ASPECT + Business Continuity + Public Health

On March 14th, 2020 ASPECT Structural Engineers adopted a work-from-home policy for our offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Switzerland.

What this means for our clients and how have we changed our day-to-day practice:

  1. We've leveraged our existing IT systems to make this transition (relatively) seamless and anticipate little-to-no interruption in our service.
  2. Aspect will attend all coordination meetings as scheduled digitally. We are happy to facilitate digital meeting spaces; please reach out if you would like assistance with this.
  3. We have suspended all business-related international travel and will work with you to ensure that our participation in meetings and design charrettes carry out digitally per above.
  4. Site reviews for local projects will continue as normal. Plan for our engineers to reach out beforehand to ensure appropriate health precautions and social distancing.
  5. Site reviews for non-local projects will be performed on a case-by-case basis.  We will continue to rely on digital inspection methods, and engage local consultants as needed to ensure limited impact on construction schedules.
  6. The Aspect offices will be closed to all non-staff. Enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures have, and will remain, in place for the foreseeable future.

We are committed to these measures in the interest of public health and will monitor the appropriate channels and provide an update once we are able to revert to the "old normal".

We hope this message finds you safe and healthy and we look forward to continuing to work on amazing projects for our amazing clients!

We are here to help. Please feel free to Contact Us with any questions.


ULI Toronto: Mass Timber Construction MasterClass

Join Aspect Principal Bernhard Gafner at ULI Toronto for a Mass Timber Construction MasterClass, February 25, 2020. This class is designed for those interested in building with mass timber who want to explore the advantages as well as the procedures:

Planning, designing and building a mass timber building is radically different than a conventional structure. Understanding how it is different, advantages, constraints, timelines, risks etc. are key to market adoption in order to realize the benefits. This session is designed to be a master class by Bernhard Gafner that will provide attendees with an intimate knowledge of what it means to plan, design, procure and construct a mass timber building.

Register at ULI Toronto


Cover image is Dream/CityScape mass timber Distillery Ribbon building designed by SHoP Architects & Quadrangle. 

Side Walk Talk: Exploring the Future of Mass Timber Building

Sidewalk Toronto is a proponent of mass timber, a sustainable new building material with great potential for efficient factory production. The Aspect team is proud to be part of the engineering team on this state of the art project. Learn all about the Sidewalk Toronto Proposal, a new approach to inclusive urban growth.

We also invite you to explore Side Walk Talk a blog where technologists and urbanists discuss the future of cities:

We think timber buildings could be even taller, so we spent the past year working with a world-class team of architects, engineers, and environmental designers to create a mass timber "proto-model" at 35 stories  — a height yet to be achieved in practice. We call this project Proto-Model X, or PMX. What's a proto-model, you ask? Associate Director of Development Cara Eckholm explains that and more in a PMX mini series on the Sidewalk Talk blog.

Their blog will take you through this project and the potential of mass timber building:

  • Introducing PMX: Our model for how tall timber buildings could work in cities (Introduction)
  • How to design a timber building that can reach 35 stories (Part 1)
  • How to design a timber building that's easy to make in a factory (Part 2)
(Image: Michael Green Architecture and Gensler)

Tall Wood Buildings Hoped to Boost Lumber Sector

Check out the Global Okanagan News footage of our associate Ilana Danzig discussing the future of Mass-Timber buildings in BC.

The story covered the The Wood Design Luncheon Conference in Kelowna. These annual conferences in two BC locations feature presentations on current topics in architecture, engineering, design and construction with wood by experts in wood design and building while suppliers are on hand with their exhibits to answer questions about wood products and systems. The same three presentations are given in each location. Learn more about the conference...

This year Ilana presented on:

Tall Wood Case Studies in Canada
Ilana Danzig | P.Eng., M.Eng., PE, SE | Associate – Aspect Engineering
Review and discussion of two tall mass timber buildings: A 12-storey building and a 30+ storey building. Discussions will included the structural system, fire requirements, lateral load considerations, opportunities for prefabrication, and the new 2020 NBCC Encapsulated Mass Timber construction type.

Go to the 12:45 mark of this video to see the Mass-Timber story:

The International Wood Construction Conference (IHF2019)

Join our principals Bernhard Gafner and Mehrdad Jahangiri at the 25th International Wood Construction Conference (IHF), December 4th–6th 2019 at Innsbruck, Congress Centrum
Practical experience – Practical application
The International Wood Construction Conference (IHF2019) provides architects, engineers and builders with an opportunity to report on experiences, processes and goals related to wood structures and construction. At the same time, the conference provides an opportunity for architects, building officials, builders, craftspeople, practitioners and educators to learn about the latest developments and to exchange experiences.

