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Projects selected in the 2008 SAB Awards

The SAB Awards, offered through Sustainable Architecture & Building magazine [SABMag], recognize excellence in the design and execution of new and renovated Canadian buildings and interiors of all types based on criteria of sustainable design, architectural excellence and technical innovation.

“This national program showcases sustainable design in Canada. The results of the inaugural 2008 program will be widely shared by publishing the winning entries in the July/August issue of SABMag and its website,, through the media, and in speaking engagements throughout the year. Through SABMag, and now with the SAB Awards, we’re trying to advance the wave of sustainable design and building in Canada,” says Awards manager Don Griffith.

The jurors were: Jury chair Teresa Coady, AIA, MAIBC, MRAIC, LEED® AP, CEO Bunting Coady Architects, Vancouver; Stephen Pope, OAA, MRAIC, Sustainable Building Design Specialist, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa; and John Potter, Project Architect, Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners, Toronto.

Special thanks to our SAB Awards Sponsors: Silver: InterfaceFLOR Canada, Autodesk Canada, Murox and Forbo Flooring, and Bronze: Western Archrib.  To register [without obligation] visit, and then go to SABMag Awards; or call 800-520-6281, x304.

Judging occurred on May 2, 2008 when the jury selected six winning projects from a total of 50 submissions. The jury was impressed by the overall quality of the submissions which made the adjudication long and challenging.

We hope you will re-submit your project in the 2009 SAB Awards open to projects completed between January 1, 2006 and March 31, 2009. Thanks to all those who submitted projects. Your efforts and interest will help us to communicate the benefits of sustainable design to the design/construction community, and to the public.– Don Griffith, SABMag/ SAB Awards 800-520-6281, x304 

The selected projects of the 2008 SAB Awards are as follows:

Ecohabitation, Montreal
Architect: Angeline Spino Architect with Carina Rose, Designer and Architect, Montreal
General Contractor: Emmanuel Cosgrove, Montreal
Landscape: Marc Morin, Paysages Solidago, Montreal
Structural Engineer: Donald Arsenault, Montreal

For project description, click here. 

Jury: This restoration of an existing attached home in an established built-up area stands as an example of the possibilities of renewal, and a model for the future of intelligent residential design. The project uses geothermal heating, recycled materials and a green roof and garden, and overall represents smart, compact living space that could even support a “back to the future” style of multi-generational living. At approximately $100/sf, the renovation is remarkably affordable, especially for a LEED Platinum rating [under the U.S. LEED Homes], partly achieved through careful selection of limited variety of materials.  The infill restoration proves that using less is inherently sustainable, and obviously economical.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Osoyoos, BC
Architect: Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden Architects + urbanistes, Vancouver
Owner / Developer: Osoyoos Indian Band, Oliver, BC
General Contractor: Greyback Construction, Penticton, BC
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Vancouver
Electrical Engineer: MCL Engineering, Vancouver
Mechanical Engineer: Cobalt Engineering, Vancouver
Structural Engineer: Equilibrium Consulting Inc., Vancouver
Commissioning Agent: Combined Mechanical Contractors Limited, Vernon, BC
Photographer: Nic Lehoux

For project description, click here.

 Jury: Designed to have secondary status to the landscape, the project is architecturally gorgeous and superbly integrated into the site with its low profile and use of rammed earth walls. Its strong, regional flavour, through use of local beetle-killed blue-stain pine and a green roof is very appealing. The project was the most sublimely beautiful of all the submissions. It’s understated and limited use of materials are basic principles of sustainable design.

The Vento, Calgary
Architect: Busby Perkins+Will, Vancouver
Owner: Windmill Development Group, Ottawa
General Contractor: Stuart Olsen, Calgary
Landscape Architect: Riparia, Calgary
Electrical /Mechanical: Keen Engineering [now Stantec Engineering], Calgary
Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen, Calgary
Interior Designer: Penner and Associates, Vancouver
Green Building Consultant: BuildGreen Consulting, Ottawa
Commissioning Agent: Lessoway Moir Partners, Calgary

For project description, click here.

Jury: This project makes sense on several levels: it shows excellent performance, offers a new urban answer for multi-residential with commercial on the ground floor, and provides very comfortable living space. The two-storey units face inward to give important ground access to an internal courtyard. Thus entries and balconies face the more serene courtyard rather than the busy, urban activities of the street. The design pays particular attention to water conservation and, overall, the architects have controlled the technology, not the other way around.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Woodbridge, ON
Architect: Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., Toronto
Owner/Developer: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Woodbridge, ON
General Contractor: Percon Construction Inc., Mississauga, ON
Landscape Architect: Ron Koudys Landscape Architect, London, ON
Electrical / Mechanical: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON
LEED Consultant: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON
Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen
Commissioning Agent: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON
Photographer: Tom Arban, Toronto

For project description, click here.

Jury: With a LEED Platinum rating, the project is a textbook case for sustainable design. It has a beautiful industrial shed feel and a pleasing modesty, while also being generous in its volumes of interior space. The design takes an intelligent technical approach with ground source heating, ponds for grey water use and storm run-off, low VOC materials and low-velocity displacement ventilation to name a few.  Building orientation and footprint size to maximize natural daylighting and ventilation was well conceived.

Ball’s Falls Centre Conservation, Lincoln, ON
Architect: Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc., St.Catharines, ON
Owner/ Developer: Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Welland, ON
General Contractor: Merit Contractors Niagara, St.Catharines, ON
Landscape Architect: Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Welland, ON
Civil Engineer: MTE, Kitchener, ON
Electrical / Mechanical Engineer: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON
LEED Consultant: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON
Structural Engineer: Lee Yung & Associates Inc., Burlington, ON
Commissioning Agent: Enermodal Engineering, Kitchener, ON

For project description, click here.

Jury: This is a finely detailed building, in which the plan and positioning on the site has the interesting feel of a sun dial, has exceptional energy and water efficiency. Sunlight, water conservation and ventilation were all carefully considered in the design which makes a fitting example for a building related not only to environmental conservation, but also for the growing number of small commercial and institutional buildings appearing in southern Ontario that are striving to include qualities of sustainable design in an urban setting. In this regard, the on-site waste water treatment is a commendable feature.

Library and Classroom Building, Langara College, Vancouver
Architect: Teeple Architects Inc., Toronto
Associate Architect: IBI/HB Architects, Vancouver
General Contractor: Bird Construction, Richmond, BC
Landscape Architect: PFS, Vancouver
Civil Engineer: Cobalt with Bunt Associates, Vancouver
Electrical Engineer: Stantec, Vancouver
Mechanical Engineer: Cobalt Engineering, Vancouver
Structural Engineer: Glotman, Simpson, Vancouver
Commissioning Agent: KD Engineering, Vancouver
Photographer: Shai Gil, Toronto

For project description, click here.

Jury: Fluid and dynamic, the architecture is expressed as an aggressive application of natural systems – wind towers for natural displacement ventilation, interior courtyards to bring in daylighting, geothermal heating and cooling to temper air,  and the use of thermal mass -  that seems to want to push the boundaries of sustainable design. Registered as a LEED Gold building, its energy use data, not clearly reported as yet in the building’s short service life, will give a better view of performance. The pond with the centre island has a pure, calming effect that is emblematic of the relative stillness exhibited by all of the winning projects.