On-Site Magazine

Four projects recognized with 2016 CDBI Design-Build Awards of Excellence

By Canadian Design Build Institute   

Construction awards design-build. CDBI

The Canadian Design-Build Institute (CDBI) announced the winners of its 2016 Design-Build Awards of Excellence October 14th at the National Design-Build Conference in Winnipeg. Award recipients were recognized in four categories: Special Uses, Civil, Institutional and overall Grand Winner.

And the winners are…

Grand Winner: Sechelt Water Resource Centre (Sechelt, B.C.)

This year’s grand winner is a sewage treatment plant, but it looks more like an intense hydroponic production center along with a small office wing. Treatment basins are in fact surmounted by greenhouses and veritable botanical gardens. The choice of the site also allowed for a large park adjoining the facility.


The requirement for tertiary treatment includes ultra-filtration membranes, and with the disinfection of final effluent, it is now acceptable for indirect potable use. The project has many features that contribute to life-cycle capital cost savings and low-cost operations. Western red cedar, a local material, was used due to its durability and its increased resistance to insect damage and the elements when treated with a charring process.

The mechanical system was designed to minimize energy use with, for example, the sewage used as a heat sink for heating and cooling needs, and air-to-air heat recovery used in all ventilation.

The project team was led by Maple Reinders Inc. and Urban Systems Ltd. The project owner, District of Sechelt, indicated that they were satisfied that the 23-month construction schedule was effectively met considering negotiation and risk management delays. The now fully operating facility is exceeding discharge permit requirements, covering among others, BOD (biological oxygen demand), odor (0), and noise.

Winner in the Special Uses Category: Communications Security Establishment Canada Long Term Accommodation Project (Ottawa, ON)

The winner in the special uses category, led by PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and WZMH Architects, was the Communications Security Establishment Canada Long-Term Accommodation Project.

This P3 project incorporates many great ideas, typical of the design-build approach where builders and designers are at liberty to include what might be thought of as far out suggestions. Since the building is a classified secure facility, high levels of security clearance were required from all staff and systems were needed to ensure that classified plans, drawings and documents were kept secure.

The final complex is remarkable by the striking architectural expression both in the interior and the exterior. It will disprove any opinions that design-build somehow has to limit design to low-cost options and materials. Some noteworthy aspects of the project are that rainwater is collected and reused, solar panels create renewable energy to partially offset building requirements, and in the data center, heat recovery is used.

Interesting savings developed through the compression of the delivery schedule by the proponent as some six months were cut from the original design and construction duration. This time saving translated in a substantially reduced cost of capital, which allowed the client, Defence Construction Canada, to add program items resulting in a facility worth over $800 million.

Winner in the Civil Category: Footbridge over the Bow River (Banff, AB)

The winner in the civil category, led by Structure Craft Builders Inc., Tritech Water Infrastructure Construction & Design, BSEI Civil Engineering and Fast + Epp Structural Engineers was the Footbridge over the Bow River.

This project was a high profile, highly environmentally sensitive project for the owner, the Town of Banff. The aesthetically-pleasing, very innovative wood bridge had many conditions not normally found on civil projects of this nature. These cover the historically significant location, the views from and of the structure, the use of natural materials, and a design that would not dominate but complement the surrounding natural area.

The clear span of 80 metres is one of the longest in the world for a timber bridge. Because of the long span and the nature of the key materials (laminated wood beams), innovative custom-tuned mass dampers had to be integrally provided to neutralize possible dynamic loading of the structure caused by crowds, as well as walking or jogging.

Planning the fabrication of the very long laminated beams to exacting tolerances required finite element analysis. Construction staging required careful planning and had to consider seasonal windows and annual high water, as well as crane support for the large inserted center section. The cable guard rail system presented challenges related to the seasonal temperature extremes and the potential elongation/contraction of the cables. 

The client’s budget was under-spent and the bridge opened on schedule.

Winner in the Institutional Category: Surrey Pretrial Services Centre Expansion (Surrey, B.C.)

The winner in the institutional category, led by PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. and DGBK Architects was the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre Expansion. This project required high security conditions, as the site continued in near-capacity operation during the expansion and updating.

Innovative elements in this project included latest technology electronic security systems. Further innovation included precast cell modules with fully completed interiors and radiant floor heating, and tilt-up walls. Building information modeling was also widely used to program work and installation priorities as well as visualize construction sequences, including equipment clearances and crane movements, weeks in advance.

The project achieved LEED gold certification, which placed it first among BC correctional facilities. The overall design achieved an improved working environment for staff and lower operating costs on a per unit basis.

The winning proposal was under budget, which allowed the client, B.C. Ministry of Justice, to add additional work packages in the approximate value of $4.2 million. Partial occupancy of the new addition was achieved months in advance of the final delivery date, allowing for relocation of certain services from the old center and liberating that space for complete renovation. Final occupancy was achieved as per the negotiated schedule.


About the CDBI Awards of Excellence

The CDBI Awards of Excellence are presented annually to recognize excellence in Canada’s design-build industry and to acknowledge design-build teams whose projects contribute to the growth and stature of the design-build profession. Award recipients demonstrate the highest standards and principles in the design-build industry and the business community in pursuit of excellence. The annual submission deadline is April 1.

About the Canadian Design-Build Institute

The Canadian Design-Build Institute (CDBI) is the national voice of Canadian design-build practitioners representing about 200 firms. Its mission is to promote best practices to enhance design-build project delivery in Canada. Learn more about CDBI from cdbi.org.


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