Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Little Bungalow That Grew Up into an Elegant Palace

Residential bungalow home renovation: addition second and third floor, Toronto, by wobuilt.comPhoto-Collage: Residential Home Bungalow Renovation Project
Second and Third Floor Addition
2010 ©

We continue the publishing of the article "We Put a Lot of Steel in This Reno Project" about our another 2nd (and this time 3rd) floor addition for a residential home.
As general contractors we always want to be involved in building projects that are special. We are just finishing such a project. It was difficult, exasperating, fist shaking, with lots of obstacles, but the result is totally worth it. Totally!!!

We took a small bungalow and transformed it into an architecturally noteworthy building. This building is not about finishes, but about spaces, daylight, sightlines and openness.

The original bungalow presented many issues: the walls were not strong enough to hold the second and third floor addition. The foundations were not sufficient and the soil conditions were less than ideal. The site itself was narrow with access issues. We heard a lot of choice words from our trades when they had to work out how to do their work safely and fast.

The client wanted to preserve their first floor and the only option we had was to build a substantial steel structure around the first floor to support the upper floors. Our engineer consultant specified huge beams and columns, (we jokingly said that we were building the CN Tower, but as it turns out, wind loading on the building can be substantial).

The carpentry was fairly conventional and the trusses for the roof provide the structure for the studio space. The first batch of trusses was involved in an accident on the way to the site and we had a few worried hours before we knew that we would not be delayed long. The resulting interior of the studio space is spectacular.

As a female construction company we want to be more than just another general contractor. We want to provide the clients with innovative design and build solutions that are architecturally interesting and unique, as green as possible and are based on their individual needs. We are designsmiths and buildgurus.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Skilled Trades – A Rewarding Career: Building & Construction Trades Showcase 2010

Collage: WoBinna: Building, Construction, Apprenticeship!? Check It Out!
Building & Construction Trades Showcase 2010, Markham Event Centre
Saturday, November 27, 2010, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

We at Wo-Built are pleased to support this great opportunity for students to find out about the trades organized by the Workforce Planning Board of York Region & Bradford West Gwillimbury, a non-for-profit, community-based organization working to develop solutions to local labour market needs and issues.

We would like to encourage everyone interested in joining the trades to attend the showcase. Our advice: talk to as many exhibitors as possible to find out if the trades are for you. Wo-Built Inc has the mission to encourage more women to choose the building trades as a viable and enjoyable career. Through our anime WoBinna & Friends we would like to create interest in young women to consider the trades as a possibility.

Event Details:
Building & Construction Trades Showcase 2010

When: Saturday, November 27, 2010
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Markham Event Centre
Location: 95 Duffield Drive, Markham, ON L6G 0A8

This special event is provided by the Workforce Planning Board of York Region and Bradford West Gwillimbury and funded by Employment Ontario.

Find out about rewarding careers in the construction industry.
Get the Facts on Skilled Trades

The Building Construction Trades Showcase is a perfect opportunity for you to explore and discover the many occupations and apprenticeship pathways available in the construction industry. Plus, you can interact with the experts and participate in hands-on, interactive displays.

Best of all... it's Free!

This is your chance to...
  • Discover and get informed about Skilled Trades
  • Talk directly to construction training professionals
  • Learn about educational requirements and apprenticeships
  • Ask about earning potentials, the future opportunities in construction
  • Get involved with many interactive, hands-on exhibits

Who should attend...
  • Students in grades 7 - 12
  • Parents who are helping their child find a career
  • Newcomers with construction qualifications
  • Unemployed or changing careers
  • Retraining or upgrading skills

Watch for special guest speakers and information sessions.

Skilled Trades... a rewarding career

Contact the Workforce Planning Board at: 905-967-0605
Twitter: @WPBoard

Follow WPBoard on Twitter:

Enter the Draw for an iPAD at the Building and Construction Trades Showcase. Talk to the experts November 27 about skilled trade careers. Nov 24th via web

Find out more about loans to help buy tools and equipment on November 27. It's Free! Nov 17th via web

New apprentices can receive a loan to help them buy the tools and equipment to perform the trade in which they are registered. Nov 17th via web

Thursday, 11 November 2010

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo: Best Practices, New Products and Technologies in Construction

Poster: HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, December 1-3, 2010
Metro Toronto Conventional Centre, Shouth Building

It becomes a tradition for our company to attend this Canada's largest construction industry trade show once-a-year. This year the 14th annual HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo will be held December 1-3, 2010 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building in conjunction with Construct Canada, PM Expo, DesignTrends, and Concrete Canada.

