Showcasing BC & Albertaâ€™s architects and interior designers
SUMMER 2012 Vol. 13 No.1
black + blue
designer holly shearer | technology | green design | appliances
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SUMMER 2012 Vol. 13 No.1 www.designquarterly.ca PUBLISHER Dan Gnocato firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Cheryl Mah Graphic Design Tang Creative Inc. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Terry Adamson, Alexis Gavin Arlene Ladner, Charles Leman Margot Long, Mike Ohman Robert Sadler, Dale Seiden Byron Tarry, Brian Wakelin Dr. Guido Wimmers, Richard White B.C./ALBERTA SALES Dan Gnocato 604.549.4521 ext. 223
06 Designer Profile Holly Shearer
As founder and principal of Shearer Design, Holly Shearer and her team have provided successful design solutions for many of Calgary’s top corporations.
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10 project profile Black + Blue
Box Interior Design incorporates a number of striking details for Black + Blue, its latest restaurant project for the Glowbal Group.
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On the cover: Black + Blue in downtown Vancouver features a sophisticated and evocative design by Box Interior.
The purpose of Design Quarterly is to reflect and represent practitioners and professionals in the architectural, interior design and design resource communities throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY 3
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ne thing we’re not short of in Vancouver is world class dining. But the restaurant business is a tough one and even a good restaurant can fail if it does not stand out from the crowd. Not only does a restaurant need great food and great service, a distinctive design that helps define the space is equally as important. Gracing our cover is Black and Blue, the latest addition in the Glowbal Group’s collection of dining establishments in the city. The evocative design and contemporary reinterpretation of a steakhouse was the work of award winning firm Box Interior Design. A dramatic meat locker bathed in a pink and orange glow (a very cool idea) is one of the unique features in this expansive restaurant. For our profile, I spoke with Holly Shearer, owner and principal of Shearer Design in Calgary. She has successfully guided the firm’s growth and direction into one the city’s top corporate design firms over the last 17 years. Also in this issue are our features on technology, appliances and green design. Green design remains at the forefront of the industry where best practices and policies continue to evolve. Industry experts
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
share some insights into Passive House, which is still in its infancy in Canada; thermal performance of doors and windows; and connecting our built environment with nature. Technology is another area that is under constant change. Find articles about BIM and the need for more collaboration; challenges balancing IT technologies and AV; and trends in home entertainment specifically the television. Make sure you also read about the design district in Calgary, the last spotlight in our series of design focused neighbourhoods. Finally, check out all of this year’s 2012 AIBC Architectural Award winners. Seven projects were selected from 58 award nominations. Congratulations to all the winners!
Cheryl Mah Managing Editor
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a holistic approach By Cheryl Mah
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
or Holly Shearer, founder and principal of Shearer Design, the key to a successful project is not just about the design or the aesthetics. “What we do is focus on workplace culture and what we call workplace strategies at the beginning and work with the client to define what the goals of the project are,” she says. “It’s about giving a holistic experience for the client where it’s not just about design, it’s about the entire workplace strategy and the future of their workplace and out of that evolves the design.” From there, the successful delivery of the project depends on good communication and meeting the goals set at the outset. “Each company has different demographics and different goals. It’s setting the goals and expectations at the beginning and checking every step of the way that they’re being met,” says Shearer. With more than 15 years of experience, Shearer has guided the firm’s growth and direction into one of Calgary’s leading commercial design firms specializing in corporate interiors. Her passion for design and superior workplace environments has been the inspiration behind the firm’s approach. “I love putting the puzzle together,” says Shearer about what she enjoys most about design. “It’s kind of like trying to figure out the personality of a person — what makes them tick except it’s a company so it’s about what’s important to them and defining that in a physical way.” Born in Alberta, Shearer’s early interest in art led her to attend Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design in Vancouver before she discovered interior design. After graduating from Kwantlen University College’s interior design program, Shearer began her career at an architectural firm. “They did not have an interior design department set up so I help them to establish that and worked there for several years,” recalls Shearer. “The two architects there had a big influence on me in how they treated their staff like family.”
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::::::: designer profile ::::::: PetroBakken
In 1994, she moved to Calgary where she worked for a couple of local firms before deciding to strike out on her own a year later. She built her firm in the early days through existing relationships with commercial realtors. Since then, Shearer Design has grown and provided successful design solutions for many of the city’s top corporations. The firm currently employs a staff of 15 and has a management team of five including principal Sean Crawford. The team emphasizes design excellence and collaboration, offering services that include space planning, project budgeting, design implementation and project management. “All our designers are also project managers,” says Shearer. “We’re probably the only design firm that has certified PMPS — project management professionals — on staff.” Oil, gas and energy companies comprise the majority of their clientele. Projects are primarily located in Alberta but the firm has done work elsewhere. Most recently they completed Nicli Antica Pizzeria, an award winning restaurant in Vancouver. Current projects include work for AESO (Albert Electric System Operator) and Canadian Energy Services; ongoing work with National Bank Financial and an expansion for Davis LLP. The firm recently completed two large projects for Statoil and PetroBakken. “We completed nine floors for Statoil and seven floors for PetroBakken at the same time as well as handling our regular workload,” notes Shearer. 8
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Statoil saw the relocation of 450-plus employees to the top nine floors of Jamieson Place on a tight timeline. The Petrobakken project was similarly on a tight schedule where new office space on the seven floors of Eight Avenue Place was needed for more than 300 employees. The firm has won a number of industry awards, the most recent being a 2012 Prairie Design Award of Merit for the new offices of Jennings Capital. With its strong base of clients, the firm is staying busy but the marketplace has become more competitive. “It’s very competitive right now but we have a good base of clients that know us and we’ve been in business here for a long time,” says Shearer, adding the firm’s long term goals are for growth. “I think one of the things that set us apart is our people [many who are long-term employees]. We’re received many compliments about our professionalism and how we’re easy to work with to make projects run smoothly.” The impact of the recent recession was minimized with the firm working on a few large government projects. “We were lucky. We had some large projects that we were working on at the time and that carried us through until the recovery,” says Shearer. The firm also strives to incorporate sustainable or “green” concepts and design elements into every project.
“We encourage our clients to participate in sustainable practice. With corporate interiors, it’s not hard to do and we just need to bring it to their attention,” says Shearer, adding most of the firm’s staff is LEED accredited. “Green design is a buzz word now but in reality the design industry is always leading edge, and has been working on green design for many years.” As for the future of corporate design, Shearer says addressing the different demographics within the workplace is increasingly important. “The way the different demographics work within the workplace and how that’s going to change the layout of the office and the selection of furniture and components will influence designs moving forward. Technology is a big part of that too,” she says. DQ
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sexy steakhouse Striking details make this restaurant a distinctive standout. By Cheryl Mah
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
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::::::: feature project :::::::
Its opulent interior is a mix of warm woods, gold accents, velvet and leather...
lack and Blue brings a unique upscale dining experience to Vancouver, with more eye catching details than just the food on the plate. Opened in late October 2011, the impressive 12,000 square foot specialty steakhouse is the seventh and largest to date for the Glowbal Group. It is also their third restaurant to be located on Alberni Street. “The concept for Black and Blue echoes the lively and popular steak houses of the
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
past along with the nostalgic pleasure of experiencing a stand out meal,” says proprietor Emad Yacoub. With its soaring 38-foot ceiling, custom lighting and dramatic meat locker, the multimillion two level restaurant is an evocative and contemporary reinterpretation of a classic steakhouse. Its opulent interior is a mix of warm woods, gold accents, velvet and leather to create a refined sophistication. “It’s glamorous but restrained at the same time,” describes designer Jay Brooks about
Black and Blue, the fourth new dining establishment his firm has created for Glowbal. “You’re selling steak so it needs to be sensual and evocative.” Brooks notes that all of Glowbal’s restaurants are conceptually strong. “When you don’t have conceptually strong projects, things can fall apart quickly and become generic,” he says. “Black and Blue is a sophisticated steakhouse that is unique in the marketplace.” The expansive 240-seat restaurant features a number of striking features that have been carefully orchestrated by the award winning firm Box Interior Design, led by Brooks and Cynthia Penner. The main challenge for the project was figuring out how to deal with the high two volume space and to create a level of intimacy that never existed before, according to Brooks. The existing space saw the demise of two restaurants before Yacoub decided to step in and create a steakhouse. Brooks attributes that failure in part to a physical space that was not ideal so the first change was to extend the original mezzanine to make a complete second floor that overlooks the large rectangular bar. “By having the bar right in the centre, it creates that high energy and buzz,” he continues. “Glowbal restaurants are all about seeand-be-seen.” Without a doubt, the illuminated meat locker lined with a Himalayan rock salt wall — a first for Vancouver — is the most distinctive and unusual feature. “I didn’t think I would ever design a meat locker,” laughs Brooks. Having seen the use of the salt blocks for spa treatments, the team decided to use it as a backdrop for the aged and cured meats. The use of the marble like salt blocks provided two benefits — it visually softens the display of meats (with a pink and orange glow) and helps the dry aging process. “By having it illuminated the pink blocks become orangey and almost onyx and varied in its colour tone so that the meat is not so glaringly obvious…some are even in shadow, explains Brooks. “It’s a strong glowing focal point of interest and can be seen from the street.”
