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A groundbreaking study on Canadian architectural firms 2009 Canadian Architectural Practices Benchmark Study A study on architectural practices has just been published by Canadian Architect magazine and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. For the first time, firms can compare their operations to hundreds of others across Canada. Make sure your firm has a copy of this foundational study.
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building april/may 2010
Volume 60 Number 2
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12. And in this corner… / Increased accessibility to the Multiple Listing Service foretells ripples of change across the industry. By Jeffrey W. Lem and David G. Reiner
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14. Capitalizing on Innovation / Are you developing a new construction industry prod-
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uct or process? You may be missing out on SR&ED tax credits, because across all industries, only half of eligible companies are actually recovering the qualified expenditures they could be due. By Courtney Wilson
16. Eastern Promises / Plans for potentially Canada’s largest multi-cultural shopping centre are to rival those found Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing — and the comparison is not unintentional. By Peter Sobchak 18. The Art and Construction of Wellness / Knowing that better hospitals mean better patients, evolving models of funding and design for new health care projects are intersecting with the goal to improve the patient experience. By Rhys Phillips 25. Going big to go small. Really small. / The University of Waterloo is besting their already-impressive renown for computer technology innovations with the construction of an ultra-sophisticated new building for computer research. By Peter Sobchak 27. Products: Green Building Insulation / To meet green building standards for better thermal protection and energy performance from longer-lasting, environmentally benign building materials, more projects employ closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) insulation, which provides significant benefits contributing to green building performance and LEED certifications.
6 Editor’s Notes
Cover: Peterborough Regional Health Centre, Peterborough, Ont., by Stantec Architecture. Photo by Richard Johnson, Interior Images Above images courtesy of: Richard Johnson, Interior Images, Kohn Architects, KPMB Architects.
Riding the ripple The retail sector is both a punching bag and litmus test in any economic recession. When the scent of bad news hits the air, a chorus of consumers’ wallets snapping shut as they rein in their spending can be heard across the land. After that comes the hairsplitting of statistical data measuring. If consumer spending goes up or down even half a percentage point, first it is reported in the media then a ripple effect spreads out, affecting many industries and markets. Since we’re part of the media, let me do my duty and report on these statistics: retail sales rose 0.7 per cent in January, and retail sales in volume terms increased 0.1 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Stores selling home improvement products were large contributors to the gain in January, no doubt a response to the Home Improvement Tax Credit deadline. Interestingly, retail sales volumes have been following an upward trend since the beginning of 2009. So what does this mean? Are we out of the woods yet? Have we dodged economic Armageddon? I don’t know, but let’s listen to what a couple of retail real estate insiders think. “There is no doubt that these are difficult times for retailers and for retail real estate property owners,” said Michael P. Kercheval, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc. (ICSC), during his address to members at the ICSC 2009 Canadian Convention this past September. “However, times like these also hold tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate consumerism, reposition business cooperation and restore confidence.” Sounding even more confident, Peter Sharpe, ICSC chairman and CEO of Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, delivered his speech at the same convention by leading with this: “First and foremost, I’m happy to report that the global shopping center industry,
particularly in Canada remains stable and is showing its resiliency.” As Sharpe points out, since the U.S. housing bubble burst, the whole retail real estate industry has had to make adjustments. A transition from aggressive development and redevelopment to a focus on prudently managing existing assets is already occurring. “A key to turning the corner will be our ability to adapt to capital and consumer spending constraints which have become a worldwide phenomenon,” he says. “For those accustomed to an industry focused exclusively on development and with almost limitless capacity to obtain financing for it, the times have changed. No doubt, we are in the midst of a period of adjustment,” says Sharpe. “But for those landlords that are multidisciplinary, and have the agility to adapt to these new circumstances, there are significant opportunities. For now, that opportunity may focus on improving leasing strategies and repositioning centres rather than building new ones in the coming years.” Clairvoyance aside, Sharpe is certainly right about one thing: retailers will not stop expanding, but their approach to expansion may change as a result of what they are learning from this recession. In any event, the ripple effect of the recession and consumer spending is still working its way through the retail real estate system, and we will be seeing its aftermath, both good and bad, for years to come. As Kercheval puts it, “Historically, every downturn in our industry has fostered creativity and generated new ways to merchandise, retail and develop. The enclosed mall, power centres, lifestyle centres, town centre projects and even internet retailing all had their genesis in response to economic crises within our industry. I have no doubt that this crisis will generate its own innovations to the enduring success of our industry.” B
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READ The Future of the Past: A Conservation Ethic for Architecture, Urbanism, and Historic Preservation / With contemporary design being redefined by architects and urbanists who are recovering the historic language associated with traditional architecture and the city, how might preservation change its focus or update its mission? Steven W. Semes makes a persuasive case that context matters and that new buildings and additions to old buildings should be harmonious with their neighbours.
WATCH Take a virtual tour of the interior plan and themed courts of the recently unveiled scheme for The Remington Centre, an Asian shopping centre to be built in Markham, Ont.
ATTEND Community Building: The Social Impact of Architecture / May 6-8 / Vancouver LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) / May 10-14 / Las Vegas When Sustainability Becomes Durability: Building Envelope Solutions Conference / May 13 / Toronto Second Annual Transforming & Revitalizing Downtown Summit / June 16-17 / Toronto
Life after the back cover...
what’s on BUILDING.CA
OTTAWA — The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is very pleased to see the federal government follow through on the second year of the infrastructure stimulus measures from the Economic Action Plan. “The federal government has recognized the importance of infrastructure and maintained its investment in development and renewal. The much-needed spending announced last year provided stimulus to the Canadian economy through investments in infrastructure, college infrastructure, green technology, as well as new incentives to help in retraining Canada’s unemployed,” said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association. The infrastructure programs in Budget 2009 have been instrumental in the rise of employment in Canada’s construction industry since August, argues the CCA, adding that these important investments made by federal, provincial and municipal governments have not only been a necessary source of stimulus, but are long-overdue investments in the modernization of our nation’s infrastructure which will be critical to our future global competitiveness. However, the CCA is concerned with the impact an abrupt withdrawal of funding from these stimulus programs would have on construction employment and economic activity. “We believe a tapered withdrawal of stimulus funding poses less of a threat to Canada’s economic recovery than the currently proposed deadline on these programs. Canada needs to continue to invest in its public infrastructure not simply because it stimulates the economy in the short term but because it is an investment in the very foundation of our nation’s future that ensures Canada’s ability to remain competitive on the international stage, increase productivity, and to build upon our economic and social prosperity,” said Atkinson. “While the CCA is pleased to see the Employment Insurance premiums frozen for 2010, we are concerned about the future impact significant increases in EI premiums will have on employment moving forward,” says Atkinson. “Canada’s construction industry employs close to 1.2 million men and women, and accounts for approximately six per cent of Canada’s annual GDP. It buys goods and services in every region of the country and in every sector of the economy. As such, any significant increase in construction activity produces thousands of spin-off jobs in other sectors — steel, engineering, forestry, autos, banking, and retail — which is why it remains the barometer of economic health.”
NewNorth Projects partners with Deton’Cho Corporation
CALGARY — NewNorth Projects Ltd., an opportunity-driven integrated land and building development corporation operating in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, has partnered with the Deton’Cho Corporation, an economic business arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, to create the DDC-NNP Limited Partnership with the intent to develop, own and operate commercial revenue producing assets on approximately 4.6 acres of prime land located in the City of Yellowknife. NewNorth Projects has had much success with its partnerships in the past and is excited by the opportunities that this partnership presents. The Deton’Cho Corporation is a strong partner and the contemplated development will further enhance NewNorth Projects’ position in the Northwest Territories.
Richmond’s first LEED-certified sustainable office building achieves Gold
VANCOUVER — Airport Executive Park — Building 6, in Richmond, B.C., owned by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada has achieved the USGBC LEED for Core and Shell Gold designation. Designed by Vancouver-based Bunting Coady Architects and constructed in 2009 by Norson Construction Ltd. (engineered by MCW Consultants Ltd. and WSB Consultants, landscape architects Jonathan Losee Ltd., with property management by Bentall Real Estate Services), the building is Richmond’s first certified sustainable office building. Its features include: being located within 400 metres of two public bus lines; bicycle racks, shower and changing room facilities; 10 parking stalls for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles; stormwater is channelled into bio-swales for filtration and infiltration into the soil; occupancy controls and sensors, wall thermal performance, low-e glazing, high efficiency lighting, sunshades, low flow sinks, showers, lavatories and urinals; 35 per cent of core and shell building’s electrical derived from renewable sources, and other enhancements. In addition, the building is designed to minimize and control pollutant entry into building and to
Photo courtesy of Bunting Coady Architects
Canadian Construction Association pleased to see continued commitment to infrastructure spending
Designed by Bunting Coady Architects, the Airport Executive Park — Building 6 is Richmond’s first LEED-certified sustainable office building. building
prevent cross-contamination of regularly occupied areas, and building energy performance is about 25 per cent more efficient than baseline building per ASHRAE standard.
