Cloister House Measured Architecture
Karis Place Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects
Fraser River House Scott M. Kemp Architect
Vancouver Island Visitor Centre Stantec Architecture Ltd.
Corix - Gateway 200 Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design Inc.
Kensington Prairie Community Centre Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design Inc.
Kwantlen Langley West Wing Taylor Kurtz Architecture + Design Inc.
Jameson House Walter Francl Architecture Inc.
Trout Lake Community Centre & Ice Arena Walter Francl Architecture Inc.
2012 AIBC Honorary Membership Bob Williams At the annual meeting on May 12,
2012, the status of Honorary Member was awarded to Bob Williams. The title recognizes non-architects who have made an especially noteworthy contribution to the profession of architecture in British Columbia. Williams, active in both local and provincial politics, was cited for his innovations in the areas of government and finance policy that provided a basis for innovation within the profession. A former Minister of Resources and Deputy Minister for Crown Corporations at the provincial level, he is also a past Vancouver City Councillor and chair of the City of Vancouver’s Planning Commission. He is also a longstanding member of the Vancity Board of Directors.
2012 AIBC Scholarship Program Each year, the AIBC is pleased to fund scholarships to exemplary students in the University of British Columbia’s Master of Architecture Program as well as the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Architectural & Building Engineering Technology and Architectural Science programs, recognizing academic standing and progress. Recipients for 2012 include:
University of British Columbia School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture AIBC Medal - awarded to an outstanding student in the graduating class who has demonstrated excellence in academic work as well as in design and who holds the promise of making a contribution to the profession of architecture: • Esteban Matheus Additional Scholarships:
• • • • •
Darren Huebert Alexandra Kenyon Arthur Leung Jean Dieres Monplaisir Michael Taylor
British Columbia Institute of Technology AIBC Achievement Award: • Kimberly Wahlstrom AIBC Achievement Award in Architecture: • Benny Kwok AIBC Achievement Award in Architectural Science: • Billy Lee AIBC Award in Architecture: • Shawn Rodgers AIBC Award in Architectural Science: • Joshua Tessaro
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago USA
Photographer: Steve Hall ÂŠ Hedrich Blessing
Opposite: The Nature Boardwalk, a project of Studio Gang Architects, transforms a picturesque urban pond from the 19th Century into an ecological habitat buzzing with life.
architect Jeanne Gang FAIA LEED AP, founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, breaks the mold on many fronts. A leader in architectural research and innovation, she heads up her own successful firm, speaks out on behalf of her local community, and constantly seeks balance between the natural and built environments in her work. Her accomplishments are all the more impressive given her place as a female practitioner within a heavily maledominated profession. British Columbia’s architectural community recently had a firsthand opportunity to hear Gang’s inspirational message. Her keynote presentation to the 2012 AIBC Annual Conference revealed fascinating glimpses into her impressive project portfolio, innovative design and collaborative processes, and sources of inspiration. The following conversation further explores the workings of one of the world’s brightest architectural lights. AIBC: In your keynote address at the 2012 AIBC Annual Conference, you spoke to the conference theme of “Elevation: Reaching Higher Ground” and connections to architectural innovation. You noted how your own firm serves as an “ideas testing lab.” Can you expand on how your work and design philosophy help to elevate the architectural profession? Jeanne Gang: Our office operates with the attitude that each project is
Elevating the Architectural Profession related to larger systems. We try to make these systems (or ecologies) visible so that our project - and the projects of others - might have greater impact. AIBC: Your firm is actively involved in research and development. Can you tell us a bit about the types of R&D work your team is currently involved in, and why it is important?
american architect jeanne gang on nature, nurture and what lies between
JG: There is research on a number of levels, including information gathering and analysis. We’re also involved in research in the form of architectural solutions that are not necessarily commissions – for example competitions. Finally, we have a number of tests on material and assemblies going on in our lab, like the work with compressed blocks that I mentioned in my keynote presentation. AIBC: What was it that made you want to become an architect? JG: I saw architecture as a way to have an impact on the state of cities. I also liked the connections that architecture maintains between science, art and the natural world. AIBC: “Studio Gang” suggests a very collaborative approach to architecture. How much of your work comes from your own inspired vision versus a team effort? JG: Ideas can come from anyone on the team, and I always support the best idea rising to the top, no matter who architectureBC 67
sketched it or developed it. I see my role as guiding and directing the design process, so in that sense, of course, the work reflects my interests. AIBC: How do you choose your clients? JG: When deciding on a project, we look into the program and site first. If those are both of interest, then we take a closer look at the client - observing their behavior to see if it will be a good match. We want it to be a rewarding experience for both parties. Ideally, we prefer those clients who, for whatever reason, seem to have a strong chance of getting the project built. AIBC: It’s impressive that an internationally–renowned architect manages to stay relevant, sustainable and local. Can you speak to how your practice stays connected to local community projects and issues? JG: We feel a part of our own community, and when we address issues that are specific to Chicago we also know they will usually have resonance with other, more global issues. Sometimes people come to us with local projects and sometimes we help to identify what the local project might be. AIBC: In your keynote presentation, you referenced your team’s work in rebuilding a Chicago-area public pond and park. Can you share a bit about that project? JG: This was our Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo project, which redesigned a pond in a park that was built over a hundred years ago. At that time, water in an urban environment 68 architectureBC
was meant to provide a nostalgic, picturesque reminder of what nature was like outside the gritty industrial city. Our redesign recasts the pond as a piece of living habitat, stormwater (green) infrastructure, and recreational space for people. It explores the relationship between animal and human pathways in cities. AIBC: Your keynote also explored some of Studio Gang’s unique approaches to sustainability. Given today’s pressing climate change challenges and other environmental concerns, it seems that sustainability is no longer a choice, but rather an imperative. What is your approach to sustainability? Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago USA
JG: Our projects take their locations into account to specifically respond to climate. First, we do as much as we can do to make nature work for us. We do this by addressing the orientation of the building, the location of glazing, and natural ventilation in order to reduce the energy loads, and then try to improve the building’s performance from there. AIBC: The measurement of “green design” and the concept of genuine sustainability have become a bit contentious. In your opinion, how should architects best measure their “success” in these areas?
JG: Measuring success should be about literally measuring the success. There are numbers and targets to hit. Let’s all start with seeing if our buildings meet the targets. In the design process, every building faces trade-offs. Our Aqua Tower had them, for example, but now that it is occupied, we are measuring how it actually performs, and it is exceeding its targets. AIBC: What are your interests outside of architecture? JG: I am very interested in the natural sciences, anthropology, art and performance. AIBC: Where do you find inspiration? JG: Usually my inspiration comes from reading, traveling, collaborating or drawing. AIBC: Returning to that notion of “Elevation: Reaching Higher Ground,” do you think the role of the architect in society has changed since you began your practice? JG: Yes, the role has changed and will continue to change. I think architects need to keep up with what is going on in the world and try to make links between their practices and these events.
Oslo Opera House, Norway by SnĂ¸hetta
Photo: Gerald Zugmann
This Place has a Space
two internationally renowned architects share their thoughts on common space, community and public ownership of space architectureBC 71
Aerial Rendering: SnĂ¸hetta NY
Opposite: Aerial rendering of planned Times Square Reconstruction by Snøhetta NY
This spring, the AIBC introduced a new lecture series focussed on bringing fresh, diverse architectural voices to British Columbia’s design community. The Perspectives Lecture Series launched on April 30, 2012 with a special double bill featuring Kim Herforth Nielsen Architect MAA / RIBA, founder and principal of Denmark’s 3XN and Craig Dykers MNAL AIA FRSA, New York partner and director of New York-based Snøhetta. These top international architects offered unparalleled and unfettered insight into global trends and their own design philosophies. They openly shared their unique takes on design innovation and community building while challenging traditionallyconceived views of architecture. Particular attention was given to the importance of public space in creating vibrant, vital architecture. The evening concluded with an open invitation for all design professionals to actively set new standards of architectural excellence. Read on to learn more about how these two international firms are doing just that.
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games were an eye opener for many Vancouverites, for a variety of reasons. It was an immense global spectacle, with a tremendous transient populace flowing freely amongst the venues and throughout the streets of the city. Central to its success was the decision to keep core areas of Vancouver’s city centre closed to all forms of
transportation other than pedestrian traffic. While the city had hosted other sizeable events in the past, none were on such a scale, and none entailed extensive road closures. Remarkably, the anticipated chaos from a downtown core essentially shut down to traffic failed to materialize. While there was, predictably, some opposition to the closing of streets and restrictions on traffic, both visitors and locals seemed to appreciate the experience of leaving their cars and enjoying the temporary conditions. This became one of the real legacies of the games; a chance to experience first-hand the joys of community space. This experience points to the bigger situation currently faced by many major North American cities: finding a balance between growing transportation demands and a desire for liveable urban space. In short, while automobiles retain tremendous value in our lives, they need not win every debate. Craig Dykers is partner/director of Snøhetta New York. In his view, “common space can be misunderstood and can be more problematic than positive. In some cases, common spaces have had all their refinements removed, which can alienate people. The other side of that coin suggests you can have too much social space designed into the common space, which gives everyone the impression that they are to act a certain way. This also alienates because people like to occupy space on their own terms.”
With recognition of the positives that flow from added common space and increased pedestrian traffic comes an understanding of, and need for, more appropriately designed community space. Take New York. A while back, the city considered proposals for how to reconstruct iconic Times Square into a flexible event space, accessible by pedestrians and cyclists alike, concomitantly improving the curb appeal and customer foot traffic for existing business. The city eventually commissioned Snøhetta. While still a work in progress, the planned redesign calls for both permanent and moveable sidewalks framing various public plazas, creating distinct walking areas and serving as a magnet for visitors. The revisioning of Time Square is something for which Snøhetta is wellsuited. As project budgets tend to be less-than-generous in provisions of public space, and where firms often display a tendency to press building envelopes to the absolute limits of the property lines, Snøhetta takes a different tact. The Snøhetta approach is to make public space a significant feature of the buildings themselves. Snøhetta’s commitment to public space can be seen in the Oslo Opera House, whose minimal modernism entices people to walk its generous grounds. In creating public space, the firm plays on the notion that rather than just occupying space on their own terms, people are active participants architectureBC 73
Left: Rendering of Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto (under construction), a project of Snøhetta Oslo /NY with Zeidler Partnership Architects
within that space – part of a shared experience. The result has been some radically intriguing designs, and projects featuring a harmonious blend of functional features cohesively integrating stimulus for the fluid movement of people. As Dykers observes: “People are physically active within spaces, and spaces allow them to move their bodies in a particular way in relation to gravity, slopes of the ground plane and challenges with vertical surfaces.” This emphasis on movement and engagement adds a physical health component to public space as well. It is a philosophy immediately 74 architectureBC
recognizable in Snøhetta’s iconic opera house and, closer to home, the Ryserson Student Learning Centre in Toronto. Successful public space must also offer sightlines that cultivate visual interaction and allow people to establish their relationship with their surroundings as well as other people. It helps create a needed sense of security. The Ørestad College in Copenhagen, designed by internationally renowned Danish firm 3XN, exemplifies this style of massing structure, creating accessible contours throughout an interior landscape. Designed to communicate
Ørestad College in Copenhagen, Denmark by 3XN
both vertically and horizontally, the interior revolves around a broad central staircase, forming the basis for a superstructure of overlapping spaces along with the vertical aperture of an atrium.
inside and outside the building,” explains Nielsen. “As a result, that creates a very sculptural building. It’s very much about the logistics of how the spatial elements flow together and how people move up and down.”
