Fifty-six projects from across Canada were submitted to the 2012 Canadian Green Building Awards from which the jury selected seven winners. They are listed below. Thank you to our jurors shown above, and to our sponsors: Interface, Autodesk and the Canadian Precast Concrete Institute. We especially thank all those who entered. Your time and effort to participate in the Awards helps to advance green building in Canada.

Full details of the seven winning projects appear in the July/August issue of SABMag.

SABMag cover

View the digital version




Karis Place - More Than a Roof Housing, Vancouver

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects, Vancouver

Owner / Developer  More Than A Roof – Karis Place, Vancouver

General Contractor  VanMar Constructors Inc., Langley

Landscape Architect  Perry and Associates, Vancouver

Electrical Engineer  MMM Group (Electrical), Burnaby

Mechanical Engineer MMM Group (Mechanical), Vancouver

Structural Engineer  Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, Vancouver

Commissioning Agent  KD Engineering, Burnaby

Sustainability  Recollective, Vancouver

Building Envelope  exp. Services Inc., Burnaby

Photographer / Use of Photos  Derrek Lepper Photographer, Vancouver

Karis Place - a partnership between More Than A Roof Housing Society, BC Housing, and the City of Vancouver – provides supportive rental housing as part of the Provincial Homelessness Initiative. This initiative focuses on providing safe, secure and supportive housing in response to the current homelessness crisis in Vancouver.
The project is located on Seymour Street, adjacent to the Granville Bridge off ramp in the Downtown South District. It consists of 106 single units in a building form comprised of a stepped five and six-storey base with an eleven-storey tower component above.  Restrictive zoning constraints, including a City of Vancouver view corridor, effectively limited the width, height, and configuration of the tower. The building is comprised of extensive amenity space and support services on the ground floor with residential units on the floors above.

JURY COMMENT: A difficult program and a modest budget made the pursuit of meaningful sustainability goals particularly challenging in this project for the hard-to-house. The solution successfully integrates the architecture with the environmental performance ambitions through careful envelope design and a variety of passive strategies. As such it provides an example, not just to other publicly-funded housing projects, but to market condominium developments as well.




Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  CEI Architecture, Vancouver

Owner/Developer  Okanagan College, Kelowna

General Contractor  PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc., Kelowna

Landscape Architect  MMM Group/Site 360, Kelowna

Civil Engineer  True Consulting, Kelowna

Electrical Engineer  Applied Engineering Solutions, Vancouver

Mechanical Engineers  AME Group Engineers, Vancouver

Structural Engineer  Fast + Epp, Vancouver

Commissioning Agent  Inland Technical Services, Kamloops

Sustainability Consultant  Recollective Consulting, Vancouver

Quality Surveyor  Spiegel Skillen & Associates, Kelowna

Geotechnical Engineer  Interior Testing Services, Kelowna

Acoustical  BKL Consultants, Vancouver

Photographer/Use of photos  Ed White Photographics, Vancouver

The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence (COE) at Okanagan College was conceived to meet the urgent need for trades people, site managers and construction workers who are skilled in the practices of sustainable building. It includes classrooms, workshops, administrative offices, commercial offices, gymnasium, fitness centre, computer labs, demonstration lab, cafeteria, study spaces and gathering spaces.
It is designed to be one of the most innovative and advanced sustainable facilities in the world, designed to the standards of the Living Building Challenge, perhaps the most rigorous sustainability program on the planet.

JURY COMMENTS: Of the many high-performance educational projects submitted, this was the best example of a well integrated passive design solution in which the architecture was not overburdened with technology. A common sense approach to envelope design, heating, ventilation and daylighting is supplemented by innovative water and waste treatment systems. The careful configuration of the project also makes a positive contribution to the public realm of the college campus.