New manufacturers association formed for building enclosure products
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Building Enclosure Moisture Management Institute (BEMMI) was recently formed and officially began operation January 1, 2010. Headquartered in New York City, BEMMI is organized to represent manufacturers and suppliers of drainage space materials used in exterior walls in the residential and commercial building construction markets. The mission of the organization is to promote the growth of the engineered rain screen products industry to improve moisture management in building enclosures through technical advocacy. The BEMMI membership recently elected Michael Coulton, the director of marketing and product development for Benjamin Obdyke as president of the Board. Others named to officer positions include vice president Marcus Jablonka of Cosella-Dörken and Steve Samec of Masonry Technology, who was tabbed to serve as Secretary/Treasurer. “BEMMI will be poised to advance consensus standards for new technologies and products that will provide a means for producers of rain screen products and systems to promote sound building science and construction methods,” said Coulton.
Governments of Canada and Ontario to fund energy efficient upgrades for affordable housing
TORONTO — The Renewable Energy Initiative has been introduced as a first step in a program application process, through funding of $70 million for energy efficiency upgrades of existing social and new affordable housing projects. Announcements will be made this spring on requests for quotations from suppliers and on the application process so that organizations can apply for funding. The federal and provincial governments are contributing equally to this investment as part of the Government of Canada’s funding announced under Canada’s Economic Action Plan for Ontario. This will lead to improved energy efficiency and support the purchase and installation of renewable energy systems in existing and new affordable housing that are capable of generating energy and selling surplus back into the electrical grid. The funding for the announcement is part of a joint investment of more than $1.2 billion over two years through an amendment to the Canada – Ontario Affordable Housing Program Agreement which was announced in June 2009. Canada’s Economic Action Plan provides $850 million over two years for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing, plus a further $475 million to build new rental housing for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. Overall, the Economic Action Plan includes $2 billion for new and existing social housing, plus up to $2 billion in loans to municipalities for housing-related infrastructure. Ontario is investing $704 million to repair eligible social housing across the province.
Canadian REITs poised to continue growth
‘USGBC’ and related logo is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council and is used by permission. ©2009 Trex Company, Inc.
TORONTO — Canadian REIT stocks have continued their upward trend in 2010, with several initial public offerings buoying the market, according to the Real Estate Property Association of Canada (REALpac). In February, the S&P/TSX Canadian REIT Index rose 3.4 per cent, which outpaced broader S&P/TSX Composite Index that gained 2.5 per cent during the month. “Fundamentals are relatively good in most markets,” said Michael Brooks, chief executive of REALpac, adding that REIT and REOC offerings in Canada are coming to market for the first time in several years.
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Image courtesy of Quadrangle Architects
The glass atrium design of the new service centres, by Quadrangle Architects, acts as the visual focus from both the exterior and interior. Its sharp-edged shape recalls the rock outcroppings of the Canadian Shield, which forms much of the topography of northern Ontario.
Ontario-based LeisureWorld Caregiving Centers, a longterm care REIT, raised $190 million through an IPO on March 23. NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT, a Toronto owner and manager of health care facilities, filed a prospectus March 17 to raise up to $175 million through a stock offering. Brooks said the recent spate of Canadian IPO activity follows successful secondary offerings by REITs in the country. “Most of the larger-cap Canadian REITs have been able to raise all the equity they need,” Brooks said. “Debt is surprisingly abundant in the Canadian market for quality assets, although at more modest underwriting standards compared to pre-recession underwriting.” While the stock market has supported Canadian REIT stocks, Brooks said the industry remains relatively devoid of merger activity and distressed sales. For REITs looking to deploy new capital, “finding accretive product of sufficient quality remains a challenge,” Brooks said. “There are few distressed sellers, and the volume of trades in the market remains below average.
Quadrangle designs new LEED Silver service centres across Ontario
TORONTO — Quadrangle Architects Limited has been selected to design 20 new service centres along Ontario’s Highways 400 and 401. The new facilities will offer travelers improved service as they drive across the province. Quadrangle Architects is working with Ellis Don Corporation, who is building the service centres, which will then be operated by Host Kilmer Service Centres Inc., the company dedicated to providing enhanced, high quality services to the traveling public. The designs for all three sizes of highway service centres are of the same “family” incorporating three distinctive and readily recognizable components: a glass atrium with sloped glass walls covered by a sloped metal roof; traditional indigenous stone walls that anchor the buildings to the ground; and wood trellises and canopies.
Organized around the central atrium, the public lobby acts as a food court with customer seating under the sloped roof. This area also houses support services, such as food preparation, washrooms, convenience retail and other enhanced services. Separate entrances are provided from the passenger vehicle parking area, the bus parking area and the fuel pumping stations. The design provides for clear and unobstructed visibility of all areas of the facility from each entrance, allowing travelers to orient themselves easily from any point in the building.
International Parking Institute launches industry-wide PR program
FREDERICKSBURG, VA — The International Parking Institute (IPI) launched a major new initiative for advancing the parking profession. The program, Parking Matters, has been in development since last summer and soft-launched late in 2009 and while the program is already in motion, the official kick-off will take place at the 2010 IPI Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, May 10-13. The Parking Matters program will harness the power of public relations to educate and increase awareness about the value of parking professionals among target audiences such as building owners and operators, architects, university and college decision-makers, city planners, law enforcement officials, transportation thought leaders, and more. Some elements of the program will also reach out to consumers, and other elements are intended to help those in the industry take greater pride in parking as a vital, desirable profession and to attract good candidates to the field of parking. “While individual companies, consultants and parking authorities tackle their unique challenges, the purpose of this program is to expand the entire market by advancing the parking profession and working collectively to further common goals. This is a long-term effort and one through which we
expect to achieve great success,” explains Shawn Conrad, CAE and executive director of IPI.
IBM and Johnson Controls join forces to make buildings smarter
LAS VEGAS, NV — IBM and Johnson Controls have announced a new relationship where they will team to provide a Smart Building Solution that can improve operations and reduce energy and water consumption in buildings worldwide. Building on an existing relationship formed between the two organizations in 2007 to create energy efficient datacenters, this new offering benefits any building or portfolio of buildings. Johnson Controls will combine its global leadership in energy efficiency and sustainable services and technologies with IBM’s global leadership in software, hardware and services. The result will help clients address the growing pressure they face to improve energy and asset management performance across their enterprises. Key elements of the offering are designed to address critical building performance areas including systems integration, energy management, enterprise reporting, space utilization, and asset management.
Signs of stability return to Canada’s commercial real estate market, but first quarter vacancy rates across the country still on the rise
TORONTO — After more than a year of steadily increasing vacancy rates, signs of an improving economy, albeit modest ones, are starting to shape the 2010 commercial real estate market, according to the National Office and Industrial Trends First Quarter Report released by CB Richard Ellis Limited (CBRE). While economic fundamentals have slowly reintroduced some consistency back into the Canadian commercial real estate market, conditions across much of the country remain challenging. Nationally, the downtown and suburban office markets that were burdened by oversupply for much of 2009 continued to struggle in the first quarter, as overall vacancy rates rose from 7.5 to 10.1 per cent, year-over-year. When compared to the fourth quarter 2009 overall vacancy rate — which stood at 9.9 per cent — this quarter’s vacancy rate increase represented a rise of only 20 basis points, a statistic that according to John O’Bryan, vice-chairman, CB Richard Ellis, is an indication that Canada’s commercial real estate market may just be through the worst of the recession. “A more promising employment picture, slowly improving leasing activity and the residual impact those factors have had on the country’s commercial real estate market is a welcome change from 2009 conditions,” explained O’Bryan. “Expect to see a slow recovery progressively in 2010. With a few notable exceptions, the majority of Canada’s markets appear to be over the hump.” Other notable changes in first quarter market activity include sublet space as a percentage of vacant office space, which rose only marginally in the first quarter, up from 20.8 to 21.9 per cent, year-over-year.
