

Vancouver, BC

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Building a Bridge Why timber underpins the design and integrity of the Roger Bacon Bridge. Rehana Begg

There was a time when using timber in bridge construction would have been dismissed as unsafe or unstable relative to the industry staples: concrete and steel. Those misgivings, based on concerns about lifespan, maintenance, and load capacity, as well as susceptibility to decay, would have held sway before the development of mass timber and modern preservation technologies. Conditions that make an architectural project viable can change radically over time, but in the case of Nova Scotia’s Roger Bacon Bridge, the backstory for investing in mass timber as the primary material in its revitalization adds much more than an element of novelty. As a renewable resource, wood spans human history. As a building material, builders and sustainability advocates agree that mass timber could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction, reduce waste and costs, and create an aesthetically appealing environment. The Canadian Wood Council estimates that there are nearly 50,000 timber highway bridges in service in the U.S. and Canada, making up about 7% of all highway bridges. Timber bridges are gaining in popularity due to their carbon advantage and reduced energy consumption for a given load and span. Timber bridges have been shown to be 21 times more carbon-friendly than steel and 16 times more carbon-friendly than reinforced concrete. No doubt, these advantages were part of the impetus to select mass timber for the reconstruction of the Roger Bacon Bridge. “It’s the longest three-lane, clear-span bridge in Canada,” noted Dr. Dan Tingley, senior engineer at Wood Research and Development. “Its carbon assessment in steel was around 2,790 metric tons of carbon into the air. The bridge in timber ended up being minus 960 metric tons.” The 65 m, single arch highway bridge is rated for 62.5 tons. Providing a direct link between the towns of Amherst and Springhill on Nova Scotia’s Trunk 2 highway, the arch structure – which formerly went by the moniker “Rainbow Bridge” – opened in December 2019. The community renamed it for Roger Bacon, an MLA who represented Cumberland County for 23 years and served as provincial premier from 1990 to 1991.                    ‒ win t e r 2 0 2 1 - 2 2



The old bridge was closed off in 2017 on account of structural issues. By the time the province issued a tender call to replace the bridge in 2018, inspections on the substructure timber piles had already confirmed they were sound for the next 100 years. Yet, the project was advertised as design and construct with no material specifications or design limitations. For its winning bid, Wood Research and Development Canada (WRD), and its sister company, Timber Restoration Services – both in New Brunswick – proposed a treated timber arch design. The advantages of using pressure-treated glulam over competing steel options were palpable. The region surrounding the Nappan River is a high corrosion zone, so an engineered timber would be the best option, “due to the lower economic impact, longevity, aesthetics, and lightweight nature of the material,” noted the design and engineering firm. The construction cost was 33% less than steel and 65% less than concrete alternatives. The total cost of the project came in at $3 million. The bridge design had to accommodate elevation restrictions from above and below. The lowest point on the bridge had to be elevated above the 100-year flood line. At the same time, the road elevations could not be raised because they had to maintain safe sight lines through the bridge for the traveling public, according to WRD. By using glulam and incorporating highstrength fiber reinforcements, WRD was able to meet the load requirements of the bridge within a compressed envelope. Prefabrication was done in the factory to ensure quality control. Glulam members were pressure-treated with an oil-based copper naphthenate preservative to prevent decay. Although the preservative is not listed as a hazardous air pollutant or reproductive toxin, extra precaution was taken to use Alaskan yellow cedar for the upper rail portion of the guardrails to ensure minimal human contact with the treatment. The disassembled elements were then transported to the site for final installation on top of existing creosoted timber piles. From a structural standpoint, the bridge meets the requirements of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code. The final design, boasting two arch pairs per side, is one-third the weight of the old steel bridge and one-eighth the weight of a comparable concrete bridge. By reusing existing piles, and with the lighter load, the structure was in service at a fraction of its load-carrying capacity, noted WRD. The net benefit for using timber is that Roger Bacon Bridge will now sequester the equivalent of 350 tons of CO2 over its 75-year service life. STRUCTURAL ENGINEER

Wood Research and Development Canada Hillsborough, NB


Timber Restoration Services Hillsborough, NB


Mark Baladad, Wood Research and Development Canada Hillsborough, NB

Rehana Begg is a Toronto-based journalist. She has spent the past decade in the B2B trenches of industrial manufacturing, focusing on engineering, operations, and management. Begg holds a master’s degree in journalism and an MBA focusing on project management. Reach her at rehanabegg@rogers.com.


