Voluntary Standards for Hospitals

The Canadian Standards Association has introduced a national hospital construction protocol. The Z8000 Health Care Facilities Standard is a comprehensive voluntary standard to address the complex nature of planning, design, and construction of hospitals and health care facilities. This standard set out by the CSA, a membership-based association, addresses concerns specific to health care facilities and beyond what is contained in established building codes and guidelines. It covers essential principles and planning processes for all health care facilities, including inpatient areas, diagnostic and treatment areas, related services within a facility, and technical and support services. It also provides specifications on everything from occupancy issues and furniture to site and facility requirements. This includes measures to improve Infection prevention and control, is a major concern in health care facilities. End users will include architects, designers, consultants, contractors, manufacturers, facility managers and engineers, infection prevention and control professionals, and occupational health and safety teams. Z8000 Health Care Facilities Standard can be purchased online at http://shop.csa.ca or via e-mail at sales@csa.ca. The CSA also provides a complimentary online Information session to help users understand and apply the new standard.

“We’re Building Assembly-Line Cities and Buildings”

Interview with Star Architect Rem Koolhaas
Spiegel Online
December 16, 2011

A man in a dark-green coat flapping in the wind strides through Hamburg’s HafenCity district. He is almost two meters (6′ 6″) tall, wiry, bald and with the face of a bird of prey. From the SPIEGEL building at the eastern entrance to the northern city’s newest district, he heads toward the Elbphilharmonie concert hall being built at the western end of HafenCity. Two assistants and two culture editors are having trouble keeping up as Rem Koolhaas walks and talks nonstop. More…

The Duplex, Re-invented For High-density Living

By Hadani Ditmars, Globe and Mail
December 9, 2011

At the nexus of Vancouver’s bravest new neighbourhood, design/build architect Lucio Picciano is reinventing the duplex. Mere minutes from the new Vancouver Community College SkyTrain station and Ken Lum’s iconic monument to East Vancouver, the housing type most commonly associated with 70’s A-frame style barns, is being born again. Its 2011 incarnation is as a high-density, high-design dwelling that is as flexible as it is modern. More … 

AIBC Response to Proposed BCBC Revisions

This fall, proposed changes to the BC Building Code have been out for public review with open invitations extended for individuals and organizations to submit feedback. In addition to the individual responses provided by AIBC members, the institute has submitted a formal response that is the product of thoughtful, thorough input from experienced practitioners, topic experts and advisors. In addition to technical responses to each of the proposed changes, the AIBC submission address two principal areas of concern:

  • The public interest ramification of the government’s proposed changes to small assembly occupancies; and
  • The architectural profession’s long-standing belief and unrequited requests apropos the overarching authority and public protection benefits of the Architect Act, which are not reflected in the proposed changes but which the AIBC strongly recommends.

To access the AIBC submission, click here. For the accompanying cover letter, click here. Thank you to all who contributed to the institute’s response, and those who took the time to submit their personal comments. Constructive dialogue with the provincial government, on this and other matters, will continue.

Architecture Canada | RAIC – Built City @ MOV Lecture Series: Nature, Urban Space, and Biomimicry

This third and final installment of BuiltCity@MOV will explore the ways nature can inspire resilient, sustainable, and creative urban environments. Nature is one of the most innovative, imaginative and locally attuned sources of inspiration for architecture, engineering, and integrative resilience; find out how it applies to Vancouver, a city that strives to be a green innovator. The talk will focus on how Canadians live on the edge of the largest forests on earth, a precious part of our natural and cultural heritage that also represent one of the greatest carbon sinks on the planet – offering up a vital context within which we can better understand and examine the exciting future potential of wood as a building material. Special guest speaker Thomas Knittel from HOK New York will look at how integrated design is charting new territory through FIT©, a methodology incorporating biomimicry, ecological performance standards and the triple bottom line. Knittel’s case studies will demonstrate how social, economic and environmental concerns are mapped at urban and building scale examples, and how biomimicry has informed the design and decision-making process. Dr. Faisal Moola, Science Director at the David Suzuki Foundation, will offer his perspective on the science of biomimicry with a focus on how these innovations and new ways of conceptualizing our built environments, all in the Vancouver context. Leading an interactive Q+A will be Professor Ray Cole MAIBC from the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. It happens Thursday, January 19, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver. To register, go to http://builtcity3.eventbrite.com/.

2 Core LUs

Closed: Call for Presentations – 2012 AIBC Annual Conference

The deadline for presentation submissions for the 2012 AIBC Annual Conference is now closed. The response was strong and impressive; thank you to all who took the time to bring forward a submission prior to the December 15 deadline. The AIBC’s Annual Conference Professional Development Committee will now be reviewing the proposals received in building the program for the conference, May 9-11 in Vancouver. Notification will take place by late January.

ASHRAE Requirements for City of Vancouver

In line with its 2020 energy targets, the City of Vancouver has recently expanded its building permit documentation requirements to include ASHRAE standards for all new construction covered under Part 3.  Submission requirements for this new documentation will be phased in starting with a voluntary submission date of January 20, 2012, followed by the mandatory submission requirement deadline beginning March 1, 2012. The city introduced the new ASHRAE 90.1 – 2007 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings) documentation process on December 1, 2011, and also updated its Development Services web page to include a new checklist file and a tutorial file outlining the new documentation and submission requirements (http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/developmentservices/subreq/index.htm). Note: this initiative has been carried out in consultation with impacted professions and organizations including the AIBC. For additional information, including an explanation of the resulting process changes, view the city’s over view document here (COV Article – ASHRAE 90 1). A presentation on this matter is being planned for early 2012, details forthcoming.