Bernhard Gafner a principal at  ASPECT Structural Engineers will present on the friday morning:
Practical experiences with respect to bracing concepts for 12-storey wooden high-rise buildings under consideration of wind and earthquake loads.

Learn more about the conference...



New mass timber projects a glimmer of hope for B.C. forestry industry

Our Associate, Ilana Danzig was featured on CTV News to discuss the possible growth of the BC forestry industry because of changes to the building code:

Starting in 2020, the national building code of Canada will allow for mass timber buildings to be constructed across the country. Currently, buildings made of wood are only allowed to stand six storeys high. After the mass timber policy change next year, buildings will be permitted to stand up to 12 storeys tall.

The increase in size and scale of wooden buildings could help revitalize the forestry industry, according to professionals in the field.

Ilana discussed one of our current projects, Terminus and Tallwood in Langford, BC:

"There's an explosion in mass timber projects right now that we're seeing in B.C. and all through Canada and all throughout the U.S.," said Ilana Danzig, a structural engineer for Langford's upcoming Tallwood 1 building.

"Mass timber is a very hot item. There's going to be very high demand both on the design side and the supply side," said Danzig.

Read the full article by Adam Chan... 

Oakville Firestation No.8 CLT Install

Oakville Firestation No.8 CLT install in progress. ASPECT is the specialty mass timber engineer working under Element5 Co. who is responsible for the supply of the mass timber package. is providing the install.

Follow us on Linkedin to stay up-to-date with all our industry news!

Cardinal House: A Healthy, Resilient, Mass-Timber Home For First Nations Communities

ASPECT is proud to be part of the team that developed the Cardinal House. A new home designed to meet the specific needs of First Nations peoples and constructed to withstand the harsh climates where their communities are situated.

The issue of insufficient and sometimes unsuitable housing is one that has plagued Canada’s First Nations for decades. It is a complex problem beset by environmental, logistical, infrastructure and governance challenges. It’s clear that innovative ideas and new ways of thinking must prevail.

ASPECT is the engineer of record for this project and is also responsible for all the mass timber engineering:

The benefits of mass timber construction go far beyond their aesthetic and environmental attributes. Mass timber offers a versatile, high-performance building solution that can meet even the most demanding requirements. The innovative, affordable, energy-efficient home is built out of cross-laminated timber, with high-performance cross-laminated insulated panels (CLIPs) for the building envelope. Prefabricated in a controlled factory setting off-site and shipped on a single truck, the structural panels and roof for the prototype Cardinal House were assembled in a fraction of the time of traditionally built, light frame homes.

Visit Element5's website to learn more about this project.

Meet the Associates – Ilana Danzig

We are proud to announce that Ilana Danzig (P.Eng., M.Eng., PE, SE) has joined the ASPECT team as an associate in our Vancouver office. Ilana graduated from the University of Alberta in 2008 with a Bachelor's of Science in Civil Engineering, and began her career in Vancouver, BC working mainly on institutional projects, recreation facilities, and seismic retrofits. In 2012, Ilana attended the University of British Columbia for a Master's in Structural Engineering studying dynamics, seismic design, and mass timber structures. Her research focused on mass timber engineering in high-seismic zones, particularly connections for CLT diaphragms and shearwalls.

With over a decade of structural engineering experience, Ilana has worked on a wide range of projects in Canada and the US including the UBC Aquatic Centre, the Audain Art Museum, and the Oregon State University College of Forestry.

Experienced in all materials, she is passionate in structural mass timber design and seismic engineering. In her role as Associate at ASPECT, Ilana contributes to the continual improvement of the firm's technical and quality standards, and enthusiastically provides mentorship to our up-and-coming engineers.





The design of two mass timber buildings located in Langford, BC is currently underway: Terminus (5 stories, office) and Tallwood (12 stories, residential). The structural systems have been carefully chosen for each building to balance cost, functionality, and performance. Learn more…


Jack James Architect | Langford, BC
UBC Aquatic Centre*
UBC Aquatic Centre*

A sectional split brings light deep into the center of the natatorium plan, where it is reflected or diffused to provide required natural lighting condition. Fully accessible and inclusive, while visually symbolizing the eminent venue of international competition. Designed to LEED Gold standards, the project focuses on daylighting, innovative water re-use and air quality strategies that are precedent-setting for North American aquatic facilities. Learn More…


Acton Ostry Architects / MJMA | Vancouver, BC
Radium Hot Springs Community Centre*
Radium Hot Springs Community Centre*

The Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library was built using an innovative DLT roof structure supported by glue laminated timber (glulam) beams and columns.  Local sourcing was integrally important to the project. This project as featured on naturally:wood


Urban Arts Architecture | Radium, BC
OSU Advanced Wood Products Center*
OSU Advanced Wood Products Center*

The Oregon Forest Science Complex uses advanced wood products including cross-laminated timber made in Oregon. The complex showcases Oregon State’s premier forestry and wood science initiatives and devotion to improving our forest landscapes and ecosystems. Learn More.


