VANCOUVER — Innovative architectural and structural design in taller and larger mass timber buildings headlined the 2018 Wood Design Awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The 14th annual event, organized and hosted by Wood WORKS! BC, honoured excellence in wood building and design, and recognized leadership and innovation in wood use. Nearly 500 guests attended this year’s celebration of wood, including distinguished building and design professionals, owners, local and provincial government representatives, industry sponsors and guests.

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.

There were 100 nominations in 14 categories this year, featuring projects of all types and sizes, and all demonstrating outstanding architectural and structural achievement using wood.

Lynn Embury-Williams is executive director of Wood WORKS! BC. “This evening presented a stunning showcase of innovation and ingenuity in wood building and design, with the use of mass timber and engineered wood products featured in rising heights and larger project sizes in BC as a commonality amongst the winners,” she explained. “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.”

The Brock Commons – Tallwood House was the most celebrated project of the 2018 Wood Design Awards in BC, with a win in a record three categories, including the Engineer Award, the Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award. The 18-storey project, located at UBC in Vancouver, was the tallest hybrid mass timber building in the world at the time of construction, and showcases qualities which demonstrate wood as a premier building material for the future. “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 Inc. at the time of construction.

The Architect Award and Wood Innovation Award were presented to Acton Ostry Architects Inc., Vancouver for Brock Commons – Tallwood House, which was cited by the jury for pushing the boundaries of wood, with many structural innovations. Structural engineering firm Fast + Epp and fire engineering/building code consultants GHL Consultants Ltd., both of Vancouver, shared the Engineer Award for the project.

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Kevin Mahon, Adera Development Corporation, 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.

A new category this year, the Prefabricated Structural Wood Award was presented to StructureCraft Builders Inc., Abbotsford for its remarkable Abbotsford Industrial Shop and Office. With industrial buildings traditionally built with concrete and steel, this structure showcases a faster 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 this evening, including the Environmental Performance Award for The Heights in Vancouver. The mixed-use project, Canada’s largest building designed to the Passive House (PH) standard when constructed, has been instrumental in setting the Passive House standard for multi-unit residential projects in Vancouver. 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.

Winners in the wood design categories include:

Residential Wood Design: D’Arcy Jones, D’Arcy Jones Architecture, Vancouver
– Okada Marshall House, East Sooke

Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Adera Development Corporation, Vancouver
– Prodigy, Vancouver

Commercial Wood Design: HDR | CEI Architecture Associates, Inc., Vancouver –
Penticton Lakeside Resort – West Wing, Penticton

Institutional Wood Design – Small: Kimberly Johnston, Johnston Davidson Architecture +
Planning Inc., Vancouver – Logan Lake Fire Hall, District of Logan Lake

Institutional Wood Design – Large: Okanagan College, represented by: Roy Daykin, Kelowna
– Trades Renewal and Expansion Project, Okanagan College, Kelowna

Western Red Cedar: Larry Adams, NSDA Architects, Vancouver – GoodLife Fitness Family Autism
Hub (The Hub), Richmond

International Wood Design: Jinjiang Zhou, Suzhou Crownhomes Co., Ltd., Suzhou, China
– Timber Structure Enterprise Pavilion in Jiangsu Horticultural Expo, Suzhou City, China

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

The awards panel of three judges were Kristin Slavin, AIA, LEED BD+C, Path Architecture, Portland, OR; Brian McClure, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., Senior Structural Engineer/Partner, Sorensen Trilogy, Nanaimo, BC; and Susan Gagnon, Vice President, Communications & Research, Coast Forest Products Association.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certified Wood Award, part of the 2017 Wood Design & Building Awards, was presented to Innovation Building Group Ltd. for its multi-unit residential project, Solana in Whistler, which demonstrates innovative ways to use responsibly sourced wood certified to the SFI Standard.

“BC’s architects, engineers, designers and project teams continue to explore wood’s potential with vision, passion and courage, and we applaud them this evening for their extraordinary achievements. You are making our communities more sustainable; our province more prosperous; our living and working environments more beautiful, all the while celebrating our forestry heritage by using wood,” concluded Ms. Embury-Williams.

To learn more about the Wood Design Awards in BC, please visit the Wood WORKS! BC website at