New Registered Educational Provider: Absolute Space Engineering Inc.

Absolute Space Engineering offers geomatic consulting services with specialization in 3D high-definition laser scanning.

To learn more about all AIBC Registered Educational Providers, please visit the AIBC website.

Singleton Urquhart LLP

A Refresher Seminar for Architects, Engineers & Builders
Singleton Urquhart’s Insurance Law Group will be presenting a seminar focusing on the following Insurance Law topics pertinent to architects, engineers and builders: builder’s risk, professional liability, general liability, and bonding.

Date: Friday, May 8, 2015
Location: Singleton Urquhart LLP, 1200 – 925 West Georgia St, Vancouver, B.C.
Cost: Free
Learning Units (LUs): 2.75 Core
To register: RSVP to Vanessa Singleton,

AIBC Vancouver Island Chapter

The Complex Relationship between Architecture and Design Guidelines
This presentation by Franc D’Ambrosio Architect AIBC and following discussion will focus on case studies of processes of development permitting applications and subsequent approvals of designs for large-scale projects that are subject to community plans, development permitting and design guidelines. Recent experience in two jurisdictions will be used to examine the impact on the architectural and urban design of projects subjected to municipal bylaws, official plans and design guidelines.

Date: April 7, 2015. Sign in / Lunch: 11:30am to 12pm. Presentation: 12pm to 1:30pm.
Location: Cedar Hill Golf Clubhouse, 1400 Derby Rd, Saanich, B.C.
Cost: $25 per person.
Learning Units (LU): 1.5 Core
To register:

Pacific Business & Law Institute

Procurement: The Real World
Presented by leading experts in the field of construction procurement, this forum will provide a practical understanding of the procurement process from start to finish, as well as cutting-edge advice for addressing pressing issues facing the industry today. Owners and advisors will leave with an understanding of the best ways to approach procurement to meet the specific needs and circumstances of their projects, as well as useful tools to identify, reduce and address common problems arising throughout the procurement process.  Potential bidders and proponents will leave with an understanding of the differences for them based on the various construction models and procurement processes available to owners, and how they can best position themselves in each scenario.

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Location: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7 or you may join by Live Webinar (access link will be sent to you a day before the program)
Cost: $770 (+GST)
Learning Units (LUs): 5 Core
To Register:

I-XL Masonry Supplies

An Afternoon with Masonry
Join IXL Masonry Supplies for an afternoon of AIBC accredited seminars.

Adhered Masonry Veneers: Presented by Bob Proctor of I-XL Masonry Supplies Ltd. This training program discusses types and advantaged of adhered masonry veneers, installation techniques, the importance of proper mortar use, among other considerations.

Designing with Concrete Masonry Veneer: Presented by Todd Cruickshank of Shouldice Designer Stone. This session will demonstrate several design options as well as current masonry veneer comparisons, crack control, differential of movement and mortar options along with other considerations.

Designing with Brick: Presented by Rob Mutch of I-XL Masonry Supplies Ltd. This session will explain the benefits of clay masonry, describe available colours, textures, sizes and methods of clay brick manufacturing.

Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Location: Gold Corp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodward’s Campus, 149 West Hastings St, Vancouver, B.C.
Cost: Free but Registration Required
Learning Units (LUs): 1 Core LU per seminar
To register: RSVP to by Tuesday April 21, 2015.

MOMA Show to Focus On Influential, ‘Underrated’ Architect Lina Bo Bardi


Lina Bo Bardi. São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Sao Paulo, Brazil. Drawing. Graphite, and ink on paper. Unframed: 18 9/16 x 27 1Ž2” (47.2 x 69.8cm). Completed 1968. —Instituto Lina Bo e Pietro Maria Bardi

By Reed Johnson
March 27, 2015, The Wall Street Journal

Lina Bo Bardi has been lauded as a “posthumous starchitect,” and “the most underrated architect of the twentieth century.”

Those epithets soon may be passé. When the Museum of Modern Art opens its exhibition “Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955–1980” on March 29, it will focus an intensifying spotlight on the work of the Italian-born architect and designer, who moved with her husband to Brazil in the 1940s and helped create the South American nation’s modern identity.

MOMA’s showcase, comprising original architectural drawings, models, photographs and films from the period, seems likely to further raise the profile of an architect who was an outlier in her own times, but has attracted growing international attention since her death in 1992.