Biological Sciences Complex

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  Acton Ostry Architects Inc., Vancouver

Owner/Developer  University of British Columbia

General Contractor  Scott Construction Ltd., Vancouver

Landscape Architect  Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg Inc., Vancouver

Civil Engineer  Aplin & Martin Consultants Ltd., Surrey

Electrical and Mechanical Engineers  MCW Consultants Ltd., Vancouver

Laboratory Design  Research Facilities Design, San Diego, California USA

Structural Engineer  Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vancouver

Commissioning Agent  Western Mechanical Services (1977) Ltd., Vancouver

Sustainability Consultant  Recollective, Vancouver

Building Envelope Consultant  Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vancouver

Geotechnical Consultant  Trow Associates Inc., Vancouver

Photographer/Use of photos  Martin Tessler, Vancouver

The mandate of the University of British Columbia Renew program is to modernize, rather than replace, outdated and obsolete buildings. By rehabilitating old structures, substantial reductions in raw materials, energy inputs, and pollutants are achieved – more than any replacement ‘green’ building could accomplish. The Renew program meaningfully adds re-Use to the sustainability tenets of Reduce and Recycle, commonly practiced in green building design.
The Biological Sciences Complex is located at the heart of the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus. The South and West wings of the complex were fast-tracked through design and construction in only 19 months to meet a federal stimulus funding deadline. The $47-million, 170,000 sq. ft. project now houses state-of the art laboratories, aquaria, research spaces, classrooms, offices and gathering spaces for the Departments of Botany and Zoology.

JURY COMMENTS: As a renovation this project set the design team the more challenging goal of revitalizing an unprepossessing existing building. Most striking was the use of an innovative solar tracking daylighting system, a courageous application of a new technology that, with judicious reconfiguration of the plan, brings natural light to most major spaces in the building. As such, the Biological Sciences Centre provides an example of how publicly-funded projects can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness and transferability of new technologies, so mitigating private sector risk and liability.




Tallgrass Prairie Pavilion

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  David J. Agro Architect, Toronto

Owner/Developer  David J. Agro and Willa Wong Toronto

Structural Engineer  Christopher Cucco, Toronto

Photographer/Use of photos  Tom Arban, David Agro, Kathy Picard, Toronto

The building is pared down to its essential elements to allow an intimate communion with the natural features that surround it: light, views, sound and wind. Modest in scale and highly conscious of its ecological footprint, the building's architectural elements and construction techniques are adapted from the barns and greenhouses of nearby farms. Wood for the project was logged [as part of the ecological restoration] and milled on-site. As fire is a critical element in maintaining the ecology of the site, it inspired choices such as charring wood [and eco-alternative to paint], and a metal roof to protect the building during controlled burns.

JURY COMMENTS: A simple structure that embodies great technical innovation, It employs the ancient technique of charring wood to increase its durability -  an act that  is also symbolic of the renewal of the forest and the return of the site to its natural ecology. With more than 80% of its materials sourced from within a 50 km radius, and miserly energy consumption, this is a simple and well controlled green project.




The Raymond-Lévesque Library

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architects [Joint Venture]  Manon Asselin Architecte and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte & Associates Architectes, Monteal

Owner/Developer  City of Longueil, QC           

General Contractor  La Corporation de Construction Tridôme, Montreal

Landscape Architect  Manon Asselin Architecte and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architecte [joint venture], Montreal

Civil Engineer  SNC Lavalin, Montreal

Mechanical Engineer  Martin Roy and Associates, Deux-Montagnes, QC
Photographer/Use of photos  Marc Cramer and Atelier TAG, Montreal

The Raymond-Lévesque Library celebrates the natural qualities of the site. It transforms the forest and materializes the presence of the wind. Besides the metaphor of the architectural gesture, the concept of the flying carpet is above all an elementary bioclimatic answer to the conditions of the site and is a testimony of nature’s renewable resources: the wind, the sun and the rain. From West to East, the roof folds back and forth, while an atrium enhances the penetration of the natural light and facilitates passive ventilation. As the sun moves, the vertical shades deploy in accordance with the angle and orientation of the sun. From within the interior, the filigreed veil thus created gives the reader the opportunity to rediscover the beauty of the forest. The success of the project is based on multiple sustainable strategies developed in accordance with an integrated concept approach, as follows:

  • optimization of the natural ventilation, control of the natural lighting,
  • use of baked wood (interior and exterior),
  • use of dual active and passive energy management systems, 
  • responsible management of the water.

