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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood

May 12, 2017



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Page 1: Engineered Wood

Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

Page 2: Engineered Wood

2 Introduction

3 Featured Engineered Wood Products

4 Airport Expansion

7 Carlo Fidani Peel Regional Cancer Centre

10 Eugene Kruger Building

13 Surrey Central City Atrium North Wall

16 False Creek Community Centre

18 Gilmore Skytrain Station

20 Mountain Equipment Co-op

22 William R. Bennett Bridge

23 Conclusion

Table of contents




Canadian forest management practices are among the mostadvanced in the world, and around 90% of the country’s commer-cial forests are certified as sustainable by third party organizationssuch as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the ForestStewardship council (FSC), the International Standards Organization(ISO) and the Sustainable Forests Initiative (SFI) Both CSA and FSChave ‘chain of custody’ labelling systems that can trace the origin,harvesting and processing history of individual timbers.

These advances in management practice have been paralleled byadvances in the area of product development and manufacturingtechnology which have led to the introduction of several new engineered wood products (EWPs).

EWPs are high-tech, high-performance products that offer consis-tency of structural performance, dimensional stability and freedomfrom defects, making it possible to integrate them successfully withother construction materials on large and complex projects.Environmentally, the benefits of EWPs are significant. All engineered wood products utilize small dimension lumber,veneers or wood fibres that help to maximize the potential of theworlds’ only truly renewable construction material.

2 Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

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Glue laminated timber (Glulam) Glulam was first introduced in the 1950s, and alongwith plywood remains the most familiar.. Glulam tech-nology continues to advance, and the material stillplays a significant role structurally and aesthetically.Traditionally glulams used 2x laminations glued togeth-er under pressure, to form simple beams or arches.Nowadays glulams may also be curved in two direc-tions, or have laminations stepped to correspond tothe bending moment diagram, leading to greater effi-ciency and increased expressive possibilities.

Parallel strand lumber (PSL) PSL uses high grade veneers peeled from small dimen-sion trees, and bonded together with water-resistant,thermosetting glue. PSL comprises shreds of veneerthat are mixed with glue and extruded into billets up to80 feet in length. The material is then cut to a range ofstandard sizes for use as lintels, beams, posts andtruss members.

Laminated strand lumber (LSL)The manufacture of LSL converts up to 75% of a loginto useable lumber. The process utilizes small-diame-

ter; plentiful trees that are not suitable for use as con-ventional sawn lumber. The wood is cut into thinstrands and then glued together using a steam-injec-tion process. The result is a large billet that can bemilled into a range of sizes for use as rim boards, head-ers, beams, columns, studs, sill plates, and stairstringers.

Wood I-joists (TJIs) Wood I-joists are made up of 2x3, 2x4 solid sawn lum-ber (or sometimes LVL) or Machine Stress Rated(MSR) lumber flanges and an oriented strand board orplywood web. They are manufactured in long lengthsand provide a roof and floor framing system that canrun continuously over a number of supports. Holes canbe drilled in the web to accommodate ductwork andother services, making wood I-joists a viable alternativeto open web steel or composite joists. There are vari-ous profiles of wood I-Joists available.

Laminated veneer lumber (LVL)LVL is essentially thick plywood, but with the grain ineach layer of veneer laid up in the same direction. Fromthe resulting billet, generally 1-3/4in. inches thick, arange of standard beam sizes can be cut, the grain of

the veneers running along the length of the beam. LVLis generally used for lintels and headers, but also tosupport point loads in a range of building types. Widerbeams can be fabricated onsite by nailing several LVLmembers together, making handling easier and elimi-nating the need for a crane.

Engineered wood trussesThe most familiar engineered wood trusses are thoseused in residential roof construction, which often useMSR lumber members as small as 2x3. However thesame design principles and manufacturing techniquescan be applied to trusses of varying geometry, and con-siderably greater load and span requirements. Thesetrusses use MSR or sawn lumber, sized for therequired loads, with elements connected together bynailing plates.

