WoodWORKS! BC celebrates excellence in wood design and construction at 2017 awards ceremony


Canadian Design and Construction Staff writer

WoodWORKS! BC has recognized excellence in contemporary design and building with wood at the 2017 Wood Design Awards.

There were 114 nominations in 13 categories – a record number with nominations from all over the province, as well as some national and international project submissions from as far away as Shanghai, China.

The awards have been celebrated for 13 years.  More than 400 guests including architects, structural engineers, project teams, local government and industry sponsors attended the March 6 ceremony in Vancouver.

All projects showcase distinctive and unique qualities of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness in a wide range of projects and a variety of wood uses.

“With wood now recognized for its ability to significantly reduce carbon impacts in our built environment and increase construction efficiency, it is playing a leading role in a design and building revolution,”  WoodWORKS! BC executive director Lynn Embury-Williams said in a statement.

“The relentless exploration of new frontiers with wood is the foundation of our awards program and the projects presented here this evening provide a view into the future,” she said.

The panel of four judges included architectural journalist and critic Adele Weder; Bob Smith,

Canfor’s general manager, specialty products sales; Karla Fraser, senior project manager, Urban One Builders; and professional engineer Ed Lim from United Building Systems/

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Dana Westermark, Oris Consulting, Richmond,  who was one of the first to establish wood as the best material for a significant new market sector: five- and six- storey mid-rise wood frame residential construction. He has willingly shared the lessons he learned, and inspired and supported a team of consultants in the development of this new type of construction.

Fast + Epp, Vancouver, an internationally respected firm that has led the way for wood in many of Canada’s most innovative wood structures, was the recipient of the Engineer Award. The firm’s project, Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, Surrey, was cited in the nomination for its unique undulating roof structure, which achieves the significant clear spans required for pools, and ensures long-term operational cost savings.

The Architect Award was presented to HCMA Architecture + Design, Vancouver.  The firm, which has earned many significant awards for its work, has been a leader in supporting the movement toward using wood as a first choice in design and construction. The firm has also recognized the important economic, social and cultural aspects to the livelihood of many British Columbian communities that the wood industry provides.

The Wood Innovation Award recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes. The winner of this category was Iain Weir-Jones, Weir-Jones Group, for Shoreline by MGA in Vancouver. The jury felt that the wood created a contemporary design with unique warmth and character to stimulate and promote a healthy office and shop environment.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, represented by Brett Crawley, was presented with the Environmental Performance Award for Bella Bella Passive House, Bella Bella. The jury was impressed with the efficiency of the modular construction which employed less material waste, required fewer material deliveries (further reducing the carbon footprint) and reduced the dust, noise, air and water pollution, compared to traditional on-site construction methods.

Winners in the wood design categories include:

Residential Wood Design

Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith, Helliwell + Smith/Blue Sky Architecture, West Vancouver – Arbutus House, Victoria

Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design

Innovation Building Group Ltd., represented by Ron Nadeau, Whistler – Solana, Whistler

Commercial Wood Design

Chris Jacques, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vancouver – Tsawwassen Mills, Tsawwassen

Interior Beauty Design

Rod Windjack, HDR/CEI Architecture Associates Inc., Vancouver – Mulgrave Senior School Addition, West Vancouver

Institutional Wood Design – Small

Shelley Craig, Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver – UBC Engineering Student Centre, Vancouver

Institutional Wood Design – Large

Patkau Architects, represented by: Patricia and John Patkau, Vancouver – Audain Art Museum, Whistler

Western Red Cedar

Franc D’Ambrosio, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism, Victoria – Cadboro Bay Residence, Saanich

International Wood Design

Michael Green, MGA/MICHAEL GREEN ARCHITECTURE, Vancouver/Steve Cavanaugh, DLR Group, Chicago – T3, Minneapolis

Jury’s Choice award

Kengo Kuma, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan – Shaw Tower Teahouse, Vancouver

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Award, part of the North American-wide Wood Design Awards, was presented to the Oregon-based architecture firm Hacker, for its project, Lakeside at Black Butte Ranch, Black Butte, Oregon.

“We thank all the nominees for their ingenuity and innovation with wood design and building that continues to make British Columbia a leader nationally and internationally,” Embury-Williams said.


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