Uses of Wood

Wood has long been the preferred construction material for many building types in North America. While residential housing has been the traditional backbone of wood construction, builders in many countries are using it for commercial buildings, public and recreational facilities, and industrial buildings.

Builders appreciate wood's versatility, durability, low environmental impact and cost effectiveness. A wood structure with a finished interior can be built faster, with fewer people on site, which means units are completed and occupied more quickly.

Residential buildings

Residential buildings

Wood is used in homes from foundation forming and framing systems to roof trusses, and everything in between, from flooring and furniture to exterior cladding and interior trim and cabinetry.

Wood is viewed as a sign of quality and even luxury in single-family homes. Wood floors add beauty and warmth, are easier to maintain than carpets and do not attract dust and mites. Outside the house, properly treated exterior wood applications, such as stairs, railings, decking and fences, can last for years, providing beauty and added value.

Townhouses, apartment buildings and condominium homes often have wood structural framing, flooring, roofing and stairs. Creative exterior touches such as gables, posts, railings, pergolas, roof brackets and awnings, add architectural appeal and market value.

Commercial buildings

Commercial buildings

No other building material showcases the beauty of nature, radiates warmth and adds value the way wood does. It can create an architecturally expressive corporate statement and unique retail environment for shops and restaurants. Exposed heavy timber beams, wood window frames, wood flooring, panelling and cabinetry often create dramatic, exciting commercial spaces.

Wood is also an excellent choice for small office buildings, warehouses and other commercial buildings. Modular wood buildings can be erected rapidly to create large and complex wood buildings like factories and warehouses. Industrial buildings are especially suited to this kind of construction where building systems such as roofing structures are repeated.

Recent advancements in British Columbia lumber and engineered wood products deliver superior structural strength, an important consideration where heavy loads, such as factory lifting equipment, are anticipated.

Public and recreational buildings

Public and recreational buildings

Simple economics, safety and versatility make wood the best choice for any public building – from recreation centres and music halls to schools and transportation stations. Wood is durable and resilient for heavy-use buildings, and can offer stunning beauty within any budget.

Large-span recreation centres, indoor swimming pools, community halls and meeting rooms, university campus buildings, even schools with their hallways and gymnasiums, are increasingly built with heavy timber framing, which contributes to their appeal, comfort and long-term maintenance.

Many new public transportation projects such as rapid transit stations, airport terminals and bus stations, with their large roofs and canopies, benefit from the use of engineered wood products such as large-span glulam beams and oriented strand board (OSB).

Wood performs as well as or better than any other building material under extreme conditions such as hurricanes and earthquakes, an important consideration for public buildings.