BC Architects Win SFI Wood Design Award for Putting Sustainability and Community First in the Askew’s Foods Uptown Store Design

March 2nd, 2015|

March 02, 2015

VANCOUVER, BC — Thinking outside the traditional big-box store approach has earned Allen + Maurer Architects the 2015 Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Wood Design Award. The award is part of the 11th annual Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards. The architectural firm is being recognized for its prominent use of wood in the new Askew’s Foods Uptown Store in Salmon Arm, BC.

“We are pleased to be recognized with the SFI Wood Design Award and by the Wood WORKS! BC program for our Askew’s Foods project. We built sustainability and community into every part of the project. The timber roof in particular was an effort to create true sustainability not just for the land, but for the economy and the local community,” said Chris Allen, of Landform Architecture in Penticton, BC (previously Allen + Maurer Architects).

The unified wooden canopy expresses the central
role of forestry and community in the culture of
the region. The building takes a vacant lot in a
typical commercial strip and reimagines it as an
urban space, with a mix of housing, office and
commercial use on site.

The roof used 245,000 board feet of dimensional lumber. Prefabrication was done in a local warehouse by a team of experienced carpenters. This kind of ripple effect on local employment and involvement not only sustains the community, it earns customer loyalty for Askew’s Foods.

“Askew’s Foods Uptown store is a showcase for the beauty, versatility and durability of wood from responsibly managed forests that support sustainable communities,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “This project is a prime example of responsible sourcing of materials and the beautiful application of wood across the 32,000-square-foot timber roof.”

The wood for the project was sourced from several local sawmills. The use of locally harvested Douglas fir, in a minimally processed form, dramatically reduced transportation costs and relied on workers in the local economy. Most of the wood was certified to SFI Standards and came from Interfor’s Adams Lake Lumber mill, an SFI Program Participant, just 50 kilometres from the Askew’s Foods store. Lumber from Sierra Pacific Industries, another SFI Program Participant, was also used.

“Askew’s Foods is a family-owned business that has been in Salmon Arm for 85 years. So the idea of supporting community sustainability is nothing new to us. Askew’s Foods has a long history of green and sustainable actions. We rely on our network of local suppliers,” said co-owner David Askew. “We are also proud to win this award for something that is a beautiful community asset,” added co-owner Colleen Askew-Davis.

We all know the choices we make when it comes to construction materials have a huge impact on the environment. Architects and builders choose wood because it looks great, offers numerous environmental benefits — including renewability — and is easy to work with. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow, sequestering and storing carbon — this reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Trees turned into wood products continue to sequester carbon. Forests also provide many other benefits, including clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, commercially valuable products like wood, and employment for local communities.


About SFI Wood Design Awards

The Wood WORKS! Wood Design Awards is the only North American program to recognize, award and publicize excellence in wood architecture. A hand-selected jury of prominent architects personally reviews each application and chooses the award winners based on creativity, distinctive and appropriate uses of wood materials, ability to satisfy clients’ building and site requirements, and overall aesthetic appeal for the use and application of wood.

About Wood WORKS!

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Through workshops, seminars and case studies, Wood WORKS! BC provides education, training, and technical expertise to building and design professionals involved with commercial, institutional and industrial construction projects throughout BC.


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