A select group of Ontario’s leading architects, engineers, and project teams received Wood Design Awards at the 16th annual Wood WORKS! celebration in Toronto. The awards honour people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction.
“The winning projects of this year’s program showcase the many benefits of wood construction such as sustainability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness, ” said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program.
Ontario Wood WORKS! presented 13 awards at the event. Ten awards went to specific wood projects and three were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction.
“Wood use is definitely increasing in the province and around the world, and not just because codes now permit its use in a wider range of buildings, ” said Berube. “Wood has significant environmental advantages over competing materials and, with construction professionals and designers seeking lower carbon building alternatives and renewable materials, they are increasingly motivated to build with wood.”
Prefabrication is also creating interesting new opportunities for wood construction, demonstrating that wood can outpace even its own relatively quick construction speed. In many applications, designers and developers are reporting significant time and cost savings. Today’s wood products are more technologically advanced than ever and project teams are using these high-performance building materials in exciting ways, actively and imaginatively exploring wood’s expanding potential.
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. Working with the design community, Wood WORKS! connects practitioners with resources related to the use of wood in commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-unit residential construction, assists in product sourcing, and delivers educational seminars and training opportunities to existing and future practitioners.
Winter Station 2016 Steam Canoe, Toronto, ON Architect: OCAD Design Team Ontario Wood Award | Sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The shell of the canoe-inspired structure is composed of timber panels made from spruce and oak laminated together by the use of Grip Metal, a type of Metal Velcro Fastening System manufactured by NUCAP Industries. The Grip Metal is an innovative bonding system with micro hooks to allow for the custom wood sandwich assembly bonding mechanically without the use of adhesives. It creates a very strong, instant, light-weighted panel that is cost-effective, easy and very fast to manufacture without any formwork in a roll press system.
The three layers of wood are first cut to dimension and then laid perfectly on top of each other with two pre-cut continuous layers of grip metal between the exterior oak veneer and core spruce lumber. The assembled panel is then rolled under high pressure into an instantly stable Press Laminated Timber Panel with the teeth of the grip metal creating the instant bond.
The pavilion shell made from these strong but light weight Press Laminated Timber Panels eliminated the need to have a structural frame system holding the skin. The skin became the structure of this building with all panels acting in union connected to each other by custom-made aluminum brackets.
Upper Thames River Conservation Authority – Community Conservation Centre, London, ON Architect: Randy Wilson Architect Incorporated Engineer: Hastings & Aziz Ltd. Environmental Building Wood Design Award | Sponsored by Resolute Forest Products
Constructed on a mitigated Brownfield site nestled within an urban conservation area, this 3800m2 multi-purpose building preserves the existing environment and respects regulated requirements of flood plains, heritage zones and other environmentally sensitive areas. The design responds to Fanshawe Park Lake to the north, defined as the “entry point” for an urban river and flood control system and part of a larger regional environmental corridor. The building achieved LEED Platinum status, consistent with the philosophy and mandate of the client.
The interior and exterior spaces are designed to encourage social interaction and have been designed to blend with the exterior landscape to reinforce a connection to the environment. This is achieved through a contemporary approach and emphasis on the use of natural materials. Wood is predominant, not only in the roof support structure, but also throughout the building in enhancing and contrasting finishes.
Within the building, spaces have been dedicated to education, nature interpretation, and community use. The architecture expresses the use and connection of material types, all exposed to entice investigation of the possibilities of design and construction techniques. While the building is designed as a post-disaster facility, all interior spaces, even underground Wet Lab and Flood Control rooms, have corridor-facing glazing to provide transparency from inside the building to the outside environment. This design parameter to have the building “turn out” to the environment has proved very successful, and truly connects the building’s interior spaces.
First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines, ON Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects Engineer: Blackwell