In Vancouver, the story in the suburban and downtown office markets is quite different. While overall vacancy rates rose in the first quarter, up from 7.2 to 10.2 per cent, yearover-year, the lion’s share of vacant space was added in suburban Vancouver. “The downtown Vancouver market has completely turned,” explained Mark Renzoni, EVP & managing director, CB Richard Ellis, Vancouver. “Subleases are being absorbed and fewer subleases are becoming available — strong indications of the market’s resiliency and reasons why Vancouver continues to be a hub for foreign and domestic investment activity.” Moving into the second and third quarters, conditions in the downtown market are expected to tighten in Vancouver, especially for Class A office space. During the first quarter, vacancy rates in downtown Vancouver went from 4.2 to 6.0 per cent, year-over-year. During the same period in suburban Vancouver, vacancy rates rose from 10.7 to 14.7 per cent. Weakness in Alberta’s natural gas sector continues to impact the province’s commercial real estate market. Nationally, Calgary continues to be the story of most interest, and will be so for the next 12 to 18 month period. Two new properties being built in downtown Calgary will add approximately 2.7 million square feet to the market in 2011, further contributing to a rising vacancy rate in Calgary. Year-over-year, overall vacancy rates in Calgary rose from 7.9 to 14.9 per cent during the first quarter, despite dropping slightly when compared to fourth quarter 2009 rates. Sublet space as a percentage of vacant space in Calgary’s downtown office market continues to be the highest in the country at 38.1 per cent, while lower, more competitive pricing per square foot for desirable Class A office space led some businesses to commit to new lease agreements during the first quarter. The situation in Toronto’s commercial real estate market continues to unfold. Year-over-year, vacancy rates for both downtown and suburban office markets were up, rising from 7.7 to 9.6 per cent in the first quarter. “The tide is slowly starting to turn in Toronto’s downtown Class A office market,” explained John P. O’Toole, EVP & executive managing director, CB Richard Ellis, Toronto. “We can expect conditions to steadily evolve into a tenant’s market during the next several years, as landlords in the aging premier buildings identify current market conditions as an opportunity to undergo muchneeded large-scale building retrofits in an effort to keep their properties competitive.” Vacancy rates in Montreal’s office market continued to rise during the first quarter, up from 8.8 to 10.7 per cent, year-overyear — roughly on par with the national average. Office space conversions (mostly from industrial space) continue to be the only new square footage added to the Montreal market; during the last five-year period, there have been no significant new office towers built in the downtown market. Conditions in Montreal are expected to improve in the second and third quarters of 2010, as many believe Montreal’s commercial real estate market is over the worst of the downturn. building
BY JEFFREY W. LEM AND DAVID G. REINER
ing and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice, is responsible for the administration and enforcement of, among other things, the Competition Act. The Competition Bureau’s investigations of CREA culminated in charges against CREA filed with the Competition Tribunal, a specialized court that combines expertise in economics and business with expertise in law. In its charges, the Competition Bureau alleges that CREA and its members use their control of the MLS System and maintain substantial or complete control of the market for the supply of residential real estate brokerage services, all in alleged contravention of the Competition Act. The Competition Bureau’s claim is based on the principle of “abuse of dominance,” which occurs when a dominant or a group of dominant industry players engages in conduct that is intended to eliminate competitors or deter entry by new competitors, resulting in a decrease in competition. The new CREA rules provide that only CREA members may list homes on the MLS system. Homeowners are, of course, not required to use a CREA member to sell their homes.
Jeffrey W. Lem, B.Comm. (U of T), LL.B. (Osgoode), LL.M. (Osgoode), practises in the areas of commercial real estate and finance with the law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, and has been called to the bar in Ontario, England and Wales. He is an executive member of the Real Property Section of the Ontario Bar Association and is editor-in-chief of the Real Property Reports, published by Carswell Thomson Professional Publishing. David G. Reiner, B.Comm. (Concordia), LL.B. (Osgoode) is an associate practising in the area of commercial real estate at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and is called to the Bar in Ontario. This article provides general information only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. Readers should not act or rely on information in this article without seeking specific legal advice on their particular fact situations.
However, it is widely known that a property gets substantially more exposure on the MLS system than through any other manner of advertising, thereby making the MLS system and, in turn, the use of a CREA member, a critical mechanism for broad exposure. CREA’s new conditions imposed in 2007 included (i) the requirement that the listing agent receive and present all offers, (ii) a prohibition on “mere postings” (which the Bureau interprets as prohibiting a listing agent from being hired only to post the property on the MLS system, thereby requiring a listing agent be hired for the full spectrum of agent services) and (iii) a prohibition on listing the seller’s name or contact information on the MLS system. According to the Competition Bureau, these new rules precluded agents from offering prospective sellers the option of paying a flat fee to list the home on the MLS system, but rather, require consumers to buy the full spectrum of more costly agent services. In response to the scrutiny, CREA recently recanted many of the 2007 amendments, electing, instead, to eliminate the requirement that the agent represent the client for the duration of the listing and allowing the homeowner’s name and contact information to be posted and clarified that agents can be hired for a reduced scope of services (including a mere listing on the MLS system).
Even after CREA recanted most of the 2007 amendments, Melanie Aitken, the Competition Commissioner, released a statement saying that “[the amendments]…do not solve the problem,” and “are a step in the wrong direction” mainly because of a clause in the amendments which provides that the changes are subject to the rules of the local real estate boards. The ultimate impact on Canadian builders and developers is unclear. As a general rule, new home construction is not sold through the MLS system, but that does not mean that there will be no impact on the industry. If the history in the United States is any harbinger of the future of the industry, then whatever happens at the Competition Tribunal the days of the traditional realtor may be numbered, with the so-called “discount brokers” and “internet brokers” mowing much of the traditional realtors’ lawn. It is clear that increased accessibility to the MLS system will result in a decrease in their overall compensation being paid to real estate brokers. Even though new home builders do not sell directly through the MLS system, lower compensation to real estate brokers in the resale market will mean that the cost of a good sales force will also go down, as competent sales persons will be available at relatively lower compensation levels. We all know what happens to the price of over-supplied commodities — how much lower is the question. B
Capitalizing on Innovation Are you developing a new construction industry product or process? You may be missing out on SR&ED tax credits, because across all industries, only half of eligible companies are actually recovering the qualified expenditures they could be due. Some people mistakenly believe that there is no innovation in the construction industry and that there are few, if any, financial avenues available to help companies who are being innovative, solving daily challenges, and staying in business. But since the construction industry began, many materials, techniques, and technologies have changed as different ones were made available, or different equipment was created to help the processes. Consider those times when you may be working with a new material or developing new processes to improve your final products. Consider the innovation needed for the recent push on green construction and sustainable design. It may be that you are constantly being faced with obstacles that are making it difficult to reach the solution you need. These situations can get costly very quickly, since you may need to try a couple of different ideas before you reach the final result. Or you may discover
By Courtney Wilson
that you are not able to reach that end point that you needed to. You may have used materials that you cannot reuse afterwards, materials that are just going to become scrap. Add to all of this the need to remain competitive, and the costs to do business in this industry can quickly add up. The Canada Revenue Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (CRA) federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) incentive program is one way that the Canadian government helps out Canadian businesses that are developing and building upon older processes and products or coming up with new ones to attain their project goals. This program was created to encourage research and development in Canadian industries where the firms are involved in resolving technological issues in the improvement of existing products or processes, or the development of new products or processes. The SR&ED program was developed more than 20 years ago, and is the largest single source of federal government support for industrial research and development. On average, the CRA gives
out over $3 billion annually to more than 18,000 claimants — and the CRA states that only 50 per cent of eligible companies are actually claiming for the SR&ED program. The companies that are not claiming are missing out on recovering a significant portion of their development expenditures on labour, overhead and materials. Both private and public companies can benefit from the SR&ED program. Qualifying companies carry on business in Canada, have 18 months from their fiscal year end to file, and make qualifying SR&ED expenditures on eligible projects. Publicly-owned and foreign controlled companies can receive 20 per cent of qualified expenditures, whereas Canadian-controlled private corporations (CCPCs) can receive up to 35 per cent of qualified expenditures in the form of tax credits, as well as cash refunds, from the federal government. In addition to the federal program, most provinces and territories have additional incentive programs for CCPCs that can result in an additional tax credit or cash refund ranging from 10 to 37.5 per cent of qualified expenditures. That’s a lot of money that you could potentially be getting back for work that your business does. But how do you know if what you are doing is eligible for the SR&ED program? There are three criteria that a project has to meet in order to be eligible for the program: (i) technological advancement, (ii) technological obstacles to those advancement, and (iii) systematic investigation covering technical content associated with the advancement. Importantly, the success of a project is not an issue when claiming: in fact, failures are as valuable as successes. The CRA solely looks at a company’s knowledge base and the advancement of that company’s knowledge. Simply put, when a project is started, you don’t know how to get to the end result that you need. There may be little existing knowledge for how to get to that final end result and so you need to go beyond the current industry knowledge. In relation to the construction industry, what this means is that SR&ED happens in areas where there is an obstacle that is technical in nature, not an obstacle that results in a design issue. Meeting building regulations (which is a cost of doing business) is not SR&ED eligible, but working on the development and implementation of a new environmentally-friendly product or process
