Architects And The Public Health Imperative

By Kira Gould, Metropolis Magazine
Thursday, December 13, 2012

This fall, the American Institute of Architects announced a 10 year commitment to develop design and technology solutions for cities addressing public health, sustainability, and resiliency challenges. It’s the kind of commitment that many AIA members have long sought: putting human and environmental health and wellness at the center of the architecture mission. That the announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York, gave it cache; more than 1,000 global leaders gathered to address the theme of “Designing for Impact.” More …

Call For Papers: 2013 BCSLA Annual Conference

The British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects has issued a call for papers for the 2013 BCSLA Annual Conference, Showcase and Annual General Meeting. The event, titled “Depth of Field – Exploring Our Culture Through the Creative Lens”, takes place April 26-27, 2013 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver. This gathering provides an excellent opportunity for design professionals, practitioners and key stakeholders from community, academia and both the public and private sectors to share ideas and projects. The goal of this year’s conference is to explore common creative ground in order to further develop the techniques and tools of the profession. BCSLA Members, allied professionals and interested practitioners are invited to submit abstracts for papers, presentations, panels, and/or designs. Abstracts are due by January 31, 2013. For detailed information, visit the BCSLA web site at or contact Executive Director Tara Culham ( or Administrative Assistant Jessica Tan (

2013 RAIC Awards of Excellence

Submissions are now being accepted for Architecture Canada’s 2013 RAIC Awards of Excellence. These awards are bestowed every two years in recognition of achievement in categories such as:

  • Allied Arts – outstanding achievement in the arts through any medium allied to architecture;
  • Advocate of Architecture – honouring those who have long demonstrated support for architects and architecture;
  • Green Building Award – in partnership with Canada Green Building Council, for achievements in high-performance Canadian architecture for buildings;
  • Innovation in Architecture – singling out excellence in research and development; and
  • President’s Award for Media in Architecture – recognizing media coverage architecture and architectural events and milestones. Note: this category has been revamped to recognize the many modern formats in which architectural media coverage is generated, and is now open to both Architecture Canada members and the public.

This year’s selection will also feature a new award category: the Emerging Architectural Practice Award, recognizing an emerging architectural practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture. Submissions are also being accepted this year for the RAIC’s Architectural Firm Award, Prix du XX Siecle and Young Architect Award. The deadline for submissions in all categories is January 10, 2013. For detailed information and to enter, visit the Architecture Canada web site at

Limitation Act Information and Resources

As previously announced, the British Columbia government recently approved an updated Limitation Act, the provincial legislation that sets the amount of time people have to file civil lawsuits. This revised statute reflects most of the concerns and suggestions brought forth in the AIBC Response to the White Paper on Limitation Act Reform, submitted in 2010. Of particular note to the architectural profession is a revised ultimate limitation period of 15 years, reduced from the previous 30. The Ministry of Justice’s Civil Policy and Legislation Office has now updated its online materials concerning the new Limitation Act, including a detailed explanation of the revised act and transition information developed to assist in making the change from the current legislation to the new act, which comes into effect on June 1, 2013. Visit

BUILDEX / AIBC Architecture Day

BUILDEX takes place February 13-14, 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The two-day event, one of Canada’s largest tradeshows and conferences, will bring together an estimated 13,000 design, construction and real estate management professionals with some 600 exhibits and more than 50 educational seminars. Highlights include AIBC Architecture Day on Thursday, February 14, featuring four architecture-focused panel presentations along with a gallery exhibit on West Coast Design. For detailed Architecture Day program information and to register go to:

Vancouver Firm to Build HK$2.7 Billion Opera House

By Frederik Balfour, Bloomberg Businessweek
December 10, 2012

Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects and local firm Ronald Lu have beaten out rival studios headed by Norman Foster and Moshe Safdie to build a HK$2.7 billion ($348 million) Chinese opera house in Hong Kong. Known as the Xiqu Centre, it’s scheduled for completion in 2016 and will be the first of 17 cultural and entertainment venues at the HK$23.5 billion West Kowloon Cultural District to open. The preliminary design features a spherical theater that appears to float above an atrium. The exterior covering of the structure appears to undulate as if it were a theater curtain. More …

University of British Columbia Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability

LEED® Green Building Strategies and Green Associate Exam Preparation
This practical, 36-hour course introduces the LEED framework and provides comprehensive preparation for the LEED Green Associate exam, a first step towards becoming a green building practitioner. The LEED Green Associate credential distinguishes practitioners with a sound knowledge of green design, construction and operations. Designed by the Canada Green Building Council, this course will provide an overview of the techniques, approaches, materials and technologies used in the LEED rating systems. Through a wide range of examples, case studies and site visits, participants will be able to:

  • understand the imperative for a green transformation of our built environment;
  • explain the key components of the LEED rating system;
  • apply core concepts and strategies to achieve success using the LEED rating      system; and
  • determine where different LEED rating systems can be applied.