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Located between the bar and kitchen, the 12x12 glass encased locker showcases all the available rare cuts of beef, aged for 28-48 days. “Because we’ve never used the salt blocks before, we had to try and figure out how to put it together, how do we support it and how do we backlight it — it required a lot of engineering,” notes Brooks. Another highlight is the close attention paid to lighting throughout the space. The show stopper is a custom Tom Dixon light installation that floats like a cloud of gold above the bar with its stunning cluster of 86 Etch pendants. “We were in Milan earlier that year and saw the Etch fixtures,” says Brooks. “At the time we were playing with the idea of how to fill the volume of space because it required a level of interest and decided we could use the pendants. It worked out well — some are illuminated and some are not. It draws your eyes up there and has a wonderful warm glow.” 14
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
More intimate lighting is provided through the use of wall sconces and table lamps. Upstairs, four massive 12 foot long custom crystal chandeliers sparkle against the floor-toceiling windows. “When you have all these different levels of lighting, it becomes more glamorous, it
…the firm’s focus is on creating premium brand experiences that are distinctive… shows people in their best light and also makes it more theatrical,” says Brooks. While the main floor injects the space with a high-energy vibe reflected in the harder surface choices such as the black and ivory granite floor, upstairs is purposely more plush and intimate with carpeting and dining booths separated with velvet drapes. The restaurant offers a wide variety of seating styles from olive green leather
banquettes and modern high wing back chairs to cozy sofas. “The most important thing for us is to have every seat be fantastic so we pay lots of attention to our planning,” says Brooks. There are also two private dining rooms upstairs which feature smoked tobacco wall panelling, high coffered ceilings and granite-clad fireplaces. “There’s a need in this city for private dining. We felt it was important to have at least two here,” says Brooks. As hospitality specialists, the firm’s focus is on creating premium brand experiences that are distinctive and connect emotionally with patrons while positively affecting the client’s bottom line. “This is a unique steakhouse — something Vancouver doesn’t have and it’s extremely successful,” says Brooks. “Any designer should be able to make any space look good — that’s what a designer does — but to make a restaurant really functional and profitable is ultimately what we’re most happy about.” DQ
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calgary’s design district Centred on 11th Avenue SW, Calgary’s Design District or SoDo is a vibrant hub for architects, interior designers, furniture stores and galleries. By Richard White
t seems like every inner-city community in North America is searching for a hip name. New York City lays claim to some of the best: the Meatpacking District (an area once home to more than 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants) or Tribeca (Triangle below Canal Street). One of the most intriguing names for a hip, urban community in Canada is Calgary’s Beltline. The name refers to the assemblybelt-like fashion in which the streetcars weaved their way back and forth along the area’s avenues from 1909 to 1950. Today, the Beltline consists of two distinct areas — a mostly residential precinct from 12th to 17th Avenues, and a mixed-use district along 10th and 11th Avenues next to the C.P.R. main line that separates it from downtown.
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
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::::::: spotlight :::::::
Calgary’s location on both the C.P.R. eastwest mainline (established in 1883) and the important north-south line between Fort Macleod and Edmonton (completed in 1892) resulted in the city becoming a major regional distribution centre in the late 19th century. This position was strengthened in 1902 when the railway agreed to offer preferred freight rates on goods shipped from the city. The pre-WWI boom resulted in 160 warehouse buildings along the C.P.R. main line by 1913. This mostly Edwardian, red brick warehouse district supplied Calgarians with a wide array of merchandise from building supplies to groceries for more than 100 years. Fast forward to the 1980s, when the area was referred to as “South Downtown” in planning documents. The 600 block along 18
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
11th Avenue was colloquially dubbed “Electric Avenue” in the late ‘80s for its plethora of nightclubs; it was the place to party during the 1988 Winter Olympics! Then, in the 1990s, there was an attempt to name the area “SoDo” for its “South of Downtown” location. At the turn of the century, some area merchants got together and marketed it as the “Design District”; however, this has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Today the SoDo moniker has returned with a spring block party. While the number of warehouse buildings has been significantly reduced, the area’s character is still defined by them. It has long been the place for architects, interior designers, furniture stores and galleries to locate, given its proximity to Calgary’s mega downtown (40 million square feet of
office space and one of the largest concentrations of head offices in North America) and to upscale residential communities. Regardless of what they name it, Calgary’s Beltline is home to some of Western Canada’s coolest hangouts for designers, foodies and art connoisseurs.
the hub The 700 block of 11th Avenue is “the hub” of the Design District. In 1996, architect Jeremy Sturgess, along with three partners, bought three buildings in the middle of the block: a wood structure from 1912, a concrete structure from the 1930s, and a steel structure from the 1950s. They renovated and combined the three buildings to create The Building Bloc. Original tenants that remain include the Paul Kuhn Gallery, The Cook-
::::::: spotlight :::::::
book Co. Cooks, Metrovino (with its back alley entrance), Brûlée Patisserie, Sturgess Architecture, and Ptarmigan Oil and Gas Accounting. Sturgess, one of Calgary’s urban champions, says, “I saw the potential for a warehouse-based, retail precinct between downtown and 17th Avenue. Immediately after we bought our buildings, Helen Zenith bought the site next door to build her gallery and I knew we had started something.” Today, the block also includes furniture design boutiques Robert Sweep Homefurnishings, Kit Interior Objects, Domicile Interiors and BoConcept, along with the Herringer Kiss, Newzones and Weiss Galleries. You can buy everything from an Edward Burtynsky artwork to a MOOI Horse Lamp. (Yes, Sweep sold a full-scale horse with lamp shade recently — only in Calgary!) Relative newcomer Deborah Herringer Kiss had a gallery further west but always wanted to be located closer to the other design stores. “When my previous lease was nearing completion, I kept a close eye on spaces on 11th Avenue between 5th and 8th Streets that came available. I jumped when this space became available. It has definitely helped to be clustered with other design businesses.”
