Canadian Consulting Engineer

B.C. Wood Design Awards 2019

March 5, 2019

"We're seeing much larger, taller and more complex structures and new building types that have been made possible with wood product research and development, advanced engineering and construction practices."


Temple of Light, Kootenay Bay, B.C. (photo courtesy Wood WORKS! BC – 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC)

The 15th annual 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC, sponsored by Wood WORKS! BC, were handed out on Monday, March 4th. More than 400 structural engineers, architects, developers, project teams, together with industry sponsors and guests, gathered at the Vancouver Convention Centre to recognize leadership and honour the structural and architectural achievements made using wood.

There were 103 nominations in 14 categories from locations in B.C. as well as the U.S. and Asia, with international projects in China, Korea and Tajikistan.

“Over the last 15 years of the Wood Design Awards, and through involvement in hundreds of projects, Wood WORKS! BC has been privileged to observe remarkable leaps forward in wood building and design in BC. The advances have been truly transformative,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC. “We’re seeing much larger, taller and more complex structures and new building types that have been made possible with wood product research and development, advanced engineering and construction practices. The bold visionaries and early adopters in the BC design community have made BC a global leader in wood design and construction.”

The 2019 Wood Champion Award was presented to Shelley Craig, principal at Urban Arts Architecture in Vancouver. Craig’s years of dedication to sustainable wood design, her commitment to innovative wood solutions and her ongoing contributions to wood advancement and advocacy make her a stand-out in her field. Her seminal work includes the UBC Engineering Student Centre and the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library.


Darryl Bowers, principal at Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers in Burnaby, claimed the 2019 Engineer Award. Bowers was recognized for his considerable contributions to the development and advancement of five- and six-storey mid-rise construction.

The 2019 Architect Award winner was James Tuer, principal of JWT Architecture and Planning on Bowen Island, B.C.

The Wood Innovation Award recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes. The winner of this category was Patkau Architects, Vancouver for Temple of Light, Kootenay Bay, B.C. Calling it an “experience out of wood”, the jury noted the project’s complex, curvilinear geometry, and the diversity and flexibility of using wood.


Environmental Performance winner: UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory (photo courtesy Wood Design Awards in BC)

The Environmental Performance Award winner demonstrated a significant contribution to improving the overall environmental performance of all buildings. The 2019 award went to Stantec Architecture Ltd., Vancouver for the UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory in Prince George. The Passive House-certified building features wood throughout the interior as both structural and cladding material. The jury noted the building is a showcase for using wood in an industrial setting in a highly efficient way.

Winners in the wood design categories include:

  • Residential Wood Design: Measured Architecture, Vancouver – Shift House, Vancouver
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Adera Development Corporation, Vancouver – Virtuoso, Vancouver/b>
  • Commercial Wood DesignAsher deGroot, MOTIV Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC – Swallowfield Barn, Langley
  • Interior Beauty Design: Unison Architecture Ltd., Vancouver – Ts‘kw’aylaxw Cultural and Community Health Centre, Lillooet
  • Institutional Wood Design – Small: Formline Architecture, West Vancouver – Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, Vancouver
  • Institutional Wood Design – Large: DIALOG, Vancouver – UBC Campus Energy Centre, Vancouver
  • Western Red Cedar: Lubor Trubka Architects, Vancouver – Kwakiutl Wagalus SchoolPort Hardy
  • Prefabricated Structural WoodEvan Williams, Victoria Truss 2007 Ltd., Cobble Hill, BC – Curved Trusses for Tyron Road, Victoria
  • International Wood DesignJie Lee, Challenge Design Pte. Ltd., Shanghai, China – Chongqing Yuanlu Community Center, Chongqing, China

Chongqing Yuanlu Community Center, Chongqing, China (photo courtesy:
Wood Design Awards in BC)

The Jury’s Choice award was presented to UBC Vancouver for Wander Wood at UBC in Vancouver. The jury gave the project high accolades, observing that it invokes movement, detail and texture.

A long-time BCIT civil and structural engineering faculty member and distinguished leader in wood engineering and construction curriculum development, Thomas Abbuhl was the recipient of the prestigious Technologist Award.

Special Recognition Award was presented this evening to Surrey fire chief, Len Garis. As a former president of the Fire Chiefs Association of BC and an adjunct professor at the University of the Fraser Valley – Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research, he has been a leader in fire safety research in wood buildings, and an advocate of evidence-based decision making and innovation, which has advanced acceptance of wood in new building types in BC and Canada.


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