The Beauty of Wood

Demmitt Community Hall

Shafraaz Kaba’s presentation was on ‘Wood Construction Trends and Opportunities’. Mr. Kaba is an architect and he was obviously quite passionate about his occupation. I agree with Shafraaz’s observation that if you are in a place that inspires you, you are more productive and we were shown some really inspiring buildings. I really like the notion that it is important to work with local materials and use local labour as Mr. Kaba’s company did when they built the Demmitt Community building. Shafraaz is a real supporter of wood construction for a number of reasons; construction is easier and faster, wood has great strength to weight ratio and when you are talking beams it is actually safer. Wood beams will retain their strength at a much higher heat, more than double that of steel.

IMG_6835Mr. Kaba is actually doing a project with Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) where they are working to create a manufacturing process to dry wood in a vacuum. You have to love the passion of inventors, Shafraaz is using this wood in the construction of his own home. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Luckily for him it looks like they may be successful. He is currently working on a commercial net-zero energy building in Edmonton and if this kind of stuff interests you check out his blog at

Written on behalf of GPRC CRI This is the 7th in a series of posts by Janet highlighting the speakers from the 2014 Growing the North Conference.

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