Chilliwack Secondary School
The public areas of this 3-storey secondary school - atrium, library, gymnasium and entrance canopies - all feature a wide range of architectural exposed timber structures: fluted Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT), built-up Mechanically-Fastened CLT (MF-CLT), kingpost hybrid timber-steel trusses and lathe-turned timber columns.
We were invited in September 2010 by the Graham-Dialog team to design-build the timber structures: the atrium (or multi-purpose room), library, main entrance, later on the gym trusses, then the low canopy and bus & bike shelters.
As a design-build project, close collaboration was needed between the architect, general contractor, and ourselves in order to ensure a cohesive design process which took into account the client's and architect's design intent while ensuring the project was constructable and remained on budget.
Graham and Dialog brought us in specifically because our experience in design, engineering, and building with wood in past projects meant that the solutions we came up with would not only be feasible to construct, but would also be aesthetically complimentary to the entire school.
"The Chilliwack secondary school project triggered two silver winners, which is really, really impressive" Fiona Famulak, president of VRCA
We approached this project understanding the complexities which were inherent with the tight schedule and complex designs, and so moved quickly towards a system of prefabricating components in so far as was efficient and then erecting on site. Both the NLT and MF-CLT panels were prefabricated by our crews in shop and shipped directly to site. The multi-purpose / atrium room trusses were also carefully fabricated in house and then shipped non-tensioned to site where they were tensioned and erected by our crews.