Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

High Performance Building Enclosures Seminar

Envelope failures are the most common cause of missed energy targets, durability issues, and health and comfort problems. Making multilayered, high-performance building envelopes function as they should requires a new way of thinking that has not yet become second nature in the industry. With this full-day seminar, Dr. John Straube Ph.D., P.Eng. will address the requirements of building enclosures with an emphasis on the elements of design required to ensure high performance. It takes place Tuesday, November 26, 2013, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard Street, Vancouver. For more info and to register, click here.

7 Core LUs

Older Population Will Reshape Cities

By Bob Ransford, Vancouver Sun
November 9, 2013

Too often when we are planning, designing and building our cities, we fail to think about the massive demographic phenomena that is changing our lives. We need to connect the dots between the realities of a dominant aging population that is emerging in the next 30 years and the decisions we make today. Japan is currently the only country in the world with more than 30 per cent of its population aged over 60. By 2050, there will be 64 countries. There will be two billion people over 60 worldwide – a 250-per-cent increase over today. There are an estimated five million Canadians 65 years of age or older today, a number that is expected to double in the next 25 years to 10.4 million seniors by 2036. Since 1970, worldwide life expectancy has risen by around 10 years for both men and women. More …

Does Curved Furniture Make You Feel Relaxed And Hopeful? You’re Not Alone

By Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail
November 7, 2013

Architects and interior designers have plenty of tools at their disposal. Oshin Vartanian, a neuroscientist at the University of Toronto, wants to add one more: a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine used to unlock the secrets of the human brain. In a study published earlier this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vartanian and colleagues found that research subjects, both men and women, preferred curved spaces over rectilinear ones. Not only were people more likely to say curved spaces were beautiful, but viewing such spaces fired up activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain associated with aesthetic judgments. More …

Vancouver’s Ban on The Humble Doorknob Likely to be a Trendsetter

By Jeff Lee, Vancouver Sun
November 17, 2013

It is a ubiquitous piece of equipment found in virtually every building, a requirement for entry, a necessity for exit. For some, the humble round doorknob is unremarkable and utilitarian, a simple tool, a means to an end. For others, it is a piece of art, an object of beauty, an architecturally significant adornment on the welcoming portal to a building. For others, it is so synonymous with ordinariness that a “knob” is a pejorative word for being dull or stupid. More …

AIBC Council Meeting Summary: November 12, 2013

At its  meeting on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, AIBC Council dealt with the following matters:

  • Council considered and approved the institute’s operating and capital budgets for 2014. Treasurer Cal Meiklejohn Architect AIBC explained that the operating budget for the year ahead reflects a small deficit, to be addressed through excess cash reserve. It also reflects no change to the rates of annual fees and fines. The budget included specific provisions for initiatives to be undertaken in the first year of council’s 2014/18 Strategic Plan .
  • In support of the 2014/18 Strategic Plan, council approved the formation of a Strategic Engagement Steering Committee that will oversee an extensive process of stakeholder engagement and consultation that underpins the goals and objectives of the five-year strategic plan.
  • It was confirmed that council had received the resignation of Michael Green Architect AIBC, requiring it to appoint an architect in good standing to fill the vacant seat on council as per the provisions of the Architects Act. Council President Scott Kemp Architect AIBC nominated David Yustin Architect AIBC, council’s immediate past president, who received full endorsement from council.
  • Council approved minor changes to Professional Conduct Policy 8.2: Consensual Resolution and Disciplinary Inquiry which reflect the establishment of a consensual resolution process as per the recently approved bylaw.
  • Approval was given to a protocol that sets out a consistent process for handling correspondence directed to AIBC Council and/or the council president.
  • Executive Director Michael Ernest Architect AIBC reported that the AIBC’s first offering of the Examination for Architecture in Canada (ExAC), facilitated earlier in the month, saw more than 100 candidates for registration take part.

Council also received status reports from its working groups, and passed motions pertaining to various consent items dealing with policy compliance, committee changes, examination results and registration amendments. The next official meeting of AIBC Council is scheduled for Tuesday, January 21 , 2014 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).

