November 24, 2015 10:00 pm
Updated: November 25, 2015 12:54 pm

New Mountain Equipment Coop store in Kelowna will have prominent wood features


At a wood design conference in Kelowna Tuesday, participants learned about the growing use of wood in the commercial building construction industry.

“It is definitely on an up-tick,” says Lynn Embury-Williams of the Canadian Wood Council. “The more buildings that are designed and built, the more we learn. And because it’s so successful, everybody wants to be in that game.”

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One of those in the game is conference speaker Greg Piccini. His company, Proscenium Architecture, designed the new Mountain Equipment Co-op head office in Vancouver which incorporates a lot of wood features.

“It’s a natural element and they’re all about getting out into nature,” says Piccini. “And there’s a lot of sustainable benefits to wood. It’s a renewable resource and it’s a carbon capturing material as well.”

Wood will feature prominently in MEC’s new Kelowna store which is currently under construction.

“We’re going to have a large wooden canopy supported by large, glue-laminated wood columns and a wood soffit on top,” says Piccini. “We’re entering an exciting era in the use of wood. I think there’s going to be, in the next ten years, a lot of change in people’s perception of it and how it’s used. We’re going to see a lot of it around.”

As a province with a large forest industry, that’s a good thing.

“The technology that’s being developed with wood allows you to build taller, bigger, faster. It’s very cost competitive,” says Embury-Williams. “You can put up a wood building in no time relative to a concrete building. So it really is an all purpose product.”

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