Vancouver timber schools

Vancouver mass timber schools receive funding  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Vancouver School Board has received $1.4 million in federal funding for two pilot mass timber schools: Bayview Elementary School and Sir Mathew Begbie Elementary School. This investment will enable the construction of two local schools as part of recent seismic upgrades to make B.C. schools safer.

The original structure of Bayview Elementary School was demolished, making way for a new school to be built over the existing footprint with a greater resistance against earthquakes. The building consists of two-storeys of classrooms and teaching areas, as well as a gymnasium and Neighbourhood Learning Centre.

Sir Mathew Begbie Elementary School will be a completely new, 34,000-square-foot modern design with open learning spaces. With the use of mass timber as the primary building material, the total carbon benefit is approximately 1,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing hundreds of cars from the road for a year.

Funding for the project is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program, which encourages the use of wood in non-traditional construction projects, such as tall wood buildings, low-rise non-residential buildings and bridges. The program aims to position Canada as a world leader in innovative wood construction technologies and the low-carbon economy.

Projects like this help Canada achieve its 2030 climate change goals by finding effective ways of building sustainably using Canadian wood products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving seismic performance.

“These two schools serve as a great example of the potential that can be realized with mass timber construction. In addition to meeting the demands of the seismic mitigation program, the timber framing systems used in these buildings provide warm, inviting spaces for the school community as well as help the school board meet their sustainability objectives,” said Nick Bevilacqua, principal, Fast + Epp structural engineers.

Mass timber use in public buildings, such as schools, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, promotes innovation and supports local value-added manufacturing.


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