Winners of the Wood WORKS! BC 2014 Wood Design Awards

On a recent evening at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West), 10 years of Wood Design Awards in B.C. were celebrated by more than 350 distinguished design and building professionals – including architects, structural engineers, project teams, local government, industry sponsors and guests. Nominees and winners of the Wood WORKS! BC 2014 Wood Design Awards were honoured and recognized, as were those who have participated in the Wood Design Awards in B.C. during the past decade.

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 B.C. The annual Wood Design Awards evening recognizes leadership and innovation in wood use, while being an opportunity to publicly honour and encourage continued excellence in the building and design community.

There were 113 nominations in 12 categories for the 2014 awards. These came from all over the province, as well as some national and international project submissions, including projects in Qingdao, China and the Yukon Territory. All projects showcase distinctive and unique qualities of wood, such as strength, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness. The evening included a 10-year retrospective video journey which gave those who attended a glimpse of how wood design and building innovation has advanced over the past decade. Wood Champion award winners from the past 10 years credited the awards program for pushing innovation in design and building with wood and encouraging new types and sizes of buildings, beautiful aesthetics, increased structural performance and scale, and environmentally responsible design.

Mary Tracey, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC, has been at the helm of the B.C. awards evening since its inception. “We are truly in awe of the innovative and unique ways that wood has been used both architecturally and structurally this past decade and this year is a milestone, as we celebrate and reflect on 10 years of excellence,” she says. “The building and design community has amazed us again in 2014 with a continued exploration of the potential of wood, and showing us what is possible through their impressive structures.” Notable points about this year’s nominations were the range of projects submitted and the variety of wood use – ranging from mid-rise light-frame wood construction to mass timber as a structural material.

The panel of four judges included Laura Hartman, Architect AIA, LEED accredited, Fernau & Hartman Architects, Berkeley, CA; C .Y. Loh, MS, P. Eng., Hon. MAIBC, Formerly, C.Y. Loh Associates Ltd., Vancouver, B.C.; Rick Jeffery, President & CEO, Coast Forest Products Association, Vancouver, B.C.; and Wesley Wollin, Architect AIBC, M.Arch., BCIT Studio Instructor | Architectural Science, Burnaby, B.C.

The WOOD CHAMPION AWARD was presented to Peter Busby of Perkins + Will. Busby was recognized for championing and pioneering the use of wood in many prominent public buildings in B.C. He was the driving force behind the implementation of wood in such projects as the Earth Sciences Building and Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability in Vancouver, the Brentwood and Gilmore Skytrain Stations and the Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge. Under the leadership of Busby, the Perkins + Will Vancouver office has strived to improve the built environment, with a strong dedication to the practice of sustainability. 

Gerald Epp of Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, known and respected internationally, and whose name is synonymous with innovative engineering solutions, was the recipient of the ENGINEER AWARD. His project, the Bow River Bridge in Banff, Alberta, is one of the longest timber bridges of its kind. This beautiful structure was carefully designed, given the highly visible and historically significant location, and through design and construction detailing, thoroughly addressed durability and longevity. The Town of Banff desired natural materials for environmental and aesthetic reasons, and timber was the chosen material.

The ARCHITECT AWARD was presented to Mike Mammone of Ratio Architecture – Interior Design – Planning. The use of wood was instrumental in his project, Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – Uptown Branch, Salmon Arm, B.C. Innovative wood structural systems and 100-per-cent wood framing fit a design solution focused on sustainable principles and are transferable to projects of varying scale and typology. The architect met challenges to permit the use of wood by utilizing a strong collaborative relationship with all project stakeholders and shared a common vision to maximize the use of traditional and contemporary wood systems to fulfil project goals.

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 Gord Macdonald, Macdonald & Lawrence Timber Framing, for his project WildPlay, in Kelowna, B.C., an impressive and fun structure made from local wood. This high ropes adventure course explores the limits of the structural potential of timber.

The former Green Building category has been renamed and redefined. Now called the ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE AWARD, it was presented to John Wall of Public (formerly Public: Architecture + Communication), for his project Centennial Beach Boundary Bay Regional Park Pavilion in Delta, B.C. The award recognizes how wood products played a significant role in improving the overall environmental performance of a structure. Projects nominated for this award must demonstrate that through the deliberate use of wood from the outset, the wood products were integral in achieving a measureable lower environmental impact such as lower carbon footprint, reduced energy use, less pollution and higher efficiency.

Winners in the WOOD DESIGN categories include:

• Residential Wood Design: David Hewitt, Hewitt + Company Architecture – Silver Lake House, Silver Lake, WA

• Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Andreas Kaminski, aka architecture + design inc. – Red Sky Townhomes, Whistler, B.C.

• Commercial Wood Design: Mike Mammone, Ratio Architecture – Interior Design – Planning – Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union – Uptown Branch, Salmon Arm, B.C.

• Interior Beauty Design: James Tuer, JWT Architecture and Planning – Forest House, Bowen Island, B.C.

• Institutional Wood Design – Small: Dave McIntyre, David Nairne + Associates Ltd. – Yunesit’in Health Centre, Hanceville, B.C.

• Institutional Wood Design – Large: Jennifer Marshall, Urban Arts Architecture – T’it’q’et Community Hall + Health Centre, Lillooet, B.C.

•  Western Red Cedar: Alfred Waugh, Formline Architecture + Urbanism – Liard River Hot Springs Facility, Liard River, B.C.


•  Peter Busby, Robert Drew, Perkins + Will – Samuel Brighouse Elementary School, Richmond, B.C.

• Karen Marler, Hughes Condon Marler Architects – UniverCity Childcare Centre, Burnaby, B.C.

“We are pleased and proud to be celebrating a decade of Wood Design Awards in B.C. and look forward to another,” says Tracey. “We sincerely thank the architects, structural engineers, project teams, academics, industry sponsors and many others who have supported and participated in our awards program during this past decade.”

She continues, “Wood Design Award nominees and winners have left a meaningful legacy in our communities including sustainable human-centred buildings and streetscapes; structures that are true to our wood heritage; employment for people in forestry and wood products; and advancement of innovation in wood design and building which has put B.C. on the forefront nationally and indeed globally.”