The full range of engineered wood products forms asystem of primary and secondary structural elements,cladding and decking systems that can be connectedusing a variety of simple, readily available hangers,brackets and hardware. In the hands of architects andengineers, these products have also been used in inno-vative ways in many non-traditional applications.

Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 3


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What began as a modest renovation project expandedin scope to include a new departure lounge, interna-tional arrivals area, security screening area, baggagemake-up room, support offices and renovations to theexisting check-in hall and arrivals areas. The challengewas to develop a design solution that would integratenew and existing parts of the building and at the sametime capture the character and aspirations of thePrince George region.

MacFarlane Green Architects chose to meet this chal-lenge architecturally, (rather than taking the thematicapproach which is common in contemporary airportdesign) and, together with structural engineersEquilibrium Consulting Inc., used structure, materialsand transparency to enhance both the experience ofair travel, and the connection to place. Through pro-gram organization and the careful design of interiorpartitions it is possible for those entering the terminal


Airport Expansion Prince George, BC

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Innovative Application of Engineered Wood 5

from the land side to see through the building to theawaiting aircraft – a rarity in a contemporary airporthowever small. Similarly, deplaning passengersapproach the transparent curtain wall of the airsidefaçade, and are immediately introduced to the quali-ties of structure and detail that give the building itsunique character.

The high-performance, point-fixed curtain wall system(developed in Austria) is supported on custom steelcastings of a shallow wishbone configuration. Thesame castings have been used to support the roof byfloating the ceiling above the beams, creating a con-cealed compartment for services, and as a supportsystem for the benches in the departure lounge.

Internally, the public areas of the building are organ-ized around a central day-lit spine that connects andunifies old and new portions of the building. An ele-

gant system of glulam and steel portal frames lifts acontinuous glass skylight above the surrounding flatroofs, bringing daylight deep into the building. Bands ofhorizontal Douglas Fir sunscreens, mounted alternate-ly on the east and west sides of the spine filter the lightand create an ever changing shadow play on the wallsand floor of the concourse. As the position of the sunshades changes, so does the supporting structure:steel where the concourse abuts the original building,glulam where it adjoins the new structure.

The glulam columns that support the central skylightand the curtain wall in the arrivals area are milled to anelliptical cross section on a state-of-the-art 5 axis com-puter numerically controlled CNC machine. (Thesemachines use the digital files created by architectsand engineers in the design of structural elements,and cut, form shape and drill these elements with mil-limeter precision.) The elliptical columns are then con-

nected to the horizontal members by discrete andhighly efficient tight fit pins. The purity and eleganceof the structure is further enhanced by the use ofcolourless polyurethane glue which eliminates theusual black lines between laminates that has longbeen characteristic of glulam construction.

Through the innovative application of cost effectivetechnical solutions, MacFarlane Green’s judiciousinterventions have created a new sense of transparen-cy and spatial definition. The elegance and economyof expression celebrate the precision of contemporarycraftsmanship and the increased emphasis now beingplaced on value added engineered wood products andenvironmental stewardship. ▲

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6 Innovative Application of Engineered Wood

Section through roof and glazed wall

Elliptical cap plate, dap flush to column

Steel knife gusset plate

Elliptical bottom plate on non-shrink grout with threaded rods into concrete

Galvanized steel deck, 1-1/2 in.

Parallam purlin on adjustable bearing plate threaded into steel casting each side

6-1/2 in.

7-3/4 in. 3-1/2


10-1/2 in.(

Through bolts welded to top of column bearing plate

Glulam beam, 6-3/4 x 21in.

Dap underside of beam tomatch plate outline

Double pane sealed mullionless structural glass panel

Ductile steel castings connected to inner leaf of structural glass panel

Glulam column 6-1/2 x 10-1/2 in., shaped on CNC machine

Concrete slab extension spanning betweentrench walls at glulam columns

Rigid insulation, 2in.


