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QWEB Symposium: Rebuilding Caribbean Resilience with Offsite Wood Technologies

Event Info

Date Thursday,
March 18, 2021
Location ONLINE - Caribbean & Central America

Registration11:00 AM EST
Program end06:30 PM EST
Credits earned 1 AIA HSW credits

Day program*

11:00 AM

Introductions and welcome

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

“Rebuilding Caribbean Resilience” will be an interactive virtual learning and networking experience dedicated to linking up northern wood structure experts with architects, developers, and NGOs working in the Caribbean region.

Speakers and attendees share common goals and explore new offsite wood technologies to strengthen the region’s resilience to disasters like hurricanes. Targeted focus sessions also explore “how-to” examples, success stories, and ongoing research.

Canadian expertise is being convened by the nonprofit wood structure trade group QWEB, alongside leading regional designers and stakeholders after a historically difficult year, both in terms of storm impacts and the economic disaster of the pandemic for destination travel industries.  This first program will answer 2020’s call for a broader discussion of wood’s potential with climate solutions and community redesign, and how Canadian partnerships can help.

Eli Gould
Presenter
Eli graduated with one of the first dual Architecture/Forestry degrees from Yale in the early ‘90s, with a conviction that the two fields would eventually be more linked. After a quarter century, this seems more true and even mainstream, but for many years it was an entrepreneurial effort in the small vertical wood prefab companies he ran in Vermont, and in the automated timber industry where he often consulted. For the last three years, Eli has brought those experiences into a nonprofit market development role for QWEB. When he’s not trying to transform the AEC industry into a positive climate force he enjoys small town and organic farm life in Vermont with his family.
11:15 AM

Keynote Speaker - Mr. Donald Chong

11:15 AM - 11:45 AM

Donald Chong, a design principal in the mass timber practice group of the award-winning Toronto firm of HDR.  Mr Chong's keynote will provide an inspirational kickoff with images and examples from a timber building portfolio that will reinforce what is possible with wood structure.

Donald Chong
Presenter
Donald has firmly established himself among Canada’s leading progressive architectural voices through his inventiveness and investment in place-making, and his commitment to thoughtfully executed architecture. His project skills volley between the strategic planning of urban and institutional work through to the detailing of finely crafted spaces, underpinned by a studio approach built on research-based and carbon-forward systems design. With over two decades of award-winning work, Donald has held numerous architectural speaking, academic, and jury engagements globally, related to master planning, urban design, structural innovations, and resilience. Projects have ranged across cultural, educational, and institutional sectors, into to urban residential prototypes, and on to master planning for projects on the southeast coast of Barbados and in the Bahamas (Eleuthera). Donald led the master planning and fully-integrated design for the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Advanced Nuclear Materials Research Centre and the New Builds. Donald has taught at the University of Toronto and EPFL in Switzerland and has been awarded Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Architecture, and is a recipient of the Architectural League’s internationally recognized Emerging Voices Award.
11:45 AM

Break

12:00 PM

AIA ACCREDITED COURSE - 1 AIA HSW Best Practices for Wood Durability in Tropical Environments

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

This course will outline fundamentals and principles of designing with wood systems in the tropics with a focus on the climatic and environmental conditions of the Caribbean region. Design for durability in both hot/humid and hot/dry climates will be considered, with strategies for protecting wood in the building envelope and interior spaces. Managing insect hazards will also be surveyed along the variety of practices and treatment technologies available for light wood, solid timber, and mass timber construction systems.

  • Credit type: HSW
  • AIA# TropicalEnv21 | USGBC#
  • Provider: QWEB
  • Eli Gould Presenter
    Eli graduated with one of the first dual Architecture/Forestry degrees from Yale in the early ‘90s, with a conviction that the two fields would eventually be more linked. After a quarter century, this seems more true and even mainstream, but for many years it was an entrepreneurial effort in the small vertical wood prefab companies he ran in Vermont, and in the automated timber industry where he often consulted. For the last three years, Eli has brought those experiences into a nonprofit market development role for QWEB. When he’s not trying to transform the AEC industry into a positive climate force he enjoys small town and organic farm life in Vermont with his family.
01:00 PM

Break

01:15 PM

Roundtable 1: “Wood on a Mission” - Ms Yanel de Angel Salas - Perkins & Will

01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

Yanel de Angel Salas will lead the roundtable with a summary of her work in the formation of resilientSEE-PR, an alliance that provides long-term relief to communities in Puerto Rico through resilient design and planning. ResilientSEE has expanded to other geographic locations providing climate adaptation strategies.   She will place wood design trends in a context that includes cultural heritage and resistance to not only hurricane but seismic events.

