Northern Lights College, Trades Training Centre
Located at the start of the Alaska Highway in north-eastern British Columbia, Dawson Creek is a town of 13,000 people where the summers are brief and dry and the winters are severe, with temperatures that regularly dip to -40˚C. The town’s Northern Lights College is home to three state-of-the-art technical training facilities, including the new 60,000 SF Trades Training Centre that opened in late 2018; with workshops for carpentry, welding, plumbing, millwrighting and wind turbine technology. This LEED Gold building, heated by biofuel provides a model for sustainable trades college design in a cold climate, utilizing mass timber construction to create a sustainable educational environment. The use of exposed mass timber in an industrial setting has proven to be both highly practical and uniquely pleasing for the occupants.
Wood construction presented several opportunities for integrating structure, architecture and building systems. Prefabrication of roof panels and CLT wall panels shortened the framing schedule to suit the cold climate, while the wood structure reduced the size of the foundations and improved both the energy footprint and carbon sequestration. Notably, the exposed mass timber provides a ready surface for fastening building systems, which must remain exposed for access and alteration to suit changes in shop equipment throughout the building’s lifespan.
Dawson Creek, BC, CAN
First Nation Location Name
McFarland Marceau Architects
2020 Wood Design & Building Magazine Honor Award
2020 Canadian Green Building Awards – Institutional Award