About Real Cedar
Architect: Perkins + Will Canada Inc.
Photos: Martin Tessler
When you’re designing the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability for the University of British Columbia, you need to clear a pretty high environmental bar. Happily, Perkins + Will Canada Inc. nailed it! The global architecture firm has been raking in awards and accolades for their eco ingenuity on this ambitious project. But, as senior project designer, Brian Gasmena, points out, it wasn’t easy.
“The challenge for CIRS was to find a durable and sustainable material found within the surrounding area,” says Gasmena. “Our research led us to several wood products but they were either made of wood veneer, are chemically treated, or come from exotic species and are not made or sourced within the surrounding area.”
The solution? Western red cedar. That was the primary material they used on the building’s exterior and it wasn’t your typical application either. Gasmena explains: “The western red cedar lamellas were cross laminated to form a dimensionally stable multiple ply panel that can be used as an exterior rain screen cladding in buildings.”
While showcasing WRC’s natural beauty wasn’t necessarily the focus of this particular project, Gasmena’s innovative use sure did highlight the wood’s superb functionality.
“I personally believe that the cedar panels were able to meet our requirements to use a sustainable product that is made from wood, that is manufactured locally and that addresses the maintenance and durability concerns expressed by the client and the institution.”
Fastening: Rain Screen