Wood WORKS! BC showcases potential, qualities of wood in building at eighth annual design awards ceremony in Vancouver; 106 nominations in 12 categories include projects in China, South Africa

VANCOUVER, British Columbia , March 5, 2012 (press release) – Leadership and innovation in wood use was celebrated this evening at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, as more than 350 distinguished design and building professionals, including architects, engineers, project teams and industry sponsors and guests gathered to honour the nominees and winners of the 2012 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards. The 8th annual awards evening in Vancouver recognizes and encourages continued excellence in the building and design community.

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Wood WORKS! BC provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals involved with non-residential construction projects throughout BC.

There were 106 nominations in 12 categories for projects all over the province, and included some national and international projects; one in China and another in South Africa. "We are proud to congratulate the winners and nominees of the 2012 Wood Design Awards, who have all explored the potential of wood, and showcased its outstanding qualities such as strength, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness," stated Wood WORKS! BC Executive Director Mary Tracey. "The wood design and innovation has been remarkable from both an architectural and structural standpoint, and we salute and thank our outstanding design and building professionals for amazing and inspiring us with your achievements."

The panel of five judges included John Allan, CEO, Council of Forest Industries; Greg Johnson, MAIBC, MRAIC, P.Eng., LEED AP, School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, University of British Columbia; Steven Kuan, Ph.D., P.Eng., FEC, Senior Seismic Engineer, Office of Housing and Construction Standards, Ministry of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Housing with the Government of British Columbia; Reza Vaziri, Ph.D., P.Eng. Professor and Head, Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia; and Scott Wolf, Partner, The Miller Hull Partnership, LLP, Seattle, WA.

The BC Premier's Wood Champion Award was presented to architect Jim Taggart, FRAIC. As an architectural writer, Jim has contributed to numerous magazines and has authored several books, including "Towards a Culture of Wood Architecture". "As both an educator and keynote speaker, Jim's natural gifting and passion for wood is evident, and he continues to inspire the next generation of architects to consider wood as a building material," stated the nomination by Fast & Epp Structural Engineers.

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 received the honour based on two recent product innovations. They are Gerald Epp and Brian Woudstra, of StructureCraft Builders -- Gerald Epp for commercialization of mechanically-fastened cross-laminated timber (CLT) at Fire Hall #15 and Brian Woudstra for commercialization of the WoodWave structural panel at Alberni District Secondary School. The jury stated that this award- winning firm is "innovative, brave and courageous - and knows how to think outside the box".

The Green Building Award went to Craig Duffield of McFarland Marceau Architects for the Ecole Mer et Montagne Elementary School, in Campbell River. The concept for this project evolved almost entirely out of the re-use and re-purposing of existing wood joists discovered within the derelict existing school building on the site. The building contained two key resources worth preserving - a treasure-trove of beautiful tight-grained Douglas fir joists, and a serviceable gymnasium. Demonstrating the sustainability of wood to future leaders resonated with the jury. This, and the fact that this project utilized wood in every conceivable manner possible, resulting in a warm and friendly learning environment, quickly put this project at the top of the list.

The Engineer Award was presented to a firm that went the extra mile to prove that it is possible to use wood in order to provide public buildings that are cost effective, architecturally expressive and engaging, while adhering to a strict budget. Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, known and respected internationally, and whose name is synonymous with innovative engineering solutions, was chosen for the award because of their innovative work on a 50,000 square foot replacement of the existing Samuel Brighouse Elementary School in Richmond, BC.

The 2012 Architect Award went to an architect who has promoted the use of wood both at home and abroad. Two recent projects, though very different in nature, demonstrate this architect's ability to prove to his client that wood is a durable and viable building material. Sean Barrington Pearson with his RUFproject (Rural Urban Fantasy Project) was presented the award for his work on the Gulf Islands Residence & Boat House on Salt Spring Island, and the Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa.

Winners in the wood design categories include:

  • Commercial Wood Design: Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal Building, Nanaimo - David Poiron and Ben Checkwitch, Checkwitch Poiron Architects
  • Residential Wood Design: Linear House, Salt Spring Island - C.C. Yao, Read Jones Christoffersen
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Camas Gardens Supportive Housing, Victoria - Paul Hammond, Chow Low Hammond Architects
  • Western Red Cedar: Courtenay City Hall Renovation, Courtenay - City of Courtenay
  • Interior Beauty Design: Art's Place Food Services Outlet, Fine Arts Building, University of Victoria, Victoria - Antoni James, Warner James Architects
  • Institutional Wood Design - Small: Steveston Fire Hall, Richmond - Darryl Condon, Hughes Condon Marler Architects
  • Institutional Wood Design - Large: Ecole au Coeur de l'ile Comox, Comox - Jesse Garlick, McFarland Marceau Architects"
The Province of BC salutes the architects, engineers and project teams who have demonstrated leadership and vision by using wood in these beautiful and innovative projects," said Premier Christy Clark. "You are all wood champions. By using wood, you have stated your values for sustainability and building "green"; you are building prosperity in our forest-dependent communities; and you have paid tribute to BC's forestry heritage. I congratulate you all today for your achievements."

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