Governor-General's Medals

Published: September 30, 2016

Eric Karsh and Robert Malczyk at Governor General’s Medals Awards ceremony. Equilibrium Consulting Inc is proud to be involved in 3 of the 12 winning projects.

Winners of the Governor-General's Medals

Published: May 19, 2016

North Vancouver City Hall, North Vancouver, B.C. While fairly small in size, this renovation of a small, civic building delivers technical innovation and aesthetic power. The main gesture is a new atrium – a boldly projecting rectangular box, 220 feet long, that is both a lobby and a public square for this inner-suburban municipality.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Published: February 26, 2016

High-tech wood panels known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) are replacing concrete slabs on the UMass Design Building. Featuring three to nine layers of lumber glued together, CLTs are like plywood on steroids.

High-tech timber erected at UMass

Published: February 26, 2016

In October we wrote about a revolutionary project using “mass timber” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Now that it is actually being erected, the Suffolk Construction team managing the project invited us to the job site to interview the folks responsible for this first-of-its-kind structure.

MGA UBC Baseball Tilt Up #1

Published: January 7, 2016

MGA UBC Baseball Tilt Up #1

Next-generation wood pushes to greater heights

Published: January 26, 2015

Article in GLOBE AND MAIL
By design, a new mid-rise building in Prince George, B.C., breaks many conventions of commercial construction.
At 29.5 metres, its height alone makes the Wood Innovation and Design Centre the highest contemporary wood structure of its type in North America – a record soon to be broken by others. The $25.1-million centre also stands out for its embrace of engineered wood: thick panels, columns and beams of so-called mass timber, sturdier and more fire-resistant than lightweight wood frame construction.

Best of Vancouver 2015: Arts

Published: September 30, 2015

We love everything about North Vancouver artist Marcus Bowcott’s subversive public artwork titled Trans Am Totem: five crushed cars on top of an old-growth red-cedar stump installed near the Georgia Viaduct (at Quebec Street and Milross Avenue) as part of the Vancouver Biennale. We love the way it comments on how Vancouver’s environmental piety clashes with its crass consumer culture. We love the way it parodies the fast cars racing by below and above it. We love the way it funks up the staid architecture of the glass apartment towers around it. We love the way it harks back to the forests and then the sawmills that once sat by False Creek. And most of all, we love the retro junkyard cars—from the macho white 1981 Trans Am down to the little pink VW Rabbit.

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre

Published: November 6, 2014

Article in Construction Business

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre

Published: November 6, 2014

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) is the tallest wood building in Prince George and the tallest contemporary wood building in North America. Completed in October 2014, the WIDC is a six-storey plus mechanical penthouse, 29.5 metre-high structure that showcases British Columbia’s growing expertise in the design and construction of large-scale wood buildings.

Opening of WIDC

Published: November 6, 2014

PRINCE GEORGE - The Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC), one of the tallest contemporary wood buildings in North America, officially opened today, on budget and on time, further positioning B.C. as a leader in wood innovation and design. Construction of the 29.5-metre, six-storey high WIDC began in 2013 with 13 different B.C. companies working collaboratively and employing about 250 staff throughout the province.

Wood construction resurges at UMass

Published: October 10, 2015

“This is the future of construction,” Robert Malczyk of Vancouver-based Equilibrium Consulting told us. While mass timber has been hugely popular in Europe for years, due in part to more progressive building and environmental regulations, it still hasn’t caught on here. But a major victory for an American resurgence of wood construction was recently won in Massachusetts. The University of Massachusetts in Amherst received a variance to the state building code to build an 86,000-square-foot mass timber building.

Wood, glorious wood

Published: March 10, 2015

Article in Kelowna's "The Daily Courier"
British Columbia wood works well with concrete, glass, steel, columns and curves.
Wood also stands out whether the design is traditional or cutting-edge.
All of wood’s attributes and guises were celebrated this week at the 2015 Wood Design Awards at the Vancouver Convention Centre, which features a lot of wood elements as well.
Three of the 14 winners are from the Okanagan or have links to a Valley winner.
The UBC Okanagan Fitness and Wellness Centre won for small institutional wood design.

From Small to Tall

Published: November 6, 2014

J. Eric Karsh presented From Small to Tall: The Road to the Wood Innovation and Design Centre at the Wood Solutions Fair at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Oct. 30.

Audain Art Museum in Whistler

Published: October 2, 2014

Whistler museum to be one with nature

When construction crews finish the $30 million Audain Art Museum in Whistler in fall 2015, they will have finished B.C.'s largest purpose-built museum and a structure that takes some of Canada's most prized artists back to the natural environment where they created their works - the forest.

CLT building in Taiwan timelapse

Published: October 2, 2014

The first Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) building in Taiwan (Asia)
Time-lapse photography film

TED stage timelapse

Published: October 2, 2014

The theater for TED2014 was assembled in a span of 4.5 days. Watch it happen in 2 minutes.

Advanced Engineering Concepts

Published: October 7, 2013

Advanced Engineering Concepts in Solid Wood Construction

Engineer Eric Karsh walks through advanced engineering concepts in solid wood construction. Karsh explains how solid wood construction is a different building system compared to stick-frame construction. This video highlights recent projects using solid wood construction, as this construction method continues to emerge as a growing trend in the industry

Large Wood Structures

Published: September 18, 2013

Innovative new technologies and building systems have enabled longer wood spans, taller walls and higher buildings, contributing to a wider range of wood construction system solutions and building opportunities. In this video, Leander Bathon discusses innovative elements of the Earth Sciences Building at the University of British Columbia which includes a composite floor, cross-laminated timber (CLT) roof panels and a composite floating staircase. To see details on this topic presented at the 2013 Large Wood Structures Symposium in Vancouver, B.C., visit Wood WORKS! British Columbia -- www.wood-works.org.

