Public Dialogue: Vancouver’s Canada Post Building

Heritage Vancouver invites you to be part of a public dialogue concerning the future of the Canada Post Building, located at 349 West Georgia Street in Vancouver. This building, one of the city’s last completely intact mid-century modern buildings, will soon be sold to private interests. As a consequence, the building and site will be redeveloped. Heritage Vancouver has identified it as the city’s most endangered heritage building.; it has not been given heritage protection status from the federal government, and the City of Vancouver is unable to take any such action. Designed by McCarter & Nairne Architects and constructed in 1953, it has historical and architectural significance at both broad and specific levels. Its interpretation of international style is reflected in the melding of a strict programmatic functionalism with sophisticated public gestures, eclectic and sumptuous materials and meticulous detailing in a major public project. Of note, the public expression of the Georgia Street façade complete with pedestrian colonnade, as well as the grand double-height postal hall. The building also represents the strength of Canadian Modernist architecture as was being applied to civic and institutional projects throughout the city at the time, most of which have since been demolished or unsympathetically renovated. It is located within the city’s Downtown Official Development Plan, under which all development is discretionary. While the possibilities for this site are wide-ranging, the city has stated that it anticipates all development proposals will deliver a minimum 7.0 FSR (comprised of commercial/non-residential use with any rezoning contingent upon the achievement of significant public benefits. All basic information related to current regulations and policy, as well as the possibility of rezoning, is detailed in a Post Office Site Policy Information Note issued by the city in 2007 (last revised April 7, 2010). Heritage Vancouver has taken the position that its overall historic integrity of the Canada Post Building, including the most significant architectural features, should be preserved while being redeveloped to provide civic and cultural spaces that the city currently lacks. If you are interested in contributing to a public dialogue on the future of the Canada Post Building, you are encouraged to contact Heritage Vancouver through James Allison (

British Columbia Building Envelope Council

Victoria Luncheon:  Choosing Windows – Balancing U-Values, SHGC, Comfort and Energy

There are many different factors involved in choosing the right windows for a particular building. Balancing energy efficiency in the winter and summer, along with thermal comfort, can sometimes be a challenge. In Canada, the Energy Rating (ER) for residential windows provides a single formula to rank the energy performance of windows. However, there has been much debate as to its validity for all conditions and all regions of the country. In this presentation, Brittany Hanam from RDH Building Engineering will provide an analysis of the Canadian ER, its strengths and limitations, and how it can be used to select windows for residential buildings. It takes place Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. at Harbour Towers, 345 Quebec Street, Victoria. Register online at

1 Core LU

US Architecture Billings Accelerate at Fastest Pace For Two Years

By Elizabeth Hopkirk, Building Design
November 21, 2012

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has reported growth in billings for the third month in a row. Billings at US practices accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 52.8, up from 51.6 in September. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). More …

2012 AIBC Office Holiday Hours

The AIBC offices will close for the holidays at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 21, reopening on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. In addition, the offices will be closed the afternoon of Wednesday, December 19, for a staff function. On behalf of AIBC staff, best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season to you and yours.

November AIBC Council Meeting Summary

At its most recent meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, AIBC Council considered a wide range of matters including:

