Lift Tickets

With ski season here, AIBC members and other registrants can get up to 25% off 2013/14 regular season lift tickets to Whistler Blackcomb. A 40% saving on ski and snowboard rentals is also available. Discounts are also available for Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks. Go online to


NAFS Calculator

Cascadia Windows and Doors has developed the first North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) calculator tool, now freely available to architects and other users. NAFS 2008, which replaces the previous CSA A-440 standard, is the newly-referenced standard for the physical performance and testing requirements of windows, door and skylights. It already applies to Part 3 of the BC Building Code and comes into effect for Part 9 on December 20,, 2013, The new standard requires users to calculate the necessary performance grade and water test pressure of windows and doors based on several tables of values provided in the standard (including location, wind speed, building height and exposure). Cascadia’s NAFS calculator, the first of its kind, helps with this important but difficult calculation, requiring only three user inputs. You can find it online at

President’s Message

Things are never as simple as they seem.

Recently and through much deliberation, AIBC Council introduced significant changes to the structure of the institute’s associate categories:

Moving forward, there will only be three associate categories: Architectural Technologist; Intern Architect; and Retired Architect. As a result, all other associate categories will be discontinued as of January 1, 2014, with persons currently in those categories transitioned as set out below.

Those currently in the Building Designer and Residential Designer categories, 36 registrants in total, will be transferred into the Architectural Technologist category. In addition, these 36 individuals will be required to take the AIBC’s Ethics, Act & Bylaws course (if they have not already) and to pass the AIBC’s Architectural Technologist Examination by December 31, 2014.

Architectural Graduates (who may be eligible to become Intern Architects), Student Associates and Intern Architectural Technologists will be encouraged to continue their relationship with the AIBC as affiliates. An affiliate is someone not registered with the AIBC but who maintains an important and useful connection – a “friend” of the institute.

Previously Registered Members (who may be eligible for reinstatement) will be encouraged to either move to the Retired Architect associate classification or become an affiliate.

As for designations, the three associate categories will be referred to as, and shall refer to themselves as, Architectural Technologist AIBC, Intern Architect AIBC or Retired Architect AIBC. Council made this decision for consistency and clarity, aligning the associate designations with the format used by architects while also ensuring the individual’s registration location is clear in all representations.

The previous “.AIBC” designations, which some found contentious and/or confusing, will be discontinued across the board. This will take effect as of January 2014. Guidance as to the proper use of the associate designations (without the use of initials) will be shared with those directly impacted over the coming weeks.

Streamlining the associate set-up is a much more delicate, difficult exercise than many would appreciate. For example, one outcome that greatly concerns council is the connection the institute maintains with students in post-secondary architecture programs. It is a critical relationship, one that speaks to the future of the profession. It is also one that is not easily articulated and positioned within the formal structure of a regulatory body, especially since it has never pretended to be a relationship that is regulatory in nature. While the category of Student Associate is no more, AIBC Council will be doing more than ever to ensure a strong, supportive and positive connection with students through the affiliate connection as well as other AIBC initiatives.

Another difficult fit concerns retired architects. While it is both understandable and desirable that former members who`ve exited the daily grind would want to maintain a formal connection with the profession, it raises certain questions. For instance, to what degree, if any, can retired architects, as well as architectural technologists and intern architects, practise independently in the exceptions as defined by the Architects Act given the ultimate regulatory mandate of the institute to which they continue to belong, albeit at the associate level? It`s a question not easily answered, but one that AIBC Council must now tackle.

All of these changes were brought about in response to extensive member input and with regard to the institute`s public interest mandate. This entire exercise – redefining the AIBC in a way that protects the public, is palatable to the membership and that positions the institute for the future – has been a tough, polarizing balancing act. While hopefully all will now benefit from a simpler, clearer understanding of who is the AIBC, and in what way, there remains some muddiness. Your council will continue to work through the tangles and complications as we seek solid footing, for everyone involved.

As always, I welcome your feedback.


