There is a strong case to be made for using wood in school construction, both to accommodate a growing number of students with structures that are cost effective, and to do so while creating high-performance buildings that are safe, resilient, and appealing.

Common Ground High School | Architect: Grey Organschi Architects | Photo: David Sundberg

Across the United States, there is high demand for new schools. In 2015, an estimated $6.1 billion was spent on new school construction, and educational facilities accounted for about 88 million square feet of the nonresidential market. With accommodation for an estimated 2.8 million more students required by 2024, these numbers can only increase.

Learning Objectives – After this course, you should be able to:

  1. Review provisions of the International Building Code specific to school buildings and discuss opportunities to achieve cost savings through the use of wood.
  2. Explore design and detailing best practices used to achieve performance objectives in school assembly design.
  3. Discuss structural design considerations unique to school buildings, as well as framing options for floors, walls, and roofs.
  4. Consider how wood has been used in modern wood-frame and mass timber schools across the United States.

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