Knife plate with stainless steel tight-fitpins, top connection similar

Suspended concrete slab

Mechanical duct attached tounderside of suspended slab

Column section

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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 7

Farrow Partnership Architects are in the forefront of anew humanist movement in architecture, a movementthat believes buildings should be designed withhuman interests and dignity in mind. In the field ofhealth care in particular, research is beginning to pro-vide empirical proof that patients heal more quicklyand staff morale and performance increases in a non-institutional setting where natural materials, such aswood, and natural light figure prominently.

This knowledge was uppermost in the architects’minds when they approached the design of alobby/atrium space which would connect the newRegional Cancer Centre with renovated existing spaceat the Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga ON.Conceived as a village gathering space, the 40ft. highatrium features a forest of nine tree columns whoseglulam branches curve and intertwine. The organicforms enhance the emotive quality of the space whichis bathed in natural light from clerestory windows.


Carlo Fidani PeelRegional Cancer CentreMississauga, ON

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8 Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

The intertwined glulam trees constitute a single struc-tural system interconnected by embedded steelplates. The intricate form and the complexity of fabri-cation meant that collaboration between architect,structural engineer and glulam manufacturer wasessential from the outset.

The roof system is supported at five points, four ofthem steel beams at the second floor level. Within thestructure, 35 potential load paths needed to be ana-lyzed to ensure that the net maximum connectionforces were realized. The glulam supplier was instru-mental in resolving the many complex connections

and addressing the challenges of fabrication andassembly ahead of time. Most of the steel plate con-nections are concealed, maintaining the integrity ofthe overall concept.

The complexity of the structure also posed problemswith respect to fire protection. Analysis showed thatconventional sprinklers could not reach all the exposedsurfaces of the structure, presenting an unacceptablerisk of a fire taking hold. The solution was to importand test a high pressure misting system that wouldprotect the structure by coating it with a thin film ofwater droplets.

Released from misting heads mounted 5ft. off theground, in a fire situation the vapour would be carriedupward with the increasing air temperature, envelop-ing all surfaces of the structure. The water vapour pre-vents oxygen in the air from coming in contact withthe wood and so starves the fire.

With its humanist approach, complex forms and inno-vative technology, this project represents a new bench-mark in the use of engineered wood in Canada. ▲

Linkage of “tree” elements

Steel strap assembly usingtimber rivets

Glulam, 310mm x 836mm

Bevelled nailer

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Innovative Application of Engineered Wood 9

Strut node plan

Knife plate, 10mm thick

Steel plate, 10mm thick, 127 x 127mm

Steel dowels, 29mm dia.

Steel rod, 25mm dia.

Shear key, 25mm thick

Steel plate, 13mm thick

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The 80,000 s.f. program for this all-wood building includes both research facil-ities for the wood industry and undergraduate teaching space for 200 studentsand faculty. The project is located on the edge of Laval University’s suburbanQuebec campus and connected to the existing buildings of the Faculty ofForestry and Geomatics.

The client’s main objectives were twofold: to demonstrate the potential of allwood construction in a large non-residential building and to apply theUniversity’s newly adopted sustainable design principles to a built project forthe first time. The completed building has helped to break the preconceptionof wood as a low-tech material for small scale projects, and reinforce thevirtues of wood as a green building material.

The building expresses the essentially technological nature of eastern woodconstruction, employing a palette of engineered structural and non-structuralwood products. These are assembled in a simple, geometric composition ofrepetitive modules within a primary glulam frame. The design approach isdeliberate, taking wood out of its familiar residential context and associating itwith other manufactured materials such as thin metal sections and glass.


Eugene Kruger BuildingLaval University, St Foy, QC

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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 11

Unlike conventional glulam products, the columns andbeams of the Kruger building utilize nominally 2x2 sec-tions formed by squaring the trunks of nominally 3in.diameter Black Spruce. The sections are laid up andlaminated horizontally to create the required sectionwidth, as well as vertically to create the requireddepth. A section cut across one of these glulam mem-bers reveals a distinctive checkerboard pattern.

Sustainable development goals are achieved by usingthe principles and tools of bioclimatic design (the useof natural energy, sun and wind, to decrease relianceon grid electricity and fossil fuels, in a manner thatincreases the users’ comfort and sense of well being.)

