March 2021

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M A R C H 2 0 2 1 | 7 HDR Architecture Associates Inc. "We're excited that with the advancement of engineering technologies and modern building techniques, the increasing capability of mass timber has expanded design possibilities, particularly in mid- and high-rise construction," says architect Rob Cesnik. "Renewable materials such as wood are helping miti- gate the rate of global warming. Wood sequesters carbon dioxide at a rate of 1 to 1.2 tons/m3 of wood, and has a relatively low manufacturing carbon footprint compared to other materials. In fact, wood is the only material that can remove carbon from the atmosphere for the lifetime of its usage. When sustainably sourced, mass timber can be harvested and replenished with fewer lasting environmental impacts." HDR's use of mass timber is showcased in the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) project in Chalk River, Ontario. The new wood hybrid buildings received support under the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program, which aims to broaden the awareness of wood as a sustainable and renewable construction material, and to increase the domestic capacity for wood in Canadian construction. This focus on mass timber ties into the company's larger commitment to a regenerative future that examines the role that the built environment plays in cli- mate change – from how projects are constructed, to how they're operated, to how they are disassembled at end of life. Even high-performance buildings are still exacerbating the situation with net negative ecological, social, and health impacts. "HDR has embraced the need to think about its developments not in the con- text of doing less harm, but actually doing good. We recognize that our projects need to actively regenerate or contribute positive impacts to the people who use them and the local ecology that surrounds them," says Tom Ditoro, managing director of HDR's architecture practice in Canada. A great example of positive impact is the 144-bed field hospital that HDR planned and developed for London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario. Drawing on its extensive experience in the global healthcare sector, HDR trans- formed the Western Fair District Agriplex building into a field hospital to assist with the expected surge of patients during COVID-19. With 14 pods each holding 18 patients, the facility was constructed using pre-fabricated divider panels. It is able to accommodate recovering, lower-acuity, confirmed patients with COVID- 19 who are not yet well enough to return home. HDR's resume of impressive and impactful projects is huge, but perhaps another that demonstrates the heart of the company and its commitment to designing buildings with enduring value is the 1.8-million square foot Humber River Hospital in Toronto – the largest acute care centre in the Greater Toronto Area. The hospital uses the most current technologies to enhance all aspects of quality patient care delivery: improving efficiency, accuracy, reliability, and safety. Other impactful projects include the Integrated Health and Social Housing project in Vancouver, the award-winning Delbrook Community Recreation Centre, and the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Victoria. Utility buildings can be beautiful, too! For HDR however, this idea of giving back extends beyond the built environ- ment. As an example, in 2012 the HDR Foundation was founded to provide grants to qualified organizations that align with HDR's areas of expertise: education, healthy communities, and environmental stewardship. Employee-funded and employee-driven, grant preference is given to organizations located in com- munities in which HDR employees live and work, Since its inception, the HDR Foundation has provided more than $3 million in grants to over 150 organizations. To delve into the numerous areas in which HDR gives back would require many more words than this article has space for, but as we look to the future, HDR remains committed to its initial vision of making this world better. "Looking at the larger social characteristics of a community and being more purposeful in designing places that address community needs, especially for under-represented groups, is our priority. We have created innovative tools that allow us to design smarter and with greater insight. Our dedicated team will continue to look for solutions to the unique issues that are uncovered during stakeholder engagement," says architect Mary Chow. A McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, Victoria, B.C. Humber River Hospital, Toronto, ON. Integrated Health & Social Housing Project, Vancouver, B.C. Delbrook Community Recreation Centre, North Vancouver, B.C.

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