Yanel de Angel
Presenter
After hurricanes Irma and María devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, and with the support of Perkins&Will, Yanel led the formation of resilientSEE-PR, an alliance that provides longterm relief to communities in Puerto Rico through resilient design and planning. Ongoing projects range from municipal to neighborhood/community-scale interventions and educational programs. ResilientSEE has expanded to other geographic locations providing climate adaptation strategies. As Principal of Perkins&Will, Yanel manages complex projects and brings a holistic design framework to problem solving. Passionate about community resilience, environmental stewardship and building performance, she is an active member of the Firm’s Resilience Lab, Diversity Council, Executive Committee, and a founding member of the Project Delivery Board. Yanel is VP of Practice for Boston Society of Architect (BSA) / AIA Board, co-chairs the BSA Women in Design (WiD) Excellence Awards committee, cofounded the BSA WiD Mid-Career Mentorship committee and is a CREW member.
01:15 PM

Roundtable 1: “Wood on a Mission” - Mr. Arnold Ponçon - AgroforestaleSA / Simplemente Madera

01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

Mr Ponçon will bring the complementary business case of the Caribbean basin to the roundtable with case studies from his family’s wood-producing and agroforestry heritage enterprise in Central America.  The companies AgroforestaleSA and Simplemente Madera are undergoing a post-pandemic retooling, to focus on bringing under-utilized timber into affordable housing through a “kit of parts” and optimization approach.  He will also share what he gained strategically during a year of immersion in the Canadian wood prefab community.

Arnold Ponçon
Presenter
After the recent passing of agroforestry pioneer Clement Ponçon, Arnold and his family’s companies had to face the pandemic’s painful effects on the business model of a (hospitality-market focused) prefab factory. Since then, he has led a transformation by building links across industries to create a wood housing prototyping initiative, with partners in Canada, Europe, & Central American academia. Ongoing projects range from milling to treatment tests, to the full design/build/development of a mixed farming & professional village on the Nicaraguan coast. Arnold and his brother Erik manage complex and biodiverse working landscapes that also support an entire supply chain of coffee, cacao, timber, and other natural products. Passionate about the producers’ quality of life, and proving out his father’s pioneering agroforestry model, Arnold has been tireless in linking up of strategic allies during times of challenge. Canada and Nicaragua have both benefited from these alliances. He has also served as a manager of major salvage timber harvests, built up a furniture cooperative into a turn-key resort-building factory, and recently took on leadership of his mother’s charitable NicaFrance Foundation, so the family can continue her mission to build workforce housing, clinics, schools, seedling nurseries, and wood science labs that continue to bring multiple benefits to local producer communities.
01:15 PM

Roundtable 1: “Wood on a Mission” - Canadian Expert Project Video: Mr Rene LeClerc- AmeriCan Structures

01:15 PM - 02:15 PM

The work of one of Quebec’s most globally active light wood frame producers AmeriCan Structures will be related to the local producer case through one of the last pre-pandemic trade missions to Nicaragua.  Founder Rene LeClerc’s prior work in Africa with wood/clay hybrids will be previewed.  An artisan gluelam producer member Art Massif will also be represented with the perspective of an owner who is a forest engineer with experience in Central America.  Genevieve Constancis will also highlight the limits of current glue and treatment technologies which will lead into the following technical roundtable. 

Presenter: Rene Leclerc & Genevieve Constancis
02:15 PM

Break

02:30 PM

Roundtable 2: “Timber Tech in the Tropics” - Mr. Mohammad Mohammad - NRCan/FPInnovations

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM

Dr. Mohammad will lead the roundtable with a presentation that includes some of the primary technical solution paths to the challenges of timber construction in the Caribbean region.  He will include examples of wood elements that are used in traditional construction methods, introduce the modern concept of mass timber slabs which are made of mechanically laminated wood (DLT), and how this can specifically replace the use of concrete.  This presentation will also lead up to the way that this modern method allows for use of wood that has been treated against termites.

Mohammad Mohammad
Presenter
Mohammad Mohammad graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a PhD degree in Timber Engineering in 1996. Until 2017, “Mo” worked as a Research Leader at FPInnovations, Canada’s National Research Institute on Forest Products. During the years of research that led up to Canada’s leadership in the mass timber industry, he also took on study and education of traditional tropical wood hybrid systems, and how they could have modern variations. Currently, Mohammad is working at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as a Senior Research Advisor on tall wood buildings and mass timber. He worked closely with keynote speaker Donald Chong on the recent first use of mass timber in a Canadian Nuclear Laboratory facility. As an experienced researcher whose work has been around the foundations of a new structural industry, Mo knows the potential of wood systems in the tropics. He is working personally to support emerging relationships through this forum. His understanding of mechanically laminated systems may hold some keys for the future of mass timber in this region, where treatment and multi-species use are so important. Mo continues to lead R&D activities under NRCan’s Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program, and is the lead or co-lead author of several chapters and sections of the CLT handbooks and FPInnovations’ Tall Wood Buildings Guide. He is a member of several codes and standards committees including the Canadian Timber Design Standard and the Canadian Highway Bridge Code.
02:30 PM

Roundtable 2: “Timber Tech in the Tropics” - Mr. Stephane Rompré - Boralife & Mr. Stephane Moirans - AG Bio Centre

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM

The inventors and developers of a naturally derived wood treatment process, with exceptionally low toxicity for humans and the environment, will be sharing their path through one of the most challenging testing and certification environments for treated wood (the United States’ Fire Resistant Wood approval process).  They also will go into more detail on the way that borate impregnation technology has a unique lethal mechanism for termites and what the applications are that this treated wood will be best used for.  Specific testing for salt resistant fasteners will also be shared. 