The design therefore seeks to provide a pleasurableexperience by the greatest possible exposure to natu-ral elements such as sunlight and wind and naturalmaterials such as wood. Extensive operable glazing in

occupied rooms, activity and circulation spaces pro-vides a sociable environment in contact with thewooded site. Thus light is married with wood and thebuilding with the material that shapes it.

The solid volumes enclosing the building’s functionalspaces are punctuated by a series of glass prismsrevealing the activities within and showcasing thebuilding’s elegant wood structure.

The narrow academic wing has rooms on one side ofthe corridor only, facilitating natural cross ventilation.Its southerly orientation permits passive solar heatgain. The wider research wing required the use of roofmonitors to achieve day lighting and cross ventilation.

Using only architectural strategies (form, orientation,materials) with the addition of electro magnetic con-trols, the building achieves over 30% reduction in

energy consumption when compared to the referencebuilding in the Model National Energy Code forBuildings (MNECB).

Systematic use of light models and the ENERGY 10program (which calculates orientation, occupant heatload, passive solar gain etc.), determined the design ofthe building envelope (geometry of fenestration, roofmonitors, sunshades, etc.).

According to an independent study carried out by theAthena Sustainable Materials Institute, the extensiveuse of wood results in a 40% overall reduction ofembodied energy in the Kruger Building’s constructionmaterials, 85% reduction in water pollution and 25%reduction in air pollution. ▲

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Section through research wing roof monitor

Bituminous elastomeric membraneCement board panel, 10mm

Composite fibreboard/expanded polystyrene insulation, 2% slope ...

Polyisocyanurate insulation, 50 mmVapour barrier

Gypsum board, 12mm Plywood or T&G decking

Glulam beam

Galvalume steel sheetWater permeable membrane

T&G plywood, 16 mm Horizontal wood blocking, 38 x 38 mm @ 600 mm o.c.

Transversal wood blocking, 38 x 64 mm @ 600 mm o.c. Spray-on polyurethane insulation, 102 mm thickT&G plywood, 19 mm screwed to steel structure

Elastomeric membrane strip vapour barrier, 150 mm over plywood joints ...

Steel structure

Aluminum louvres Plenum

Ventilation ducts

Aluminum curtain wallLow-E insulating glass

Building section at research wing showing ventilation and radiant floor heating flows

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The city of Surrey is located in southwestern BritishColumbia, between Vancouver and the US border,and is one of the fastest growing municipalities inCanada. Surrey is made up of six distinct suburbancommunities, each with a local retail and commer-cial centre, but until now has lacked a central down-town core. Although 25% of the region’s workforcelives in Surrey, it provides only 5% of the region’sjobs. With more than 1 million s.f. of office, educa-tional and retail space, the recently completedSurrey Central City will go some way to addressingthat imbalance, and at the same time create a nucle-us for future urban development.

Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 13

Parallel Strand Lumber

Surrey Central CityAtrium North WallSurrey, BC

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14 Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

Located adjacent to a major transit interchange, thesite was occupied by an existing shopping mall.Although in much need of a facelift, the mall wasnonetheless attracting more than 1000 visitors perhour. Capitalizing on this solid base of pedestrian activ-ity, the new development is built around and over themall. An office tower, designed with an offset servicecore and state of the art wiring to attract high-tech ten-ants, rises from what is now a four storey podium. Thethree storeys that were added above the mall havelarge contiguous floor plates and were designed tohouse the new Technical University of BC.

The public focus of the complex is the revitalizedshopping mall. With its original roof removed, andoverlooked by the balconies of the university campusabove, what was previously a dull and uninspiringretail space has become a grand, airy and animatedgalleria. At its north end, the galleria connects to anirregularly shaped atrium, the north wall of which, withits sweeping curved form, defines an entrance fore-court that faces the transit interchange and is the

grand entry to the building. The complex includesthree substantial structural applications of wood, thegalleria roof; the space frame that covers the entranceatrium, and the support system for atrium north wall.

