Engineers vs. God: Chile’s Building Codes Take Edge Off Massive Earthquake

By Jim Wyss
Miami Herald, Sep 17, 2015

A man walks past a lone Chilean flag where surfing schools once stood, swept away by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in Concon, Chile. Courtesy Miami Herald(Image: A man walks past a lone Chilean flag where surfing schools once stood, swept away by an earthquake-triggered tsunami in Concon, Chile. Courtesy Miami Herald)

At his engineering firm in Santiago, Chile, on Thursday — as aftershocks continued to roll through the city — Eduardo Santos was feeling pretty proud of his industry.

Wednesday night’s 8.3-magnitude earthquake had left 11 dead and a 175 houses damaged. While the toll wasn’t negligible, the quake — the world’s strongest this year — might have leveled less-prepared countries. Read more…

Vancouver Design Firm to Study Public Space with $50K Prix de Rome Award

by Kevin Griffin
Vancouver Sun, Sep 16, 2015

Image: Concept design for the redevelopment of the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery showing the   PLALO ring, a floating circular ring for lighting and sound. Courtesy of Milkovich Architects Inc.(Image: Concept design for the redevelopment of the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery showing the
PLALO ring, a floating circular ring for lighting and sound. Courtesy of Milkovich Architects Inc.)

Vancouver needs to focus on building public space in the centre of the city that are as dynamic as the
beaches and seawall around the edge according to a Vancouver architect.

Brian Wakelin said the kinds of urban spaces he’s talking about aren’t parks but places where people from all
social and economic backgrounds are welcome that can easily hold everything from market stalls to music
concerts. Read more…

buildingSMART Canada Announces Free Membership

bSC has revised its membership structure and is now offering free membership to individuals wanting to get actively involved in and contribute to the movement towards a better built environment for Canada as laid out in the Roadmap to Lifecycle BIM in the Canadian Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners and Operations (AECOO) Community published by bSC in January 2015. The call to action, issued through the IBC/bSC Roadmap to lifecycle BIM, involves a movement that must be undertaken with the full engagement, active involvement and continual support from the Canadian AECOO community. This will be done through the creation of a national community of excellence for the built environment which builds on the beliefs and capabilities of bSC’s members and includes bSC’s new Affiliates initiative.

By joining buildingSMART Canada, individuals become part of a growing community that is implementing collaborative working best practices in Canada and around the world. Members can link up to a worldwide community of practitioners, owners and software developers that are shaping the future with BIM and participate in the development of standards, protocols and programmes through working groups centered on activities described in the Roadmap to Lifecycle BIM. They can also stay abreast of innovative practices and improved project delivery processes through the creation of a national community of excellence. Members will have access to this growing pan-Canadian support network, whose agenda is transparent and aimed at an ambitious yet achievable goal: promoting and enabling the movement towards a better built environment for Canada through the development and use of open standards for BIM.

To sustain the movement, buildingSMART Canada is relying on financial support from Sponsors and Supporters. Sponsors are integral to the operation and activities of buildingSMART Canada. These companies and firms are leaders in the Canadian BIM community, and showcase their commitment to open BIM standard development in Canada. Supporters help facilitate the operations and activities of buildingSMART Canada and are committed to the buildingSMART mandate to see BIM adopted alongside well established open BIM standards. If you are interested in becoming a supporter or a sponsor, please visit our website.

Connecting Canada’s BIM Communities: buildingSMART Canada Launches Its Affiliates Initiative

bSC has launched its Affiliates initiative, which is aimed at building and strengthening the Canadian community of excellence for a better built environment based on open standards for BIM. This will be achieved in part by connecting local and regional BIM interest groups across Canada and opening up membership to individuals at no cost.

bSC understands that regional differences in the Canadian construction industry make it difficult to create a solution that is “one-size fits all”. The building industry being of provincial jurisdiction, all the while being strongly influenced at the national and municipal levels, bSC’s Affiliates initiative aims to create a dynamic community of excellence to develop and promote the use of open standards for BIM in Canada that are appropriate and fulfill these regional needs.

bSC Affiliates will remain independent and have no financial obligations towards – or any expectations from bSC. The intent is to grow the group of members who share the same goals organically while mutually expanding opportunities for sponsorship and support. The Affiliates initiative will provide a shared channel of communications for grassroots stakeholders to remain current with Canadian and international activity and enhance consistent messaging. bSC Affiliates will have first access to the most current news and information on international and national BIM standards and better project delivery practices in Canada as well as have input into the development of Canadian and international standards. bSC Affiliates will also get support from experts engaged with the national body to grow and develop their local or regional community.

