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Union Museum Dubai

We are pleased to announce this recent project win.

Government of Dubai

Union Museum

Dubai, UAE

Prime Consultant: CH2M HILL (Middle East)

Yolles will participate in the design of the new Union Museum to be constructed in Dubai, UAE. CH2M HILL (Middle East) are prime consultants for the project. The design team includes Moriyama and Teshima Architects (Toronto) and LORD Cultural Resources (Toronto).

The proposed building narrates the full story of the foundation of the UAE Federation and its continued march towards the future. The conceptual design tells a story from different side views. The top view of the museum resembles the falcon, the UAE’s official emblem, which can be seen from the high-rises overlooking the site and from aircrafts passing along the aviation line in the area. The overall building takes the shape of two hands embracing a pearl, which represents the co-operation between the two brothers who laid the first brick of the UAE Federation structure.

The two hands proceed with the pearl towards the future, delivering strength and determination from the spirit of the Union and the promising powerful generations. The building’s distinct key spaces include a large gallery, a hall for official meeting and events, and also a celebrations and performance venue which incorporates an open theatre with a seating capacity of 500 people.

Edmonton Clinic Health Academy and the Edmonton Clinic South

Photo coutesy of HOK Architects

Submitted by DIALOG® and Yolles, a CH2M HILL Company, this project won the Award of Excellence for Building Engineering from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta. The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy and the Edmonton Clinic South are designed to support an innovative partnership between the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services. Together, as The Edmonton Clinic, the project is helping transform how health science students are educated and the way patients are diagnosed and treated.

Photo courtesy of HOK Architects

With a budget of $900 million, the project offers a combined floor area of 1,250,000 square feet, a 1,200-stall parkade, and three inspiring, light-filled atria. DIALOG and Yolles partnered to deliver super-fast-track the structural designs, the south in cast-in-place concrete and the Health Academy in structural steel – helping both facilities open successfully, both on-time and on-budget.

Photo courtesy of HOK Architects

Production Architect: HOK Architects in association with Stantec Architecture

Services:  Structural Engineering

Sectors:  Healthcare

Wonderland in Calgary

Calgary’s latest public art installation was unveiled last week. Situtated at the main entrance to the Bow Tower, Wonderland by artist Jaume Plensa draws inspiration from a bust of the artist’s niece. The 12m tall sculpture was fabricated from a mesh of 3D curved stainless steel round bars. At the base of the sculpture, doorways invite viewers to experience the piece from the interior looking out to the surrounding urban environment. Yolles provided structural engineering and modeling services for this notable sculpture.

Artist: Jaume Plensa

Fabricator: Heavy Industries

Services: 3D Modeling, Feature Structures Engineering

Tall Residential Buildings Seminar at Construct Canada

Yolles’ Senior Principal Agha Hasan and Associate Babak Mashayekhi will be presenting a seminar titled ” Tall Residential Buildings – A Structural Perspective” at this year’s Construct Canada Expo.

The tall residential building industry is at its peak in the Greater Toronto Area. This semi-technical presentation will focus on the planning of tall residential buildings, along with pictures of different developments, graphic presentation of their structural design, construction materials, and construction methodology. The structural design aspect shall include the graphic representation of wind effects on human comfort, seismic effects, building shortening, slab deflections and their effect on cladding performance. Unit construction costs of residential buildings shall also be discussed.

Construct Canada is the largest building design and construction show in Canada. The Tall Residential Buildings seminar will be given on November 28th, 2012 at 2.30pm in the South Building at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. More information on Construct Canada is available at the show website.


Yolles receives 2012 Ontario WoodWorks Award

Yolles is proud to have been selected as the recipient of the Engineer Wood Advocate Award at the 2012 Ontario WoodWorks Awards.  The Advocate Award is based on a body of work and recognizes decision-making individuals or firms who regularly specify, design or build commercial, industrial, and institutional projects with wood. The Engineer Award and the corresponding Architect Wood Advocate Award acknowledge those individuals or firms who contribute to the selection of wood in a project, who overcome objections related to wood use in a project, and who lead the way for future projects in wood. The Ontario WoodWorks Awards were handed out on November 7th, 2012 at the Awards Gala event. Yolles’ senior associate, Crispin Howes accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

More information on the Woodworks Awards Program can be found on the website maintained by the Canadian Wood Council.

Rotman School of Management Expansion selected for Ontario Concrete Award

Photo courtesy of Tom Arban Photography in.

Congratulations to KPMB Architects and the Project Team on the Rotman School of Management Expansion which opened in September of 2012. The project has been selected to receive the Architectural Merit Award in the 2012 Ontario Concrete Awards.

The expansion of the school accommodates a doubling in programs and substantial increase in research scope since the original building opened in 1998.  The intent of the new building is to provide a direct physical expression of Rotman’s core mission to promote the power of creativity, innovation, and integrative thinking in 21st century business education. The building makes extensive concrete as the primary structural system and as a finish material with architecturally exposed columns and exterior cladding panels.

The lead project team includes:

Architect: KPMB Architects

Structural Engineer: Yolles, A CH2M HILL Company

General Contractor: Eastern Construction Company Ltd.

Material Supplier: St. Marys CBM


Canadian Museum for Human Rights Showcased at upcoming CISC Event

The 2012 Ontario Fall Reception for the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) will focus on the Canadian Museum for Steel Construction. Members of the design and construction teams will be on hand to provide insight into one of Canada’s most ambitous construction projects. As part of a joint presentation, Yolles’ Principal, Neb Erakovic, and Senior Associate, Crispin Howes, will describe some of the innovative solutions, design challenges, and delivery processes involved in providing Structural Engineering services for this landmark building.