The most innovative application of engineered wood isthe supporting system for the glass entry wall, whichcomprises a series of turned and tapered parallelstrand lumber columns and muntins, the largest com-ponent of which is 45 ft in length and 24in. in diameter.The facade is an irregular curve in plan, and tilts at 4degrees from vertical. It is divided into upper and lowersections by a mid-height concrete canopy that projectsfrom the building. The glazing of the lower facade issupported by a series of 24in. diameter tapered PSLcolumns, which also carry the concrete canopy. Largeductile iron castings connect the ends of the columnsto the concrete at top and bottom.

These columns are set back from the glazing and sup-port tapered PSL arms reaching out to providerestraint for horizontal PSL muntins, which carry the

glazing. Vertical loads on the muntins are carried ateach facet point (approximately 12ft. on centre) byspring loaded stainless steel cables suspended fromthe concrete above. The similar upper facade, whichmeets the underside of the atrium roof, consists of aseries of more frequent, smaller PSL columns.

Bing Thom Architects chose wood structures for thepublic spaces to provide a visually warm and tactilecontrast to the smooth synthetic surfaces so typical ofcontemporary office environments. Schematic designof the wood structures was done by Fast + EppPartners, and the design/build contractor wasStructureCraft Builders Inc.

The atrium itself is roughly triangular in plan, boundedby the multi-faceted north wall, the curved base of theoffice tower, and by the end of the galleria. The geo-metric constraints of these variable edge conditionsprecluded the use of a regular structure, and so a fine-ly gritted space frame was chosen to best approxi-mate the varying perimeter conditions.

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Two Fire Halls 15

The space frame provides two-way action, and consis-tent stiffness permitting a curved 20ft. edge can-tilever. The seven foot deep tetrahedral space truss isanother innovative use of engineered wood. It con-sists of nearly four thousand Douglas Fir peeler cores.These are an inexpensive by-product of the plywoodindustry generally destined for a low end use such asfence posts.

To overcome the inherent weakness of the material, aconfined lag screw connection was devised andextensively tested, allowing these peeler core mem-bers to be used both in tension as well as compres-sion. The connections consist of a central node towhich are attached the appropriate number of flat fix-ing plates. Each plate has three holes which accept lagbolts that are screwed into the end grain of the mem-ber. The end of the member is restrained by a steelband that performs the same function as the clamp ona hose pipe. ▲

Column, 24in. dia PSL

Embedded with 4 lag-screws, 19mm dia.x 200 mm long

Connection plate

Cable, stainless steel

Plan, bracing from column to glazing at facadeColumn anchor

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In the unique urban context of Vancouver’s GranvilleIsland, the extension to the False Creek CommunityCentre designed by Henriquez Partners and engi-neered by Fast and Epp, showcases a unique applica-tion of CNC technology to engineered wood panels.

The existing community centre occupied several con-verted warehouse structures of heavy timber andsteel construction that were connected by circulationroutes converging from three access points. A semiderelict boat shed bordered the main access from thenorth, and this became the site of the new gymnasi-um, with a new fitness centre inserted above theexisting administrative offices.

With a prominent site and a tight budget, the objectivewas to design a striking structure that would achieve

Laminated Strand Lumber

False Creek Community CenterVancouver, BC

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economy through innovative design. By adopting alightweight timber structure it was possible to float thebuilding on a waffle raft, and avoid the expense of thepiled foundations that are commonly used in this area.

The spaces between the vertical posts of the heavytimber frame are infilled with non-load bearing woodstud walls and the required lateral resistance is provid-ed by a layer of plywood fastened to the inner face ofthe wall. The plywood was upgraded to Good OneSide, so that it could be exposed internally, and elimi-nate the need for a separate interior finish for the gym-nasium wall. The plywood is fixed with a carefullyorchestrated arrangement of exposed screws andwashers that addresses both structural and aestheticconsiderations.