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Making Waves in Dartmouth with Riptide House Joel Kranc

In 2017, two Nova Scotia surfers, Jason Van Meer and Deborah Dobbin, who were living near the world-famous surf area known as Lawrencetown, decided they wanted a house in the city that reflected their lifestyle. The so-called Riptide House (because it looks like a wave) was designed and planned with them in mind. Although it’s not an officially certified Passive House, architect Rayleen Hill of RHAD Architects in Dartmouth says it has many of the qualities and labels it “Passive House-ish.” “[The clients] were very interested in environmental issues and wanted to do their best when they built this house,” says Hill. “They didn’t want to just build it to code; they wanted to see what they could do [to make it environmentally friendly]. It was definitely client-driven, and they wanted to do something in the direction of Passive House.” As it turns out, however, to be Passive House requires a fairly rigorous point system, measured by elements such as energy efficiency, thermal protection, airtightness of building, and ventilation. “The ‘ish’ part of the Passive build allowed room for our architect to design a functional living space that works for us and gave a bit of freedom for our architect to create an

interesting and beautiful living space,” say Van Meer and Dobbin. “We feel design was not lost in the Passive House build, and that was important to us.” In other words, allowing for design creativity provided opportunity to have the best of both worlds: design and efficiency. Hill concurs and says her clients had a great interest in sustainability and design, and wanted to build their house as a kind of example of the two concepts in one project. Some upfront costs were higher due to double wall framing, insulation – because it is a higher value than a home built to code – and triple-pane windows. “But, in return, you get energy savings and a comfortable living space, and it feels good to build an environmentally friendly house,” adds Hill. Additional bonuses to the Passive House-ish build are a quieter house in the city, a temperature that’s consistent, and good air quality throughout. The Riptide House also has a drain water heat recovery unit that picks up latent heat as water goes down the drain. As well, the house is entirely electric with very low bills of about $100 per month. “It’s a pretty efficient house,” says Hill.                    ‒ win t e r 2 0 2 1 - 2 2



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1. foyer 2. living room 3. dining room 4. kitchen 5. laundry 6. powder room 7. mudroom

The street the house sits on has a heritage vibe with older homes. This posed a slight challenge to honor the architecture of the past while building in the present. The house is woodframed with a gable roof and the front and back use Maibec siding whereas the sides of the house use a modern steel roofing wrap. The Maibec siding is a local product made of pine that has been factory-painted. Because Nova Scotia is rainy, and wood needs to be dry to get a really good finish, the prepainted product provides a better option for the climate, although it doesn’t necessarily provide a better insulation value. Hill notes that as she becomes more comfortable and used to applying certain principles of better windows and taping houses tighter, for example, it’s relatively easy to apply Passive House-ish principles to all houses she’s involved with. “So we use a lot of those principles for most of our builds now,” she adds. As for the future, Hill is involved in the first co-housing community east of Montreal: a PHIUS-certified (Passive House Institute, US Inc.) condo project in Bridgewater, NS. Move-in is expected in the fall this year.

1. ensuite 2. master bedroom 3. bedroom/office 4. bedroom 5. bathroom


RHAD Architects Dartmouth, NS


Andrea Doncaster Engineering Dartmouth, NS


Construction managed by owner/developer, Jason Van Meer Dartmouth, NS


Julian Parkinson Halifax, NS

Joel Kranc is an experienced and award-winning editor, writer, and communications professional. Currently, he serves as director of KRANC COMMUNICATIONS, a full-scale marketing and content firm founded in 2011 serving a global financial services clientele.

