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Perkins+Will Unrivaled with Three Wood WORKS! Awards

Celebrating Pioneering Wood Design in BC

Vancouver, BC, March 6, 2013 – Perkins+Will, together with the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Boards of Parks and Recreation, celebrates the win of three Wood WORKS! BC awards at the 9th annual Wood Design Awards Gala held on March 4th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The Awards Gala honours new buildings that push the boundaries of excellence and innovation in wood construction design. Recognizing the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) and Earth Sciences Building (ESB) projects, the awards are a testament to Perkins+Will’s position as a bold leader in wood design today. 

“Perkins+Will is extremely proud that three of our most recently completed projects received awards,” says Susan Gushe, Managing Director of Perkins+Will’s Vancouver office. “To be recognized as an innovator in wood design in British Columbia is truly a great honour. Together with our visionary clients and incredible structural design teams, we were able to capitalize on the unique opportunities to push the boundaries of wood design and engineering. Beyond its inherent sustainable properties, wood’s greatest attribute is the warm and healthy environments it creates for users.” 

Wood WORKS! BC is a project of the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), the national association representing wood products and manufacturers for construction purposes across Canada. Werner Hofstätter, speaking on behalf of Wood WORKS! BC and the CWC states, “each distinct in vision and function, Perkins+Will’s daring and unique applications of wood on the CIRS, ESB and VanDusen projects stand as an exemplary showcase of British Columbia’s role as global pioneers in wood design and engineering. CIRS is a rigorous implementation of true sustainability proving that buildings can replenish more resources than they consume. ESB presents a seamless integration of heavy timber, Timberstrand® and cross laminated timber, testifying that wood can serve as the backbone of even the largest structures. Additionally, the Visitor Centre at the VanDusen Botanical Garden demonstrates a fearless vision that brought to life a roof structure consisting entirely of pre-fabricated and compound-curved timber elements, creating a new benchmark for aesthetic and effective wood design.” 

WOOD USE OPENS UP A NEW WORLD FOR THE VANCOUVER BOARD OF PARKS & RECREATION 

VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre 

Winning the Wood Innovation Award, the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre was celebrated for its groundbreaking use of wood products, including an innovative pre-fabricated wood structure that appears to float above the building’s curved rammed earth and concrete walls. The jury applauded the structural expression of the roof, calling it highly-dramatic and very innovative. Designed to exceed LEED Platinum, the Visitor Centre is the first building in Canada to register for the Living Building Challenge—the most stringent measurement of sustainability in the built environment. Utilizing wood as its primary building material, the Visitor Centre promotes occupant health while also sequestering carbon through its exposed wood elements. 

“It was a pleasure and a true learning experience working with such a dedicated and knowledgeable team,” says John Ross, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Project Manager. “Their commitment to sustainability and design excellence was evident throughout the process and demonstrated that the two are not mutually exclusive. The VanDusen project owes its success to the Perkins+Will staff and consultants, all of who contributed their expertise and enthusiasm to the process.” 

A dynamic multi-purpose public amenity, the Visitor Centre has helped to open VanDusen to a new generation of visitors while providing a tangible, beautiful example of the Park Board and the City of Vancouver’s commitment to provide leadership in sustainable design and meet their 2020 Greenest City Action Plan goals. The Visitor Centre has won over 10 awards to date, including a Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia merit award. 

 SUSTAINABILITY VISION REAFFIRMED WITH TWO WOOD AWARDS AT UBC 

Demonstrating their joint commitment to pushing the boundaries in sustainable design, the UBC and Perkins+Will celebrated back-to-back wins for their groundbreaking CIRS and ESB projects. The wins further solidify the ongoing strategic partnership between the two organizations that aims to create innovative solutions to maximize the life-cycle of buildings. 

"It was a very good night for UBC. These awards bring credence to UBC's ‘Campus as a Living Lab’ and the value of partnering with those seeking to go the distance for sustainability," says Gerry McGeough, UBC University Architect. 

Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability – University of British Columbia 

Designed to be the most sustainable building in North America, CIRS was honoured with the Green Building Award. As the first large, multi-story wood building on campus since the passing of BC’s “Wood First Act”, CIRS expressed wood structure—constructed of FSC-certified wood and beetle-killed-pine—stores 904 tonnes of carbon, reducing the carbon footprint compared to the average UBC building by almost 90%. Conceived as a ‘living lab’, CIRS provides a practical testing ground for researchers from private, public and non-governmental organizations working towards the advancement and implementation of sustainable building technologies and practices. More than a building, CIRS is a research tool that demonstrates the possibilities in sustainable design and disseminates information through the publically available Technical Manual, which includes an entire chapter devoted to the use of wood, and website (www.cirs.ubc.ca). The Wood WORKS! jury saluted the project’s “efforts to measure and share its performance with the world”. 

 Earth Sciences Building – University of British Columbia 

Using wood as its primary structure and comprised of an innovative floor assembly coupled with post and beam construction, ESB is the largest panelized wood structure and the largest application of CLT in North America to date. Incorporating over 1,300 cubic metres of wood, ESB sequesters roughly 1,000 tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 415 cars off the road for a year. Designed to enhance multi-disciplinary connections, ESB fosters unique collaborative opportunities while also presenting a showcase for excellence in wood design. Combining solid, cross-laminated wood and wood concreted composite panels, ESB raises the bar for wood use in large-scale, high-performance projects in Canada. Taking home the Large Institutional Building Award, the award’s jury describe ESB as an “outstanding building in terms of how wood was used and systems that have been applied. It is striking, very innovative and most impressive.”