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Sudbury, Thunder Bay buildings recognized for use of wood

Architecture school, elementary school and training facility earned accolades in institutional design from Wood WORKS!

Three buildings in Northern Ontario have been recognized for the use of wood in their design.

The McEwen School of Architecture and St. David Catholic Elementary School, of Sudbury, and the Carpenters' Union Local 1996 Training Centre in Thunder Bay received accolades during the 17th annual Wood WORKS! Awards night.

The McEwen School of Architecture — designed by LGA Architectural Partners and built by AECOM — won the Institutional Wood Design Award (over $10 million).

Completed in January, the project combined two century-old heritage buildings totalling 19,700 square feet with 52,150 square feet of new construction. It was praised for demonstrating “the properties of wood, steel and masonry construction, illustrating to students the structural potential and aesthetic qualities of each.”

The school’s Library Wing was given particular note for its use of cross-laminated timber (CLT). It is clad in prefabricated CLT panels and unitized glazing panels, and is entirely a mass timber construction.

St. David Catholic Elementary School — designed by Yallowega Bélanger Salach Architecture and built by A2S Associates Limited — won the Institutional Wood Design Award (under $10 million).

The school is a one-storey, wood-frame structure, constructed mainly from large glue-laminated timber and standard timber framing. The use of wood was praised for its ability to physiological and psychological benefits in addition to its energy-efficiency.

FORM Architecture Engineering took home the Northern Ontario Excellence Award for its design of the Carpenters' Union Local 1996 Training Centre in Thunder Bay.

Wood was the material of choice in the interior entryway where solid wood and birch veneer wood screens were employed and western red cedar was installed on the exterior.

“Today’s wood products and systems are technologically advanced,” said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program, in a release.

“Project teams are using these high-performance building materials in exciting ways, actively and imaginatively exploring wood’s expanding potential. The awards program gives us an opportunity to showcase what is happening in wood design and construction.” 

The organization presented 12 awards in total at the event.

Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council that promotes and supports the use of wood in all types of construction. The Ontario chapter is based in North Bay.