Sk’eLep School

Sk’elep School | Kamloops, BC

(The late) Ib G. Hansen Architect Ltd.

Skelep School Kamloops, BC  Skelep School Kamloops, BC  Skelep School Kamloops, BC  Skelep School Kamloops, BC  Skelep School Kamloops, BC

This 3500 m2 elementary school, completed in 2003, is prominently located in Kamloops and would appear, on first glance, to be a conventional one-storey wood frame structure with a gymnasium.  However, the building features a number of unique and unusual applications of structural timber – these features regularly surprise and delight the building occupants.

Conventional wood frame construction kept costs low and promotes the local resource.

The gymnasium roof trusses consist of an elegant hybrid between glue laminated beams and a king post truss.  The top chord consists of a pair of sculpted glulam beams creating a cynamic form.  These are connected together through a king post truss with double steel rods.  The highly loaded connection between the steel rods and the wood is elegantly and reliably achieved with the German proprietary Bertsche “BVD” connector.  Block gluing was used to widen the glulam at the connection.

The classrooms feature an innovative timber structural system called a two-way lattice or grid.  These consist of intersecting pairs of 114 X 114 Hem-Fir sawn timber elements, stitched each end with tight-fit pins and blocking to form blocked beam elements, each 356 mm deep.  38 X 140 mm diagonal T & G decking triangulates the system, providing an effective diaphragm without the need for plywood.  The seven identical 5.6 X 6.5 m grid panels were fabricated on the ground and raised with a crane.

Design team:


(The Late) Ib G. Hansen Architect Ltd.
North Vancouver, BC

Structural Engineer:

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Suite 202 – 388 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Y 3X2

Quantity Surveyor:

BTY Group
2288 Manitoba Street
Vancouver, BC V5Y 4B5

Owner/Project Manager:

Skeetchestn Indian Band
Kamloops, BC

pdf-small Project Fact Sheet – Sk’elep School