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After the business day has ended in their Toronto office, the day is just beginning in their Shanghai office, allowing this dynamic firm to work continuously on projects around the globe.


international | architecture

architecture | international

The Built Environment Through a scope and scale wholly unique in the industry, B+H Architects has been providing the ultimate range of services across all sectors, styles and levels of complexity for over half a century. By Joel Cornell


espite the massive downturn in economies across the globe, some firms have been able to ride out the storm largely unscathed. One such firm is B+H, a Canadian global practice that set out to diversify geographically long before other firms felt the need to venture beyond their borders. B+H was one of the first Western firms to establish a presence in China, opening an office in 1992 in Shanghai after having won a competition to design the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. Since its opening, the China office has evolved into a complement of 125 professional and technical staff offering architecture, master planning, interior and landscape design services for commercial, mixed use, residential, transportation, industrial, healthcare and lab/pharmaceutical facilities. 180 projects totaling 217,367,750 square feet are under construction or have been completed by B+H in China for multinational corporations, local developers, institutions and governments. B+H has leveraged its experience in China to develop a framework for further dynamic expan-

2 Architecture Leaders Today

sion into new markets through their “Centres of Excellence” in Toronto, Vancouver and Shanghai. These offices deliver large, mobile teams with extensive expertise in every aspect of planning, design and project management to every market sector. This model enables the firm to service new markets with smaller local offices able to deliver ‘best in class’ design and services in all target areas. The Shanghai office anchors B+H’s Asian operations, supporting regional offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and Delhi, where senior Principals oversee teams of local employees and selected project partners. As well, the firm has offices in Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In Canada, the firm has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Kelowna. Client service and responsiveness are a key area where global operations have made a significant difference. “We can respond immediately to changes in scope or to new requirements,” said B+H Principal Kevin Stelzer. “When the working day in Toronto ends and production on a project ceases, an inte

top: Bell Canada Creekbank Phase 3, Mississauga, Canada. View from Bell campus park to green walled atrium. bottom: Bell Canada Creekbank - Phase 3, South west elevation Renderings courtesy of B+H.

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international | architecture

left: ABell Canada Creekbank Phase 3, North west view ABOVE: Bell Canada Creekbank - Phase 3, Detail of green wall features along atrium stair

architecture | international

grated team in Shanghai picks up where Toronto left off and continues working so we can be done by the next business day.” Being active in rapidly-growing markets like China, Vietnam and India and a focus on continuous innovation, along with Canadian government policies that preserved the integrity and well-being of Canada’s financial system, have helped B+H to withstand the devastating effects of the global recession. “We have been very fortunate to have laws in Canada that kept financial institutions from engaging in the esoteric practices that imperiled the global economy,” Stelzer said. “A stable Canadian economy, along with our international reach and wealth of design resources available at our fingertips, any time of day or night, have shielded us from the global meltdown and enabled us to

continue developing new approaches and design technologies.” Focus on client services has been a key stone to B+H’s success and has attracted some B+H Architects in 2007. “I was attracted to B+H Architects because of the firm’s long term dedication and commitment to client services as well as their excellence in building design,” Bate said. “I love the scope and breadth of work that I engage in every day and derive great fulfillment from knowing that I am contributing to the betterment of the build environment through my work. We are that comprehensive force that is driving both design and operational excellence in the built environment.” In addition to Bate’s diverse background, she is also the chair of the Canada Green Building Council and was the past President of the Ontario Association of Architects.

PCR Contractors PCR Contractors Inc. is honored to work with B+H Architects on the University of Windsor’s Centre for Engineering Innovation. B+H Architects’ unique design incorporates sustainable design features and building materials that will lead their client to the forefront of high tech institutional facilities in Canada. The 310,000 square foot three story building targeted for LEED Gold certification features a three storey atrium flooded with natural light, a Bio Wall and an open-riser glass guarded stair. The single story first phase scheduled for completion in the spring of 2011 houses the high tech laboratories used for instruction and research, highlighted by a class 10,000 Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) laboratory. The remaining portion of the building, expected to be completed summer 2012, houses flexible high-tech lecture halls, academic offices, graduate work spaces, a destructive material testing laboratory (Strong room) and other instructional laboratories. B+H Architects’ design and contract administration teams work very proficiently with PCR Contractors Inc., the University of Windsor staff and faculty which will lead to a successful LEED certified and sustainable project. For more information on PCR Contractors please visit

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international | architecture

