Architecture Grad Builds Home Office Out of 8,500 Beer Bottles

by Lloyd Alter
Treehugger, July 22, 2015

An aspiring architect in China has built his very own office using thousands of recycled beer bottles. Courtesy of Inhabitat(Image: An aspiring architect in China has built his very own office using thousands of recycled beer bottles. Courtesy of Inhabitat)

It’s tough getting work as an architect these days but I doubt Li Rongjun, a recent grad of the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology, will have a problem. He has built himself a lovely little office out of 8,500 beer bottles that is a great advertisement for his talents. He isn’t interested in a conventional office job, telling China News Service: There is no creativity in those places. It’s a waste of life. Whether I succeed or fail, I want to give it a go…It will allow investors to see my products in real life and see my talent.”

“I want to build an office which combines artistic beauty with pragmatism”, he tells China Daily.”It is prettier at night. When the lights go on, the room looks radiant and the green light reaches as far as the road.” Dad was a big help, lending him the 70,000 yuan and helping lay the walls, noting that “although we are a family of limited means I immediately told him he would have my complete support.” Read more…

NCARB’s 2015 Report Projects Positive Future for the Architecture Profession

by Patrick Kunkel
Archdaily, July 15, 2015

NCARB's 2015 Report Projects Positive Future for the Architecture Profession(Image: Image from NCARB report, courtesy of Archdaily)

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring statistics important to the architecture profession in the US. NCARB’s research portrays a positive future for the profession, with statistics showing that diversity is growing, architects are becoming licensed at an earlier age and progressing through licensure paths more quickly than in previous years, and more architects are becoming licensed than ever before.

The 2015 report covers the causes and effects of the results, looking into the impact of location and education. A section entitled “Jurisdictions by the Numbers,” lays out standardized relevant information for viewers to investigate conditions in the architecture profession in each state. The report also includes an analysis of the role of NAAB-accredited programs in helping architects achieve licensure. Read more…

Body Building: Welcome to Beyoncé Towers

By Oliver Wainwright
The Guardian, July 7, 2015

The Toronto towers influenced by Marilyn Monroe’s ‘iconic hourglass figure’. Courtesy The Guardian, photo by Allstar/David Giral/Alamy(Image: The Toronto towers influenced by Marilyn Monroe’s ‘iconic hourglass figure’. Courtesy The Guardian, photo by Allstar/David Giral/Alamy)

Queen Bey’s curves have inspired a new skyscraper. But it’s by no means the only superstar-shaped building out there.

At first, the architects tried to sound professional, talking about “significant research” and working to “site and climatic constraints”. But then Elenberg Fraser came clean about the true inspiration for the bulging curves of the building they’re planning for the Melbourne skyline, saying: “We trust you’ve seen the video for Beyoncé’s Ghost.” Read more…

Air System Supplies

Acoustics and Noise Control in Building Design
Gain knowledge on basic acoustics & noise control principles, learn about standards for occupant comfort, and discover how to use noise control & acoustic products successfully in building design.

Date: August 13, 2015, 11:30am-1pm
Location: 3610 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Learning Units (LUs): 1 Core LU
Cost: Free
To register: RSVP to

Space is limited to 15 participants, so email today!

New BCIT Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling

BCIT is offering a new Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling starting September 1, 2015.

Energy Modelling is an important area of specialization of Building Science; as such, the Graduate Certificate in Building Energy Modelling builds on the strengths and success of the Building Science Graduate Program at BCIT with a focus on the fundamental heat, air, and moisture transport principles, and their application to building systems integration. Emphasis is placed on mechanical systems design, operation, and control; and their integration with the building envelope.

Students can expect to complete the Graduate Certificate in one academic year if they fast-track by registering in up to three courses per term, or complete the credential in two to three years if they take a lesser course load.

Admissions will be opening for applications soon. To be notified, please send an email to


Program prerequisites are the same as for the Master of Applied Science in Building Engineering/Building Science. Read complete pre-requisites here.

Post-secondary: one of the following:

  • A 4-year Bachelor’s degree in an engineering field or architecture with a GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0 (70%)


  • A 4-year Bachelor’s degree in a related Science field with a GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0 (70%), preferably with an Architectural and Building Technology (ABT) diploma (Building Science option) or equivalent building science industry experience.

Math: Differential Equations and Linear Algebra at the post-secondary level

For more information, visit or email

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Student Access Program

Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s Student Access Program encourages students to engage with architecture, heritage conservation and Vancouver’s history. Students who sign up for the program are put into a queue to receive complimentary tickets to Vancouver Heritage Foundation events such as house tours and educational courses. Vancouver Heritage Foundation is offering a small number of fully sponsored free tickets to students for our Mid-Century Modern House Tour coming up on September 26. Celebrating the architecture of the West Coast Modernists, this tour gets inside Vancouver examples of this remarkable style, including a 1962 home designed by Arthur Erickson.

Visit the Vancouver Heritage Foundation website for information and guidelines on the program and for information on the Mid-Century Mode House Tour.