Any local or regional organization supporting better practices and better outcomes for the building industry can join buildingSMART Canada as a bSC Affiliate. The initiative not only aims to build on existing local communities but can assist in setting up and developing communities in locations where none are currently in place. bSC Affiliates in turn will share the vision and goals of inter-operability and open standards for BIM while remaining vendor neutral (i.e. representing technological and process solutions from multiple vendors) and promoting the use of open standards for BIM.

Deadline Reminder: 2015 Annual Firm Updates

Firm owners/administrators are reminded that the deadline to complete annual firm updates is Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Notification was sent by email to all firm administrators on September 10, 2015 about this annual requirement including the online process and deadlines. The AIBC issues notices annually to ensure that each firm’s information is up to date to maintain the integrity of the AIBC register. If you haven’t already done so, please access your online firm profile ( and review/revise your firm’s information. The annual update is in accordance to AIBC Bylaw 15.4. It is the firm’s professional responsibility to comply with this bylaw, even if only to confirm that the information we have is correct.

Should you have any questions, please contact AIBC Licensing Coordinator Kim Underwood at

Art by Architects (AxA) Silent Auction and Exhibition Opening

Art by Architects (AxA) Silent Auction and Exhibition OpeningOn September 17, the Metro Vancouver Chapter of the RAIC held its inaugural Art by Architects/arch-kid-ecture fundraiser, an art exhibition and silent auction held at the AIBC Gallery. With 138 works of original art graciously donated by the architecture and design community, half were auctioned off over the course of the evening, with the remainder for sale during the two month run of the show (bidders were asked to hold off taking their art home until November 5).

With partial proceeds going to Architecture for Kids, an incentive of the Marion and Gordon Smith Gallery in North Vancouver to promote the study of architecture in K-12 school curriculum, the evening’s event was attended by 100+ curious members from the local architecture community, many of whom left with original art created by many local architects, designers, and interns, even including one original piece created for the event by RAIC Fellow and award winning architect Richard Henriquez (all artwork had been displayed anonymously for the competition).

For full details and the list of winners, visit the RAIC website.

The AxA exhibit will be on display at the AIBC Gallery until November 5, 2015, Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Role Call: Municipal Advisory Design Panels

The AIBC invites applications from architects interested in serving on the following design panels:

  • District of Chilliwack
  • District of Maple Ridge
  • City of North Vancouver
  • District of North Vancouver
  • District of Oak Bay
  • City of Richmond
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Victoria
  • District of Squamish
  • City of Surrey
  • District of Pitt Meadows
  • City of Vancouver – Chinatown
  • Municipality of Whistler

The role of an advisory design panel member is to give impartial, professional advice directly on any proposal or policy affecting the community’s physical environment in the public interest.

To learn more about the procedures for serving on a panel, please refer to the following documents:

Please fill out an interactive application form and forward your submissions to the attention of Professional Services Coordinator Alexandra Kokol by email (

George Baird in Dialogue – Book Launch and Celebration

Please join us for an evening celebrating the publication of George Baird’s major collection of critical essays: Writings on Architecture and the City (Artifice Books on Architecture, London) at InForm Interiors in Gastown. Entry is free and open to anyone, but please come early, as space is limited. This event is made possible through the generosity of Nancy and Niels Bendtsen at InForm Interiors, and James Cheng at JKMCA Architects, and is co-sponsored by UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

George Baird is founder of Baird Neuert Sampson Architects, former Dean and Emeritus Professor at the University of Toronto’s Daniel School of Architecture, and the RAIC’s 2010 Gold Medalist for his career-long contributions to Canadian architecture and cities. From his pioneering application of post-structuralist theory to architecture in 1969’s Meaning in Architecture (Charles Jencks co-editor) to the reflections on Hannah Arendt in his 1995 Space of Appearance, Baird’s writing, editing and teaching has probed the essence of creation and city-dwelling. Similarly, his professional practice from the 1975 urban design study On Building Downtown for the City of Toronto, to Governor-General’s award-winning buildings demonstrate a rare ability to transfer abstract ideas to the contingencies of city-building and construction.