Canadian Architects Awards

Canadian Architect magazine has announced the selections for its 2011 Awards of Excellence, and the AIBC is well-represented. These annual awards recognize architects and architectural graduates for buildings in the design stage. This year’s winners were selected by a jury consisting of Walter Francl MAIBC (Walter Francl Architecture, Vancouver), Diarmuid Nash (Moriyama & Teshima Architects, Toronto) and Peter Sampson (Peter Sampson Architecture Studio, Winnipeg). The jury considered response to the program, site, geographical and social context, and evaluated physical organization, structure, materials and environmental features. Among the eight Awards of Excellence given for 2011 are the following AIBC member firms:

  • B+H Bunting Coady Architects Inc. for the West Coast Middle School in Anmore, British Columbia
  • Patkau Architects Inc. in joint venture with Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. for the Fort York National Historic Site Visitor Centre in Toronto, Ontario
  • Zeidler Partnership Architects in joint venture with SNØHETTA for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto, Ontario
  • Saucier + Perrotte architectes in joint venture with Hughes Condon Marler Architects for the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD in Vancouver, British Columbia

In addition, there are four Awards of Merit including:

  • McFarland Marceau Architects Inc. for the Environmental Learning Centre in Brackendale, British Columbia
  • gh3 Architects and Landscape Architects and Kasian Architects Interior Design and Planning Ltd. for Castle Downs Park Pavilion in Edmonton, Alberta

This year’s winning projects will be featured in the e December 2011 issue of the magazine.

Review: Toward a Culture of Wood Architecture

By Sean Ruthen MAIBC, Spacing Vancouver
December 6, 2011

With the current discussions about the Kyoto Protocol and climate change on the rise, Jim Taggart’s new book Toward a Culture of Wood Architecture comes at the turning of the tide. As an urgent and critical document on how increased wood use could mitigate climate change, this thorough and thought-provoking book could not have arrived a moment too soon. Chocked full of poignant observations on the use of wood as a building material throughout history along with supporting case studies, documented through stunning photography and lively graphics, the book is also a monograph of some of Canada’s most formidable architects and structural engineers who have explored the potential of wood as both a traditional material that is a part of Canada’s identity and a modern innovative medium rivaling its concrete and steel counterparts. More … 

More AIBC Involvement on BCBC Appeal Board

Congratulations to Honorary Member George Humphrey and Ed Mackinnon MAIBC, who have been reappointed by the provincial government to its BC Building Code Appeal Board for a three-year term. They are joined by Maura Gatensby MAIBC, whose reappointed was acknowledged last week.

2012 AZ Awards

Starting January 2, 2012, entries are being accepted for the 2012 AZ Awards for Design Excellence, sponsored by Azure Magazine. This annual, international program, which  celebrates excellence in design and architecture, is open to architects, designers, landscape architects, clients, manufacturers and students for work completed prior to December 31, 2011. Winners will be selected by an international jury representing multiple design professions. Architectural award categories include Commercial & Institutional; Landscapes; Residential; and Temporary & Demonstration Spaces. Register at http://awards.azuremagazine.com/.

Making Architecture Accessible, Pretense and All

By Matt Chaban, New York Observer
December 12, 2011

To the general public, architecture simply means buildings, maybe the occasional shiny rendering displayed on a blog such as this one or inside the sales pamphlet for an as-yet-unbuilt condo. It might be some Frank Lloyd Wrigh models lining the rotunda of his Guggenheim Museum. For Tina DiCarlo, architecture is so much more. The fact of the matter is the general public equates architecture with buildings, so if you talk to them about an architect, let’s say Rem’s Exodus drawings from 1972, if you say that’s architecture, somebody would say, “Well, how, it’s on paper? It doesn’t make sense.” How is a book architecture? How is text architecture? How are Tschumi’s Manhattan Transcripts architecture? It’s just a drawing.” More …

Building Must Improve Our Communities

By Alan Teramura, Daily Commercial News & Construction Record
December 13, 2011

The practice of architecture is, as we all know, regulated by provincial legislation designed to protect the public interest. This legislation is silent, however, on something that one would also expect to be inherent to the architect’s métier; that is, the aspiration that one’s actions leave the world a better place in a more general sense. More …

We Architects are Politicians: Interview With Giancarlo Mazzanti

By Vladimir Belogolovsky, ArchNewsNow.com
December 13, 2011

The work of Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti, whose projects succeed in improving lives of ordinary folks, reflects significant social shifts in Latin America today. It is therefore not surprising that the most fascinating architectural projects in this part of the world are social, such as schools, kindergartens, libraries, and sports arenas. Moreover, by and large the most intriguing and successful of them are built in the poorest neighborhoods. Comparing many of these humble projects with the elitist concert halls, condominiums, banks, and museums, often built as fanciful gestures wrapped in expensive skins in countries with developed economies, one begins to sense a certain decorative nature and even detachment of contemporary architecture in the West from challenges of real life. Is architecture mainly about pleasing the eye? Is it not also about trying to make our lives safer and more convenient, as well as to provide more options for such new functions, forms, and spaces that could improve qualities of our lives? More …

Role Call: University Endowment Lands Advisory Design Panels

The AIBC invites applications from architects interested in serving on University Endowment Lands Advisory Design Panel. The role of an advisory design panel member is to give impartial, professional advice directly on any proposal or policy affecting the community’s physical environment in the public interest. To learn more about the procedures for serving on a panel, please refer to the following documents:

  • AIBC Bulletin 65: Advisory Design Panels – Standards for Procedures and Conduct (insert link)
  • ADP Frequently Asked Questions (insert link)

An application form is available via the AIBC website at http://www.aibc.ca/member_resources/practice/pdf/Design_Panel_Application_20110107.pdf.

Please forward all submissions to the attention of Practice Coordinator Ryan Dinh at rdinh@aibc.ca.