3 Canadian projects recognized for sustainable design

The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has recognized three Canadian projects with its annual awards for the most environmentally responsible construction projects.
Living with Lakes Centre is a centre for freshwater restoration in Sudbury, Ont. (Laurentian University)
The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has recognized three Canadian projects in its annual awards for the most environmentally responsible construction projects.

The winners of the awards for sustainable design for North America were announced Thursday in Montreal.

The Canadian projects recognized included the following:

  • The Living With Lakes Centre in Sudbury, Ont.
  • The Evergreen Brick Works project in Toronto.
  • The North Vancouver Outdoor School.

The overall gold prize winner in the design competition went to the Solar 2 Green Energy Arts and Education Centre in New York.

Designed by Christopher J.Collins for a waterfront site in Manhattan, it will be the first building in New York to produce all its energy from sustainable sources.

The silver prize went to San Francisco architect Liz Ogbu, who designed a self-contained day labour station with shelter, benches, washrooms and a facility to prepare food for day labourers waiting for work.

Made of green and recycled materials, it drew praise for meeting health and safety needs while addressing an issue that could lead to community conflict.

The Living With Lakes Centre, a project overseen by Laurentian University scientist John Gunn, was the bronze prize winner.

The centre for freshwater restoration and research has a mandate to protect drinking water quality in Sudbury. Set on the shore of Ramsey Lake, it is self-sustaining for energy and heating.

Three submissions received acknowledgement for their innovative approaches to sustainable construction, among them the Brick Works and Outdoor School.

The Brick Works project is transforming an industrial site in Toronto into a natural area and education centre. (Evergreen Brick Works)
The Brick Works is a project to transform an old industrial site in Toronto's Don Valley into a natural area and outdoor education centre.

The project is led by David Stonehouse, of the non-profit group Evergreen, with design by Joe Lobko Architect Inc., du Toit Allsopp Hillier Architects, Claude Cormier Architected Paysagistes, E.R.A Architects and Diamond and Schmitt Architects.

North Vancouver's Outdoor School, designed by local firm Larry McFarland Architects, is an elevated building designed to have minimal impact on the natural environment. It also has zero net energy and carbon emissions.

The third project recognized was a plan by a German architect to try to protect bee populations by creating raised beehives in public parks.

The Holcim Awards also recognized young architects whose designs are not slated to be built.

Beijing architects Chenlong Wang and Lingchen Liu won in this category for their vision of an unusual housing arrangement that would boost urban density in Toronto.

The Holcim Foundation created the awards two years ago to encourage sustainable construction and design that enhances quality of life.