Construction Expected to Lead Growth in British Columbia

By Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce
February 25, 2013

The construction industry will expand faster than all other domestic-oriented industries in British Columbia over the next five years, while the overall economy will improve slowly and then shift to stronger growth. “The U.S. is expected to gain speed during 2014 to 2017, which will help lift B.C.’s economy to higher growth rates after 2013,” said Helmut Pastrick, chief economist for Central 1 credit union.  “The (B.C.) housing slowdown this year will reduce residential investment. The mild correction in the housing market will pull down economic growth in 2013 and 2014. Fewer housing starts in 2013 are a near certainty in an environment of declining housing sales and prices.” Pastrick recently produced the B.C. Economic Forecast 2013-2017 which predicts real provincial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase by 2.2 per cent in 2013, before accelerating to 2.7 per cent during 2014. More …

Skills Canada Judges Wanted

The 19th Annual Skills Canada National Competition takes place June 5-8, 2013 in Vancouver. This national competition, which promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies, will feature more than 40 contest areas ranging from electrical installations and brick masonry to landscape gardening and graphic design. The list also includes architectural technology and design. Skills/Compétences Canada is currently recruiting volunteer judges in many disciplines whose task will be to evaluate the performance of each contestant according to predetermined criteria for each contest. Judges will selected based on their expertise in the contest area for which they are being asked to judge. Those interested are encouraged to contact the provincial office at For more on Skills/Compétences Canada and the annual completion, visit

The Architecture of Necessity

The expression “bio-based society” has grown in use, supported by the notion of increase frugality with limited resources.. But what will it look like? This crucial vision for sustainable society involves science, design and communication. Entries are currently being accepted for The Architecture of Necessity, an international showcase on sustainable society building being held in conjunction with WOOD 2013, Northern Europe’s biggest exhibition on wood and sustainability. This exhibition will present cutting-edge wood architecture from across the world, projects large and small that stand out from the crowd. Organizers are especially interested in those that illustrate the dynamic relationship between construction and design, such as what form a wooden house may take in 40 years’ time, when raw materials are even more scarce. The aim is to present ideas, research and ambitious attempts in the field of organic high-tech with wood as an engineering material. This includes examples of biomimetics; cultured architectural details; houses without metal; bio-based construction and community building; intelligent production processes; buildings cast in fibre; bio-composites; and example of how bio-materials will replace non-renewable resources. Architects, builders, designers, construction firms, government agencies and others are invited to participate. The deadline for submissions is March 22, 2013. For details, visit

New Registered Educational Provider: Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

Kasian is one of the leading 100 architecture, interior design and planning firms in the world, with offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. The firm employs an integrated, collaborative approach to design. Its award-winning projects range from one of the most advanced children’s hospitals in the world to master plans for some of the most densely populated cities on the planet. Learn more about this and all AIBC Registered Educational Providers at

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia

Helical Piles Design, Installation and Testing

This two-day course will focus in detail on the basic fundamentals of helical piles, including  the different design theories for piles subjected to axial and lateral loads. It will also explore the most recent advances for helical piles subjected to seismic and machine loads. Types of helical piles, installation methods, and the effect of geometrical configurations on their performance and capacity will be discussed. A thorough treatment of the different field testing programs (i.e. static and cyclic loading tests) will be provided together with a brief description of instrumentation techniques. The most recent advances in the construction and performance of square-shaft small diameter piles, as well as the circular-shaft large diameter piles, will be presented. It takes place Thursday and Friday, March 7-8, 2013, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at the Holiday Inn & Suites, Capilano Room, 1110 Howe Street, Vancouver. For more information and to register, visit Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

14 Core LUs

Vancouver’s First Co-housing Complex Moves Closer to Becoming a Reality

By Sadiya Ansari, Globe and Mail
February 13, 2013

Vancouver is one step closer to approving development of its first co-housing complex, following in the footsteps of Langley, Burnaby and North Vancouver – a move that could expand the possibilities of home ownership in Canada’s most expensive housing market. City council voted on Tuesday to send a rezoning request to public hearing, which could permit the proposed three-storey, 31-unit co-housing development to be built in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood. This would be the first project to be approved under the city’s Interim Rezoning Policy, which aims to increase affordable housing choices. More …

