Vancouver Building Bylaw Submission

Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver announced proposed changes to the Vancouver Building Bylaw, inviting key industry and professional organizations as well as individuals to provide feedback and commentary. Major areas that are being addressed include incorporating changes made in the National Building Code of Canada 2010, new measures for environmental protection and resource conservation, and greater flexibility of use of ground floor tenant spaces. In crafting its formal response, the AIBC gathered commentary and feedback from its Regulatory Coordination Committee as well as from experienced members outside of that committee. The AIBC’s resulting submission expressed general support for the changes proposed while offering occasional suggestions and cautionary notes with regard to specific proposals under consideration. The institute also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be part of the review process for regulation having a significant impact on the profession. To access the AIBC’s detailed submission, click here.

Changes to the Internship in Architecture Program

Effective January 1, 2012, several changes were made to the national Internship in Architecture Program (IAP). These changes include:

  • Reduction of the total length of the work experience requirement from 5600 hours (three years) to 3720 hours (two years);
  • Elimination of the Discretionary Experience requirement; and
  • Effective January 1, 2013, all experience hours must be gained as an intern architect. Credit will not be granted for experience gained while a student at a school of architecture. Note: this change does not affect individuals in the Syllabus Program.

The major intent of these changes is to move towards a shorter, more focused program that reflects current and relevant experience gained by intern architects while working under the supervision and mentorship of architects.

Internship in Architecture Program Manual

Detailed information about the changes to the program can be found in the revised Internship in Architecture Program Manual.

AIBC Appendix B:  British Columbia Requirements

An updated version of AIBC Appendix B detailing B.C.-specific information, requirements and transition period details is also available online.

Reciprocal Licensing Agreements with U.S.A.

The overall reduction in hours will have an effect on the reciprocal licensing agreements that have historically been in place between the United States and Canada. In response to the concerns expressed by many intern architects, the AIBC will continue to offer and administer the 5600-hour version of the IAP to accommodate those intern architects who would like to preserve their reciprocity options. Details of how and when selection between the 3720-hour and 5600-hour programs can be are explained more fully in AIBC Appendix B.

More Questions?

For additional information or questions, see the FAQ document on the AIBC’s IAP web page or contact Registration & Licensing Administrative Assistant Emily Tyler by e-mail ( or phone (604-683-8588, x. 324).

Tangential Vancouverism

Friday, March 2 marks the official opening of a new exhibition that look beyond Vancouver’s status quo while considering the necessary political, social, and economic triggers for urban innovation. Directed by University of British Columbia students Alexandra Kenyon and Alex Buss and titledTangential Vancouverism”, this experimental project brings together the works of five emerging design practice and three urban thinkers who, as part of a design research forum, hope to the current models by which the city builds. Participants include Ian Ross McDonald MAIBC, Matthew Soules MAIBC and Hannah Teicher as well as design teams from  Hapa Collaborative, ph5 architecture / Urban Republic, Public Architecture and Communication, RUF Project, and space2place. The resulting exhibition is meant to prompt discussion through design projects, written proposals, and dialogue that engage the public and private sector alike. It will run from March 2 to April 29 at 221a Artist Run Centre, located at 221A East Georgia Street at Main in Vancouver. Those interested are welcome to attend the opening reception March 2 at 8:00 p.m.  Designer talks and a publication launch are slated for later in March. Additional information can be found online at

Bylaw Amendments Recommended by AIBC Council

At its February 14, 2012 meeting, AIBC Council reviewed a series of recommendations made by the AIBC Bylaw Review Committee to amend portions of the AIBC’s bylaws. Council approved those recommendations and has now asked the committee to prepare information and seek feedback from members in preparation for voting on the amendments at the AIBC Annual Meeting to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Further information on this process, including the background recommendation memorandum prepared by the committee, will be available through the  AIBC web site in the coming days. Council has also requested that the committee continue its bylaw review process in order to identify further bylaw modernization and improvement recommendations for later in the calendar year. Those with questions, concerns or comments are invited to contact AIBC Bylaw Review Committee Chair Janet Lutz MAIBC ( or AIBC Professional Conduct Coordinator Gayle Roberts (

Deadline: AIBC Honorary Membership Nominations

Monday, February 27 is the nomination deadline for this year’s AIBC Honorary Membership recognizing non-architects who have made an exceptional contribution to the profession or demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the institute. AIBC members and associates are encouraged to bring forward the names or worthy candidates for consideration. For additional information and a nomination form, click here.

