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2011 SAB Canadian Green Building Awards projects shape future of green building

Seven sustainably-designed buildings from Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and BC have been awarded in the 2011 SAB Awards - the National Green Building Awards - offered through Sustainable Architecture & Building [SABMag], and SAB Homes magazines.

Chosen for their level of sustainable design, architectural excellence and technical innovation, the six commercial/institutional buildings, and one five-unit residential project converted from a former school, encompass a good range of building types – skyscraper to small research station – and sites – city core to more remote. 

The SAB Awards is an annual program that awards sustainable design, architectural merit and innovation in order to advance knowledge and improve practice of Canadian design of sustainable non-residential and residential buildings.

The projects will be published in the July/August, 2011 issue of SABMag, issue #30. The jury was excited by how the SAB Awards entries in general showed that sustainable ideas were being implemented in all types of buildings, both new and renovated, and represented the positive direction in which Canadian building design is heading. In fact, the jury recommended several non-winning entries for publishing in SABMag and SAB Homes, and they will be considered by editor Jim Taggart, FRAIC.

Info: dgriffith@sabmagazine.com; or 1-800-520-6281, ext. 304.


 The jurors, all architects, were [l to r]: [photo: Roy Grogan]


  • Javier Uribe B.Arch., LEED AP - Smith Carter Architects and Engineers, Winnipeg
  • Erika Mayer, B.Arch. B.A., MRAIC, LEED AP BD+C - President, Lunchbox Consulting Inc., Ottawa
  • Daniel Smith, MOAQ, MAAPPQ, MIRAC, LEED AP - Principal Architect, Smith Vigeant architectes, Montréal

Special thanks to our SAB Awards Sponsors [listed on the top left side of this page]: Autodesk Canada, the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association, Canam, Lafarge and Baillargeon Wood Doors.

The selected projects of the 2011 SAB Awards are as follows:

Creekside Community Centre, Vancouver

Owner: Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Architect: Nick Milkovich Architects Inc. / Walter Francl Architecture, Vancouver
Design Consultant: Arthur Erickson, Vancouver
Project Manager/Developer: Millenium Development Corporation, Vancouver
General Contractor: MetroCan Construction Ltd, Surrey, BC
Landscape Architect: Durante Kreuk Ltd, Vancouver
Civil Engineer: Vector Engineering Services Ltd, Burnaby, BC
Electrical Engineer: Acumen Engineering Ltd, Burnaby, BC
Mechanical Engineer: Cobalt Engineering, Vancouver
Structural Engineer: Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers, Vancouver
Photographer: Bob Matheson, Vancouver

Description: The program for the project is varied mix of community based and commercial program elements, all in the service of the new neighbourhood being developed on the disused lands of this former industrial waterfront. The core elements of the 44,000 square foot community centre include: a gymnasium, activity and meeting rooms, a fitness room, as well as associated services and administrative spaces. Added to this are the activities of a 4,500 square foot boating centre to serve the local paddling and rowing community, an 8,000 square foot neighbourhood child-care facility, and a 6,000 square foot restaurant/dining terrace, and parking is located below grade.

Jury: This public building, part of the redevelopment of former industrial land at False Creek, is an exemplary effort to preserve waterfront for public access and use.  A focal point for the community, the building’s scale is respectful of access to views from adjacent buildings and offers public amenities to a large neighbourhood. A LEED Platinum building, it will serve as a demonstration of sustainable design to the public.

Click here to read full article

 Ralph Klein Park, Environmental Education Centre, Calgary

Architect: Simpson Roberts Architecture Interior Design Inc, Calgary
Owner/Developer: City of Calgary Parks, Calgary
General Contractor: Graham Construction, Calgary
Landscape Architect: Carson McCulloch & Associates, Calgary
Civil Engineer: CH2M Hill, Calgary
Electrical Engineer: Stebnicki + Partners, Calgary
Mechanical Engineer: SNC Lavalin, Calgary
Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen, Calgary
Interior Design: Dotted i, Calgary
LEED Consultant: James Love, Calgary
Photographer: Steve Nagy, Charles Hope, Calgary

Description: The Shepard Wetland is part of an overall storm water management initiative to improve the quality of storm water entering the Bow River. In conjunction with the storm water project, Ralph Klein Park was developed as a 28ha open space that will highlight the environmental attributes provided by wetland environments while providing educational and recreational opportunities adjacent to this facility.