Presenter: Stephane Moirand & Stephane Rompre
02:30 PM

Roundtable 2: “Timber Tech in the Tropics” - Canadian Expert Project Video: Mr. Pape Diouf - Serex

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM

The wood science laboratory who worked behind the scenes to help the inventors prove out the science is called Serex, and as they also are now helping the Quebecois inventors to test the treatment’s effect on different  local Caribbean species, a virtual tour of their testing capacities and science leaders will be shared as part of the expert panel. 

Presenter: Pape Diouf
03:30 PM

Break

03:45 PM

Roundtable 3: “Offsite Wood in Tropical Design” - Eli Gould - QWEB

03:45 PM - 04:45 PM

Eli Gould will introduce and offer a context of some of the design opportunities that lie within the challenge of rebuilding when not only hurricane or seismic events have passed by, but also the realities of a new set of conditions in the wake of a global pandemic.  A need for new shapes of community, buildings that are more distributed and autonomous, is going to be required but the challenges of cost and delivery need bold solutions.

Eli Gould
Presenter
Eli graduated with one of the first dual Architecture/Forestry degrees from Yale in the early ‘90s, with a conviction that the two fields would eventually be more linked. After a quarter century, this seems more true and even mainstream, but for many years it was an entrepreneurial effort in the small vertical wood prefab companies he ran in Vermont, and in the automated timber industry where he often consulted. For the last three years, Eli has brought those experiences into a nonprofit market development role for QWEB. When he’s not trying to transform the AEC industry into a positive climate force he enjoys small town and organic farm life in Vermont with his family.
03:45 PM

Roundtable 3: “Offsite Wood in Tropical Design” - Dr. Jean Luc Sandoz - Groupe CBS-Lifteam

03:45 PM - 04:45 PM

A timber university  case study in French Guiana will serve as a local variation of a much longer legacy of work in a variety of structural systems with direct relevance to Caribbean regions.  Portfolio work in Europe will be shown with an eye towards how local materials and talent can be elevated when used in concert with advanced technologies and expertise. 

Jean Luc Sandoz
Presenter
A recent European magazine article celebrated Jean Luc Sandoz’s 60th birthday with the headline “The Father of Modern Timber Construction. As a young wood scientist in Switzerland, he could have built a whole academic career around his insight into using ultrasound waves to measure the strength properties of timber Instead, he stepped back into jobsites with active design, build, and evaluation technology companies. A sort of 30 year anniversary this year offers our young industry a path to follow . Caribbean regional advocates will also appreciate a unique model whose technology elevates the capacity of local talent and materials. Dr Sandoz started as a gifted young carpenter in a practical curriculum before making a rare move into timber engineering in Switzerland, and then becoming a protégé of the legendary Dr Julius Natterer at EPFL. Together they moved into active studio design in the early 90’s, and by 1999 he’d begun operations in both France and Switzerland with companies that are the origin of the CBS Lifteam group. A case study of his innovative work with local timber in French Guiana, for a university project, will be a focus point in his presentation, but highlights of European delivered work will reinforce the potential of wood science to be applied and delivered into new structural systems in a remarkably rapid fashion. This story of continuous practical synthesis is clearly not over and a Caribbean chapter may be part of it. We expect to end symposium #1 with a hopeful To Be Continued”…
03:45 PM

Roundtable 3: “Offsite Wood in Tropical Design” - Canadian Expert Roundtable Conclusions with: Mr. Nicolas Auger - NA Structure

03:45 PM - 04:45 PM

The prefabrication expertise and mixed structural system producer Nicolas Auger has been active in the Caribbean market with a variety of innovative high end projects.  Because one  of his job sites happened to be under construction during Dorian, he was on the first flight in to finish the mix of mechanically laminated slabs, structural steel, and light wood frame.  His  jobsite pictures and participation in Q&A will show the sort of offsite partnership and multi-material coordination that are necessary to succeed in rebuilding Caribbean resilience.

Presenter: Nicolas Auger
05:00 PM

REMO Networking Session, Design competition announcements.

05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

NETWORKING

Eli Gould
Presenter
Eli graduated with one of the first dual Architecture/Forestry degrees from Yale in the early ‘90s, with a conviction that the two fields would eventually be more linked. After a quarter century, this seems more true and even mainstream, but for many years it was an entrepreneurial effort in the small vertical wood prefab companies he ran in Vermont, and in the automated timber industry where he often consulted. For the last three years, Eli has brought those experiences into a nonprofit market development role for QWEB. When he’s not trying to transform the AEC industry into a positive climate force he enjoys small town and organic farm life in Vermont with his family.
06:30 PM

End


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