Laneway Houses Make Home Ownership More Affordable

By Noa Glouberman, BC Living
January 26, 2012
Ever since Vancouver city council passed a bylaw in July of 2009, laneway houses – detached backyard dwellings meant for rental or family use that measure up to a maximum of 750 square feet in size (depending on lot size) – have been popping up behind “standard-sized” homes in designated single-family neighbourhoods across the city. Now, two years later, architects, designers and builders have big plans for these little houses, coming up with innovative techniques and features that aim to make small-space living as affordable, comfortable and sustainable as possible – not just in Vancouver, but around the world.

2012 Annual Meeting

The AIBC’s 2012 Annual Meeting will take place the afternoon of Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street, Vancouver. The mail-out of annual meeting information (notice, agenda, audited financial statements and resolutions) and AIBC Council election materials will begin the first week of April in keeping with act and bylaw requirements. The annual meeting agenda will include member voting on a series of recommended bylaw amendments. Detailed information regarding the Bylaw Review Committee’s recommendations can be found here. Note: nominations for the 2012/2013 AIBC Council, to be determined at the annual meeting, are now being accepted.

Special Meeting

In response to a petition submitted by 15 members that calls for a special general meeting of the institute, AIBC Council has scheduled a Special Meeting to take place the morning of Saturday, May 12, 2012, at the BCIT Downtown Campus, prior to the annual meeting. Additional information pertaining to the special meeting agenda, including the meeting agenda which is limited to the submissions that accompanied the original request, will be provided to membership as it becomes available.

Powder Coating Usage Survey

As part of the Business Program at Trinity Western University, student Stone Sun is conducting a marketing research project on the use of powder coating for architectural products. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that influence the specification of a powder coating finish. For this, he requires direct feedback from the architectural community. To take part in this brief seven-question survey, go to Your feedback and opinions will be most appreciated.

Building Regulatory System White Papers

Following a series of reviews and consultations, the Province of British Columbia has now brought forth a series of proposals to improve the regulation of buildings, including changes to the B.C. Building Code. Under these new proposals, the building regulatory system will be modernized by:

  • increasing consistency in building standards across B.C. by establishing sole authority for the provincial government to set building standards;
  • providing provincial interpretations of the B.C. Building Code;
  • introducing a third party audit system for code compliance and administration;
  • establishing a provincial evaluation body to consider alternative solutions and product evaluation; and
  • establishing a stakeholder advisory body to advise on matters related to the building regulatory system.
These recommendation are contained within a white paper released for discussion and feedback. A second white paper, specific to the mandatory certification of local government building officials under the authority of the Building Officials Association of British Columbia, has also been published. Those involved in the industry are invited to share their opinions of what has been proposed through an online survey process. Go to the Office of Housing and Construction Standards worksite at surveys will be available online until Sunday, April 15, 2012.