“A Lina Bo Bardi should be as famous as a Walter Gropius,” said Barry Bergdoll, a Columbia University professor, MOMA curator and co-organizer of MOMA’s exhibition.

Mr. Bergdoll said the “main aim” of MOMA’s exhibition is to highlight the variety and quality of under-known South American architects such as Ms. Bo Bardi, her fellow Brazilian Lúcio Costa and the Argentine Clorindo Testa. The new exhibition – the first large-scale New York museum show of its kind since 1955, when MOMA staged “Latin American Architecture since 1945” – will focus on a period of intense creativity across the region that occurred despite violent political and economic upheaval. Ms. Bo Bardi, a leftist, frequently scrapped with bureaucratic supporters of Brazil’s right-wing military regime that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985, a stance that likely limited her output. Read more…

5 Reasons Architects Should Learn to Code


By  Michael Kilkelly 
ArchDaily, March 30, 2015

In his popular post on how architects can “work smarter, not harder,” Michael Kilkelly suggests that you should ”customize your tools to work the way you work” and “use macros to automate repetitive tasks.” Both sound very helpful of course, but wouldn’t those require you to to write some code? Yes – but according to Kilkelly this should be a tool available in every architect’s toolkit. Originally published on ArchSmarter, here he offers 5 reasons that architects should learn to code.

As architects, we need to know a lot of stuff. We need to know building codes, structures, mechanical systems, materials. We need to know how to read zoning codes, how to calculate building area, how to layout office floor. The list goes on and on. Do we really need to know how to write computer programs as well?

Given the digital nature of architecture and design today, learning to code is an essential skill for the architect. Architects are knowledge workers. Virtually all of our work is created on the computer.  We typically use off-the-shelf applications to do the majority of our work. However, many of the problems we need to solve don’t fall within the abilities of our software. Our applications don’t always work well together. We need tools that work the way we need them to work.

You don’t need to become a professional programmer to benefit from learning to code. You can use this skill to solve all kinds of problems you face everyday. Here are five reasons why architects should learn to code:

1. Coding helps you master your tools

Have you ever wished your software worked a little different? Have you ever said “if only it did this, I could get this work done much quicker”. Read more…

Annual Meeting: 2015 Role Call for Motions Review Committee

2015 Role Call for Motions Review Committee

AIBC council has established a Motions Review Committee to assist the institute with the Members’ Motions portion of the Member Forum at the upcoming AIBC Annual Meeting on 2 May 2015.  This ad hoc committee’s primary roles are: to review members’ motions, including those which are submitted and published in advance of the members’ forum, as to ensure that they are consistent with professional expectations; and to manage the Members’ Motions portion of the Members’ Forum.

Architects interested in contributing to this engaging aspect of the member-institute dialogue are invited to submit their expressions of interest.  While this calls for a reasonable understanding of AIBC processes and the ability to share in management of a dynamic session, members from diverse backgrounds and experience are invited to participate.

Please direct your expression of interest to participate on the committee to Tracy Tough, Executive Coordinator at View the Motions Review Committee Terms of  Reference.

Annual Meeting: Members’ Forum and Members’ Motions

The Annual Meeting agenda allows for a Members’ Forum segment. In 2015, the Members’ Forum is scheduled before the end of the Annual Meeting, time permitting. If held, the Members’ Forum will be an opportunity to raise, discuss and debate issues of interest of concern to the profession. It is intended as a civil, collegial discussion amongst architects, associates and members of AIBC council.

The Members’ Forum also provides the opportunity for members to bring forth new ideas and fresh perspectives in the form of advisory motions to council (“Members’ Motions”). Such motions must be properly constructed, concise, complete, unambiguous and in writing. While strictly advisory in nature and not binding on AIBC council, Members’ Motions that meet with the support of the membership will go to council for its consideration.

All Members’ Motions received will be directed to the Motions Review Committee, a group of members who will ensure they meet the above-noted criteria; are clearly understandable; and are consistent with the Architects Act, AIBC bylaws and the AIBC Code of Ethics.

While it is recommended that Members Motions be submitted by 24 April 2015, additional motions may be submitted to the CEO (Executive Director) or a member of the Motions Review Committee up to 30 minutes after the Annual Meeting has been called to order. Anyone bringing forward a motion must have a written version of the proposed motion in hand at the meeting, and be prepared to speak to it, with a seconder already identified. For further information, refer to the AIBC 2015 Annual Meeting Protocols which includes the Members’ Forum Protocols.

