Cascadia Green Building Council – VanDusen Botanical Gardens Visitors Centre Presentation & Tour

The contractor’s role during the Living Buildings Challenge process should be a pro-active and involved one. The challenge is how to turn “ideas” into “reality”. The new Visitors Centre at VanDusen Botanical Gardens is one of the first buildings in Canada to target the Living Building Challenge. Marsha Gentile of Ledcor Construction Limited will highlight the contractor’s role in the successful delivery of Living Building Challenge projects. Project Manager Rebecca McDiarmid will lead a tour of the site and explain approaches to the many unique challenges and opportunities that arose during the preconstruction and construction phases of this project. It happens Wednesday, April 27, 12:30 – 4:00 p.m. at VanDusen Botanical Gardens, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver. Register at

1.5 core LUs


Cascadia Green Building Council – Building a Living Building at UniverCity

Take part in a tour where participants will get an up-close look at the opportunities and challenges associated with constructing UniverCity’s new Living Building Childcare. Simon Fraser University Community Trust has taken on the challenge of designing and building this new sustainable childcare facility. The project aims to be the first building in Canada to meet the Living Building Challenge, the most advanced green building rating system in the world. To meet this challenge, the new childcare building must generate more energy annually than it uses; recycle or harvest more water than it uses; be free of toxic materials; obtain the majority of its materials from within a 400 kilometer radius; and cost less to construct than a conventional childcare facility. Three lead representatives from the project will guide the tour: Karen Marler MAIBC, Principal Architect from Hughes Condon Marler Architects; Dale Mikkelsen, Manager of Planning and Sustainability – SFU Community Trust; and Bruce Vasarhely, Project Manager from Ledcor Construction Limited. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the many innovative green technologies that are being implemented as part of this project. It takes place Wednesday, April 27, 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m. Sign up at

2.5 core LUs


Cascadia Green Building Council – Sustainability in Action: Whistler

Tour one of the most forward-thinking communities in North American. A host of the 2010 Winter Games, Whistler is also the recipient of numerous sustainability planning awards including the United Nations-sponsored Liveable Communities Award and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Sustainable Community Planning Award. Learn about the community’s successes guided by “The Natural Step Sustainability Framework”. The tour will begin with a stunning bus ride along the Sea to Sky Highway. Hear how the community created its Whistler 2010 sustainability plan, followed by a walking tour of on-the-ground outcomes. Enjoy a traditional meal at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, then visit the Whistler Athletes’ Village, a LEED® ND pilot project that was converted to the community’s newest resident neighborhood, Cheakamus Crossing. Learn about the district energy system that uses heat from the wastewater treatment plant, and the unique resident-restricted affordable housing model. Don’t miss this opportunity to see sustainable community in action, Wednesday, April 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To register, go to

4 Non-core LUs


The Death of Architecture

Unless you’re a ‘starchitect’, chances are you’ll end up creating mediocre glass-clad hangars, says Jay Merrick. Does the problem lie with the profession, or the politicians in charge of our towns and cities?
By Jay Merrick, The Independent
April 4, 2011

British architects have become political and cultural punch-bags, and the Budget’s “radically relaxed” planning rules in Enterprise Zones will batter them even more. Ruth Reed, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), welcomes the Chancellor’s proposal with a pathos-laden hope that the new rules will “protect the essential requirements of sustainability and good design”. More …


Sustainable Region Initiative – Sustainablilty Community Breakfast, A Natural Resource Shortage You Have Never Heard Of: Phosphorus

The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues and Sustainability Community Breakfasts are outreach components of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI). They involve a series of high-profile debates and discussions intended to help decision makers shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views and stimulating fresh thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labour and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, transportation, energy and agriculture. In 2011, Metro Vancouver will convene 16 dialogues throughout the region please check the website often to find out about future dialogues in your community.


Sustainablilty Community Breakfast
Date: Wednesday, April 13
Topic: A Natural Resource Shortage You Have Never Heard Of: Phosphorus

It’s a key link in the global food chain, declining worldwide at alarming rates, and many people have never heard of it. Dr. Donald Mavinic, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia, will explore the importance of phosphorus as an essential element of life, the global implications of phosphorus depletion, and research currently taking place in North America. The breakfast takes place from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Vancouver campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver. To register, go to


Harmony House Tour (Burnaby)

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, together with Insightful Healthy Homes and Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd., invite you to attend a tour of the Harmony House. This project, a winning selection in CMHC’s EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing competition, is now mid-way through construction. Highlights of the tour will include:

  • High Performance Windows
  • Foundation Systems
  • Fab form; Super insulated ICF foundations
  • Advanced Framing
  • Engineered Wood Structural Elements
  • High Performance Mechanical Systems (rough-in only)
  • Mechanical design drawings
  • Mock up of Super-Insulation and Air Barrier Systems
  • Vacuum panels; Icynene Foams
  • Water Proofing and Roofing Systems
  • Supplier / Material Displays

Members of the Harmony House team will be on-site to answer questions. The tour is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at 7990 Joffre Avenue, Burnaby. Note: WorkSafeBC regulations require participants to wear hard hats and work boots. CMHC has a very limited supply of hard hats, and attendees must bring their own work boots. There is no cost, and space is limited to the first 30 registrants. Please r.s.v.p. no later than Thursday, April 14, to


Global Pechakucha Day

In the aftermath of last month’s devastating earthquake, PechaKucha Headquarters in Tokyo is planning a global initiative to raise money towards the re-building effort. Many of the 400 PechaKucha cities worldwide will host a presentation with all proceeds going to Architecture For Humanity’s Rebuild Japan initiatives. A similar event last year helped raised money for the rebuilding of a school in Haiti following a disaster there. Cause + Affect’s PechaKucha Vancouver will be participating by hosting a smaller show, in our familiar 20×20 format, on Saturday, April 16, 4:00 at the Cascade Room, 2616 Main Street.  Those interested in participating are invited to make submission on the theme of Inspire Japan, with four subthemes of “Inspire”, “Japan”, “The Issues”, and “Recovery”. This can be simply about things that inspire us, how Japan has inspired you, or ideas for dealing with issues at hand including earthquakes, tsunamis or nuclear power. Admission to this event is by. No ticket is required, but admission will be on a first come; first seated basis as seating is limited. For details, visit You can find out more about our global event at