Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC Submission

Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC. We are super excited about our teams's submission! Fingers crossed!
With INC_A & Spiritos Properties

Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC is a two-stage design competition for small-scale, urban infill housing. The competition is organized by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY), and seeks to address the challenges associated with the design and construction of affordable housing on underutilized City-owned land.

Learn more about Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC

 


Malahat Summit Skywalk

We are excited to announce a proposed project on the Malahat Summit, an elevated ‘Skywalk’ with a 40-metre spiral viewing tower. It has been featured on Global News:

“Inspired by our exploration of elevated forest walks in Europe, we want to bring the concept of an accessible, environmentally sound and culturally significant tourism experience to Vancouver Island,”

A.Spire by Nature Principal David Greenfield

 

“The Malahat Skywalk is a project that our Nation is proud to partner on. Not only is it a tourism experience that speaks to sustainability and the connection to our land, but it will also provide opportunities for many generations of the Malahat Nation to come,”

Malahat Coun. George Harry Jr.

 

Click here to view the full article and video.


2019 Environmental Performance Award Winner

The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) winner of the 2019 Environmental Performance Award BC Wood Design Awards!

Featured on naturally:wood website – The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) at the University of Northern British Columbia is a space to test state-of-the-art building systems.

Project Overview
The Wood Innovation Research Lab (WIRL) at the University of Northern British Columbia gives students and researchers much needed space to test state-of-the-art building systems. The WIRL is noteworthy in that it is the first industrial building in North America certified to rigorous Passive House energy standards. Certified Passive House buildings use up to 90 per cent less energy for heating and cooling and up to70 per cent less energy overall compared with standard buildings.

Wood Use
The WIRL is a single-storey mass timber structure, composed of glue laminated timber (glulam) columns and beams on a concrete raft slab foundation. The building is 10-metres in height and consists of high-head lab space, classrooms and office space. The 10-metre tall wall panels are framed with prefabricated 0.5-metre thick upright wood trusses. Sheet goods used to sheathe the floors, roof and wall assemblies were left exposed to provide the interior finish for the lab portion of the building.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XNY2zUX_HI

This building has caught the attention of Passive House researchers around the world because it demonstrates how an industrial structure, constructed with wood, in a northern climate exceeds a rigorous, internationally recognized energy efficiency standard.

Dr. Guido Wimmers, Chair/Associate Professor
Engineering Graduate Program, UNBC

 

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Sea to Sky Gondola Tree Walk

We are happy to announce the Sea to Sky Gondola Tree Walk, an elevated tree walk that spirals 34 metres into the sky. It has been featured on Global News.

“The tree walk will preserve, connect and enhance access to natural areas while protecting environmentally-sensitive areas.”

Sea to Sky Gondola general manager Kirby Brown

The Sea to Sky Gondola’s planned elevated tree walk is envisioned to be an accessible outdoor recreation structure comprised of an elevated boardwalk which meanders through the tree tops and over natural features, eventually leading to a timber viewing tower. The boardwalk is over 700 feet long and up to 75 feet above the forest floor. A gently sloped ramp winds its way up the tower to provide an unparalleled view of the surrounding mountains and Howe Sound, making this structure not only unique to North America, but the world!

Click here to view the full article and video


Naikoon on Nail Laminated Timber and More

We would like to share this overview of nail laminated timber and other Panelized products by Naikoon Contracting. They are home builders who specialize in Passive House & NetZero Construction. We had the pleasure to work with them recently on West Bay Passive House.

 

Nail Laminated Timber and Other Panelized Projects

In this project, we use mass timber, which is a construction method that replaces non-renewable building materials, such as steel and concrete, with engineered wooden columns and floor slabs. Not only is mass timber sustainable, but it’s also strong, fire resistant, and cost efficient. Who can argue with that?

So what are the Panelized products that can be used in mass timber construction?

1. Nail Laminated Timber
Nail Laminated Timber (AKA NLT) is created by stacking dimensional lumber on edge and joining it together with nails. To provide additional structure, plywood sheathing may be added on the top side. NLT has a long history, having been used for over a century, especially to create sturdy flooring. It can even replace concrete slabs and steel decking.

2. Glued-Laminated Timber
Glued-Laminated Timber (or Glulam) is created when wood pieces are end jointed and constructed in horizontal layers (AKA laminations), which are held together by – of course – glue. Glulam offers an excellent variety of shapes and sizes, making it ideal for columns and beams. It can be flipped on its side and be used as floor and roof panels as well.

3. Cross-Laminated Timber
Cross-Laminated Timber (or CLT) is the most popular of the mass timber products available in Canada. CLT are large wood panels, which are made by cross laminating lumber and holding it together with adhesives. CLT ususally has between three and nine layers of lumber alternating at 90 degrees.

4. Structural Composite Lumber
Structural Composite Lumber (also dubbed SCL) is a variety of products, including Laminated Veneer Lumber, Parallel Strand Lumber, Laminated Strand Lumber, and Oriented Strand Lumber. All the SCL products are made with dried, graded wood veneers, flakes, or strands. The material in question is layered using adhesives to bind it, then cured to create blocks, which are sawn into whatever size is needed for a project. SCL is made up of fiber from smaller trees or trees that have lower strengths and densities

 

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West Bay Passive House Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28Zay2ihz-Q

Thanks to Naikoon Contracting, West Coast Innovation Labs and BCIT for this video on the West Bay Passive House. In this video, we kick off the construction of the Radcliffe Passive House Project by reviewing the principles of Passive House Design, and learning about some of the project's unique design challenges.


Building Employee Trust and Respect

We are happy to share an article feature on Kent Employment Law’s website. They are an employment law firm with offices in Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria. They advise employers and employees throughout British Columbia on all employment-related legal matters. They recently interviewed our principal, Gina Sheppard about some of our employee polices:

 

Aspect Structural Engineers: Building Employee Trust and Respect

When Gina Sheppard, Partner at Aspect Structural Engineers, told us that her firm had recently introduced policies allowing employees to take unlimited vacation and set their own work hours, we were intrigued. As a B Corpand strong proponents of sustainable employment – workplace practices built on transparency, collaboration, respect and fairness – we are always on the lookout for companies striving to “do good” for their employees.

Wanting to learn more and to share ASPECT’s successes with other forward-thinking employers, we asked Gina if she would be willing to fill us in on the inspiration for and implementation of their progressive workplace approach. Luckily, she agreed.
Here’s what she had to say:

What sparked you and your partners to start your own firm?
We wanted to combine our collective experience as associates and employees elsewhere, both good and bad, to create a new, modern engineering firm that focuses on employee growth and development.

How do you motivate your employees?
By challenging them personally & professionally while providing them with a fun working environment free of “red-tape” and bureaucracy. We constantly ask for, and actually act on, the advice and input of our employees in regards to many aspects of the business – we recognize that good ideas come from all over. Listening to everyone on the team and valuing their opinions is paramount. We try to provide challenges and learning opportunities and allow them to make mistakes, while still maintaining strong support and easily accessible mentorship. Constant communication and feedback.

 

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