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."

SABMAG ISSUE 56  |  News

CHBA announces Net Zero Home Labelling Program

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association [CHBA] has launched  its Net Zero Home Labelling Program which recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who provide them. A pilot version of the Net Zero Home Labelling Program ran from September 2015 to December 2016 to validate technical and administrative details.

A national network of CHBA Net Zero Qualified Service Organizations, Energy Advisors and Trainers will work directly with the builders and renovators to design, model, test and inspect each home.

- Builders and Renovators can learn more about the Program at
- Consumer information on the Program can be found at
- Information on the Net Zero Council can be found at

RAIC announces recipient of the 2017 Green Building Award

The Bibliothèque du Boisé in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough, inaugurated in 2013 and  designed by Cardinal Hardy | Labonté Marcil | Eric Pelletier architecte in consortium. [Eric Pelletier architecte and Cardinal Hardy joined Lemay in 2013 and 2014, respectively.] has received the 2017 Green Building Award. Given by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada [RAIC] and the Canada Green Building Council® [CaGBC], the Award recognizes outstanding achievement in buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and wellbeing of users.

The project also received a Canadian Green Building Award in 2014 from SABMag and the CaGBC.

The LEED® Platinum certified building covers 6,000 sq.m and brings together multiple functions: a library, administration, exhibit space and museum archives.

Sustainability strategies include a passive heating system which uses the heat accumulated in a glass prism for redistribution through a geothermal loop. The building relies mostly on natural light, combined with task lighting, for energy savings. The project emphasized the use of certified wood, low-emitting materials, and recycled or regional materials.

 CPCI releases New guide for energy-efficient building design

The thermal performance of buildings plays an important and increasingly significant role in the energy efficiency requirements contained in Canadian building codes. Understanding and meeting these requirements has also become increasingly complex for building designers. The Canadian Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute's [CPCI] new guide, Meeting and Exceeding Building Code Thermal Performance Requirements, is a crucial resource for all designers, architects, engineers and building professionals, especially in the early stages of designing a building.

 Baillargeon Doors and Harring Doors join Masonite Architectural family

Canadian-based companies Baillargeon Doors and Harring Doors have joined Masonite Architectural which has introduced a new logo and incorporated all of its brands under one roof.

Baillargeon and Harring will remain the major sources for wood doors and frames in Canada. In the coming months Masonite Architectural will launch a new product portfolio, establish manufacturing centres of excellence, rebrand its marketing support materials, and provide a more powerful web presence with intuitive product selection and specification tools.

 Uponor expands in the U.S. and upgrades Canadian operations

Uponor North America, a leading supplier of plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic piping and pre-insulated piping systems for the residential and commercial building markets, is expanding its manufacturing facility in Apple Valley, Minnesota to an additional 58,000 sf to meet customer demand. It is also consolidating the Canadian head office with its eastern distribution centre in Mississauga, with satellite offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Québec and Atlantic Canada. The Mississauga location will offer training classes and engineering continuing education units.


Henry Tufts, author of the Aspen Root Passive House which appeared in the Spring, 2017 issue of SABMag, was incorrectly identified. He is with BridgmanCollaborative Architecture in Winnipeg.