News, Events, Products


SABMag Issue 61 – FALL 2018 

SABMag launches new web site

SABMag has launched its new web site,, creating a fresh look and easier navigation to see the latest on sustainable building in Canada. Recent blog articles are displayed right up front on the home page for easy access, and the menu bar has been simplified to find quickly information about Continuing Education articles, the Canadian Green Building Awards, the Product Directory, the archive of back issues, and more. The most recent SABMag monthly newsletter is also easily found, along with a convenient sign-up form. The SABMag web site offers a rich resource on high-performance sustainable building in Canada so please visit, and often!

RAIC offers new member benefits and more continuing education

Anyone who buys professional liability insurance cares about how much they are paying and whether they have the coverage they need – especially in a climate of risk and liability transfer to professionals. It’s a predicament that the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) is addressing with the new RAIC Professional Liability Insurance Program.

The program, which launched October 1, is part of the RAIC’s recently expanded benefits package. The RAIC is also offering a suite of new continuing education offerings. With membership renewal underway, it’s a good time for members and non-members alike to find out how membership in the RAIC will save them money and help advance their education and careers.

Top four ways to save
The RAIC Professional Liability Insurance Program – Provided in partnership with BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd., the program is designed for architects and provides comprehensive professional liability coverage and other insurance at highly competitive rates. Full packages or top-up options to supplement existing or mandatory coverage are available. Coverage includes: 
• Professional Liability
• Commercial General Liability
• Office Insurance
• Directors’ and Officers’ Liability
• Cyber Security and Privacy Liability
• Employment Practices Liability
• Design/Build
Home and Auto – The RAIC has partnered with The Personal to provide members with preferred group rates on home and auto insurance. It offers personalized coverage to fit individual needs, expert advice from licensed insurance advisors and 24/7 emergency assistance when making a claim.
GoodLife Fitness – RAIC members are eligible for discounts of 30 to 40 percent off GoodLife membership rates, with access to more than 250 clubs across Canada. Members also have access to the GoodLife Fitness Rewards Program with savings and special offers from over 100 popular brands.
Special member pricing – Members get deals on RAIC events such as professional development programs and the annual Festival of Architecture; a wide range of products such as contract seals, publications, and software, as well as services (Fairmont Hotels, Budget Rent-a-Car, Via Rail)Watch for the new continuing education offerings in 2019, all eligible for structured credits. They include:

• Themed webinars on BIM, Advanced Building Envelopes, Adaptive Re-use, Wood Construction, Design Processes, Energy and Architecture;

• Project Management for Architects courses in Toronto, Victoria, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Fredericton;

• Conservation workshops presenting an adaptive re-use design charrette, application of the Standards and Guidelines, and an introduction to emerging technologies;

• Cross-country courses offering practical sessions on contracts and leadership skills.

The RAIC is the national voice of architects and architecture in Canada and a network of members that includes registered architects, interns, designers, academics, retired practitioners, students, and affiliates.To find out how you can benefit from membership, please contact Sarah Holtman at or 613-241-3600 Ext. 200.

Cascadia Windows’ Universal Series named the 2018 CaGBC Green Building Product of the Year 

Cascadia Windows is the winner of the 2018 CaGBC Green Building Product of the Year Award for its Universal Series product line. The company was on hand to receive the award at the Building Lasting Change 2018 Gala Dinner on June 7, presented by Joseph Hosey, General Manager at UL Canada, the sponsor of the Award.

Product submissions are assessed based on sustainability, transparency and verification, innovation, and application. Cascadia’s Universal Series was chosen by the jury because of its solid construction fiberglass and long life span rated at 50+ years. They also noted that it’s a great Canadian success story – with most comparable windows coming from Europe – this is the first product line of its kind to be manufactured in Canada. “Cascadia Window’s team is very grateful for the fantastic acknowledgement from the CaGBC for naming our Universal Series windows and doors Product of the Year,” says Michael Blousfield, Technical Director and Operations Manager at Cascadia. “It’s a great made-in-Canada moment, and we are proud to be the first company in North America to be offering this innovative, leading-edge technology.”

Photo: [L to r] John Sawatzky, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and Michael Bousfield, Technical Director and Operations Manager, both of Cascadia Windows & Doors, receiving the 2018 CaGBC Green Product of the Year Award from Joseph Hosey, General Manager, UL Canada, the Award sponsor.


The Buildings Show – November 28-30, 2018 – Metro Toronto Convention Centre:  

The Buildings Show provides an unforgettable experience as Canada’s largest event for products, services, educational programming and professional networking for the Design, Architecture, Construction, Renovation and Real Estate sectors. Get ready for some big changes in 2018 as World of Concrete Toronto Pavilion, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo and STONEX Canada relocate and grow in the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Construct Canada and PM Expo maintain their position and expand in the South Building. The enhanced Show will provide an immersive and unique experience through larger-than-life, dynamic exhibits, thought-provoking educational discussions and innovative product showcases. Experience a new chapter for The Buildings Show from November 28 – 30, 2018.



