SABMAG ISSUE 58  |  RAIC report By Angie Sauvé
RAIC Member Communications Specialist

A national voice for architecture

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada [RAIC] is Canada’s national advocacy association for architects and architecture. Over the past year, the RAIC and its members have worked on issues concerning fees, contracts and selection processes as well as sustainability, heritage and reconciliation with Indigenous people.

As a national body, the RAIC spreads the message that architecture matters through the involvement of its members, among them architects, graduate architects, academics, interns, students, retirees and allied professionals.

In 2017, the RAIC joined with architecture organizations around the world to reaffirm a commitment to the Paris Agreement to mitigate global warming through good design. It made recommendations on the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change; and appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources with recommendations for transitioning to a low carbon economy.

Also in 2017, the RAIC Indigenous Task Force held Canada’s first International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium. It was at the symposium that a group of members decided to make a proposal for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale; it was accepted, and they will represent Canada with a project called UNCEDED.

As an association of peers, the RAIC brings together people who study complex issues and develop targeted and insightful approaches to affect change. RAIC members lend their expertise to groups such as the Age-Friendly Housing Options task force, the Committee of Regenerative Environments, and the RAIC Emerging Practitioners, who are focused on the interests of students, interns and newly licensed architects. Members also have access to practice support services designed to support success, including online resources, practice support documents and quality continuing education. The widely recognized MRAIC designation of members is a symbol of commitment to the profession.

The work continues in 2018 with support from RAIC members and partners. A new year signals membership renewal time. If you’re a member, you know what to do; renew membership quickly and easily by logging into your account at If you are not yet a member and want to learn more about how your membership amplifies the voice for architects and architecture, visit or email

One-page case studies tell more

More information on the Salus Clementine Passive House project and the Humber River Hospital project, both published in the Fall issue of SABMag, can be found in concise one-page case studies from Legalett and LiveRoof Ontario, respectively.

The Legalett case study describes how its GEO-Passive Slab used in the Salus Clementine Passive House insulates the underside of the concrete to isolate it from the surrounding earth to avoid moisture issues, and spread the bearing load.

The LiveRoof Ontario case study describes how the vegetated roof on the Humber River Hospital was planned and executed, and the benefits it brings to patient health and to hospital finances.

A third case study by Metl-Span® Insulated Metal Panels describes how its exterior  panels - 3,100 sq ft of 2.5” CF Architectural Flat Panel 36” Width in custom Green and 7,000 sq ft of 2.5” CF Architectural Flat Panel 36” Width in custom White - provide a high-performance envelope and a sleek, aesthetic appeal to the headquarters of Innovations in Transportation Inc. [INIT], the world leader in developing and supplying integrated ITS [intelligent transportation systems] and ticketing systems for public transportation.

CF Architectural Flat Panels
INIT Case Study

EcoSpex Toolkits provide AEC professionals up-to-date information on requirements for Sustainable Buildings/healthier buildings

The five Toolkits from Ecospex, consisting of a suite of 33 technical documents, support building project timelines to include the following: 

  • 1. Pre-design,
  • 2. Design,
  • 3. Construction

The Toolkits, three of which are ready now: Toolkits 1, 3 and 4, allow AEC professionals to manage the design process by reducing time and errors, and increasing efficiency and cost savings. Each document comes with a set of instructions, and each set of documents is standardized.


The Table below is a brief excerpt from Toolkit 1: LEED 2009 vs LEED v4 Comparison Matrix which gives a comprehensive and concise comparison of LEED "old ' and 'new'. The comparison spread sheets can be printed for easy reference in the office.
Toolkit 4: Specification Language for Achieving LEED v4 Credits gives guidance on where LEED v4 has changed in spec language. Both Toolkit 1 and 4 are available for $300 each, or both for $500 [plus tax] from


Report of the Royal Arcihtectural Institute of Canada

For too long, eldercare has been corrupted by the view that aging is a medical problem. The language is medical and facilities are like hospitals. Anything to make eldercare more efficient and expedient. Elders are warehoused and, when they become agitated, they are managed with drugs. No wonder they feel lonely, bored, and worthless. No wonder they lash out.

The recognition that elders deserve better, and that aging is contextual and individual, has given rise to the household model. Facilities are more home-like. Elders are placed in compatible groupings. Dining is family-style. Schedules are flexible, and routines are familiar. The quality of care is higher. The use of suppressants to manage behaviour is significantly reduced. Capital and operating costs are lower. Residents, staff, and families all seem happier.

While the household model is a great improvement, its uptake has been slow. Out-dated regulations hold it back. Vestiges of the medical model remain. Doors are kept locked, and residents have a minimal connection with the community. Since each household usually has 10 to 12 residents, the scale is not that of a familiar family home. Residents visit with guests in their bedrooms. This is an abnormal environment. We can do better.

As designers, we know how to solve problems and create healthy environments that help people flourish. We also know how to challenge regulations and norms, understand their purposes and objectives, and develop creative and alternative ways to achieve them. So, let’s put our heads together and solve the problems facing eldercare.

