Australia’s Stunning Buildings that Adapt to Environment

by Andrew Michler
Tech Insider, Dec 15, 2015

Image: RMIT University's design hub in Melbourne has an exterior made of sandblasted glass disks, which pivot through the day like vertical blinds to control interior light and heat gain. The facade changes tempo throughout the day; sometimes it's a teal grid in direct daylight, then a more delicate steel blue lace when backlit by the sun. Courtesy Tech Insider, photo by Andrew Michler(Image: RMIT University’s design hub in Melbourne has an exterior made of sandblasted glass disks, which pivot through the day like vertical blinds to control interior light and heat gain. The facade changes tempo throughout the day; sometimes it’s a teal grid in direct daylight, then a more delicate steel blue lace when backlit by the sun. Courtesy Tech Insider, photo by Andrew Michler)

When researching the most interesting sustainable buildings and regions for my book Hyperlocalization of Architecture, I kept ending up in Australia.

From the largest office building in the southern hemisphere to a tiny cabin in the outback, these projects consistently challenge and provoke. They push to the outer edges of environmental architecture.

One of the stand-out features in Australian contemporary building design is a quality of movement — a kind of kinetic design that allows buildings to be adaptable and comfortable. Some buildings open to provide a path for the prevailing cooling breeze, or close to protect from wildfire or prying eyes. Read more…

Floating Architecture Will Offer “An Improved Way of Living”

by staff
Dezeen, Dec 9, 2015

Image: AT Design Office's floating city concept in China is under consideration. Courtesy of Dezeen(Image: AT Design Office’s floating city concept in China is under consideration. Courtesy of Dezeen)

Rising sea levels and a shortage of development sites are leading to a surge of interest in floating buildings, with proposals ranging from mass housing on London’s canals to entire amphibious cities in China (+ slideshow).

People will increasingly live and work on water, as planning policies shift away from building flood defences towards accepting that seas and rivers cannot be contained forever, say the architects behind these proposals.

“Given the impact of climate change, we can begin to think a lot more about the opportunity for living with water as opposed to fighting it and doing land reclamation,” said architect Kunlé Adeyemi. Read more…

Dutch Wind Wheel Blazing Trail for Sustainability in Rotterdam

By Catarina de Almeida Brito
Wallpaper, Dec 15, 2015

Image: An ambitious new sustainability and architecture-led project is set to land on the shores of Rotterdam. The Dutch Wind Wheel will be an innovative mixed use scheme, using breakthrough eco technologies. Courtesy of Wallpaper, DoepelStrijkers(Image: An ambitious new sustainability and architecture-led project is set to land on the shores of Rotterdam. The Dutch Wind Wheel will be an innovative mixed use scheme, using breakthrough eco technologies. Courtesy of Wallpaper, DoepelStrijkers)

With key recent developments – such as De Rotterdam, the Markthall and the recent Timmerhuis – the Dutch city of Rotterdam has been aiming high in the architectural stakes, and a new project proves that it has its eye firmly on sustainability too.

The Dutch Wind Wheel ‘must become the new icon for Rotterdam and the Netherlands’, claim architects DoepelStrijkers, who are currently designing a ‘windmill of the future’. Developed alongside two more Rotterdam based companies, Meysters and BLOC, this futuristic-looking mixed-use building is hoped to bring together several breakthrough technologies, to form an icon of Dutch innovation and sustainability. Read more…

Construction Systems Canada – Vancouver Chapter

Green Roof Design for Stormwater Management 
Green roofs have been consistently experiencing double-digit growth over the past decade. A major driving force has been stormwater management. This luncheon meeting will discuss how to design green roofs specifically for stormwater management and examine various municipal policies and programs and their pros and cons in promoting green roof installation for stormwater management.

The stormwater management potential of a vegetative roof depends on its water storage capacity as well as the rainfall pattern and climate zone where it is located. Water detention and retention characteristics of the individual components will be looked at and a review of how these components interact within a green roof system to manage stormwater runoff.

The sessions will also demonstrate how innovative water retention materials can maximize water storage while keeping the weight low. A concept of water-retention-to-weight ratio will be introduced to compare different green roof components to assist designers to make the proper choices.

A case study: The Broadway Tech Centre will be used to illustrate how these tools can be used in designing green roofs for stormwater management.

