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SABMag Issue 70 – Spring 2021

The RAIC Virtual Conference  on Architecture returns for 2021

By Tanner Morton, Communications Coordinator

Reserve your spot at the RAIC 2021 Virtual Conference on Architecture. This year’s Conference is a series of events running throughout the month of June. Fulfill your continuing education requirements with over 32 hours of content, including continuing education sessions, a two-day International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium, as well as an Academic Summit co-hosted with Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA). All sessions will be available on-demand after the initial broadcast giving you flexibility to engage at your convenience.

The RAIC 2021 Virtual Conference on Architecture will be broadcast through a Virtual Attendee Hub (VAH). The VAH provides a virtual platform to build your profile, create your personalized conference schedule, watch live broadcasts of sessions and events, visit virtual exhibitor booths, and interact with sponsors. In addition, the platform includes the ability to network and meet in real-time with other attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. 

There is a wide swath of events featured in Conference this year, including the Symposium and Summit spotlighted below.

RAIC Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium 

The RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium is hosted by the RAIC Indigenous Task Force. The Symposium focuses on Indigenous representation, narratives, and collaborations. The three streams for the 2021 Symposium are: 

  • First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Housing / International Indigenous Housing
  • Making Room for New Indigenous Voices on the Leading Edge of Architecture Practice
  • Collaborations: Indigenous / Non-Indigenous Co-Design and Building with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Communities

RAIC CCUA Academic Summit on Architecture  

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA) present the Academic Summit on Architecture. This summit presents papers and projects from schools of architecture featuring the latest in research from academics and practitioners in the fields of architecture and design.

Also new this year, the RAIC is proud to be partnering with the Canadian Architecture Students Association to offer sponsorship to help an architecture student attend the RAIC 2021 Virtual Conference on Architecture. Your sponsorship will provide increased access to the Conference for a student associate member of the RAIC. Two levels of sponsorship are available, $30 (Single Day Pass) or $125 (All Access Conference Pass) and are available at checkout during registration.  

Additional information regarding the RAIC 2021 Virtual Conference on Architecture can be found at Registration is open until May 29, 2021 but sign up before April 30th for the best rates on all passes.

VIA Rail obtains LEED Gold certification for the Ottawa Station

VIA Rail Canada has announced that its Ottawa station earned the LEED® Gold v4.1 certification for Operations and Maintenance for Existing Buildings – Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) second-highest level of accreditation. The Ottawa station – a heritage building and VIA Rail’s flagship station – underwent important renovations from 2016 to 2019 to improve its environmental performance and accessibility.

Opened in 1966 and gaining a Governor General’s Massey Medal in 1967 for the architects, John B. Parkin and Associates, the Ottawa station is an international style building with exposed cantilevered trusses supported by massive concrete piers resulting in an open interior and a powerful roofline. The process of LEED certification, a first for VIA Rail Canada, began during the renovations with the identification of efficiency measures.

New LEED Energy pathway now available

The unique needs of the Canadian market were reflected in the latest addenda to the LEED rating system. They include an alternative compliance pathway (ACP) that shifts the focus from energy cost to energy usage, such that projects can avoid distortions caused by differences in fuel costs. The LEED v4 and LEED v4.1 zEPI Pilot ACP was accepted by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED’s governing body, before being included in the most recent addenda. It follows over a year of effort by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), its Technical Advisory Group (TAG), and Steering Committee volunteers as well as key stakeholders. LEED projects can now use reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions to evaluate energy performance using any version of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) or ASHRAE 90.1 cited by the local authority. This avoids the need to perform additional energy modelling under a different standard or version.


Owens Corning Introduces FOAMULAR® NGX Insulation

The new FOAMULAR® NGX (Next Generation Extruded) polystyrene (XPS) foam insulation from Owens Corning contains a proprietary blowing agent which delivers a 90% reduction in global warming potential (GWP) without sacrificing product performance.

FOAMULAR® NGX™ resists  moisture and retains its high R-value even after prolonged exposure to moisture and freeze/thaw cycling. The sustainability profile of FOAMULAR® NGX™ is validated by a third-party verified Environmental Product Declaration and Optimization Report.

A greater than 80% reduction in GWP qualifies FOAMULAR® NGX™ toward LEED 4.1 points for Options 1 and 2 under the Materials and Resources: Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)—a feat achieved by very few building products.

New design guidelines aim to reduce bird strikes

Ottawa City Council recently approved design guidelines to help keep birds from colliding with buildings and other structures. The guidelines address the design of buildings, lighting and landscaping, and also provide suggestions for improving bird safety around existing buildings.

City staff worked with Safe Wings Ottawa and other experts on basic recommendations as follows:  

• Consider the environmental context and surroundings

• Minimize the transparency and reflectivity of glass  

• Avoid or mitigate design traps, such as glass passageways or corners that are invisible to birds   

• Consider other structural features that might pose a hazard   

• Create bird-friendly landscaping   

• Design exterior lighting to minimize light pollution at night     

• Minimize nighttime light spill from interior lighting


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Engineered Assemblies launches Certified Series for building façade installation

To facilitate more transparency from design of a building façade to its successful installation, Mississauga-based Engineered Assemblies (EA) has developed its Certified Series platform which enables all the parties on a project to communicate efficiently for more assurance that the façade is installed correctly. The Certified Series follows the earlier adoption of the SYSTEM 2-v2 (S2-v2) Design Guide which encourages a uniform industry-wide façade installation system.

For more details or to register for an information session, visit or email