The gymnasium roof trusses were seen as having thegreatest potential in determining the character of theinterior space. Inspired in part by the wings ofGranville Island’s ever-present seagulls, the trussesare a counter intuitive application of LSL panels madepossible by CNC technology. Rather than build uptrusses from a series of discrete ‘positive’ elements inthe usual manner, the ‘negative shapes have beenmilled out of a single slab of laminated strand lumberboard, and the truss completed with a steel cableextending along the bottom edge as a tension chord.The left over material from the manufacture of thetrusses has been assembled to form benches in thenewly expanded lobby. ▲

Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 17

LSL Panels

CNC milled components

Benches from waste material

Roof trusses

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18 Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

The Gilmore Skytrain Station in the city of Burnaby,adjacent to Vancouver, occupies a low visibility loca-tion next to the site of a future high-rise building. Siteand budget constraints called for a simple, economi-cal, yet architecturally unique expression. The solutionhas a strong engineering quality arrived at by the closeassociation of the architects and structural engineers.

The Gilmore Station is one of several for theMillennium Line extension of the public light rail tran-sit system. The design theme for all was to use woodto create a distinctive West Coast ambiance. Wood isnot traditionally used in transit stations. However,design parameters were established so that that woodelements remained out-of-reach of vandals, have nodirect weather exposure, and have a minimum 45-minute fire-resistance rating.

The project makes a feature of the various elevators,stairs and escalators to celebrate the movement ofpeople as they come and go. A transparent effect wasimportant to enhance the safety and security of thestation, thus essential elements include open, clearspaces, the use of glass for visibility, and generouscanopies for protection from wind and rain.

Laminated Strand Lumber

Gilmore Skytrain StationBurnaby, BC

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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 19

The wood component consists of 64 identical LSLboard panels, each 8ft wide and 16ft. long, supportedby simple structural steel frames spaced at 16ft. 4in.centres. The fabricator pre-bowed each 1 1/2-in. thickpanel using weights, the resulting curve being main-tained through the use of 3/8-in. diameter stainlesssteel wires and custom-cast iron support arms and fit-tings. The panel and steel units were then invertedand covered with a roofing membrane that shedswater into gutters incorporated into the steel channelbeams and round columns. From inside the station,transit users experience the visual warmth of theexposed wood panels.

The roof structure took only two days to erect and rep-resents a novel application of an economical engi-neered wood product. The curved canopy roof lends a"high-tech" look that can be seen from a distance. Thewalls and roof were designed in a modular fashion forreconfiguration and adaptation to future developmentaround the site.▲

Roof panel plan

Roof panel elevation

Cable connection

Continuous U-shapedbent plate at panel ends

Knife plate

Stainless steelclevis and cable

Oriented strand board panel

Oriented strand board panel, 38mm

Supporting beamsforming gutter

Stainless steel cable10mm c/w clevises

Cast ductile iron Kingpost and arms

575mmto underside



Oriented strand board panel Continuous U-shaped bent plate,5mm thick, each end of panel

Wire cables




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20 Innovative Application of Engineered Wood

The Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Ottawa was the first retail building to complywith Canada’s C-2000 green building standard. The two storey structure incorporatesmany material and components salvaged from the single storey grocery store that pre-viously occupied the site.

Rebuilding from salvaged material posed some problems as the original structure ofsteel columns, beams and open web joists had been sized for Ottawa snow loads butnot for a retail floor load. Concrete and steel options were considered for the groundfloor but did not score highly when rated for environmental performance.

Large Douglas Fir timbers salvaged from old submerged log booms on the St. Lawrenceand Ottawa rivers were also available, and a timber frame fashioned from these logsoffered an interesting alternative. Ultimately this option was chosen for its aesthetics,low embodied energy and recycled or salvaged content,

To make the timber frame as light as possible, beams of 12x12 span between columnson a 22ft grid. The lower face of the beam is reinforced at mid-span by lag bolting on a3x10. This is engaged at each end by a 6x10 knee brace that transfers compressionloads to the column. With structural loads carried by this post and beam frame system,the enclosing walls of the building became non load bearing.