This 10-session course takes place over eight Tuesdays (6:30 – 9:30 p.m.) and two Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) from January 22 to March 12, 2013 at UBC Robson Square, 800 Granville Street, Vancouver. No previous experience is required. Register online at

36 Core LUs


Building Green with LEED: LEED Canada for New Construction Rating System 2009

This 36-hour course will provide an in-depth review of the LEED Canada for New Construction Rating System. It will  benefit those professionals involved in the design and construction processes of green buildings. Participants will develop their technical proficiency in this latest standard, supporting those planning to write the LEED Professional Accreditation exam with the Building Design + Construction specialty. In addition, current LEED APs will receive all of the continuing education requirements needed to update to the LEED AP BD+C credential. Using a wide range of examples, case studies and resource materials, this course will enable participants to:

  • demonstrate technical proficiency with the specific requirements of the LEED Canada NC Rating System 2009;
  • recognize the synergies between specific green building strategies;
  • work collaboratively within an integrated design process to implement these strategies;
  • perform cost-benefit analyses of green building strategies to calculate simple paybacks;
  • grasp the limitations of design and the practical application of the Rating System; and
  • utilize the LEED Letter Templates and other tools to develop certification documentation.

This 10-session course takes place over eight Thursdays (6:30 – 9:30 p.m.) and two Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) from January 24 to March 14, 2013 at UBC Robson Square, 800 Granville Street, Vancouver. LEED Green Building Strategies and Green Associate Exam Preparation or experience working in the building industry is recommended prior to taking this course. Register online at

36 Core LUs


Passive House Design and Construction
Based on the 2010 international Certified European Passive House (CEPH) training program, this interactive 36-hour course will address the practice and tools needed for Passive House construction. Architects, engineers, builders, sustainability consultants, building code professionals, and others with an interest in green building will gain the practical tools and resources needed to adapt this energy-efficient design standard to Canadian building codes. This 10-session course takes place over eight Wednesdays (6:30 – 9:30 p.m.) and two Saturdays (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) from January 30 to March 20, 2013 at UBC Robson Square, 800 Granville Street, Vancouver. Register online at

36 core LUs

2013 PD Course Schedule

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the AIBC’s  2013 Course Schedule for will not be available until next week. At that time you will be able to access course information and register for sessions online by visiting the Professional Development web page at Thank you for your patience and understanding.


AIBC President’s Message, December 6, 2012

New Appointees to AIBC Council

I am pleased to advise that the provincial government has confirmed the selection of two Lieutenant Governor Appointees to AIBC Council. Our newest council members, effective immediately, are:

·        Joe W. Thompson – Joe is the Acting Assistant Deputy Minister of Student Services and Sector Resource Management, and the Executive Financial Officer of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology.  Previously, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Post Secondary Finance with the same ministry.  Mr. Thompson was also the Director of Finance and Decision Support, and the Manager of Financial Operations with the Ministry of Education.  He holds a diploma in Business Administration from Camosun College as well as a Certified General Accountant designation.

·         Steven Simons – Steven is the owner of Beyond.Action Strategy Consulting. Previously, he served as Leader of Performance and Planning, and Leader of Corporate Affairs for the BC Oil and Gas Commission.  He has also been Chief of Staff and Director of Offshore Oil and Gas Projects at the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines.  Active in the community, Mr. Simons has been the Volunteer Campaign Coordinator for the FCC United Way and FCC Cops for Cancer.  He was an Advisory Council Member and Marketing Committee Member of the BC Cancer Foundation, and is presently an MBA Candidate Mentor for the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business MBA Mentorship Program.  Mr. Simons holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria, a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from British Columbia Institute of Technology, and has successfully completed several professional growth and development courses.

The province’s Board Resourcing and Development Office designates LG Appointees, a voluntary role, to regulatory bodies such as the AIBC with the express purpose of protecting the public interest. There are four such positions on AIBC Council. This announcement addresses two of three vacancies created by recent LG resignations. A third appointee is expected in the near future.

