Ontario architect awards go beyond the province

A museum, a library, and two universities’ shared pharmaceutical school were among the winning projects in the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Celebration of Excellence Awards. For the first time, the program extended beyond the province, recognizing the work of Ontario architects outside its borders.

Selected from more than 150 submissions, 15 new buildings—including those in Montréal, Vancouver, and Ithaca, N.Y.—were honoured as leading examples of design.

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New standards for responsibly sourced aggregates

A new non-profit organization will develop voluntary certification standards for responsibly sourced sand, stone, and gravel.

Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate (SERA) will collaborate with not-for-profit group Environmental Defence and manufacturer Holcim Canada to create, administer, and promote widespread support for certification of responsibly sourced construction materials.

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Increase in industry jobs this year

Half of Canadian construction and property (C&P) companies will be hiring this year, according to the firm, Hays Specialist Recruitment.

“The response to the 2011 Canadian Salary Guide was brilliant this year and we were able to gather some really useful data and industry insight,” Rowan O’Grady, Hays Canada president, told Construction Canada Online.

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Calgary school gets project management program

Last month, the University of Calgary’s (U of C’s) Schulich School of Engineering launched the Centre for Project Management Excellence (CPME)—a program for education, training, and research.

“Projects have become more complex and the business climate more competitive,” explained Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, director of the centre and Canada Research Chair in Project Management Systems.

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Ontario projects win for steel designs

A major hotel, river bridge, and a border crossing facility were among this year’s Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) winning projects in the 21st Ontario Steel Design Awards.

“The awards are to share and recognize steel design and innovation excellence—helping to keep the Ontario industry on the leading edge,” Suja John, CISC’s Ontario regional manager, told Construction Canada Online.

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Manitoba architects represent Canada in Venice

“Migrating Landscapes,” a project by Winnipeg firm, 5468796 Architecture, has been selected to represent Canada at the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture.

A representative of Migrating Landscapes Organizer (MLO) told Construction Canada Online the team is incredibly excited to realize the project at the famous event, which takes place from August to November, 2012.

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CWC defends use of wood in taller buildings

Last month’s fire at the Remy housing project construction jobsite in Richmond, B.C., has led to the questioning of the safety of wood-framed buildings. The fire destroyed one of the first six-storey structures in the process of being constructed under the province’s revised building codes for mid-rise residential construction.

The B.C. Ready-Mixed Concrete Association said in a statement that balanced design is a vital requirement for multi-family structures to be capable of protecting people and property against the hazards of fire.

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