Canadian Consulting Engineer

Fast + Epp scores Engineer Award at 2017 Wood Design Awards

March 7, 2017

The awards recognized leadership and innovation in structural and architectural use of wood.

Fast + Epp project: Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, Surrey, BC. (Photo: Ema Peter Photography)

More than 400 design and building professionals gathered for the 13th annual Wood WORKS! BC 2017 Wood Design Awards at the Vancouver Convention Centre, including architects, structural engineers, project teams, local government, industry sponsors and guests.

Winners and nominees of the Awards were honoured and recognized for their leadership and innovation in structural and architectural wood use.

The awards marked the end of Wood Week BC – four events over 10 days that focused on the latest trends and topics on wood design and construction with a range of educational and networking opportunities. 

The 2017 awards program received 114 nominations in 13 categories—a record number—with nominations from across B.C., as well as some national and international project submissions from as far away as Shanghai, China.

“With wood now recognized for its ability to significantly reduce carbon impacts in our built environment and increase construction efficiency, it is playing a leading role in a design and building revolution,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC.

 The panel of four judges for this year’s awards included Adele Weder, MASA, MRAIC (Hon), Architectural Journalist and Critic, Vancouver, B.C.; Bob Smith, BScF, MSc, General Manager – Specialty Products Sales & Manager, Canfor, Vancouver, B.C.; Karla Fraser, Senior Project Manager, Urban One Builders, Vancouver, B.C.; and Ed Lim, P.Eng., United Building Systems, Vancouver, B.C.

Fast + Epp of Vancouver, was the recipient of the Engineer Award. The company’s project, Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, Surrey, was cited in the nomination for its unique undulating roof structure, which achieves the significant clear spans required for pools, and ensures long-term operational cost savings. That project also won the Schreyer Award in the 2016 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

The Architect Award was presented to HCMA Architecture + Design, Vancouver.  The firm has been a leader in supporting the movement toward using wood as a first choice in design and construction. The firm has also recognized the important economic, social and cultural aspects to the livelihood of many British Columbian communities that the wood industry provides.

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Dana Westermark, Oris Consulting, Richmond, who was one of the first to establish wood as the best material for a significant new market sector: five- and six-storey mid-rise wood frame residential construction. Westermark has willingly shared the lessons he learned and inspired and supported a team of consultants in the development of this new type of construction.


Shoreline by MGA

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 Iain Weir-Jones, Weir-Jones Group, Vancouver, for Shoreline by MGA in Vancouver. The jury felt that the wood created a contemporary design with unique warmth and character to stimulate and promote a healthy office and shop environment.

 The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, represented by Brett Crawley, Vancouver, was presented with the Environmental Performance Award for Bella Bella Passive House, Bella Bella. The jury was impressed with the efficiency of the modular construction which employed less material waste, required fewer material deliveries (further reducing the carbon footprint) and reduced the dust, noise, air and water pollution, compared to traditional on-site construction methods.


Winners in the wood design categories include:

Residential Wood Design: Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith, Helliwell + Smith | Blue Sky Architecture, West Vancouver – Arbutus House, Victoria

Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Innovation Building Group Ltd., represented by: Ron Nadeau, Whistler – Solana, Whistler

Tsawwassen Mills

Commercial Wood Design: Chris Jacques, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vancouver – Tsawwassen Mills, Tsawwassen

Interior Beauty Design: Rod Windjack, HDR | CEI Architecture Associates Inc., Vancouver – Mulgrave Senior School Addition, West Vancouver

Institutional Wood Design – Small: Shelley Craig, Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver – UBC Engineering Student Centre, Vancouver

Audain Art Museum

Institutional Wood Design – Large: Patkau Architects, represented by: Patricia and John Patkau, Vancouver – Audain Art Museum, Whistler

Western Red Cedar: Franc D’Ambrosio, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism, Victoria – Cadboro Bay Residence, Saanich

International Wood DesignMichael Green, MGA | MICHAEL GREEN ARCHITECTURE, Vancouver | Steve Cavanaugh, DLR Group, Chicago, IL, U.S. – T3, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.

 Jury’s Choice award: Kengo Kuma, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan – Shaw Tower Teahouse, Vancouver

And the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Award, part of the North American-wide Wood Design Awards, was presented to the Oregon-based architecture firm Hacker, for its project, Lakeside at Black Butte Ranch, Black Butte, Oregon. 


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