UBC’s Earth Sciences Building (ESB)

Vancouver - British Columbia

This five-storey 158,000 sq.ft. academic facility includes a conventional reinforced concrete laboratory wing, and an 85,000 sq.ft office / lecture hall wing and connecting atrium space built of innovative glulam post and beam and solid wood panel construction.

Wood-concrete composite LSL floor panels span 21 feet between wood-concrete composite post and beam frames, which are fully transferred across the 63 foot wide lecture theatres located on the ground and second floors. The roof and generous exterior canopy structure surrounding the building consist of 5-ply CLT panels. Elegant exposed CNC machined glulam chevron braces provide seismic resistance along the south-west façade. The main atrium features a dramatic, fully cantilevered stair composed of a seamless folding “ribbon” of glulam plates, a first of its kind in the world.

This project represents one of the largest wood-concrete composite applications in the world, and sets a new standard of quality and performance for institutional timber construction in North America, setting the stage for much larger and taller solid wood panel structures.

Client: UBC Properties Trust
Architect: Perkins+Will
Budget: $55 million
Completed: September 2012

Awards:
2012 Wood Engineering Award, Forest Products Society
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