Bayview Elementary


Vancouver, British Columbia

Building Type


Square Footage


Located within Vancouver’s breezy Kitsilano neighbourhood is the newly constructed Bayview Elementary School. The original structure—built in 1913—was demolished in 2019 as part of the Vancouver School Board’s plan to upgrade and replace their schools to be more seismically resilient, an important consideration for a city located on the Cascadia Subduction Zone. CLT panels were used in the structure in both the gravity and shear walls systems to better sustain seismic loads.

The school spans 3,510 square meters and accommodates up to 365 students in a contemporary learning environment that aims to foster the next generation as sustainably as possible. It boasts a preschool, two kindergarten classes, and 13 classrooms for grades one through seven. Two multi-purpose rooms, an open concept library, a learning commons, and extra-wide halls encourage flexible, collaborative learning opportunities, while solar shading helps with glare and energy efficiency.

Adding warmth and character to the space are the exposed SPF CLT panels and Doulas-Fir Glulam columns and beams; all locally sourced timber from eastern British Columbia. These exposed wood features increase the contact students have with nature, creating learning spaces that are soothing and promote wellbeing. The updated mass timber building thus meets the district’s sustainability goals and LEED’s Gold rating while storing 1,137 metric tons of CO2. Finally, to honor the heritage of the school, vestibule doors, an arched window, and the mature trees on the grounds were all preserved from the original site. Bayview Elementary perfectly demonstrates how mass timber can contribute to the sustainability goal of providing for the next generation.

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