Architect Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder and principal of 3XN, likens his firm’s work to another noted Danish designer, Jan Gehl. He makes the distinction, however, that while Gehl is better known for his theories on urban planning, 3XN focuses on designing life inside buildings. “We try to approach it from the angle of what we want to achieve with this building; what we want to happen
In all of 3XN’s work, one can find careful logistical calculations narrating the design of all spatial elements, including ones that are often overlooked. For instance, Nielsen has a distain for hallways. “I hate corridors,” he says. “We always try to transform these spaces reserved for movement into more soft areas.”
Nielsen believes corridors tend to be monotonous, predictable, leftover spaces with no positive value. To address this, his team will add another dimension by taking a unique view of all that can happen inside and outside the building. They consider the space normally reserved for components such as hallways or square rooms, and reconfigure the circulation between programmatic requisite functions through unexpected spatial interpretations. “For example,” adds Nielsen, “with the (Stadshuis Nieuwegein) design, there are no corridors in the design of the building. This is something we try to do in all our buildings.” architectureBC 75
Toying With Architecture
Stadshuis Nieuwegein in the Netherlands by 3XN
While Snøhetta is best known for delivering large-scale, world-class projects, the firm also finds time for smaller endeavours. “We recently finished something rather funny,” shares Craig Dykers, MNAL AIA FRSA, New York partner and director of Snøhetta. “It caused a lot of excitement in the office.” The project: a finely-crafted doll house. Says Dykers: “It’s just a tiny little doll’s house; one inch equals one foot; the international standard scale of doll’s houses.”
Photo: Adam Mørk The firm has actually produced two, with the first going to auction for the benefit of a children’s hospital in México. Snøhetta so enjoyed that project, the staff rolled up their sleeves to build another for their office. As Dykers explains, such a small project actually has great significance. “It’s fun to work on something like that in the office, but more importantly it gives children the opportunity to see that design and architecture have value and that it’s not just a single-track path. “To be able to open up the world of what we do to younger people and still make something fun and enjoyable is something that I think more architects should start to consider.”
This in part is how they derive such generous, open common spaces in all of their projects. The result is not only uninhibited designs, but considerably more value for their clients and the building’s users. Evidence of 3XN’s commitment to usable space can be found inside the Stadshuis Nieuwegein, where the atrium vaults the eye vertically the length of a five-storey transparent elevator shaft gently embraced by a broad winding staircase.
various cities around the globe. When local officials barred protestors from public spaces, it forced some groups to occupy private space in order to make their public statement. The resulting conflict illustrated the tension that exists between ownership of property and space, and highlighted the value and purpose of publicly accessible space.
While Snøhetta and 3XN are both revered international architectural practices that share similar philosophies and approaches, each has unique interpretations of what common space can be, and innovative methodologies to build community in the public realm.
As noted by both Dykers and Nielsen, this is an area where architects and designers can have an immediate and lasting impact on communities. Simply put, people need places that provide spaces where they can physically interact with, and be engaged by, their surroundings and each other. It all serves to build the social and spatial relationships that nurture our innate reasoning ability.
As Dykers suggests, the public will generally be sceptical of how much space should be afforded to the public when it is outside their direct control, even temporary “ownership” of public space. That scenario played out at the recent Occupy Movement protests in
Dykers has observed a recent shift in focus from the issues of planetary health to that of human health. The link between human health and physical space, and the related role of architects, is a needed part of that conversation.
Stadhuis Nieuwegein in the Netherlands by 3XN
Photos: Adam MĂ¸rk architectureBC 77
Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre in Teslin, Yukon by kobayashi + zedda architects ltd.
a bc architect shares his experiences of working in a northern climate
With an estimated 75 percent of Canadians living within 160 kilometres of the temperate American border, it’s not surprising that most architects will never have to contemplate the multifarious nature of designing for permanently-frozen environments. Yet, this is the everyday reality for the approximately 23 B.C.-registered architects living and working north of 60°. Architects who choose to live and practice in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, where fleeting summer temperatures barely reach the high 20s before plunging toward -30, work with the certainty that their buildings face the added test of a harsh, hostile climate. One such firm is kobayashi + zedda, established by Jack Kobayashi Architect AIBC and Antonio Zedda Architect AIBC in 1993. Since then, the firm’s small but determined design team has produced award-winning projects despite unique challenges and often hostile surroundings. Designing for the north is a challenging proposition where there are many realities for consideration; whether providing some socio-economic spin-offs to small communities often with high unemployment, being faced with tricky topography, or contending with climatic restraints such as permafrost. For example, permafrost simply eliminates any and all underground services typically found in building foundations. Then there are considerations of freeze thawing, where climate change has been the cause for greater building movement with a thawing differential anywhere from two to five inches. 80 architectureBC
Depending on the size of building, it may require pilings up to 40 feet deep to reach the frozen ground to rest upon. “We live in a very cold climate, one of the coldest places on the planet where it’s dark for half of the year,” remarks Zedda from his offices in Whitehorse. “With the lack of day-lighting and the extreme cold, these two aspects alone have a significant impact on a building’s energy demand.” To avoid the deep winters, the northern building industry has historically been scheduled to start in April and finish by October or November. In more recent years, the
pressures of progress have persuaded more year-round development. It’s not a simple accommodation, Zedda points out. “Winter building is avoided if at all possible because it slows the schedule,” he notes, “and with the weather, it can be unpredictable. Not to mention no one is enjoying themselves.” Beyond the extreme weather, working in northern communities requires a particular diligence, and the ability to plan for a variety of other considerations. Many communities are populated with less than 500 people and devoid of some of the simplest amenities common to most urban environments. Standard practices that those in southern cities might
Panelized constrction at work; Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation to labourers the community service centre Vuntut Firston Nations community members located in Old Crow, work on panelized construction ofYukon the Old Crow Research Facility.
take for granted, such as the recycling of drywall, are problematic. Even the transportation of the building materials can be next-to-impossible for land-locked communities without an accessible road and reliant on airplanes for supplies. As Zedda points out, “When you’re designing a building in a community that has no road access, then suddenly everything becomes really important.” While working in a relatively larger community such as Whitehorse poses fewer limitations, there is still the sobering reality that projects are tied to the local labour force. Incorporating building systems typically associated with sustainable design can also be problematic since they require
technology and skilled labour not often found anywhere near the project sites. The preferred choice quickly becomes impractical, and working to achieve any sort of LEED certification can be very difficult. For the team at kobayashi+zedda, attempting to get LEED transportation credits is simply a non-starter; public transportation is virtually non-existent for the majority of communities in which they work. Rather than proposing the latest sustainable system, they must focus on developing simple systems that can be handled by the local trades. While there is no difficulty with flying in skilled labour during construction, it’s an added cost that also diminishes
Old Crow permafrost foundation detail
Old Crow Research Facility Old Crow, Yukon • A 400 square meter research facility on permafrost foundation created using 360° design-build via construction arm. • All materials for the building had to be flown in as the community does not have road access. • It features a 55 panel, 12.1 KW grid-tied photovoltaic array, the largest PV installation in the Yukon. The PV array provides substantial environmental benefits since the community is reliant on diesel generators for nearly all of its electrical needs.
any economic benefits that come with new building projects in these communities. Keeping it local is a compromise that provides clients with buildings they can rely upon and maintain with relative ease. Says Zedda: “Even some of the tender documentation specifies certain requirements for hiring from the community, and most contractors realize that this will actually be cheaper than flying in labour and having to rent housing for them. Locals already have the advantages of a place to live and an understanding of the local environment.” Following the same reasoning, wood frame is the construction method of choice as it allows for inherent knowledge transfer from local trades accustomed to building with wood. Wood frame also lends itself (or perhaps reinforces) to the small-scale construction that is typical. Concrete
is becoming more common in cities like Whitehorse, but only for larger buildings. This isolated existence has a clear impact on the bottom line. When kobayashi+zedda undertook a project in the remote community of Old Crow, costs tipped the scale at $700 per square foot. Working on percentage fee would seem attractive but is not realistic. In order to make projects affordable, Zedda’s fees are typically based on the standard for comparable projects built in southern BC. “There’s obviously an adjustment for living in the North,” he acknowledges, “but if you start plugging numbers for a fee based on such high costs per square foot, the fee is unreasonably large.” The challenges of inauspicious topography and cruel climate, combined with higher project
Transitional Women's Living Unit Whitehorse, Yukon. This facility was designed to be residential in look and scale but differentiated from a typical domestic residence. Exterior windows have been carefully aligned with interior corridors and the four cardinal directions to place an opening for natural light along all axes.
expenses and the lack of skilled labour, has pushed Zedda and his partner Kobayashi to streamline their practice while continually looking for ways to save on constructions costs. “Our approach appears to spend much more time evaluating the envelope because that is the simplest way to achieve a level of energy savings,” he explains. Recently, there has been a move towards prefabricated construction systems in order to reduce costs. Buildings are designed, then fabricated in a factory, disassembled and brought to site. Doing so affords better quality control as an envelope built in a controlled environment is not exposed to the whims of the often-extreme weather. It also helps to minimize material waste on site; only what is needed to build a building gets delivered. Prefab also lowers the requisite level of labour force skill required since workers do not have
Transitional Women's Living Unit building has a gentle sloping berm at its base and a sloping wood soffit to provide some contouring against sharp 90 degree walls and corners. Constructed using local construction crews from the Kwanlin Dun First Nation.
to build to specification. Their job becomes one of assembling the parts, and this in turn helps to bring greater economic opportunity to communities desperate for more basic employment. There’s an additional, elemental advantage. With insulated panelized construction, once the exterior is up, the interiors retain heat. “If you’re just stick framing, it’s difficult for your trades to work in there until insulation is installed,” says Zedda. “But you don’t want that insulation in there until all your trades are actually out of the walls, and that’s not always that easy.” Zedda believes that the future will continue to bring further premanufacturing to the north, with an increasing variety and complexity of products, all for the sake of reducing costly northern construction. Saving money in this way benefits the clients
while building the local economy. As Zedda explains, “When you enter a community of 300 people, obviously the eyes are on you to maximize local employment with the project in town, be that skilled or unskilled labour.” And the more opportunities for long-term employment created by a building project, the greater its acceptance and likelihood of success. This touches upon another distinguishing feature of northern communities: the tight social structure. For example, Zedda has found that residents of smaller communities typically voice stronger opinions on local projects, that must be consciously addressed through an inclusive process of consultation. “Our consultation process ensures that no one feels left out,” he explains, “which, if you think about it, really isn’t too hard because everyone knows each other. It just takes a little enthusiasm
and incentive to get the community involved.” There is often an added cultural aspect as well, since most are predominantly First Nations communities with an expectation that finished projects will respectfully convey a representation of their culture. Says Zedda: “I’ve found that if you go in there with an open mind and let the community take ownership of the process so they feel that they have contributed meaningfully, usually good things come from it.” Cold weather aside, most good architecture ultimately is about community. It goes to the heart of what defines northern communities. This realization – and the consultative approach that flows from it - is another essential ingredient for a successful northern practice.