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo
Strategies & Solutions for Residential Construction & Renovation

When: December 1-3, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 2, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday, December 3, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre South Building

Construct Canada, PM Expo, DesignTrends, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo and Concrete Canada at a Glance:
  • Show Features 1050 Exhibits
  • Hands-on Skills Training and Demonstrations: New Speakers, New Topics, New Features, and New Technologies
  • Seminar Programs Tailored for Residential Construction: 450 Speakers, 200 Presentations and Free Demonstrations
  • National Green Building Conference: New and Green Products & Services Recognition
  • International Business Program: International Architectural and Interior Design Roundtable
  • Show Guide Referencing Participating Exhibitors

Strategies & Solutions to Build On sessions in this year's program will discuss National Building Code changes, cost-effective building strategies, marketing tips to help grow your business, and practical green residential building solutions.

Here is a short list of some seminars to choose from:
  • Seminar W120: Significant Changes in the 2010 National Building Code: Part 9 Buildings
  • Seminar T121: How Better Project Management Can Improve Productivity, Lower Costs, and Improve Quality While Reducing Stress
  • Seminar W122: Social Marketing for Homebuilders & Renovators: A Crash Course
  • Seminar W121: Marketing Tips & Techniques for Homebuilders & Renovators to Use NOW
  • Seminar T211: Kitchen & Bath Design Trends for 2011
  • Seminar T120: New and Green Products for Residential Construction
  • Seminar T300: An Energy Retrofit of Your Building Is Your Best Investment: The ROI Beats the Stock Market
  • Seminar T115: When Does a Green Roof Make Sense? What Have We Learned About Green, White, and High-Performance Roofs?

To review these and other sessions for acquiring valuable updates on best practices and new products and technologies in construction business, please go to the Show's Events at a Glance page.

We are looking forward to attend this big 5 Canada's largest construction industry shows. See you at #HomeBuilder10 Expo.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

We Put a Lot of Steel in This Reno Project

Residential Home Renovation Project: Addition 2010 by Wo-Built Inc. Toronto, Ontario, CanadaPhoto-Collage: Residential Home Renovation Project
Second and Third Floor Addition
2010 ©

We are just about to finish another 2nd (and this time 3rd) floor addition for a residential home. We started with a small bungalow, whose structure could not support the new floors. But the client wanted to preserve their first floor interior, so our engineering consultants designed a substantial steel structure on which the other floors were built. We love steel for what it can do.

Stay tuned for more narrative about this difficult and exiting project: The Little Bungalow That Grew Up into an Elegant Palace.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Why We Use Real Architectural Models

Photo: The Model of a Residential Roof Line Design
2010 ©

The Fun and Usefulness of Real Architectural Models

With user-friendly computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D computer modeling programs easily available for use (and not just for the professional) why build real models?

For once, they are great fun to build. But time is money; as a business fun is not a great selling point. Hence: they are still extremely useful as a design tool for studying possible problems such as day lighting (or the lack of it), wind forces, aesthetic proportions and structural stability, to name but a few.

A computer modeling is still only a picture and in terms of determining scale and depth perception a physical mock-up is still better in bringing the space alive. It can be touched. It can be put into daylight simulators and wind tunnels. It can give a higher comfort level in the design. It mitigates risk. Once the project is built, changes are very difficult with large cost implication. A model avoids disappointments and creates realistic expectations.

Usually the physical environment is replicated in a scaled version. But if it concerns a component in an interior renovation, such as shelves, furniture or cabinets and the concern is access or ease of circulation, full scale working replica are useful.

There are two different types of models – a presentation one which is very detailed, pretty and realistic or the working model which is less detailed, usually not pretty, and often quite rough, made out of foam or card board but shows the issues which are under investigation.

As a design firm we frequently use working models to check or explain aspects of our projects which are special features, unusual geometries or help our clients with their visualization. It gives us and the client a piece of mind and, though an additional design cost, in the long run will save time and money.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

links: Architectural Model Why Use Architectural Models
Models are an excellent Communication Tool