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High-Performance Buildings at the University of British Columbia

ritarepulsa

I am international student and planning to the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in High-Performance Buildings at the University of British Columbia. I have a B.Arch degree from Turkey and had sevaral years of construction experience in Northern Africa. 

I was not able to reach any alumni online so, any comments on the program and the job opportunities in Canada after graduation would highly be appreciated.

Thanks!

https://apscpp.ubc.ca/programs...

 
Oct 31, 20 8:38 am
apscoradiales

Sounds like a very interesting programme. Go for it, if you can afford afford the tuition. You would certainly be more employable.

Job opportunities vary with each province, and government spending - unless you like doing condominiums (or apartments as they are known in  Europe) which are all private developments.

Oct 31, 20 9:07 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

I’ve never heard of this course, but if your goal is to eventually work in Canada, please ensure that your current degree qualifies for licensure. I don’t think this UBC course is an accredited March.



Oct 31, 20 9:11 am  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

It might not be accredited for licensure, but it sure looks like a type of a course every one should take. Energy consumption and waste is very typical of Canadian buildings/houses, plus shoddy construction due to ignorance of contractors and carelessness by the architects. There is a helluva lot of room for improvement, and this course can probably fix some of that.

1  · 
chris-chitect

I often find myself thinking that our horrendous energy consumption and low quality construction in Canada is not a technological issue nor educational one. There's just very little public appetite for spending a tiny bit more on the purchase of a home or condo for greater comfort or energy performance. I do agree there is a bit of ignorance on the part of mainstream contractors and a justification that "we always do it this way" and architects that aren't necessarily careless, but just give up (and who can blame them). On the positive side, BC has the Step Code which is getting tighter and tighter. Those that aren't adapting or being proactive are going to have a tough time adjusting to the newer standards.

2  · 
bowling_ball

Agreed with chris here. We have some of the very best buildings scientists, most rigorous energy codes, and believe it or not, quality designers and contractors in the world. When quality or efficiency get value engineered (or never included in the first place), 100% of the time it's because of the client in my experience.

 · 
Non Sequitur

Chris, care to summarise this Step code?

 · 
chris-chitect

Hmm, my understanding is that it is a phased approach to reaching netzero construction by 2032. The next step is in 2022 for Step 3, Then Step 4 by 2027 and finally step 5 in 2032. I haven't fully come to understand how it's being implemented as it is referenced as optional depending on the municipality. If you can build to the Passive House standard, you're meeting Step 5. Those few builders and architects already doing this will probably have an advantage in a couple years as industry struggles to adapt and catch up.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Thanks. Our office has danced with the idea of projects in BC but as far as I know, we've stopped at Alberta. I'll see if I can dig something up tomorrow. I don't hear much passive house noise in ontario.

 · 
apscoradiales

chris-chitect,

There are many issues at hand when it comes to building in Canada.

One issue is lack of choices for the home buyer- this ranges from simple aesthetics to energy conservation. For example, just look how horrible new subdivision houses look in Ontario. They look like nightmares of various styles from 200-300 years ago. I carp about Quebec a lot - it deserves to be carped about, but one thing I have to give the local architects and builders is credit for designing and building really nice looking, contemporary houses. Such is certainly not the case in Ontario.

OTOH, I see new houses in Quebec with those ghastly sliding windows that leak like a sieve. And they're all too common in Ontario too. Last house I had built in Europe - about 2.5 years ago was well into TRIPLE glazing, huge R values for exterior envelope as well as infinite number of building material choices compared to Canada. They energy-rate all their houses with simple graphics that don't require a Masters in Architecture to understand - same graphics that they use for house appliances and a multitude of other products. I was pleasantly surprised by the contractors there who were not only well qualified to do the work, but also read instructions that came for each building material. Ontario contractors never do - at least I have never seen them do it, "We've always done it that way" is their classic standard answer. They actually lined up tile joints or went EQ/EQ when they installed them either on the walls or floors - I had to yell at the tile setters to do that in Ontario. One usually ends up with slivers of tile at one end...I hate that with passion.

There are sooooo many awful things that the contractors, and some architects do here, I could write a whole book on the subject. And, they don't want to learn. Some architects are the same - they just send an accountant to hunt you down, "We have to send that invoice to the Owner. You have until tomorrow to finish the drawings". Who hell cares if the documents suck or are not even half-done, the invoice has to be sent. Contractors love half-baked documents - they see dollar signs written all over that contract.

Oct 31, 20 5:19 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

But your book would be incredibly outdated and incorrect. Sure shows how long you've been out of the game... granted no-one thinks mass suburban track housing is of anything but minimum quality, few, if any, ever pass in front of an architect. It's even worse in Ontario where any random wanker with a 2y college degree can pass BCIN and draft up plans for part 9 buildings permits (which, as I am sure you know, require nothing more than basic plans & elevations + one wall assembly). But that is not what we do.