could be. Other examples of SR&ED projects could include working on unusual foundations or working with new materials for structural builds, where some testing may need to be done in order to determine whether these new materials or unusual foundations are sturdy and strong enough to support a building. As one example, a construction company in Northern Ontario had recently been working with numerous environmental constraints due to specific requests from their customer — the customer wanted a new structure built in a specific location, in a certain way that led to a problem with too much bedrock. In order to overcome this obstacle, the construction company developed a special blasting formulation that worked on that specific type of rock. This company then found a way to re-use that blast rock in their construction, which reduced a significant amount of waste. As illustrated here, SR&ED projects can be as complicated as working with impediments to building, or as simple as reducing waste during the construction process. There are many benefits of claiming for the SR&ED program. In a broad national sense, the program helps to invest in the Canadian economy, Canadian industry, and can help make Canada more competitive in the global market. On a level more relevant to business owners, this program means that you could have additional income to invest in your business — whether for facility upgrades, equipment financing, growing your business, or any number of other options. It means that you could continue to have funding to develop and improve products and processes. It also means that any projects that you have undertaken that have completely failed could receive partial compensation. The refunds that you would receive from the SR&ED program help your business get that competitive advantage that helps in an already aggressive industry. In this economy and in the ultra-competitive market, it is always helpful to know that there are ways to support the developmental and innovative work that you may be doing. The SR&ED program was designed to invest in Canadian businesses doing exactly that. Have you thought about how you can benefit from the SR&ED program? You could be missing out. B Courtney Wilson is a supervisor at Cambridge, Ontario-based Northbridge Consultants, who specialize in assisting companies to maximize their SR&ED claims. For more information visit www.northbridgeconsultants.com or call 519-623-2486. building
Plans for potentially Canada’s largest multi-cultural shopping centre are to rival those found Hong Kong, Shanghai or Beijing — and the comparison is not unintentional.
Eastern Promises A hush falls across the room as Peter Sharpe, president and CEO of The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) chairman, steps up to the podium at the ICSC’s 2009 Canadian Convention this past September to address the crowd about industry trends. “First and foremost, I’m happy to report that the global shopping center industry, particularly in Canada, remains stable and is showing its resiliency,” he says. “Despite curbed spending, a positive global trend and countervailing force for global players is the proliferation of modern shopping formats in emerging markets overseas. It is clear that consumer behaviour and urban design in emerging markets is now firmly established.” He did not elaborate much on what he meant by “modern shopping formats in emerging markets overseas,” but if we cast our eyes to the north-eastern border of Toronto, we can see a market that while certainly not overseas, bears the spirit of decidedly foreign influences. And soon we will see, rising in the middle of it like a dragon, a massive modern shopping format that is poised to tap into that foreign market. The market in question is the Town of Markham, known to many as Chinatown North due to its large concentration of Asian, particularly Chinese-Canadian, residents. This is particularly exemplified by many Asian-oriented shopping centres in Markham, in particular Pacific Mall, the most well-known Chinese mall in Markham, which, combined with neighbouring Market Village and Splendid China Tower, forms the second largest Chinese shopping area in North America, after the Golden Village in Richmond, B.C., according to Wikipedia. The dragon in question is Market Village, which, thanks to its parents, Canadian development company The Remington Group, will be reborn as The Remington Centre. Touted as the
Images courtesy of Kohn Architects
By Peter Sobchak
largest multi-cultural shopping centre in North America, the mixed-use behemoth will purportedly “fuse traditional Eastern markets with contemporary Western boutiques and style” in an effort to reach a strong Chinese community with over 230,000 residents of Chinese origin, representing more than 25 per cent of the region’s population. Although groundbreaking still does not have a firm date, The Remington Centre will be born out of the ashes of Market Village, transforming 352,000 square feet of floor space to over 800,000 square feet of commercial and residential property. Designed by Toronto-based Kohn Architects Inc., the plan of the building is loosely based on the Ru-Yi, a traditional Chinese symbol of abundance, wealth and good fortune. “The curvilinear shape of the building works along the site,” and hints at the symbol’s form says Sean Lawrence, partner at Kohn Architects. “The Ru-Yi is so unique and beautiful that an image of the building pops up in my mind as soon as I see it.” The overall scheme for the mall is to be “modern, crisp and airy,” as Lawrence puts it, with touches of Asian influence without falling into a pastiche or caricature of Asian culture. Flow is organized around a system of linked courts that all have a natural theme, for example the Lotus Court (food court); Pine Court (main stage atrium), Orchid Court (a northwest atrium), Bamboo Court and Silk Corridor connecting them. These thematically-linked neighbourhoods serve several purposes beyond suggesting these Asian icons: they are part of the wayfinding system, as well as places where large skylights are employed to maximize daylight. As well, a Night Market court will have extended hours and evoke an Asian night-time urban experience reminiscent of Hong Kong. Food courts and restaurants are a major component of the mall’s anchor vendors, since food
Previous page: a sourthern elevation rendering of the recently unveiled Remington Centre mall in Markham, Ont. This page, clockwise from left: Themed courts within The Remington Centre include the Orchid Court, Pine Stage, Bamboo Court and Night Market.
features heavily in Asian culture. This will require a flexible yet thorough air handling and exhaust system to mitigate scents. The exterior will feature a six-acre outdoor public plaza with a pond that converts into an ice rink in the winter, and a permanent stage with a cascading waterfall is in the plans to accommodate more than 2,000 people for weekly cultural performances. Access tunnels and new entryways from major streets will be built to moderate the high traffic volume that Market Village currently experiences, aided by a parking garage of up to six levels with a total of 3,500 parking spaces. The centre will also feature a large geothermal installation, with heating and cooling provided through the floors of the centre. While Asian culture, particularly the importance of food, will certainly play a dominant role in defining the mall, it will certainly not be just a collection of tiny stalls selling tchochkes or pirated DVDs, as seems to stereotype many other urban Asianthemed malls. The plan for the new billion-dollar property is to house more than 360 retail stores, incorporating small sized shops currently found at Market Village with premium spaces for upscale boutiques and anchor tenants. According to an article in The Toronto Star, “Key to the business plan is that, unlike a traditional mall where the developer is the landlord, [Rudy] Bratty, [president and CEO of The Remington Group] intends to sell the mall spaces, either to the retailers occupying the premises or outside investors — a structure commonly used in Asia to spread the ownership risk.” Additionally, a residential/hotel component adjoining the shopping centre will be constructed in the second phase of development, and will include a 20 storey condominium tower with 475 units and luxury hotel suites. A network of pedestrian pathways and private streets will link the retail and residential environ-
ments, as well as integrate The Remington Centre with the adjacent Pacific Mall to a greater extent. Many kinks in the plan are still being worked out, especially in an economic recession particularly unkind to the retail development sector, but Bratty is confident the shopping mall land is fertile in Markham. “The Remington Centre will introduce a new model of shopping for Canada’s booming multi-cultural communities,” he says, and certainly current statistics encourage this belief. For example, the 2006 Census counted nearly 2.5 million Canadians who identified themselves as South Asian or Chinese, representing a growth rate of 27 per cent over 2001. This rate of growth was five times faster than the 5.4 per cent increase for the Canadian population as a whole in the same period. Although Sharpe indicated during his speech at the ICSC conference that “for now, new shopping center developments are likely to take a back seat to value enhancement of existing bricks and mortar,” he hedged that by then saying “with a few notable exceptions in key growth markets.” Markham could certainly qualify as such a market. “From a development standpoint, we need to keep evolving to give consumers fresh and vibrant shopping experiences. This has been something the shopping centre industry has been very good at ever since the beginning,” continued Sharpe in his speech. “We’ve diversified from the simple suburban mall and neighbourhood centre model to power centres, lifestyle centres, hybrid formats, urban infill, and mixed use. Each of these formats is continuing to improve and evolve in its own way.” The Remington Centre has certainly charted itself an interesting evolution. B To take a virtual tour of The Remington Centre’s themed courts, visit www.building.ca building
Extensive glazing throughout Peterborough Regional Health Centre, by Stantec Architecture, provides constant visual connections to the landscape of the Kawarthas and the community.