  • A report from its Financial Health Task Force featuring a proposed Annual Operational Budget for      2013. The FHTF recommended budget, which called for a small operating deficit and included reduced fees for members and increased fees for firms, was not approved. Council instead approved an effectively zero-base budget with a minimal, equitable fee adjustment across all categories of membership.
  • Council-approved motions to review 1) the need for operating surpluses and special dedicated funds; 2) strategies to encourage the transition of career interns to full member status in a timely way; and 3) the    structure and integration of fees, both individual and firm, so that there is an equitable balance between sizes of practices.
  • Approval of a draft bylaw pertaining to consensual resolution, which will now be shared with members for review and consultation prior to the requisite bylaw ballot;
  • Change in title of the Financial Health Task Force to Finance Committee, and Governance Task Force to Governance Committee, reflecting their ongoing status;
  • A report from Council President David Yustin summarizing recent meetings and discussions as well as the status of replacement Lieutenant Governor Appointees;
  • A report from its Governance Task Force which included a review of the recommendations arising from council’s recent engagement survey;
  • Minor revisions to the institute’s Guidelines for the Retention, Disclosure and Publication of AIBC Professional Conduct and Illegal Practice Records;
  • Minor changes to Professional Conduct and Illegal Practice policies resulting from the annual policy review process;
  • The appointment of Sean Rodrigues Architect AIBC to the Canadian Architectural Certification Board, replacing Gordon Richards Architect AIBC MRAIC CP, whose three-year term expired this month;
  • Further discussion regarding legal opinion as to possible courses of action for addressing the ongoing “associates issue”, carried out in camera.

The council also passed motions pertaining to various consent items dealing with policy compliance, committee changes, examination results and registration amendments. The next meeting of AIBC Council is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22 , 2013.

Heritage Vancouver Society

Creating a Unique Main Street on the 800 to 1200 Blocks of Granville Street

Heritage Vancouver Society invites you to an evening of conversation about turning the south end of Granville Street into a unique main street for Vancouver’s downtown south neighbourhood. Guests speakers include City of Vancouver Councillor George Affleck, architecture curator, critic and consultant Trevor Boddy, and Heritage Vancouver’s Anthony Norfolk. They will present ideas about what could be done to create a dynamic and unique main street while at the same time preserving the heritage character of one of Vancouver’s oldest commercial streets. It takes place Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Alliance for Arts and Culture, 100 – 938 Howe Street, Vancouver. Seating is limited for this free event; register online at

2 Core LUs

In Passing: Glenn Urquhart

Glenn Urquhart Q.C. passed away on Monday, November 12, 2012 after a brief illness. He was 74. He was a co-founder of Singleton Urquhart, a leading Vancouver law firms and closely involved with the architectural profession. He also a founding member of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers, and an Adjunct Professor in Construction Law at the University of British Columbia. Urquhart is survived by his wife Karen (Nordlinger) and sons Darren and Robert. A celebration of his life is planned (details to be announced). In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in his name are invited to do so to the Lung Cancer Research at B.C. Cancer Foundation, 686 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1G1.

Last Chance to Register: BC Building Code II

The registration deadline for the final session this year of BC Building Code II is Monday, November 19 at 8:00 a.m. This course covers professional responsibility, background, intent and concepts of significant code requirements and uses.  It is relevant for architects, technologists, building officials and other industry participants. Course content will:

  • review Letters of Assurance, professional design and field review in accordance with the current BC Building Code;
  • review spatial separation and exposure protection analysis;
  • review the building code requirements applicable to high buildings;
  • identify the unique fire protection problems with atria and interconnected floor spaces; and
  • review barrier-free design principles and learn the building code’s requirements for persons with disabilities.


It takes place Friday November 23, 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the AIBC offices (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver). Don’t miss out; register online at

6 Core LUs

CSC Annual Construction Fair

The annual CSC Construction Fair: takes place Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver. With more than 100 local manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of construction products, the “simple but revealing” approach of this event will enable attendees to gather product and technical information for their next specification, architectural design or construction project – all under one roof. In addition to the trade show floor, this year’s fair includes a lecture series.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon:
ASHRAE 90.1 – How’s that Working for You So Far?

  • Stefan Aepli Architect AIBC, Walter Francl Architects
  • Innes Hood, Stantec Consulting
  • Mark Lawton P.Eng., Morrison Hershfield
  • Cynthia Melosky, Polygon Homes Ltd.


1:00 -2:00 p.m.
The Legal Interpretation of Alternates, Substitutions and Equals within the Specification Manual

  • Marina Pratchett Q.C., Fasken Martineau

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Introducing the New Quality Assurance Program, and Top Three Reasons Why Floor Coverings Fail

  • Chris Maskell, Master Floor Coverings Standards Institute Inc.