Euroshield Roofing’s new recycled rubber product stands up to hail

Vermont Slate SC (solid core) – the world’s first truly hail proof roofing material has just been unveiled by Euroshield® recycled rubber roofing products. The manufacturer, Calgary-based G.E.M. Inc., used a custom-built air cannon and speed-measuring chronograph to blast its Vermont Slate product with a four-inch diameter frozen ice ball at speeds up to 411 mph with no resulting damage. In comparison, similar tests failed on 3/8” wood deck and on asphalt-shingled 3/8” deck. Vermont Slate is UL2218 Class 4 Listed for impact, the highest rating available. Watch the video at (877) 387-7667.



UV-DOX Reactor improves indoor air quality

The ‘patent pending’ UV-DOX Reactor (Pollution Control Device) provides an economic, efficient and compact unit to combat harmful biological organisms, noxious odours and toxic contaminants – and is suitable for installation on virtually any equipment. The UV-DOX Reactor achieves superior efficiency at reasonable cost by combining a high intensity ultra-violet (UVC) light, a multi-pass baffle system and a hydroxyl radical producing TiO2 coating. Third-party testing has shown destruction efficiency of contaminates at more than 95%.


Mapeguard® thermal membrane warms and protects floor tiles

MAPEI’s new Mapeguard® Heat membrane provides customizable, targeted radiant floor heating for bathrooms, three-season rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. The lightweight uncoupling membrane provides load support and vapour management, as well as crack-isolation and waterproofing protection when used in ceramic, porcelain and natural-stone tile installations with plywood, concrete and cement substrates. Mapeguard Heat provides state-of-the-art, customizable, floor-heating membrane compatible with a wide variety of heating cables, which snap into place into the membrane to ensure even heat distribution.


For architects in Canada, Brian Mackay-Lyons has been a household name for 30 years, having built an international reputation based largely on his private house projects in rural Nova Scotia. The firm’s exemplary portfolio also includes a growing number of public projects, mostly directed by Talbot Sweetapple, who has been Mackay-Lyons’ partner since 2005.

Single family houses, and particularly those in remote locations, are not generally thought of as sustainable, as the related environmental impacts of transportation can be considerable. However, if one wants to argue the continuing legitimacy of this typology at all, one need look no further than the work showcased in this book. The key to its relevance can be found in Robert MCarter’s expansive opening essay ‘Economy as Ethic’.

Both Mackay-Lyons and Sweetapple have deep roots in the Maritimes, Mackay-Lyons on the Acadian shore of Nova Scotia, Sweetapple in Newfoundland, provinces which have in common a settler tradition based on industry and thrift. With typologies, materiality and craftsmanship based on vernacular structures such as barns and boatsheds, the work of Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects combines the qualities of refinement and restraint that bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.

Forms are simple, with exterior materials , plan arrangements and elevational treatments based on the same passive design principles that have enabled Nova Scotians to endure the seasonal assaults of wind and weather for almost three centuries. The material palette, primarily wood, is local, low in embodied energy   and capitalizes on readily available craft skills. Building placement respects the contours of the drumlin-ridged landscape, leaving natural systems largely undisturbed.

This measured approach cuts against the grain of much contemporary architectural practice, which seems too easily drawn into a search for novelty and technical innovation as ends in themselves. McCarter quotes Austrian/English philosopher and sometime architect Ludwig Wittgenstein who observed, “today, the difference between a good and a poor architect, is that the poor architect succumbs to every temptation and the good one resists it.”

The work of Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple is what Swedish architectural historian Claes Caldenby calls an ‘Architecture of Necessity’, eschewing all that is superfluous and consciously choosing substance over spectacle. Sensitive to the traditional hardships of eking out a living in Nova Scotia, Mackay-Lyons observes, “The vernacular is what you make when you can’t afford to fail.”


This engagement with tradition roots the work of Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects firmly in its place, rendering it accessible intellectually, emotionally and economically. It can be argued that the most sustainable buildings are those that we care about, maintain properly and adapt to new uses as our circumstances evolve and change. This in turn leads to what Mackay-Lyons refers to as the ‘democratization’ of architecture. He observes, “Henry Ford contributed to the democratization of technology by making an automobile that anyone could afford. I believe the democratization of architecture is necessary to ensure its social relevance and the ultimate survival of the profession.”

In addition to the more familiar residential projects, the book also has a section on Public Places that includes the Canadian Chancery and Official Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The curvilinear masonry wall that surrounds the diplomatic compound sets it apart from the Canadian projects but anchors it equally convincingly in its own context.

The work showcased in this book is of the highest quality, the documentation comprehensive and further context provided through essays by Mackay-Lyons, Sweetapple and renowned architectural critic Kenneth Frampton. If there is a doubt in my mind, it is not with the work, but whether a book that runs to more than 400 pages is consistent with Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects’ philosophy of ‘Economy as Ethic.’ ISBN: 9780500343319, hardcover, $92.00

Jim Taggart, FRAIC. Editor, SABMag