The Art and Construction of Wellness Knowing that better hospitals mean better patients, evolving models of funding and design for new health care projects are intersecting with the goal to improve the patient experience.
Image courtesy of Richard Johnson, Interior Images
By Rhys Phillips When the economy gets sick, hospitals get positively healthy. At least, the demand for major health care facility construction and expansion not only avoids a recessionary decline, it booms. In the January/February 2010 issue of ReNew Canada, 23 of the top 100 infrastructure projects listed are in the health care field. These range from the traditional owner-financed $90 million David Braley Cardiac Vascular and Stroke research Institute (Parkin Architects with McCallum Sather Architects) in Hamilton (number 95) to the PCL-led consortium’s $909 million design, build, finance and operate (DBFO) Edmonton Clinic North (ranked 15). The latter, designed by Stantec Architecture will be an equally colourful but more “adult” rival for the fanciful and award-wining 2008 Alberta Children’s Hospital by Kasian Architecture. This proliferation of health care facility construction, of course, is not simply a function of the recession. Investment has also been driven by the severely outdated state of the health infrastructure, the demands of aging but still politically potent baby boomers and a two decade-long effort to rationalize healthcare through both geographic amalgamation and specialization as the “general” hospital model has lost its functionality. An example is Ontario’s health science restructuring started in the 1990s that continues to drive, for example, the transformation of the Qunite Health Care Centre in Belleville, Ont. as the second largest component of a regionalized health care system. Conversely, healthcare has emerged as a core element of the
new creative economy, increasing the demand for medical campuses that consolidate state-of-the-art facilities to attract top professionals. Thus, since its founding in 1997 by the federal government, the Canada Foundation for Innovation has provided significant infrastructure funding to hospitals able to demonstrate their involvement in leading edge bio-medical research such as the SickKids Research Tower in Toronto, currently under construction. As the new creative worker tends to be an urban dweller, the integration of these facilities into the community is vital. Toronto’s 2.5 square kilometre Discovery District in the heart of the city is perhaps the most ambitious effort to create a world class health and bio-medical centre of excellence. On-going advances in medical technology also drive the demand for new and restructured physical health care complexes, however new, more mobile technology is but one element that supports what is the most radical new variable, a fundamental shift toward a patient care focus.
A recession proof boom While nine of the projects on the ReNew Canada list either finished construction in 2009 or will do so this year, there is no shortage of projects to take their place. Currently, Infrastructure Ontario’s own listing provides an additional 17 health care projects either under construction, at the request for proposals/qualifications stages or in pre-tender. While three relatively small projects, Quinte Health Care (Belleville, $72.2 million), Rouge building
Image courtesy of Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated
Valley Health Systems (Ajax $63.9 million) and Runnymede Healthcare Centre (Toronto, $63 million) are scheduled to be completed this year, two of Ontario’s largest projects are just getting into the ground. Niagara Health at $759 million is a design, build, finance and maintain (DBFM) public/private project by Plenary Health while Toronto’s Bridgepoint Hospital, incorporating Toronto’s historic Don Jail building is another Plenary coordinated project funded at $622 million. Ontario is not the only province where generous health infrastructure funding continues to flow. Perhaps the largest project underway in Canada is South Campus Health Centre, designed by Kasian Architecture. Interestingly, given its location in the strongly private sector-oriented Alberta, it is a traditionally publicly funded complex with a reported price tag of $1.4 billion by its completion in 2018. The ambitious full plan calls for this multi-focused healthcare, teaching and research campus to also centre a new mixed-use community for 150,000 residents in south Calgary. More recently in Quebec work started on the long anticipated $1.343 billion McGill University Health Centre at the Glen Campus in Montreal. This DBFM project will be managed under the umbrella of the McGill Health Infrastructure Group, led by SNC-Lavalin and Innisfree Ltd. It is touted as “part of one of the world’s largest public-private partnerships.” The architects
Top and above: The new Bridgepoint Hospital will be a 10-storey, 680,000 square foot facility designed in the renovated Don Jail in Toronto by Diamond and Schmitt Architects for patients affected by multiple, lifelong illnesses.
are HDR Architecture Canada Inc., Yelle Maillé architectes associés, S.E.N.C. N.F.O.E. et associés architectes. In addition, work is starting this spring on the DBFM, $470 million medical Research Centre at the University of Montreal Hospital Centre led by the consortium Group Access Recerche Montréal, as well as at Quebec City’s Hotel-Dieu Hospital, a public private partnership (P3) expected to cost $635 million when completed in 2013.
Image courtesy of Kasian
A decade of rethinking funding models
Top and above: The Kasian-designed Sills Wing at QHC Belleville General is a 175,000-sq.-ft. extension that will house inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, a complex continuing care unit, a Rehabilitation Day Hospital and Children’s Treatment Centre.
The shift to a patient care focus has been the most important driving determinate of the physical form of the new hospitals, out-patient facilities and other medically related buildings. But a second and still evolving revolution has been the emergence of “Alternative Financing Procurement” (AFP) to replace the traditional, publicly funded fixed price model. Perhaps the first effort at a P3 in healthcare was the Harris government’s William Osler Centre (Parkin Architects and Adamson Associates Architects) that was only finally approved in 2004 by the McGuinty government as a DBFO project (where the “O” represents not just maintain but also operate). The Healthcare Infrastructure Company of Canada — Carillion is the umbrella private sector partner for the $550 million, 1.2 million square foot hospital with 608 acute care beds finished in late 2007. The AFP model has been rapidly evolving over the last decade. Many of the current projects under construction are still Build Finance (BF) arrangements in which the building design remains
Images courtesy of Richard Johnson, Interior Images
the responsibility of the hospital authority while the builder provides the financing under a fixed price. This initial AFP model still provided a modest step away from public construction risks by stipulating payment only when “substantial” work is completed. A major player has been EllisDon, whose recently completed and currently under construction projects include Bridgewater Health (Sarnia), London Health Science Centre North (London), and Henderson General Hospital (Hamilton), all around the $200 million level, as well as other projects in Ottawa, Mississauga and Sudbury ranging between $70 and $170 million. Increasingly, however, AFP agreements have advanced into the more all inclusive DBFM model. Under these arrangements, speciality infrastructure companies as well as several of Canada’s largest construction firms assume full project
responsibility starting with design all the way through to 25 to 30 year agreements to maintain and even operate the facility for a set annual fee. In the B.C. Healthcare led DBFM Surrey Outpatient Hospital (Kasian), the consortium will be paid a $17 million Annual Service Payment to cover repayment of the construction/financing costs, equipment replacement/ upkeep and facility management of the plant and grounds. Some of the other key firms involved in Canada are Plenary, Carillion, Bouygues, Infusion (Bilfinger Berger BOT and John Laing Infrastructure), Babcock & Brown, Innisfree, Acciona, Macquarie, Lend Lease, EllisDon, PCL and SNC-Lavalin. The emergence of major Canadian construction companies as umbrella infrastructure organizations and not just as construction partners represents a move to mitigate the “boom and bust” cycles of the construction industry. One of the most active firms is Plenary Health which entered Canada in 2003 after extensive experience in Australia and the UK. In a 2008 presentation, Plenary’s CEO Mike Marasco painted an inviting future for P3 healthcare procurement in Canada. He found Canada to be one of the most robust markets globally for DBFM projects, enhanced by a
Images courtesy of Richard Johnson, Interior Images
This page: The redevelopment of Montfort Hospital in Ottawa, by Stantec Architecture, added two new wings and renovated existing facilities, including maternal newborn, mental health, ambulatory care and emergency services.
