Innovation

We have a proven record to be innovative across all aspects of our work. We deliver high quality projects that have found admiration and  relevance both within the general public and the profession, as well as in academia.
It is our distinguishing ability that we can take complex and uniquely conflicting project parameters and synthesize, integrate and distill them into simple, surprising, innovative, buildable and budget conscious solutions with an attention to detail.
Our projects are highly flexible to remain relevant over time as they are relevant in their setting. They are of importance to their respective communities and are as sustainable as we can possibly make them.
It is because of our ambitious and holistic approach that we have consistently gotten high recognition throughout the first decade of our practice. We engage with arts as much as we care about a scientific approach and the possibilities of economics. It is our first priority to deliver buildings that innovative, beautiful, and sustainable.

Integrated Design Process

We work closely with our clients during  the programming and design process. We first seek to confirm the overall objectives, review of the terms of reference and review of materials provided. Further, we like to discuss and develop evaluation criteria and a project specific methodology to finalize the work plan and schedule.

We propose an integrated process in which design options are carefully explored for program, site constraints and bylaws and further evaluated through feedback from scenario driven architectural design explorations. The evaluation will be based on the agreed criteria.

We will then recommend modifications/optimizations to the scenarios, typologies and specific needs. This design management procedure evolves transparently through several cycles, looking at the project from multiple vantage points, and allowing client recommendations to arrive at insightful decisions. Information is typically delivered through fully interactive 3D digital models, physical design models, diagrams, analytic calculations, imaginative renderings and photo montages and others.

This process will help all stakeholders and team members to better understand the implications of the various potential design options with their particular advantages and limitations. The intent is to objectify the design process beyond initial preconceptions. We have had great success with this process since the team as a collective that is finding the right solution. In summary, our design process is not linear and hierarchical, but evolves in multiple parallel strands that are then systematically integrated into a consistent design proposition.

The process naturally involves our consultants for structure, electrical, mechanical, landscape and others as needed. We have a longstanding working relationship with many of them, and prefer to see them involved with our clients as early as possible. We are, of course, more than happy to work with consultants of our clients’ preference.

We work with sophisticated BIM (Building Information Modelling), 3D-modelling, parametric and animation software that allow us to carry a highly integrated computer aided design model from start to finish.

Budget and Quality Control

At LWPAC we monitor budgets tightly. Design decisions are carefully evaluated with our clients and our quantity surveyors. The use of BIM software also allows us to get both detailed feedback for material quantities during all phases of our work, and to carefully control the integration of design and construction details. Design errors and change orders are reduced to a minimum through the use of the intelligent 3D CAD models that are shared among all consultants. Further, we try to use off-site prefabrication when feasible and ensure on-time, on-budget project delivery with tight quality control. Long term feasibility and life span cost evaluations are optional aspects of our design management task.

Sustainability

We believe that any future project will have to be as sustainable as possible. At LWPAC we have pioneered a more holistic design approach to meet that goal. Our designs are resource-conscious, culturally aware and technically simple yet sophisticated. They are carefully situated in the context and designed to take maximum advantage of passive strategies such as natural light, solar gain and ventilation. We use materials that have a long lifespan and come from renewable resources whenever possible.

We understand our designs as platforms for life that enable and catalyze. All of our designs have received significant acclaim for their adaptability and flexibility to engage with both the certainties and the uncertainties of the future. Multiprogramming and culturally sustainable usages add to the longevity and adaptability of a new building.

Low energy and minimal impact design is an essential part to our approach. Our ROAR_one project is an EcoDensity and Passive Design reference project for the City of Vancouver. The building is highly acclaimed for its sustainable urban densification strategies. We have developed a prototype for a net zero school project and we have successfully delivered an educational building that pioneered the use of passive design strategies. We are currently in the process to deliver a project that aims for ‘Passive Haus’ and ‘Living Building Challenge’ standards, one of the first housing projects in BC and in Canada. This project has just been sponsored by BC Hydro’s Power Smart Conservation Innovation program under the auspices of Investigations into Net Zero Energy Capable Housing.

We use environmentally desirable and sustainable materials whenever possible. We have spent more than 15 years working in methods of digitally assisted prefabrication in order to minimize waste and to produce significantly accelerated construction schedules. Currently, we are in the process to deliver a fully pre-assembled multifamily development that is scheduled to be built in 8 months instead of the typical 16-20 months. The project will use local timber where possible.

Sustainability is part of all aspects of our practice. One of our projects won the 2006 Lieutenant Governour’s Innovation award for its sustainability and urban densification strategies. We measure current projects by the Living Building Challenge standard and we work with our associates firms through technical aspects of LEED certification processes and environmental government grants.

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