When: Thursday, November 1st, 2012: Reception begins at 4:30pm, Presentation begins at 5:00pm

Where: The Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., Toronto, Ontario

RSVP Information: CISC Website


Mirvish + Gehry on King Street

Courtesy of Gehry International

For the past few months, a team from Yolles has been working with internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry on the concept design for Toronto theater impresario David Mirvish’s new King Street development.  The new project will consist of three 80+ storey residential towers – which will be the tallest such buildings in Canada – and a six storey podium housing the Mirvish Art Gallery, space for OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design), retail space and restaurants, altogether almost 2.5 million square feet of construction.  Both the podium and the towers will be sculpted in the style for which Frank Gehry is famous.  Peter Kofman of Projectcore Inc will oversee the management of all aspects of the project, from design through construction.

Courtesy of Gehry International

 As with any project involving a significant residential component, the structural design must be advanced enough to allow suite planning to support the sales effort.  The complexity and unique form of each of the three mega-towers in this project meant that engineering intuition was not enough for the initial design:  Yolles had to work through and develop robust, thoroughly thought-out structural solutions for each tower.  This exercise had to be accomplished in a fairly short period of time to support a technically demanding and knowledgeable client known for working in a sophisticated digital environment.  Fortunately, Yolles had earlier developed the necessary expertise through initiatives like its SPM (Studio for Progressive Modeling) and had previously delivered the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) on which Frank Gehry was the architect.  The Yolles team was therefore able to work comfortably in the same environment, with the same technology as the Gehry team, a process that facilitated a creative and open dialogue with them.  

Courtesy of Gehry International

For Yolles, which does much work internationally, this project provides an exceptional opportunity to work at home on a development of such architectural, cultural and commercial significance to Toronto.  It also represents a coming together of relationships established on previous projects:  Yolles worked with Peter Kofman and David Mirvish on the super-slender 1 King West Tower and with Frank Gehry’s office on the AGO project.

Courtesy of Gehry International

Client: Ed Mirvish Enterprise Ltd. 

Architect:  Gehry International

Project Manager: Projectcore Inc.

Yolles Toronto Services: Structural Engineering

Sector: Residential, Retail, Entertainment


Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan

The Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS) is a new $250M, 25,000 m2 clinical hospital located in Saskatoon and dedicated to the treatment of children (including maternity care). It will also serve as a regional trauma center serving a large area around Saskatoon with an ability to receive patients by helicopter. The project is located on the grounds of the University of Saskatchewan where it will adjoin and be part of the existing Royal University Hospital. 

CHS presents a number of challenges including 7.5m cantilevered hospital wings that will be designed without the use of post-tensioning to ensure the ability of the hospital to accommodate future changes of programme with minimal impact on the structure. The site also has a relatively high water table and a ground stratigraphy that includes cobbles and boulders. There is a need to integrate the new CHS with the existing buildings of the Royal University Hospital and its attendant infrastructure, all on a very tight site. These challenges have led to the selection of continuous flight augered piles for the foundation system, as these can be installed with a minimum of noise and vibration. Minimizing the impact of the new construction on the existing hospital and university complex is essential because the operation of the existing hospital cannot be disrupted during construction.

In addition to the main hospital, Yolles is undertaking the design of the entire Early Works program for the Children’s Hospital in various phases. This work consists of approximately $30M in demolition, new construction and renovation work, primarily associated with the existing parking structures on-site. The post-tensioned 1984 structure is also receiving a comprehensive renovation under the direction of Yolles’ Concrete Restoration team. This work includes: replacement of all of the traffic toppings and membranes; inspection, drying, re-greasing, and replacement where warranted, of the post-tensioned tendons; and extensive repair work to areas where the existing slabs have deteriorated. 

The construction is scheduled to be complete in 2015.

Executive Architect:  Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF)

Production Architect:  Henry Downing Howlett (HDH)

Services:  Structural Engineering

Sectors:  Healthcare

Structural Fire Engineering

LRET Global Technical Leadership Seminar in Structural Fire Engineering

Yolles Principal Neb Erakovic recently travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland to participate in a week long series of intensive seminars related to Structural Fire Engineering. Funded by the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (LRET), this was the second in three annual series focussed on the transitions that are currently occuring in the field of fire safety engineering including leadership changes, an evolving construction industry, changes in regulatory environments, multi-disciplinary drivers for innovation, and increasing demands from fire fighting services.

Worldwide leaders in fire safety engineering including world class architects, renowned engineers, and prominent researchers are working to define a coherent path through this transition and Neb was invited to provide a North American structural engineering perspective.

During the intense weeklong series of seminars and workshops a wide range of topics associated with buildings in fire were discussed including current and historical building codes and standards of practice, performance and prescriptive based design, fire safety engineering research, geographical differences in fire safety engineering, and insurance.

Case studies of fires in buildings were presented and discussed including the World Trade Center and the China Television Cultural Center. Also discussed was the performance based structural fire engineering design of some new tall buildings such as Heron Tower in London, which applied detailed analyses, current academic research, and discussions with the local regulatory authority to justify the removal of fire proofing on secondary elements of the building structure with subsequent benefits to project cost and schedule.

Click here for a description of the previous series that was held in 2011 regarding the future of fire safety engineering education:

What: LRET Global Technical Leadership Seminar in Structural Fire Engineering

When: June 25-29, 2012

Why: Defining the future of Structural Fire Engineering as a professional discipline