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Movin’ On Up Mass timber use is increasing in the low-rise building market. Claude Lamothe and Jim Taggart

Despite the race to build the highest mass timber building, the low-rise market segment is still an important one for the wood industry considering the square footage built year after year and the relatively low market share enjoyed by the industry. In Canada alone, buildings of three stories or less accounted for 55 million sq.ft of construction in 2020. This is why the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) developed a lowrise market development strategy back in 2017. After some preliminary consultations, it was determined that the best way to encourage specifiers and developers to increase the number of low-rise timber buildings was to provide them with sound examples of effective and attractive structural

Figure 1: Street view of the three-story office building


This concept was finalized by AKA Architecture + Design Inc. and Fast + Epp.


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systems applicable to numerous types of low-rise buildings. These new structural systems were initially developed during multidisciplinary workshops held in Vancouver, Toronto, and Québec City in 2019 and further refined until they were ready to be published in Low-Rise Commercial Construction in Wood – A Guide for Architects and Engineers. In this 2021 CWC publication, six examples of structural systems are included. Three examples are light frame, two are mass timber, and one is a hybrid structural system. The following provides a closer look at one of these structural systems: The Office/Retail Building with Composite Glulam Purlins & CLT on Gerber Beams.1

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B2 Glulam Beam 215x570 20f-E Columns , typ. 365x380 SPF 20f-Ex CP1 - Compostle CLT Glulam Deck CLT 105V Panel 2x [175x342 SPF 2f-E] B1 Glulam Beam 175x570 SPF 20f-E GB1 Gerber Girder 175x684 SPF 20f-EX BR1 Brace 365x380 SPF 12c-E typ.

B4 Glulam Beam 175x342 SPF 20f-E Exterior Envelope •Window Wall or Curtain Wall •Siding Over Exterior Insulation

Figure 2: Typical floor layout

This three-story office/retail prototype structure is characterized by its large open floor plan, dramatic diagonal bracing around the perimeter, and a rectangular circulation and service core that can be offset from the center of the plan because it does not form part of the lateral system for the building (Figure 1). The overall length of the building is 152.2 ft. (46.38 m), and the overall width is 102 ft. (31.09 m). The building footprint is thus within 2% of the maximum 16,146 sq.ft. (1,500 m2) permitted by the National Building Code of Canada for an unsprinklered building. As shown in Figure 2, the gravity load system for the structure comprises primary 14.375 x 15-in. (365 x 380 mm) glulam columns on a 25 x 25-ft. (7.62 x 7.62 m) structural grid. The primary floor glulam beams are 26.92 in. (684 mm) deep and run parallel to the length of the building. These beams are designed as a Gerber girder system, with the primary beams paired in alternate bays and cantilevering approximately 5 ft. (1.5 m) into the adjacent bay. Here, the paired beams are cut short, with the central section of the bay being spanned by a single, shallower glulam beam slotted between the paired beams to either side. The overlapping of the paired and single 38

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glulam elements occurs at points where the bending moment would be near zero for a truly continuous beam, thus increasing the beam efficiency. The resulting reduction in mid-span stresses is what enables the double beams to be replaced with the single shallower beam. Connection of the single drop-in segment is easily facilitated by the paired beams on either side of the drop-in span. The double beams sit on shoulders cut out of either side of the story-height columns (Figure 3). Columnto-column bearing is facilitated by a steel spacer to eliminate cross-grain material in the vertical load path. The columns are secured top and bottom with embedded steel rods epoxy-glued into the end grain. The other major component of the gravity system is composite CLT and glulam floor and roof purlins. Each composite panel consists of a CLT panel with two glulam ribs connected with inclined self-tapping screws. These panels, which are 8 ft. (2.44 m) wide and 25 ft. (7.62 m) long, are dropped between the Gerber beams with the CLT panel bearing on top. Adjacent composite panels are joined with an inset plywood spline and the entire assembly is fastened with partially threaded screws through the CLT to the girders below at the supports. The combination of the Gerber beams