bounding outward As you venture away from “the hub,” you will find an eclectic collection of buildings that house everything from suburban-scale
grocery stores (Safeway and Calgary Co-op) to specialty hardware shops, as well as great restaurants, lofts and modern condos. Laurier Lounge is located in the Stanley Residence, a Tudor-Revival-style, singlefamily home with wood shingle siding, and a steep gable roof and large dormer built in 1908. This former boyhood home of George Stanley, who designed the Canadian flag, is a great spot to celebrate being a Canadian over a dish of poutine. The Sherwin-Williams Co. Warehouse is a 1913 Edwardian warehouse with brick cladding and an elaborate Tyndall stone entrance. In 2005, new owner Royop added a glass rooftop penthouse to create a modern warehouse look for its new headquarters. Country Furniture occupies the street-level space. Just around the corner is Ah! The Art of Hardware offering more than 150 different vendors. Calgary’s Mountain Equipment Co-op store occupies the northeast corner with their distinctive green metal roof with four tent-like arch windows that maximize the amount of natural light penetrating the interior space of the green-designed building. The structure also features a forest-like streetscape that makes it stand out in the sea of concrete and brick. Trépanier Baer Gallery anchors the northwest corner in an office-worker equivalent of a warehouse (i.e., 1978 brick mid-rise office tower). Vancouver
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developer Qualex Landmark has plans to develop the old Western Canadian Graphics site on the southwest corner into a mixeduse condo tower. Qualex Landmark has already completed three other condos a few blocks west — Stella, Nova and Luna. Head further west to the corner of 11th Avenue and 11th Street and you stumble upon more stores like Maria Tomas, F2 Furnishings, City Tile and Designer’s Choice. Maria Tomas is celebrating their 10th anniversary in their funky mid-century modern building that once was a Beaver Lumber yard and a Canadian Western Natural Gas appliance store. Even further west at 14th Street and 10th Avenue is The Lighting Centre, which has been at this location for 30 years. If you decided to amble east instead of west from the hub block, the 200 block of 10th Avenue has a collection of historic brick warehouse buildings. One is home to Calgary’s Roche Bobois store. Rumour has 20
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
…the 200 block of 10th Avenue has a collection of historic brick warehouse buildings. it that, at one time, the building served as the stables for the Calgary Police horses. It’s hard to imagine that, 100 years ago, anyone ever thought these buildings would one day be used to sell $15,000 sofas. Also on this block is the Keshmiri family’s House of Persian Rugs. Around the corner on 1st Street are the store-front homes of the awardwinning Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative and GEC Architecture, established in 1966 and one of the longest-operating architectural firms in North America.
jane jacobs village Whatever you call it — Design District,
SoDo or Beltline — this area is a classic Jane Jacobs urban village. There are no designer sidewalks, no custom lamp posts with banners and hanging baskets, no fancy street furniture. It is more gritty than glitzy. It is an eclectic mix of independent designer shops, retailers and restaurants, a mix of old and new buildings. Harry Sanders, author of Historic Walks of Calgary, loves the Beltline for its extra-wide alleys, designed to accommodate the railway spur lines that once brought freight to the warehouses: “I like the alleys as a pedestrian alternative to avenues when I’m walking in the Beltline as it seems more authentic to its sense of place. For the urban flaneur, it is a great place to ramble.” DQ Richard White, in addition to being the managing director — 3D visualization at Riddell Kurczaba Architecture in Calgary, writes an urban development/design column in the Calgary Herald.
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design with nature by Margot Long
n the way to the Calgary, Alberta airport yesterday I saw a coyote chasing a prairie dog, or possibly a gopher. In the middle of planes circling overhead, congested roads, over engineered road intersections, gas stations, park and fly lots, and through a proposed landscape designed prairie meadow, the coyote was hunting its pry. In the spring of 2009 healthy herring roe were found on the newly man-made constructed shores of the Olympic Village on False Creek in Vancouver, B.C. Herring had been visibly absent from the creek (or rather an ocean inlet of the Howe Sound) for 60 or 80 years, depending on whom you talk to. It was determined by local naturalists that once these eggs hatched, the fish would return to spawn in 2012. A great media event arose in May 2010 when a grey whale was spotted and tracked for a number of days in False Creek around the same location as the herring roe the previous year. Since a stormwater wetland was introduced to the Olympic Village at False Creek in 2009, many species of wildlife including heron, mallard ducks, river otters, stickle backs, crayfish, and others have been seen making use of the newly created habitat to the delight of residents and visitors to the community. Nearby, and within two days of the tall Doug22
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
Urban landscapes, infrastructure, and built environments should all be focusing on connecting us back to nature. las fir snags being installed on the man-made naturalized island called Habitat Island, bald eagles found a perch and from their newfound view point, observed the construction of this new model sustainable neighbourhood in dense, urban Vancouver. Millions of important insects, as well as field mice, have built their homes in the natural meadow on top of the 2.4-hectare Vancouver Convention Centre living roof, providing food for bald eagles, hawks, crows, and returning songbirds. Introduction of a roof top meadow within such close proximity to large natural areas allows species to travel between them, increasing the habitat value of the individual green spaces. Should designers and landscape architects be trying to replicate nature and natural ecosystems in dense urban environments, or should we focus on cultural and manufactured ornamental landscapes that provide visual beauty and pleasure, but do not necessarily connect us with nature or natural systems that are con-
textual to our environment? Or maybe a more appropriate question is: did these man-made natural landscapes lead to the return of “natural and ecological systems” within these highly dense and urban environments? And what benefit does nature really bring to urbanity? In E.O. Wilson’s 1984 book, Biophilia, he suggested that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. This theory has been explored by many architects, landscape architects and designers on famous projects throughout the globe. Biophilia is not a new phenomenon or just about sustainability or ‘green building’. Built environments need to not only reference natural forms and processes, but fully integrate them. As designers, we often focus only on aesthetics, high-end design, and style without thinking about larger environmental impacts or creating opportunities for people to connect with natural systems. Urban landscapes, infrastructure, and built environments should all be focusing on connecting us back to nature. It is statically proven now that people heal faster when connected to nature, learn better when connected to nature, and are emotionally happier when connected to nature. Our built environments not only need to reinforce nature and natural systems, but they need to connect these spaces and places to our surrounding natural environments and features such as streams, rivers, oceans, meadows, bogs, and forests. It takes more than one innovative project, one new neighbourhood, or one new park. It is a multitude of initiatives that work together to make change happen. Each project we work on should consider how natural systems are reinforced and enhanced. We will know we are marginally successful when the herring spawn, the eagles perch, the field mice multiply, and the grey whales return. DQ Margot Long, BCSLA FCSLA ASLA BLA, is a landscape architect and principal at PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc. in Vancouver, B.C. who is passionate about sustainable community development and creating great public realm projects in urban environments. She graduated from the University of Oregon and practices in Alberta, B.C., the Pacific Northwest and Asia. www.pwlpartnership.com
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passive buildings By Dr. Guido Wimmers
Rainbow Passive House, Whistler
he last five years have been very interesting in Canada’s construction industry. The Canadian Green Building Council with its LEED program paved the road to more environmental friendly construction and motivated and educated professionals as well as clients to consider the impact of their buildings. But in the wake of that we have also seen outrageous green washing and exorbitant performance claims — if the matter wouldn’t be quite as serious for our environment and consequently for us humans, it would be comical at times. Today more and more professionals as well as building owners are looking for a meaningful leap in the construction industry. Passive House is one possible answer. The first official Passive House was built in 1991 close to Frankfurt, Germany but the roots of today’s most energy efficient building standard go back to projects in the Canadian prairies’ in the late 70’s. The first official Canadian Passive House was the Austria House built for the Olympic Games in Whistler in 2010. The Passive House standard today is probably the scientifically best thought through, researched, evaluated and proven energy efficiency standard and very successful with more than 40,000 units in more than 30 countries on almost every continent and in climate zones reaching from the tropics to the arctic. Passive Houses are extremely energy efficient buildings, in fact their energy consump24
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
tion for heating and cooling is reduced usually by 90 per cent if compared to common practice (down to a maximum of 15kWh/m2 on an annual basis) and overall energy consumption is reduced by about 70-80 per cent. But how can we achieve that without using complicated active mechanical systems? The most important key is to understand a building, no matter if commercial, residential or institutional as a holistic system and reduce energy losses through compactness, proper orientation and well designed mechanical systems. Also the performance of the envelope needs to be much higher than code requirements, which comes with the benefit that the interior climate is more balanced and thermally very comfortable. Since cold surfaces are eliminated there are no hot surfaces needed to compensate. Because the building is airtight (0.6 ach/h @50Pa) there are no drafts and also the risks for damages to the envelope are greatly reduced because no humid air can infiltrate the walls and condensate. Due to the superior insulation and airtightness also noise conductivity is reduced significantly which adds another positive side effect to the package. Overall Passive Houses are much more predictable and easier to control in different climate zones — in case of a power-outage they offer some peace of mind because the passive survivability is much greater. Even at temperatures of -20°C on the outside the indoor temperature will stay comfortable over many days. The same is true dur-
