An innovative building that’s the first of its kind
University of Northern British Columbia’s Wood Innovation Research Laboratory is the first Passive House certified industrial and higher education building in North America—a particularly impressive feat due to the cold climate in Prince George, the high spaces, and the unique building usage as a high-tech wood lab with CNC machines and experimental equipment. The facility features a wood structure and its expression of the building is inspired by passive design principles and wood innovation.
The laboratory responds to and complements its surrounding building forms. It is oriented to maximize passive solar heating within the context of the urban landscape. The south side of the building accesses the sun and views, harvesting heat, and natural light for the office and seminar spaces within the building. The windows are shaded by external devices to reduce unwanted solar gain. It’s also where outdoor air for the building will be drawn from, with the future park providing higher air quality than the road and laneway to the north and east.
Because the lab is designed to meet Passive House standards, it uses very little energy for heating while at the same time providing healthy amounts of outdoor air for ventilation. Students have a beautiful, modern facility to do research on new uses for wood, creating new jobs and markets in the forestry industry and helping British Columbia secure a sustainable future.
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