Glulam Post Preassembled Composite CLT-Glulam Panel CLT Floor Panel Glulam Purlin

Glulam Gerber Beam

Plywood Spline

Preassembled Composite CLT-Glulam Panel Glulam Purlin Self Tapping Screws, Inclined Towards Beam Mid-Span CLT Floor Panel

Figure 3: Exploded isometric detail of floor assembly

and the composite panels results in a much shallower structural depth than would be the case with traditional beam, purlin, and panel systems. The floor panels are shown finished with a 1.5-in. (38 mm) concrete topping on a resilient membrane that reduces both impact and airborne sound transmission, and could also accommodate a radiant heating system, if desired. The roof assembly uses the same composite CLT and glulam panels, but then has an air/vapor barrier installed on top, followed by tapered rigid insulation and a waterproof membrane. The lateral system shown here comprises diagonal glulam braces, located in two consecutive bays in the exterior walls on both long and short elevations of the building. These braces are aligned vertically and occur on every floor. The beam ends are connected to the main structural frame using steel knife plates and tight-fit pins, designed to provide the ductility necessary to dissipate lateral forces (whether these are wind or seismic) and prevent failure of the wood members. The even spacing of these braces provides the required torsional stability to the building, enabling the corner bays on all elevations to be fully glazed, if desired. Because the mass timber structural system provides the required 45-minute fire resistance without the

need for encapsulation, the interior of the building benefits from the warm visual character of exposed wood. The bays in which the shallow infill Gerber beams are located have higher ceilings in the center of the span. The difference in depth between the primary and infill beams is sufficient for mechanical systems to be run perpendicular to the beams without reducing the ceiling height. The fact that the service and circulation core is non-structural means that (within the parameters of codemandated maximum distances to exits) the core can be located to suit the organization of the building program. Claude Lamothe graduated from McGill University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. After having worked for engineered wood products and forest products companies for close to 25 years, he founded his own consulting firm, Intra-Bois Inc. Jim Taggart is an award-winning Vancouver-based architectural writer whose credits include the books Toward a Culture of Wood Architecture (2011) and Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance (2017, updated and expanded 2019).

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PHOTO: Zac Lawson

Case Study: Hayward Field The University of Oregon’s historic stadium is reimagined with its heritage in mind – all with team collaboration. Caroline March-Long and Andre Lema The reimagined Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene is a “theater” for track and field events. It was the setting for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and is slated to host the World Athletics Championships in 2022. Funded by gifts from Penny and Phil Knight and more than 50 other donors, the 12,650-seat stadium, completed in 2020, was designed by SRG Partnership and constructed by Hoffman Construction. Working in collaboration with the architect and builder, both

Sansin Corporation and Western Archrib were integral in bringing the stadium’s signature Douglas fir glulam pieces to life. Elements of the historic field – where Nike co-founder Phil Knight competed in track and field while attending the university – were incorporated into the new stadium, preserving the rich heritage of the original. One design objective was to showcase Oregon’s history, culture, and forest products. Four hundred and sixty-two Douglas fir glulam pieces manufactured by Western

Archrib and protected with Sansin’s lowVOC architectural finishes were used to create 77 unique curves, each containing six pieces of bent wood. “Mass timber was the correct choice for this structure because the Pacific Northwest is known for its forests,” says Mark Wigston, senior manager of projects and technical services at Western Archrib. “The design group wanted the roof canopy to have an iconic look that embodied the region, as well as the history of Hayward Field.”

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PHOTO: Western Archrib

By the Numbers PHOTO: Western Archrib

Track and field is all about numbers. Here’s how Hayward Field adds up.

TOTAL AMOUNT OF WOOD USED: 1.175 million ft. (That’s equivalent to 830.5 laps around the track at Hayward Field.)

HEAVIEST BEAM: 6,700 lbs.

