B.C. architects to be honoured for their design

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) is seeking entrants for its program to determine the best in the province’s new projects and design teams. Submissions will be accepted until April 12.

The AIBC Architectural Awards ceremony, taking place May 11, will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre to honour excellence in completed architectural projects.

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Tunnelling toward Toronto island airport

Work has begun on a pedestrian tunnel connecting Toronto’s island airport with the mainland. Engineering firm Arup will design the $82.5 million privately funded project to create a 244-m (800-ft) long tunnel providing a route to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. (Currently, the only access to the island is via ferry.) The watertight tunnel will be 10 m (33 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) below the surface of Lake Ontario.

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Canadian housing demand slows down

The demand for new home construction in Canada will be slowing down over the next two years, predicts the Conference Board of Canada.

“The industry is coming in for a soft landing,” said Maxim Armstrong, the board’s senior economist. “Slow job growth, still-weak consumer confidence, and high household debt loads are slowing demand for new homes.

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Educating Canadians about saving water

A World Plumbing Day survey reveals more education work needs to be done when it comes to water consumption. More than a third of Canadians leave the water running while brushing their teeth, and half of Canadians choose high-pressure showerheads over ones with high efficiency, according to the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) and research company Ipsos Reid.

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Wood Works! honours B.C. projects

A football training centre, an elementary school, and a fire hall were three of the winning projects in this year’s Wood Works! B.C. Wood Design Awards.

“We are proud to congratulate the winners and nominees of the 2012 Wood Design Awards who have all explored the potential of wood and showcased its outstanding qualities such as strength, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness,” said the organization’s Mary Tracey.

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Ryerson builds another student residence

Ryerson University is adding another residence to its campus in downtown Toronto.

Construction of the new building is expected to begin in 2014, and it is slated to open for the 2016 school year. The proposed 23-storey building—developed by the MPI Group and designed by IBI Group Architects—will include a two-storey podium at grade offering a mix of services such as cafés, retail, and a service outlet.

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Electricity generation sparking construction growth

For the construction industry alone, Canadian investment into electricity infrastructure is expected to yield an average of $3.8 billion and 61,000 jobs annually over the next two decades. Spending in electricity generation, transmission, and distribution would also mean approximately $10.9 billion per year to real gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Conference Board of Canada.

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