Located in downtown Prince George, the eight-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre features innovative use of wood solutions. The University of Northern BC occupies the lower three floors of the building with facilities for the Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design. The upper floors provide office space for government and wood industry-related organizations, as well as the planned Emily Carr University of Art + Design Centre for Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Houle completed an integrated electrical system installation for what is now the tallest wood structure building in North America. Houle provided controls, networks infrastructure, and security services, which included access control for the entire building; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; lighting controls; and all data infrastructure. All of Houle’s work on the project conformed to Ashrae 90.1 (2007) energy standards.
This was Houle’s first endeavour with an all-wood building. The main challenge was the building’s architecture – because of the building’s make-up, the acoustical wood ceiling slats left little room for infrastructure. Most of the main wiring was run in floor trenches, which required Houle to come up with techniques to accommodate the restriction.
The project was completed on schedule and used many of the different services that Houle had to offer. Due to Houle’s successful performance on this project, Houle developed a good working relationship with the contractor. This led to further design-assist projects in the building, including building tenant improvements.