Images courtesy of Richard Johnson, Interior Images
Above, centre & right: Based on the idea of ‘crossroads,’ Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s east-west path establishes the main entrance and lobby space, and is given material presence through locally quarried stone and warm charcoal grey concrete block.
strong political commitment, particularly in Ontario, B.C., Quebec, and at the federal level. Indeed, the powerful Infrastructure Ontario now makes it a condition of funding, while section 3.3.7 Consideration of P3 Option or AFP Option of federal infrastructure agreements with provinces requires projects with $50 million or more of federal money demonstrate that “the option of undertaking the project as a P3 or AFP has been fully considered.” In the latter part of the decade, there has been a shift of demand for P3 arrangements to mainland Europe and Canada although the latter, Marcasco suggests, has a deeper market than the former. Canada continues to lead in North America and the Canadian market is maturing quickly with rival Canadian companies emerging as solid AFP competitors. What makes the Canadian market attractive, he says, is the large health infrastructure deficits at all levels of government coupled with the strength of the Canadian economy compared with other countries struggling against the sub-prime crisis. In addition to stable commitment, demand is backed up by rapid adoption of best practices adapted to the Canadian market and a level playing field characterized by fair, open and transparent procurement practices. The last can be attributed in part to the formation of dedicated P3 agencies in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. as well as an emerging pool of related resources. Not surprisingly as a private sector proponent, Marasco found Canadian weaknesses focused on clients and governments. This included a high level of “prescriptiveness” stemming from a concern over loss of control, the need to further develop P3 talent in the public sector as well as differences in approaches, evaluation criteria and contract documentation by province. None of this, however, has dulled his desire to see expansion into the 70 per cent of healthcare procurement not covered by the still limited scope of even the DBFM model. For example, the inclusion of Managed Equipment Service (MES) and IT could shift to the private sector the initial financing and provision of medical equipment as well as maintenance and repairs based on prescribed standards and the updating of assets
at set points. In contrast, in the Surrey Outpatient Hospital project, the $66.7 million medical and IT costs are being funded through separate public financing. Eventually, agreements might even include everything from security and cleaning to food services and parking as P3 moves into full operation of health care facilities. Although one architect noted, “cost is always present in the room,” the imperative for improved building quality may be strengthened by the DBFM model. Patsy Poulin, design architect for Kasian on the Sills Wing of Quinte General (BF) says that the past focus on “current day costs” is now giving way to concern with longer term costs. Greg Colucci, a principle with Diamond and Schmitt Architects and lead architect on Bridgepoint Hospital (DBFM) agrees. “While it is all about price, there is a vested interest in a building’s operating efficiency. Therefore, higher quality may cost more initially but this can be recaptured over time by lower operating costs.” And after all, states Poulin, the greater cost is in the operation of the building over time. For proponents, beyond the movement away from a focus on current day to long term costs, the strongest arguments for APF are two. First, governments usually require modeling of each project to demonstrate significant savings (for example, the saving over traditional finance and build was estimated to be $22.5 million for Surrey) although critics frequently dispute these findings. Second, residual risk and replacement price risk are also shifted from the public to the private sector.
A radical shift in priorities drives design The transformation of healthcare project financing has taken place as the priorities that determine good functionality of facilities have undergone the radical shifts noted earlier. While every press release boasts about sustainability — indeed a minimum LEED Silver is mandatory by most jurisdictions including B.C. and Ontario — and “state-of-the-art” is a de rigour term, design is primarily driven by an all-encompassing patient care focus but within a built environment that is flexible enough to
Image courtesy of Kasian
handle a rapidly changing if somewhat unknown future. Concerning the latter, Poulin emphasizes that “with the radical and continuous changes in technology, we have to prepare in order to respond to unpredictable futures.” This means installing pre-service systems in the structure based on best estimate “predictors” used to plan out over the 25 year horizon required, for example, by the Ontario Ministry of Health. In theory, changes can then be accommodated without major disruptions. The emergence in Ontario of generic output specifications has helped structure benchmarks for a modular approach. “Flexibility,” says Colucci, “is the result of well proportioned space with good ceiling heights.” This can be achieved in hospitals within a ninemetre grid that provides optimum structural efficiency. Another tactic, Poulin adds, is parking “soft spaces” such as offices and meeting rooms around patient or treatment areas that are expected to expand in the future. The most important change, however, has been the move to patient-focused care that includes the patient’s families and extends the relationship to both the local community and the environment in which it exists. Stantec Architecture’s Michael Moxam, lead designer of the award-winning Peterborough Regional Health Centre and the equally accomplished Montfort Hospital in Ottawa, speaks elegantly about this shift. From a past obsession with equipment planning, hospital design has shifted to architecture capable of lifting the spirit. The new imperative for health care facilities, he says, is to respond to how people, particularly patients and their families, experience and react emotively to space, a response that is very much part of the healing process. In this light, Poulin explains that the rooms in Kasian’s tightly budgeted Sills Wing are still designed to be home-like with larger dimensions than traditional hospital rooms, in part to facilitate family participation in healing. “Our designs now include elements to enable family caregivers to stay with patients while attractive dinning, lounge and therapeutic external terraces both serve the patient and the family during extended stays,” she says. Because of the Sills Wing’s location overlooking picturesque Bay of Quinte to the south, most rooms are located facing this direction with large windows and even corner windows offering, brags Poulin, “exquisite views.” Again, reflecting virtually every hospital infrastructure press release, light is a key ingredient, enticed it in through generous glazing, two strategically incorporated north facing courtyards and a roof terrace. At Peterborough and Monfort, Moxam drops window sills to the floor so bed-confined patients can experience the landscape from ground to sky. Monfort is a deft organization of two wings on either side of the original spine-like hospital to rationalize movement, ensure abundant natural light and engage the exterior. These wings are arranged to create four open courtyards that provide the “heart and soul” of the complex. Ribbons of glass corridors slide through the old and new as well as by the courtyards to both bring in light and provide way finding that depends on external cues and not coloured dots on the floor. Almost all new hospital facilities prescribe single — or at most double — rooms with ensuite washrooms. Both trends serve dual purposes; they increase patient comfort and respond to the
Above: The new $239.1 million, 188,000 square-foot Surrey Outpatient Facility is being built at the Green Timbers site near Surrey Memorial Hospital, designed by Kasian.
now paramount objective of minimizing the spread of infection. Similarly, very careful programming is necessary to facilitate both the patient-centred care imperative and administrative functionality. On the one hand, the cost of care delivery is very much about time. Space planning, says Colucci, must attempt to make the best use of very expensive health care professionals. “Even a few extra steps repeated many times costs money,” he says. But gone are the days when patients wandered the halls from one treatment area or piece of equipment to another. The demand now is to bring treatment as much as possible to the patient, a requirement facilitated by technological advances that have increased equipment mobility. building
An architecture supportive of wellness? Stantec’s two accomplished hospitals are both Build Finance while the architecturally promising SickKids Research Tower in Toronto’s Discovery District (Diamond and Schmitt with HDR Architects) sticks to a more traditional funding and management model. It remains to be seen how deep a commitment exists within the risk adverse BDFM model to produce architecture that rises above technical quality and sound functionality. Colucci believes this new approach is, on balance, neutral on this question and it will be architects who will in the end provide the answer. The renderings for Bridgepoint, as well as for Stantec’s Edmonton Clinic North at the University of Alberta (PCL) suggest the AFP model can produce such design quality. Similarly, the LEED Gold-targeted Surrey Outpatient
Image courtesy of Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated
A perhaps unexpected focus has been the drive to integrate health care facilities at various levels into their communities, even to the point of seeking to reflect their broader genius loci. One of the most elegant examples is Peterborough Regional Health Centre. Located on high ground with a commanding view of the Kawartha’s rolling hills, lakes and marshland, the hospital is laid out as a crossroad. This reflects Peterborough’s industrial town roots with a masonry tradition and defined by the bridges that cross the Ottonabee River. Working with these traditions, Moxan set out to create “connection, emotion, understanding and orientation, including providing for the idea of community and public space in a healing environment as part of the larger urban fabric.” Panoramic views are exploited for both patients and visitors, interior courtyards bring in light while their transverse paths suggest the area’s bridges. “The materiality of the project, locally quarried stone, red clay brick with steel channel inserts and corrugated metal siding reflect the rich industrial traditions of the architecture of Peterborough,” he says. At Monfort, he establishes a different type of community connection. A large, three storey hanging glazed bay, a strikingly lit beacon at night animated by a dramatic spiral staircase, is highly visible as one approaches the main entrance. This is the lobby to the Canadian Forces hospital wing and serves to symbolically connect visiting civilians with the city’s very important military community. Bridgepoint, which began as a hospital-led design by Stantec Architecture with KPMB Architects before becoming a DBFM project under Plenary Health with Diamond and Schmitt and HDR Architects (the former architects remain as the schematic and compliance architects) has also been designed to link directly into the community with its prominent Jarrod Street entrance, connection to Riverdale park and the blurring of public and private spaces with the landscaped grounds acting as both public and therapeutic spaces. Colussi also sees the 10 storey, 472 bed hospital, designed for patients with multiple, lifelong illnesses who will benefit from close family care, as providing a visible regional presence. Located high on the Don River’s east bank, its striking glass and metal volume will serve as an icon for wellness, while a terrace café and many patient rooms will offer panoramic views of central Toronto. Above: The SickKids Research Tower, by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, is designed with a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, targeting LEED-Gold certification in addition to complying with the Toronto Green Building Standards.