Trevor Boddy is an architecture critic and urbanist whose writings on cities and buildings have won the Alberta Book of the Year, Western Magazine, Jack Webster, and CICA-UIA Pierre Vago Prizes. He curated the exhibition “Vancouverism: Architecture Builds the City” for its showings in London, Paris and Vancouver/Woodwards 2008-2010, his “Rethink: Behind San Diego’s Skyline” is currently running there, and he co-curated the 2014 “Critical Juncture” at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. His text for the major monograph City-Builder: The Architecture of James K. M. Cheng will be published in early 2016.

Copies of Baird’s book “Writings on Architecture and Cities” will be available for purchase at the Vancouver launch, and more information is available at, including this recent review from Domus Magazine:

Date: September 30, 2015
Time: 5:30 p.m. reception; 6 p.m. George Baird & Trevor Boddy dialogue
Location: InForm Interiors, 50 Water Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free but limited seating, arrive early

Doors Open Vancouver

Doors Open Vancouver on Oct 3Doors Open provides an opportunity to enjoy free, behind-the-scenes access to popular City of Vancouver buildings and to learn about what it takes to run a city.

On October 3, you are invited to visit most venues anytime between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. A few venues will have slightly different hours.

In addition to the two new venues added this year, notable favourites from last year are returning, including:

  • The Orpheum
  • VPL Central Library
  • 3-1-1 Call Centre and City Studio
  • The False Creek Energy Centre

Tours at Carnegie Community Centre and the City of Vancouver Tactical Training Centre require advance registration through the Doors Open Vancouver website.

Doors Open venues will be located in the following four walkable hubs:

  • City Hall and Olympic Village
  • Downtown
  • False Creek Flats
  • Stanley Park

Launch event: October 2, 2015, 12 pm with activities until 5 pm at Vancouver City Hall
Doors Open Vancouver event: October 3, 2015, 10am-5pm

For more information, visit Doors Open Vancouver website.

Building Smart with Mid-Rise Wood Buildings

Building Smart with Mid-Rise Wood Buildings is a half-day workshop focussing on the design, planning and construction of mid-rise wood buildings in British Columbia. Please join us for an exciting exchange of ideas and learn from the practical experience of our panel of local and international experts.

For more details about the topic, visit the Building Smart Workshop page.

This event is sponsored by the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO), Forestry Innovation Investment (FFI), Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and FPInnovations.

Date: September 28, 2015
Time: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. (registration and breakfast start at 7 am)
Location: The Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver
Cost: $85 (includes GST)
To register:

Lego Literacy Building Challenge

Next month, Surrey Libraries is holding their annual Literacy Building Challenge where local architecture, real estate, property development, construction and related companies gather a team and create lego-designed structures, all in support of early literacy programs.

The 2015 theme is Adventure. Each sponsored team is challenged to use LEGO to build a structure that reflects the bold and adventurous spirit of the community of Surrey.

The event runs over the weekend of October 17-18, 2015.

For more information, contact Cyndy Hill at 604-598-7307 or

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Plenary Session Focuses on Key Concepts for Designing Practice / Practicing Design

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Plenary Session Focuses on Key Concepts for Designing Practice / Practicing Design on Oct 29Designing Practice / Practicing Design
October 29, 2015 – 1:30-3 p.m.

In designing our practice, what constitutes the business of architecture? Is it about clients, staff, partners, consultants, authorities, contractors? What can we learn from practices in other professions, or from academics who study the structures of successful business teams? In practicing design, what presentations remind us, teach us and inspire us with the qualities of good design? And what are the traditional elements which make “good architecture”? What tools, current or future, will make achieving “good architecture” more feasible and more common? Join us at this plenary panel as we explore these questions.

