ELEVATE is a temporary installation of two warming huts for the TED2016 conference, inspired by high-alpine shelters and the backcountry winter experience that BC mountains offer. The unique wood structures were designed and built by local students as part of a three-month design-build course.

The warming shelters were built using Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), an advanced wood product donated by METSA Wood, and sculpted with CNC technology. The structure is enclosed with shrink wrap to shelter TEDsters from the elements and create a warm interior with exposed natural wood. A large table with stools were constructed for each hut to turn the warming shelters into a large seating area where visitors can gather to meet and retreat.

Inside the structures, TEDsters will discover the story of provincial and national parks with graphics to connect visitors to the great Canadian wilderness. We hope it will encourage TEDsters to get out and see our local mountains during their visit.

Through this DBR design-build course, students have explored wood innovation, technical fabrication, project and client management, hands-on building experience and sustainable design solutions.

After the TED2016 conference, the shelters will be retrofit to withstand the great outdoors and permanently installed within one of BC’s outdoor recreation sites. Here they will serve climbers, backcountry skiers or other outdoor enthusiasts.

Photography: Ema Peter



Michael Green, MGA | DBR Founder and Course Instructor
Eric Karsh, Equilibrium | DBR Director and Structural Engineering Instructor


James Munns | Shop Lead
Whitney Robinson | Lead Project Coordinator
Stuart Lodge | Design Lead
Neil Manchon | Teaching Assistant


Andjela Vasic
Bryce Duyvewaardt
Camille Esquivel
Christine Rohrbacher
Cosette Ramsay
Darcy Keester
Helia Rashedi
Ivan Vanon
Marsha Farrow
Nicholas Devlin
Patrick Birch
Terence Martin
Vanessa Kuiper
Xinxin Shen
Yajiao Fan
Zahra Teshnizi