Hospital design promises a strongly articulated form with rich detailing in local wood and a canted, undulating glazed atrium mediating between an open lobby and a busy intersection. The last word goes to Greg Colussi who, in a thoughtful presentation on Diamond and Schmitt’s guiding principles for health care design, stated, “Fundamentally, we believe in the restorative power of good design. To paraphrase Le Corbusier, the correct and magnificent assembly of form [and] light, is as essential to our well being as food and rest.” B
Images courtesy of KPMB Architects
to go small
The University of Waterloo is besting their already-impressive renown for computer technology innovations with the construction of an ultra-sophisticated new building for computer research.
By Peter Sobchak Its name sounds like something out of Star Trek, and its purpose is, funny enough, not far from that. The principle of the QuantumNano Centre (QNC) at the University of Waterloo in southern Ontario is to create a platform for research and innovation in the fields of quantum computing and nanotechnology, and a hub for research activity and interaction between theoreticians, experimentalists, graduate and undergraduate students, industry, and government within a rigorous laboratory environment. The program includes 280,000 gross square feet of laboratory, teaching and office space, and the goal of the architectural team at Toronto-based KPMB Architects — which was under the direction of Marianne McKenna, partner-in-charge, and Mitchell Hall, design architect, both of KPMB, with Jack Paul, Senior Lab Planner of HDR Architecture Inc. — was to meet the
specific requirements of the respective scientific practices while creating an urbanistic response to the University of Waterloo campus. The Institute of Quantum Computing (IQC) and the department of Nanotechnology Engineering each occupy their own ‘building’ and are organized above a shared podium that houses the Metrology Suite and Cleanroom. The podium is clad with burnished concrete block to relate to the primarily masonry campus fabric of the University of Waterloo. The two components are joined by a linear central atrium that is both an indoor pedestrian route linking the Ring Road to the campus, and an informal space to catalyze exchange between scientists, faculty, students and visitors. The overall massing creates a series of new courtyards while labs are strategically buried below grade to minimize interference from EMI and vibration. The green building
Previous page and above: The spirit of nanotechnology is expressed on the exterior in a honeycomb pattern based on the structure of a carbon nanotube. This detail both provides a symbolic framework for research but is also an essential structural device to support the cantilevered perimeter office space.
Images courtesy of KPMB Architects
Below: The Quantum-Nano Technology Centre at the University of Waterloo embodies a strategic initiative to generate synergies and innovation between the fields of quantum computing and nanotechnology, computer science, chemistry, biology and physics that will lead to innovative solutions and commercialization.
roofs of the podium act as an extension of the landscape and reinforce the network of green spaces that distinguish the University of Waterloo’s campus. The IQC, housed in a ‘bar’ building with an east-west orientation, faces out to the Ring Road to communicate the IQC’s commitment to scientific advancement and innovation through collaboration with public and private sectors. The IQC façade explores the abstract notion of ‘superposition’ with varied readings generated through degrees of transparency and the play of light on its surfaces. The heart of the IQC is the six-storey atrium with its network of floating stairs. ‘Mind spaces’ — simultaneously lounge, office and meeting rooms — are organized around the atrium and a cafeteria/kitchen on the second floor reinforces the theory that food and drink are essential catalysts for interdisciplinary interaction. A series of back-painted glass white boards reflect light and provide the scientists with writing surfaces for capturing spontaneous ideas. A highly flexible multipurpose space is located on the ground floor to accommodate a range of internal and external events and conferences. The Nanotechnology Engineering research ‘box’ faces back to the campus. Here, a dynamic hexagonal honeycomb steel lattice distinguishes the exterior elevation as a symbolic framework for the research within. The pattern was inspired by the fundamental building block of nanotechnology — the intrinsically stable hexagonal carbon structure — to achieve support and mitigate the impact of the Nano volume on the cleanroom below. This building has “very stringent vibration criteria and a very complex structure, including concrete waffle slabs and an eight-story steel tower with a honeycomb curtain structure
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Conestoga-Rovers & Associates C hung & Vander Doelen Engineering Ltd. NAK Design Group Martin Conboy Lighting Design Leber Rubes Inc. Aercoustics Engineering Ltd. Colin Gordon & Associates RWDI Inc. Vitatech Engineering Engineering Harmonics CM2R Aecon Group Inc.
suspended from the roof, supporting the edge of the floors below, as well as two steel bridges to adjacent existing buildings and an underground service tunnel,” explains Ian Trudeau, Halsall Associates Limited. Work began in August 2008 and is scheduled for completion in mid-2011. Funding for the $160-million project comes from a personal donation from Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis, for which they received naming rights, from Industry Canada’s Economic Action Plan, from the Province of Ontario, and from the University of Waterloo. B
GREEN BUILDING INSULATION To meet green building standards for better thermal protection and energy performance from longer-lasting, environmentally benign building materials, more projects employ closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) insulation, which provides significant benefits contributing to green building performance and LEED certifications. For commercial and institutional buildings, sustainability has become an overarching and highly important project driver. Key attributes associated with high-performance green building — including high energy efficiency, occupant comfort, material durability and increased property values — have led to the adoption of best practices in construction materials and methods. Among those is the use of more efficient insulation systems, air barriers, and seamless monolithic roofing systems. One such system, closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) — an insulating foam that, when sprayed in or onto construction assemblies immediately increases in volume by as much as 30 to 40 times — has been shown to offer improved life-cycle analysis and environmental performance, in addition to superior control of the building enclosure and the indoor environment. Closed-cell spray polyurethane foam (ccSPF) insulation systems are self-adhering, two-component products that are spray-applied on site. The material is a rigid insulation system that, once cured, fills cracks, voids, and gaps and tenaciously bonds to most
construction material substrates, including metal, wood, plastic, masonry, and the like. In addition, ccSPF has been shown to provide superior thermal insulation performance — the highest among all commonly used insulation products. Typically, 2 lb/ft3 foam is used for walls and 3 lb/ft3 foam is used for roofs to provide increased strength. CcSPF performance shows a design R-value of 6.2 for ccSPF wall insulation with a density of 2-pounds per cubic foot at 75 degrees F. Similarly, at a mean temperature of 75 degrees, a design R-value of 6.7 is observed for ccSPF with a density of 3 pounds per cubic foot (lbs/cu. ft.), according to the standard ASTM C 518 04. Excellent thermal performance, added structural strength, nearly zero air permeability and integral vapor retarding function makes ccSPF an excellent green building product. The expansion of the product once it’s sprayed on a surface allows it to conform to the many irregular spaces that traditional materials cannot. Overall, ccSPF systems are an excellent choice for green
Demilec presents its new generation of spray polyurethane foam insulation, Heatlok Soya. An ecological insulation with Zero Ozone Depletion Substance (Zero ODS) content made from renewable vegetable oils and recycled plastics, Heatlok Soya meets all the requirements of the National Building Code of Canada. www.heatlok-soya.com
A polyurethane spray foam, such as Fomo Products, Inc.’s Handi-Family product line, creates an effective barrier in tough spots like rim joists in a fraction of time and cost. For instance, one can of Handi-Foam yields the same amount of air sealing material as 30 standard tubes of caulk, and is simple to install. www.fomo.com building
building, as ccSPF systems provide: • Superior R-value as compared to all other insulation products. • A complete air barrier, eliminating air infiltration, thus improving energy performance significantly beyond basic R-value and radically improving control of the indoor environment. • Improved building durability because it is seamless and monolithic, reducing water and moisture intrusion and improving overall building strength. • An overall favorable life-cycle analysis, thanks to: reduced manufacturing energy used; up to 40 percent operational energy
