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Leaders in wood innovation honoured at awards

Patricia Williams
Leaders in wood innovation honoured at awards
Laminated triangular wood coffers serve as the finished decorative ceiling in the rejuvenated National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The project won the JuryÕs Choice Award in the 2017 Ontario Wood WORKS! awards program. -

Architects, engineers, developers and other construction industry professionals at the forefront of wood design in the province were recognized during the recent 17th annual Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards.

The awards program honours people and organizations that through design excellence, advocacy and innovation are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction.

"It is our privilege to celebrate Ontario’s wood design leaders," said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program. "Wood is an extraordinary building material. It is also a sustainable building solution. Design professionals who understand the need for sustainable development are specifying wood products for innovative, environmentally responsible construction."

Ontario Wood WORKS! presented 12 awards at a Nov. 1 event in Toronto. Ten awards went to specific wood projects and two were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction.

In the winners’ circle this year are the following projects:

• Story Pod, Newmarket (Ontario Wood Award)

Architect: Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc.

The pod is a compact, 64-square-foot lending library. During the day, two entirely wood-clad walls pivot open, exposing a plywood clad interior. At night, with the doors closed, recessed energy-efficient LED lights, powered by concealed rooftop solar panels, glow through exterior wooden battens. The pod is stored offsite during the winter.

• Active House, Centennial Park, Etobicoke (Environmental Building Award)

Developer: Great Gulf

Architect: superkul

Structural engineer: Quaile Engineering

The project in part employs an innovative wood structural roof and wall system with an integrated air barrier that streamlines the "weatherization" process and transforms the assembly of exterior walls. Great Gulf’s H+ME Technology system allows roof, wall and floor assemblies to be built as integrated panels in a controlled factory environment.

• Lazaridis Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo (Interior Wood Design Award)

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Associate architect: David Thompson Architect Ltd.

Structural engineer: VanBoxmeer & Stranges Engineering Ltd.

The building’s central wood-lined atrium presents a "warm, inviting and acoustically attenuated" environment. The wood-slatted walls are multi-functional.

• House on Ancaster Creek, Ancaster (Residential Wood Design Award)

Architect: Williamson Williamson Inc.

Structural Engineer: Blackwell, Faet Lab.

Designed as a multi-generational home, the project pairs western red cedar cladding and local limestone on the exterior with interior white oak floors, cabinetry and a wood-clad spiral staircase.

• Lake House condominiums, Grimsby (Mid-Rise Wood Design Award)

Developer: Branthaven Homes

Architect: Kirkor Architects + Planners

Engineer: Tacoma Engineers Inc.

The use of wood as the primary structural component afforded an opportunity to accelerate the construction schedule by building sub-components such as roof assemblies at ground level and then lifting them into place on site. Overall construction costs were also reduced.

• St. David Catholic Elementary School, Sudbury (Institutional Wood Design Award, project valued at under $10 million)

Architect: Yallowega Belanger Salach Architecture

Engineer: A2S Associates Ltd.

The school is a one-storey, wood-frame structure, constructed mainly from large glue-laminated timber and standard lumber framing. Exposed wood softens interior spaces.

• McEwen School of Architecture/Ecole d’architecture McEwen, Sudbury (Institutional Wood Design Award, project valued at more than $10 million)

Architect: LGA Architectural Partners

Engineer: AECOM

The school’s new library wing is clad in BIM-modelled, prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels and "unitized" glazing panels — entirely mass timber construction. Panels were delivered to the site ready to install.

• Ontario Wood Pavilion — Interior Design Show 2017, Toronto (Commercial Wood Design Award)

Architect: blackLAB Architects Inc.

Engineer: Moses Structural Engineers

Framing lumber from EACOM’s Nairn Centre sawmill and sustainable aspen plywood by Rockshield EWP were used to create a sculptural backdrop in the 1,700-square-foot pavilion.

• Carpenters’ Union Local 1669 Training Centre, Thunder Bay (Northern Ontario Excellence Award)

Architect: FORM Architecture Engineering

Engineer: FORM Architecture Engineering

The facility incorporates a wide variety of wood products, among them glue-laminated timber, fabricated wood trusses and a heavy timber structure.

• National Arts Centre rejuvenation, Ottawa (Jury’s Choice Award)

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Engineer: Fast + Epp

Three new wings and a marquee tower now wraparound three sides of the complex. The wings are constructed of an exposed wood structure comprised of triangular coffers made of Douglas fir from Western Canada and a glass curtainwall system. Prefabricating the wood structure proved to be "an invaluable strategy" given the demanding construction schedule. The laminated triangular wood coffers also serve as the finished decorative ceiling.

This year’s designer/builder award was presented to Pratt Homes of Barrie, one of the region’s largest builders of detached homes, condos and townhouses. The firm is currently completing two projects in Barrie, encompassing six-storey light-wood-frame condos.

The Wood Champion Award went to Tad Putyra, president and COO of Great Gulf Homes Low-Rise Division and president of H+ME Technology. Ontario Wood WORKS! said Putyra has been a leader in wood innovation for more than a decade.

Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council that promotes and supports the use of wood in all types of construction.

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