AFHv concept - Phase One: six months scenario Top Right: Millennium Gate on Pender Street in Chinatown Bottom Right: Stakeholders on walking tour
Backroads to Vibrancy architecture for humanity vancouver’s vision for the revitalization of chinatown
For some time, the City of Vancouver
has been deliberating options that might help to reinvigorate areas of the city including historic Chinatown. About two years ago, city staff came across a local group of young professionals already working on another Chinatown-related project under the auspices of the local chapter of Architects for Humanity. According to Architect Linus Lam, executive director of Architecture for Humanity Vancouver (AFHv) and a former AIBC staff member, “what started out as a quick conversation has since evolved into a much more involved project.” As part of its revitalization plans, the city has called upon AFHv to help evaluate Chinatown’s public realm with specific attention to the integration of laneways. A previous study had confirmed that addressing Chinatown’s laneways would be a fruitful approach to revitalization. AFHv’s approach involves identifying Chinatown’s distinguishing characteristics and employing these in designs that help set it apart from other communities. “Although our proposal is fairly conceptual at this stage, it’s not without specifics,” architectureBC 85
Top: AFHv Concept - Phase Two: 3-5 year scenario Bottom: AFHv Concept - Phase Three: 10+ years scenario explains Lam. “We’ve shared some public realm strategies with city staff, which they thoroughly enjoyed and ultimately adapted and have used as part of their own report.” The shared goal is to capitalize on the community’s unique character in order to to draw non-Cantonese and recent Chinese immigrants alike to the neighbourhood. Particular attention has been spent on how to attract more youth to the area, and how to subsequently engage them in imagining a future Chinatown. If successful, there will be a side benefit of this ambitious revitalization strategy: the preservation of Chinatown’s unique architectural heritage. It will not be a simple task. Being situated at the geographical heart of Vancouver, in close proximity to many well-established neighbourhoods, presents its own set of challenges. Both the Downtown Eastside and Northeast False Creek are rapidly changing and growing, leading to questions about the most appropriate approach to re-imagining Chinatown. Though still at the conceptual stage, AFHv’s vision is starting to take shape. As Lam explains, a thorough yet condensed process has been rolled out, one that relies upon a large group of volunteers to structure the project, carry out site visits, interview local stakeholders, conduct walking tours, and host community charrettes. The process is broken into three phases:
Phase Two: Complementing New Developments Phase Three: Towards a New Chinatown
Phase One: Generating Momentum
Initial steps entail an event-based approach to raise awareness and explore the possibilities. Examples include Viva Vancouver and Chinatown’s night market. In exploring what might be done in the short term, the team has also identified a number of small interventions - art installations, new signage, improved lighting, differentiated surfaces - hoped to draw the public back into Chinatown and bring awareness to an untapped potential.
The prime “vehicle” for this desired change will be Chinatown’s extensive and intricate system of laneways. “Right now all the laneways are being used for surface laneways, delivery loading; absolutely the ‘back of the house’ use,” offers Lam, “but it doesn’t have to be that way.” In Vancouver’s Gastown, for instance, many of the laneways have already taken on the programming, and functions of public spaces, contributing to the successful revitalization of that community. AFHv has similar hopes for Chinatown. Throughout the process, the volunteer architects and designers involved through AFHv have identified a number of challenges in bringing new life to Chinatown’s laneways. Among
The second stage, slated for three to five years out, will encompass a number of new developments already planned for the Chinatown area, specifically on and near Main Street. It is expected that the local population will grow as a result, necessitating additional services as well as accommodation for increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic. AFHv has plans for public realm projects that will complement the anticipated growth.
them are the city’s rigid design and zoning guidelines that can sometimes stifle opportunity and creativity. There is also the complex reality of housing availability, affordability and immigration trends. Notably, it is understood that the City of Richmond has been drawing the immigrant population away from Chinatown, leaving its streets relatively empty, especially at night. On July 25, 2012, AFHv’s initial proposal received unanimous approval from Vancouver City Council. The team is now gearing up to bring forward more specific ideas while mobilizing both volunteers and stakeholders. AFHv volunteers have already amassed more than 300 project hours to date.
The long-term perspective, 10 or more years away, has more to do with policy changes and the possibility of amending zoning regulations to allow for laneway developments, reduced vehicular traffic, established cultural events, enhanced lighting and differentiated street surfaces. Decisions about public space will be considered in relation to what already exists in surrounding neighbourhoods such as Railtown, Gastown and False Creek Flats in order to create an overall urban experience.
AFHv’s role is just a small part of a much larger undertaking by the City of Vancouver to bring new life to Chinatown’s community and economy. Vancouver has earned a strong reputation for its planning efforts, garnering the attention of municipal planners from around the world. If successful, the AFHvled strategy would further build Vancouver’s status as a leader in urban planning. For the active members of AFHv, it is their hope that this project will trigger a conversation across neighbourhoods, exploring how underutilized laneways might provide shortcuts to a better urban experience.
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A Gradual, Generational Gender Shift? The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Consultations & Roundtables on Women in Architecture in Canada, a five-year study published in 2003, concluded that, contrary to the opinion of some, gender issues continued to have a hold within the architectural profession. In response, the report (assembled by Eva Matsuzaki Retired Architect and AIBC Honorary Member FRAIC) cited a need for greater awareness flexibility and opportunity throughout the profession. It also touched upon the need for more role models to aspiring female architects Over the nine years since that report was aired, it is difficult to measure what progress, if any, has been made. Recent statistics still show the precipitous drop-off between the number of young women who enthusiastically obtain their architectural degree and those who enter, and stay among the ranks of registered architects. In speaking with three accomplished female B.C. architects, architectureBC explored whether there has been any levelling in the playing field, and whether or not the profession is doing all it can to support its talented women practitioners.
Prior to becoming a registered architect in 1980, Helen Besharat Architect AIBC MRAIC RID LEED AP was part of a post-secondary cadre that reflected the current gender balance in architecture schools. “My class was split 50/50 women and men,” she says, “but those numbers were not later reflected in the workforce.” That reality has continued
that shapes their outlook and informs their work. She also believes that gender inequality isn’t the uphill battle it once was. “As it stands now, your gender does not hinder you,” she suggests. “You just have to be a confident person and follow your passion.”
to be the case. Besharat isn’t exactly sure why so many female architecture school graduates leave their chosen career path, but can see how the rigours of becoming, and being, an architect can be an obstacle. In her own experience, gender wasn’t about to get in the way of her professional goals.
Teresa Coady Architect AIBC FRAIC AIA AAA OAA LEED BD+C shares similar views to her colleague Besharat. “I think there’s a real acceptance of women as architects in the world today, especially with some big names breaking through like Zaha Hadid, but that list is still a very short list.
“In my circumstance, I had to work to support my family,” she reflects. “I had no other choice, but it’s a very difficult profession.” She also affirms that passion for one’s chosen career, hard work, and a strong support network of colleagues, friends and family can contribute significantly to any personal success. “However,” she adds, “it’s a long process, and it can be difficult because once you are finally licensed, that is only the beginning. There is much to learn to master the profession, and even then you are still learning, so it’s a continual process. That can strain life choices that you make for yourself as the years go by.” In Besharat’s estimation, every architect, regardless of gender, brings an innate influence of life experience
“My father was an architect and in his class, which was about the same size as my class, there were half as many women as in my class … so the number of women in that school doubled in one generation. Even now, I think that you will see that it’s pretty much even. But, we still see very few women taking on licensing after graduation. I think the percentage of licensed graduates probably has grown, but we still don’t see as many women challenging for those higher level positions.” architectureBC 89
Coady agrees that the continuing diminished ranks are largely the product of different life choices faced by women. As per the experience of many women in the profession, several major life decisions of her own marriage, pregnancy and professional licensing - seemed to arrive at the same time. Such a convergence makes it difficult to know what the next step should be. As a result, many women elect to hold off on registration. Career plans get relegated to the back burner, something that Coady strongly advises against. “Get yourself registered because that’s something you worked your life to date to achieve,” she insists. “Once you have that licence in hand, it becomes part of your identity. You’re much more likely after the birth of a child to go back into your career.” Coady, who launched her own practice in 1994, firmly believes that the profession needs to proactively reach out to young women, as early as elementary school, to encourage them to consider architecture as a viable career option. As a mentor and/ or employer for many aspiring female architects, she encourages them to keep at the progression of their careers though it is a long and challenging educational process. She does admit that the daunting task of balancing family and career can be intimidating for young women.
Local Leadership at UN In June 2012 at the United Nations’ Rio+20 conference on sustainable development, Vancouver’sTeresa Coady Architect AIBC FRAIC AIA AAA OAA LEED BD+C was elected to the advisory board of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative and will help promote sustainable building practices worldwide. 90 architectureBC
Even so, Coady has seen a growing acceptance. “For as many years as I can remember, it hasn’t made a difference at all that I am a woman leading projects; except that it may have helped to bring balance to the room. It allows for a broader representation of society to be present, as does having people from different age groups and cultures.”
Christine Lintott Architect AIBC mRAIC LEED AP has also noticed a change. Prior to opening her own Victoria-based practice in 2009, Lintott was a principal at Merrick Architecture. Over the years she has increasingly seen instances of male colleagues revaluating their roles as caregivers and electing to take paternity leave. “Ten years ago, I became the first person in the history of Merrick Architecture to take maternity leave,” she recalls. “When you think about that, it’s just remarkable. Trust me, it was tolerated. I was an associate, a shareholder in the practice, and yet it was tolerated. Of course none of the partners would say that in public, but that’s how I felt.” “Even then, I was expected to have a computer, to take phone calls, to maintain my presence in the office to some extent. Now leap ahead 10 years, it’s been transformed ...
The UN initiative brings together public- and private-sector stakeholders who share the goal of promoting sustainable building policies and practices around the world. Coady, president and founding partner of Vancouver-based B+H BuntingCoady, joins other board members from Canada, China, France and the United States representing such disciplines as consulting engineering, property development, wood manufacturing and non-
you would never be disparaging to someone who wanted to be a care giver and look after their child.” Even so, Lintott feels that many of today’s practitioners continue to cling to old-school values when it comes to business. She fervently awaits the phasing out of older views to be replaced by a more youthful perspective within the profession. Right now, however, it feels like the profession may be stuck. Slow progress aside, Lintott remains philosophical. “Women have only been persons in Canada for about 90 years, so we are trying to catch up with our male counterparts in terms of roles and responsibilities in society, which is just kind of the nature of civilization.” Now in her 40s, she feels fortunate to be of the generation where it was instilled in her that she could become whatever she wanted. She chose architecture. governmental organizations. It’s an international response to the harsh fact that buildings are responsible for 40% of the world’s energy use, 40% of resources and 25% of global water consumption while generating close to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions. Says Coady: “I am honoured to be among leading members of the building sector who share a vision of seeing more sustainable buildings on our planet.”
