February AIBC Council Meeting

The next meeting of AIBC Council takes place Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at the AIBC offices (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver) beginning at 11:30 a.m. Members, associates and the public are welcome to attend. We do ask that you confirm your attendance in advance by contacting Executive Assistant Katherine Rau by e-mail (krau@aibc.ca) or phone (604-683-8588, #335). Meeting agenda to come.

DX Exhibition

Submissions are invited for an exhibit that will be featured at the internationally -renowned Design Exchange, taking place in Toronto this coming September and October.  The curators are looking for completed building projects and research that engage innovative approach to seismic design. As evidenced by recent catastrophic earthquakes, buildings are complex, dynamic systems. Aesthetic consideration is often put on hold in favor of cost and engineering restraint, With this in mind, organizers are seeking proposals that surpass conventional approaches, featuring elegant structural solution to seismic considerations, and without sacrificing a design aesthetic for conventional structural solution. Featuring drawings, models and various multimedia platforms, the resulting DX exhibition aims to convey the cutting-edge character of some of the most creative projects around the world. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2012. Additional information can be found online at http://www.dx.org/index.cfm?pagepath=DX_BLOG&id=13960&modeX=BlogID&modeXval=F269A19D-0BAC-312D-087EE3847890D6AF&BlogID=F269A19D-0BAC-312D-087EE3847890D6AF&title=CALL%20FOR%20SUBMISSIONS.

Call for Nominations: BCSLA Awards

The British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects invites nominations for its annual awards program. Categories include:

  • Community Service Awards
    • The Individual Awardrecognizing an individual or couple who have, through day-to-day activities, made the landscape of our world a more delightful and better place to live.
    • The Q’Pango Award – acknowledging a quasi-public agency or non-governmental organization that has made major contributions to the local, provincial or national landscapes through its advocacy
    • The Public Servant / Public Agency Award – thanking an individual or an agency that has made major advances in the design, planning and management of place, has demonstrated innovation in that work, and has shown respect for and consideration of the landscape architecture profession.
    • The Contractor Awardpresented to a contracting firm that, in the opinion of the profession, has done an outstanding job of bringing one or several important projects to completion or, has consistently demonstrated a high quality of professionalism, workmanship and pride in its work.
    • The Corporate Award – honouring a corporation that has consistently provided a high quality environment as part of its everyday activities.
    • BCSLA-specific Awards
      • The Exceptional Contribution Award  – recognizing BCSLA members who have made a lasting contribution to the profession and its relationship to society.
      • The Volunteer Public Service Award – acknowledging members who have selflessly dedicated their time and expertise, outside of service to the BCSLA, to making the world a better place.

The deadline for nominations is February 17, 2012. Awards presentations will take place in April.  For complete details, visit http://www.bcsla.org/publications/awards.asp.

2012 Building SustainAble Communities Conference

The 5th Annual Building SustainAble Communities Conference takes place February 27 to March 1, 2012 at the Delta Grand Resort in Kelowna. Organized by the Fresh Outlook Foundation, this event will bring together industy experts, local leaders and interested professionals to examine strategies and best practices for moving toward community sustainability. Four days of presentations, breakout sessions, workshops and panel discussions will explore sustainable approaches to such issues as water management, transportation, housing, regional planning, economic development and community participation. For more information or to register, visit: http://www.freshoutlookfoundation.org/events/bsc/2012/2012-building-sustainable-communities-conference.

AIBC Vancouver Island Chapter – Chapter Lunch: Cross-laminated Timber, A Case Study of the Elkford Community Centre

Popular in Europe, cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a growing phenomenon in North America. Designers and builders are eager to learn more about how this product is being used. In this presentation,  Mark Porter MIStructE P.Eng. Struct.Eng. LEED AP of Associated Engineering, along with John Paone from AHC Group, will examine the use of CLT in the Elkford Community Center, a multi-use facility and future community landmark. Currently under construction, this 1,538m2 facility is the first in British Columbia to use tall CLT shear walls.  Find out why CLT was chosen for use in conjunction with other building systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPs) and glued laminated (glulam) beams. This session will cover everything from the design process to installation of services and finishes, including coordination and the erection process.  It takes place Wednesday, January 25, 2011, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m. at Ambrosia Centre, 638 Fisgard Street, Victoria. To register, e-mail Vancouver Island Chapter Chair Don Lovell MAIBC at donwlovell@gmail.com

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Notarius rates

AIBC members are advised that annual usage fees for the Notarius digital signature have been reduced by $10 to $185/year. This price reduction reflects an increase in digital signature subscriptions has allowed us to offer the service at a lower cost. To obtain the latest AIBC subscription form, go online http://www.notarius.com/en/clientele_AIBC.html.

