NRCan invests in mass timber buildings for Chalk River Laboratories

Natural Resources Canada is investing nearly $4 million towards a series of mass timber buildings being constructed at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Chalk River Laboratories.

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In 2017, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) engaged HDR to develop a master plan to help revitalize the Chalk River Laboratories site, which is approximately 3,700 hectares in size and consists of more than 300 existing buildings.

Following the completion of CNL’s master plan, HDR has remained the master architect as part of an integrated project delivery team for four projects focused on the Entry Precinct and the south half of the Campus Precinct.

This series of projects is the largest to be delivered utilizing IPD in Canada. They include a mass timber logistics warehouse to serve as the new public face of CNL, a mass timber support facility to house maintenance and manufacturing activities in a centralized location, a mass timber business hub to provide flexible, integrated space for the engineers and staff, and an Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Building that includes flexible laboratory space and administrative and support space.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

The project will showcase the use of wood for low-rise, non-residential construction while helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the Chalk River campus and contribute to Canada’s growing bioeconomy. The $4 M in funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Construction through Wood program.

According to Natural Resources Canada, projects like this will help Canada achieve its 2030 climate change goals by finding effective ways of building sustainably with Canadian wood products while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The revitalization of the Chalk River Laboratories is key to helping us meet the challenges of tomorrow, including building a low-carbon future. Using Canadian wood for our new facilities is part of our commitment to environmental stewardship. By building a sustainable, world-class nuclear science and technology campus, we are positioning ourselves to be at the forefront of science and innovation,” said Richard Sexton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.