Ideology Through Geometry

By Cammy Brothers, Wall Street Journal
December 20, 2011

What was radical architecture before it was chic? At a time in which the mantle of the avant-garde has been inherited by architects such as Rem Koolhaas (designer for Prada and the Chinese government) or by Zaha Hadid (architect for Moammar Gadhafi before his fall), it is worth remembering what revolutionary architecture meant when it was more than an attitude. More…

Paved, but Still Alive

By Michael Kimmelman, New York Times
January 6, 2012

There are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States. A third of them are in parking lots, those asphalt deserts that we claim to hate but that proliferate for our convenience. One study says we’ve built eight parking spots for every car in the country. Houston is said to have 30 of them per resident. In “Rethinking a Lot,” a new study of parking, due out in March, Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of urban planning at M.I.T., points out that “in some U.S. cities, parking lots cover more than a third of the land area, becoming the single most salient landscape feature of our built environment.” More … 

Pacific Business & Law Institute – Green Development: Sustainable Buildings and Infrastructure Conference

Registrations are still being accepted for the , February 2 – 3, 2012 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Green development is essential to both accommodate population growth and achieve a community vision for sustainability and liveability. Municipalities are at the forefront of the green infrastructure movement. To create greener communities, changes will need to be made to existing land use regulations, design guidelines, construction standards, and more. Co-chairing the event are James K. M. Cheng MAIBC of James KM Cheng Architects Inc., and Donald Lidstone of Lidstone & Company. Topics include:

  • The changing role and responsibility of the architectural profession;
  • Key issues in recommissioning/retrofitting and reuse of existing structures;
  • Impact of BC Building Code amendments;
  • Essential issues in land use planning and zoning;
  • How to leverage green development for maximum community and developer benefit; and
  • LEED®, BOMA, and other building standard codes – understanding the pros and cons.

Additional information and to register, visit

8.25 Core LUs and 4 Non-core LUs

Simon Fraser University City Program – Sustainable Community Development: Integrating Social Dimensions into Sustainability (SUST914)

Sustainability is described as having three dimensions: economic, ecological, and social. While social justice movements and social planning efforts are numerous and effective in their own sphere, they’re often not integrated well with sustainability initiatives. When social issues such as race, ethnicity, class, culture, personal health, affordable housing, employment, individual identity, and social cohesion are not effectively addressed, projects with even the most laudable environmental intentions can be derailed. This course will examine sustainability not as a product, but rather a process where issues of social justice and equity are essential to successful outcomes. It takes place Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. The fee is $600. Register online at

14 Non-core LUs

Simon Fraser University City Program – Sustainable Community Development: Making Change Happen – Building Commitment to Create Sustainability (SUST913)

Transforming human society toward sustainability is an unprecedented challenge. How do leaders move sustainability forward effectively? How do they overcome barriers to change?

Whether you’re a skilled sustainability champion or relative newcomer, this course will enhance your ability to influence and promote organizational and social change in support of sustainability goals. Through interactive peer learning, it will move from a broad theoretical overview to a detailed exploration of the skills and qualities of effective change agents, as well as their relations to other actors.  Participants will draw upon real-world cases and discuss strategies for taking action to achieve sustainability goals. This two-day course happens Friday and Saturday, January 20-21, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. The fee is $600. Register online at

14 Non-core LUs

Simon Fraser University City Program – Public Lecture: Human Transit – The Book!

Jarrett Walker, an international consultant in public transit network design and policy, will speak to his book, Human Transit, and his belief that transit systems can be simple if they focus first on the underlying geometry that all transit technologies share. His presentation will touch upon the fundamental geometry of transit that shapes successful systems, the process for fitting technology to a particular community, and the local choices that lead to transit-friendly development. This lecture takes place Tuesday, January 17, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver. Admission is free but reservations are required. Go to

3 Non-core LUs

MMPI Canada – BUILDEX Vancouver 2012

Make plans to be part of the 2012 edition of BUILDEX Vancouver, February 8-9 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. One of Canada’s largest tradeshows and conferences, this year’s event will include more than 50 seminars, 100 speakers and 600 exhibits featuring new and innovative products, materials, technologies and services for professionals in the design, property management and construction industry. It’s a must-attend event for those wishing to see the industry’s newest products, trends and educational tools. One of the featured sessions is the Architectural Keynote Panel, which will address the provocative topic of “Architecture — Who Cares?”  Moderated by Bruce Carscadden MAIBC and featuring Russell Acton MAIBC, Peter Cardew MAIBC, Walter Francl MAIBC, and Michael Green MAIBC, the panel will consider whether architecture a vital agent for social change or a closed profession that has lost its relevance. Their insights will explore the place of architecture in shaping our collective future, and the role of architects in redefining the profession. Early-bird registration is available until January 25, 2012. Visit for the full list of seminars and to register.

