The Wood Innovation Research Laboratory

Wood Innovation Research Lab

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.

Building fire updates

August 22, 2023 - There was an explosion and fire in downtown Prince George on the morning of August 22, 2023 at a building next to UNBC’s Wood Innovation and Research Lab (WIRL). The lab’s west wall caught fire, the building was impacted by the explosion, and a significant amount of water was released inside the building from the sprinkler system. Fortunately, no UNBC personnel or students were on site and UNBC community members are safe. Some bystanders suffered serious injuries; the UNBC community sends positive thoughts to those who have been impacted. We also thank the emergency personnel who responded quickly and limited the damage to WIRL.

February 15, 2024 - Building repairs are nearing completion. The siding is expected to be completed by the end of February. The Adiabatic Fluid Cooler will be installed in March. The building remains closed for regular operations, but interior repairs are almost complete. We anticipate normal occupancy of the building by the end of March. 

Contact information

Phone: 250-960-5241

Mailing address:

Wood Innovation Research Laboratory
1153 4th Ave
Prince George, British Columbia
V2L 3J2  Canada

Wood Innovation Research Lab stories

Four people wearing white t-shirts crouch on floor around a small metal structure with a pulley system and weight hanging.

The puck does not stop here