Four options were compared for the building envelope1 concrete block with 4in. of insulation in the cavity, 2 2x6 salvaged studs with rock wool insulation, 3 a Durisol wall system-concrete filled forms made from wood waste and cement with

cavity insulation, and 4 a wood I-joist stud system filled with cellulose insulation. Wall systems needed to

have a minimum insulation of R-20.

Wood I-Joists

Mountain Equipment Co-opOttawa, ON

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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 21

The design team used the Green Building AssessmentTool, a chart that compares the attributes of the walltypes according to the categories of re-usability, recy-cled content, embodied energy, longevity, structuralefficiency, cost, thermal value, and ease of construc-tion. The team gave a score between 1 and 4 for eachwall system in each category. The 2x10 wood I-joistsystems scored the highest based on the criteria andhad a high thermal value R-value of 35.

The walls extend the full two stories in a balloon-framefashion. Bolted steel brackets at the floor line securethe I-joist studs to the timber floor beams. The studwalls are insulated and sheathed with oriented strandboard and self-adhesive elastomeric air barrier stripstaped at the joints. Cladding was applied as a rainscreen with a 3/4-in. backup air space. The joiststhemselves offer the same advantages as when usedas a flooring system, enabling services to be runthrough holes drilled in the centre third of the member– an innovative solution readily transferable to a varietyof other situations. ▲

22 ga. galv. metal cor-ner trim


1/2-in. exteriorsheathing

22 ga. corrugatedgalv. metal cladding

Wood I-joist, 9 1/2-in.

Self-tapping galv. steel fasteners c/w neoprene gas-ket

“Omega” bar, alternate direction to suit orientation of metal siding

Plan detail at typical corner


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22 Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood

Engineered Wood Trusses

William R. Bennett Bridge Kelowna, BC

The William R. Bennett Bridge is part of an exten-sive highway improvement program in theOkanagan Valley, located in southern BritishColumbia, and one of the province’s fastest grow-ing regions. Spanning Lake Okanagan betweenKelowna and Westbank, the new 5-lane bridgereplaces the 3-lane structure built in 1958.

Concrete bridge decks over steel girders are nor-mally formed by bridge contractors using a combi-nation of steel and heavy timber concrete formingsystems supporting a plywood pour deck. Thesesystems are labour intensive but because of theirflexibility can be easily adapted to varying bridgedesigns, spans and conditions.

However, because of its tight schedule, large spansand complexity, and the tight Okanagan skilledlabour market, the Bennett Bridge project lent itselfto a new and innovative solution. The bridge’s per-

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Innovative Applications of Engineered Wood 23

manent reinforced concrete deck is supported by steelgirders set longitudinally between both fixed in place andfloating reinforced concrete piers.

The spacing between these girders is approximately 16ft.(longer than usual on a bridge of this size); and this sec-tion makes up about half of the overall bridge. The profileof these sections clearly provided an opportunity forrepetitive and reusable members; an advantage for pre-fabrication.

The bridge concrete deck sub-contractor, CMFConstruction Ltd., used engineered trusses as the princi-pal elements of the overall deck forming system. In col-laboration with Acu-Truss Industries Ltd., CMF developeda prototype solution for the first sections of the bridge.This ultimately became the basis for a bridge deck form-ing system utilizing two typical trusses that were lightweight, easy to install and strip, reusable on other sec-tions of the project and recyclable.

One of the two typical trusses developed is a tandem‘jack’ truss designed to cantilever off the two outsidegirders. It serves a dual purpose; it not only carries thedead load of wet cast in place concrete it also serves asa catwalk and safety rail during and after the pour. Thesecond typical truss, ‘a needle truss’ is erected betweenthe main steel girders and acts as the principal supportfor the concrete form plywood through the centre sec-tions of the bridge decks longitudinal span. The topchord of these trusses is cambered, meaning that theconcrete deck poured on top of them is thinner in mid-span and thicker at he supports – reflecting load distribu-tion in the structure.