To sign up to the Student Access Program, email or call our office at 604-264-9642.

Students can also receive complimentary admission to our house tours and many other events by becoming a Vancouver Heritage Foundation Volunteer.

Heritage Vancouver Society

Tour: Downtown Granville & the Historic Commodore Ballroom
Join 2015 BC Book Prize winner Aaron Chapman for Live at the Commodore and Senior Downtown Planner Michael Gordon and explore the evolution of Granville Street – one of Vancouver’s core main streets. The tour will comprise of two parts, one focuses on the creation of Granville Street, its emergence as a shopping and banking street and then the transformation into Theatre Row as well as its continuing emergence as a renewed commercial street. The other part is a tour of the Commodore building itself focusing on the history of that section of Granville being a local of how the entertainment industry grew prior to Theatre Row, to what it is today

Date: August 1, 2015, 11am-1pm
Location: The Commodore Ballroom, 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
Learning Units: 2 Non-Core LU
Cost: $21; Heritage Vancouver Members $15
To register:

Canadian Passive House Institute West

One Day Introduction to Passive House Design and Construction Course
This one day course is a 100 level foundation course. It will provide you with a fundamental understanding of the elements of the Passive House Design, which leads to cost effective, low energy buildings with increased occupant comfort and reduced mechanical systems. You will learn about: Passive House design fundamentals, Super-insulated envelopes, Methods for achieving extreme air tightness, Passive house quality windows, leading ventilation design principles, Passive house economics and costs.

Two dates and locations:

Date: September 17, 2015, 8:30am-4:45pm
Location: Parksville Community Conference Centre, 132 Jensen Ave E, Parksville, BC
Cost: Cost dependent on membership type
Learning Units: 5.75 Core LU
To register:


Date: September 26, 2015, 8:30am-4:45pm
Location: City Hall, 453 W 12th Ave, Vancouver
Learning Units: 5.75 Core LU
Cost: Cost dependent on membership type
To register:

60-Storey Pixelated Skyscraper Proposed for Downtown Vancouver

By Kenneth Chan
Vancitybuzz, July 7, 2015

Image: Courtesy of IBI Group, Nick Milkovich Architects, Chris Doray Studio Inc.(Image: Courtesy of IBI Group, Nick Milkovich Architects, Chris Doray Studio Inc.)

A new proposed development for downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood could provide the skyline with a pixelated touch.

A 60-storey residential building, dubbed ‘Nelson on the Park’ by project proponents, is planned for 1075 Nelson Street – just metres away from Nelson Park and a half-block’s distance from First Baptist Church. The proposal lies within the municipal government’s West End Community Plan’s 550 foot height limit, allowing the project to eclipse the height of the nearby One Wall Centre.

Few details are known about the project at this time but renderings have been published on the website of the 2015 World Architecture Festival, to be held in Singapore this November. Read more…

How Top Canadian Architects Designed a Pan Am District From Scratch

By Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail, July 9, 2015

Image: Most of the buildings in the Pan Am athletes village have units that open directly onto the street and a network of pedestrian passageways. Courtesy of the Canadian Press, photo by Frank Gunn(Image: Most of the buildings in the Pan Am athletes village have units that open directly onto the street and a network of pedestrian passageways. Courtesy of the Canadian Press, photo by Frank Gunn)

Take a crowd of Canada’s top architects, put them in a room and ask them to design a dense city neighbourhood – working with a 1,000-page book of rules and requirements. This was how the Canary District in Toronto, which will be the athletes’ village for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games this summer, was created.

Surprisingly, this city-by-committee is coming out well. The $514-million, 14-hectare complex is walkable, sustainable, contemporary but respectful of history, and economically diverse. It will efficiently house 10,000 people for Pan Am and then serve different users, in about 1,650 units, over the long term.

If that sounds like a recipe for virtuous blandness, it is. These are seven buildings in 50 shades of grey. But the four architecture firms involved – KPMB, architectsAlliance (aA), MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller (MJM) of Toronto and Montreal’s Daoust Lestage – set out to build an ensemble. Read more…

Palaces of Inspiration: How Architecture Feeds the Imagination of Art

By Alyn Griffiths
CNN, June 30, 2015

The "Sliding House" by artist Alex Chinneck, known for his playful experiments with our perception of architecture. Courtesy of Imagine Architecture

(Image: The “Sliding House” by artist Alex Chinneck, known for his playful experiments with our perception of architecture. Courtesy of Imagine Architecture)

“Some, if not most of my moving aesthetic experiences have been in buildings,” claims the Turner Prize-winning British artist Grayson Perry, who believes these interactions with architecture played a key role in helping to define his creative direction.

In this regard, Perry is similar to many artists who draw inspiration from the built environment. So, what sorts of ideas do artists like to borrow from architecture, and how do concepts applied to buildings translate into fine art, music or sculpture? Read more…

Copenhagen ArchitecTOUR 2015

Join the sustainable architecture and educational tour to Copenhagen from September 14-19, 2015.

