2019 Environmental Performance Award Winner

The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) winner of the 2019 Environmental Performance Award BC Wood Design Awards!

Featured on naturally:wood website – The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) at the University of Northern British Columbia is a space to test state-of-the-art building systems.

Project Overview
The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) at the University of Northern British Columbia gives students and researchers much needed space to test state-of-the-art building systems. The WIRL is noteworthy in that it is the first industrial building in North America certified to rigorous Passive House energy standards. Certified Passive House buildings use up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling and up to70 per cent less energy overall compared with standard buildings.

Wood Use
The WIRL is a single-storey mass timber structure, composed of glue laminated timber (glulam) columns and beams on a concrete raft slab foundation. The building is 10-metres in height and consists of high-head lab space, classrooms and office space. The 10-metre tall wall panels are framed with prefabricated 0.5-metre thick upright wood trusses. Sheet goods used to sheathe the floors, roof and wall assemblies were left exposed to provide the interior finish for the lab portion of the building.


This building has caught the attention of Passive House researchers around the world because it demonstrates how an industrial structure, constructed with wood, in a northern climate exceeds a rigorous, internationally recognized energy efficiency standard.

Dr. Guido Wimmers, Chair/Associate Professor
Engineering Graduate Program, UNBC


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Naikoon on Nail Laminated Timber and More

We would like to share this overview of nail laminated timber and other Panelized products by Naikoon Contracting. They are home builders who specialize in Passive House & NetZero Construction. We had the pleasure to work with them recently on West Bay Passive House.


Nail Laminated Timber and Other Panelized Projects

In this project, we use mass timber, which is a construction method that replaces non-renewable building materials, such as steel and concrete, with engineered wooden columns and floor slabs. Not only is mass timber sustainable, but it’s also strong, fire resistant, and cost efficient. Who can argue with that?

So what are the Panelized products that can be used in mass timber construction?

1. Nail Laminated Timber
Nail Laminated Timber (AKA NLT) is created by stacking dimensional lumber on edge and joining it together with nails. To provide additional structure, plywood sheathing may be added on the top side. NLT has a long history, having been used for over a century, especially to create sturdy flooring. It can even replace concrete slabs and steel decking.

2. Glued-Laminated Timber
Glued-Laminated Timber (or Glulam) is created when wood pieces are end jointed and constructed in horizontal layers (AKA laminations), which are held together by – of course – glue. Glulam offers an excellent variety of shapes and sizes, making it ideal for columns and beams. It can be flipped on its side and be used as floor and roof panels as well.

3. Cross-Laminated Timber
Cross-Laminated Timber (or CLT) is the most popular of the mass timber products available in Canada. CLT are large wood panels, which are made by cross laminating lumber and holding it together with adhesives. CLT ususally has between three and nine layers of lumber alternating at 90 degrees.

4. Structural Composite Lumber
Structural Composite Lumber (also dubbed SCL) is a variety of products, including Laminated Veneer Lumber, Parallel Strand Lumber, Laminated Strand Lumber, and Oriented Strand Lumber. All the SCL products are made with dried, graded wood veneers, flakes, or strands. The material in question is layered using adhesives to bind it, then cured to create blocks, which are sawn into whatever size is needed for a project. SCL is made up of fiber from smaller trees or trees that have lower strengths and densities


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