Post Disaster Safety Assessment Program Coming to B.C.

With the recent earthquake in the Napa Valley, we are reminded of the need in BC to be prepared for an emergency event. Earlier this year, BC’s Auditor General published a report that BC is underprepared for a major earthquake. Download the report here: BC Auditor General’s Report from March 2014. 

We all know the 72 hour rule, that each household should be prepared to take care of themselves and their family for a minimum of 72 hours. This includes food, water and basic first aid. 

As architects, we also need to consider how our projects will withstand an earthquake and inform our clients of what they can expect, post-disaster. The standards set out in the BC building code will not guarantee a usable building after a major event. 

Resilient Design is a way to frame a conversation with your clients and stakeholders about how they want the project to perform in not only the event of a disaster, but over time with challenges such as climate change. 

2014 AIBC Annual Conference:
Post Disaster Safety Assessment Program Training Workshop

At the AIBC conference this year, session T10 on Thursday afternoon will have Darren Davis from New Zealand discuss the lessons learned from the earthquakes in Christchurch in 2010 and 2011. 

The AIBC is currently working to establish a training and certification program in BC, in line with the CalEMA Safety Assessment Program (SAP) established in the United States. 

At the AIBC Conference, sessions W1 & W2, we will be offering the first opportunity to train individuals interested in being volunteers in this program. Architects, Intern Architects, Architectural Technologists and other interested individuals are invited to attend: Wednesday October 8th, 8.30am – 5.00pm. 

To register and for additional information:

Workshops in your municipalities:

Architects can also participate as post-disaster volunteers to assists municipalities and regional districts in quickly assessing buildings for damage. This is critical, as getting people out of shelters and back into their homes, as well as getting businesses up and running is key to recovery. 

Use the links below to access information and find workshops in your local municipalities.  Look out for Emergency Preparedness Week, in early May each year. 

Lower Mainland:
Langley (City & Township)
Maple Ridge
New Westminster
North Shore (City & District of North Vancouver, West Vancouver)
Port Moody

Outside Lower Mainland:
Central Okanagan
Haida Gwaii
North Okanagan
Prince George
Prince Rupert
Sunshine Coast
Vancouver Island – Capital Regional District

Additional Resources:
Metro Vancouver
Emergency Management BC
EMBC Key Agency Links 

Is your area missing? Google your municipality or regional district and “emergency preparedness” to find out more.

UBC Continuing Studies

LEED® Green Building Strategies and Green Associate Exam Preparation

This 36-hour course 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, LEED Green Building Strategies provides an overview of the techniques, approaches, materials and technologies used in the LEED v4 rating systems. Using a wide range of examples, case studies and site visits, this course prepares you to understand the imperative for a green transformation of our built environment, to explain the key components of the LEED v4 rating system, to apply core concepts and strategies to achieve success using the LEED v4 rating system, and to determine where different LEED v4 rating systems can be applied.

Ten sessions are offered:

  • Eight sessions will take place Oct 16-Dec 4, 6:30-9:30pm
  • Two sessions will take place Nov 1 & 22, 10am-5pm

Location: UBC Robson Square
Cost: $990
Learning Units (LUs): 36 Core LUs
To register: Contact Cynthia Tam at or 604-827-4234.


UBC Continuing Studies

Passive House Design: An Introduction
Passive House construction is the world’s leading standard in low energy, sustainable construction. Join UBC Continuing Studies and find out how the Passive House Standard can be a cost-effective way to design and construct a building that is extremely energy efficient. This one-day course is designed for everyone involved in sustainability or energy efficiency in the built environment and addresses the fundamentals of: Passive House design, super insulated envelopes, leading ventilation design principles and more.

Date & Location:
Two course offerings:

  • Friday, October 10, 9am-5pm at UBC Robson Square
  • November 22, 9am-5pm; UBC Point Grey

Cost: $295
Learning Units (LUs): 7 Core LUs
To register: Contact Cynthia Tam at or 604-827-4234.