Scott Kemp Architect AIBC
President – AIBC Council

Keynote Speaker Will Delve Into The Architects’ Personality

By Shannon Moneo, Journal of Commerce
October 23, 2013

When architects gather under one roof for a four-day conference, the professionals will hear a tailor-made presentation about their complex minds. On Oct. 23, international scholar and university professor Brian Little will paint a reflective picture of architects in his keynote address, Strange Creatures and Creative Achievement: The Personalities of Architects.  Little’s talk is part of the joint 2013 annual conference of the Architectural Institute of B.C. (AIBC) and the Northwest and Pacific Region of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), taking place Oct. 23-26 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. More …

CALA Survey Deadline

Friday, October 25 is the final day to take part in the national survey on architectural education and internship being conducted by the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA). This survey of intern architects, recent architectural graduates, newly-licensed architects and their firms is intended to provide a better understand of where improvements can be made to meet the needs and expectations of the profession when it comes to architectural education and internship. It will also assist CALA in preparation for hosting of Canadian Architectural Certification Board validation conference in 2014. Survey invitations and details have been sent directly to B.C. representatives. If you received an invitation, please take the time to provide your feedback before the survey period closes. Your participation is most appreciated.

B.C. And U.S. Architectural Associations Team up For Conference

By Richard Gilbert, Journal of Commerce
October 21, 2013

Architects in British Columbia and the Northwestern United States are holding their first joint conference in Vancouver this week, which will provide opportunities to network, attend educational seminars and discuss the need for change in the profession. “We are always looking for partnership opportunities and creative partners, so we contacted the Architectural Institute of B.C. to discuss the possibilities of doing a joint conference,” said Stan Bowman, executive director of AIA (American Institute of Architects) Washington Council. More …

AIBC Gallery: 2013 AIBC Architectural Awards

AIBC Gallery: #100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver

Winners and other submissions for the 2013 AIBC Architectural Awards are on display from November 4  to December 20, 2013. The exhibit showcases the best in B.C. architecture, encompassing more than 60 submissions garnered across three award categories: The Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Awards in Architecture; The AIBC Innovation Award; and the AIBC Special Jury Award. The AIBC Gallery is free and open to the public Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Click here to view the award winners.


2013 Wood Solutions Fair

Wood WORKS! BC presents a one-day educational event where you learn about the latest industry trends and innovations for designing and building with wood. The fair will  focus on wood products and their use in construction. Suppliers and technical experts will be on hand to answer questions about wood. Attendees will be able to apply “on the job” what they’ve learned from the seminars and information provided. Designed for all industry professionals, It takes place Tuesday, October 29, 2013. Admission is free when you pre-register by October 24. For more information, visit, or contact Zena Caul at or by calling 877-929=9663, ext 4.

Each seminar is worth 1 Core LU

Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture

By Eric Jaffe, Fast Company
October 17, 2013

When the great architect Philip Johnson first visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, he started to cry. “Architecture is not about words. It’s about tears,” Johnson reportedly said. Something about the museum’s majestic curves moved him at an emotional level. Many others must get a similar feeling, because the building is usually ranked among the most important in modern times. Whether or not Johnson and Gehry realized it, the Bilbao and its swirling façade tapped into a primal human emotional network. Time and again, when people are asked to choose between an object that’s linear and one that’s curved, they prefer the latter. That goes for watches with circular faces, letters rendered in a curly font, couches with smooth cushions–even dental floss with round packaging. More …

How Toronto Planners Ensure Mediocrity

By Christopher Hume, Toronto Star
October 18, 2013

Toronto city planners may not know what they like, but to the rest of us the answer is obvious: glass towers. You don’t have to go far in this city to come across the results of the planning department’s love affair with the now ubiquitous see-through highrise. There are dozens of examples of architectural transparency, one barely distinguishable from the other. More …

Why Architects Are Touting Metal Roofs For Urban Dwellers

By Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail
October 16, 2013

Metal roofs have long been seen on rural buildings thanks to their practical advantages for country living. They’re long-lasting and much easier to use than shingles when covering large surfaces, like the top of an equipment shed. But they are now also fashionable among architects and builders who are drawn to them for their environmental benefits and ability to complement the modernist sensibility of their creations. Metal roofs were a prominent part of the Toronto Fall Home Show earlier this month, a clear sign of the material’s migration from rural to urban. Their popularity has been growing for several years for architects, who say metal is an ideal way to showcase a part of a dwelling that is often treated as a design afterthought. More …