savings; durability and long installed life span; and minimal waste of about 1/2 cubic yard per 10,000 square feet of application. • Many green building rating system (such as LEED) credits for energy performance, reduced energy use in transport, recycled and renewable material content. The preceding is an extract from a whitepaper entitled Green Building Insulation: The Environmental Benefits. To read the entire whitepaper on the use of advanced insulating technology in high-performance green building, visit www.building.ca
OTHER INSULATED INCIDENTS PINK now greener Owens Corning has increased the recycled content of their residential and commercial insulation products by an additional 10 per cent, making it now made of at least 70 per cent recycled glass content — the highest recycled content for fiberglass insulation in Canada. In addition, using recycled content helps reduce Owens Corning’s energy use and CO2 emissions, as melting recycled glass requires significantly less energy. www.owenscorning.com
Like a rock Roxul has introduced an R28 rated insulation to their lineup of popular Comfortbatt products. Roxul Comfortbatt R28 is 7.25 inches thick, and fits flush in a 2x8 wood stud. Suited for new home or agricultural buildings, a combination of natural stone and recycled content makes Roxul insulation an excellent fire barrier, able to withstand temperatures up to 1,177°C (2,150°F). www.roxul.com
Light as air
Vacuum sealed Panasonic Canada Inc. had introduced to the Canadian market new vacuum insulation panels (VIP) which achieve R60 per inch levels of insulation. Wrapped in a laminate film to create a low vacuum inside and control thermal conduction for all temperatures, the lining molding technology provides full-vacuum thermos insulation performance despite the low-vacuum setting. The insulation is made from 75 per cent recyclable glass and is recyclable. www.panasonic.ca
Birdair, in partnership with Cabot Corporation and Geiger Engineers, introduces the new Tensotherm composite roofing material. Similar to Birdair’s other tensile roofing fabrics, but with the added benefits of translucent Aerogel, a feather-light insulation layer also known as “frozen smoke” that enhances the material’s thermal performance. Just one 3mm granule has more than 10 billion microscopic holes and more than 1,000 trillion pores. The nanosized pore size and unique structure traps air at a nanoscale to prevent heat loss and solar heat gain even when compressed. www.birdair.com
AESTHETIC. EFFICIENT. SAFE. Protect your building with efficient drainage! At the bottom of the garage ramp, on the sidewalk, terrace, swimming pool or the green roof, ACO Drain has the perfect line drainage solution. Over 4 million meters ACO Drain systems are installed every year in over 40 countries around the world. ACO Systems 877-226-4255 Envirospec 4C Ad 262-1002:Envirospec 4C Ad 262-1002 www.acocan.ca
Turn roof tops into beautiful, useful decks.
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BY STEPHEN CARPENTER, PEng
Are green roofs always green? Green or vegetated roofs are all the rage, and for good reason. They are a beautiful, tangible way to identify a building as sustainably designed. Green roofs have also been shown to decrease the urban heat island effect, caused by flat dark surfaces such as parking lots and dark roofs that can raise a city’s temperatures by five degrees compared to rural areas. Similarly, buildings with dark roofs which absorb the sun’s energy rather than reflecting it will heat up faster and require more air conditioning than their lighter-coloured or green counterparts. Also, the vegetation on green roofs mitigates stormwater runoff by absorbing rainfall. It is for these reasons that the City of Toronto recently mandated that all new buildings must have green roofs and many architects feel that a green building must have a green roof. Why is it then that only about 10 per cent of Enermodal’s 57 LEED-certified projects have green roofs? We consider four factors in examining the case for green roofs on a building. Let me explain how we applied these factors on our new LEED Platinum candidate office building, A Grander View — Canada’s most energyefficient office that doesn’t have a green roof.
1) Is stormwater a liability or an asset? Instead of thinking of stormwater as a liability that has to be mitigated, it should be viewed as free clean water that can be used to reduce the demand for municipal water. Installing a rainwater cistern is effective at controlling stormwater and provides free water for non-potable needs. At A Grander View, our 700 square metre roof drains into an 18 cubic metre cistern that provides almost all of the water required for flushing toilets and urinals and for outdoor hose bibs for spot irrigation and employee vegetable garden plots. The combination of the cistern and low-flow fixtures reduces city water demand by 80 per cent.
2) Does the site have green space? In dense urban areas, an accessible vegetated roof may be the only green space available for building occupants to enjoy. However, most building projects have some green space that, if properly landscaped, can provide equal or superior benefit at much less cost. At approximately $150 to $250 per square metre, green roofs are expensive. At A Grander View, even though located in an urban area, we have approximately four times more green space than roof area. Instead of spending $150,000 on a green roof, we have outdoor landscaping comprised of native trees, shrubs and ground cover (with no sod). Amenity space consists of a gazebo, patio areas, walkways, and a roof deck. The total cost of the hard and soft landscaping package is under $100,000. The extensive plantings of trees and shrubs will do far more to mitigate the urban heat island effect than the low intensity sedum or grasses used in most green roofs.
3) What is the best way to reduce the energy impact of the roof? Studies by the National Research Council show that a vegetated roof can effectively eliminate the cooling load associated with the roof. For low-rise buildings in cooling-dominated climates, this can be a significant savings. However, for most Canadian buildings, the energy benefit from green roofs is much less, and in cold climates such as Winnipeg, the impact may be negative. At A Gander View, we used a reflective white roof and upgraded roof insulation to minimize the energy impact of the roof. The additional cost was less than 10 per cent that of a green roof.
4) Is renewable energy an option for the project? The past few years have seen a dramatic improvement in the cost effectiveness of photovoltaics. The increased worldwide supply of PV modules has cut costs in half to under $3,000 per kilowatt, and incentives for installing PV are available in several jurisdictions. In Ontario, power from roof-mounted PV can be sold for upwards of 80 cents per kWh and the payback on the investment is in the range of ten years. Several companies will finance the installation and pay the building owner to lease their roof space. Installation of a green roof limits the potential for roof-mounted PV as both the PV and the plantings need access to the sun. At A Grander View, 24 PV modules are mounted on the roof and provide close to 10 per cent of the building energy. The white roof provides the additional benefit of reflecting more light onto the panels. Green roofs are a neat idea and can provide interesting outdoor space for building occupants in urban areas where such space is hard to find. They also serve a variety of purposes, particularly in downtown locales. However, in many applications they are a flashy — and expensive — aesthetic feature that may limit other green options such as rainwater harvesting and renewable energy. Every project team needs to identify the best use of their financial resources in order to truly minimize the building’s environmental impact. While efforts to promote green roofs are a step in the right direction — they may be mandating that design teams consider sustainable design features — green roofs are not necessarily the right solution for many green buildings. B Stephen Carpenter is president of Enermodal Engineering and was Canada’s first LEED Accredited Professional as well as serving as the current chair of the Technical Advisory Group for the Canada Green Building Council. Enermodal has been Canada’s largest firm exclusively dedicated to creating energy and resource efficient buildings since 1980, certifying more LEED buildings than any other firm.
a cozy, energy-efficient home starts with PinK
• Ideal for retrofit, additions and new construction • Exceptional moisture resistance and durability • Saves up to 28% on heating and cooling costs* • Qualifies for Federal and Provincial Government grants
• Trusted insulating performance • Outstanding energy efficiency • Over 70% recycled content • Adds comfort to the home • Easy to install • Non-combustible • Safe for the home
To learn more about why PINK FIBERGLAS ® is the insulation preferred † by most Canadian homeowners, contact your Owens Corning Area Sales Manager. TM
Leger Marketing Study. THE PINK PANTHER™ & © 1964-2010 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reser ved. The colour PINK is a registered trademark of Owens Corning. *Actual savings vary depending on initial insulation levels, climate, house tightness, and occupant activities. 70% recycled content is based on the average recycled glass content in all Owens Corning fiberglass batts, rolls and unbonded loosefill insulation manufactured in Canada. The GREENGUARD INDOOR AIR QUALITY CERTIFIEDSM Mark is a registered certification mark used under licence through the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. Owens Corning PINK insulation is GREENGUARD Certified for indoor air quality, except bonded loosefill products. ©2010 Owens Corning. All Rights Reserved.