JURY COMMENTS: This is a great green building which integrates natural ventilation and daylighting strategies within a beautifully detailed high-performance envelope. The project demonstrates that ambitious performance objectives can be successfully synthesized with the highest aesthetic values to create a compelling work of architecture.




Laneway House

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  Superkül, Toronto

Owner/Developer  Elena and Jorge Soni, Toronto

General Contractor  Boszko and Verity Inc.

Photographer/Use of photos  Tom Arban/Lorne Bridgman, Toronto

The conversion of this nineteenth-century industrial shed to a small footprint (79m2) single-family home on a laneway in midtown Toronto makes a case for a strategic approach to urban sustainability and revitalization. Located tight to the property lines on three sides and with an access easement on the fourth, no new windows or openings in the facades were permitted by the building code. This restriction initiated a design strategy that revolved around drawing light, air and views from above, resulting in a house with unique spatial complexity. Sustainability was integral to the project from the outset; the integrated green approach taken includes a light/air shaft along the west wall of the building topped with operable skylights that provides day-lighting and passive ventilation/cooling; a green roof; and storm-water collection system; radiant heating; extensive material salvage and re-use.

JURY COMMENTS: The densification of our cities is one of the most important sustainable design strategies. This project illustrates that the development of even small, less prominent sites can enrich the urban environment. The mostly reclaimed materials have been manipulated in an artful and aesthetically pleasing way, while the reconstruction of the ground plane in the form of a green roof provides valuable outdoor space on a tight site.




Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works

[View project submission]

[Read article]


Architect  Diamond Schmitt Architects, Toronto

Master Plan Coordinating Architect  du Toit Architects Limited, Toronto

Owner/Developer  Evergreen, Toronto

General Contractor  Eastern Construction, Toronto

Landscape Architect  du Toit Allsopp Hillier, Toronto

Co-Landscape Architect  Claude Cormier + Associés, Montreal

Electrical Engineer  Aecom, Whitby, ON

Mechanical and Electrical Engineers  Stantec Consulting, Toronto

Structural Engineer  Halsall Associates, Toronto

Commissioning Agent  HFM, Whitby, ON

Transportation/Traffic Consultant  BA Consulting Group Ltd., Toronto

Cost Consultant  Turner & Townsend cm2r inc., Toronto

Code Consultant  Leber Rubes, Toronto

LEED Consultant  Halsall Associates, Toronto

Contributing Artist  Ferruccio Sardella, Toronto

Heritage Architect  E.R.A. Architects, Toronto

Durability Consultant  Trow, Toronto

Photographer/Use of photos  Tom Arban, Toronto

The Evergreen Brick Works project transformed an abandoned industrial site in Toronto’s Don Valley into an environmentally themed community landmark that engages visitors in diverse experiences connected to nature and the city. In collaboration with the non-profit Evergreen, whose national headquarters are located here, a multi-disciplinary team adopted the approach of ‘light touch and loose fit’ to all aspects of the project: site remediation, preservation of 16 heritage buildings, landscaping, water management and programming.
The one new building is the Centre for Green Cities (CGC). This 5,000 sq.m LEED Platinum candidate uses the existing footprint and walls of a former brick-pressing shed and retains historical references and cultural interventions, such as decades of graffiti. It was critical to embody Evergreen’s mission to bring together nature, culture and community in the Centre’s design. The result is a highly energy efficient building that respects the site’s heritage, is adaptable to myriad programming options and provides a canvas for creativity in the form of movable screens on the exterior.

JURY COMMENTS: This is a fine example of the reclamation and remediation of a large industrial site that successfully integrates architectural and environmental concerns. The retention and reuse of a disparate collection of existing structures gives the redevelopment a rich and unique character reflective of its industrial heritage. The new Centre for Green Cities building successfully combines a variety of passive design strategies  most notable of which is the innovative approach to natural ventilation.