Watch the highlight videos of these Award-Winning projects: https://youtu.be/1ZtljiWq0WM
The Mount McKay Pow Wow Grounds hold a significant history for the Fort William First Nation, dating back to the early 1930s as a gathering space to celebrate and share culture and heritage. The innovative wooden circular structured design mirrors the traditional medicine wheel with four entry points at each of the cardinal points and semi-circular bleachers with a seating capacity for 560 people. The raised centre arbour is a focal point with a sacred fire pit and poured concrete foundation to accommodate a drum circle. The design also includes a partially covered Elders area, dedicated accessible seating areas, and a patterned cement walkway stamped with designs by a local artist around the perimeter and open views to the grounds outside it and the natural mountain backdrop.
The circular wooden structure is a new and defined space developed specifically around Pow Wow activities and includes space for drumming and dancing. The entire arena structure was designed with wood. The dimensional lumber used was FSC (Forest Steward Council) cut. The pressure treated wood was treated with a MicroPro preservative system, which is the first treated wood process to be certified under Scientific Certifications Systems Environmental preferred products (EPP). The project also considered Storm Water Management and the grounds were raised to avoid water accumulation problems and drainage off the site. Oshki-Aki LP engineering firm (a partnership between Fort William First Nation and True Grit Consulting Ltd) headed up this project. FORM Architecture Engineering was selected as the Architects. Also contributing to the project was AG Engineering as the Electrical Engineer, and RML Contracting.
This 21-unit apartment building is of significant heritage interest with preserved architectural features, natural daylighting and modern updates. The building’s façade was repaired and restored. The large window openings were retained and rather than reducing window size, large energy efficient windows were installed in order to maximize natural daylight and views for residents. During new roof construction, the large skylights were repaired rather than closed off to maintain additional daylight.
The display of historical images (of the building, its occupants, location, and previous uses/owner) serves as an education tool to promote the heritage value of the property. The downtown location enables convenient public transportation and amenities within walking distance. Indoor bicycle parking and storage also provided.
In the re-construction, about 60% of the existing building materials were preserved and/or reused. Though the Ontario Building Code did not require new insulation, new roof and wall insulation were added to improve thermal comfort and save energy, and new energy efficient fixtures were also installed. In addition to the recycling of existing building materials, new materials were chosen with low VOC and wood framing/finishing were used.
The Project was designed and completed by Habib Architects Inc. with contributions from D and D Maintenance, Thermal Mechanical Systems and Prezio Electric.
Habib Architects Inc. was also recognized for designing Thunder Bay Fire Rescue’s new Station 7 to the Gold Clean, Green & Beautiful standard. The facility features integrated design process incorporated sustainable features, programming requirements and alignment with the City’s Urban Design Guidelines, Energy Management Plan and Storm Water Management Strategy in an architecturally appealing facility.
Some sustainable features include:
• Expanses of natural lighting in the vehicle storage area
• Building materials with a recycled component
• Increased levels of insulation
• Recycling of construction waste
• Low VOC paints, sealants and adhesives
• Energy efficient electrical and mechanical systems all tied to a web-based building automation system, and
• Projected to use 45% less energy than a similar base building.