Building Magazine


Excellence in structural and architectural wood design recognized


Inspired and innovative designs of wood structures in smaller urban B.C. centres and mid-rise construction were in the spotlight at the 2016 Wood Design Awards in B.C. Included in the awards were many impressive large public buildings including a museum, visitor centre and a diplomatic property located outside of B.C. and Canada.

The 12th annual awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West) recognized leadership in advancing wood use in design and building while being an opportunity to publicly salute and celebrate structural and architectural achievement using wood.

There were 103 nominations in 13 categories from all over the province, as well as some national and international submissions, including England, Germany, Japan, China, South Korea and Taiwan for the new International Wood Design category.

The panel of four judges were: architect Ian Niamath, of Nanaimo, B.C.; Joseph Mayo, Mahlum Architects Inc., Seattle, WA; Mark Porter, Division Manager – Buildings & Facilities Technical Services, Associated Engineering, Burnaby, B.C. and Peter Wood, Western Canada Region Manager, Weyerhaeuser, Vancouver.

A Special Recognition Award was presented to University of British Columbia by Wood WORKS! B.C. by Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for the university’s leadership in wood design and building. UBC is the site of many iconic buildings featuring technologically advanced wood products and systems made in B.C., which also supports its sustainability goals.

“UBC is proud to be the recipient of this unique award by Wood WORKS! BC. It will serve as a lasting reminder of the central importance of wood and forestry to the history of UBC, from the creation of the botanical garden and arboretum on the Point Grey campus in 1916 to the building of our new all-wood student residence to be completed later this year,” stated UBC Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Martha C. Piper.

“UBC’s first century has coincided with the development in British Columbia of one of the finest wood industries in the world, characterized by a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.  As UBC moves into its second century, we look forward to strengthening our relationship with that industry and contributing to its success through learning and research on the campus and in the field,” concluded Dr. Piper.

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Vancouver-based and nationally recognized specialist in fire engineering, Andrew Harmsworth of GHL Consultants Ltd. Harmsworth is a long-time advocate of using wood as a safe and fire-resistant construction material. He was chosen for his contributions to the establishment of wood-friendly building code changes and for his leadership on tall wood construction in B.C. and Canada.

A leader and key driver in mid-rise construction in B.C. was the 2016 Engineer Award recipient. Thomas Leung of Thomas Leung Structural Engineering Inc. of Vancouver was honoured for his firm’s efficient designs and practical solutions in the popular six-storey light-frame wood construction sector. His projects include MEWS at UBC, Emerald Heights in Surrey and Dominion in New Westminster.

With a long-time commitment toward innovation, the Architect Award winner’s name is synonymous with advancing the use of wood in mid-rise construction. Patrick Cotter, of ZGF Cotter Architects Inc. of Vancouver, was the 2016 recipient of the Architect Award. He pioneered the first six-storey wood-framed residential building in Canada, and is an advocate for promoting wood as a sustainable and optimal material in the design and construction of housing. His projects include Quattro in Surrey and Parc Riviera in Richmond.

The Wood Innovation Award recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes.  The winners of this category were Toronto-based Stephen Teeple of Teeple Architects Inc. and Edmonton-based Brian Bengert of Architecture Tkalcic Bengert for the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alberta. New technology was developed to build the wood structure, and the project has pushed the boundaries where wood can be used as a viable and sustainable structural system for large buildings. B.C. wood products and systems were featured throughout the project.

The Environmental Performance Award winner demonstrates a significant contribution to improving the overall environmental performance of any building. The 2016 award went to Whistler-based Karen and Karel Jonker, owners, and Matheo Durfeld of B.C. Passive House for Alta Lake Passive House in Whistler, B.C. The use of wood was the natural choice to achieve a structure that met Passive House efficiency requirements without compromising design. Prefabrication of many elements further contributed to the environmental performance of the home, which is both comfortable and beautiful.

Other awards include:

  • Residential Wood Design: Leland Dadson, Architect – CLT Courtyard House, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Dale Staples, Integra Architecture Inc. – The Dominion, New Westminster, B.C.
  • Commercial Wood Design: Peter Johannknecht and Greg Damant, Cascadia Architects – Cordova Bay Physiotherapy Clinic, Saanich, B.C.
  • Interior Beauty Design: Noel Best, Stantec Architecture Ltd. – Canada House, London, England
  • Institutional Wood Design – Small: Graham McGarva and Scott Taylor, VIA Architecture – Queensway Transit Exchange, Kelowna, B.C.
  • Institutional Wood Design – Large: Donald Schmitt, Diamond Schmitt Architects and Thompson Rivers University, Old Main Addition, Faculty of Law School, represented by: Matt Milovick – Thompson Rivers University, Old Main Academic Building Addition, Kamloops, B.C.
  • Western Red Cedar: James Tuer, JWT Architecture and Planning – Buddhist International Society Retreat, Bowen Island, B.C.
  • International Wood Design: Gerald Epp, StructureCraft Builders – Tsingtao Pearl Visitor Centre, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Award was presented to KH Designs of West Kelowna for the Quilakwa Centre in Enderby, B.C.. The project owner, Splatsin, along with other project team members was on hand to receive the prestigious award, part of the North American Wood Design Awards.

Jury’s Choice awards were presented to two noteworthy projects and their designer/project teams:

  • C.C. Yao, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. – UBC Student Union Building, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Bing Thom Architects – Guildford Aquatic Centre, Surrey, B.C.

Wood Innovation Award: Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in Wembley, Alberta.

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