Towering Ambition Contest / Cocktails&LEGO

B.C. architects, designers and other creative types are invited to take part in a unique competition / fundraiser led by Douglas Coupland, on behalf of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Coupland, the world-renowned artist, sculptor, writer and designer, is crowdsourcing his next art project, an exhibit titled “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything” that will be on display at the VAG in 2014. Local design teams are invited to create a distinctive piece to be added to the exhibit. There is a catch: it must be created with LEGO. For a $1250 entry fee (a 50% reduction available through the AIBC – use group promo code “COUPLAND” when registering), participants in the Towering Ambition Contest will receive a handsome supply of LEGO with which to build a tower that showcases their unique skills and vision. Teams will also receive four tickets to a special Cocktails&LEGO reception at the gallery on November 26, 2013, where all of the contest entries will be featured and the winning project revealed. The chosen tower, along with its corporate or team logo, will be displayed prominently in the exhibition which runs from May 31 to September 1, 2014. Don’t miss your chance to be part of Douglas Coupland’s 2014 exhibition.  For more information about both the Towering Ambition Contest the Cocktails&LEGO reception, visit or  contact contest organizer Nico Bauman at

Canadian Passive House Institute

Using PHPP in Passive House Design and Certification

In this two-day course, participants will learn how to use the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) for residential building design and certification. Attendees will be guided step-by-step through the relevant worksheets while learning the correct conventions for measurements and calculations. Proper documentation will be covered in detail, and a case study will provide participants with practical experience in completing and documenting PHPP calculations for building certification. The cost is $595 + HST, and registration is limited. For course times, locations and requirements, please contact Andrew Peel at or visit

12 Core LUs

Update: Know The Code? Courses on New Energy Efficiency Regulations

Effective December 20, 2013, both the 2012 BC Building Code and the 2014 Vancouver Building By-law bring into effect new energy efficiency requirements for Part 3 buildings. These new standards  – spelled out in ASHRAE 90.1 2010 and NECB 2011 – have been adopted in parallel, allowing designers to select one or the other. In preparation for the new regulations, the AIBC, BC Hydro, the province’s Building and Safety Standards Branch, the City of Vancouver and the Illuminating Engineering Society of BC (IES) have collaborated to offer a series of affordable training sessions for industry professionals. Specifically tailored for industry specializations, these sessions are designed to provide designers with the specific information relevant to their work. All sessions will be taught by local leaders in their field, and each training units will comprehensively cover the new building code and building by-law energy requirements as well as both ASHRAE and NECB requirements, identifying where the standards will specifically differ.

With the changes, the prescriptive method of complying with energy requirements will be removed from the BC Building Code. Therefore, designers must choose between these two standards (ASHRAE 90.1 2010 or NECB 2011).  Familiarity with the two standards, their basic requirements and their differences, is necessary in order to comply with the BC Building Code and the Vancouver Building Bylaw. The decision on which standard to use is one that  architects, along with their consultants and clients, must make very early in the design process as it may affect the fundamental building form.

Two different half-day courses (each approximately three hours in duration) will be offered on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 26 – 27, 2013 at the AIBC. Architects working on Part 3 buildings are strongly advised to take both courses. The first session, General Overview and Compliance Requirements, will provide an overview of the changes and addresses both the two standards and all the disciplines that they cover. It will also address how designers will be required to demonstrate compliance . There will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions of key people from government involved in formulating the changes. Presenters include Greg McCall  P.Eng. LEED AP, Energy Policy Specialist – City of Vancouver; Ken Newbert  P.Eng.LEED AP, Technical Director – Integral Group; and Tim Ryce  P.Eng. LEED AP, Assistant Manager, Permits & Inspection – City of North Vancouver. The second session, specific to the building envelope, will provide practical tools for decision-making between the two standards, and will afford an overview of both the prescriptive and trade-off methodologies within both standards. The impact of increased u-value requirements and their impact in the B.C. construction context will also be discussed. The presenter is Sophie Mercier, Director of Operations Building Science BC – Morrison Hershfield. The cost is $110 per session. Space is limited; click here to register. Two sessions, three core LUs each.

Cancellation: UBC SALA Lecture

The University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture public lecture featuring Gregg Pasquarelli of ShoP Architects in New York, scheduled for Monday, November 18, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Robson Square, has been unexpectedly cancelled. The organizers apologize for any inconvenience.

RAIC Gold Medal to The Aga Khan

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada has awarded its 2013 RAIC Gold Medal to His Highness, The Aga Khan. The award, the RAIC’s highest honour, is given each year in recognition of a person of science or letters related to architecture and the arts who has made a significant contribution to Canadian architecture. This year’s selection acknowledges the Aga Khan’s extraordinary achievements in using architecture as an instrument to further peaceful and sustainable community development around the world. It  marks the first time in more than 30 years that a non-architect has been chosen. A presentation ceremony will take place later this year.