A 21st Century Schoolhouse: Westview Elementary personalized learning takes shape in powell river
Architectural Practice: KMBR Architects Planners Inc. Principal-in-Charge: Gregg Brown Architect AIBC FRAIC REFP LEED® AP BD+C
Lead Designer: Greg Erickson Dipl.Tech. LEED® AP BD+C, Systems Administrator
Contractor: Yellowridge Construction
Client: School District #47 (Powell River)
Status: Under Construction
Construction Method: Design-Build Cost: $14 million
Size: 4,329m², 380 students (300 + 80K)
Now under construction, Westview Elementary School will accommodate 380 K-7 students and staff. The school design and master plan have been developed to accommodate a further capacity of 505 students plus staff.
The planned school responds functionally to the school’s distinct program and aspirations while reflecting KMBR’s design philosophy. It also meets the educational program requirements set out by the Ministry of Education’s “21st Century & Personalized Learning” initiative. Featured in this program are the “Seven Cs” which include:
• Caring for personal health and planet earth.
• Critical thinking and problem solving; • Creativity and innovation; • Collaboration, teamwork and leadership; • Cross-cultural understanding;
Communications, computing, and information and communication technology literacy;
• Career and learning self-reliance; and
KMBR has embraced these fundamentals by employing a number of design elements including a “Main Street Commons” – a large, radial atrium that forms the social heart of the school by serving as a meeting place where students, staff and parents can meet and work outside of the classrooms and offices. The design reflects the right combination of function, technology, sustainability, comfort and aesthetic value to create a high-performance, 21st Century learning environment. Other notable features include generous glazing and access to natural day lighting to over 90% of interior
spaces. Generous sheltered overhangs provide added protection from the elements and encouraging outdoor play, and many of the multiple play areas are accessible directly by ground-level classrooms. The school’s multi-purpose space boasts over-height ceilings and enhanced acoustics. Other enhancements add to the versatility and accessibility of this school. All furnishings are mobile, and “teaching walls” have been refined to support technology such as integrated voice enhancement systems. The school’s enlarged gymnasium is able to support Special Olympics and Wheel Chair Olympics. Given the strong local ties in a city of approximately 20,000, the design also provides for extensive community use through the inclusion of community office spaces, a Neighbourhood Learning Centre, and a special events facility available for public rental after school hours. Externally, a community trail encircles the school site.
Convergence of Creativity how architecture shapes a practitioner’s art, and vice versa
Step into the offices of Henriquez Partners Architects on West Pender Street in Vancouver and you immediately find yourself within the wing span of an oversized surveyor’s tripod rising up nearly 14 metres. The striking piece of foyer art was once a featured component of Memory Theatre, a one-person Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition in 1994 featuring the creative mind of Richard Henriquez Architect AIBC FRAIC. The tripod is a regular feature of Henriquez’s unique works of art. “It’s the simplest structure you can find; three points, triangulated. I’ve been drawn to them for 25 years, and I’ve used them for a lot of sculptures.” It’s a natural vehicle for his artistic sensibilities, conveying strength, vantage and convergence. It also stands for basic function and utility, which connects back to the renowned architect’s basic design philosophy. Henriquez was a founding partner of his now globally-recognized firm back in 1969. Numerous awards and accolades have followed, including the RAIC Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in 2005. While his architecture was at the forefront, his artistic passion has always been an important aspect of his life and career. Born in Jamaica, Henriquez knew from an early age that he wanted to be an architect, just as others in his family had been. At age 17, he came to
Canada in that pursuit, attending the University of Manitoba and then the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Throughout, his artistic pursuits have run parallel to his architectural ones. There were several small-scale exhibitions, including Memory Theatre which was also part of the 1996 Venice Biennale. This past June, the 71–year-old practitioner had his first commercial exhibition, titled Narrative Fragments which was installed at Vancouver’s Windsor Gallery. It brought to the fore his unique approach to art, utilizing sketches, sculpture, photography and found objects, offering a striking blend of precision and freeform, concrete and abstract.
A featured component of the exhibition is a seven-piece series titled Honeymoon Suite. It takes direct inspiration from The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, the famous two-dimensional stained glass window created by Marcel Duchamp. Using digital technology, Henriquez transformed it into a threedimensional concept, then crafted a narrative by which the inhabitants find their way (by paper airplane no less) to modern-day Vancouver. The journey culminates at a 25000 foot Honeymoon Hotel (also digital) that is, in fact, a representation of five blocks of Granville Street stood on end. Henriquez manages to shift the scale, and one’s perspective, by attaching an ox cart - a nod to his own family history going back several generations. architectureBC 93
His art, like his architecture, is layered. Examine “Honeymoon Suite” more deeply, and you’ll also find a playful political edge. Offers Henriquez: “This planning argument that is currently going on, discussion about views and height restrictions, is part of this piece.” The architect has never hidden his impatience for overly restrictive zoning laws and bureaucracy. “The scale of Vancouver buildings changed in the 1950s and ‘60s,” he continues. “I suspect in the fullness of time there will be another scale shift, though the planners are bound and determined to prevent the city from growing because of the view cones.” Regardless of form or direction, Henriquez’s art has always reflected his own interest in culture, history, religion, science and nature. The same can be said for his architecture. He is perhaps most famous for the iconic
Eugenia Place Tower on Vancouver’s English Bay - “the one with the tree on the roof ”. The street-visible tree (which nearly didn’t survive the client’s scrutiny) represents the old growth forest that once was Vancouver’s West End, a hundred years removed. It is connected to ground by a cylindrical extension in the otherwise linear tower. Similarly, the project features a garden dotted with hand-sculpted, concrete ‘stumps’. Other noted Henriquez buildings share this same complexity and historical consideration. In Henriquez’s hands, they also underscore the direct line connection between architecture and art. “Some of my buildings utilize techniques used extensively in art, such as collage and shifts of scale,” he says. “The Eugenia Tower, for instance. It’s a collage.”
tHis is sHK tHis is sHK contracts contracts ProFessional liability ProFessional liability disPute resolution disPute resolution
sHK.ca sHK.ca SUITE 700 - TWO BENTALL CENTRE 555 BURRARD STREET VANCOUVER BC CANADA V7X 1M8 tel 604.684.0727 | FAX 604.684.7094 94 architectureBC SUITE 700 - TWO BENTALL CENTRE 555 BURRARD STREET VANCOUVER BC CANADA V7X 1M8 tel 604.684.0727 | FAX 604.684.7094
Though passionate about history and tradition, he isn’t one to be trapped in the past. While Henriquez maintains his love for old-school architectural models, he has begun to embrace the digital age, even in his art work. “It’s a way of getting into new technology,” he explains, “to try and understand what’s happening in the world, and to use it in art. “It’s a technology I use in the office, but we use it for buildings, not for art. So this is something quite new for me.” Now in his eighth decade, Henriquez has lost none of his characteristic curiosity and spunk. He’s still viewing the world around him, absorbing new ideas and making historical connections. Much like a tripod, his art affords a solid vantage from which to do so.
409 GRANVILLE STREET, SUITE 950 VANCOUVER, BC V6C 1T2 CANADA P 604 689 4449 F 604 689 4419 www.ghl.ca
GHL CONSULTANTS LTD is a renowned Building Code consulting and Fire Protection Engineering firm. GHL’s practice focuses on Part 3 (Fire Protection, Occupant Safety and Accessibility) and Part 9 (Housing and Small Buildings) of the Building Code, as well as related Fire Safety and NFPA Codes. Our diverse client base attests to the essential benefits we bring to each project, and the exemplary quality of our consulting services.
GHL provides the following consulting services: Building Code Consulting / Compliance Reviews Building Code/Bylaw Alternative Solutions, Minor Relaxations, Engineering Judgements Certified Professional (CP) Program Services / Building Permit Assistance Occupancy Permit Assistance Building Code Appeals Preparation Product and Material Evaluation / Fire Test Standards Legal and Forensic (Fire Investigation, Analysis / Expert Witness, Opinions) Barrier Free Design / Stair Safety / Ergonomics Consulting
Fire Protection Engineering / Fire Science Research Performance Based Design (Zone and CFD Based Fire Modeling) Timed Egress Analysis Preparation of Code Compliance Drawings Value Engineering Assessment Archaic / Existing Construction Fire Performance Analysis Due Diligence Reviews Letters of Professional Assurance
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Social Acceptance the role of social media in architecture
In the past decade, the warp-speed pace of technological evolution fostered communications networks that reach every corner of the globe. And while early adoptors have eagerly embraced new technologies and ideologies, most are scrambling just to get up to speed. Perhaps the greatest penetration of information has been through what has come to be known as social media: the evolution of ideas and applications that has brought the global power of web-based communications down to a personal level. For a whole generation, being part of a constant dialogue is simply a part of life. To grasp a more historic comparison, think of it as a limitless, continuous party line (remember those?). Not only that, but it’s a party one dare not miss. Seemingly overnight, social media has become a vital thread in our social fabric. It wasn’t that long ago that e-mail brought a quantum shift to business practices. It was only in 2004 that Facebook was unleashed upon the world. Before that it was Myspace, preceded by AOL Instant Messenger, now obsolete with the assention of Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter and other evolving means of connecting more, further and faster.
This lightning-fast evolution of communication technologies, combined with a growing public appetite, is what makes the social media world a difficult one to predict. This, in large part, is why many businesses and corporations have been slow to get on board, instead asking the question, “Can we afford the cost of what might be just the latest trend?” However, the tools of global connectivity are becoming more intelligent, intuitive, and tailored to specific purposes. Coupled with mobile technology advancements, the social media surge is becoming easier to manage, and more applicable to business. The challenge, however, lies in knowing how best to harness social media in a way that boosts the bottom line. While some sectors (think marketing) have a pretty good handle on it, most are still debating which direction, and how far, to go. For architecture, it has been a cautious dance. A recent AIBC survey suggests that most British Columbia architectural offices and design studios have only dabbled in social media as a business tool, if at all. However, there are a few brave souls who have taken the plunge. We’ve asked them to share their virtual experience.
Firm: Campos-Leckie Studio Location: Vancouver Employees: 2 to 6 people Social Media Usage: 2 Years CLS began using Twitter and hosting a company blog (web log) in 2010, at the same time the practice was established. For principals Javier Campos Architect AIBC and Michael Leckie Architect AIBC, it made sense for an interdisciplinary boutique firm doing mostly residential work but also venturing into graphic design and brand development. “Our goal is to do quality work, developing a strong portfolio and have that speak for itself,” explains Campos. “That said, we do invest time in events like Pecha Kucha where we inadvertently join in to a flurry of social media activity.” Adds Leckie: “We certainly see the benefits of social media, but for a small firm like ours, it’s a consideration as to the kinds of resources we want to invest in it, as compared to investing elsewhere in the practice.”