Jury: Designed as a constructed wetland for stormwater management and as a public environmental education centre, the project is an extraordinary and beautiful example of the integration of landscape design and architecture. The building treads lightly on the site in a manner that reflects the conservation mandate of the organization while also giving the citizens of Calgary a worthwhile recreational experience. Energy performance is modelled to be 50% better than a building designed under the National Model Energy Code.

Click here to read full article

RBC Centre, Toronto

Design Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC, New York in collaboration with Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &Co Architects Inc., Toronto
Architect of Record:
B+H Architects, Toronto
Owner/Developer: The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, Toronto
General Contractor: PCL Constructors, Mississauga, ON
Landscape Architect: Strybos Barron King Ltd, Mississauga, ON
Civil Engineer: Schaeffer Consulting Engineers, Concord, ON
LEED Consultant: Enermodal

Electrical Engineer: Mulvey & Banani International, Toronto
Mechanical Engineer: The Mitchell Partnership Inc, Willowdale, ON
Structural Engineer: Halcrow Yolles, Toronto
Photographers: Aka Communication Associates, Inc, Toronto  -  Shai Gil Photography, Toronto - Tom Arban Photography, Toronto

Description: The function of the building is to provide a superior office environment with a focus on human comfort and environmental sustainability for less cost. Features that contribute to this solution include: underfloor air distribution with individual HVAC control for every occupant, plug-and-play modular and reconfigurable power, voice and data components, operable windows and daylight harvesting with a tremendous penetration of natural light through the use of exterior sunshades, interior computer controlled blinds, automated light shelves, and sensor-controlled indirect lighting.

Jury: This is a great example of a new sustainably-designed high-rise building [targeting LEED Gold] in the dense core of downtown Toronto. The design carefully utilizes effective sustainable principles. The glass façade provides passive daylighting controlled by light shelves and computerized solar shading. Raised floors allow individual air control and flexibility of interior space for long-term economic savings. Structural columns are kept in board to ensure maximum daylight and tenant flexibility. Overall, the office interior makes a superior working environment for employees, and the project raises the bar for other developers to include sustainable strategies in their buildings. The sphere of influence of such large developments is a promising embrace of sustainability by the private sector.

Click here to read full article


False Creek Energy Centre, Vancouver

Architect: Walter Francl Architecture, Vancouver
Prime Consultant: Ausenco Sandwell, Vancuver

Public Art/Stack Design: Pechet and Robb Art and Architecture Ltd, Vancouver
Owner/Developer: City of Vancouver, Vancouver
General Contractor: Westpro Construction Group Ltd, Surrey, BC
Landscape Architect: Eckford + Associates Landscape Architecture Inc, Vancouver
Electrical Engineer: Ausenco Sandwell, Vancouver
Mechanical Engineer: Ausenco Sandwell, Vancouver

Geotechnical & Environmental: EBA Engineering Consulting Ltd
Pump Station: Omni Engineering Inc
Building Envelope: RDH Group
Building Mechanical: Versacon Consultants Inc
Acoustical: Brown Strachan
Air Quality Modelling: Levelton Consultants
Photographer: Kristopher Grunert, Vancouver

Description: The False Creek Energy Centre [FCEC] is an innovative neighbourhood energy utility [NEU] that produces thermal energy for the Southeast False Creek Development area including the 2010 Olympic Athletes Village. It is Vancouver’s first renewable-energy-based district heating system and also the first wastewater-powered heat-recovery systems in North America. Similar to geo-exchange, thermal energy is captured from local untreated sewage by a heat pump and is transferred into the district loop where it is utilized by each building for space heating and domestic hot water production.

