The New Builds program initiated by Canadian Nuclear Labs represents a significant investment for the world-renowned nuclear laboratory. Three pioneering mass-timber buildings -- designed simultaneously as part of an integrated project delivery approach – will house a complex variety of programs that facilitate and support the groundbreaking research on campus.
The new Gateway House acts as the public face of the campus, providing security, conference, and office facilities outside of the laboratory’s secure perimeter. In addition to these public-facing programs, the secure side of the building contains a state-of-the-art logistics warehouse that facilitates material flow both in and out of the campus. In a considerable break from tradition, this space is rendered in mass timber; as a result, the warehouse typology is both elevated and made sustainable.
The Support Building offers a similar blend of traditional program with cutting-edge timber construction. Two stories of mass-timber offices surround a double-height warehouse spanned by deep glue-laminated beams, which support both the roof above and a massive gantry system that expedites the custom manufacturing taking place within.
The campus’ new showpiece is the Innovation Hub, a six-storey mass timber mixed-use building. Three floors of offices are cantilevered above a complex assemblage of complementary programs, where distinct volumes enclose a library, auditorium, conference facility, and medical center. This fine-grained approach to massing is a rarity in mass timber, as structural limitations have traditionally limited the material’s deployment to relatively austere forms. A fully integrated project delivery approach has allowed the team to push the limits of wood construction on a granular level, as well – a new methodology for routing services through the building’s glue-laminated beams is the subject of a significant research grant from Natural Resources Canada.