Since opening its doors three years ago, Public has quickly become known for blending architecture and communications. Principal Susan Mavor, a communications designer, has been involved with social media since the early days. “It’s very useful for keeping people abreast of what’s current and what you’re thinking about,” she says. Even so, the business connection can be a bit elusive. “It’s certainly got a marketing value, though I don’t feel it has enough marketing value for us right now at Public,” she explains. “We have definitely made use of tools like YouTube and blogging, but at this point we haven’t handled any Twitter feeds or Four-squared accounts or anything like that for our clients.”
In November, CEI will be part of the Athletic Business Conference & Expo in New Orleans, presenting a case study on its City Centre Community Centre in Richmond, a project that integrated social media as a vehicle for public consultation. “When working with social media,” offers Boudreau, “the most important thing is to be consistent, and to have relevance to your overall marketing strategy.”
Firm: WMW Public Architecture and Communication Inc. Location: Vancouver Employees: 12 people Social Media Usage: 3 Years
Says Boudreau: “It’s a unique method of interaction and a way to generate excitement in the community, but also an excellent vehicle for information sharing.”
It, too, jumped on the social media trail at the firm’s inception, which was in 2009. Marketing Manager Jennifer Boudreau details a multifaceted social media strategy that primarily relies upon Twitter to drive traffic to the company web site and blog. LinkedIn is used for making professional connections while staff communications is better served by Facebook.
This award-winning firm is the Vancouver component of a global practice that includes 23 offices on three continents, delivering the full spectrum of services with recognized expertise in the area of sustainability. It has both a web site and a blog, with much of its traffic generated through consistent use of Twitter and, to a lesser degree, Facebook. Of note was the successful use of social media on the Brighouse Elementary School project. This involved setting up a blog to engage students, parents and staff, inviting feedback throughout the duration of the project. The end result was an enriched learning experience for everyone involved.
CEI is a full-featured, mid-sized architectural practice offering planning and interior design services across most market sectors but perhaps best known for its work in healthcare and recreation.
Firm: Perkins + Will Canada Architects Co. Location: Vancouver Employees: 81 people Social Media Usage: 4 Years
Firm: CEI Architecture Planning Interiors Location: Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna Employees: 85 people Social Media Usage: 4 Years
Metrics courtesy: twtrland
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What Ever Happened to Project Delivery?
Recent Trends in Consultant and Construction Services Agreements Paul Becker Architect AIBC, P.Eng. Director of Professional Services
The business of architects and other design consultants is to analyze a myriad of complex civic, technical, environmental, functional, economic and aesthetic factors to arrive at a design program leading to unique and imaginative ideas. This requires at the early stages, an ability to visualize and understand complex spatial forms in three dimensions. From there, it involves the ability to produce, in a variety of sketches, line drawings and digital imaging processes, documents that allow builders to interpret the images and create a building where there is none. This intellectual process of interpreting competing needs, interests and functions, combined with the creativity to produce concrete reality, is the stuff of consultants in architectural and engineering design. These are concepts and talents often related to the creative arts that many others do not grasp. Classically speaking, these professionals have never really seen themselves as â€œcontractorsâ€?, a term usually reserved in standard industry documents for construction companies and builders. The business of a contractor is to understand the vagaries of the trade and product markets, assess the contract documents, provide cost and financial reality based upon those documents, and then minimize market risks on behalf of the client. Contractors manage the logistics of a multiple-year orchestration of people, materials, purchasing deadlines
and quality control techniques for each project in order to produce a completed building. Itâ€™s not always an easy fit. Clearly there are huge differences in knowledge, talent, focus and performance criteria among owners, consultants and contractors. Over the years, mutually-approved standard contract forms have been used to bring such diverse teams together, allowing all proponents to co-exist, conserve professional independence, avoid unfair risk and ensure that each is operating within its comfort zone and range of liability and thereby protecting the public interest. Standard contract forms recognize that no one is perfect, that on every project a certain number of errors and omissions will most certainly be made, discovered and corrected in the process of construction. Standard contracts establish procedures for the logical and fair resolution of such changes. Alarmingly, the recent atmosphere of economic weakness has triggered a drive to austerity that also seems to have fueled some authorities having jurisdiction to ignore long-standing, established construction contract documents (not to mention years of experience) while creating their own documents and processes. Typically these pass risk onto the shoulders of both consultants and contractors. They regard all participants in the process, including consultants, as
contractors. More often than not, they are driven by cost with less concern for quality. These do-it-yourself documents are inevitably crafted by experts in construction law who may recognize that the precedents established in standardized documents are of value but choose the rationale that two parties are free to contract to do anything. An expert lawyer is therefore free to create an ironclad, risk-averse contract for his client. Such ironclad contracts usually include terms that bind consultants and contractors to unrealistic expectations, unfair risk and liability, and, ultimately, defence of territory and confrontation. The iron cladding then turns to iron bars. Increasingly, AIBC Practice Advisory staff find themselves replying to inquiries from practising architects regarding problems and issues relating to undue assumption of warranty and architectureBC 99
Professional Practice (continued) risk, difficult or obtuse requests for proposals, and unusual contract clause language that all serve to put the consultant in jeopardy of contravening the Architects Act and AIBC Bylaws. To this end, the AIBC has brought together a volunteer focus group to discuss the topic of “Architects, Project Delivery, and the Public Interest”. The objective is to concentrate not on the successes available to new developments in contract and project delivery, but to grapple with the problems in such new arrangements that don’t respect fairness, reliability and protection of the public interest. This group has quickly cast light on issues related to design/build modes of project delivery, such as: • Additional project delivery time delays to provide for: • production of schematic design and performance specification documents by an owner’s consultant “shadow team”; • short-listing prospective proponents through Requests for Qualifications; • selection of proponents for Request for Proposals; • evaluation of proposals by the shadow team; and • selection of an owner’s project management consultant; • Additional project delivery costs for the shadow consultant team and project management consultant (note: typical costs for the design architect and primary consultant team are already included in the fixed contract cost provided by the design/build contractor); • Lack of owner control over choice of specific consultants to be engaged on the project;
• • • •
Difficulty and cost of making changes during construction with fixed design specifications and fixed design/build contract amount; Inadequate degree of interaction between an owner and a proponent design team during design process; Added risk/cost by inviting bid proposals from proponents based on incomplete contract documents (i.e. shadow team schematic design drawings only); and Limited capacity and experience of various owners with this procurement method.
In the coming year, the AIBC plans to prepare a practice note or guideline to further discuss the various issues for both architects and owners. Meanwhile, here are some words of advice to those contemplating design/ build projects; •
As in any project, the greatest indicator for success is a cooperative, well-managed, pro-active team. Research track records, make sure you know the whole team being assembled for the project, and be sure to value the culture and potential group dynamics of that team.
Read the agreement documents carefully, evaluate issues of warranty and risk, and don’t hesitate to call your lawyer and professional liability insurers when questions arise.
Remember that an architect’s minimum scope of services (see AIBC Bulletin 90: Minimum Scope of Architectural Service), obligations and remuneration are independent of a project’s delivery model and which party might be your contractual client.
Read the AIBC Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
Seek to involve the owner and ultimate user of the project in the design process, even though there is a contractual distance between you. Seek to understand the community, context, and culture of the project.
Make a carefully considered but still intuitive business decision. If you find yourself bending your competence and work ethic to difficult demands, declining the commission may relieve a huge and prolonged period of stress that might have jeopardized your resources. Have the courage to say “no, thank you”.
• • Don’t overextend the resources of your office. Stay in your comfort zone of project size, office expertise and financial health.
Call us at the AIBC. The institute’s Practice Advisory group offers the experience, understanding and collective wisdom of Maura Gatensby Architect AIBC, Michelle Fenton Architect AIBC, and me. As the sign says above Lucy’s booth in Peanuts, “The doctor is IN”.
Professional Conduct and Illegal Practice
The Age of Consent Thomas Lutes Barrister & Solicitor Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel
On March 29, 2012, amendments to the Architects Act came into force that will help re-shape and modernize the AIBC’s disciplinary process. Sponsored by the Ministry of Advanced Education, the amendments enshrine a “consensual resolution” process intended to allow the AIBC and any architect, associate, firm or temporary licensee facing a disciplinary inquiry to resolve the matter by agreement, rather than by order of a formal disciplinary committee. Consensual resolution was first introduced into the AIBC’s disciplinary process in 2001. It proved very successful in providing timely, cost-effective resolutions while ensuring public interest protection was paramount. In late 2009, the AIBC discontinued consensual resolution as a result of a BC Court of Appeal judgment involving the engineering profession, in which the court ruled that any consensual discipline process had to have explicit statutory authorization. Such was not the case with the Architects Act. The recent amendments now provide that authority and revive the AIBC’s Consensual Resolution Review Panel as the group that helps ensure that any consensual resolution agreement reached between the AIBC and a respondent is fair and reflects the public interest (more on public interest below). These act changes are not the final story, however, as bylaws must still be passed by AIBC members to
establish the specific practices and procedures as well as other consensual resolution details. The AIBC’s Bylaw Review Committee is currently at work developing draft bylaws and consulting with AIBC boards, committees and council with the goal of moving to member consultation in the autumn of 2012. Until such bylaws are passed and survive the provincial government disallowance period, the AIBC is still in a position of requiring disciplinary inquiries (hearings) for any matter involving a disciplinary charge against members, associates, firms and licensees. Ultimately, AIBC Council will have to propose and promote consensual resolution bylaws for a member vote, either at an AIBC meeting or by mail-in ballot. Members and others interested in the consensual resolution history, status and future are encouraged to contact the AIBC`s Professional Conduct & Illegal Practice Department, and to watch for regular eNews updates and consultation/information-sharing opportunities in the coming months.
The Law of Professional Regulation I was recently introduced as a speaker who “specializes in the law of professional regulation”, a description that I quickly corrected for a couple of reasons. Law Society of British Columbia professional conduct standards place restrictions on lawyers holding themselves out as
“specialists” or “experts” in an area of law. More important is the humbling reality that the breadth of law underlying professional regulation is too staggering to be mastered, at least within my limitations, as a specialty. Professional regulation as a general concept isn’t, of course, an area of legal specialization but rather an amalgam of many areas of law, public policy/public interest, private professional interests, individual rights and political interaction. The legal aspects of professional regulation range from core constitutional and charter principles through statutory interpretation, administrative law, competition law, professional ethics, evidentiary issues, sentencing and more. The foundational “division of powers” between Ottawa and the provinces brings in Canada’s constitution and determination of which level of government should properly be establishing professions, including their admissions standards and disciplinary and ethical aspects. architectureBC 101
Professional Conduct and Illegal Practice (continued)
While it is well-settled law that provinces have authority to make laws respecting property and civil rights relating to regulation of industries and professions (Section 92(13) of the Constitution Act), there are always challenges and border skirmishes. One of the highest profile examples was the effort by the Province of New Brunswick to legislate professional regulation of the medical profession in the 1990s to address political concerns about free-standing, private abortion clinics. That provincial government amended its Medical Act such that doctors performing the procedure outside public hospitals were guilty of professional misconduct and subject to sanction, including loss of licence. However, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal overruled the provincial laws, noting that the amendments were not truly about professional standards and health care quality in the public interest, but were instead an attempt to legislate “socially undesirable conduct”, which falls under the federal government’s exclusive criminal law jurisdiction. A proper review of all constitutional and charter principles relating to professional regulation – much less a survey of the spectrum of law of professional regulation – is beyond the scope of this publication. However, the recent consensual resolution amendments to the Architects Act have helped elevate the discussion of one critical aspect of self-regulation that crops up in almost any discussion: its public interest foundation.