ing the hot season; the allegory of a thermos flask makes it easy to understand. As an ice tea stays cold in a well insulated compact container also your interior comfort will be superior even if it is +30°C or more — you don’t need air conditioning. Passive Houses are not net-zero. Because of financial reasons it is quite often not feasible to produce as much energy on site as needed — but Passive Houses are the precondition to achieve net-zero in the most affordable way. It is usually more affordable to save energy than generating it. The idea is to reduce the energy load as far as it makes financial sense and keep it reasonably priced. If you then like to invest more you can purchase equipment to generate on-site energy and achieve netzero in the most affordable way. Passive House will cost slightly more than traditional construction because the building and construction quality is superior. These additional costs are partly absorbed by savings due to much simpler mechanical systems. Energy cost and maintenance are much lower over the lifetime of the building and thermal comfort and healthy living is drastically increased. Overall it is financially the best strategy; has environmentally the lowest impact and is also the best investment into well-being a building owner can do today. Two years ago the non-profit organization Canadian Passive House Institute (CanPHI) was founded. It is the only Canadian organization which is licensed to teach international Passive House courses in Canada. It offers an intensive week where architects, builders, and engineers can learn in depth about Passive House and how to build to this superior standard. Today there are about 40 projects across the nation under construction or already finished. The variety spreads from single family homes to office buildings — even care facilities and schools are being considered. We see this as a very important step to increase the quality, durability and ecology of Canadian construction. DQ Dr. Guido Wimmers, MRAIC, LEED AP, worked as a consultant designing and building Passive Houses in Austria, Germany, and Italy prior to coming to Canada. He has given numerous seminars and talks about the next leap in building technology. He is also co-author of the Passive Design Tool Kit of the City of Vancouver and a founding director of CanPHI. www.passivehouse.ca
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improving thermal performance By Terry Adamson
â€Śthere are a number of manufacturers that continue to label and/or advertise their products with incorrect informationâ€Ś
nce upon a time the fenestration industry did as they pleased. A time when window and door manufacturers had little concern for how they built their products; the objective was to be the most competitive in the marketplace. The product availability was limited and the designs were quite typical from supplier to supplier. It was only a few decades ago a thin metal framed window with single glazing was not unusual to see in a new Canadian home. Heating your home was cheap, reducing emissions was a rare term, a footprint was something you left in the sand, high performance products were limited, home designs were much simpler, and dad told you to put on a sweater if you were cold. The competitiveness may not have changed, but the product has. In the last 20 years there have been numerous improvements. There are many new frame designs, foam filled frame cavities, insulated fiberglass door slabs, fiberglass window frames, composite window and door frame materials, thermally improved spacers, glazing cavity gas filling, triple and quad glazing, suspended glazing films, and improved glass coatings including recent advancements with interior fourth surface Low E coatings. There are many window and glazing designs today that can push Uvalues well into, and below, the 1.0 range (W/(m2*k)), or a 5.5 R value. Although this is still the largest thermal hole in the home, it is significantly improved from 30 years ago when a typical product would be around a 4.5 U-value (1.25 R-value).
Many companies offer a variety of higher performing products, but the challenge is always the cost. Providing an accurate return on investment is difficult, as there are many factors beyond just the window or door. The amount of glazing, type of glazing, building orientation, building design, product installation, and of course the quality of the product, all have a large impact on the performance. There are groups working to provide direction on what can and must be used in a project. For example in B.C. we have Energy Star as well as the BC Energy Efficiency Act (BCEEA). Energy Star is a voluntary national program that provides a comparison of products and their performance via thermal testing and computer simulations. There are government funded rebate programs that come and go, such as Livesmart and eco-energy, offering incentives that require Energy Star rated products for the renovation market. Although helpful, these programs tend to create an erratic volume of business for those in the renovation market as they start and stop. The BCEEA is a provincial law that stipulates what thermal performance levels fenestration products must meet to be used in any project in B.C. Although the required performance is not as good as the lowest Energy Star zone, it does specify better thermal performing products than we saw only a few years ago. Both of these programs have helped to improve the thermal performance of windows and doors among the companies that follow the rules. The difficulty is these programs work with limited funding creating
challenges policing and enforcing their own policies. Unfortunately there are a number of manufacturers that continue to label and/ or advertise their products with incorrect information, as well as some that simply ignore the requirements of both programs. This leads to confused consumers and challenges manufacturers that are spending the dollars to play by the rules, all the while losing jobs to those that do not. It is imperative that you do research. The variety of offerings is endless, as is the performance one should expect. A good manufacturer will spend the time to explain the options and what the specific project needs to achieve the desired results. A triple glazed high thermal performing window with low water ingress ratings is likely not the most cost effective choice in Vancouver, while it might be the very best choice in Prince George. There are many reputable manufacturers making very efficient products today that will provide exceptional performance. The key is to understand your particular project needs, and use quality products capable of delivering the desired results. Do that and you will live happily ever after. DQ Terry Adamson has worked in the window and door industry since 1985 and is an avid industry supporter and member of multiple associations. Employed with Westeck Windows in Chilliwack B.C., he is currently serving as president for WDMA-BC. His particular interest is the challenges facing manufacturers by codes, laws, regulations and their inconsistent compliance and enforcement between jurisdictions. Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
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bim: learning to share By Charles Leman
anBIM (the Canada BIM Council) recently held a regional session in Vancouver. The presentations consistently emphasized one fundamental aspect of BIM: collaboration. Co-operation, collaboration, sharing: These are good things, right? Let’s face it, the AEC industry tries, but typically the deck is stacked against us: Ours is an industry of competitive and adversarial relationships, where everyone tries to shed liability and protect their thin margins, even though in principle we are on the same team. While other industries have consistently seen gains in productivity over the decades, the AEC industry has actually seen small but steady decreases in productivity due to cost overruns, scope and schedule creep, and unforeseen risk. This has prompted industry observers to ask whether it is “broken”. In “Working Paper #50”, Bob Prieto identifies the various obstacles in the AEC industry to “Systemic Innovation”, of which BIM is a prime example. The AEC industry, unlike the automotive or aeronautics industries, is highly fragmented. It is composed overwhelmingly of 28
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small companies that come together on a project by project basis, rarely developing the kind of longstanding business relationships that encourage integration of practices and infrastructure. It is also regulated on a local basis, with each authority having jurisdiction establishing its own policies and regulations. Finally, business relationships are largely defined by contractual terms that stifle innovation, for example by effectively prescribing the use of paper for information exchange. The same issues apply to other innovative building design and construction methodologies, such as IDP (Integrated Design Process), fast track construction, and various forms of the design build delivery model, which require close collaboration both horizontally and vertically within the project team. Not surprisingly, BIM is a critical enabling technology in all of them. That is the challenge that BIM is both faced with, and provides an opportunity to resolve: horizontal and vertical integration throughout the AEC industry, though interoperability of digital design information. So while everyone understands how sharing a BIM model is desirable, there continues to be significant concerns about it in practice:
•W ho “owns” the model? (and what does that mean) • What are the deliverables? • What is the liability? •H ow do we attribute responsibility in a model with multiple authors? • How do we protect intellectual property? •H ow do we address the expansion of the consultant’s scope of work? • Who is responsible for each element of the model and to what level of development? • What are authorized uses for the model? • To what extent can users rely on the model? • Who will manage the model? Informal and improvised model exchanges among consultants or with builders can work, but obviously aren’t the most recommendable approach. The management of the BIM process needs to be spearheaded by someone, and the protocols and standards for the development of the model and the exchange and “hand-off ” of the model formalized. The best tool for accomplishing this is a BIM execution plan. The BuildingSMART Alliance “BIM project Execu-
::::::: technology ::::::: tion Plan V2.0”1 is an excellent template. Although at first glance the document may seem imposing, it has actually been designed to scale readily to any size project, and should not unnecessarily overburden smaller projects. Currently most collaborative exchanges of BIM continue to occur in a context of trust, where models are exchanged on the same basis established for sharing CAD files, using a simple disclaimer and an agreement that the digital files are made available “for information only”. This arrangement may be tolerable under certain circumstances while the industry comes to terms with the implications of BIM. There is a significant difference between BIM and CAD: machine readability. With CAD file, the assumption is that the exchange is essentially an electronic rather than a physical exchange of drawings, and the interpretation of the documents will be by human eyes. With BIM, there is an increasing reliance on the model content interpreted by machine, where quantities and specifications are subject to less human scrutiny than they would have previously. The assumption that the receiver of the model can assume some responsibility for the content (as the law currently assumes in the case of drawings in contracts) is no longer clear. Moving forward the basis of BIM exchanges will increasingly be contractual and based on a standard. Currently there are several groups working to develop contract language to deal with BIM. In the interim, a good reference document for contract language for BIM is AIA Document E2022. This document is in fact an addendum to include with other contract forms to cover BIM requirements and data exchange. Recently CanBIM and the Canada Institute for BIM both developed relationships with BuildingSMART, which authored the U.S. based NBIMS (National Building Information Modeling Standard) which will likely form the basis of a Canadian BIM Standard, and/or a North American BIM Standard. For the AEC industry in Canada, BIM could be a catalyst in a broad change that would finally bring gains in productivity to a laggard industry. For those firms that have now positioned themselves as leaders in BIM, it’s necessary to participate in the creation and establishment of the standards that will make it possible by joining and supporting organizations such as CanBIM and the Canadian Institute for BIM. DQ Charles Leman, MAIBC, LEED AP, is an architect and BIM specialist at Hughes Condon Marler Architects.