CLT Conference

Published: August 9, 2013

Advanced Engineering Concepts in Solid Wood Construction

This presentation from the first US CLT Symposium Engineer Eric Karsh walks through advanced engineering concepts in solid wood construction. Karsh explains how solid wood construction is a different building system compared to the past stick frame construction. Solid wood construction’s structure behaves differently from both a design and engineering standpoint. The presentation highlights recent projects using solid wood construction, as the method continues to emerge as a growing trend in the industry.

TALL Wood Buildings

Published: May 21, 2013

Tall Wood Building Report

Published: May 22, 2012

“New Study Validates Wood as a Progressive and Innovative Material for Use in Tall-Building Construction”, a report co-authored by Eric Karsh was recently published by SAB Magazine. Read the report here.

The History and Future of Tall Wood Buildings

Published: April 17, 2013

Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting talks through the history and future of tall wood buildings at AIA National Convention. The presentation reviews the evolution of materials, manufacturing and connection engineering. Karsh looks at the latest trends in timber construction, solid wood panel buildings and the height potential of tall wood buildings.

Tall Wood Buildings

Published: December 1, 2012

Before the end of 19th century, wood was commonly used as a primary building material in several types of non-residential structures. Demonstrating the durability and strength of building with wood, many of these timber-built structures remain in use. Some date as far back as the seventh century, such as the 32.5m (106 ft) high Horyu-ji Temple in Nara, Japan.

Promega Case Study

Published: April 23, 2013

Promega Uses Innovative Mix of Cross Laminated Timber and Glulam for New Facility

Designing airports with wood

Published: September 1, 2012

Before the 1850s, wood was commonly used as primary structural building material in myriad types of non-residential construction around the world. Many of these timber-built structures remain standing and are still in use today, including factories, warehouses, schools, temples, and churches - some dating as far back as the seventh century (e.g. the 32.5m [107 ft] high Hotyu-ji Temple in Nara, Japan), demonstrating durability and strength of building with wood.

The City of North Vancouver Civic Centre Renovation

Published: February 14, 2013

The City of North Vancouver Civic Centre Renovation is a showcase for wood innovation, with state-of-the-art design fabrication behind the roof panel system, and an inventive new floor system. The City Hall is constructed with Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) roof panel systems. LSL is a process which involves cutting wood into thin strands which are then glued together using a steam-injection process. The stranded lumber roof panels provide structural support, architectural beauty, conceal all electrical and mechanical systems and absorb sound. The composite floor system consists of glulam post and beams supporting the concrete floor slab, a first in British Columbia, Canada and the U.S. This project demonstrates "multiple function components" at a new level, with ceiling/roof panels that integrate services in a single easy-to-install element. Innovative new technologies and building systems have enabled longer wood spans, taller walls and higher buildings, and continue to expand the possibilities for wood use in construction. Wood is more than a building material; it's a renewable and responsible choice.

North Vancouver Outdoor School (NVOS)

Published: February 14, 2013

North Vancouver Outdoor School (NVOS) located in Brackendale near Squamish, British Columbia. The ELC is constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is a large multi-layer wooden panel made of lumber, and engineered for strength through laminations of different layers placed cross-wise to the adjacent layers. The centre also features a glulam column and beam super-structure made from engineered timbers consisting of wood laminations that are bonded together with strong, waterproof adhesives, creating an ideal structural component. Mass timber systems are very large, complete wall, floor and roof sections made from engineered wood products, and used in a variety of building types and sizes. These products offer significant benefits in terms of fire, acoustic and structural performance; scale possibilities, rigidity, strength, stability and construction efficiency. Innovative new technologies and building systems have enabled longer wood spans, taller walls and higher buildings, and continue to expand the possibilities for wood use in construction. Wood is more than a building material; it's a renewable and responsible

Wood Design & Airports

Published: March 30, 2012

“Airports are gateway to cities”, says Eric Karsh, Principal of Equilibrium Consulting Inc. Eric discusses how the development of connections and new wood technologies, advances in wood science and building technology have expanded options for wood construction in airports.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre Osoyoos

Published: February 29, 2012

A recent article published by our partners DIALOG and our engineering involvement in creating the largest rammed earth wall in North America. Read the article in e-architect (UK). Also take a look at a recent article published by SAB Magazine. To learn more about this project, take a look at it on our projects page.

3 Myths of Building with Wood

Published: February 15, 2013

Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting dispels 3 myths about building with wood at the AIA 2012 National Convention. Myth 1: Wood Burns -- Not true -- Wood is fire resistant. While wood burns it creates a charring layer creating an insulated layer for structural fibers. Good design helps to keep the fire controlled, solid wood panels compartmentalizes fire, preventing the spread of the fire to other compartments. Myth 2: Wood Rots -- Not True -- If there is a good envelope designed and created to protect the wood, the wood will not rot. Karsh references old structures in Asia that still stand today. Myth 3: Wood is Weak and Unpredictable -- Not True -- Engineered wood products have a high degree of control and performance. Karsh compares a solid concrete wall to solid wood panel and they come out parallel in comparison.

Wood-frame construction

Published: October 1, 2012

Some 1,400 years ago, tall wood-framed pagodas in Japan were built to 19 stories tall. In spite of the area's high seismic activity - including the 6.8 magnitude Hyogo-ken Nambu earthquake in 1995 that caused widespread damage - these structures still stand today.

Wood as structural material

Published: April 1, 2012

Wood has long been an attractive building material due to its competitive pricing, reduced environmental impact and versatility. However, structural engineers and architects designing with wood have historically been limited to low- to mid-rise structures. Bu there is an opportunity to expand the possibilities, specifically to introduce wood as an efficient solution for large-scale, tall buildings.