Most statutes for self-governing profession have specific “object and duty” provisions by which upholding the public interest is established as the core mandate for the regulator. British Columbia`s rather ancient Architects Act has never had a proper rebuild to modernize its structure, but at least now the consensual resolution amendments makes explicit mention of the concept of public interest within that aspect of the disciplinary process, at Section 51.1: (5) In deciding whether or not to approve a consensual resolution agreement signed by the person designated by the institute and the member, architectural firm, licensee or associate that is the subject of the inquiry, the consensual resolution review panel must have regard to the public interest. This provision was drafted and approved by the provincial legislature, not the AIBC, and underscores the undeniable core concept of professional regulation by which a regulator’s operations, policies and governance must reflect and protect the public interest. Defining that concept is a challenge faced by each regulator and each profession, particularly since the so-called public’s interest is never static, and is informed to a great extent by the particular nature of the profession and its interaction with the public good. Public interest need not be seen as being at odds with the goals and interests of the profession. The public
interest concept is flexible enough to accommodate the legitimate interests of a healthy profession, even the individual rights of professionals facing, for example, a suspension or loss of licence. While public interest in professional regulation must include mechanisms by which incompetent or unethical professionals are appropriately sanctioned, the concept also embodies protection of an individual professional’s rights. Any sanctions imposed must comply with natural justice principles. The public interest is never served when a profession fails to address incompetent or unprofessional behaviour by its members. The public interest suffers equally when a profession fails to meet the basic legal standards and rights available to its members. As the AIBC’s revived consensual resolution process evolves, there is an opportunity to hold a civil, meaningful discussion about defining the public interest in the regulation of the profession of architecture. I encourage architects, firms and associates to inform themselves about the process, to think about public interest in their profession, and, most meaningfully, to become involved and contribute to that discussion. The institute has both the opportunity and obligation to shape the public interest dialogue. If it does not, it will be left to others, such as government and the courts, to do the defining.
Registration and Licensing
To Be (An Architect) or Not To Be Joan Hendriks Architect AIBC MRAIC Manager of Registration and Licensing
An ongoing theme in discussions
among architects, intern architects, AIBC Council members and AIBC staff concerns the future of the profession. More specifically, what can be done to facilitate the transition of intern architects to architects, an issue across the country and elsewhere in North America. There have been recent initiatives intended to streamline the registration process and offer IAs options for completing the examination requirement for registration. Additionally, the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect Program, begun at the AIBC, has undergone national review and updating, and is now scheduled to debut nation-wide later this fall under the auspices of the Canadian Architectural Certification Board. Along those same lines, this past January a number of largescale changes to the Internship in Architecture Program (IAP) came into effect across Canada. These changes were the result of deliberations by a national task force of the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities. The task force had been charged with modernizing and streamlining the registration process, and focused especially on enhancing the efficiency of the program so that IAs could complete their registration in a shorter time frame without compromising rigorous registration standards. The resulting IAP changes adopted nationally
include a reduction in the overall experience hours required as well as the elimination of discretionary and retroactive experience submissions. With a streamlined process in place, there is now also additional opportunity for IAs in British Columbia on the path to registration. At its July 2012 meeting, AIBC Council announced its commitment to participating in the Examination for Architects in Canada. It is expected that AIBC IAs will be able to take the annual ExAC as early as the fall of 2013. In addition, the institute will continue to recognize and support the National Council Architectural Registration Board’s Architectural Registration Examination, allowing IAs to be eligible for reciprocal licensing and practice options within the U.S.A. The AIBC’s participation in ExAC will provide added opportunities for IAs while further harmonizing national standards. Even with NCARB’s recent announcement that Canadian-specific content will no longer be part of its exams, the AIBC will continue to offer and support both ExAC and NCARB into the foreseeable future. This will enable IAs already invested in the NCARB process to continue onwards to registration without setback. It will also allow future IAs to look at the program options and choose the best path for their architectural career to which they aspire.
In doing so, IAs will have several factors to consider when deciding between which examination system they wish to pursue. For those who have already started in ARE process, a significant consideration is the fact that there will be no equivalencies between the ARE exam divisions and ExAC exam sections; registration will entail either the four ExAC sections or the seven ARE divisions. Another consideration is one’s desire for reciprocal registration with American jurisdictions, since at this time the NCARB ARE continues to be the standard for the NCARB certificate necessary to be licensed in the U.S.A. Yet another consideration, and a fundamental difference between ExAC and NCARB AREs, is the amount of flexibility offered in the timing of examinations. The ExAC follows a specific schedule; it is a pencil-and-paper exam offered once a year. The registration period is generally from the beginning of June architectureBC 103
Registration and Licensing (continued)
to mid-July with examinations held on two consecutive week days in early November. Results are mailed to the IAs the following February. IAs writing the ExAC for the first time must register and take all four sections. They are permitted three consecutive attempts to achieve a pass on all four sections of the ExAC. In contrast, the NCARB AREs are computer-based exams that may be scheduled as an IA chooses, depending on availability at the test Pub AIBC 7x4.4.pdf
centre. Results are processed within four to six weeks of the test date and sent to the AIBC for approval before being passed along to the IA. These exams have a five-year rolling clock; a passing grade for a division is valid for five years, after which time the division must be retaken. Hereâ€™s another important distinction: in order to be eligible to write the ExAC sections, an IA must have submitted and approved 2800 hours of experience recorded in the Canadian Experience Record Book at 1:34 PM
the time of registering for the ExAC. In order to be eligible to write the NCARB AREs, an IA is required only to be registered in the IAP and in good standing. No minimum experience hours are required. In the upcoming months, AIBC staff along with the instituteâ€™s Intern Architect Committee will be exploring and developing additional means to assist IAs opting to write the ExAC. This may include the availability of study material and organizing study sessions among IA groups.
Also in the coming months, as noted earlier, we expect to see the BEFA program come online nationally under the CACB. This program, successful at the AIBC for close to a decade, will allow foreign-trained individuals whose education is not easily certified by the CACB but who have practised outside of North America as a registered architect for a minimum of seven years, to be eligible for registration in Canada by way of an alternate, competencybased certification process. It is one more means to ensure the ranks of the profession continue to grow. While the challenge of becoming a registered architect rests firmly with the IAs who have chosen this career path, they aren’t the only ones with a critical role to play. The AIBC’s implementation of ExAC provides added opportunity for established architects, as mentors and firm principals, to support the next generation of the profession. At a minimum, this can be as simple as making available to IAs on staff, the National Building Code of Canada, Canadian Handbook of Practice and other practice-related resources required for exam preparation. Ideally, it will see current architects taking a vested interest in the successful transition of IAs under their watch. These various initiatives, the result of ongoing contributions by members and staff along with countless volunteer hours, signal an important change within architecture. Hopefully they also mark the beginning of an important cultural shift whereby the profession works even more diligently to nurture its future generations.
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AIBC Registration Update The following reflects amendments to the AIBC registry for the period of July 2011 â€“ July-2012.
MEMBERS New Licensed Members By Internship Daniel Au Fraser Dow David Echaiz-McGrath Michael Ferber Karl Mark Hentze Jason Herzog Eitaro Hirota David Hodgson Donald LabossiĂ¨re Jennifer A. Millerd John Roddick Thomas Schroeder Peter Sickert Vincent Siu Nathaniel Straathof Ly Tang Andrea van Niekerk Yiming Wang
By Canadian Reciprocity Lynn R. Arrington (Alberta) B. Ashok (Quebec) Sarah E.M. Bjornson (Alberta) William Richmond Bradley (Ontario) Larisa Brodsky (Ontario) Pedro Chagas (Manitoba) Brady Dunlop (Alberta) Gregory McIlwain Dunn (Ontario) Simon Ellison (Alberta) Robert Elsworthy (Alberta) Martin Gerskup (Ontario) Gerald J. Gongos (Alberta) Raymond C. Gosselin (Saskatchewan) Frank William Grauman (Ontario) John D. Hafner (Manitoba) 106 architectureBC
Douglas Hanna (Manitoba) Robert Stewart Inglis (Alberta) Wiepke David Jansen (Ontario) Lance K. Josal (Alberta) Philip Kwan (Ontario) Linus Lam (Manitoba) Yue Li (Ontario) Maia E. Low (Alberta) Neil Alexander Mackenzie (Alberta) Gary Mark (Ontario) Ryan McLennan (Ontario) Vivan Anand Menon (Manitoba) Gary James Mundy (Alberta) Paul Nigro (Alberta) Lind S. Nyman (Ontario) David T. Parker (Ontario) Robert Pashuk (Alberta) Douglas S. Ramsey (Alberta) Ronald Rochon (Alberta) Theodore Grant Sandstra (Alberta) Chei-Wei Tai (Ontario) Scott Wolf (Alberta) Michael Woodland (Alberta) Jean May Yien (Alberta) Daniel Zak (Alberta) Edward Zukowski (Alberta)
By Inter-recognition Patrick Brown (Arkansas) Benjamin Checkwitch (Colorado) Deborah M. DeBernard (Arizona) Donald DeBord (Texas) Charles Durrett (California) Alexander Faurot (Illinois) Randi Fox (Washington) Norman Garden (Maryland) Stephen Maher (Alabama) Joy Martin (Wisconsin) William Norman McCarthy III (Maryland)
Tony Osborn (Illinois) Timothy Scott Rawlings (Arizona) Mark R. Scheurer (California) Francis Wang (California)
By Alternative Qualifications Saeed Akhavan Juan Cacho Karla Castellanos Valentina Castilla Alireza Danesh Amir Farbehi Yehia Madkour Regina Maerkl Peter Padley Eric Poxleitner Renante Solivar Christopher Stevens Diane Valentine
By Reinstatement Richard Knight Donald Oliver
Licensed Member Resignations Changed to Previously Registered Member Mark Chambers Charlotte Cossette Douglas Craig Patrick Harris James Lord II Donald Oliver Patti Rao Natalie Smith William Steinberg
Francis S.H. Wang Trevor Wright Brent Welty Tak Chuen Yuen John Zehren
James Schmitt J. David Simpson Allan Waisman Mary Joann Zulueta
To Retired Architect
Robert Adair Allen Aubert Ronald Beaton Barry Downs Kay Ghahremani Brian Hemingway Steven Hodder Ben Levinson Dana Marek Stuart Ross Brett Smaill James Sumi Ronald Yuen
Full Resignations Robert Billard George Cibinel Fred Collins Christopher Cook Richard Derksen Steven Epple Shanti Ghose Bhargav Goswami Mark Greatrix Kent Greene Drummond Hassan Nettie Hew Setrak Isnar Andre Lessard Kimly Mangum Jerry McDevitt Colin McDonald Nick Mehta
Arthur Boyd (former member) David Bryan Allan R. Cassidy Donald Erb (former member) Jim Green (Honorary Member) John Haaf (former member) Lloyd Plishka David Smith Kenneth G. Terriss Daniel E. White (former member)
New Certificates of Practice ABC Architectural Building Culture Inc. Adam Policzer Architect AECOM Canada Architects Ltd. Alan Nakatsui, Architect Al Hepburn Architect Inc. AMEC Americas Limited Architect Gerald Garapich ATA Architectural Design Ltd. Bicoastal Architecture Ltd. Billard Architecture Inc. Bohlin Grauman Miller Architects, Inc. BRR Architecture Canada, Inc. Chrysalid Architecture Couve Architecture
David Wong Architect | Sea to Sky Architecture Ed Zukowski Architect Edge Architecture Inc. FormLine Architecture + Urbanism Fox Architecture FSOARK Architect Inc. Hazen Sise Architect Inc. Hemsworth Architecture Holst Architecture P.C. Ian Niamath Architect Jay Lin Architect Jerry J. Phillips, Jr. Architecture Jordan Kutev Architect Inc. Liana Sipelis Architect Lo Studio: Architecture Interior Maia Low Architecture Marquetechture Architect & Designer Inc. Martin Architecture Michael Elkan Architecture Michael Green Architecture Inc. Moore Architecture Northern Sky Architecture Inc. Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects & Designers Inc. Parker Architects Inc. Parkin Architects Western Ltd. Patrick C. Harris, Architect Patrick G. Blees, Architect Plan B Architect Point Architecture Radiant City Architecture Inc. ReForma Architecture Richard Bernstein Architect Inc. Richard Cordner Architect Ltd. Robert Elsworthy Architecture Rowe Architecture Sahuri + Associates Architecture Inc. Sandra Korpan Architect Schneider Architecture architectureBC 107
Sebastien Garon Architecture + Design Inc. Simcic + Uhrich Architects Sparrow Green Architecture Corporation Streamlinearchitect Corporation Terry Broomsgrove Architect Inc. Tony Osborn Architecture TRTA Architecture Ltd. Urbanicity Architecture Vivid Green Architecture Inc.
