Vancouver, BC — A commitment to use responsibly sourced wood products has earned Whistler-based Innovation Building Group an award from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). The SFI Certified Wood Award is part of the Wood Design & Building Awards program. Innovation Building Group received the award, for its multi-residential project Solana in Whistler, BC, at the Wood WORKS! BC 2018 Wood Design Awards Gala in Vancouver on February 26.

(Watch the awards video.)

 SFI is a non-profit sustainability organization dedicated to the future of our forests and this award recognizes leadership in the responsible use of forest products certified to SFI. The award-winning Solana development features 20 single-level condos that range in size from two-bedroom to two-bedroom plus-den configurations. It is considered one of BC’s most healthy, comfortable and energy efficient buildings. 

Solana in Whistler, BC
“Solana exemplifies our commitment to constantly improve the quality of the homes we build. We used leading edge, made-in-BC products in the sustainable design and construction, like LVL [laminated veneer lumber] panels certified to SFI,” said Rod Nadeau, Managing Partner and founder of the Innovation Building Group. “Health and comfort, through advanced air and lighting systems and natural materials, like wood, were the primary goals in the Solana design.” 

Solana used Brisco Fine Line LVL in lumber panels, beams and posts, certified to SFI, as part of both the structure of the building and its distinctive finish. These Brisco Manufacturing products are based on LP SolidStart LVL, from LP Building Products. Subflooring and joists were provided by Weyerhaeuser. LP and Weyerhaeuser are both SFI Program Participants certified to the SFI Standard. 

 Solana is a showcase for using natural materials like wood in innovative and beautiful ways. Elevator shafts are just one of the leading-edge wood-design applications. Wood is also featured prominently in the roof, stairways, columns, beams, floors, bearing walls and exterior walls. 

Wood, with its renewability and versatility also helped Solana far exceed the Built Green Canada Platinum standard. Built Green Canada supports builders interested in responsible sustainability practices for residential buildings. Built Green encourages the use of lumber and gives a significant number of points for lumber use. 

“Solana is a prime example of wood’s versatility and appeal. Builders and architects use wood because it looks great, it’s easy to work with and it comes from a renewable resource,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “This project is also a prime example of how SFI supports efforts to strengthen the vital links between well-managed forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities.” 

Solana scores high on support for sustainable communities because it relied heavily on local materials and suppliers. But it is also part of a move responding to local government efforts to help create housing for underserved Whistler communities like resort workers and seniors. Seniors were offered a 90-day purchasing window before the general public. And upon resale, the units will first be offered to seniors. 


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The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, nonprofit organization that leverages four interconnected pillars of work: standards, conservation, community, and education. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments. Collaborating with our network, we leverage SFI-certified forests and products as powerful tools to help solve sustainability challenges such as climate action, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development.

Christine Leduc
VP, Communications and Government Relations
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

The Wood Design & Building Awards program recognizes excellence in wood architecture. A jury of prominent architects award winners based on creativity, distinctive and appropriate uses of woodmaterials, ability to satisfy clients’ building and site requirements, and overall aesthetic appeal.

The SFI Certified Wood Award 2016 winner was Portland-based architects Hacker for the Black Butte Ranch. Prior award winners include KH Designs, in 2015, for the Quilakwa Center, in Enderby BC, Allen + Maurer Architects, in 2014, for the Askew’s Foods Uptown Store in Salmon Arm, BC, and NSDA Architects, in 2013, for Kordyban Lodge, in Prince George, BC.

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led program of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood products and building systems.