The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) is a new state-of-the-art UNBC wood science and engineering research facility in downtown Prince George.
The WIRL provides students, faculty members and researchers from UNBC’s Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design program with the ability to build and test large-scale integrated wood structures using engineered wood products such as Cross-Laminated Timber, Glued Laminated Timber and Laminated Veneer Lumber. The over-height, single-storey structure features a high-head lab for tall projects and a portion of the building consists of a strong floor and wall to support testing equipment and a crane.
The building is designed to meet Passive House standards, which includes stringent energy efficiency requirements. Certified Passive House buildings use up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling when compared with standard buildings and use up to 70 per cent less energy overall.
The $4.5 million building is a joint federal-provincial investment, with the Government of Canada contributing $1.88 million and the Government of British Columbia contributing $2.62 million. The City of Prince George is providing land for the lab.
The WIRL complements the nearby Wood Innovation and Design Centre by providing dedicated research space, which enables researchers to discover new, sustainable ways to integrate wood into building design and construction.