Community cornerstone, Quilakwa Center, wins SFI award

Quilakwa Center -- Featuring huge cedar columns and crooked Douglas Fir collar beam. Photographer, Peter Sperlich. Photo courtesy of Wood Design & Building Awards.
© Photographer, Peter Sperlich. Photo courtesy of Wood Design & Building Awards.

Using wood in innovative and beautiful ways to bring new life to a BC community hub has earned KH Designs an award from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The award is part of the 2015/16 Wood Design Awards program. It was presented last night at the annual Wood WORKS! British Columbia awards event.

Quilakwa Center -- Featuring huge cedar columns and crooked Douglas Fir collar beam. Photographer, Peter Sperlich. Photo courtesy of Wood Design & Building Awards.
The Quilakwa Center, in Enderby in the southern interior of BC, is home to the Splatsin boardroom and development corporation offices, a First Nation's arts shop, gas bar, convenience store, and a Tim Hortons restaurant and drive-thru. The winning partnership includes KH Designs, Splatsin, Omega & Associates Engineering and Sperlich Log Construction.

"We are pleased to be recognized with this award from SFI and the Wood Design awards program. The Quilakwa Center is the cornerstone of Splatsin, as well as the community of Enderby. It embodies the original natural style of handcrafted log construction and also embraces and showcases our local culture," said Wayne Christian, Chief of Splatsin. The building was designed to replace a gas station and convenience store.

The 13,520 square foot, two-storey structure used heavy timber logs from Downie Timber lands in Revelstoke and the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation. Both are certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard, which promotes responsible forestry, encourages conservation, supports sustainable communities and recognizes indigenous peoples' rights and traditional knowledge.

Splatsin members also harvested some of the special character logs from their own lands. These types of logs are typically not used by the forest industry because of their crookedness and character.

Quilakwa Center ceiling -- Featuring locally sourced wood. Photographer, Peter Sperlich. Photo courtesy of Wood Design & Building Awards.© Photographer, Peter Sperlich. Photo courtesy of Wood Design & Building Awards.

"The Quilakwa Center is a showcase for the beauty, versatility and durability of wood from responsibly managed forests that support sustainable communities," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. "This project is also a prime example of how SFI supports efforts to strengthen the vital links between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities."

The entire structural frame of the building was engineered in massive solid-wood components. The log posts and beams, which are up to 40" in diameter, carry all the loads from the walls and roof panels through to the foundation. Using natural logs in a structure has been calculated to have the lowest environmental impact of any type of wall construction.

"When comparing the impacts of wall materials, there really is no other material that comes close to wood as a green building material. When we consider energy efficiency during use and the ability of log walls to store carbon, the environmental advantages are quite significant," said Kevin Halchuk, President of KH Designs in West Kelowna, BC.

Architects and builders are increasingly choosing wood for construction because it looks great, offers numerous environmental benefits - including renewability and a lower carbon footprint than other materials - and is easy to work with. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, sequestering and storing carbon, which reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Trees turned into wood products continue to store carbon over the long term.

Tags: Forestry

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