Core and non-core LUs available

Colombia Architect Leads Bamboo Building Crusade

By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
November 29, 2011

When it comes to uses of bamboo, many think of chopsticks, panda food or patio furniture. Simon Velez, on the other hand, envisions bus stations, churches or bridges. The Bogota, Colombia-based architect is leading a global crusade for new uses of the plant, a giant member of the grass family, as a strong, eco-sustainable, aesthetically pleasing material that can substitute for wood and concrete in many projects. More … 

Vancouver Heritage Foundation – Hycroft Evening Lecture Series: History of Exterior House Colour

Join local heritage consultant Donald Luxton for an illustrated talk on the history of residential paint colours from Vancouver’s earliest buildings to the high-style heritage homes of the early 20th Century. Learn about the art, technology and history of paint, including how colours were used historically to accent different Victorian- and Edwardian-era house styles, and what colours are appropriate for restoring the historic look of a period house.  Mark your calendar: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 7:00 – 8:45 p.m. at Hycroft (The University Women’s Club of Vancouver), 1489 McRae Avenue. Register online at

1.5 Core LUs

Construction Specifications Canada (Vancouver Chapter) – Breakfast Presentation: Hot Topics – A Compendium of the Latest Legal Issues Arising in Construction Specifications

In this presentation,  Marina Pratchett QC of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP will address topical legal issues including: problems arising from specifying a specific product or system; the dangers of adding “legal” clauses to specifications; performance specifications; specifications that inadvertently off-load design responsibility to contractors; the legal concept of “duty to warn” and its application to specification writers; and legal issues when specifying “green”. It takes place Thursday, January 19, 2012 from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. at the Sandman Hotel, 180 West Georgia Street, Vancouver. To register, go to

1 Core LU

Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of British Columbia – Energy Efficiency and the Building Enclosure: Standards, Compliance Paths, and Emerging Technologies

As regulations and standards have evolved to reflect increased emphasis on reducing energy use in buildings, the role of building professionals in achieving compliance and successful integration of emerging technologies has become increasingly important. This half-day seminar will be of interest to building enclosure professionals and others concerned with the impact of enclosure design on energy performance of Part 3 buildings. Graeme Scott M.Eng., P.Eng., LEED® AP with Halsall Associates (Vancouver) Western, and Dave Ricketts M.Sc., P.Eng, RDH from Building Engineering Ltd., will introduce current regulations and compliance paths in both the B.C. and Vancouver contexts, while also providing an overview of current standards. Mark Lawton P.Eng, FEC of Morrison Hershfield will address specific requirements of ASHRAE 90.1, and Christian Cianfrone P.Eng., LEED AP from BD+C will discuss the implications of LEED® and the Model National Energy Building Code. Other topics include: calculation of effective U-values for building enclosure assemblies; continuous insulation requirements; thermal bridges; air tightness and heat loss; and interaction between the building enclosure and mechanical systems. The session will conclude with Alex McGowan P.Eng. from Levelton Consultants, who will discuss emerging technologies and trends. It takes place Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 West Hastings, Vancouver. Register online at

3.25 Core LUs

British Columbia Building Envelope Council (Vancouver) – Half-day Workshop – Window Installation: Building Smart With Windows

The BCBEC and the Homeowner Protection Office invite you to attend Window Installation: Building Smart With Windows. This half-day workshop will focus on building enclosure and window installation requirements for thermal performance in new and retrofit buildings. Industry leaders from the National Research Council, Constructive Home Solutions, and RDH Engineering will provide insights into key issues including window-to-wall interface, insulation strategies, thermal and condensation performance of windows, effectiveness in managing rainwater, building code, installation, and energy efficiency standards. The workshop will conclude with an industry panel discussion involving David Bruce of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Al Jaugelis from Innotech Windows and Doors, and Kris Alexander from Long Life Windows & Doors.  It takes place Thursday, January 19, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at the Italian Cultural Centre Society, 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver. Visit to register.

3 Core 

British Columbia Building Envelope Council (Victoria) – Luncheon: Provincial Government Energy Efficiency Policies & Regulations

Provincial government representatives will speak to the Clean Energy Act (CEA) and a number of regulations that support improved energy efficiency of building envelopes for new and existing buildings. The province’s Energy Efficiency Branch is responsible for the Energy Efficiency Act, which includes regulations for windows, doors, glazing assemblies and various energy using equipment. Andrew Pape-Salmon P.Eng., director of the Energy Efficiency Branch, will present the policy background for these regulations under the CEA and the 2007 Energy Plan, seek input on compliance issues for windows and glazing assemblies, and present a proposal to improve compliance through administrative penalties. The provincial Building and Safety Standards Branch of the Office of Housing and Construction Standards is responsible for the BC Building Code, safety standards and other areas. Jarrett Hutchinson, manager of Building Policy and Codes Development, and Senior Policy Analyst John Nicol will outline the province’s process for developing new energy requirements for Part 3 and Part 9 buildings. There will also be a summary of the fall 2011 public review on housing energy efficiency and affordability issues, along with an overview of national energy efficiency proposals for housing, the latter being the subject of a public review in January 2012 by the Canadian Codes Centre. It all takes place Wednesday, January 18,  2012 from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. at Harbour Towers, 345 Quebec Street, Victoria. To register, go to

1 Core LU

New Study Shows Architecture, Arts Degrees Yield Highest Unemployment

By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post
January 4, 2012

College kids may choose to spend their campus days studying the glories of Plato, Shakespeare and Le Corbusier. But, as a new study points out, there may be a steep price to pay. Recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the arts, humanities and architecture experienced significantly higher rates of joblessness, according to a study being released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. More …

AZ Awards 2012

AZURE Magazine invites submissions for its annual international competition showcasing excellence in design. Now in its second year, the AZ Awards program recognizes the inter-connectedness of architecture, landscape, interiors and product design. A panel of international experts will make selections from numerous  categories including Residential Buildings; Commercial and Institutional Buildings; Temporary and Demonstration Spaces; and Landscapes. Work completed before Dec ember 31, 2011 is eligible for consideration. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2012. For more information and to enter, visit