The Changing Landscape of Malls

By Oliver Lam, BC Business
October 7, 2013

The landscape of shopping malls is changing and the driving force is a push to move retail destinations from enclosed environments to vibrant urban neighbourhoods.“Metro Vancouver is known as one of the bright lights in this movement to re-urbanize old shopping malls,” says Brent Toderian, president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism. “And part of that re-urbanization is turning them from enclosed to outside walking streets that seem to replicate the environment, lifestyle and qualities of traditional main streets.” More …

AIBC Council Meeting Summary: October 8, 2013

At AIBC Council’s meeting on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 it dealt with the following matters:

  • Council approved a motion from its Associates Task Force calling for the following designations to be introduced for the three Associate categories of registrant: Architectural Technologist AIBC; Intern Architect AIBC; and Retired Architect AIBC. While several options were considered, it was agreed that the use of the institute’s initials was consistent with the designation for architects (Architect AIBC) while providing clarity and assurance to the public. These designations for associates are to come into effect as of January 1, 2014. Attention will now focus on the matter of associates practising independently, providing design services within the exceptions of the Architects Act.
  • AIBC Council President Scott Kemp  Architect AIBC reported on a recent meeting with the Honourable Amrit Virk, Minister of Advanced Education. The minister and other senior ministry staff spoke with Kemp, Council Vice President Darryl Condon  Architect AIBC, Council member Gordon Richards  Architect AIBC, Lieutenant Governor Appointee Steve Simons, AIBC Deputy Executive Director and General Council Thom Lutes and AIBC Director of Communications David Wiebe. The meeting provided an opportunity to introduce the recently-appointed minister to the institute and its representatives, and to discuss issues of government priority and process. This included council’s interest in bringing about unspecified changes to the Architects Act to address deficiencies in the century-old legislation and reflect the evolution of the profession. The minister expressed support for this direction, explaining the process and prioritization that surround what is ultimately a government decision, and provided some direction as to how the institute can best prepare for the opportunity, should it arise.
  • Vice President Condon reported on a situation by a member who is also an honorary member was inadvertently excluded from participating in AIBC Council’s engagement survey carried out in of 2013. It was agreed that a formal apology, as requested, would be issued by the president.
  • May 3, 2014 was agreed upon as the tentative date for the 2014 AIBC Annual Meeting, pending final confirmation of the necessary available space on that date at the Simon Fraser University Business Centre in downtown Vancouver, the location of the 2013 Annual Meeting.

The next official meeting of AIBC Council is scheduled for Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at the AIBC offices (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver) Members, associates and the public are welcome to attend; please confirm your attendance in advance by contacting Executive Coordinator Tracy Tough by e-mail ( or phone (604-683-8588, #335).

Sanford Hirshen

Sanford “Sandy” Hirshen, a former member and Retired Honorary Member, passed away on October 2, 2013. He was 78. Sandy was born in New York where he gained his architectural education at Columbia University. In 1964 he moved to Berkeley, California to work and teach. While at UC Berkeley, he built a reputation for his commitment to socially-responsible architecture, which earned him fellowships from both Gugggenheim and the American Institute of Architecture. In 1990, Sandy moved to Vancouver to serve as director of the University of British Columbia School of Architecture. He joined the AIBC in 1991, and in 1999 was made an honorary member of the institute. Sandy eight years as the UBC School of Architecture appointee to AIBC Council before retiring from his UBC position in 2000. From there he became an associate at Henriquez Partners Architects. In 2009 he returned to the Bay area. He was a fellow of both the Royal Canadian Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Architects, and held the title of Professor Emeritus of Architecture at University of California Berkeley. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Vivian, and children Richard and Julie. A memorial is being planned for later this fall. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in Sandy’s honour are encouraged to do so towards the Sandy Hirshen Prize through the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

National Model Construction Codes Review

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) would like to invite industry members to take part in a public review of proposed changes to the 2010 National Model Construction Codes. The codes – comprised of the national building, fire, plumbing and energy codes – are models developed by the CCBFC that provinces and territories can adopt as is, or with modifications, as part of their own building, fire and plumbing regulations. This public review, one of the principal steps in the process for updating national code documents, provides a nation-wide forum where anyone can comment on the changes proposed. The review will run from October 15 to December 13, 2013. Following the review, CCBFC standing committees will consider all comments and make final recommendations on each proposed change. Final changes, subject to CCBFC approval, will be published in 2015. To take part in the review, go online to