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IFAI Canada Honours Program 2012 winners exemplify quality craftsmanship

Industry News | May 1, 2012 | By:

IFAI Canada Honours Program 2012 winners<br /> exemplify quality craftsmanship

IFAI Canada Honours Program 2012 winners
exemplify quality craftsmanship

Each year at IFAI Canada Expo, the Canada Honours Program winners for the year are announced. The program recognizes the best and latest in design and manufacturing in the Canadian specialty fabrics industry, with entries judged on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and function. Open to IFAI Canada members, the competition gives participants the opportunity to earn recognition for their exceptional work in several categories.

2012 Nash Award winner

Sollertia Inc. | Montréal, Québec

Sollertia Inc. received this year’s Nash Award for its entrance canopy. The honor recognizes the winning project that best exemplifies the highest standards of craftsmanship, function and innovation to which Jeff Nash held his projects. Nash was an IFAI Canada chairman, dedicated member of the IFAI Canada board of directors and a strong supporter of the Honours Program. Read more about the project below.

Commercial Canopies

Sollertia Inc. | Montréal, Québec
Project: Circus school entrance canopy
Fabric: Ferrari Précontraint® 502 Circus school entrance canopy

The circus school, École de cirque de Québec, took up residence in the former Saint-Esprit church in 2003, building a lively place for creative expression and professional training. The school’s director asked Sollertia to design an all-season tensioned canopy for its main entrance that would serve as the building’s focal point and reflect the school’s mission, with a nod to the ‘chapiteau’ or circus big top.

The director wanted the structure to contrast with the architectural façade, and to be colorful and visible from the main road. The tensioned membrane of double curvature geometry, restrained by a curved and painted aluminum frame, is fixed with a single anchor point in the ground and sits against the stone wall of the building with minimal load transfer.

Removable partitions were developed concurrently with the main structure for use in the winter to protect from wind and blowing snow. In summer, they’re removed to lighten its appearance and restore visual contact with the main street. Its dynamic form and fluid lines add an organic feel to the architecture and create a visual link with passersby.

Air and tensile structures

Sollertia Inc. | Montréal, Québec
Project: Exterior shade for rooftop condo terrace
Fabric: Ferrari Soltis® 92Exterior shade for rooftop condo terrace

Zuni Condos + Lofts on Nun’s Island (officially, Île des Sœurs) form the first phase of an urban waterfront community project. The client requested a tensioned shade structure over the rooftop terrace that would complement the sleekness of the building and not impede the spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and Montréal skyline.

The structure consists of a fabric tensioned at four points and supported by inclined galvanized steel masts. Putting a textile structure on the top of the seven-story building was a concern because of constant strong winds, so the structure was designed to resist winds in excess of 100 kilometers per hour. With the aim of limiting the number of anchor points, a textile structure with thicker masts was developed to support the full weight and tension of the canopy without the need for tie-down cables. The micro-perforated yellow fabric adds to the lightweight feel of the terrace.

Tent Manufacturer

Fiesta Tents Ltd. | St-Laurent, Quebec
Project: Graydon Hall Manor
Fabrics: Mardis gras from Bruin Plastics Co. Inc.; Ventaspan from ABC Industries Inc.; View Flex from Dura Plastics Ltd. Graydon Hall Manor

Fiesta Tents designed two tents that could be interconnected to create one space on a rooftop terrace for the Congress Center in downtown Montreal. The project also included a small kitchen tent and a walkway to interconnect the tents as well as the building. Offering shelter and still allowing for maximum visibility, one purpose of the venue was to create a place to view Montreal’s weekly summer fireworks.

A key element included using existing concrete pillars to anchor the structures. The tents had to be compatible with the spacing of the pillars and custom base plates designed to match the existing anchors. A special system allows for rainwater to drain from the 60-foot-long gutter created by the joined tents. Fiesta Tents had just 30 days to finalize the design, manufacture and install the tents and canopies, but they fit perfectly and the client was pleased with the look and functionality.