unwind at the touch of a button Transform your home into a peaceful retreat with Lutron® motorized shading solutions. At the touch of a button, quietly lower your shades to create privacy and tranquility, or raise them to reveal the outside view.
Pico® wireless shade control.
Return the shades to your favorite level with one touch of the silver button.
W I N D O W
C O V E R I N G S
I N C.
• 6 0 4.9 8 6 .0 1 8 1
Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
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big trend in tvs By Mike Ohman
s you are sure to have noticed, televisions keep getting bigger and bigger, and this will continue until televisions can’t get any bigger; when they take up the entire wall. Then the walls will get bigger… About a year ago an 80” TV came on the market, now there is a 90” TV available with larger sizes coming. Does anybody need a TV that big? There is always someone who wants the biggest TV on the market, and will pay almost anything to get it — if you build it they will come. Also fueling this trend is our perception of what constitutes a large TV. We recently installed a 55” TV in an ensuite — in a condo! As prices continue to drop and sizes increase, we need to re-think room design for a variety of reasons. Anyone wanting such a large television typically also wants a matching audio system, requiring large numbers of speakers and more. We have for years used in-ceiling speakers, they at least disappear somewhat, blending in with the pot lights and other ceiling elements. With surround sound speaker systems now requiring seven or eight speakers, it becomes very difficult to hide them all. 30
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One great solution is the speaker bar. A single wide thin cabinet that houses the left, centre and right speakers can be built to match the width and finish of the television. Essentially hiding the speakers in plain view with excellent sound, customers love this solution. Televisions are also getting smarter, that is, they are connected to the internet. Not only can you play tennis or rock band on your TV, you can easily plan the family vacation using on-line maps, chat on Facebook, check emails, and with a built in camera you can make video phone calls. More like a personal computer than a TV. Might they someday be called TV calls instead of phone calls? With products like Apple TV, for a very modest cost we can easily show photographs or artwork on the screen when it is not being used as a TV. It does not have to always look like a big black rectangle when not in use. We can control gaming systems by waving our hands, and this technology is starting to allow control of other systems like the TV, lighting, audio video, motorized shades and more. These sensors will be built into televisions at some point, so room to play tennis, bowling and other games in the living room needs to be considered.
Microsoft just bought the company that powers the touch-screen televisions you may have seen on CNN. This technology will be available on consumer televisions in time so instead of a mouse and keyboard we will touch the screen like we do with our smart phones. For all these reasons, the way we design some rooms needs to change. No longer is it appropriate to put the screen way up high above the fireplace. The TV must be within reach, centrally located (not in the corner) and with the trend clearly moving in the direction of “information portal” rather than standard TV broadcast, plus the larger sizes, there is little choice but to put them front and centre. Perhaps some televisions will come with video of a crackling fireplace as their default screen saver? DQ Mike Ohman is the CEO of Beyond Audio inc., a custom electronics systems contractor based in Kelowna B.C. Trained as a power engineer, he has more than 25 years of experience in the audio / video industry, on projects as far ranging as the BC Canada House at the 2006 Olympics in Italy, to being the audio engineer for the band Heart. Contact him at email@example.com
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AV and IT technologies By Byron Tarry
This “Scrum” room is an example of the evolving form of collaborative spaces in the enterprise, challenging the “traditional” AV deployment model.
he ever increasing pace of convergence between AV (audio visual) and IT technologies — driven in particular by the concept of “unified communications” — has changed AV enabled rooms from isolated islands with little relevance to any other room to an ecosystem where any room needs to be able to connect to any or many other rooms in a seamless and reliable manner. The foundation upon which this ecosystem exists is the IT network, adding further complexities to an already troublesome AV delivery experience for architectural and design (A&D) professionals. As this transition has occurred, AV has become caught between being an enterprise technology tool, an architectural & design feature, and a facility infrastructure item, with typical project planning and implementation approaches associated with either facilities or IT deficient in delivering reliable and successful results. Construction and facilities professionals lack the technical knowledge and experience associated with AV, IT is typically focused in a “virtual” world where project success is dictated by lines of code as opposed to a physical built environment, while the AV industry as a whole is still maturing and lacks the consistency in process or real understanding of either environment. The increasing importance (indeed criticality) of presentation, visual communication, and collaboration technologies in the enterprise, and the criticality of the network to AV’s success, has naturally transitioned responsibilities and ownership of AV away from facilities and towards IT. Indeed so important has AV become that more progressive organizations are redefining the two into a new unified department titled ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) where AV is not subordinate, or even equal of, but one with IT. This evolution and change has done little to address the project delivery issues AV has
faced. Indeed for the A&D professional it has perhaps created even greater struggle as their traditional client in facilities has lost some influence and control of AV. Add to this final system configuration, optimization, and commissioning has increased in complexity, and the time required for the “last trade” in the project is now requiring more time at the end of the project and has a higher risk of exceeding any deadline set. The challenge: • bring the organizational/strategic best practices of IT’s deployment and support strategies around the likes of standardization & project management • adapt these IT strategies to the realities of the increased number of construction and design project stakeholders and physical considerations involved in a typical AV deployment. • leverage an increasing number of AV best practices and standards (ie: www. Infocomm.org/standards) around project specific implementation to manage and measure performance and consistency Leading AV solutions providers are recognizing this and are building structures and processes to align accordingly, trying to become a bridge between, and educating both customers and broader project stakeholders to best practices associated with effective AV deployment. As with any ecosystem, however, change in one area requires adjustment from others to achieve a rebalancing. When a new facility/space is planned, it is relatively easy for IT to determine and specify its own requirements (as most of these are already standardized). In contrast, facilities projects are typically opportunity driven, and planned on a project by project basis. As AV transitions towards IT concepts of strategic and proactive planning, much of the change required needs to occur within, and be driven
by the client. Focus should be given to balancing organizational culture, structure, and process when AV projects do arise to ensure effective communication and engagement across internal organizational silos and external project consultants. It’s important to understand there are changes in the facility environment too. Integrated Building Technology (IBT) is a rapidly evolving concept, with traditionally disparate systems including lighting, HVAC, security, shades, AV, and even concepts such as room scheduling systems, all integrating over the network to create a single intelligent and coordinated ecosystem working in harmony to improve efficiency. IBT is an opportunity with significant sustainability benefit and is poised to become a significant part of the green building movement. As such a host of new challenges are on the horizon requiring Facilities and IT alignment as IBT projects begin to appear. How can A&D firms take advantage of this changing environment? Beyond increasing educational awareness and technical knowledge within A&D firms, it is leveraging the rapidly evolving concepts of Integrated Design Process (IDP) and Integrated Project Delivery (IDP) where opportunity lies. The A&D community plays an important role in understanding opportunities for leadership in the delivery of optimized living and working environments, and subsequently assembling and coordinating project teams to exploit this. Driving the principles of multidisciplinary collaboration espoused by IPD/IDP, simply understanding the need for inclusion of ICT (& indeed IBT) stakeholders at the outset of the design process, and utilizing the A&D professional’s ability to unify typically disparate/separate parties to a common collaborative focus are the greatest gains to be made. A&D firms that are able to articulate their understanding of the place technology can and will play in optimized built environments, and then how they are able to translate that into their design and project delivery approach stand to clearly differentiate amongst their peers. DQ Byron Tarry is director, strategic business initiatives for Sharp’s Audio Visual, and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
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more than just grills As outdoor kitchens continue to grow in popularity so does the array of appliance options. By Dale G. Seiden
Proper space planning of the appliances is an area that is, more often than not, overlooked.
