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October 27, 2017 8:42 pm

Province Announces $2.25 Million to Bolster Wood Innovation and Design

Monday, October 17, 2016 @ 3:16 PM
From left, Thomas Tannert, Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research Chair, UNBC, Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount, Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, Dr. Daniel Weeks, president, UNBC - photo 250News

From left, Thomas Tannert, Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research Chair, UNBC, Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount, Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, Dr. Daniel Weeks, president, UNBC – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – It was all smiles at the Wood Innovation Design Centre this afternoon.

This as the provincial government announced $2.25 million in funding for a new Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research chair at UNBC.

Thomas Tannert, an expert in timber engineering design, will occupy the new position with an eye towards helping bolster the school’s master of integrated wood design program.

He comes to UNBC from UBC where he was the associate chair in wood building design and construction. His mandate at UNBC will be to establish an interdisciplinary research program, building capacity to design and deliver innovative and sustainable hybrid engineering solutions.

The program is expected to cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Innovations in structural design
  • Hybrid structure design combing wood, concrete, steel, and glass components
  • Building physics such as vibrations, acoustics, fire safety and life-cycle analysis

The research is being funded through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund, which was distributed through the BC Innovation Council, a provincial Crown agency.

“This investment in a Tall Wood and Hybrid Structures Engineering Research Chair will advance our institution’s goals in the research and natural resource areas,” says UNBC president Dr. Daniel Weeks.

“Maximizing the use of local materials and knowledge when building tall wood structures strengthens regional community development, as well as the sustainability of the forestry industry.”

“We cannot underestimate the importance of research. It drives innovation, improves the quality of our lives and finds solutions to complex problems,” adds Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond.

“Having this research chair at UNBC builds on our vision for showcasing B.C.’s expertise in wood design and construction. I want to congratulate UNBC for continuing to attract significant research funding, including this new research chair.”

The Leading Edge Endowment Fund was launched in 2002 to encourage social and economic development in B.C.

To date the program has funded 29 research chairs throughout the province. Leadership Research Chairs receive a total endowment of up to $.4.5 million through the fund, which is cost-shared between government and the private sector – each contributing $2.25 million.


My, my, its the Shirley Bond and Nike Morris show today, got to get their faces on the news with all this pre-election “lube” funding. Now that the fall legislature has been canceled, I would imagine Liberal MLAs have been given money to get their faces in the media through-out the province.

    Well the NDP would be front and centre, but they are still trying to figure out what happened to the Fast Ferries, or if they are still being built.

    Giving politicians a hard time for getting money in the North? That’s what it’s come to now? Amazing stuff here.

What a waste of lumber building a steel structure and covering it up with wood. Take a look at the steel posts in the picture covered with wood. If that is innovation it is not for me.

    Modern heavy timber construction makes considerable use of steel at timber to timber connections as well as timber to concrete and timber to steel.

    In fact, the design of those connection would be a component of the structural design course for engineers. Without those connections we would have to return to tradition mortise and tenon connections which would not be able to carry loads such as the large scale buildings we see at UNBC, the WIDC building, the airport, etc. can support.

    Mortise and tenon timber joinery such as may be practiced in heavy timber house construction.

    Here is a good youtube video which shows one example of how a wood columns can be attached to a concrete foundation. The connection also allows for adjustments to provide a levelling opportunity for the superstructure.

    Wicking of moisture is a problem for columns exposed to weather. It is not typically a problem for interior environments unless it is in something like a commercial kitchen or washroom.

    Here is another example of some connection details.

    Walk around UNBC sometime and you will see some of the more common wood joint details, especially the hinged joints used for timbers supporting roof structures.

Those in fact are wooden posts, the steel that you see are simply the brackets that connect the wooden post to the concrete foundation. Without separation between wood and concrete you get wicking of moisture up into the wood from the concrete, and then you get rot.

    Take another look, the wood doesn’t touch the concrete.
    As for all the sniping about an election coming up, every political party in the past 60 years does the same thing so what’s different.
    It’s a good new story that opens up more private businesses and will contribute to the economy. The private sector contributes to this for good reason.

      You are right, in that environment there is little wicking problem unless the concrete is unprotected from the soil it rests on.

      We must also remember that George St is in a 200 year flood plane and water may seep up on occasion.

      But, that is not the primary purpose of the raised steel column shoe. It is as I mentioned in my post above, a well developed standard connection detail for a heavy timber (or laminated timber) column to a concrete foundation that allows for on site adjustment to level the building.

      In similar fashion there would be a steel connection of column to column at each storey of the building which typically would also connect the main beams which would carry joists and/or cross laminated timber floor panels.

      The internet has plenty of images for such connections both for smaller commercial and residential construction as well as for some heavy duty laminated timber arches spanning well over 30 meters.

Well, whatever it is, it is UGLY and a waste of lumber.

    Beauty or ugly ….. it is the eye of the beholder.

    To me the RCMP building is “ugly”. The wood on the outside is purely decorative. It is a building which would never win an award for its structural or architectural aesthetic.

    At least the wood in the WDIC building is true to its structural form which is the reason it has already won at least one prestigious award if not more.

    I forgot to add, I do not like the wood used on the outside of the building. The charring of the wood as an exterior finish was a bad choice since the charred wood is already being compromised by the weather.

    The wood which is left to natural weathering might still recover as it ages to turn into a grey patina as can be seen on residential buildings on the west coast, especially those immediately adjacent to the ocean.

    I think that the building should have had a glass curtain wall throughout its exterior. Typically exposed wood is a maintenance problem. They already had to replace the wood exterior on the Cancer Centre since the original finish had failed very early.

    Actually, from an environmental point of view, it is exactly what wood should be used for. It sequesters carbon for a relatively long time.

    Much better than the typical wood used for fencing, for instance, which might last 10 to 30 years or so, go though an initial “nice” looking phase, then butt ugly as it starts rotting away eventually ending up in a landfill to give off methane, or used to burn for energy and give off its CO2 back to the atmosphere where it came from.

Wow! The Liberals are sure coming up with a lot of coin lately, must be an election coming up.

The big question is when will they receive this money? Is it a lump sum or is it given out over the next ten yrs?

    Election time gives all political parties no matter which one to spend more mo he. They should have given more but agreed to add more money to the hospital in Penrtictton and a ew e tension to Kamloops hospital and adding a med program as well. Don,t you all remember when we wanted to have university and med school we had to fight for one. And 20 years ago we were getting a four lane highway from PG to Cache Creek, but all went south to Whisller and Nanaimo -Victoria. Thank goodness they fired the trustees. We had to close many schools and they never budged, with the price of homes in Vanc. there will not be many kids in Vancouver the next few years as who can afford to live there. Hope a few promises for an extension of our hospital and finish the highway and not by doing 3 km per year.

We have no info about the Chair.

From UBC: civil.ubc.ca/faculty/thomas-tannert

“Dr. Tannert joined the Department of Civil Engineering in 2011 as Associate Chair in Wood Building Design and Construction.

Dr. Tannert received his Ph.D. from UBC in 2008, a Master’s degree in Wood Science and Technology from the University of Bio-Bio in Chile in 2002, and a Civil Engineering degree from the Bauhaus-University Weimar in Germany in 2001.

Before returning to UBC, Dr. Tannert worked in multi-disciplinary teams in Germany, Chile, and Switzerland.

He is an expert in the development of design methods for TIMBER JOINTS and the assessment and monitoring of timber structures.”

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