As always, should you have additional questions, I invite you to contact me directly. Your interest and concern is welcomed.


David Yustin Architect AIBC
AIBC Council President

Sustainable Region Initiative

The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues and Sustainability Community Breakfasts are outreach components of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI). They involve a series of high-profile debates and discussions intended to help decision makers shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views and stimulating fresh thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labour and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, transportation, energy and agriculture. Please check the web site often to find out about future dialogues in your community.


Sustainable Community Breakfast: A Morning of Storytelling … Create Memories, Not Garbage

The holiday season is fast approaching, which for many means very special and memorable moments with friends and family. Join us to hear about Metro Vancouver’s Christmas campaign – Create Memories, Not Garbage – which focuses on celebration and memories while encouraging citizens to reduce the amount of garbage produced during the holiday season. In this spirit, we gift you an early morning Christmas experience: three of Metro Vancouver’s premier storytellers will share their personal holiday memories. Check out how Metro Vancouver has been collaborating with The Flame to create a holiday television special. The program includes:

Speakers:           Gord Inglis, Division Manager, Multi-Media Services, Metro Vancouver

                               Lena Zordan, Communication Specialist, Metro Vancouver

Storytellers:      JJ Lee, fashion columnist, author and storyteller

                               Emelia Symington Fedy, performer, writer and storyteller

                               Deb Williams, creator and producer of The Flame

It takes place Wednesday, December 12, 2012,7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at British Columbia Institute of Technology Downtown Vancouver Campus, 555 Seymour Street. Register online at

Visionary (re)Generation Design Competition

The University of Manitoba, in partnership with Manitoba Hydro, has launched an open international design competition seeking visionary design proposals for its 279-hectare Fort Garry Campus in Winnipeg. The campus includes the Southwood Lands, a 49-hectare (former golf course that will become a new “sustainable” neighbourhood within the university boundaries. The goal is to improve the campus experience and become a leader in innovative and sustainable environmental design. The competition involves a two-phases selection process. Up to seven selected finalists will advance to a second, more detailed design phase to fully develop their concept and vision. Eligible for participation are individuals who are entitled to use the occupational title “Architect”, ”Urban Designer/Planner“ and/or “Landscape Architect” in their country of residence. Participants must first register online at Competitor anonymity will be maintained until all work is exhibited following the competition. Registration is now open, and concludes on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. The deadline for Phase 1 submission is March 11, 2013. Phase 2 entries are required by July 29, 2013. For additional information, please visit

Oscar Niemeyer, Architect Who Gave Brasília Its Flair, Dies at 104

By Nicolai Duroussoff, New York Times
December 6, 2012

Oscar Niemeyer, the celebrated Brazilian architect whose flowing designs infused Modernism with a new sensuality and captured the imaginations of generations of architects around the world, died on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro. He was 104. The medical staff at the Hospital Samaritano in Rio, where he was being treated, said on national television that he died of a respiratory infection. Mr. Niemeyer was among the last of a long line of Modernist true believers who stretch from Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe to the architects who defined the postwar architecture of the late 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. More …

3 Civic Plaza Aims to Take The Suburb Out of Surrey

By Hadani Ditmars, Globe and Mail
November 30, 2012

On a clear day from the site of Surrey’s new civic-centre-in-progress, you can see all the way to downtown Vancouver. One of the highest points in the Lower Mainland, the site of the new Bing Thom-designed library and the city hall designed jointly by Kasian and Moriyama & Teshima is part of a brave new experiment in city-building. More …

Consensual Resolution Process and Bylaw Reform

The AIBC’s Bylaw Review Committee, with AIBC Council consultation and input, has developed new bylaws to revive consensual resolution. The institute’s consensual resolution experience from 2001 through 2009 demonstrates that consensual resolution is less costly than inquiries and is a modern approach to discipline. If adopted through a two/thirds majority vote by members, the proposed bylaws will allow for a timely, fair and efficient means of resolving disciplinary matters that would otherwise proceed to a disciplinary inquiry. Members are encouraged to review the summary document which provides background on consensual resolution and the proposed bylaws, and pass along feedback and comments. For more information, go to

Q&A: Michael Green

By Adele Weder, Azure Magazine
October 2012

From his early work at Cesar Pelli & Associates to the co-founding in 2003 of McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design in North Vancouver, Michael Green has cultivated an illustrious career. Before launching his own office (MGA) earlier this year, he and engineer J. Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting completed a massive report on the feasibility of constructing tall buildings out of wood. More …