Completion: 2012
Owner: University of British Columbia
Award Winning

UBC Bioenergy Demonstration and Research Facility

Vancouver, BC

In support of UBC’s Sustainability Initiative (USI), the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) was developed as a demonstration facility, intended to showcase not only energy co-generation by gasification, but also cross laminated timber construction (CLT), as part of the USI’s “campus as a living lab” and “university as an agent of change” initiatives.

Upper lobby South facade

Efforts to integrate emerging CLT construction technology were spearheaded by FP Innovations, which expedited CLT testing and authored North American standards for CLT construction – allowing the BRDF to become one of the first institutional scale buildings in North America to be constructed with CLT panel technology. The new facility combines CLT panels as superstructure components with innovative glulam post & beam moment frames that span 24.5 meters.

South facade

CLT panels are also used for walls, air guiding acoustic “gills”, floor plate and roof decks. A renewable, low carbon alternative to steel and concrete, CLT construction proved uniquely effective in this application, allowing construction of the superstructure to occur once the large plant equipment was in place. This feat would not have been possible with tilt-up construction on this tight site surrounded with trees, and would have been much more labour intensive with more traditional construction methods.

Southwest corner accessMoment frame detail

Related work: Featured Higher Education Wood Innovation