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2+U and Deloitte Summit Tower win big at 2023 B.C. steel awards

Evan Saunders
2+U and Deloitte Summit Tower win big at 2023 B.C. steel awards
EVAN SAUNDERS — The team behind the 2+U development in Seattle accept the Engineering Award at the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s British Columbia Region Awards of Excellence on May 18. Peter Somers, principal with Magnusson Klemencic Associates, who worked on the project, says the project was truly a team effort.

There were several big winners at the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) British Columbia Region awards of excellence, with the 2+U and Deloitte Summit Tower each taking home two awards and top honours.

“It’s great to get the recognition. It really was a team effort as well,” said Peter Somers, principal with 2+U’s engineers Magnusson Klemencic Associates.

Seattle’s 2+U won the Engineering Award and the inaugural Innovation and Sustainability Award. One of the defining aspects of the building is the fact the tower itself is raised 85 feet above street level on a mix of concrete and steel pillars.

“The architect wanted exposed concrete as the finish for esthetic reasons. What we originally had come up with was concrete filled steel pipes, to take a large diameter steel tube and then fill it with concrete. That had to be fireproofed on the outside and then we were going to put precast cladding around it.”

But the original design resulted in the pillars appearing too large and threw off the architect’s vision.

“So, then we focused on using concrete only and got rid of the steel, which is ironic because the building won a steel award,” Somers said with a laugh. “But there was some steel involvement in the end.

“With this project, we realized you could never cast-in-place. It would be almost impossible to form those angles that high up in the space. So, the next thing we went with was precast concrete fabricated off-site and brought and erected into place. Structurally, that worked, but a precast column of that size was too big and heavy to transport.”

The engineering team thus ended up with a mixed solution using concrete and steel to create the massive pillars.

“We made precast concrete columns that had a steel pipe embedded in them. We got rid of the weight for transportation. They brought them down, lifted them into place, and then we filled the steel void with concrete after.”

Architecture duties for the project were performed by Pickard Chilton Architects, Inc.

It is owned by Skanska Commercial Development, Inc. and built by Skanska USA Building. The steel fabricator was AI Industries and Tru-Line Drafting Services Inc. was the steel detailer.

The Deloitte Summit Tower, located at 410 Georgia St. in Vancouver, was also a double winner, taking home the Engineering Award and the Architectural Award.

“At the time there was not a lot of large-scale steel construction buildings in Vancouver, so it was actually a nice opportunity for us to work on this,” said Mitch Sakumoto, principal with Merrick Architecture.

The Deloitte Tower immediately stands out for its unique design, a series of individual cubes stacked together in a perfectly mismatched fashion.

“The floor plate rotated as it went up the building. It creates a nice esthetic from the exterior of the building,” said Sakumoto. “The idea was to get lots of light into each part of the floor plan. For an office, having natural light coming inside is very desirable.

“It’s a very clean looking building and very simple. But at the same time, with all the steel components, I think all the consultants know that it was not that simple and more complex in some ways. It’s led to be quite an iconic building in Vancouver.”

Also taking home the Architectural Award was the sθәqәlxenәm ts’exwts’áxwi7 Rainbow Park in Vancouver.

The park heavily relies on steel for many of its features, including a large pedestrian bridge that crosses over the park in a non-linear design.

“One thing that was really important, I think, to the success of the project was we involved the community many times. We had a committee of people in businesses that surrounded the park site. Police were involved, various arts organizations were involved to really get an understanding of what the desire was in that neighbourhood,” said Joost Bakker, a partner and architect with Dialog, the engineering and architecture firm on the project.

“There’s a delicacy to the steel work and an elegancy to it that I think was a function of the structural engineers and the architects working together.”

Rainbow Park is owned by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. Smith Bros. & Wilson (BC) Ltd. were the general contractors, Solid Rock Steel Fabricating Co. Ltd. were the steel fabricator, detailer and erector.

David Lyman, president of Reliable Tube Inc., received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

High Point Park Condominium in Maple Ridge, B.C., a six-storey steel and concrete structure with load bearing and non-load bearing steel stud walls with an UltraBond Deep Deck Composite Floor System, won the inaugural Cold Form Steel Award.

High Point was engineered by R.D. ENGINEERING LTD., designed by architects Wayne Bissky Architecture & Urban Designs Inc., is owned by Concordia Group, who also served as the general contractors, and had steel manufactured and detailed by Imperial Building Products Ltd.

The awards were held at the Fairmount Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver on May 18.

Follow the author on Twitter @JOC_Evan.

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