Lu Tang Architecture Ltd. - formerly Lu Tang Architecture & Planning
New Inactive Firms
Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture Incorporated - formerly Mallen Architecture Incorporated
Al Hepburn Architect Inc. Carl-Jan Rupp Architect Inc. Michelle Fenton Architect Inc. Pacific Star Architecture Inc. Paul McDonnell Architect Inc. Stephen Quigley Architect Inc.
Michael Katz Architecture Ltd. formerly Katz Architecture Ltd. MQN Architects - formerly McDonell Quiring Neumann Architects
Firm Name Changes
MulvannyG2 Architecture Corporation - formerly Mitchell C. Smith Architects
ACM Architecture Inc. - formerly 007 Architecture BC Inc.
Pattison Architecture - formerly Eric Pattison Architect
Axin Architecture + Planning Inc. - formerly Axin Architecture + Planning
Perkins + Will Canada Architects Co. - formerly Busby Perkins + Will Architects, Co.
AYPQ Architecture - formerly Angela YP Quek Architecture
Plan B Architects - formerly Plan B Architect
Cotter Architects Inc. (Richmond, BC) - formerly Patrick Cotter Architect Inc.
Salehi Architect Inc. - formerly Salehi Architect
Damant Architecture Corporation formerly Gregory Damant Architect
Changes From Active to Inactive
Ekistics Architecture Inc. (Vancouver, BC) - formerly Arris Architecture Inc. Eric Law Architect Inc. (Vancouver, BC) - formerly Eric Law Architect Farzin Yadegari Architect Inc. formerly Farzin Yadegari Architect HNPA Architecture & Planning Inc. (Vancouver, BC) - formerly HNPA Architecture & Planning Jonathan Ehling Architect Inc. formerly Jonathan Ehling Architect
David Bryan Architect Inc. Sahuri Hutchison Brzezinski Architects Inc. Thomas Llewellin Architect Ltd.
Changes From Inactive to Active FRCH Architecture-Canada Inc. Neilson Architecture Ltd.
Closed Firms Andrew Terret Architect Athletica Sport and Recreation Architecture, Inc. Barry Gowling Architect Benjamin Bryce Levinson, ` Architecture Inc. Bob Burnyeat Architect Brian Hemingway Architect Ltd. B.X. Smaill Architect Inc. (Inactive) Carl-Jan Rupp Architect CFD Architecture Inc. Cibinel Architect Couve Architecture David Roppel Architect Douglas Craig Architect Inc. Garth Ramsey Architect Inc. (Inactive) Graham D. Fligg, Architect Ltd. Hewitt + Kwasnicky Architects Inc. (Inactive) JPT-McDonald Architect Inc. JZMK Architecture and Planning, B.C. Ltd. (Inactive) K.G. Terriss Architect Mark W. Chambers Architect Natalie C. Smith Architect Nettie Hew Architect Patrick C. Harris, Architect Patti Rao/Architect Planner R. Gary Glueck Architect Ralph W. Schilling Architect Smith Architect â€“ David E. Smith
Steve McFarlane Architect Ltd. Studio Greene Architecture Underhill Architecture Ltd. W.I. Parnetta Architect Zago Architecture Zak Ghanim Architect Zieth Architecture Inc.
New Temoporary LicenCes
Ralph Giannone TL#201205 Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Collaborating Architect: Jeremy Woolf Architect AIBC Project: Renovations to 609 Granville Street
Alice Yiang TL#201203 Montgomery Sisam Architects Collaborating Architect: Knut Boeck Architect AIBC Project: New Hospital Pavilion at VGH
Ralph Giannone TL#201206 Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Collaborating Architect: Jeremy Woolf Architect AIBC Project: Renovations to 777 Dunsmuir Street
Temporary LicenCes Cancelled or Complete
Carrie Byles TL#201201 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Collab. Arch: Don Kasian Architect AIBC Project: 1133 Melville St., Vancouver, BC
Thomas Kundig TL#201108 Olson Kundig Architects Collab. Arch: Wing Leung Architect AIBC Project: Single family residence, Whistler, BC
Todd Colbourne TL#201109 Colbourne & Kembel, Architects Inc. Collab. Arch: Darryl Condon Architect AIBC Project: CFB Esquimalt, Victoria, BC
Donald Schmitt TL#201105 Diamond & Schmitt Architects Incorporated Collab. Arch: Brian Christianson Architect AIBC Project: Thompson Rivers University Campus, Kamloops, BC
Brett Conway TL#201106 EHS Design, Inc. Collab. Arch: Brian Shigetomi Architect AIBC Project: North Shore Credit Union, North Vancouver, BC Ralph Giannone TL#201204 Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Collaborating Architect: Jeremy Woolf Architect AIBC Project: Food Court Exterior Entrance at Richmond Centre
Paul Steelman TL#201207 Steelman Partners, LLP Collab. Arch: William D. Fisher Architect AIBC Project: South Surrey Casino Project Kyle Taft TL#201107 MHTN Architects Inc. Collab. Arch: Brian Wakelin Architect AIBC Project: Kwantlen Polytechnic University Campus
David Agro TL#201101 David J. Agro Architect Inc. Collab. Arch: Richard Newell Architect AIBC Project: Winery in Lillooet, BC Davie Keirle TL#201104 KSS Design Group Ltd. Collaborating Arch: Graham McGarva Architect AIBC Project: Professional Soccer Training Centre, Burnaby, BC Michael Morgan TL#7388 Nettleton Tribe Partnership (Australia) Collab. Arch: Trevor Owen Architect AIBC Project: Site N, Q Sun Peaks Resort Condominiums William Nankivell TL#6636 B+H Bunting Coady Architects Inc. Collab. Arch: Norman Hotson Architect AIBC Project: UBC Student Housing-Food Sciences Site
Associates William Nankivell TL#7746 B+H Bunting Coady Architects Inc. Collab. Arch: Ronald Yuen Architect AIBC Project: Master plan/rezoning for B.C. Children’s Hospital Deni Poletti TL#200901 Core Architects Inc. T. Richard Thorburn Architect AIBC Project: Galaxy Cinemas Theatre, Vernon, BC Dariusz Wiecha TL#201001 Menemsha Development Group, Inc. Collab. Arch: Jeremy Woolf Architect AIBC Project: Tenant Improvement Pacific Centre Mall Gerald Winkler TL#9719 Integrus Architecture, Spokane, WA Collaborating Architect: Gregory E. Richardson Architect AIBC Project: Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, Maple Ridge, BC
New Intern Architects Mahsa Adib (Reinstatement) Payam Ashjae Arash Atash Usman Aziz Dolores Bender-Graves Cindy Brenneis (Reinstatement) Gillian Brennen Nathan Chow Olena Chytra Gustavo Crespo Cilio Mary Cuk Jennifer Cutbill Mary Rose Drescher Mei Ti Fan Nathan Flach David Garrioch Ryan Goes Harley Grusko (Reinstatement) Marc Häberli Colin Harper Homeira Hosseiniraviz Man-Yee Stanton Hung Svjetlana Ilic Daniel Irvine Amirali Javidan Shadi Jianfar Scott Keck Loretta Kong Joe Yiu Ming Lee Demitri Lesniewicz David Leung Peter MacRae Tiphaine Maisonneuve-Le Brec Duff Marrs Timothy McLennan Ruth Morrison Culum Osborne
Dragana Osghian Shora Parvaresh Golnaz Rakhshan Helena Romanczuk Selena Schroeder Ouri Scott Jason Skladan Ji-Young Soulliere (Reinstatement) Natalia Tcherniak Natalie Telewiak Kameliya Tencheva – Hristova Anni Terrett Arthur Tseng Sengsack Tsoi Karl Vigne Stefania Violante Hing Kin Wong Jay Worthing Ratislav Zabka
New Architectural Technologists Misaki Bertram Michael Driedger Mark Gosling Alisha Heide Li Liu John T. Meunier Ryan Paisner Yuko Roueche Joshua Schneider Leon Schroeder Maurice Sluka Alexis Tanner (Reinstatement) Glenn Yelland
New Intern Architectural Technologists Jessie Abraham Kevin Chan Corey Grobe Randy Huynh Lan Luo Arthur Mak Cyndi Condon Moore Jeff M. Piper Leon Schroeder Phaedra Williams Lukas Wykpis
New Architectural Graduates Marie C Caillier Romulo Cruz Victor Muego Samuel Orr
New Students Kristoffer Biagtan Beverleigh Foster Steven Gairns Ryland James Lars Lindstrom Victoria Lloyd Prabhjit S. Mahairhu Courtney A. Moore Ryan Panos Gregory Polvi Mitra Rad Craig Rogers Tobias Slezak Diana Studer Gregory A. Welsh
Associate Status Changes Mark William Hendrickson (Previously Registered Member to Retired Architect) Bartholomew Voorsanger (Previously Registered Member to Retired Architect)
Associate Resignations James Allison (Intern Architect) Elie Bohjalian (Retired Architect) David Bowkett AT Lionel Burton RD Amelia Conlon (Intern Architect) Freeman Chan (Retired Architect) Eric Clough BD Piers Cunnington (Intern Architect) Stephanie da Silva (Intern Architect) Stephanie Doerksen (Intern Architect) Sylvie Gagnon (Intern Architect) Christopher Giroux RD William Ignatiuk (Previously Registered Member) Richard Jasper (BD) Catherine Kim (Intern Architect) Brian Kramer (Retired Architect) Hans Krul RD Mason Lampard (Intern Architect) Katharine Logan (Intern Architect) Mark MacDonald RD Peter Maltby (Retired Architect) Cary Markin (Residential Designer) Michael Marrs (BD) Meghan McBride (Intern Architect) Murray McPhillips (Intern Architect) Bob Miller (RD) Wally Moroz (Retired Architect)
Victor Muego (Intern Architect) Angus Muir RD James Douglas Muir BD Ron Pederson RD Russell Poulston (Retired Architect) Jesse Ratcliffe (Intern Architect) Alexander Resanovic (Retired Architect) Antonio Rigor (Intern Architect) Jochen Rommel (Residential Designer) Melissa Ryan AT Peter Salusbury AT Kent Sutherland (Previously Registered Member) Thomas Tedrow (Previously Registered Member) Roger Willoughby-Price (Retired Architect)
Deceased Associates Wilfred Buttjes (Retired Architect)
New Affiliates Kirsten Robertson
Removal From Register for Non-payment Architects Merle Bachman Patrick Daly Kathy Dietrich Shee Huei Eow John Johnson Jack McKinney Ellis Nunn Hui Tian
Firms Carla M. Smith, Architect Perkins & Company Architecture and Urban Design Inc.
