StructureCraft, structural engineers and builders of innovative timber structures, sets a new standard in industrial wood building design with their facility based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. Its prefabricated wall and roof panels showcase the variety of cutting-edge mass timber and engineered wood products that the facility itself produces for projects around the world. Prefabrication technologies cut construction time considerably and the building was assembled in about one week.
StructureCraft’s 50,000 square foot facility showcases new levels of engineering efficiency for industrial buildings, combining a variety of mass timber and engineered wood products, including Dowel-laminated timber (DLT), laminated strand lumber (LSL), Nail-laminated timber (NLT), and glulam. The facility will specialize in dowel-laminated timber.
Prefabricated wood construction is an emerging design trend, and for good reason. By using prefabricated wood products, the building was constructed rapidly without compromising quality. Assembly of the timber superstructure was completed in five days and in just one week, all four walls and a 40,000 square foot roof were installed. The building was also cost competitive, costing about the same as a concrete tilt-up building but with far less heat loss. The facility takes advantage of wood’s inherent thermal benefits. Fully insulated, and with the aesthetics of exposed wood, the design provides a more pleasing work environment than a typical warehouse.
This modular prefabricated design also reduces waste and improves building envelope performance. Its adaptability can extend the life of the building and avoid a tear down when needs change. The facility is comprised of 233,924 board feet of wood products, equivalent to about taking 250 cars off the road for a year or enough energy to operate 125 homes for a year.
Mass timber products, like Dowel-laminated timber (DLT), and construction techniques have changed the way we think about wood as a building material. Historic perceptions about strength, durability and fire performance have been overturned by scientific evidence and full-scale testing of prototype structures. Three recently completed industrial buildings in southern British Columbia utilize mass timber products and systems in a distinct and different way. Together, they offer insights into how industrial construction might evolve to offer greater environmental performance, speed and flexibility of construction, at little additional cost over traditional methods.