Rave Reviews For Towering Addition to Vancouver Skyline

By Frances Bula, Globe and Mail
February 15, 2013 

Vancouver’s most distinctive tower project in a century got an enthusiastic endorsement from the city’s design panel this week. That paves the way for an open house next week and public hearings later this year on plans for a striking set of buildings that panel member Peter Wreglesworth described on Wednesday as a “whole composition that is urban art.” More …

How The 226-square-foot Condo is Reshaping Our Public Space

By Hadani Ditmars, Globe and Mail
February 13, 2013

I once survived for 18 months in a 107-square-foot garret in St. Germain des Prés. My Parisian memories are not of a claustrophobic room, but rather of a private refuge made livable by a city with great street life and public design. From cafés to cathedrals, parks to piscines municipales, the spaces outside my room were as much a part of my life as the space within. More …

‘Starchitect’ to Pay Homage to Old Stock Exchange Building

By Brent Jang, Globe and Mail
February 13, 2013

Take a $200-million development proposal, add Swiss expertise to Canadian know-how, then let the planning begin in earnest to preserve and expand the Old Stock Exchange Building. There is a buzz in the air about a star architect from Switzerland who has been hired to leave his mark on the northwest corner of Howe and Pender in downtown Vancouver. Harry Gugger, meet the old exchange at 475 Howe St. Vancouver, meet Mr. Gugger, who will lend his expertise in the design of a new 30-storey office tower so that it complements the historic 11-storey building. More …

Sustainability Dialogues Survey

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. The dialogues are delivered in partnership with local chambers of commerce and boards of trade, taking place three or four times per year in locations throughout the region. Additional information can be found online.

As part of its annual planning process, Metro Vancouver is conducting a broad survey of its Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues series, which has been in existence since 2006. Organizers are interested in hearing your opinion, even if you have never previously attended a dialogue. Your input will help to tailor public outreach programming to meet the needs of the regions residents. To complete the survey, which should take approximately 10 minutes of your time, go to Your participation is appreciated.

U of S Architecture School Remains on Drawing Board

By Jeff Davis, Saskatoon Star Phoenix
February 21, 2013

Some of North America’s leading architects will converge on Saskatoon starting next week to throw their support behind a long-awaited architecture school at the University of Saskatchewan. A series of six presentations and panel discussions will begin Feb. 28 and continue through March 18. They are open to the public and will be held in some of Saskatoon’s more architecturally unique buildings, such as the Roxy Theatre, the Broadway Theatre and the university’s Convocation Hall. More …

AIBC Council Minutes – February 12, 2013

The adopted February 12, 2013 AIBC Council minutes can be found here: 2013_02_February_12_Council_Minutes_adopted

AIBC Council Minutes – January 22, 2013

The adopted January 22, 2013 AIBC Council minutes can be found here: 2013_01_January_22_Council_Minutes_adopted.

Healthier Communities Through Design

By Brooks Rainwater, Metropolis Magazine
February 16, 2013

Health indicators are pointing in the wrong direction. Healthcare costs are rising to unprecedented levels. To address these challenges, it’s become imperative that our municipal policies and initiatives be reconsidered. How can design help? As I see it, design provides a key preventative strategy. Designers can improve public health outcomes and enhance our everyday environments. The lens of design can help us focus and re-conceptualize the public health impacts of our cities and buildings. More …

Role Call: AIBC Qualifications Committee

Volunteer members are required for current vacancies on the AIBC’s Qualifications Committee. The Qualifications Committee is responsible for conducting the assessment of qualifications received from applicants to the AIBC for registration. In support of this undertaking, the committee ensures the administration of these assessments is effective, consistent, and fair for the registration of architects under Section 37 of the Architects Act (Alternative Qualifications). The committee reviews candidate files, assigning a member to further review and return with a recommendation. Members of the Qualifications Committee are also asked to act as panelists for oral assessments. In addition, the committee is charged with providing analysis and advice to the AIBC’s Registration Board and to AIBC Council, leading to development and maintenance of certification standards for entry to the profession.

To review the Qualifications Committee’s Terms of Recerence, go to If you are interesting in serving on this committee or would like more information, please contact Registration and Administration Coordinator Emily Tyler at (604) 683-8588, ext. 324, or by e-mail at