The RAIC Age-Friendly Housing Task Force will present an education session, called Innovative Design for Healthy Aging, on November 30 at IIDEX 2017 in Toronto. I will be presenting along with Betsey Williamson, FRAIC.

Rudy Friesen is the founder and Partner Emeritus of ft3 Architecture Landscape Interior Design in Winnipeg. He has been spearheading innovative solutions for elder housing for decades, and recently founded, an organization dedicated to healthy aging in the community.

SFI grants first Chain-of-Custody certification to a cross-laminated timber manufacturer

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. [SFI] has announced that Structurlam the first Canadian manufacturer of cross-laminated timber [CLT] to be certified to the SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard. Based in BC, Structurlam has manufactured CLT for six years and supplied the product to over 350 projects in North America. Wood products sold as certified under the SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard earn LEED credits through the LEED Alternative Compliance Path, or credits through the Green Globes Rating System.

 CaGBC launches Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard

The Canada Green Building Council [CaGBC] has launched Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building Standard, which applies to many types of new and existing buildings and makes   carbon reductions the key indicator for building performance.

The Zero Carbon Building Standard is part of a larger CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Initiative that was created to champion the move to lower-carbon commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings in support of Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. 

The Standard can be downloaded at Project registration for the Standard will open September 5, along with full pricing and additional program details.

CPCI Fifth Edition Design Manual

The Canadian Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute released the Fifth Edition of the CPCI Design Manual which is now available as a free download. The CPCI Design Manual – Fifth Edition is the authoritative source of information about precast and prestressed concrete, written in accordance with NBCC 2015, A23.3-14, Design of concrete structures and A23.4-16 Precast concrete – Materials and construction.

Free download here.

 Case study: CREST® modulating-condensing boilers cut energy intensity at Sheridan College

A new one-page case study describes how the Hazel McCallion Campus expansion at Sheridan College is projecting an annual energy intensity of 96 kWh/sq.m, among the lowest for academic institutions in the country, which will be partly achieved through the use of CREST® modulating-condensing boilers by Lochinvar.
Read the Case Study:A new one-page case study describes how the Hazel McCallion Campus expansion at Sheridan College is projecting an annual energy intensity of 96 kWh/sq.m, among the lowest for academic institutions in the country, which will be partly achieved through the use of CREST® modulating-condensing boilers by Lochinvar. Read the Case Study.

 Amber Trails Community School in Winnipeg is the 2017 Greenest School in Canada

The CaGBC and the Canada Coalition for Green Schools has announced the 78,000 sq.ft. Amber Trails Community School in Winnipeg as the the winner of the annual CaGBC Greenest School in Canada competition. Located in the heart of a new neighbourhood in North Winnipeg, the school received LEED® Platinum certification in 2016, and won the CaGBC’s Excellence in Green Building for New Construction award in May 2017. It also won the Institutional Award in the 2017 Canadian Green Building Awards, an annual program of SABMag and the CaGBC. [].

Highlights include:
• Awn ENERGY STAR score of 92, and overall energy savings of 68 %.
• A student-run organic vegetable farm,
• Use of geothermal heating and cooling, radiant floor heating, low-flow fixtures and other initiatives,
• Emphasis on fresh air, outdoor views and natural light for all classrooms, and
• 50% reduction in water use.
The runners up were:
• Dewdney Elementary School in Dewdney, BC.
• Windermere Secondary School in Vancouver, BC.

Sobering Lessons from Ontario’s Green Energy Policies

 After eight years, Ontario’s green energy policies have yielded moderate environmental gains while drastically increasing energy prices, says a report published in August from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Ontario’s Green Energy Experience: Sobering Lessons for Sustainable Climate Change Policies” author Michael Trebilcock, a law and economics expert, measures the success of the Green Energy and Green Economy Act based on its environmental outcomes, its effects on energy prices, and its impact on employment in the province.

“These policies have had a dramatic impact on electricity costs in the province, but they have generated very limited environmental benefits and have had a negligible to negative effect on economic growth and employment,” states Professor Trebilcock.
Rising costs are one problem. For example, the on-peak price rose from 9.3 cents per kilowatt hour in November 2009, to 18 cents per kilowatt hour in November 2016, representing a compound annual increase of 9.9%. Moreover, the electricity sector’s share of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario in 2012 was only about 9% of total emissions. The focus on electricity is out of proportion with the areas of the economy that are most in need of closer scrutiny. Transportation, for example, contributed 34% of greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario in 2012.

Finally, Professor Trebilcock notes that while the Ontario government claims that its green energy policies have created over 30,000 jobs, this number does not distinguish between temporary and permanent jobs or between low-paid service jobs and higher-paid skilled jobs, and more importantly, does not take account of jobs lost through higher electricity prices.

As an alternative, the report suggests that Canada impose a revenue-neutral national carbon tax that promotes economy-wide cost-effective emission reductions, with revenues rebated to the provinces from which they originate. This should be supplemented by limited, well-targeted subsidies for research and development.

Professor Trebilcock concludes with a warning. "It is crucial that Canada’s private sector not bear a large overall fiscal burden."