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the principal mechanisms behind how green roof manages stormwater
  2. Design a green roof to meet prescriptive- or objective-based stormwater policies
  3. Design green roofs for stormwater management using technical principles and data
  4. Specify green roof components/systems based on water-retention-to-weight ratio

Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016, 12:30-1:30pm
Location: Sandman Hotel, 180 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Register: Online through Karelo at
AIBC Learning Units: 1 Core Unit
Cost: $39.90 for CSC members, $50.40 non-members

2016 San Gemini Preservation Studies Program

SanGeminiPreservationStudiesThe San Gemini Preservation Studies Program is now accepting applications for the summer 2016 field school. San Gemini Preservation Studies is a summer field school that organizes lectures, research, fieldwork, workshops and field trips in the disciplines of historic preservation, restoration and conservation. It is located in Central Italy in the city of San Gemini.

These programs focus on the study of architectural survey and restoration, traditional methods of painting, conservation of archaeological ceramics, and the restoration of books and works of art on paper. The field projects involve the survey and restoration of medieval buildings, the archaeological excavation in the ancient Roman city of Carsulae, as well as work on local archival material.

The program is a collaboration between scholars from various universities and local preservation groups, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to historic preservation. All academic activities are held in English.

Courses are open to students from various disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate. All lessons are taught in English.

To find out more about the program and review the syllabi, please visit the San Gemini website.

CES participants may self-report educational activities in accordance with the rules in AIBC Bulletin 80, Mandatory Continuing Education System (CES) Rules and Guidelines. Please refer to Bulletin 80 for further information.

2016 AIBC Course Schedule

The 2016 course schedule is now available for viewing and registration on the AIBC website. Please note that registration is on a first-come first-served basis, so register early as some of these sessions can fill up quickly.

For further inquiries regarding AIBC professional development courses, please contact Krista Sutherland, Professional Development Coordinator at

Call For Papers: 2016 AIBC Annual Conference

The Architectural Institute of British Columbia invites submissions from those interested in speaking, participating in panel discussions or facilitating interactive workshops at the 2016 AIBC Annual Conference to be held at the Vancouver Conference Centre from Monday, May 16 to Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

About the Conference
The Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s annual conference brings together architects, intern architects, architectural technologists, builders, engineers, interior designers, faculty, students and other members of the design community to learn about new industry trends, technological advances and best practices. This annual gathering of architects, the largest of its kind in British Columbia, is also a chance to network, socialize and celebrate the innovative, impactful work of practitioners and theorists. The conference runs over three days and includes a keynote presentation, plenary sessions, seminars, workshops, panel discussions and an industry exhibitor show.

As in previous years, the conference will be rich in professional development, dialogue and network-building opportunities. An anticipated 400–450 delegates will be in attendance.

2016 Conference Theme: Building A Resilient Future
Resiliency is (literally and figuratively) in the air. Scientists and world leaders have identified a two-degree increase in global temperatures as an irreversible threshold. The UN has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals for solving the climate crisis and ensuring social stability. The UN’s Conference of Parties (COP21) is working to achieve consensus around reducing greenhouse gases. Even Pope Francis has issued an encyclical on the same topic with the subtitle of: “Care for Our Common Home”. Cities are taking matters into their own hands and implementing strategies to become more sustainable.

How does the architectural profession respond to these necessary adaptations? How does design become not only more resilient but also more proactive in addressing the imminent concerns of rising temperatures, severe weather patterns, and compromised resources?

Conference Program
This gathering aims to raise both the level of discourse and the standard of practice for members of the design community at all stages of their careers. A variety of presentation formats is sought, including lectures, interactive workshops and panel discussions. The organizers seek presenters who are experts in their fields and familiar with presenting their area of expertise to groups of 30 to 120 attendees. Most sessions will be 1.5 hours, including time for a question-and-answer period.

The Annual Conference PD Committee is specifically interested in presentations related to:

  • Resilient Design for Waterfront Cities
  • Local Innovation in BC
  • Building Technology for a Resilient Future
  • Adaptive Planning and Design
  • Practice and Business Management
  • Environment, Energy and Sustainability
  • Integration of Architectural Culture

The following criteria will be examined when reviewing submissions and selecting applications:

  • Inspired content that is clear, concise and educational in nature;
  • Relevance to the profession of architecture;
  • Connection to the educational initiatives of the AIBC, including such aspects as health, safety, welfare, design innovation, professional practice, environment, diversity, technology, business and community;
  • Compliance with the necessary standards for AIBC Learning Units*; and
  • Speaker qualifications and experience presenting at similar regional or national conferences.

* Learn more about the AIBC’s Continuing Education System.