Both trusses incorporate common 2x4 and 2x6 lumber,laid up in two or three plies, and connected using standardgang nail plates. Purlins at 16in. centres connect the topchords and provide support for the plywood pour deck.This lumber shuttering system was found to be the mosteconomical for the construction of this large scale project.

Reclaiming the usable lengths and gang nail plates wasinvestigated as an option for the trusses on completion ofthe project, but was found to be uneconomical given cur-rent market conditions for wood products and availablelabour in the area. Instead, the trusses will be economi-cally disposed of and the wood fibre recycled.▲

Luminaire pole support

Jack truss at edge of bridge deck

1500 mm

Bridge deck

ConclusionWhile the hand built tradition of NorthAmerican wood building will continue to haveits place long into the future, there is also thesense that we are at the dawn of a new era –one in which new products and new technolo-gy will support greater economy and efficiencyin the use of wood, while opening the door tonew applications and architectural expression.

Page 24: Engineered Wood


CLIENT Prince George Airport Authority, Prince George, BC ARCHITECT McFarlane Green Architecture + Design ,North Vancouver, BC STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Equilibrium Consulting, Vancouver, BC CONSTRUCTION WayneWatson Construction, Prince George, BC PHOTOS McFarlane Green Architecture + Design, North Vancouver, BC


CLIENT Credit Valley Hospital, Mississauga, ON ARCHITECT Farrow Partnership Architects Inc., Toronto, ONSTRUCTURAL ENGINEER Halsall Associates Ltd., Toronto, ON CONSTRUCTION PCL Constructors Canada,Mississauga, ON GLULAM SUPPLY AND INSTALLATION Timber Systems Limited, Markham, ON PHOTOS Peter Sellar, Klik Photography, Toronto, ON


CLIENT Université Laval, Service des Immeubles ARCHITECT Gauthier Gallienne Moisan Architectes, Quebec, QC STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS BPR Inc., Quebec, QC CONTRACTOR Hervé Pomerleau inc., Saint-Georges de Beauce,QC PHOTOS Laurent Goulard architecte, Quebec, QC


CLIENT ICBC Properties Ltd., Vancouver, BC ARCHITECT Bing Thom Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC STRUCTURAL ENGINEER, BASE BUILDING Jones Kwong Kishi Structural Engineers, NorthVancouver, BCSTRUCTURAL ENGINEER, TIMBER STRUCTURES Fast + Epp, Vancouver, BC GENERAL CONTRACTOR PCLConstructors Canada Inc., Vancouver, BC DESIGN BUILD TIMBER FABRICATOR/ ERECTOR StructureCraft BuildersInc., Vancouver, BC PHOTOS Nic Lehoux, Vancouver, BC


CLIENT Vancouver Parks Board ARCHITECT Henriquez Partners Architects, Vancouver, BC STRUCTURALENGINEER Fast & Epp Partners, Vancouver, BC LSL FABRICATOR Structurlam Products Ltd., Penticton, BC PHOTOS Christopher Grobowski, Vancouver, BC


CLIENT Rapid Transit Project 2000, Burnaby, BC ARCHITECT Busby + Associates Ltd. Vancouver, BC STRUCTURALENGINEER Fast & Epp Partners, Vancouver, BC GENERAL CONTRACTOR Dominion Construction, Vancouver, BC PHOTOS Nic Lehoux Photography, Vancouver, BC


CLIENT Mountain Equipment Co-op, Ottawa, ON ARCHITECT Linda Chapman Architect & Christopher SimmondsArchitect in Joint Venture STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Cleland Jardine Engineering Limited CONSTRUCTIONMANAGER Justice Construction PHOTOS Ewald Richter


CLIENT Province of British Columbia Ministry of Transportation DESIGN/BUILD CONTRACTOR SNC Lavalin Inc.,Burnaby, BC DECK SUBCONTRACTOR CMF Construction Ltd., Nanaimo, BC ENGINEERED TRUSS FABRICATORAcu-Truss Inc., Vernon, BC PHOTOS Stephanie Tracey, Photography West Kelowna, BC

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