Perhaps you've only worked with shitty contractors and shitty clients in badly run offices, but what you describe is not what I see in my projects. Most contractors take pride in their work and most architects know how to design and detail. The good ones see their details through on site and talk with the trades to ensure design intent is met. I certainly do and I let the GC know at the start of construction what details I will insist on (hence why I produce 1:2 details of jamb, reveals, membrane flashings, etc). They missed them, they redo, every single time. I also make it explicit where I want my finishes joints.  It's not hard, and most GC expect this information to be on the drawings.

So, your experience is not at all relevant to the construction market most Canadian architects work in.

 · 
apscoradiales

BS! Look at the number of people in the photos, and tell me that they were happy with their home construction. Behind every one of those homeowners house was an architects. And you tell me that my experience is not relevant to the construction market most Canadian architects work in? Either you are dumb or you simply don't have enough contact with contractors or don't do any follow-up with home owners. Which one is it?

 ·  1
apscoradiales

Stupid forum!

 · 
apscoradiales

....deletes half of my reply.

 · 
Almosthip

I have to agree with NS on this one, your information is outdated. We have legislated energy code in effect in most provinces. Things are changing for sure.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Aps, keep the grumpy old man ramblings to yourself. You clearly have lost something in your “retirement years”.

 · 
apscoradiales

pissed off homeowners

Nov 1, 20 12:48 pm  · 
 ·  1
Non Sequitur

You’re incredibly ignorant of reality.

 · 
apscoradiales

"New homes in Ottawa subdivision riddled with mould, other deficiencies"

"...More than 80 homeowners met last week to vent their frustration..."

"...The garage of Marcel and Julie Bellefeuille has become something of a nerve centre in Cardinal Creek, a place where residents gather to compare mould reports and seek advice about dealing with Tarion. 

The rest of the Bellefeuilles' home is sheathed in plastic while workers use a jackhammer to pry loose the concrete in the basement in order to install the vapour barrier that was never installed during construction. 

Julie Bellefeuille won't enter her own home without a mask because of the construction dust and the potential for airborne mould..."

Where was the architect in this? Picking his nose and sending out another invoice? Then you tell me that it's not like that?!

Yeah, sure.

Nov 1, 20 12:53 pm  · 
 ·  1
Almosthip

Architects don't design single family homes, so go blame someone else. How about The Authority Having Jurisdiction? Start there.

3  · 
Non Sequitur

Who said an architect was involved? For most, ie 99% of homes, no arch is required. I think you’re watching too many disaster Reno daytime shows. Real projects with real architects don’t have these issues here.

 · 
apscoradiales

Oh, so you think you can get a Building Permit for a whole bunch of townhomes in a subdivision without architect's stamped drawings? Really?!!! Single detached houses are a whole 'nother matter. You may work for a firm that does luxury, custom single detached homes, but most peoples lives do not revolve around that. Who do you think worked on all those fugly subdivisions around GTA besides planners, maybe? They're called architects!

 ·  2
Almosthip

We work for firms that design commercial, industrial, institutional and Mutli-family apartments that are over 3 stories in height. Not row houses or single family homes. We design under part 3 of the building code relevant to our province. You apparently have no idea what architects do.

1  · 
Non Sequitur

Aps, you literally have no fucking clue. Give it up.

 · 
apscoradiales

bowling_ball,

"...We have some of the very best buildings scientists, most rigorous energy codes, and believe it or not, quality designers and contractors in the world..."

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can I get some of the stuff you're smoking?

Nov 1, 20 12:56 pm  · 
 ·  1
apscoradiales

Almosthip,

"Architects don't design single family homes, so go blame someone else. How about The Authority Having Jurisdiction? Start there."

Yes they do! I can name you half a dozen architects in GTA who do.

Custom homes are not often the problem; subdivision housing is! And to get a Building Permit for them, you do need a set of architectural drawings stamped by an architect. Try getting a permit for them without a stamp, and tell me how it went! We're not talking about a single family dwelling under 6,000 sf.

"...Authority Having Jurisdiction..." are a bunch of useless public servants who are covered by cities insurance policy, and they don't care one bit if you miss that 2 hour fire rated wall or not. You should read the link I posted about city of Ottawa's response to people living in mould-infested homes before you shift the blame to "civil servants".

Nov 1, 20 3:16 pm  · 
 · 
Almosthip

I repeat architects DO NOT design subdivision housing.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

we've reached new levels of ignorance here.


1  · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

So, if I "literally have no fucking clue", "we've reached new levels of ignorance here", "We have some of the very best buildings scientists, most rigorous energy codes, and believe it or not, quality designers and contractors in the world", "I produce 1:2 details of jamb, reveals, membrane flashings, etc)", why do then have such shitty houses in Canada?

Houses that leak water, have cracked foundation walls, leaky basements, weeping tiles that are not connected to properly, shingles that don't last more than 6-7 years, have mould in the attics and walls, sliding windows that leak like a sieve, floors that squeak, missing vapour barriers, incomplete or incompatible air barriers, insufficient attic ventilation, why do plumbers put plumbing lines along the base plate where it's coldest and pipes freeze when the temperatures dip below zero, condos that leak ("leaky condos" from Vancouver - you do remember that or are you too young to have heard about it?"), delaminating or leaky EIFS, etc., etc., etc....

