CNL Chalk River Laboratories

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Mass Timber

CNL Chalk River Laboratories

In 2017, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories engaged HDR to develop a master plan to help them revitalize their Chalk River Laboratories site which is approximately 3,700 hectares in size and consists of more than 300 existing buildings. The principles of the master plan promote a more walkable campus, long term growth and employee safety.

Following the completion of CNL’s master plan, HDR has remained the master architect as part of an integrated project delivery team for four projects focused on the Entry Precinct and the south half of the Campus Precinct. This series of projects is the largest to be delivered utilizing IPD in Canada. They include:

  • The logistics warehouse serves as the new public face of CNL that will welcome visitors and staff alike. This facility plays a key support role in enabling CNL to execute its mandate, by providing procurement, warehousing and logistics services across the entire Chalk River site.
  • The support facility houses maintenance and manufacturing activities that will enable workflow efficiencies and productivity by consolidating key resources in a centralized location.
  • The business hub provides flexible, integrated space for the engineers and staff focused on nuclear science and technology to collaborate and improve team dynamics for the research driven campus.
  • The Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Building supports Canada’s Federal research priorities: Energy, Health, Environment and Safety and Security. This project comprises shielded facilities focused on materials and fuels research which includes active material and fuel hot cells. It includes flexible laboratory space and administrative and support space.

The collaborative design process at the heart of IPD is helping facilitate design excellence and the adoption of innovative sustainable strategies. Design is currently underway on all four buildings. To date, it has been confirmed that the logistics facility, support facility, and business hub will be constructed with a mass timber structure and will meet FSTII requirements for net-zero carbon ready facilities.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Mass Timber
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

Chalk River, ON

500,000 sf (9290 m²) across 4 buildings


Ontario Wood Design Award (2020)
Innovation Category
Ontario Wood WORKS!
Green Construction through Wood (2020)
$3.94 Million Grant | Mass timber construction and research
Natural Resources Canada
Finalist (2020)
Architecture +Models & Rendering Category, A+ Awards