Infographic: How Architecture Can Save Your Life

John Brownlee, Fast Company
November 12, 2013

Design doesn’t just impact lives, or enrich lives. It can save them. That is the message the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is trying to emphasize in a new interactive graphical chart that shows the ways in which the choices architects make can affect our lives. We all live in buildings, and it is the geometry of these structures, where they are placed and the shadows they cast that have the largest impact on the well-being of their inhabitants. Yet not all architects are conscientious of the way even the smallest design decision can impact people’s physical and mental health. More …

Sustainable Region Initiative: City-making

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.

The world is urbanizing. Metropolitan regions are changing. Rapidly growing city regions are increasingly economically robust, culturally rich and socially equitable places to live, work and play. Creating sustainable and livable regions demands innovation, foresight, collaboration, and importantly, learning from other people and places. From Australia to Metro Vancouver, what lessons can we learn about how to creatively accommodate growth and density? What do we need to understand about how, why and when land use and transportation planning best serve or shape each other? What can our communities look like, feel like, when we’ve made the right investments? How do the roles played by transportation and land use planning change when shifting from a city to regional scale? Join Greg Vann and Warren Rowe, visiting guest planners from Brisbane, Australia, and others in our next Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues. Additional speakers include Don Luymes, Manager of Community Planning – City of Surrey (November 19); Greg Mitchell, Senior Planner and Project Manager – PCI Developments Corp. (November 19): Anthony Perl, Professor of Urban Studies and Political Science – Simon Fraser University (November 22); Gordon Price, Director – Simon Fraser University City Program (November 19 and 28); Warren Rowe, BV International (November 19 and 22); and Greg Vann, CEO/Director, Buckley Vann Town Planning Consultants (November 19 and 22). The schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.(refreshments provided)
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford, 15269 – 104th Avenue
Click here to register online.

Friday, November 22, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.(lunch provided)
Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 West Hastings Street
Click here to register online.

New Westminster  
Thursday, November 28, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.(lunch provided)
Inn at The Quay, 900 Quayside Drive
Click here to register online.

These dialogues are a key component of the Sustainable Region Initiative (SRI), and are intended to help the citizens of Metro Vancouver shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views to challenge and stimulate discussion on significant regional issues. Metro Vancouver’s view is that the exploration of new and innovative approaches to regional issues by a broad spectrum of interested stakeholders is fundamental to the ongoing livability and sustainability of our region, and your participation in these dialogues is encouraged and greatly valued.

Large Building Energy Web Page

The City of Vancouver has launched a new web page intended to centralize information pertaining to energy requirements for large buildings, typically Part 3 and Part 9 (non-residential), including dates for the phased implementation of the 2014 Vancouver Building By-Law. For new construction projects, the site provides information on referenced energy standards (ASHRAE 90.1, NECB 2011) and city-specific changes/additions to these standards, as well as links to the associated forms and checklists required for building permit application. For existing buildings, the site also provides information on the new energy trigger requirements for building permit applications. The new energy web page also includes tutorials outlining the process, documents and procedures necessary to complete the energy components of the building permit application. Click here to view the web page.

Impact of Rising Tides on The Built Environment Explored

Warren Frey, Journal of Commerce
November 13, 2013

Rising tides are bringing new challenges to cities in the Pacific Northwest. Changing water levels were the subject of the Rising Tides session, which opened the first full day of the recent Sea Change 2013 conference put on by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia and the American Institute of Architects – Northwest and Pacific Region. Sadhu Johnston, deputy city manager of the City of Vancouver, said climate change and rising tides have only recently become factors under consideration in the municipal government’s ongoing plans to enhance sustainability in the region. More …

2013 Licensed Residential Builder Survey

How effective is the Homeowner Protection Office’s builder licensing system? How satisfied are you with the effectiveness of the home warranty insurance system in British Columbia? What are your education priorities? The HPO invites your feedback through its 2013 Licensed Residential Builder Survey. Your input will assist the HOP in evaluating and improving its programs,  and in planning future programs and initiatives. The survey, available online at, closes on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. If you have any questions about the survey, please call Ipsos Reid at 1-888-505-8787 or contact the HPO at 1-800-407-7757.