Sollertia Inc. | Montréal, Québec
Project: Le Massif de Charlevoix train ceiling panels
Fabric: Ferrari Soltis® SK20Le Massif de Charlevoix train ceiling panels

Travelling 140 kms between Québec City and La Malbaie, the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix offers a singular rail cruise experience for its passengers, who enjoy breathtaking vistas, discovering the region’s history and culture over breakfast or lunch. Built by the St-Louis Car Co. in 1955 and 1956, they were the company’s first high-capacity double deckers. As part of the train’s renovation project, Sollertia produced the ceiling system for eight railcars, consisting of 64 panels of tensioned membrane on aluminum frames in five different shapes with a single unique attachment system.

The design called for panels with smooth surfaces that would pick up the nuances produced by a computer-controlled animation and mood system. It also needed to meet the strict regulations for passenger rail transport, particularly for fire safety. The ceiling panels fulfilled the high aesthetic criteria of the design firm and met the complex technical needs for angle reflection required by the integrated animation and mood system.

Marine Products

Lethbridge Custom Canvas Ltd. | Lethbridge, Alberta
Project: Pacific Blue Cockpit and Bow Cover
Fabric: Sunbrella® Pacific Blue Cockpit and Bow Cover

Lethbridge Custom Canvas patterned and manufactured a custom cockpit and bow cover for a 22-foot speedboat that the customer could use on the water as well as for towing. Because the boat had a very low profile, the cover had to be sleek and form-fitting. Lethbridge marked and installed the snaps, then patterned and sewed the covers. Color-matched snap buttons to appear “painted on” and Sunbrella binding blended with the fabric created a high-end look. The covers could be easily installed with the boat docked and were strong enough to be used as a towing cover, as the customer requested.

Industrial Applications

SEI Industries Ltd. | Delta, British Columbia
Project: Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT)
Fabric: Thermal plastic polyurethane Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT)

SEI Industries’ new Bulk Aviation Transport Tank (BATT) is folded or rolled up for storage after unloading, cutting the cost of fuel delivery by almost 50 percent. The product was first suggested by a client. Careful engineering—and a fabric that could withstand turbulance, frequent use and rough handling—was needed. BATTs are made from two main components: a heavy duty, abrasion-resistant outer tank (with a built-in strapping system that also serves as secondary containment) and a baffled inner tank, which controls movement inside the aircraft, even during extreme manuveurs.

The flexible tank prevents aircraft damage or spills caused when handling fuel drums, reduces the cost of fuel spoilage and provides a cost savings to operators who often lose money because they cannot return damaged drums, which are often abandoned. The BATT can reduce or eliminate this environmental impact on remote and often sensitive locations.

Residential Awnings & Canopies

Windsor Tent & Awning Inc. | Windsor, Ontario
Project: Backyard canopy
Fabric: Sunbrella® Backyard canopy

A residential customer of Windsor Tent & Awning wanted a backyard canopy to block the sun but didn’t want to obstruct the view of the lake from the yard. Originally, the owner of the home was going to have two small canopies on either side of the deck with nothing in the middle, but the company suggested accomodating the shape of the windows by making a higher middle section with no valance, so the homeowner could enjoy the view from the inside and still have shaded comfort outside. The homeowner was pleased with the final result: a three section canopy.

Commercial Awnings

Windsor Tent & Awning Inc. | Windsor, Ontario
Project: Storefront enhancement
Fabric: Sunbrella® Storefront enhancement

The owner of floral design shop was looking for a way to enhance the look and visibility of their storefront—something unique with curb appeal and a modern look. Windsor Tent & Awning first installed an architect-designed awning that the customer loved, but it was too high and didn’t offer shade from the sun, so the company designed and manufactured a new awning frame, covered with taupe Sunbrella, that followed the shape but offered shade, too. The end result was a practical and beautiful storefront awning.

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