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April 5: Effective strategies for assessment and processing of heritage improvement projects (panel discussion)

The mechanisms for upgrading buildings have developed significantly

over the last 20 years- particularly in the City of Vancouver. While the

current guidance for upgrading buildings is more definitive and intended

to be flexible, the individual characteristics of historic and other existing

buildings often require a bespoke i.e. customized-strategy to be

developed. The perception in the development and design community is

that it is more difficult to upgrade existing structures; certain

professionals and others may have perceptions about the level of

upgrading that may be misplaced.  Often, the assumption is that full

seismic or other upgrading is required and will be prohibitively

expensive. The construction industry has perpetuated the view that

demolition is cheaper than new construction despite extensive studies

(BRE for instance) to the contrary.

The starting point of any strategy for upgrading, in the past has been the

complete assessment of a building its condition, features and risks. This

assessment then feeds into the design scheme that will minimize costs

of construction. Based on this, a strategy can be developed that aligns

the proposed changes with the intent of Part 11 of the Bylaw. In other

instances deviation is required based on the individual elements of the

design that may challenge the assumptions upon which the Bylaw is

based. Typically the City is flexible but the process for them is time

intensive and these projects require a higher level of staff expertise.


Once an agreement is reached on the extent of upgrading can drive the

design development.


The processing of permits for existing buildings varies. The use of the CP

program is common but there are potential problems that can arise.


As the affordability of conversions varies significantly depending on the

strategy and processing of permits, a fast track process for rehabilitating

buildings and processing permits may be a consideration.

This panel discussion will look at various ways that the system could be

improved to increase affordability and processing to bring renovated

space on stream.

Chad Mooney, Mooney K C: Architect, Erv Hildebrandt, City of Vancouver, Pat Ryan, City of Vancouver, (additional members to be confirmed).

John Ivison

Date: April 5, 2016
Time: Registration and Reception 5:30pm 
Location: False Creek Yacht Club (1661 Granville Street) 
Cost: Members - $30; Non-members $35. Please bring cash or a cheque payable to BC Society of Fire Protection Engineers to cover the cost of dinner.
Registration Deadline: April 1, 2016

Free parking is available in the Yacht Club parking lot.

Start date: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 17:00

Signups closed for this Event