ot long ago, the term outdoor kitchen was only a concept, forcing homeowners to fire up their backyard barbecues with messy charcoal and lighter fluid, while also having to make numerous trips in and out of the house to cook a meal. That all changed in the mid 90s when certain grill manufacturers began to produce professional style gas-fired grills made of commercial grade stainless steel. These gas grills would have high BTU burners combined with flavourizing heat generators, capable of quickly searing meats for flavourful moist results. Results that would make any professional chef feel right at home. As the popularity of this trend grew, so did the desire for consumers to have more than just the grill outside. 32
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Today, the outdoor kitchen has become the new indoor kitchen, encompassing all the conveniences of an indoor kitchen, so delicious culinary creations can be executed from start to finish outside. Manufacturers have successfully stepped up to meet the popularity of this trend, offering a complete line of restaurant inspired outdoor kitchen products in the marketplace including high performance grills, power burners, fryers, outdoor refrigeration, prep and waste centres, plating centres, sinks, beverage centres, and a host of door and drawer storage systems. Other popular products now available for outdoor kitchens include pizza ovens, ice makers and even a dishwasher â€” all enhancing the functionality of the space.
When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, designers should employ the same space planning practices used when designing an indoor kitchen. The design should be ergonomically intuitive with good functionality, flow and comfort, combined with all the conveniences that are key to making an enjoyable fully-functional culinary environment. Proper space planning of the appliances is an area that is, more often than not, overlooked. When it comes to choosing outdoor appliances, be sure you know your stainless steel and the different construction techniques. The three different types of stainless steel used are 304, 201, and 400 series. However 304 series has the highest nickel content and holds up best in the elements and especially near marine environments. Welded construction in lieu of mechanical fasteners will ensure long life. The best grilling systems are ones that have heat generating ceramic briquettes as this allows the heat to evenly be delivered to the cooking surface for optimal caramelizing results on food. They are also the most effective at driving flavour back to the food. When it comes to outdoor refrigeration and ice makers, there are many different brands certified for outdoor use, however, only a few are capable of performing well in high outdoor temperatures. The higher the BTUs, the better the performance on the hottest days. Most residential refrigerators have plastic interiors, yet the best material for maximizing its ability to maintain cool temperatures and long life is stainless steel. When it comes to outdoor appliances, and ones that will perform best and hold up to harshest elements, remember that you definitely get what you pay for. DQ Dale G. Seiden is co-founder and vice president, director sales and marketing for Alfresco Open Air CulinaryÂ Systems.
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steam power By Alexis Gavin
professional bakeries get that perfect crust on baguettes? Steam is their secret. A traditional steam oven cooks by heating water from a built in reservoir to inject steam into the oven cavity. As the steam heats the food, it locks in the moisture and nutrients to give the best possible results. It even reheats food using the same principles, which makes leftovers come out like they were freshly made. Steam cooking doesn’t release odours which makes it the ideal appliance for open plan kitchens.
ave you ever wondered how your favourite restaurants are able to prepare such mouth watering delectable dishes in such an amazingly short amount of time? The answer is steam. What professional chefs and European home cooks have known for years is that convection steam cooking seals in freshness, flavour and vitamins to bring out the very best in food. Steam oven cooking is a strong emerging trend in kitchens and steam/convection combinations offer the best of both worlds.
why a convection steam oven? versatility The preconceived notion of steam is that it only cooks basic vegetables. In reality, steam has extraordinary capabilities. The legacy of the “combination steam oven” goes back decades to innovative restaurant chefs in America and Europe who embraced the gentle combination of air movement with superheated steam to achieve superior results from breads and roasts to delicate fish, seafood and vegetables, and the
combination of convection and steam allows cooks of all levels to prepare an incredible range of foods. Unique automatic cooking modes sense the amount, size and shape of food once a mode has been selected. Steam is proven to decrease the cooking time of all foods by up to 25 per cent and can easily cook multiple types of food at once, saving valuable time. Cooking with steam helps food maintain a high level of moisture and increases vitamin retention by up to 22 per cent. In addition steam naturally seals in flavours and juices, eliminating the need to add oil or salt for the cooking process. This leads to juicy, flavourful, healthful meals for the whole family. The convection steam oven combines the benefits of convection heat and steam. Virtually any dish prepared in a conventional oven can also be prepared in the steam oven with more control over the finished product. Meals that used to require multiple appliances, pots and pans can now be prepared beautifully with just one, offering space-saving solutions in many kitchens. Cooks have long appreciated the way steam cooking preserves nutrients and keeps foods moist. Convection steam oven makes steam do so much more. Ever wondered how
Most steam ovens will fit into a 24” opening, and are available in sleek stainless steel with black or clear glass to accent most of today’s kitchen appliances. Mounted above an oven or below a counter top, the options are endless. Tubular handles are another popular design option, making sure the kitchen has a timeless edge. Non-plumbed models allow for ease of installation anywhere in the kitchen without the need for additional plumbing or expense. Look for a unit with a reservoir located outside the oven cavity, not only does this allow the water reservoir to be filled without opening the oven door and interrupting the cooking process, but it also offers a larger oven cavity, allowing for larger pans which means cooking more in a shorter period of time. Temperature probes also allow for more versatility and they take the guesswork out of slow cooking and roasting. Many convection steam ovens can be installed in either a standard application or a more contemporary flush inset design. The popularity of steam ovens is bringing more choice to the marketplace.
timeless Well-chosen appliances allow you to create the perfect kitchen for your clients, whether they are cooking for one or 20. For the small kitchen where there is minimal room, the perfect cooking companions would be a single convection oven with a single convection steam oven, giving the best of both worlds in a limited amount of space. Whether the kitchen is large or small, there is no arguing, that it should be as functional as it is beautiful and deliver pleasure and utility every day with the convenience and efficiency that modern life demands. DQ Alexis Gavin is showroom manager for Bradlee Distributors Inc. in Richmond, B.C. www.bradlee.net Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
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range hood designs By Robert Sadler
ppliance options are expanding rapidly, and they have been for some time. This ever expanding selection equates to fewer trends emerging. This is not a bad thing, as trends and trendy products are what we tire of the quickest. So the less trendy something is, the longer it retains its own unique properties, and the longer we enjoy it. There is however a noticeable appliance trend that has been building for some time, surrounding what used to be a very standard kitchen appliance â€” range hoods. There are two trends in play here. Over the last few years, range hoods have become an integral part of every kitchen design (even outdoor kitchens). This is a good thing, as the trend toward keeping the household, and its air, clean and odour free is a direction worth taking. The second trend is not always positive. Appliance manufacturers are in the throws of a design frenzy. Making range hoods pretty and using them as a statement piece has overshadowed their original purpose. Add to this the plethora of professional range products that have come to market during this time, and suddenly a choice based solely on aesthetics or brand name could render the range hood almost useless. 34
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Range hoods have one purpose: to collect and remove grease laden vapour, generated by cooking. The truth is, the intended purpose and effectiveness of hoods has been diluted by cool design, incorrect consumer selection, improper installation, and, just plain lack of use. Hoods do not get used if they are too noisy, or do not work as intended. Improper installation is a major factor, as this can be the cause of both the noise and the ineffectiveness. Avoiding these problems is easier if you understand how a range hood actually works. Two efficiency principles are involved, and yet only the CFM rating is ever really discussed. CFM, or cubic feet per minute, is the amount of air the hood can theoretically move to the outside. The second rarely considered and more important principle is the capture area of the hood. In other words, how big is its mouth, and how much can you get into it. If you look up into a commercial hood, you will see how huge they are inside. This allows for the capture of a tremendous amount of vapour. A larger capture area actually minimizes the number of CFM needed, and in turn, lessens noise as well. Using a hood with as big an opening as possible, will allow for the lowest CFM rating possible, while keeping noise to a minimum, so
you can still hear yourself think, and guests speak. As a bonus, if local building codes require heated replacement/makeup air, using a lower CFM rated hood will save you a pile of money. Regarding installation, if the venting is too long, has too many bends, or is not the right size, you can lose a large percentage of CFM capacity and create excessive noise. A good direct line, of the right size, is the only way to use that CFM power quietly and effectively. There is an abundance of sleek, minimalist range hoods that are completely about design. Unfortunately, they often have no capture area whatsoever. To overcome this, manufacturers just increase the CFM rating in hopes that the vapour will get caught in the draft. This is not a solution. But they all have their place. And different cooking scenarios will require different hood specifications. In a nutshell, if there are two vegetarians steaming vegetables in the house using a magnetic induction cooktop, that sleek hood will do. However, if the house is full of people, cooking a full range of food with gas, you will need to oversize the hood, side to side and front to back, to achieve that large internal capture area. As for the over-sold CFM ratings, use the BTU output of the range to determine the CFM rating you will need to get the job done. (one CFM per 100 BTUâ€™s is industry standard). Keep in mind that the larger the capture area, the more applicable this standard is. The hood should collect the vapour being created, and then remove it. The smaller the capture area, the more CFM will be needed to create a draft and hopefully the vapour gets caught up in it. The solution is selecting the right tool for the job. Think about the following: type of cooktop (gas or electric, size, BTU output), will there be a BBQ, what types of food are being cooked, how many people are living in the home, how many cooks are in the kitchen, what kind of entertaining will be done, and of course, local building codes. The answers to these questions and a conversation with your local appliance professional will lead you to the right range hood. DQ Robert Sadler is design director at Heartwood Kitchen & Bath in Calgary.