Bate headed up the firm’s recent work on a 300,000 sq. ft. addition to an existing 1,000,000 sq. ft. complex for Bell Canada Creekbank in Mississauga, Ontario. The new building serves as an anchor for a business complex that transforms the park into a campus. “The campus park is a destination for the Mississauga light rail transit system. Within the building, our aim was to create a working space that would exemplify Bell Canada’s overarching principles of collaboration and community,” Bate said. “We provided many gathering areas for staff in order to encourage team-focused interaction, innovation and creative problem-solving.” Instead of placing all parking at grade, as expected in a suburban location, B+H Architects designated the ground under the park and campus buildings for parking, leaving ample new green space throughout

architecture | international

the rest of the area. Massive solar panels mounted on the roof, further enhance the project’s sustainable components leading to a LEED Silver certification. Post occupancy analysis conducted by Bell Canada shows that energy savings targets were exceeded by over 35%. “Bell Canada’s analysis on the Creekbank project gave us performance targets for the new Faculty of Engineering building that we are currently working on for the University of Windsor”, said Principalin-Charge Kevin Stelzer. This project is another example of B+H’s commitment to client service and building performance. The building will house four engineering departments: civil and environmental, electrical and computer, industrial, and automotive and mechanical engineering. Registered to achieve LEED Gold certification, the building will include leading-edge sustainable technologies and ‘live’

BELOW: University of Windsor – Centre for Engineering Innovation, Windsor, Canada. view from California Avenue RIGHT: University of Windsor – Centre for Engineering Innovation, graduate student workstation

UPPER CANADA SPECIALTY HARDWARE Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, since its inception in 1987, has enjoyed a dynamic working relationship with B+H Architects. Over the years, the two companies have forged a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. B+H, long established as a leader and innovator in their field, has allowed Upper Canada to emerge as one of Canada’s most advanced, full service commercial door and hardware providers. Upper Canada Specialty Hardware offers innovative services such as access control and integration, power and barrier free operators, and door and hardware installation. A unique feature of the company is to provide doors with the hardware pre-installed, then shipped to site for final assembly and commissioning. This method reduces the potential for damage, and significantly improves the quality and efficiency of onsite construction management. UCSH, over the years has worked with B & H on many high profile jobs, including the Bell Creekbank Project, the Archives of Ontario, the Queen’s Centre, and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Currently UCSH is very proud to be involved in the B+H project, Markham Stouffville Hospital expansion as consultants, suppliers and installers of the doors, hardware, access control locks and barrier free power operators. Upper Canada Specialty Hardware congratulates B+H Architects on their success and looks forward to working together for many years to come. For more information about Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, please visit:

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international | architecture

architecture | international

NXL Architects NXL Architects is one of Canada’s leading architects for pharmaceutical, biotech, and life sciences facilities sciences. They have over twenty-five years experience and more than three million square feet of master planning, programming and design for research, clinical, and manufacturing facilities across Canada. NXL works closely with their clients – universities, hospitals, private sector start-ups and multinational organizations - designing from the inside out to deliver buildings that work, today and tomorrow. To find out more about NXL and see more of their work, please visit

building monitoring systems that will enhance the learning environment for students while reducing energy consumption Steltzer’s work at the University of Windsor is reminiscent of another one his projects at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The Integrated Learning Center or, as it is commonly known ‘Beamish Munroe Hall’, is in and of itself a teaching tool. “The building conceptually became a transparent laboratory where students and faculty witness the building’s systems at work,” Stelzer said. “We’ve also helped build a website that monitors every aspect of the building’s performance and the students are given access to these statistics in real time. These numbers can then be integrated into their studies.” These same principles are being applied in Windsor to the Faculty of Engineering where Steltzer hopes they will inspire students who will soon be building buildings of their own. “We believe in the didactic power of our buildings and conduct extensive research with users during the design process,” Steltzer said. At 8 Architecture Leaders Today

Windsor, Stelzer and his team consulted with the engineering faculty and University researchers to determine what attributes they valued most among their engineers, and what skills they wanted to pass on to students. “The overwhelming response was that they wanted a building that would bring to life the logistics that are ancillary to design, like teamwork, interdisciplinary collaboration, project based learning and the application of theory into practice,” Steltzer said. “At the University of Windsor, every important aspect of the built environment is clearly displayed if not outright labeled.” This gives the students a tangible example of practical applications. B+H Architects has brought to the world a new definition of scope with talent, and range with vision. From the expanding retrofit market, urban planning, landscaping, and program management to facilities management, global benchmarking and trend analysis, the firm serves as its own launch pad into quite literally every aspect of our modern environment. ALT

BELOW: University of Windsor – Centre for Engineering Innovation, view of atrium with biofilter wall RIGHT: University of Windsor – Centre for Engineering Innovation, North-west view of main entrance along California Avenue

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regional marketplace | international

international | regional marketplace


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Architecture Leaders Today - Canada


Architecture Leaders Today - Canada