Submission Timeline
Monday, December 14, 2015: Call for Papers issued
Friday, January 15, 2016: Deadline for Completed Proposals

Submit A Proposal
Complete the online Proposal Submission Form.

It is anticipated that the Annual Conference Professional Development Committee will identify its recommended selections through formal notification in February 2016.

Members Approve Three Administrative Bylaw Amendments

The AIBC’s three administrative bylaw amendments put forward for electronic vote have received the requisite 2/3 approval from the institute’s voting members.

The approval rates and bylaw descriptions are:

  • Bylaw 19.1 at 84.1%
    Amendment of an existing bylaw to establish an appropriate quorum for AIBC annual meetings.
  • Bylaw 38.0 and 38.1 at 89.3%
    Establishment of two bylaws to reinforce the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as the core ‘standards’ document with respect to the conduct, discipline, standards and honour of the profession of architecture in British Columbia.
  • Multiple bylaws (CEO) at 82.7%
    Amendment to 16 bylaws to change the former title of Executive Director to “Chief Executive Officer (CEO)” to modernize institute governance.

With an overall participation rate of 27%, voter turnout remained steady and is comparable with the spring 2015 bylaw e-vote.

Under the Architects Act, notice of bylaw changes must be sent to the provincial government within seven days of passage. This filing took place on December 11, 2015. The government has 45 days to consider whether to disallow the bylaws. Confirmation to members of final bylaw status will follow.

Our thanks goes out to all members and honorary members who participated in this important process.

For more information on and to read the bylaw amendments (and supporting rationales), please visit the AIBC website.

Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Launches at the UN Climate Change Conference

By Caroline Massie
Architect Magazine, Dec 4, 2015

Image: Workers install a logo on the facade of the U.N Climate Conference in Le Bourget, outside Paris. Courtesy of Architect Magazine, Associated Press, photo by Christophe Ena(Image: Workers install a logo on the facade of the U.N Climate Conference in Le Bourget, outside Paris. Courtesy of Architect Magazine, Associated Press, photo by Christophe Ena)

More than 60 organizations and 18 countries pledge to limit carbon emissions from the built environment.

Thursday at the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change Conference’s first ever “Buildings Day,” more than 60 international organizations and 18 countries and territories announced a partnership aimed at mobilizing international resources for developing climate-resilient solutions for member cities, regions, and countries, and for scaling up current initiatives to tackle climate change in the built environment. The newly-formed Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC)’s plans align with global efforts to limit the average atmospheric temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels.

GABC’s partners, which will actively engage in the alliance’s governance, include countries, local governments, intergovernmental institutions, large professional networks, and international associations. The participating countries and territories are: Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Its initial organizations include Architecture 2030, the International Union of Architects, the World Green Building Council, the World Resources Institute, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Read more…

Diabetes Prevention Is a Job for Architects, Says Professor

By The Early Edition
CBC News, Dec 2, 2015

Image: McGill professor Avi Friedman believes that if entire communities lent themselves to a more active lifestyle, the people living there will be less prone to obesity and diabetes. Courtesy of CBC(Image: McGill professor Avi Friedman believes that if entire communities lent themselves to a more active lifestyle, the people living there will be less prone to obesity and diabetes. Courtesy of CBC)

According to an architecture professor at McGill University, doctors aren’t the only ones who should be at the forefront of the fight against diabetes.

Avi Friedman sees reducing diabetes as a planning and design challenge too.

Living a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for developing diabetes, and Friedman says planning and building communities that promote physical activity will help reduce the instances of diabetes. Read more…

The Best Architecture Books of 2015

by Rowan Moore
The Guardian, Dec 7, 2015

Image: An Eames office design from the ‘handsome’ World of Ray and Charles Eames. Courtesy of The Guardian, photo by Eames Office

(Image: An Eames office design from the ‘handsome’ World of Ray and Charles Eames. Courtesy of The Guardian, photo by Eames Office)

A new warmth towards brutalism, handsome volumes on Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier, and George Gilbert Scott’s prodigious gothic output

A striking aspect of Elain Harwood’s Space, Hope and Brutalism (Yale University Press), a hefty survey of postwar British architecture, is that it isn’t about brutalism precisely, but about this and many other styles of architecture. So it seems that someone, her publishers maybe, inserted the B-word because they thought it would help to sell the book. Which no doubt it does. Because brutalism, once the encapsulation in three-and-a-half syllables of everything thought hateful about modern architecture, a word whose inventors didn’t even want to sound nice, is now exciting, sexy, intriguing. Which could have been predicted: baroque and gothic were once also terms of abuse.

