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To reach SoLo, a sensitively designed all-wood house prototype not far from Whistler, British Columbia, you first have to ascend a winding forest service road shrouded by unbroken stands of fir, hemlock and western red cedar trees. A drive over uneven gravel brings you to the top of a knoll where, after rounding a bend, the trees part and suddenly you face an imposing wall of darkly shimmering solar panels. More than 30 metres in length and punctuated with two-storey cathedral windows, the residence bears a passing resemblance to the snow sheds that emerge, also unexpectedly, along the province’s mountain highways to steer sliding snow packs out of drivers’ way.

As you approach the main entrance, the house’s mass timber framework...

A Climate-Positive Mass Timber House in British Columbia

In the province’s Lower Soo Valley, architects Perkins and Will and eco-conscious developer Bruce Langereis have built a prototype intended to both withstand and harness the elements.

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