The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) is the tallest wood building in Prince George and the tallest contemporary wood building in North America. Completed in October 2014, the WIDC is a six-storey plus mechanical penthouse, 29.5 metre-high structure that showcases British Columbia’s growing expertise in the design and construction of large-scale wood buildings.
The building incorporates a structural system that uses a variety of locally manufactured solid engineered wood products, and is targeting a LEED Gold rating.
The primary structure consists of an innovative combination of post and beam construction and built-up cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels. Glulam beams frame into glulam columns using proprietary aluminum dovetail connectors. This allows the columns to run continuously from the foundation to the roof, eliminating all cross-grain bearing and shrinkage.
Wood also played an important role in the building envelope. For the curtain wall system, LVL is used for all mullions instead of conventional aluminum mullions – a unique and innovative use of wood that is unprecedented at this scale. LVL was also used as the structure for the entrance canopy and ground floor feature stair.
The WIDC will bring together the forest industry, UNBC and others in related sectors under one roof to collaborate and seize new opportunities in the industry. As such, the WIDC is a meeting place for researchers, design professionals, product manufacturers, contractors and others to generate ideas for innovative uses of wood.