Jury: This is an atypical project in that it contains important city infrastructure that is also educational for the public and playful in the artful presentation of the smokestacks. Located in the centre of Vancouver, the project represents the future of sustainable cities in which renewable energy neighbourhood heating systems are housed in beautiful, understated buildings that help local citizens understand and connect with the energy sources that heat their homes.

Click here to read full article


Habitations Communautaires Bellechasse, Montreal


Architect: Aedifica Inc, Montreal
Owner Developer: Habitations Communautaire LOGGIA, Montreal
General Contractor: Construgep, Montreal
Civil Engineer: Vinci consultants
Electrical Engineer: Martin Roy & Associés, Quebec
Mechanical Engineer: Martin Roy & Associés, Quebec
Structural Engineer: Pasquin St-Jean, Montreal
Photographer: Daniel Kudish Photographer

Description: The project is a multi-family social housing development next to downtown Montreal. It incorporates an existing utility building serving previously as a hospital abandoned for over 15 years. The overall development comprises two sections: an existing-restored and an addition providing an overall of 9,497sq.m in 92 residential units. The building is in the process of LEED Certification in the ‘LEED for Homes’ category.

Jury: The project is a fine example of transforming an abandoned building and adding new space to re-densify an urban lot by providing 92 social housing units. The re-vitalisation of an existing building is always a challenge and should be encouraged. Various strategies are incorporated to bring significant water and energy savings and contribute to the LEED for Homes certification. The refurbished building adopts the fabric of the surrounding housing. The addition of the new building creates an intimate courtyard and is detailed at grade level so that it invigorates connection to the community.

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VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Vancouver Island

Architect: McFarland Marceau Architects, Vancouver
Construction Manager: Heatherbrae Builders, Richmond, BC
Landscape Architect: Victoria Drakeford Landscape Architect, Nanaimo, BC
Civil Engineer: Koers & Associates, Parksville, BC
Electrical Engineer: Cobalt Engineering, Burnaby, BC
Mechanical Engineer: Perez Engineering, Vancouver
Structural Engineer: Fast + Epp, Vancouver
Photographer: Michael Elkan Photography

Description: The project is targeting LEED Platinum certification and focuses on the use of readily available ‘state of shelf’ green technologies as a means to promote accessible green development. These features range from simple water conserving strategies to high-efficiency lighting systems and heat exchangers. The building is an example of ‘wood first’ construction, and uses over 87,000 board-feet of British Columbia wood products. This includes the distinctive curved glulam and wood roof structure, as well as the innovative solid wood structural floors made from beetle kill pine.

Jury: The education and research centre’s beautiful shellfish-inspired form marries the inner and outer shell in a dynamic section. The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum using readily available technologies, and delivers an impressive energy performance that is 65% superior to a base building of the Model National Energy Code.

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The Schoolhouse, Vancouver

Architect: DIALOG, Vancouver
Owner/Developer: Take Root Properties, New Westminster, BC
General Contractor: Trillium Project Management, Vancouver
Landscape Architect: Space 2 Place, Vancouver
Electrical Engineer: Stantec, Abbotsford, BC
Mechanical Engineer: Stantec, Abbotsford, BC
Structural Engineer: Formosa Engineering, Vancouver
Building Envelope: JRS Engineering, Burnaby, BC
Code: LMDG Code Consultants, Vancouver
Surveyor: Matson Peck and Topliss, Richmond, BC
Photographer: Philip Jarmain, Vancouver
Description: The Schoolhouse creates through the renovation of a historic building, a dramatic modern sustainable building. Located in East Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, the ‘new old school’ took a redundant school facility and transformed it into a beautiful and functional residence for the both the owner and his entire extended family. The ground-breaking conversion transformed the 1940s schoolhouse into five distinctive residences.

Jury: Transforming a 1940s school into five residences for the owner and his extended family is a unique building re-use idea. The original architectural character of the school is blended seamlessly with a successful contemporary language, embedded into one of Vancouver’s oldest residential communities. The project serves as a residential model of sustainability in an established area that will inspire other similar projects.

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