The new building replaced an existing school on the same site that lacked seismic safeguards – apart from its gymnasium, which was incorporated into the new building.

Project Essentials

  • LocationRichmond, BC
  • ClientRichmond School District, No. 38
  • ArchitectPerkins&Will
  • Size50,000 ft² (4,600 m²)
  • BudgetC$13 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesCertified LEED Gold

The southern building, constructed entirely with wood, provides a single storey of classrooms, offices and multipurpose spaces wrapped around an existing gym and stage. The northern block consists of a timber-frame second storey above a concrete floor structure.

Fast + Epp and Perkins + Will came up with the undulating 80m atrium wood roof concept of the northern building – made with 2x4s and steel V-shaped kingposts – that demonstrates the beauty and structural capacity of dimensional lumber. This panelized approach meant shop and field construction could proceed concurrently, and prefabricated panels built off site took half the time to cover the building as a traditional roof built on site. 


  • Wood WORKS! British Columbia

    2012 Wood Design Award

The elementary school opened three months earlier than scheduled, to the applause of students, staff and parents. The extensive use of wood for this project upholds Fast + Epp’s long-held belief that it is possible to provide architecturally-expressive and engaging public buildings that adhere to a reasonable budget.