Spotlight on Wood at 2009 Gala

    VANCOUVER, Jan. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - BC Wood WORKS! is gearing up to
recognize excellence in wood construction through its 2009 Wood Design Awards
    "This competition strengthens B.C.'s wood culture by building synergy at
so many levels," says Mary Tracey, executive director of BC Wood WORKS! "It
recognizes excellent and innovative wood projects, and lets us tell the world
about them. And the awards gala brings together builders, designers and
engineers who share their knowledge and experience with wood."
    This is the fifth design competition, and the steady growth in
nominations tells Tracey the message is getting out about the beauty,
versatility and cost-effectiveness of B.C. wood for all kinds of construction
- large and small, new structures and renovations.
    "We are showing industry and potential customers the great potential of
B.C. wood species - both architectural aspects such as its beauty, warmth and
sound absorption, and structural attributes such as its energy efficiency,
cost effectiveness and ease of construction," she says. "In this province, we
have always appreciated the beauty of wood design, and now there is growing
awareness of the environmental and structural benefits, especially with
advances in engineered wood products and technology."
    The competition has nine wood design categories: Residential; Multi-Unit
Residential; Commercial; Institutional; Interior Wood Beauty-Residential;
Interior Wood Beauty-Commercial; Green Building; and use of western red cedar
in both Residential and Non-Residential applications.
    There are also four leadership categories, including:

    - an Industry Leader award for an individual who has helped B.C. realize
      more benefits from wood production;
    - an Engineer award for advancing the use of wood through new or existing
    - an Architect award for consistently choosing wood for structural
      design; and
    - a Wood Champion award for an individual or firm who stands out as an
      advocate for wood and has demonstrated a significant commitment to the
      use of wood.

    As far as Vancouver architect Lubor Trubka is concerned, the merits of
the BC Wood WORKS! design competition cannot be over-stated. "It delivers
tremendous value," he says. "There's a lot of prestige involved in winning an
award, and this sends a signal to architects who are starting out that they
can be recognized if they choose to use wood."
    And that's great news for Trubka, who has been building with wood for 40
years and was named Wood Champion in 2008. "In my opinion, wood is a lot more
sympathetic and user friendly, and you can do a lot more with it than you can
with other construction materials such as steel or concrete blocks," he says.
"Its only limitation is the designer's imagination."
    Lubor Trubka Associates Architects works with many First Nations clients,
and won the 2008 Institutional Wood Design award for the Tseshaht First
Nations Tribal Multiplex in Port Alberni.
    "There has never been a better time to highlight the strength, beauty,
versatility and cost-effectiveness of wood," Tracey says. "It shows we care
about our forest sector and our environment. We are giving politicians,
architects, engineers and project owners an opportunity to show off their
    The list of winners over the years shows that while wood is still a great
choice for home construction, it can also be used for institutional and
commercial projects such as fire halls, libraries, schools, arenas, airports
and tourist information centres. In 2007, winners included a sauna at
Nahatlach River near Vancouver (Natural Cedar) and a suspension bridge on the
South Klondike Highway in the Yukon (Commercial).
    The competition also highlights new ways wood can be used. "Today we have
categories for architectural features that may have been overlooked in the
past," Tracey says. "For example, this year we introduced a new award for
Interior Wood Beauty-Commercial so we can highlight the many ways wood can add
a special touch to all kinds of commercial buildings - from banks to hotels to
    The Green Building category, introduced in 2007, is awarded to a project
that shows how wood can reduce the environmental impact and improve the
environmental performance of any new or renovated structure. The 2008 winner
was the West Branch Combined Sewer Overflow Operations Building in New
Westminster, which was built primarily with heavy timbers recovered from a
local deconstructed sawmill.
    The 2009 Award Gala, sponsored by Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. and
Natural Resources Canada, takes place Monday, March 9 at the Fairmont
Waterfront Hotel in downtown Vancouver. The deadline for nominations is
Friday, Feb. 6, and anyone can recommend a project, as long as it was
completed after January 2006 and before January 2009.
    To nominate a project or learn more about the awards event, visit and look for the BC Wood WORKS! BC Gala page, or contact
event coordinator Lorna Malone by email at or by
telephone at 1-877-929-9663 ext 4.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Mary Tracey, Executive Director, BC Wood
WORKS!, (877) 929 9663, ext 1,

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