::::::: aibc :::::::
digital design and fabrication “Availability invites use. Furthermore, sets of convenient and efficient tools privilege the shapes and constructions they readily generate while marginalizing the shapes and constructions they don’t.” — William Mitchell, “Thinking in BIM,” A+U, August 2009 By Brian Wakelin
dvances in digital technologies are changing the way architects design, organize, and communicate building information. BIM is changing what we can draw and how we draw it. Architects are spending less time coordinating drawings, more time designing, and creating documents embedded with sophisticated intelligence. More than just better conflict catchers, when coupled with digital fabrication, digital design can fundamentally change the relationship between architect and fabricator/builder. Whether it involves pretender collaboration or integrated project delivery, the relationships between those who design and those who build is becoming more collaborative and intertwined and our industry as a whole will be better for it. But it appears to be a slow transformation. An informal survey at our firm’s presentation on Digital Design and Fabrication at this year’s AIBC conference showed more than half of the practitioners in the room were still working with conventional ‘flat’ design tools such as CAD. Meanwhile many fabricators embraced digital fabrication some time ago to improve their competitive edge. Their work flow digitizes the information from paper contract documents into shop drawings for quality control and code for digital fabrication. The result is duplicated effort, an unnecessary and time consuming shop drawing process and state-of-the-art equipment turning out very conventional designs. Why is this so? Over the last four years our firm has researched digital design and fabrication through several projects and found it not only to be more sustainable and efficient to design and build; but it can also open the door to new possibilities not achievable with conventional ‘flat’ design tools. The recently completed pavilion in the Buchanan Courtyards at UBC for example, is a performance space for the Faculty of Arts. A reinterpretation of the concrete frame and infill buildings that surround it, the design marries material efficiency — the longest span with the least amount of material — with the movement of water. The shape of the pavilion is designed to resist structural forces and drain water from the roof into the reflecting pool in which it sits. The design process was a close collaboration between the architectural and structural disciplines. Rather than the conventional design and comment iterative cycle between design disciplines, our two teams shared and analyzed a single model and jointly agreed on its attributes and form.
During construction, the formwork design presented challenges. After a long period waiting for shop drawings, the design team made the parametric model available to the contractor. We were able to evaluate multiple formwork layouts optimized for constructability, aesthetics and material utilization within a week. Rather than cutting the complex angles on site, the formwork panels were pre-manufactured offsite with a CNC saw. Off cuts were minimized and less than 2 per cent of the panels needed to be re-cut to suit site conditions. Our firm’s first commission, Xthum, was an informal gathering place for first nation students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University inspired by summer shelters traditionally used by First Nations along the Fraser River. Located in a conventional concrete block and steel building, the design opens up to the sky and out to a stand of trees with new oversized openings. As the design has compound curves and a complex woven skin it could not be clearly represented with conventional flat drawings. During the design phase we updated the client group with live project visuals including shading and daylight simulations generated directly from a digital model. As the project neared tender we worked with the client to select a woodworking subcontractor able to provide design build services. This allowed us to work together to design-build the wood elements while the rest of the project was tendered and constructed with a public tender in parallel. While the conventional parts of the project were constructed on site, the collaborative innovation occurred in the subcontractor’s shop. Virtually eliminating shop drawings, we worked with 1:1 mockups and gave the team immediate feedback for a holistic view on the project. All Division 6000 items were prefabricated and finished off site in a controlled environment that improved overall quality, reduced onsite installation to less than four weeks and minimized disruption to the occupied building. Xthum was our first digital design project, and we had a vision for a project that we didn’t have the design tools to create. As with the construction industry, we retooled. We changed the conventional CAD software we knew for BIM and parametric modeling software. We hired recent graduates to drive the tools and transform our conventional drawings into an intelligent and buildable model. While we weren’t sure at first, over several projects we have found this process can save steps and improve quality. There is also a reverse mentoring process; instead of direction coming from the top, intern architects are empowered to solve design issues. At the same time another critical success factor is experience. The same wood worker was used for both projects, and both client committees included architects. For a list of local fabricators we are aware of with these tools as well as a longer presentation on this topic, go to http://publicdesign.ca/whypaper/. DQ Brian Wakelin, MAIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP, is a principal at Public Architecture + Communication. Pacific Woodworking is the millworker described above and Fast + Epp were the structural engineer for the Buchanan Pavilion. firstname.lastname@example.org Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
::::::: special supplement 2012 aibc awards of excellence :::::::
2012 AIBC awards of excellence
Seven projects by British Columbia architects were selected for this year’s 2012 AIBC Architectural Awards. Work by Perkins + Will Canada Architects and Patkau Architects stood out with each collecting honours in more than one category.
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture — Merit Linear House Patkau Architects Inc. Lead Design Architects: John Patkau MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, HFAIA, LEED AP; Patricia Patkau MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, HFAIA; Peter Suter MAIBC Situated on a 16-acre farm on Salt Spring Island, Linear House embodies the inspired meeting of old and new, man-made and naturegrown. A row of windswept Douglas Firs provides unusual definition to the site, bisecting the surrounding farm grounds. Linear House sits discretely in a narrow space between the trees, allowing for stunning views throughout. The designers’ keen attention to detail is seen in such features as the continuous, covered walkway, and dozens of dramatic skylights. The resulting structure delights the senses while creating an organic connection between the built and natural environments.
AIBC Innovation Award Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) Firm: Busby Perkins+Will Architects (now Perkins+Will Canada Architects Co.) Lead Design Architects: Peter Busby MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, Architect AAA, MOAA, AIA, BCID, LEED AP, BD+C: Martin Nielsen MAIBC, MRAIC, P.Eng., LEED AP, BD+C The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) is designed to be the most sustainable building in North America. Developed over 12 years, it is a testament to a clear vision and an architect/client partnership that championed the project from concept to completion. Setting new standards for environmental sensitivity, the facility boasts natural daylight and ventilation; a living roof; and a wood structure constructed of FSCcertified and pine-beetle-killed wood. CIRS actually produces energy by harvesting sunlight, collecting and treating rainwater, and capturing waste heat from a neighbouring building. More than a building, CIRS is a research tool that actively demonstrates the possibilities of sustainable design. 36
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Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture — Merit Oppenheimer Park Activity Centre Firm: mcfarlane green biggar architecture + design (now office of mcfarlane biggar architects + designers, and Michael Green Architecture Inc.) Lead Design Architect: Steve McFarlane MAIBC, FRAIC, AAA, LEED AP Located in Oppenheimer Park in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, this new activity space is part of a recently completed renovation project. The objective was not only to revitalize the park, but to also meet community’s needs through ready access to open green space. The project team used a highly-consultative public process involving the extraordinarily diverse neighbouring community. The result is an innovative round structure that attracts visitors and invites the community to rediscover this neighbourhood park.
