Vancouver Heritage Foundation

2015 Heritage House Tour

VHF’s Heritage House Tour is a unique opportunity to explore the architecture and history of Vancouver’s historic homes. The longest running and largest event in our calendar showcases the potential in all kinds of heritage and character homes in neighbourhoods across the city. From historic mansions to charming family homes with character detailing, this tour offers an inside look at how older homes can work for modern lifestyles, whether owners choose to upgrade and modernize, or restore and maintain.

Date: Sunday, June 7, 2015, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Various houses in Vancouver
Cost: $40 + applicable taxes
Learning Units (LUs): 6 Non-core
To register:

Vancouver Heritage Foundation

2015 Vancouver Special House Tour

From small interventions in design to more significant reconfiguring of spaces, the 2015 tour will look at how five homeowners have reinvented their Specials. Where extra income was once desired, one family has since removed a secondary suite and reclaimed the main floor. Another has embraced the home’s mid-century roots with expansive glazing across the front and furniture collected from vintage shops along Main Street. We’ll even tour inside a Special that had been previously converted into a rooming house. When purchased by the current owners the rooms were full of abandoned furniture. They quickly set to work creating a welcoming, energy efficient home with a new high efficiency furnace, NEST thermostat and a new metal roof. Significant improvements in energy efficiency will be a focus on this year’s tour.

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Various houses in Vancouver
Cost: $30 + applicable taxes
Learning Units (LUs): 4 Non-core
To register:

Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Heritage Week 2015 Walking Tours

Heritage Week celebrates built heritage across BC and kicks off with Heritage Day across Canada. In 2015, the theme is “Main Street: At the Heart of the Community”. Vancouver has several ‘Main Streets’ that have grown into our most vibrant neighbourhoods including Commercial Drive, Granville and Hastings Streets, and of course Main Street itself. Vancouver also has other streets that once were vibrant centres but have faded as the city has developed around them. During Heritage Week, several events will explore some of the current and former main streets of Vancouver, their legacy of historic buildings and places, and the opportunities for connecting heritage and community vitality.

Three walking tours with civic historian John Atkin explore the history, changing fortunes and present-day opportunities of three of Vancouver’s main streets, each at the heart of once separate communities.

  • February 20, 2015 – Vancouver’s Historic Downtown – From Gastown to Hastings Street –  10:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • February 21, 2015 – Hudson Street – Marpole History – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
  • February 22, 2015 – Commercial Street – Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood – 10:00 am -12:00 pm

Cost: $15 per tour + applicable taxes
Learning Units (LUs): 2 Non-core per tour
To register:

Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Shaughnessy Heights: “The Swellest and Most Beautiful Neighbourhood”

Join us for one of two Special Walking Tours to get more familiar with the First Shaughnessy neighbourhood, ahead of public consultation on how to best manage the rich heritage of the area. With its winding avenues, lush landscape and grand homes, Shaughnessy was originally created and managed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is one of Vancouver’s most desirable neighbourhoods and happens to be the city’s first planned community. On this walk, we’ll explore the neighbourhood’s heritage value, and examine its complex and intriguing development history while discovering some fabulous architecture.

Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Cost: $15 + applicable taxes
Learning Units (LUs): 2 Non-core
To register: Call VHF office at 604-264-9642

Canadian Home Builder’s Association of British Columbia

New Energy Provisions in the BC Building Code – Webinar

On December 19th 2014, the BC Building Code introduced significant energy efficiency requirements for houses and small buildings (Part 9 buildings). Key changes include a new Section of the BC Building Code (9.36: Energy Efficiency) that introduces new requirements for:

  • Insulation requiring effective insulation levels (as opposed to nominal R-values);
  • Three options for showing code compliance (prescriptive, trade-offs, and performance);
  • New ventilation requirements;
  • HVAC equipment & system design changes;
  • New radon rough-in requirements.

This three-hour webinar will provide an overview of the key changes to prepare builders and designers to understand and conform to Code requirements with minimum disruption to their projects.

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Cost: $79
Learning Units (LUs): 3 Core
To register:

40 Projects Shortlisted for the 2015 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award


By Holly Giermann
February 10, 2015, ArchDaily

40 projects from 17 European countries have been shortlisted for the 2015 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. Chosen from the 420 original nominees, five of the shortlisted projects will be chosen for the next round of selection, to be announced at the end of February in London. These selected architects will then present their projects before a committee on May 7, who will select one recipient of the highly esteemed international design award, as well as one recipient of the Emerging Architect Prize. The winners will be announced the following day at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

The next round of the decision process will consist of the jury visiting each of the five finalists’ designs to gain feedback from their occupants. Additionally, two publications showcasing the original 420 nominees and the five finalists will be presented at the final selection panel to recognize the stellar designs that have emerged in Europe over the past two years.

Of the remaining 40 projects, 40% of their programs represent cultural architecture, with lesser percentages representing educational, mixed use, religious, and urban works projects. This break-down is 16 Cultural, 4 Education, 3 Mixed Use, 3 Religious, 3 Urban, 2 Commercial, 2 Hotels, 2 Residential, 1 Funerary, 1 Landscape, 1 Single-family House, 1 Social Welfare, and 1 Sport of the shortlisted works.

The remaining 40 projects are the following: Read more…

Seven unknown architectural wonders


By Husna Haq
February 3, 2015 BBC News

We’ve all heard of the Coliseum, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. But what about the world’s undiscovered architectural wonders: the man-made marvels where most crowds don’t stray?

To uncover a few of those hidden structures, we turned to question-and-answer site Quora, asking “What are some lesser known architectural landmarks in the world?”


Palace of the Parliament, Romania
The world’s largest, most expensive and heaviest civilian administrative building, Bucharest’s Palace of the Parliament is truly an unknown wonder. “Built by hated communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu… the building is so huge that it is difficult to take a photograph that does its scale justice,” said Quora user Jann Hoke, a lawyer who worked in the palace in the mid-1990s. Read more…