Why do we have all these and more issues if everyone is so brilliant and doing a good job? Why? Why do people complain about their newly built houses? Is it because I have no fucking clue? Or is it because you, and most other practicing architects and contractors have forgotten or ignored their responsibilities? Architecture is not just about building the newest and best hospital or a school or an office building or a shopping centre; it's also relating to the typical, average Canadian who right now lives in the shittiest possible "house".

Think about it before you spew out more nonsense...

Nov 1, 20 6:48 pm  · 
 ·  1
Non Sequitur

I’m not reading your rambles. I was correct earlier. I am still correct. Not my fault you’ve had a shit career with little to show for at the end.

1  · 
apscoradiales

"Think about it before you spew out more nonsense..."

 · 
Non Sequitur

I’ve given your POV as much thought as it deserved.

 · 
apscoradiales

"Almosthip

I repeat architects DO NOT design subdivision housing"

I did them on several occasions for big-time Architectural firms in Toronto. Evidently, you haven't been around long enough.

Nov 1, 20 6:54 pm  · 
 ·  2
Non Sequitur

You’ve already demonstrated that your experience is worth jack shit.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

If everything is so brilliant and rosy in Canada, and you and your fellow practicing architects as well as contractors are doing such a fantastic job, why did then U of BC start the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in High-Performance Buildings?

To have you and other idiots part with your hard earned cash? Or, God forbid, is there maybe a need for it? Nawh, that simply cannot be....

Nov 1, 20 7:03 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

Because tuition brings in money. Plenty of advance building courses are available. My graduate school has the leading building science prof in the country.

 · 
Non Sequitur

so here we have a disgruntled grand pa claiming that architects ought be responsible for the  build quality of suburban sprawl.  A “fine” idea until you take into account the cost of that expertise.  Housing is a commodity and already out of reach of most people. Who is to absorb the extra cost and construction time/review? Where do we get all the extra staff to do weekly site visit and answer site like we do for our private clients? 


Just another old rambling, thinking they have a point. Nothing to see here and definitively not something informed by reality. 


Want change, then run for mayor and enforced greater minimum reqs. 98% of houses do not involve architects, so it’s not up to us to fix this problem. 

Nov 1, 20 7:06 pm  · 
1  · 
apscoradiales

Always somebody else's problem; not mine.

 · 
Non Sequitur

We don’t control the market. Suburban housing is a race to the bottom, blame to consumers and the contractors cutting corners. Not the architects who we’re never involved in the first place.

1  · 
apscoradiales

"...Almosthip

We work for firms that design commercial, industrial, institutional and Mutli-family apartments that are over 3 stories in height..."

Am I supposed to be impressed by that? Keep at it, you might learn something one day.


Nov 1, 20 7:14 pm  · 
 · 
Almosthip

No not to impress but to teach you

 · 
bowling_ball

The fact remains that you're so far out of the loop, that the rest of us can't take you seriously anymore. I agree with the others that somewhere between 98 and 99% of single / duplex / townhome housing is designed by people other than architects. Take up your grievances with those responsible, not those of us here who are trying to do the right thing.

2  · 
Non Sequitur

Ahip, some old dogs cannot be taught. Some just need a one-way trip to the backside of the barn.

 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

"...I produce 1:2 details of jamb, reveals, membrane flashings, etc)..."

"... Where do we get all the extra staff to do weekly site visit..."

So, you have time and money to detail flashings, and jambs, but you don't have time nor money for a Contract Admin guy to do site visits, write reports, do the CCN, and CO's?

You see nothing wrong with that picture?

Lordy Lord...!!!

Nov 2, 20 10:44 am  · 
 ·  1
Non Sequitur

We do plenty of CA... it's actually one of my specialties and I, pre covid, typically spend several hours on site per week reviewing and talking over solutions with the trades. My 1:2 details are done for tender so that there is no argument on site when I point out incorrect products/laps/installation/etc. Nothing wrong with "my picture" but plenty wrong with yours.

1  · 
whistler

My head hurt reading all this.  Getting back to the original question.  I graduated from UBC many years back, I stay in touch a little but had't head of the course you noted.  However I do know that UBC has brought forth a lot of new programs related to timber engineering and sustainable building practices through the Architecture / Landscape programs / Engineering and Forestry.  I have know idea how they rank in an international comparison but regionally ( western Canada ) they seem to be very well received. UBC campus has been a great testing ground for many aspects of those building advancements too.

Nov 2, 20 3:17 pm  · 
1  · 
apscoradiales

It is a welcome subject to be taught at any school in Canada; it is badly needed. So, take it if at all possible. Wouldn't pay too much attention to whether people say UBC has a good or indifferent reputation.

 · 
ritarepulsa

any alumni? hello?

Nov 4, 20 1:52 pm  · 
 · 
Wall-E

Quick hack- If you are worried about course- ask a professor, if employability, check Linkedin for the school page & see where people go after the programme.

Nov 6, 20 12:08 pm  · 
 · 

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