DEEPEST BEAM: 6 ft. 9 in. wide, with the longest beam 55 ft. 10 in.

PHOTO: Zac Lawson


VOLUME OF WOOD PRODUCTS: 55,665 ft3 (1,576 m3)

TOTAL POTENTIAL CARBON BENEFIT: 1,966 metric tons of CO2 (That’s equivalent to taking 416 cars off the road for one year.) 42

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Preplanning and Collaboration

Preplanning was essential for a structure of this magnitude. Weekly Building Information Modeling sessions were held for many months before production of the glulam segments began. These sessions involved key global stakeholders and helped to mitigate the volume of requests for information. Models were uploaded at each phase of the project, which advanced modeling of subsequent phases more quickly, ultimately setting the tempo for the project. The manufacturing and construction process were reverseengineered from the project finish date. The project was a massive undertaking, and detailed and solution-minded team collaboration with the design group and trade partners was key. “With the plan from the design group, we effectively and efficiently created the unique glulam members, which are seamlessly integrated and showcased throughout the stadium canopy,” Wigston says. “This ultimately ensured the team exceeded the vision and high expectations set by the design group.” Before manufacturing of the glulam curves began, materials had to be approved by the project owners. All elements matched the owner’s specific requirements, from the lumber chosen to the use of Sansin’s custom coating system on the glulam. Samples started out at 1 x 1-ft. boards with different coating options, moving to a select number of 6 x 12-ft. samples, and finally to a fullsized mock-up with the selected coating and lumber specification. The full-sized sample was created to determine how best to protect the wood while achieving the aesthetic goals, along with identifying the best installation methods. Hoffman Construction mitigated any issues or risks and ensured the created product could be executed successfully. A three-coat system from Sansin in a custom Golden Wheat color was chosen for its durability, beauty, and environmental profile. “Sansin was the ideal partner because they were able to

accommodate the numerous color choices and products that could work well for the demanding exterior environment this wood experience,” Wigston says. “Another important factor is that Sansin could provide long-term maintenance support for the client with a unique proactive aftercare program.” KP-12 UVW tinted to Golden Wheat is the first coat, offering a penetrating undercoat that helps to dimensionally stabilize the massive pieces of glulam and moderate water uptake while allowing the wood to breathe. This first coat also kicks off a three-layer strategy to build strong UV protection across the system. The second and third coats comprise Sansin’s exterior clear topcoat, Precision Coat ENS. ENS is highly water-repellent, building a breathable barrier. Sansin worked closely with the architectural team to develop a finish system that led to the beautiful final color, while maintaining clarity through to the wood grain. The synergy between Sansin, Western Archrib, and Hoffman Construction was critical to the success of this project, and an executive representative from the donor group was intimately involved in the selection of the wood protection system and color. Prefinishing the glulam with two coats of the Sansin finish in the Western Archrib shop prior to shipment not only ensured proper preparation and adequate product coverage (mil thickness), it also protected the members in transit and in situ during construction. Prefinishing ahead of field acclimatizing helped reduce “checks” or newly opened surfaces as the wood settled. Per the specification, a final coat of Sansin’s Precision Coat ENS was to be applied at the track and field site; this would allow an opportunity to spotfinish any newly opened surfaces prior to applying the final coats over the entire surface. Because the final coats would not be applied in factory-controlled conditions, Sansin developed a detailed quality control specification for Hoffman and

the field application. The specification was accompanied by a quality control reference sample so that the application team could see what the final finish and color should look like. In order to match the quality control reference sample, the applicators applied the right amount of ENS to achieve the wet mil and eventual dry mil thickness expected in the third coat. Underapplication would mean that the glulam would not be adequately protected and the final outcome might vary from the quality control reference sample as to sheen, color, and appearance. “We worked in a very collaborative way to develop a coating system that would bring out the character of the glulam pieces, while ensuring that the maintenance cycle was achievable,” says Sjoerd Bos, managing director at Sansin.