Michael Green Architecture | Corvallis, OR
Audain Art Museum*
Audain Art Museum*

A beautiful, dynamic project that literally wraps users around nature, blurring the boundaries between man-made and natural. It creates a cultural magnet to help educate not only art, but eco-friendly design. Featured in Architect Magazine.


Patkau Architects | Whistler, BC

*Work performed prior to joining Aspect



Ilana not only has engineered many state of the art building she also gives back to the engineering community through her publications and talks such as:

Tallwood Cost Comparison StudyCanadian Wood CouncilNot Yet Published
Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada. Contributor and Peer ReviewerPublished by FPInnovations 2013 and second edition in 2022
Terminus, Vancouver Island: Solving a Mass Timber Challenge in a Seismic RegionThe Structural Engineer (IStructE publication)April 2022
Terminus: Innovative Seismic Design For Mass TimberPublished in New Zealand Timber Design Journal, Volume 29, Issue 4November 2021
SpeakerFuture of Prefabrication Symposium, UBCMarch 2022
Mass Timber in High SeismicStructural Engineering Podcast, Episode 59May 2021
Terminus: Innovative Seismic DesignPublished in Construction BusinessApril/May 2021
SpeakerFuture of Prefabrication Symposium, UBCMarch 2021
Demystifying Tall Wood BuildingsPublished in Construction BusinessSeptember/October 2020
Tall Wood BuildingsConferences in Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, and Edmonton with WoodWORKS! BC2019
Mass Timber + Prefab HousingMass Timber MeetupSeptember 2021


ASPECT couldn't be happier to have Ilana as a key member of our team. Our Associates are some of the best in the structural engineering business, learn more about our Associates.


Meet the Associates – Andrew Seeton

We are pleased to announce that Andrew Seeton (P.Eng., M.A.Sc.) has joined the ASPECT team as an associate in our Vancouver office.

Andrew joins ASPECT Structural Engineers with 14 years of structural design experience. In addition to residential and commercial projects, he has extensive experience in the design of institutional facilities including schools, hospitals, community centres, and airports.

Andrew brings a high standard of care to his projects and is motivated to build solutions through teamwork. He has a passion for seismic design that was established during his graduate studies at the University of British Columbia. He has been trained in the Ministry of Education SRG (Seismic Retrofit Guidelines). Andrew is also an active member of the structural engineering community and serves on the Board of Directors for the Structural Engineers Association of BC.



Bowen Island Community Centre
Bowen Island Community Centre

This facility brings together a number of programmes under one roof: arts and recreation, the offices and Council Chambers of the municipal hall, and a community ‘living room’ where residents can gather and connect on a daily basis.

Drawing on the unique building traditions of Bowen Island, the project prioritizes connection between community activities, and close integration with the landscape. Learn More


Principle Architecture | Bowen Island, BC
1313 East Pender
1313 East Pender

Five storeys of retail and office space. The structure consists of reinforced concrete with mass timber at the upper storeys.
Learn More


Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design | Vancouver, BC
Kitsilano Secondary School Renewal*
Kitsilano Secondary School Renewal*

Key features of the renewal of Kitsilano Secondary School include the construction of a new academic wing, an all-weather playing field, three gymnasiums, a 350-seat theatre and outdoor learning spaces. The school’s historic facade was retained and ensures that the renewed school will be immediately recognizable. Large expanses of glass and abundant natural light create open and inviting central spaces. These areas, along with spaces designed for individual and collaborative group work, facilitate educational approaches that are at the heart of modern learning. This project is LEED® Gold certified. Learn More


KMBR | Vancouver, BC
Deerfoot City Mall*
Deerfoot City Mall*

A master planned retail destination: Deerfoot City Mall. Shops, restaurants and entertainment positioned for an infusion of vibrancy, creating natural social zones that will bring people together all year long. Open-air boulevards, stunning landscapes and beautiful architecture. Learn More


DIALOG | Calgary, AB

The Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) is TRIUMF’s flagship multidisciplinary research facility, expanding Canada’s capabilities to produce and study isotopes for physics and medicine. ARIEL is unique, as the building itself is one of the many components of the machine. The form of the 5-level concrete building is strongly influenced by the pathway of the beam lines associated with the electron linear accelerators and Cyclotron, and the technical requirements of both the space and safety. Learn More


Chernoff Thompson Architects | Vancouver, BC

*Work performed prior to joining ASPECT


ASPECT is thrilled to have Andrew as a key member of our team. Our Associates are some of the best in the structural engineering business, learn more about our Associates.