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UBC’s Brock Commons – Tallwood House big winner at Wood WORKS! BC Awards

The 18-storey hybrid mass timber project won in three categories, the Engineer Award, the Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award.


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The Brock Commons – Tallwood House at UBC (courtesy of Wood WORKS! BC)

The tallest hybrid mass timber building in the world at the time of its construction, The Brock Commons – Tallwood House located at UBC in Vancouver was the most celebrated project of the 14th annual Wood Design Awards in BC, held February 26th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The 18-storey project won in three categories, the Engineer Award, the Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award.

Sharing the 2018 Engineer Award were structural engineering firm Fast + Epp and fire engineering/building code consultants GHL Consultants, both of Vancouver.

“A key achievement for the project is the design of an innovative mass timber structural system that is genuinely economically viable, repeatable and adaptable to other building typologies and uses,” stated Russell Acton, principal, Acton Ostry Architects, which claimed both the Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award for the Tallwood House project.

In total there were 100 nominations in 14 categories this year. “Tremendous advances in wood product research and manufacturing are revolutionizing how we design and construct buildings, and wood is emerging as a primary material in building types that we wouldn’t have seen 20 years ago, including taller multi-unit residential, and larger industrial, institutional and commercial buildings,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC, in a media release.  

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Kevin Mahon, Adera Development Corp., Vancouver, whose firm has been a leader in innovation and best practices in the dynamic and growing market sector of five- and six- storey mid-rise wood frame residential construction.

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StructureCraft Builders industrial shop (courtesy of Wood WORKS! BC)

A new category, the Prefabricated Structural Wood Award was presented to StructureCraft Builders for its Abbotsford industrial shop and office. With industrial buildings traditionally built with concrete and steel, this structure showcases a new way to construct industrial buildings using wood as the primary material, including the firm’s new product, dowel laminated timber.

Vancouver-based Cornerstone Architecture was presented with two awards, including the Environmental Performance Award for The Heights in Vancouver, a mixed-use project, and Canada’s largest building designed to the Passive House standard when constructed. The firm also received the Interior Beauty Design Award for what the jury called an “impressive and comprehensive” use of wood in the Crofton House School Dining Hall in Vancouver.

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The Heights (courtesy of Wood WORKS! BC)

The Jury’s Choice Award was presented to Bill Downing, president of Structurlam Mass Timber Corp. of Penticton, who has been a wood industry leader and advocate for wood for more than 30 years.

And the new Technologist Award was presented to Karla Fraser, senior project manager at Urban One Builders Construction Management Inc. in Vancouver, and highlighted her work on the Brock Commons – Tallwood House student residence.

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led program of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood products and building systems. The Wood Design Awards are presented by Wood WORKS! BC, the Canadian Wood Council and its BC member associations; with support from Natural Resources Canada, Forestry Innovation Investment and industry sponsors.  

For more information on winners of the wood design awards visit Wood WORKS.


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