This plenary session is sponsored by Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance.

Register today to attend the Designing Practice / Practicing Design plenary session.

Visit the 2015 AIBC Annual Conference website for full details and to view conference pricing information.

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Movie Night Reception and Screening of “Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation”

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: On Oct 29, 2015 Join Us for a Free Screening of “Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation”

Movie Night Reception – October 29, 5-7 p.m.
Movie Night Screening of Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation – October 29, 7-9 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of drinks and appies while networking with your fellow conference delegates and UBC SALA Alumni prior to the screening on October 29 from 5:00-7:00pm, after a full day of exciting Plenary Sessions.

The Movie Night reception is sponsored by UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

About Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation
One of the most iconic and enduring human structures ever built, Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia is a unique and fascinating architectural project conceived by Antoni Gaudi in the late 19th century. More than 125 years later after construction began, the basilica still remains unfinished. SAGRADA celebrates Gaudi’s vision and the continuing work of countless laborers, artisans, designers and architects as they strive to complete the colossal project while delving into the mysterious process of artistic creation.

Register to attend the Movie Night Reception. and the Movie Night Screening.

Visit the 2015 AIBC Annual Conference website for full details and to view conference pricing information.

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Featured Sessional Speakers

The 2015 Annual Conference – What’s Now – Insights and Directions will be held from October 28 – 30, 2015 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The conference features plenary sessions, seminars, workshops, panel discussions and an industry exhibitor show. Meet some of our featured speakers below!

Kirsten Murray AIA

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Kirsten MurrayNW Traditions, Global Place-making
Session F14 – (1.5 Core LUs)

Kirsten is a principal and owner of Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects. For over two decades she has focused on a broad range of project types including mixed-use, private residential, adaptive reuse, workplace and urban design. Her work has been published in a variety of national and international media including The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, and Architectural Record. Murray’s work has garnered national recognition for such projects as Outpost, Tye River Cabin, 1111 E.
Join Kristen at Session F14 – NW Traditions, Global Place-making.

Otto Condon AICP

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Otto CondonDistrict-Scale Sustainability – From Portland to DC and Tokyo
Session F10 – (1.5 Core LUs)

Otto Condon is a senior urban designer and planner in the Washington, DC office of ZGF Architects, LLP, with over 25 years of professional experience. He has been extensively involved in the development of plans and projects for downtowns, neighborhoods, housing, institutions, and transit in several cities, and a wide range of site-specific contexts. His urban design and planning approach focuses on solutions that promote goal-based revitalization, placemaking, environmental stewardship and implementation.
Join Otto at Session F10 – District-Scale Sustainability…

Kira Gerwing, MScP

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Kira GerwingPartnerships for Developing Social Purpose Real Estate
Session F4 – (1.5 Core LUs)

Kira is a Manager of Community Investment for Vancity Credit Union. Her work focuses on enabling the development social enterprise real estate projects that result in community ownership, affordability, and green buildings. Kira’s work at Vancity stems from eight years of urban planning in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside neighbourhoods with the City of Vancouver. She has a passion for finding creative and engaging ways to ensure everyone’s fundamental right to flourish.
Join Kira at Session F4 – Partnerships for Developing Social Purpose Real Estate.

Don Buchanan MA Planning

2015 AIBC Annual Conference: Don BuchananLRT, City Building & Placemaking in Surrey
Session F6 – (1.5 Core LUs)

Don Buchanan, MA Planning, is a Transportation Planner in the Rapid Transit and Strategic Projects Section at the City of Surrey. His main areas of focus are rapid transit corridor design (LRT) and developing the multi-modal transportation policy to support the transformation of Surrey City Centre. Previous gigs before joining Surrey include leading the Downtown Eastside Pedestrian Safety Project, working for the regional transportation authority and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Join Don at Session F6 – LRT, City Building and Placemaking in Surrey.

Visit the 2015 AIBC Annual Conference website to view all of our amazing speakers.

Register Now!

View conference pricing and register. To learn more about the 2015 AIBC Annual Conference, please visit the 2015 AIBC Annual Conference website.