Good wood; Radium lumbers to top prize

Wood WORKS! BC gives honour to Radium at UBCM

The brand new Radium Hot Springs Centre can add ‘award-winning’ to its name now, thanks to recognition by a provincial wood advocacy organization.

Wood WORKS! BC presented a 2018 Community Recognition Award to the centre Wednesday, September 12th during the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities meetings, held in Whistler this year.

Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC, says Radium’s new community hall stood out in the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments region.

“It’s beautifully set in the landscape, and it’s clearly been designed to fit in that landscape so as to enhance the surroundings as well,” said Ms. Embury-Williams.

The province-wide awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for work, demonstrated through use of wood in a community project or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood.

“Through their new wood projects, these communities have realized wood’s many benefits including cost-effectiveness, a reduced carbon footprint and enhancement of their streetscapes through beautiful and expressive new buildings. They have also demonstrated that traditional and new technologically advanced wood products and building systems can be used effectively and distinctly in many types and sizes of civic buildings,” Ms. Embury-Williams stated. “It’s exciting to see a community’s wood culture built into their civic projects. We noted this year that many made it a priority to source B.C. wood products and local labour for construction, which deserves recognition, as they are telling the story of their community while helping secure prosperity for all of B.C. and the many communities which depend on forestry.”

Urban Arts Architecture’s Shelly Craig, the primary architect for the project, who worked alongside associate Jordan Edmonds on the design of the building, reports they had a resolution to look at wood first for the Radium building.

“The village has a wood-first policy to try and support the wood industry,” Ms. Craig explains, adding Urban Arts Architecture is well-known for their work with wood.

“This was a very special project for our office, because it was a community-led, community-driven project,” she continues. “At the very beginning of the project, we had a wood stakeholders meeting. That meant before we even started the design process, we had people in construction come and tell us what they could do. We garnered a lot of wisdom and insight into what could be built locally.”

She says they affectionately call the Radium Hot Springs Centre the ‘100 mile building’, as they tried to maximize the skills, labour, and resources from the Valley itself. The hall also boasts B.C.’s first dowel-laminated timber roof structure.

Radium Hot Springs Mayor Clara Reinhardt says the new community hall has matched the vision set out at the start of the whole process and she could not be more pleased with the final building, or the award recognizing the intentional use of wood in the structure.

“It exceeded all expectations,” said Ms. Reinhardt.

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