Enermodal Engineering Inc. – Designing for People and the Planet

Designing for people and the planet is an unfolding reality for designers of buildings and communities. Conventional approaches to design have failed to cost-effectively deliver sustainability. The integrated design process, high-performance building technologies and sophisticated performance simulation tools offer enormous potential but pose interesting questions and challenges. How close are we to net-zero energy buildings in Canada? Should designers focus mostly on adaptive/passive systems that can easily integrate active renewable energy technologies in the future? How much does the promise of design depend on the realities of operation and maintenance? In this presentation, Enermodal Engineering President Stephen Carpenter M.A.Sc. P.Eng. will explore the state of building and community design today, and where it should go in order to balance social, environmental and economic dynamics. It takes place Monday, February 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at University of British Columbia – Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver. Register online at

2 Core LUs

BlueGreen Architecture Inc. – Organic Holistic Architecture : Environmental Psychology and the Unseen Power of Buildings

Discover the “invisible” underlying factors that allow people to feel good and prosperous in their buildings. London-based architect Christian Kyriacou RIBC MCSD will take participants through 3,000 years of intense distillation of ancient knowledge drawn from the wisdom of many cultures as practiced by the master builders, adapted to contemporary relevance for use in the design processes. Enhance your core architectural design skills to maximize aspects of well-being, health, wealth and abundance for your clients. Discover a design approach based upon what the site, or an existing building, is “saying” to you. Learn an intuitive approach fused with exact and scientific detailed methods based upon ancient holistic architectural principles, from the construction process right through to the fine-tuning of the finished building. It includes aspects of environmental psychology, “house whispering”, sacred geometry, music, feng shui, vastu and geomancy. This three-day workshop takes place Thursday, May 31 to Sunday, June 3, 2012 at Equinisity Retreats, Gateway 2 Ranch, Kamloops. For details and to register, go to

20 Core LUs

Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative – Eco-Sense Tour

Eco-Sense, a load-bearing cob home located in the highlands near Victoria, was the first residence to achieve partial Living Building status from the International Living Building Institute. This tour will encompass the range of innovations implemented by owner/builders Ann and Gord Baird, including:

  • full code-compliant load-bearing cob (earthen) structure;
  • grey water treatment;
  • rainwater harvesting;
  • green roof system;
  • wood gasification boiler;
  • earthen interior finishes;
  • composting toilet;
  • solar thermal radiant floor heating; and
  • grid-tied photovoltaic system.

Following the tour there will be a technical presentation on the findings of a one-year, VanCity-funded monitoring program where internal and in-wall temperature as well as humidity were monitored and compared with external conditions. The cost is $50 with group transportation provided to and from the site. Space is limited and open only to seminar participants. It takes place Saturday, March 24, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Register online at

3 Core LUs

Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative – Bruce King: Engineering Outside the Box (Victoria)

Through a series of three modules, Bruce King, P.Eng of the Ecological Building Network will examine the rationale for using alternative building materials in construction, and present solutions to the technical, regulatory and logistical challenges of stepping outside of conventional practice. The details:

  • Module 1: Alternative Materials & Systems – The State of the Art

Most building professionals are familiar with the conventional materials presented in the building codes, yet for many reasons more and more people are building in ways not well covered by the building codes – also known as “alternative materials and systems.” This module will review the many systems, both manufactured and “natural”, in use today including what we know about theirdesign, durability and life safety purposes.

  • Module 2: Getting it permitted – Alternative Building Materials and the Codes
    This module will examine the regulatory requirements of building “to code” with both conventional and alternative materials, taking into consideration seismic, fire, moisture, durability, ventilation and thermal performance. The session will review case studies and present success stories with building permitting as well as looking “beyond the code”.
  • Module 3: Integrative Design – The Art of Cat Herding
    Integrative design means keeping a lively eye on “the big picture” through communication. This module will look at strategies and guidelines for keeping a team working in harmony towards the goal of a good building.

It all takes place Saturday, March 24, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Social Sciences & Mathematics Building, 3800 Finnerty Road (Ring Road), University of Victoria. Register online at

3 Core LUs

Alternative Solutions Resource Initiative – Bruce King: Architecture After Oil – Natural Building in the 21st Century (Victoria)

In this presentation, Bruce King P.Eng, founder and director of the Ecological Building Network, will discuss how natural building may be a valid response to environmental, social and economic conditions of the 21st Century. He will show how we must learn from nature (biomimicry), design intelligently to make the most of the resources we have, and learn from other cultures as well as the past. It takes place Friday, March 23, 6:30 – 8.00 p.m. at the Bob Wright Centre, 3800 Finnerty Road (Ring Road), University of Victoria. Register online at

1 Non-core LU