HST/GST Transition

Effective April 1, 2013, British Columbia will transition from a 12% Harmonized Sales Tax to a 5% Goods & Services Tax. This transition applies to taxable real property and supplies of personal property or services made in British Columbia, and to personal property or services imported or brought into British Columbia. Generally speaking, the new transitional rules operate on the basis of the time at which tax becomes payable. If the tax becomes payable or is paid before April 1, 2013, the 12% HST would still apply; after April, the 5% GST is in place. Such is the case for architectural services. Greater complexities occur for sales of real property, administering contracts that span the April 1 date, and for PST registrants (note: architectural services are not PST-taxable). For answers to any questions you may have, visit the Canada Revenue Agency web site (http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gi/notice270/notice270-e.html). You may also contact the provincial government by phone (1‑877‑388‑4440) or by e-mail (CTBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca).

Cohousing in Vancouver: Living Outside The Box

By Jordan Yerman, Vancouver Observer
March 18, 2013 

When I was younger, I shared a Brooklyn brownstone with several friends (and, later, strangers) in a collective-housing experiment that had gone horribly right. 11 people shared three full flats and a half-finished basement. More … http://www.vancouverobserver.com/real-estate/cohousing-vancouver-living-outside-box.

AFBC Curling & Scotch Tasting

The Architectural Foundation of British Columbia invites you to hit the ice for its inaugural Curling & Scotch Tasting, a fun fundraising event for AFBC. It takes place Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Vancouver Curling Club, 4575 Clancey Loranger Way (Hillcrest Community Centre), Vancouver. For both experienced curlers and those who have always wanted to give the sport a try, this is a great opportunity to meet new friends, show off your skills, sample some scotch and have a great time … all for a good cause. Games being at 2:00 p.m. followed by the scotch tasting at 4:00 p.m. The cost is $85 ($75 if registered by March 31), or $60 for the scotch tasting only. Sign up online at www.architecturefoundationbc.ca.

CSCE Session On Blast Load Design

The Canadian Society of Civil Engineering is hosting an information session on CSA-S850: Design and Assessment of Buildings Subjected to Blast Loads. This session will address Canada’s first standard for the design and assessment of buildings subjected to blast loads. This new standard allows designers to determine the level of protection that can be provided by an existing building structure or achieved in a new structure. It provides detailed procedures for determining blast load on buildings for a given charge size and standoff; strength of materials under high strain rates; selection of the appropriate methods of analysis and design for reinforced concrete, steel, masonry and wood components and structures;  and for field testing of structural and non-structural components under blast loads. It also contains provisions for preventing progressive collapse and brittle failure. Presenters include Dr. Ghani Razaqpur, chair of the Technical Committee for CSA-S850, and Dr. Murat Saatcioglu, Chair of the Sub-Committee on Design. The session will also include a presentation on procedures for threat and risk assessment by Ken Clupp, lead physical and technical security equipment evaluation engineer in the RCMP’s Departmental Security Branch. The full-day Vancouver session takes place Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 8:30 a.m. at the Sandman Hotel, 180 West Georgia Street. Early bird pricing is available until March 26, 2013. For the additional information and to register, go to http://csce.ca/lifelong-learning/workshops/.

Canada House Expansion Project

The Government of Canada is inviting proposals for the expansion and revitalization of Canada House. Located on Trafalgar Square in the heart of London, Canada House is home of the high commission and Canada’s premier diplomatic and public space in the United Kingdom. The original building was created in 1824, and officially opened as Canada House in 1925. The expansion plans call for the addition of an adjacent building in order to consolidate Canada’s high commission operations. The overall cost of construction for this project is estimated at approximately $16 million.  The anticipated time frame for commencement of the design work is April, 2013 with scheduled occupancy within the 2014 calendar year. The scope of work consists of architectural and engineering consulting and interior design services, with particular attention to the quality and appropriateness of the interior design. Proposals are sought from those with relevant professional experience in London, U.K. and in Canada, along with appropriate professional certifications. Details can be found online at https://www.merx.com/English/SUPPLIER_Menu.asp?WCE=Show&TAB=1&PORTAL=MERX&State=7&id=264260&src=osr&FED_ONLY=0&ACTION=&rowcount=&lastpage=&MoreResults=&PUBSORT=2&CLOSESORT=0&IS_SME=Y&hcode=P4gzepYI7AeK51eMtFPNqg%3d%3d. The project reference number is 264260. The submission deadline is April 23, 2013.

Building Smart #17: Transitioning to the New BC Building Code

The Homeowner Protection Office invites you to attend Building Smart #17:  Transitioning to the New BC Building Code. This seminar, building on last year’s Building Smart #16 which summarized the anticipated new Part 9 Code changes, will explore the impact of the North American Fenestration Standard/Specifications (NAFS) for windows, doors and skylights as well as the new requirements for spatial separation. It is being delivered in 21 communities across B.C during April and May. The cost is $80. For additional information, see the program brochure at http://www.hpo.bc.ca/whats-new. For  locations and to register, visit the HPO web site at http://www.gifttool.com/registrar/ShowEventDetails?ID=1881&EID=14696.

In Pursuit of a Design Dream

By Maria Cook, Vancouver Sun
March 16, 2013 

For decades, architect Douglas Cardinal put his driving ambition ahead of family as he built an international reputation for his stunningly distinctive curvilinear buildings. Cardinal is still hard at work – but at 79, and after a rift with his architect son, he’s sketching out a happier life with a young new team. In December 2009, at a press conference announcing the expansion of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Douglas Cardinal, one of Canada’s best-known architects, and his son Bret stood beside a model of the building, sharing credit for the design. More … http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/pursuit+design+dream/8109404/story.html.

Toyo Ito Wins The Pritzker Prize

By Nina Boccia, Azure Magazine
March 18, 2013

Over the last couple of years, the Pritzker Prize has been awarded to architects renowned for their quietly strong projects in their home countries, yet lacking an international presence (see: Eduardo Souto de Moura in 2011, and Wang Shu in 2012). On March 17, the Pritzker Prize jury announced the recipient of the 2013 award: Toyo Ito. The Tokyo architect works mostly in Japan but creates dramatic structures that resonate the world over. More … http://www.azuremagazine.com/article/toyo-ito-wins-the-pritzker-prize/.

Nominations For AIBC Council

Nominations are now being invited for the 2013/2014 AIBC Council. This is your opportunity to help shape the body responsible for the governance of the architectural profession in British Columbia in the public interest. Nominations are open in the following categories (click below to access nomination forms):

All nomination forms, with Candidate Statement Form and original signatures, must be received at the AIBC offices before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2013. E-mailed or facsimile signatures will not be accepted.

Nominees are also requested to include a Candidate Statement to enhance voting members’ ability to compare candidates. An on-line template has been created as a guide (Click here to access the Candidate Statement Form).

Note: This year’s list of categories does not include the Architectural Technologists and Building/Residential Designers liaison positions as the incumbents, elected last year, are mid-way through their two-year terms.