Installing the Glulam

All glulam pieces ran through Western Archrib’s CNC machinery and Fabrication Quality Check program, which ensured the pieces matched the drawings. The curved pieces were over 100 laminations deep; the straight pieces were 59 laminations deep. Stringent quality control measures were adopted to ensure all pieces flowed continuously in the structure and that Western Archrib met the owner’s specifications. Before any glulam pieces were installed, the structural steel had to be placed first. The glulam pieces were then installed in situ. The width and length of the pieces had to be taken into consideration so Western Archrib could fabricate them and safely ship them to the site. Each glulam curved frame had six pieces that needed to be installed per gridline. There were no repeat or common pieces of glulam. Each piece had only one spot in which to be placed. The circular Hollow Structural Section steel ran at an angle around the building, giving the installer only minimal tolerance to locate the exact spot for the glulam pieces.

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PHOTO: Zac Lawson

All 43 loads of glulam pieces were meticulously orchestrated to ensure proper storage of the wood. The pieces were made in the order they would be shipped and installed, and were kept at a storage yard 20 minutes from Hayward Field. When the product was shipped, information was forwarded to the storage facility and Hoffman Construction. Once the pieces were on-site, the installation of the glulam pieces began.

Overcoming Challenges

There are always challenges that occur during a project of this scale. One was to determine how large (width and length) of a glulam member could be fabricated by Western Archrib and safely shipped to the site, taking into 44

consideration the different Canadian and U.S. road restrictions. Once this was confirmed, the design group used this information to determine how the final glulam shapes would work with the roof canopy design. Western Archrib has many years of successful experience in manufacturing, supplying, and installing large custom glulam members. The company is also very flexible when it comes to accommodating specific requirements needed to achieve the high-level aesthetic visions of their clients. A second challenge was to determine how the Sansin coatings could be best shop-applied over such large components, while still keeping a wet edge to keep a continuous color and maintain the mil thickness that was required. The client

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wanted a high-quality coating on the glulam that would last a long time before having to apply maintenance coats. They also wanted to ensure the color would match their specific requirements and that it would appear uniform on all the glulam members. “We love how the entire project turned out,” Wigston says. “It took teamwork from all design partners and suppliers to create one of the most amazing outdoor stadiums in the world today.”

Caroline March-Long is Sansin’s Director of Sales & Marketing Andre Lema is Western Archrib’s Manager of Business Development.

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Photo Courtesy of Northern Toboggan Company

Downhill From Here Tobogganing is a classic, fun-time activity for all ages during our long winters. Of course, plastic toboggans are a dime a dozen at your local big-box retailer, but at Minnesota-based Northern Toboggan Company the art of creating toboggans by hand, with natural wood material, lives on. John Harren started the company in the mid-1990s. A skilled carpenter by trade, he was mentored in the art of toboggan-making by Milton Chaboyer, one of the last hand-crafted toboggan makers, of Thompson, MB. For various reasons – economic, trade, and other makers dropping out – John seized the opportunity to make toboggans his business. John’s sons, Jackson and Gabriel, took over the business in 2015 and expanded the product line from sleds used for cargo to other products, including recreational toboggans and snowshoes. “We primarily use red oak, which is traditional for a toboggan,” says Jackson. “We work with a


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lumber mill in Manitoba, Finmac Lumber, that works with a particular sawmill that hand-selects the grade of lumber we need to do what we do with the wood. It’s a higher grade than ‘select grade,’ which is the highest grade of lumber.” Because the wood used is even better than select grade, Jackson has dubbed it “toboggan grade.” Jackson also notes that red oak is very strong and is steam-bent more easily for shaping the wood. White ash is also used, and is also handselected. “These are strong hardwoods that are pliable and bendable,” says Jackson. Although all Northern Toboggan’s toboggans are made of wood, some customers do request a modification where plastic is put on the bottom. Despite the occasional inclusion of new materials, authentic, old-world craftsmanship and attention to customers’ needs and changing habits will keep the business from sliding too far from its roots. – Joel Kranc


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