New Confederation College Building Official Wood Demonstration Site

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Softwood logsTHUNDER BAY – Wood WORKS! / Canadian Wood Council Ontario Executive Director, Marianne Berube, announced today that Confederation College’s new Health and Community Services Building has been designated an official demonstration project.

Chosen for the use of large scale wood in the construction, the REACH (Regional Education Alliance for Community Health) building is an example of the use of wood in large institutional projects, not only to architecturally enhance the facility, but to provide a solid framework for the construction.

“We know that the team at Confederation College, including the architectural firm of Kuch Stephenson Gibson Malo Architects & Engineer, had to do some extra work to demonstrate code compliance in order for wood to be permitted in this three-story building,” said Berube. “Because of the appropriate expertise, the co-operation of the City of Thunder Bay, and the College’s commitment to the process, the REACH building is a magnificent showcase for the use of natural, sustainable and beautiful wood.”

The eight glulam (Glued Laminated Timber) columns were made from 90% spruce and 10% lodge pole pine that was sourced from a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forest in British Columbia. They were manufactured at Western Archrib in Boissevain, Manitoba and purchased through Unitized Manufacturing Ltd. of Thunder Bay.

The adhesive system used to laminate each wood beam has also been checked for low emitting VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). The glulams meet LEED requirements and contribute to the facility’s LEED Silver certification.

The Canadian Wood Council also plans to feature this project as a case study, allowing the knowledge gained from this project to be transferred to professionals such as architects and engineers involved in similar projects; showcasing the innovative possibilities that wood offers. When complete in the spring of 2011, the REACH building will house the School of Health and Community Services programs.

President Patricia Lang says the glulam beams have become the most striking feature of the newest building on campus. “Beyond having natural light flow into this building, we wanted to make certain that we brought the beauty of the north inside the facility. Everyone who tours the building is awestruck by the beauty of the natural wood beams and the way they naturally fit into the design.”

REACH is a Knowledge Infrastructure Project (KIP) supported by Federal and Provincial levels of Government along with private contributions by local community groups, businesses and Foundations. The total project is valued at $ 22.66 million.

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