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November 24, 2005


Sloping steel columns allow the tabletop Sharp Centre for Design to float over the Ontario College of Art. The columns are only 914 millimetres in diameter. Ends are tapered down to 450 millimetres.

Consulting Engineer Awards

OCAD’s ‘Tabletop’ comes out on top

Engineering’s best lauded at Ottawa gala last night

A daring “tabletop” addition at the Ontario College of Art and Design in downtown Toronto was deemed the most outstanding technical project overall in the 2005 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

The 10 winning projects, located in Canada and around the world, include engineering for buildings and infrastructure, environmental site remediation and special studies.

Winners were selected from 67 entries on the basis of the engineers’ use of technical innovation and project management expertise. The environmental, social and economic benefits of the project were also taken into account. The winners were announced last night at a gala celebration in Ottawa. Two Ontario projects were recogonized.

The Sharp Centre for Design at OCAD was described by judges “an extraordinary and bold” expression of structural engineering, by Carruthers & Wallace Ltd. and MCW Consultants Ltd. The engineering design “directly reflects” the architects’ vision to create a bold structural form.

“The structural engineers undertook the project out of a desire to do work that was unique and required a broader design approach than the projects they typically undertake,” reads the commentary on the project.

“In the beginning, the design team had no idea what the project would look like. Architect Will Alsop introduced the project by placing a model on a table, consisting of a black rectangular shape that appeared to be supported by a series of randomly oriented slender circular legs.

“He simply asked if the engineers could make it work. They studied the model for a few moments and said yes. Eighteen months later, it was complete.”

The design solution developed by the architects and the engineers was the tabletop, a two-storey building 30 metres wide by 80 metres long, supported on slender steel columns high above the existing building.

The tabletop is “floated” 28 metres above the street. All the support for the new structure is outside the existing building, although almost half the tabletop sits above it. High-strength structural steel was used for the support legs.

The project team included Alsop Architects in joint venture with Robbie/Young + Wright Architects, geotechnical consultants Shaheen & Peakes, general contractor PCL Constructors Canada Inc., steel fabricator Walters Inc. and concrete supplier Dufferin Concrete.

An award of excellence was presented for the Pearson International Airport terminal development stage 1 in Toronto. The award, in the project management category, went to Marshall Macklin Monaghan Ltd., the lead consultant in MGP Project Managers, a joint venture between that firm, Giffels Associates Ltd. and Parsons Corp.

The $3.3 billion terminal development program is the cornerstone in the airport’s 10-year, $4.4 billion overall airport redevelopment. Stage 1 includes the new Terminal 1 and ancillary works, a multi-storey parking garage, roads and bridges, an automated people-mover system and utilities. This stage was substantially complete in 2003.

“Bringing order to a construction project that involved $3.3 billion in work and numerous projects and players at Canada’s biggest airport was recognized by the jury as a major achievement.”

Key players included: Revay and Associates (project management subconsultant); Airport Architects Canada joint venture (architecture); NAPA (airport planning); Greater Toronto Airport Groundside Association/Holmes & Narver/UMA (groundside consultants); Aecon/PCL joint venture (terminal building construction manager); and EllisDon (parking garage construction manager).

Submissions were judged by a jury of eminent engineers from across Canada, chaired this year by Carl Yates, general manager of the Halifax Regional Water Commission in Nova Scotia.

The awards, considered the most important national mark of recognition for projects recently completed by consulting engineering firms, are co-sponsored by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine.

And the winners are:

Schreyer Award

Ontario College of Art & Design - Toronto: Structural Engineering, by Carruthers & Wallace Limited and MCW Consultants Ltd. (Toronto, Ont.) Category: Buildings

Awards of Excellence

Sea to Sky Highway Test Section - Lions Bay, B.C.: Design and Construction Services, by Associated Engineering with Golder Associates (Burnaby, B.C.) Category: Transportation

Remediation of Sungai Bera Holding Basins - Brunei, Southeast Asia, by Jacques Whitford Limited (Dartmouth, N.S.) Category: Environmental Remediation

Harvey Barracks Environmental Remediation - Calgary, by Golder Associates Ltd., (Calgary, Alta.) Category: Environmental Remediation

African Development Bank’s Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures, by Tecsult Inc. (Montreal, Que.) Category: Studies, Software & Special Services

Specialty Sinks for Firefighter’s Burn Treatment Unit, Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre - Edmonton, by Hemisphere Engineering Inc. (Edmonton, Alta.) Category: Studies, Software and Special Services

Pearson International Airport Terminal Development Stage 1 - Toronto, by Marshall Macklin Monaghan Ltd., lead consultant in MGP Project Managers (Toronto, Ont.) Category: Project Management

The Alberta SuperNet by Morrison Hershfield Limited (Calgary, Alta.) Category: Project Management

Dam Safety Programs in Costa Rica and El Salvador by Acres International (Niagara Falls, Ont.) Category: International

Identification and Analysis of Sources of Pollution in the Dnieper River Basin - Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, by SNC-Lavalin Engineers & Constructors Inc. (Toronto, Ont.) Category: International

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These projects have been selected from 415 projects with a total value of $3,354,507,550 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Tuesday.


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