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VIU Nanaimo campus to build $87.8M mass timber student housing

DCN-JOC News Services
VIU Nanaimo campus to build $87.8M mass timber student housing
VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY - Vancouver Island University has announced an $87.8 million nine-storey mass timber student housing facility will begin construction in early 2023.

NANAIMO, B.C. – The Province of British Columbia is putting $87 million towards an $87.8 million project to build new student housing on Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Nanaimo, B.C. campus.

The nine-storey hybrid mass-timber building will include 266 new student beds, a common area for students to study and gather, and a new dining hall for students living in campus housing, a VIU release stated.

“At Vancouver Island University, our strategic plan focuses on people, place and potential, committing us to fully support our learners and to welcome a larger and more diverse population. A new student residence building is key to meeting these commitments. Additional on-campus housing promotes a deeper connection between learners and the land our campus is located on, which provides students with a fully accessible space to live while they explore their potential studying at VIU,” said VIU president and vice-chancellor Deborah Saucier in a statement.  

Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2023 and be complete in summer 2025, with the first students moving in by fall 2025. 

The project aligns with B.C.’s CleanBC plan by targeting Step 4 of the BC Energy Step Code for the building, as well as expanding and connecting to VIU’s geo-exchange system, which uses a former coal-mine shaft system that lies beneath the campus.

Use of hybrid mass-timber construction also advances B.C.’s Wood First initiative, a B.C. government release stated.

The Journal of Commerce will have more on this story.

Recent Comments (1 comments)

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Rhys Phillips Image Rhys Phillips

Fine concept; but the architecture is so un-compelling. Vancouver Island has a very present sense of place and wood is a great first step. But there is a need for a design response to the landscape’s intricate, “romantic” genius Loci.


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