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Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture — Merit Samuel Brighouse Elementary School Firm: Busby Perkins+Will Architects (now Perkins+Will Canada Architects Co.) Lead Design Architects: Peter Busby MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, Architect AAA, MOAA, AIA, BCID, LEED AP, BD+C; Robert Drew MAIBC, MRAIC, Architect AAA, LEED AP, BD+C Located in Richmond, this innovative K-7 school offers a flexible and adaptable learning environment for its 500+ students. It features open classrooms, administration space, dedicated community space, a library and gymnasium. The designers brought a commitment to sustainability to the forefront, with such features as natural ventilation, daylight harvesting, and green roofs. The highly functional, flexible structure is the result of a collaborative design process that included educators, parents, local residents and students. The youthful input inspired the structure’s playful roof form, abundance of natural light, and vibrant colour palette.
Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture — Merit VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre Firm: Busby Perkins+Will Architects (now Perkins+Will Canada Architects Co.) Lead Design Architects: Peter Busby MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, Architect AAA, MOAA, AIA, BCID, LEED AP BD+C; Jim Huffman MAIBC, LEED AP The new visitor’s centre at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden was designed to create a harmonious balance between architecture and landscape, from both a visual and ecological perspective. At the fore is a striking, stylish roof inspired by the organic forms of a native orchid, seemingly floating above the building’s curving rammedearth and concrete walls. In keeping with the firm’s commitment to sustainability, the facility is also designed to collect and treat water, harvest sunlight, and store energy. It is the first building in Canada to register for the rigorous Living Building Challenge.
AIBC Emerging Firm Award WMW Public Architecture + Communication Inc. Firm Principals: Susan Mavor MGDC; John Wall MAIBC, OAA, LEED AP; Brian Wakelin MAIBC MRAIC, LEED AP Certificate of Practice Issued: June 19, 2009 Areas of Practice: Commercial, Cultural, Educational, Interior Design, Residential Single, Retail, Transportation, Urban Design WMW Public Architecture + Communication Inc. is a Vancouverbased firm that produces unique work at the intersection of architecture, media and identity design. The firm’s designers collaborate seamlessly between these fields using a unique studio model that rejects typical top-down design processes, favouring instead to operate within the realms of digital and construction technologies, emerging materials, and media. As a result, this award-winning firm is able to create engaging spaces and experiences that benefit from a broader, collaborative approach.
AIBC Special Jury Award Winnipeg Skating Shelters Firm: Patkau Architects Inc. Lead Design Architects: John Patkau MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, HFAIA, LEED AP; Patricia Patkau MAIBC, CM, FRAIC, HFAIA A series of temporary structures grouped as a village, the Winnipeg Skating Shelters are a celebration of winter. Through elegant and intimate design, the creative team produced simple-yet-stylish forms that provide shelter from elements for the users of Winnipeg’s extensive network of river skating trails. Using thin, flexible plywood, each structure boasts fluid lines that sway gently in the wind while funnelling sunlight, creating an aura of warmth within. Summer 2012 | DESIGN QUARTERLY
::::::: design headlines ::::::: ADVERTISING INDEX
College of New Caledonia
2nd Century Rug Co................................ IBC Ampco Grafix...............................................4 Brougham Interiors......................................7 Buildex.................................................26/27 Colin Campbell..........................................21 East India Carpets.....................................13 Final Touch Window Coverings...................29 Frances Andrew/Kate Holland....................23 IDS West...................................................17 Inform........................................................15
GG Medals Two B.C. architectural firms were among this year’s recipients of Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. The award by the Canada Council for the Arts and Architecture Canada | RAIC recognizes excellence in recently built projects by Canadian architects based on criteria such as sustainable design, innovation and compatibility with the site. College of New Caledonia, Technical Trades Centre, Quesnel by the office of mcfarlane biggar Architects + Designers inc. and Patkau Architects Inc. for Linear House, Salt Spring Island were the winning firms.
New AAA President
Peter Streith, a principal at the Edmonton office of Kasian Architecture, has been appointed president of the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA). Streith has more than 20 years of professional experience in providing architectural and planning services on a wide range of institutional and large-scale commercial projects in Canada and Europe. Founded in 1906, the AAA is a self-governing professional body charged under the Architects Act with the registration and regulation of the practice of architects and licensed interior designers.
Inform to the Trade had an official opening party on June 21. The new 14,000 sq ft design centre and showroom in Vancouver’s Railtown Design District will support Inform’s two commercial divisions of the company, Inform Contract and Inform Projects. Inform Interiors has expanded by launching Inform to the Trade to cater to architects, designers and developers. In partnership with Paul Sjaarda (Inform Contract) and Harvey Reehal (Inform Projects), this new design centre and showroom will provide trade designers with a variety of products for commercialbased projects. Inform Contract specializes in commercial furniture and lighting solutions, and Inform Projects focuses on multi-residential kitchen and closet installations.
Green Up Release The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has released GREEN UP, a building performance program for building owners and operators to measure, compare, and improve their real estate portfolios. GREEN UP enables the benchmarking of energy and water use, goal-setting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and helps identify ways to improve the operational and environmental performance of projects across building portfolios. Responding to a clear industry need for a performance-based approach to energy and environmental improvements, the program will offer access to a national repository that includes building performance data for office, multi-family, long-term healthcare, hotel, retail, K-12 school, and government buildings. For more info visit www.cagbc.org/greenup.
New Roles Susan Gushe and Kirsten Reiter havee been promoted to managing director and principal respectively at Perkins + Will. Gushe was previously director of operations at the firm. Reite was previously a senior associate. 38
DESIGN QUARTERLY | Summer 2012
New Associate Principal David L. Craig, PhD, has joined Cannon Design as associate principal. In his new role as leader, workplace strategy for Cannon Design, Craig will work closely with the firm’s corporate/commercial interiors leadership to help facilitate initiatives that strengthen awareness around workplace innovation and offer counsel on strategic workplace decisions. Prior to joining Cannon Design, Craig served as a director at DEGW, a global strategic business consultancy.
New Showroom Blu Bathworks opened its flagship Blu Room in Vancouver this summer. Located in Yaletown, the Blu Room operates as an open plan design and exhibition studio, sharing a showroom space of new Blu products with Blu Bathworks offices, conference room and additional showroom facilities. Blu will also host regular product training sessions for the industry.
Inform Contract............................................9 Livingspace.................................................5 MP Lighting...............................................19 Odyssey Wall Coverings......................... OBC Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre.......... IFC
AIBC Bylaw Amended Registered architects in B.C. who are members of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia are now required to use the title “Architect AIBC” after their name. The bylaw takes effect immediately. The change comes after the AIBC annual meeting held on May 12, 2012, where Bylaw 10 was amended. Previously, members put “MAIBC” after their name.
Design Study The 2011 Canadian Interior Design Benchmarking and Best Practices Study, released by Interior Designers of Canada and Canadian Interiors Magazine, sheds much-needed light on Canadian interior design business trends. The study looked at the size and scope of the industry, billing rates and salaries of practitioners as well as firm longevity and specialization. The study aims to ultimately provide industry decision-makers and practitioners with valuable information as they establish their growth and marketing strategies for the future. In addition to establishing the size and scope of the industry, the gathered data reveals that multi-person design firms completed an average of 38 projects in 2010 with an average project size of 400,000 square feet. Oneperson design firms completed an average of 15 projects during this period with just over 55,000 square feet as the average project size. While providing in-depth information on Canadian interior design firms’ growth, compensation structure, and many other useful facts and figures, the findings encouragingly underline the Canadian interior design industry’s continued recovery from the economic downturn of 2009. The study was conducted in the form of an online survey, in both English and French, sent out to registered interior designers and architects and ultimately gathered information from 581 respondents from across the country.
DQ Summer 2012