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British Columbia arena complex, transit facility take top design-build honours

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Projects in British Columbia nabbed top honours in the Canadian Design-Build Institute’s (CDBI) 8th annual awards of excellence.
British Columbia arena complex, transit facility take top design-build honours

Projects in British Columbia nabbed top honours in the Canadian Design-Build Institute’s (CDBI) 8th annual awards of excellence.

The award in the community development category went to Bird Design-Build Ltd. for the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in Vancouver.

In the industrial category, the winner was Omicron Architecture Engineering Construction Ltd. for the Whistler transit operations and maintenance facility.

The awards were presented in Montreal during the institute’s 2010 national design-build conference.

In a backgrounder, the CDBI said the sports centre project demonstrated a text-book design-build approach to an arena design challenge.

The team included Kasian Architects/HOK Architects. The owner is UBC Property Trust.

“Upon closer inspection, it became evident that a number of clever features had been integrated and thus made the design stand out,” it said.

The institute said the project team managed to provide a number of special innovations uncommon in ice arenas, which made the facility unique and multi-functional.

The arena can be converted into a 7,500-seat performance venue with expandable seating and clear sightlines, acoustic control and staging.

The rink itself can function both as an Olympic-sized, as well as NHL-sized facility.

“The design team worked with the owner and subtrades in a true design-build approach,” the institute said.

The project was completed ahead of schedule and on budget.

The 25,000-square-foot Whistler facility includes maintenance and administration buildings, bus wash-dry bays, hydrogen and diesel refuelling stations and covered parking for 50 buses. The owner is BC Transit.

“The technical innovation and the challenges of site and circumstances illustrated what is possible when an elite management design and building team work closely together, even changing approaches after project start, in order to satisfy a very tight delivery date as well as a tight budget,” the institute said.

The project was delivered on time and under budget.

Omicron acted both as design-builder and consultant.

The runners-up this year were PCL Constructors Canada Inc. for the Durham consolidated courthouse in Oshawa Ont. in the community development category and Construction Premiere Inc. for the Cascade Group Tissu-Lachute consumer paper facility in Lachute, Que. in the industrial category.

The institute said the Infrastructure Ontario design-build-finance-maintain courthouse project was of interest not only for its design solutions, but also for the complete project cycle services offered by the consortium which implemented the project.”

The team included WZMH Architects.

The building contains 33 courtrooms, prisoner holding rooms and judicial offices, as well as other facilities.

“As can be expected for this type of facility, the design process underwent several reconfigurations,” the institute said.

The project achieved substantial completion on schedule, despite a five-week labour stoppage.

The Lachute project, delivered by a team that included consultants Blouin Tardif Architecture Environnement, included a 75,000-square-foot expansion at the plant, which has been producing paper products since 1880.

The plant is said to be the first in the North American paper industry to achieve LEED certification.

The institute said this year brought a record number of quality submissions.

Projects covered a wide range of facilities as well as design-build approaches. Construction costs ranged from about $3 million to several hundred million dollars.

Established in 2002, the CDBI awards recognize excellence in Canada’s design-build industry and acknowledge teams whose projects contribute to the growth and stature of the industry.

Award recipients are selected based on the complexity of their design, adherence to the highest industry standards and ability to demonstrate the benefits achieved through this “increasingly popular” alternative delivery mechanism.

by Patricia Williams

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