In the event that time does not allow for all Members’ Motions to be heard, any motions not aired at the annual meeting will still be considered by AIBC Council.

Manhattan’s Stalagmite Architecture

Space constraints and structural technologies produce precarious-looking high-rises


Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Ave., one of the tallest residential towers in the world and the third-tallest building in the U.S.
Photo:  Steve Remich for The Wall Street Journal

By Anthony Paletta
Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2015

Manhattan’s skyline is making yet another historical surge upward, though this time with a new crop of super-tall, strikingly narrow apartment buildings that in some cases seem to defy gravity.

To see for yourself, walk by SHoP Architects’ 111 W. 57 St., Christian de Portzamparc’s One57, Jean Nouvel’s 53 W. 53rd St. or Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Ave.

What’s arresting about these structures is their eccentric dimensions. SHoP’s 111 W. 57th St., for example, will boast a width-to-height ratio of 1-to-23. (A standard No. 2 pencil has about a 1-to-30 ratio, and the original World Trade Center towers were a gouty 1-to-7.) Some of these new structures, especially on the upper reaches, are only one unit per floor.

It’s partly technology that explains these stalagmite structures. Architects and engineers have tailored improvements in steel and reinforced concrete that facilitate developers’ perennial search for height on an island notoriously short of real estate. What we are witnessing, says SHoP Architects founding partner Gregg Pasquarelli, is a “wonderful golden age of the tall, slender building.”

These innovations mark just the latest chapter in the evolving history of the skyscraper. Over the past century, technological breakthroughs have enabled builders to steadily reduce the proportion of structural elements—mainly steel and concrete—in the area where we live, work and play, savings usually given over to glass.


(Left: Christian de Portzamparc’s One57 at 157 W. 57th St.  Photo:  Steve Remich for The Wall Street Journal)

One result is buildings that look downright precarious, despite their tremendous strength. For example, the residential tower that Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates has designed for 45 E. 22nd St., now under construction, is 75 feet across at its base but 125 feet at its top.

Until the late 19th century, buildings were largely supported by their masonry walls, and, with time, by iron frames that could rise only to about 10 stories.

Then came steel. Skyscrapers like the Flatiron Building were able to soar so high because they were held up by frames of steel girders anchored in bedrock.

In the 1930s, advances in glass fabrication liberated buildings from exterior masonry and produced the glass-curtain wall, conceived by Mies van der Rohe in 1922 and realized here in his Seagram Building and in Gordon Bunshaft’s Lever House.

But residential developers remained a long way from the Holy Grail: exteriors made mostly of glass, which flood interiors with light, provide spectacular views and maximize usable floor space.

The modern curtain walls of the 1950s still required thick exterior columns for support. That’s not much of a problem in commercial buildings, but a large exterior column in a living room window is about as welcome as a vagrant.

Over the past three decades, structural engineers have come up with a wide range of innovations in materials and design—mainly in the realm of reinforced concrete—that enable developers to reduce the size of exterior columns and in some cases put more of what holds up a building in its core.

Leo Argiris, a principal at the engineering, design and planning firm Arup, says “there was no eureka moment” in the evolution of reinforced concrete, but rather a series of steps ensuring that each material involved was of the highest quality and that they were mixed and poured on a precise schedule.

Such steps have doubled the strength of reinforced concrete since the 1980s, according to Ahmad Rahimian, U.S. director of building structures for WSP, which is erecting One57.

Steel is a widespread and easy frame system for commercial buildings; the intense strength of reinforced concrete, which can be wielded in narrow columns, is typically preferred for these residential buildings, freeing more exterior space for views.

What’s the next pinnacle in the sky? We’re certainly capable of building even taller, narrower residential buildings, but the prime constraint, at a certain point, is how much living space would remain at the top. Some portion of the structure is inevitably devoted to elevators and the core. If a building narrows at all, as most do, the remaining floorspace dwindles to a size that could hardly be called luxurious.

Another important constraint is how to transport residents to the top floors—432 Park Ave. is 96 stories. The elaborate elevator banks of commercial buildings simply occupy too much space, and fewer elevators would entail longer delays reaching upper floors.

If residents haven’t grown old working to afford one of these pricey units, they just might waiting for the elevator.