Owen Hatherley has done more than most to bring about this reappraisal, and this year further pushed the boundaries of received taste with Landscapes of Communism (Allen Lane), a loving exploration of the housing estates, TV towers and bureaucratic palaces built by eastern bloc countries in the Soviet era. It has the merit of confronting you with an alternative reality – in this case a different version of 20th-century architecture – to the one you thought you knew. The book is the outcome of epic travelling through places most architecture writers never visit. It also tries, with varying degrees of success, to reconcile Hatherley’s beliefs that both communism and modernism have been wrongly written off. Read more…

Call for Presenters to Banff Session 2016

AAA Call for Presenters to Banff Session 2016Be a vital part of Banff Session 2016! Contribute to the professions of architecture and interior design by submitting a presentation that will incite thought and spark discussion.

The Banff Session, held at the Banff Springs Hotel, is one of the most prestigious bi-annual gathering of architects and design professional in Alberta. The people, the ideas, the environment, the setting – it all comes together for an unforgettable experience that comes every two years.

The Alberta Association of Architects invites you to consider being a part of the event by making a presentation.

Visit the AAA website for more information on the Call for Presenters.

Proposals must be submitted to Jenine Cerny, Communications Senior Manager, at no later than 4 p.m. on January 4, 2016.

BC Building Code Revision: Effective December 11, 2015

The BC Building Code was amended by ministerial order on November 17, 2015, with changes effective December 11, 2015. View the revisions.

Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, and 9 are revised. Online versions of the code will display the changes as of the effective date, however holders of hard copies are advised to update their codes manually with the changes.

No replacement pages have been issued at this time.

Visit the BC Codes website for additional information.

Webinar: Windows, Doors and Skylights Code Changes
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 10am-12:30pm

Presented by:
Office of Housing and Construction Standards
Building and Safety Standards Branch

Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing, has approved changes to the 2012 BC Building Code requirements for the construction and performance criteria for windows, doors and skylights conforming to the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS). The package of changes also includes some minor revisions to energy and ventilation requirements for Part 9 housing, and requirements for stainless steel piping. The revised requirements come into effect on December 11, 2015.

The North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) came into effect in December 2013 and the new energy and ventilation requirements for low-rise housing in December 2014. These code requirements introduced major changes and some complex implementation challenges. The revisions were developed through extensive consultation with the residential construction sector, including manufacturers of windows, doors and skylights, building officials, building specifiers and designers and building officials.

The goal of the changes to requirements for windows, doors and skylights was to clarify and streamline compliance for BC’s unique custom based industry while maintaining the trade advantages of the NAFS. These changes give manufacturers greater flexibility in providing cost effective and code compliant windows, doors and skylights, while still providing an appropriate level of health, safety and accessibility.

Key changes to the NAFS requirements include:

  • Clarification of scope in Part 5 and Part 9
  • Simplified Performance Grade and Driving Rain and Wind Pressure
  • (DRWP) rating calculation in Part 9
  • Changes to address the use of limited water rating doors
  • New compliance path for site-built products

Please join us for a webinar explaining these code changes.

Registration and More Information

  • There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.
  • Please feel free to distribute.
  • Register via email by Friday, December 11, 2015 to

Travelling Exhibit: Dutch Design Supermodels

Travelling Exhibit: Dutch Design Supermodels Dec 15-Jan 11Dudoc (Dutch Urban Design Centre) Vancouver in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands is excited to present the Dutch Design Supermodels travelling exhibit that showcases the ingenuity of design and architecture from the Netherlands. Supermodels combines different design aspects; architecture, interior and product design. View 3-D printed scale models of a centry’s worth of iconic buildings and chairs designed by great Dutch architects, such as Gerrit Rietveld, Marcel Wanders and Bruno Ninaber van Eyben.

After having travelled to Salone del Mobile 2014 in Milan, Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam, and Erasmushuis in Jakarta, the exhibit is making its way to Vancouver. With this, Supermodels creates a broad overview of the creativity of Dutch designers, artists and architects that gained worldwide attention over the last 100 years.

Date: Dec 15-Jan 11, closed Dec 23-Jan 3
Location: Dudoc Vancouver, 100 – 1445 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

For more information on the exhibit and opening hours, visit the Dudoc Vancouver website.

eNews Holiday Schedule

Please be advised eNews will not be distributed on December 24 or 31. eNews will return on January 7, 2016.

Best wishes for a very happy holiday season!

If you have any questions or require assistance, please email