Denmark is one of the world’s forerunners for ground-breaking architecture and sustainable city growth – the nation has made significant impact on innovative technologies globally and new standards are constantly set in terms of buildings and products that live up to the new protocol and standards for sustainability.

Danish architecture has seen widespread international success and that makes experiences in the Danish market very interesting to study.

Focusing on Denmark’s regulatory policy, industry challenges and opportunities as well as architectural visions for growing cities, valuable lessons can be brought back to Canada.

The Royal Danish Consulate General and Architecture Canada have together with Werksted and the Danish Association of Architectural Firms tailored yet another interesting program that enables you to:

  • Experience state of the art architecture and sustainable buildings
  • Take part in 50+ engaging architecture events at the RISING Architecture Week
  • Meet and network with skilled Danish architects, planners and developers
  • Learn about the Danish architectural policy
  • Share and expand your knowledge base, get inspired and enjoy

Date: September 14-19, 2015
Price: C$5000 all inclusive – flights, hotels, all meals, guided tours, etc. (max 20 participants)

Extended registration deadline is July 21, 2015.

For more information or to sign up for the tour.

2015 AIBC Architectural Awards – Jury Announced!

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia is pleased to announce the selection of a distinguished jury to select the winners of the 2015 AIBC Architectural Awards. They include:

Jury Members:

  • D’Arcy Jones Architect AIBC, OAA, Principal, D’Arcy Jones Architecture Inc., Vancouver (jury chair)
  • Gregory R. Mottola, FAIA, Architect AIBC, Principal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, San Francisco
  • Alicia Medina Intern Architect AIBC, Intern Architect, Simcic Uhrich Architects, Vancouver
  • Andrew Gruft Retired Architect AIBC, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Ray Spaxman Honorary Member of the AIBC, RPP, President of Ray Spaxman Consulting Ltd., West Vancouver
  • Kerry Gold, Journalist – Globe and Mail, Vancouver Magazine, BC Business, and, and other publications, Vancouver

Award winners are celebrated at the Architectural Awards Reception held on October 28, 2015 as part of the AIBC Annual Conference, and featured in architectureBC.

The number, quality and calibre of professionals who answered the jury call was impressive and it was not an easy decision to narrow the selection to six jury members. We thank all those who submitted an application and look forward to this year’s adjudication and awards celebration.

For further information, please visit the AIBC Architectural Awards website.

Role of a Land Surveyor

Association of BC Land SurveyorsHave you ever wondered how land boundaries are legally defined? Or how land disputes get resolved? Have you ever wondered where to go for spatial, boundary and land title information? Or who to approach for advice on land title registration procedures or about statutory requirements for land development?

British Columbia Land Surveyors (BCLS) liaise with municipalities, engineers, architects, planning and legal professionals on a regular basis, providing spatial, boundary, and title information as required for land use, development, and environmental protection. A BC land surveyor is an expert on all statutory requirements of land development, on the provincial land title system and land title registration procedures.

BCLS are charged with the responsibility of carrying out all legal surveys within BC, which include surveys of land (property boundaries), water and airspace, rights of way, condominiums, leases, and mining claims. According to the Land Surveyors Act, only a BC land surveyor may carry out certain tasks, including establish or re-establish property boundaries.

BCLS have a primary responsibility to maintain the integrity of the legal survey fabric (also called the cadastre) because they are the legally appointed caretakers of this system on which titles or rights to land are based. BCLS carry out these responsibilities with impartiality to their client, in all fairness and equity, for the protection of the public interest. BCLS are proud of their profession and their responsibility to the public. They see the benefit of working proactively across sectors and industries.

Land surveyors enter the profession through a rigorous process. After either graduating from an accredited geomatic engineering program (offered at the University of New Brunswick, the University of Calgary or the British Columbia Institute of Technology), or achieving a certificate of completion through the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors, land surveyors in training enter into an articling period of 12-36 months. Once the articling period and its associated field projects are successfully completed, the candidate must sit professional examinations and a professional assessment interview before one can be commissioned as a BC land surveyor.

A complete list of practicing BCLS, along with further information about the profession and employment opportunities, can be found at the Association of BC Land Surveyors’ website,

DATE CHANGE: BC Building Code II

The date of BC Building Code II has been changed to Monday, November 30, 2015.

This course covers professional responsibility, background, intent and concepts of significant
code requirements and uses. It is relevant for architects, technologists, building officials and
other industry participants. The deadline to register is Monday, November 23, 2015.
The course outline for BC Building Code II includes:

  • Letters of Assurance
  • Professional design and field review in accordance with the current BC Building Code
  • Spatial separation and exposure protection analysis
  • Building code requirements applicable to high buildings
  • Barrier-free design principles
  • Building code requirements for persons with disabilities

NEW Date: Monday, November 30, 2015, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Location: AIBC Offices, suite 100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC
Learning Units (LUs): 6 Core LUs
To register:

Note: You do not need to complete BC Building Code I in order to take BC Building Code II. The AIBC reserves the right to cancel courses should there not be enough registrants.

For further information contact Krista Stripnieks, Professional Development Coordinator at