Nestled deep in the woods halfway between Pemberton and Whistler, sits a large heavy-timber house in a remote location. Built with Passive House principles, wood was chosen as the primary structural material and is authentically expressed and exposed in its entirety throughout the home—a ‘temple to Douglas Fir’.
The location of the project posed a structural challenge due to the valley’s extreme climate. Employing Passive House principles, the main house was encased in 2’0” thick insulation and sits independent of the large outer roof structure and the surrounding steel platform. In order to maintain the large north-facing window and open-concept design, our team used an innovative structural solution to eliminate the need for wood shear walls by introducing two tension-rod braced frames at each end. This allowed the frames to collect the seismic loads from the roof and enabled unobstructed views from the large feature window. The braced frames secured the roof, while the limited shear walls within were used to secure the house, creating two independent seismic systems.
Utilizing mass timber construction methods, the team was able to solve the challenges provided by the site’s remote location and seasonal construction window, as many elements of the building were prefabricated off-site. This allowed for a fast-tracked construction timeline and minimized disturbance in the area as fewer materials and equipment were needed on site.