Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George opens

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC), one of the tallest contemporary wood buildings in North America, has officially opened, further positioning BC as a leader in wood innovation and design.

Designed by Michael Green Architecture, construction of the 29.5-metre, six-storey high WIDC began in 2013 with 13 different BC companies working collaboratively and employing about 250 staff throughout the province. The WIDC will be a catalyst for future tall wood construction not just in BC but across Canada, North America and around the globe. The building uses a variety of wood products from all parts of British Columbia, including Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, pine and spruce, as well as engineered wood products produced in BC.

The University of Northern British Columbia will occupy the first, second and third floors, including a lecture theatre on the main level. UNBC is developing two new master’s programs in engineering that are expected to be offered at the WIDC beginning in September 2015. Occupancy plans are being finalized for the remaining floors with details to be released in the coming weeks.

The location of the Media and Broadcast Centre for the 2015 Canada Winter Games at WIDC was also announced. The partnership with UNBC and the Province is perfect timing to highlight the innovation of the WIDC to the country as Prince George hosts Canada’s elite amateur athletes just 104 days from now.

According to lead architect Michael Green: “The WIDC project is a global milestone for mass timber construction. The BC government has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the advancement of ideas that will reshape our cities with healthier, more energy-efficient and more climate-sensitive building solutions. The advancement of mass timber and tall wood buildings requires an evolution of our building codes around the world. The WIDC provides the essential demonstration project for advancing our codes, building our forestry and construction industry, and sustaining and creating jobs throughout the province. It has been a tremendous honour to be part of such an important project; led by our province and serving our entire community. From forestry to forest products, from design to construction, and from research and testing to education, the WIDC celebrates BC as a province with vision.”

For more information, please visit www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/woodinnovation/ and http://mg-architecture.ca/work/wood-innovation-design-center/