Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

Golden, BC

Located in the heart of downtown Golden, BC, this 48 metre long bridge is framed of Douglas fir and white oak and is the longest timber frame clear span in Canada.

Wooden Heavyweight

The superstructure, weighing 95,255 kilograms, was preassembled adjacent to the river crossing site and placed instream using several heavy-lift cranes. The Burr Arch frame contains approximately 72,000 board feet of Douglas fir timber, and another 12,000 board feet were used in the flooring, railing, roof nailers and trim.

Volunteer Built

The project was organized by the Timber Framers Guild of North America and the Town of Golden's Economic Development Office and, uniquely, the bridge was built with the help of volunteer timber-framers from across North America and Europe, allowing it to be constructed for less than half the normal cost of such projects.


This project was awarded the Communities in Bloom Most Innovative Project for 2001.

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Harris Barn Restoration

Delta, BC

The 112 year old Harris Barn had been slated for demolition by the developer who owned the land, but it was salvaged by an initiative of the local historical society and the Corporation of Delta, BC.

Design Team

A design-build team of ISL, Scott Kemp Architecture and Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing was selected to restore, move and repurpose this historic structure. ISL provided structure engineering services from conceptual design through to construction administration, including specialty engineering of prefabricated structural insulated panels, as well as analysis and repairs to historic timber.

Reused Wood

This timber was retained where possible and new material was only introduced to repair decayed or damaged timber and to facilitate a new floor level. All of the additional timber for repair, stairs and handrails was reclaimed from a local shipyard.

Modern Additions

Modern structural insulated panels were incorporated to resist the lateral loads and provide a high performance building envelope. A full modern kitchen was also built into the new facility, as well as a handicapped lift to the new top floor.

Project Completion

The Harris Barn opened to the public in May 2013. It provides a social venue for festivals, markets, community programming, workshops and meetings, and offers a tribute to the agricultural heritage of the region.

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Stoney Nakoda Disaster Relief Housing

Stoney Nakoda First Nations, AB

The devastating floods in Alberta in June 2013 left widespread damage and displaced many residents all across the province, including the Stoney Nakoda First Nations. The Stoney Nakoda First Nations are spread out over three locations – Morley, between Calgary and Canmore; Eden Valley, near Longview and Bighorn, near Rocky Mountain House.


ISL was retained by the Government of Alberta to assess and inspect over 550 houses to be either repaired or demolished and replaced due to flood damage as well as to provide interim housing units for the emergency evacuees.

A Juggling Act

This project required regular communication with multiple parties ranging from key stakeholders (i.e. the Government of Alberta, the federal government, Health Canada and First Nations) to the other consultants and contractors involved in the project. ISL established a program to successfully manage the multiple contractors. In total, there were four general contractors working on this project, including two First Nation contractors.

Planning for the Future

As part of the Disaster Recovery Housing Program, ancillary goals were to provide Stoney Nation members with an opportunity for skills training so they could assist in their own recovery. Other goals include implementing preventative actions to reduce the probability of similar future disasters and damage and incorporating solutions to increase the durability and/or longevity of the new houses.

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Bowness Park Redevelopment

Calgary, AB

Created in 1911, Bowness Park is a popular 30 hectare (74 acres) urban park on the Bow River in the northwest quadrant of Calgary. When amenities began to decline, ISL undertook the project management for the redesign and refurbishment of the nine major park buildings and structures including the teahouse and new concession pavilion.

Reinterpreting History

ISL developed the concept of reinterpreting and re-envisioning the historical elements of the park using modern engineered wood products, in conjunction with hand cut heavy timber posts, beams and trusses. The use of these wood design elements allowed ISL to emulate the historical elements and aesthetic, while ensuring longevity to the structures.

Delivery Challenges

In 2013, as site preparations for the park were being completed, flood waters as high as five feet heavily damaged the existing infrastructure and set back the long range restoration work that was started in 2012. Fortunately, a concerted effort by all the consultant teams and park crews ensured that the project did not suffer from the delays anticipated.

Client Satisfaction

ISL’s approach to design for the structures at Bowness Park was in line with the City of Calgary’s Cultural Landscape Strategic Plan and honoured the special heritage of the park, which was important to the people of Calgary.

Project Completion

Despite delivery challenges including flood damage to the existing infrastructure, areas of the park were re-opened in the summer of 2014. By the following Christmas Eve, Calgarians were able to enjoy skating on the lagoon.

Award Winning

Bowness Park Redevelopment was recognized with a 2016 CEA Award of Excellence in the Building Engineering – Recreational category.

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Wilson's Lifestyle Centre Retail Building

Saskatoon, SK

The Wilson’s Lifestyle Centre introduces an entirely new concept to Saskatoon – one yielding from the Netherlands where the complex was designed by Thermoflor. Going beyond the sale of plants and garden accessories, the Centre was designed to be a destination for families.

A Warm, Memorable Structure

As the gateway to the complex, the main retail building needed to be a warm, memorable structure with a natural look akin to the plants inside. To deliver this, heavy timber was incorporated into the design.

Glulam Specialty Engineering

Unable to design glulam in-house, Thermoflor turned to its supplier, Western Archrib, who called in the expertise of ISL to perform the glulam specialty engineering.

Engineer of Record

In need of a Canadian engineer to verify the design of the building as a whole under Canadian National Building Code, ISL quickly became the Engineer of Record for the retail building. While performing the structural engineering tasks typically completed by as many as three different firms, ISL ensured that the overall structural design and details met the architectural intent and function.

Shop Drawing Production

ISL created the shop drawings for the two heavy timber fabricators and when a steel mezzanine was added into the building late in the design, ISL designed the steel support structure, performed steel connection design and produced the shop drawings for the Canadian steel fabricator.

Award Winning

In fall 2017, the Design Council of Saskatchewan awarded the project the Premier Award of Excellence in Design in the Engineering and Geoscience category.

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