Building The Future Of Architecture With Culture And Natural Materials

By Marsha Lederman
VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
March 25, 2015

In architecture and design, tremendous solutions for the future can be found in history and the project’s specific place – in other words, what’s already there. That’s one of the compelling themes that emerged from this year’s TED Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference in Vancouver last week. Marsha Lederman outlines three stand-out projects:

Ibuku: building with bamboo


Elora Hardy’s groundbreaking designs are as outside the box as they come: She tries to reimagine homes, free from the shackles of tradition. For instance, why does a door have to be rectangular? Why can’t it be round?

It helps that Hardy is building them out of bamboo. For the past five years, her startup Ibuku has built more than 50 unique bamboo structures, most of them in Bali, where she lives (in a little bamboo pod that’s “literally a big basket,” she told me; her business cards are also made of bamboo). Many are private, luxurious homes in a community known as Green Village.

They are aesthetic knockouts, such as a spectacular six-level “jungle fantasy escape” with a dramatic tunnel-bridge entry, a fourth-floor living room that overlooks the valley, big curving roofs to catch the breeze. Another client wanted a TV in the living room, but boxing off part of the open space with walls didn’t feel right, so Ibuku created a giant woven TV pod. The bamboo houses – mostly open-air but with some rooms enclosed to keep out bugs and keep in air conditioning – are filled with bespoke furniture, and they’re breathtaking. Read more…

Role Call: Public Outreach Committee

This is a newly appointed council committee seeking a member volunteer to the committee in support of the following terms of reference:

  • Develop a process, including appropriate engagement, to provide clearer definition of the AIBC’s advocacy role, what can be done within it, and the best strategy for doing that;
  • Develop and implement a strategy for a stronger and better defined working relationship with the RAIC; and
  • Develop and implement communications and engagement activities that focus on increasing public understanding of architecture, what architects do, and the value they offer to society.

Read the Public Outreach Committee Terms of Reference.

If you are interested please contact Karl Gustavson Architect AIBC, committee chair at

Joan Hendriks Architect AIBC MRAIC Announced as AIBC’s Director of Registration and Licensing

The AIBC is pleased to announce the appointment of Joan Hendriks Architect AIBC MRAIC as the new Director of Registration and Licensing.

For more than 15 years Joan has been active with the AIBC as a volunteer, and more recently as a member of the senior management team. As a volunteer, she has sat on a number of committees and boards, and served as Registrar during her term on council. Prior to today’s announcement, she was the Interim Registration and Licensing Director, as well as the Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Reporting to the CEO, and overseeing a busy three-person department, Joan will manage all regulatory aspects of registration of architects and associates and licensing of architectural firms at the AIBC. She will be the primary liaison with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA), its committees, and the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). In addition, she will support the duties of the Registrar, the Registration Board and its committees.

As a practicing architect, Joan brings a wealth of first-hand experience and knowledge to her new role. We look forward to her sound professional judgement, member-based focus and strategic vision.

Please join us in congratulating Joan on her new position.

Omer Arbel Receives 2015 RAIC Allied Arts Medal

By staff Canadian Architect
Canadian Architect, March 25, 2015

A Vancouver industrial designer whose artistic lighting designs illuminate buildings worldwide will receive the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) Allied Arts Medal for 2015.

Omer Arbel is the principal of Omer Arbel Office, which produces designs for buildings, objects, furniture, lighting and electrical accessories. He is also cofounder and creative director of Bocci, a design and manufacturing firm whose portfolio ranges from light installations to furniture and electrical sockets.

The RAIC bestows the Allied Arts Medal every two years. The award honours a Canadian artist or designer for outstanding achievement for artwork created to be integrated with architecture. Any medium allied to architecture is eligible, including murals, sculpture, glass, fabric, lighting, furniture, water, sound, site-specific installation, video, digital, and industrial and landscape design.

Arbel’s submission focused on lighting installations, including at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. In 2013, an installation, known as 28.280 filled the 30-metre vertical space of the museum’s grand entrance and ceramics room with a cascade of 280 glass 28 series pendants. Read more…

New Registered Educational Provider: Engineered Assemblies

Engineered Assemblies unites the house of design with the field of construction; providing design consultation, drafting and engineering services for owners and architects.

To learn more about all AIBC Registered Educational Providers, please visit the AIBC website.