To register for this free event, go to

1 Core LU per session, maximum 3 Core LUs

Interior Design and Architecture

By John Weigand, Design Intelligence
November 8, 2012

For several decades now, architecture and interior design have struggled with how and where they intersect as professions and as academic disciplines. To the extent that this struggle continues to be defined by two opposing and irreconcilable points of view, it promises to continue into the foreseeable future with little meaningful change. More …



Role Call: AIBC Professional Conduct & Illegal Practice Board

The AIBC is seeking an additional member for its Professional Conduct & Illegal Practice Board (PCIPB). The PCIPB provides advice and guidance to the AIBC’s Professional Conduct & Illegal Practice Department, including development of policies for AIBC Council’s consideration with respect to ethical, conduct and illegal practice matters. The PCIPB includes representation from the chairs of the institute’s  Investigations Committee, Illegal Practice Committee and Consensual Resolution Review Panel, who report on developments and issues of concerns in those areas of professional conduct and illegal practice. The PCIPB meets at the offices of the AIBC every second month for approximately two hours, with an average of five meetings per year.  The board is particularly interested in applicants with an interest and background in professional conduct, ethical, illegal practice and policy matters, as well as a solid understanding of the AIBC’s regulatory mandate and governance model. Interested members should e-mail an expression of interest, with a or curriculum vitae or brief summary of professional background, to Professional Conduct Coordinator Gayle Roberts at

Role Call: AIBC Investigations Committee

The AIBC is seeking an additional member for its Investigations Committee, which conducts investigations of unprofessional conduct complaints and makes recommendations to the institute as to how to proceed. The committee meets once per month (with generally only one summer meeting), from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The AIBC believes that the public interest and the profession are best served by a committee that includes members with diverse backgrounds and experience, and encourages qualified architects from both large and small firms to consider this opportunity.  Those members interested in contributing to the institute’s professional conduct process are invited to submit an expression of interest along with a curriculum vitae or brief summary of professional background.  For further information or to submit an expression of interest, please contact Professional Conduct Coordinator Gayle Roberts at (604) 683-8588 x310 or

20-storey Buildings … Made of Wood?

By Dan McGinn, Globe and Mail
November 14 2012

When Michael Green imagines the buildings of the future, he sees skylines built from a material that is not only cheaper and more environmentally friendly than steel and concrete, but one that has a distinctly Canadian feel. Now the Vancouver architect just has to convince the country of the benefits of wood skyscrapers, which are beginning to crop up in several countries around the world. More …

Cost Predictability Guide

The Canadian Construction Association has made available a new guide that aims to improve cost predictability for construction projects. Developed by a joint industry and federal government task force, The Guide to Cost Predictability in Construction: An Analysis of Issues Affecting the Accuracy of Construction Cost Estimates provides practical advice to improve construction project cost projections. The resource looks at how best to tackle the growing problem of large discrepancies between pre-tender estimates and actual bids. While it is beneficial to industry, it is primarily directed to owners and design consultants. The guide’s taskforce included representatives from Defence Construction Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada, contractors, architects, engineers and costs consultants. It delivered a series of recommendations reflected in the finished product, including:

• Utilizing qualified estimating personnel throughout the life of the project;

• Ensuring all stakeholders have input early and often;

• Allowing designers sufficient time to finalize bid documents;

• Including sufficient contingency to address market volatility, timing of construction, and other exclusions; and

• Providing a widely usable database for the Canadian market.


The guide with its complete recommendations is available free of charge by visiting the Canadian Construction Association web site at

New Registered Educational Provider: SAFTI First Fire Rated Glazing Solutions

Founded in 1981, SAFTI First serves the architectural and building communities. It has been a recognized leader in manufacturing fire-rated glass and framing for more than 30 years. As the premier source for fire-rated glazing, SAFTI First was the first to introduce transparent fire-rated walls to the U.S. market. Learn about this and other AIBC Registered Educational Providers at