AIA, Public Architecture Partner on Pro Bono

The American Institute of Architects  and Public Architecture have entered into a new partnership to support pro bono design. Public Architecture is a non-profit based in San Francisco-based non-profit that supports public-interest design initiatives and engages architecture firms, non-profits, and manufacturers to commit to design for the public good. Through this agreement, AIA members will be encouraged to pledge to The 1%, Public Architecture’s nationwide program that challenges architecture and design firms to commit a minimum of 1% of their time to pro bono services. In doing so, the AIA asserted societal impact of architecture and the importance of its role as a network of services, individuals, sources and knowledge connecting people with resources. The partnership is expected to be formally launched at the AIA National Convention this May in Washington. Additional information can be found online at http://www.aia.org/practicing/akr/AIAB090175?dvid=&recspec=AIAB090175 and http://www.theonepercent.org/.

What’s Your Building Made Of?

Peter Syrett, Urban Omnibus
January 18, 2012

These days, the imperative of sustainable design invokes the health of ecosystems more readily than the health of individuals. Fossil fuels expended, old growth forests cut down, carbon produced in manufacturing: the environmental stakes are well known. But the biological implications of the choices we make in constructing our buildings and cities are harder to come by. The shocking medical realities of malignant substance like asbestos have led to surprisingly little public information about substances that may be damaging, if only we had sufficient data from consistent testing. To redress this lack of information, the architecture firm Perkins+Will went about creating a free, online database – called Transparency – of building materials that contain substances known or suspected to be harmful to health. More … 

Velo-city Global 2012 – Vancouver

Velo-city Global, the world’s premier international cycling planning conference, is coming to Vancouver. This four-day event brings together delegates from around the world to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation. Velo-city Global 2012 – Vancouver, the first such event to be held outside Europe, will bring together an estimated 1500 politicians, architects, engineers, planners, social marketers, academics, researchers, environmentalists, advocates, educators, industry representatives share best practices for encouraging cycling as a means of transport. This year’s event will also highlight Vancouver’s achievements as a cycling “starter” city while providing a wide range of real-world examples of cycling as beneficial form of transportation. It all happens June 26-29, 2012 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. For detailed information and to register, go to http://www.velo-city2012.com/.

UBC Spring 2012 Lecture Series

The University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture is pleased to announce its public lecture series for Spring 2012. The exciting and extensive series features 18 presentations from January to April. Guest presenters include acclaimed landscape architect Paolo Bürgi, Yale University sustainability expert Michelle Addington, and noted Japanese architect Manabu Chiba. The next lecture in the series features renowned San Francisco-based architect and structural engineer Charles Bloszies, Wednesday, January 25, 6:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Public Library. Co-sponsored by BC Hydro PowerSmart, most of the lectures are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For additional information e-mail architecture@sala.ubc.ca or call (604) 822-2779.

National Building Code Review

AIBC members and other registrants are invited to take part in a public review of proposed changes to the National Building Code. The federal government is considering a number of energy efficiency proposals for housing and small buildings. The proposals have been developed by a working group of stakeholders from across the country, coordinated by the National Research Council. A national public review of these proposals will be carried out from January 9 to March 2, 2012. Responses provided by British Columbians will be shared with B.C.’s Building and Safety Standards Branch and will help to inform the province’s decision-making process for next steps in energy efficiency requirements for housing and small buildings. Note: The materials for national public review include a cost/benefit analysis projecting the impacts of the proposed changes. While this analysis may be valid on a broad national basis, it was not intended to represent the actual costs B.C. builders would incur to implement these proposals, taking into account British Columbia’s circumstances of construction and energy costs as well as current levels of energy efficiency. If approved by the Canadian Commission on Building & Fire Codes, the technical changes to incorporate energy efficiency for housing and small buildings into Part 9 of the 2010 National Building Code will be published as revisions near the end of 2012. To participate in this review and provide feedback, visit http://www.nationalcodes.nrc.gc.ca/eng/public_review/2012_1/introduction.shtml.

Lessons From The Front Lines of Social Design

By Will Holman, Design Observer
January 16, 2012

I guess it was about 1993, though it’s hard to remember the exact year. Browsing the stacks of the Stoneleigh Elementary library one day, I came across the Kid’s Whole Future Catalog, a sort of Whole Earth Catalog for children. This bright book introduced me to Buckminster Fuller, Michael Reynolds and Paolo Soleri. At the age of nine, I decided to become an architect, and one day to travel to Soleri’s experiment in the Arizona desert, Arcosanti. As I went on to high school, and then architecture school at Virginia Tech, I kept reading about “alternative” builders and green design. My research was fueled by a growing sense of unease about my chosen profession, as the early aughts boomed with flashy towers in Dubai, Shanghai and New York. More … 

Glorious Victorians

Sandhill Book Marketing has released a new publication that celebrates the historical evolution of Victoria’s architecture, economy and culture. Glorious Victorians: 150 Years/150 Homes profiles select buildings that tell a about the architectural fashions and economic prosperity of British Columbia’s capital city. In distilling his vast knowledge of the city and its history, heritage advocate and researcher Nick Russell, has selected some of the most interesting and significant homes in the city. The book includes brief descriptions and short essays on architectural styles along with a wealth of photography. Glorious Victorians: 150 Years/150 Homes is available in bookstores as well as online at http://www.sandhillbooks.com/.