Open Assets

The power of an idea is magnified through collaboration and different perspectives.

File Size

6 MB

The Insider’s Guide to Vancouver

A curated guide to our favourite spots around the Lower Mainland.

Print a copy, share it with a friend, or keep it for yourself.

File Size


Dictionary Dining

A collaborative cookbook with artist Annabelle Choi

Cookbooks come in many forms and styles. This one is about shared meals, comfort, and memory.

File Size


Global Climate Strike

Elephant in the Room Placard

Join us in the streets at the next Global Climate Strike.

Read more

The climate crisis is the single greatest issue of our time, and it requires urgent action.

As an industry, we are responsible for creating safe and just spaces for humanity and biodiversity to thrive. Designing and delivering buildings, however, accounts for significant greenhouse gas emissions, and has a tremendous impact on the health of both our communities and our environment.

Business as usual is not an option. We must address the complexity and urgency of this issue; one we believe is as much social as it is bio-physical. It’s time to examine ourselves, our business practices, and our influence on society if we are to give our children, and our planet, the future they deserve.

We invite you to join us outside Vancouver City Hall at 1pm, and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Victoria, at 12pm, on Friday, September 27th for the strike.

hcma also commits to further actions, including those in the Canadian Architectural Professionals Climate Declaration.


Read less

File Size


Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification — Cost Study

Comparing RHFAC to Canada’s building codes

Inclusive, accessible buildings are achievable at no additional cost.

Read more

The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification rates the level of meaningful access of the built environment, keeping in mind user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,200 buildings across Canada have been rated through the program.

This report compares the RHFAC program with Canada’s 2015 National Building Code (NBC) and the 2018 Ontario Building Code (OBC). The findings reinforce that NBC and OBC on their own are not stringent enough to meet the holistic needs of people with disabilities, and that meaningful accessibility can be achieved with minimal cost impact to building owners, developers and designers.

The cost comparison feasibility study also finds that new buildings could be certified Gold – the highest tier of accessibility under the RHFAC program –if construction costs were increased by as little as one per cent. Public and private sites, as well as multi-unit residential buildings can achieve ‘RHF Accessibility Certification’ or ‘RHF Accessibility Certified Gold’ by scoring at least 60 per cent or 80 per cent respectively on the RHFAC Rating Survey.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Projects can achieve RHF Accessibility Certification (or a score of 70-74% on the RHFAC Rating Survey) at no additional cost through thoughtful planning and design
  • Projects built to meet the minimum requirements of National or Ontario building codes would not achieve RHF Accessibility Certification
  • On average, there is only a 1% construction cost increase to build to RHF Accessibility Certified Gold, when meeting NBC or OBC
  • Office buildings incur the smallest cost increase to achieve RHF Accessibility Certified Gold at a cost increase of approximately 0.4%
  • Meaningful accessibility can be achieved with minimal cost impact through a commitment to thoughtful planning and design, i.e. material selection
Read less

File Size

7 MB

Designing for Inclusivity

Strategies for Universal Washrooms and Change Rooms in Community and Recreation Facilities

Tangible strategies that promote design as a tool for social impact.

File Size

17 MB

More Awesome Now

Laneway Learning Guide

How hcma and the DVBIA transformed Vancouver's laneways.

Read more

More Awesome Now takes existing, underutilized laneways and reshapes them into engaging public spaces that are accessible by everyone and contribute to the livelihood of our city. With support from hcma, our partners at the DVBIA have created a Laneway Learning Guide to help others do the same.

Read less

File Size

47 kb

PLACES manifesto

hcma's principles for shaping public architecture

The guide we use to enrich the communities, businesses, and people.

Read more

We are dedicated to the notion that public architecture can strengthen and enrich the communities, businesses, and people it serves. Our PLACES manifesto illustrates the principles we use to support this.


Read less

File Size

194 KB

POOLS manifesto

hcma's principles for shaping aquatic architecture

The principles we use to help shape strong and healthy communities.

Read more

In and out of the water, we are dedicated to the notion that aquatic architecture can contribute to shaping strong and healthy communities. Our POOLS manifesto illustrates the principles we use to support this.


Read less

File Size

5.70 MB

Natural Swimming Pools Report

Examining a chlorine-free future for public swimming

Harnessing the power of aquatic plant life for a healthier swimming experience.

Read more

Natural swimming pools offer a chlorine-free bathing experience that harnesses the power of aquatic plant life to create a healthier public swimming experience. hcma has spent the last year researching this approach to outdoor swimming, captured in this report.

Natural Swimming Pool HCMA

Read less

File Size

98 KB

Toxic Materials List

One page of materials to avoid

A quick reference for your notebook.

Read more

We've compiled a list of toxic materials, which building materials they can be found in, and their harmful side effects. When printed, this tabloid-sized reference sheet folds to letter size for quick reference in notebooks/binders.

HCMA Toxic Materials List

Read less

File Size

1 MB

Tiny People Silhouettes

Vector line drawings

Use them how you please.

Read more

These vector silhouettes can be scaled, repeated, inverted, outlined, used as masks, etc. in any vector based program. They can be used to populate your architectural rendering, to make a quirky graphic, as laser cut outlines, or in animations.

Share your Tiny People creations with us!

Tiny People HCMA

Read less