Previously Registered Architectural Technologists Members John D.W. Eaves Vania Yee-Man Tse
Intern Architects Morley Dodman Roxana Forliti Winga Lam Julien Leger Richard Leong David Mick Hortensia Moreno David Oâ€™Regan Sebastien Rake Gasser Rezeika Khanh Tran Po Tseng Lynda Ursaki Daniel Villanueva Emily Wessel
Building Designers Christopher Bruntlett
Affiliates Bill Hustler (Bill Hustler Construction Ltd.) Faaiza Lalji (Larco Investments) Kerry Parsons (Thermal Systems KWC Ltd.) Doretta Pintaric (Market Ink Consulting) Ron Peter Schwenger (Euroline Windows Inc.) Vince Smith (Cloverdale Paint Inc.) Liisa Tella Martin Waibel
Professional Liability Insurance 101 insuring the past, safeguarding the future
For those drawn to creative pursuits,
a career in architecture conjures images of innovative design, impactful community building and human fulfilment. Yet, as any practising architect can and will attest, the profession also demands the ability to make consistent, informed and shrewd business decisions. One of the most crucial components of any architect’s business portfolio is professional liability insurance. Yet, given the vast array of suppliers and coverage considerations, it is no wonder that insurance matters can ruffle even the savviest of practitioners. We’ve asked some of British Columbia’s most experienced and respected insurance representatives to weigh in on considerations and trends currently affecting British Columbia’s architectural community.
Selecting An Insurance Broker and Policy “Choosing the right insurance and insurance broker is one of the most critical business decisions that an architect will make each year,” says Vice President Architects & Engineers Western Canada Practice Leader Jeff McLellan of BFL CANADA Insurance Services Inc. He should know. McLellan has worked specifically with architects and engineers for more than 15 years, acquiring extensive knowledge and experience in this area of professional liability.
His advice is straightforward: while it’s up to architects to proactively stay on top of the legalities affecting their practices, practitioners are urged to speak to a trusted lawyer as well as a reputable insurance broker. “This method is truly the best way to gain an in-depth understanding of your professional rights and responsibilities in relation to liability risk,” he asserts. Once seated with your preferred insurance broker, it’s time to begin an in-depth conversation about your insurance needs. Michael Russell CIP, senior vice president of Metrix Professional Insurance Brokers Inc. elaborates: “We go through a detailed application and conversation process to understand our clients’ needs and their risk profile. We then present various options for consideration. We can recommend and suggest, but we cannot tell the architect what limits are needed. “We look at where our clients plan to operate in the world and how currency exchange affects the limits provided. As we know, there are no two architectural practices that are the same; they may be similar, but all will have unique needs or concerns which we need to address.” The underlying message is clear: select a firm and broker with a solid reputation and financial position. From there, remember that insurance is a relationship-based business. You’d do best to select a provider with whom you feel comfortable and confident.
Industry Trends Given the quickly changing architectural landscape - think new materials and technologies, evolving project delivery models, and unprecedented advances in sustainability – the insurance industry must stay on its toes to keep up with advances in the sector. According to XL Insurance Vice President Peter Needra P.Eng, insurance providers have been able to keep pace. “It is really the practice of architecture that has changed. Insurance, for most part, has stayed up to practice changes and has provided the coverage that has been required.” This is good news but, as McLellan suggests, the horizon may shift. “I think we’re going to start seeing claims out of the sustainable architecture trend,” he speculates. “Specification and incorporation of emerging technologies and new materials by today’s architects is likely one of the bigger liability issues architects will face in their professional lives. Recognizing these risks and properly managing them is crucial to a firm’s long term success.” Economic Factors Today’s global economies continue to suffer from the downturn that began in 2008. What architects may not be aware of is the significant impact this financial slump has had on the insurance world… for the better. Due to investment in insurance industries, architects are currently enjoying the lowest rates in close to 20 years. architectureBC 113
Sound too good to be true? Keep in mind that the insurance industry is cyclical. Many insurance professionals will attest that today’s low rates are not sustainable, and that the insurance market simply cannot get any softer or cheaper. Simultaneously, there has also been a drastic expansion in insurance companies offering architectural coverage. ”Everybody is quoting now,” asserts McLellan. “I recently sought out a quote for a client and I got 14 responses. Ten years ago, I would have been lucky to get one or two quotes.” Needra offers up another useful piece of the puzzle. “The state of the economy also has an effect on claims made against professionals. In a good economy, people tend to be less critical of minor errors. When industry and the public are going through a rough economy, they tend to be less forgiving and insurance claims tend to increase. Insurance rates are a function of claims activity. That is why we have seen so many insurers come into the insurance market in good times and then leave in tough times. Insurance rates are like the environment; they have to be sustainable over the long run.” The message? Keep an eye on economic developments, and don’t be surprised if insurance market corrections occur in the near future. Issues for B.C. Practitioners In most cases, B.C. architects must consider the same insurance factors as those working in other Canadian jurisdictions. However, there is 114 architectureBC
one B.C.-specific issue of utmost importance: water ingress (or, as it is often called, “the leaky condo phenomenon”).
insurance broker should know if there are any issues with insurance coverage and be able to present the terms and coverage clearly to their client.”
“Architects still need to have coverage for this issue,” explains Lawrence Bicknell B.A. (Hons.) ACII CRM, managing director at Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada Inc. “Normal endorsements only go back to 1999. If you’re working on a new building now, the developer wants to know you have water ingress coverage today. It’s one of the most important things you can have right now in B.C.”
Frequently Overlooked Factors As the adage goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It’s fair to say that no design professional wants to be caught off guard due to insurance ignorance. Are there factors that are often overlooked? According to our industry leaders, yes.
Still, the situation is looking up. “At this time, B.C. is one of the safest places from a water ingress perspective,” adds Bicknell. “The design community is leaps and bounds ahead technically because we’ve been through the process. B.C. has envelope consultants; you can’t readily get them elsewhere. When it comes to buildings leaking, we still get buildings that leak; that’s inevitable. In the past, they’d go in and replace the skin of the whole building. Now, we go locally to the problem and just fix where it’s needed. So the scale of the types of claims has changed dramatically. In addition, the B.C. building code has become more specific about the rain screen requirement.” West Coast weather certainly plays into the equation. “We need to remember that we live in a damp, windy climate,” notes Russell. “Structures need protection from these elements. To me, it’s very much about details in the design and that those details are followed through in construction. A knowledgeable
Timing, for example. Architects must be aware that when an insurance claim is made against them, it comes down to the current policy in place – not the policy that was in place when the project was completed. McLellan notes that many of the design practitioners he works with are unaware that the period of liability risk for their architectural projects has been 30 years. This responsibility will shortly be offset by the updated Limitation Act which received royal assent May 14, 2012 and changes the liability risk to a 15 year maximum. The industry advice is for all architects to consult a lawyer so they clearly understand how the Limitation Act affects their risk and insurance needs. Insurance acquisition timing is also key. If you are considering a change in insurance providers, think carefully prior to making a move. Architects should evaluate any relevant projects and ensure that no firm members are aware of any potential project-related problems. If there are any issues, they must be reported to the original insurer prior to an insurance provider switch. Otherwise, suspicions (and
Choosing Your Professional Liability Insurance Policy Insurance 101 complications) may easily arise with the new insurer if a claim is raised after a move. The lesson is simple. If a potential project problem is on the radar, it is not the time to change insurers. The problem and any related claims are best handled by the current insurer with whom the architect has an ongoing relationship. Challenges and Claims It goes without saying that the possibility of an insurance claim is a daunting matter for any architect. “We live in a litigious society,” says Needra. “When something goes wrong, everyone looks for someone to blame. Architects, like other professionals, are good targets, and the public has the right to expect competent work. Insurance has therefore always been important in helping architects maintain financial security.” Luckily, a trusted insurance provider can be a valuable resource. Russell expands: “We work with architects to review contract language as it relates to insurance. We try to help balance a fair assumption of the risk on any given project. Explaining what some of the language means and the effect it may or may not have on the firm is crucial. Of course, the challenge for our architects can be the unbending client who is not prepared to make changes to the contract - a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. One wonders ‘if the client is difficult in contract negotiations, what will they be like if there is a claim?’” History shows that if a claim does surface, it is most likely to do so within
24 months of a project’s completion. Here in B.C., Bicknell estimates that approximately one in three insured B.C. architects receives an insurance claim against them each year. The good news is, only an estimated 5% of these wind up in court. In Summary Dedicated insurance professionals are as passionate about their craft as architects are about theirs. Practitioners would do well to select a provider who takes the time to understand their business and can assist in making the wisest choices. For engaged insurance professionals, this is the ideal relationship. “It’s rewarding when our architect clients succeed in getting a fair contract and see a project through to completion,” says Russell. “There’s great satisfaction in this process. Architects are creative visionaries, out-of-the-box thinkers whose work and services can be seen all around us. This is what I most enjoy: seeing the successful fruit of their design.” For McLellan, the rewards are also intrinsic. “My career has never been about making money. I enjoy working with emerging architectural firms and helping practitioners look at all of their different options. I spend hours with emerging practitioners and people looking at hanging their own shingle without ever selling them an insurance policy.” Adds Russell: “Architects are at the forefront of change. As insurance providers, we must learn and understand what our clients are doing to help them manage their risk and succeed.”
Carefully consider the cost and coverage offered to ensure it addresses all related professional risks and liabilities.
Ask questions to ensure full understanding of any proposed policy.
Investigate how the policy deals with the patent and copyright breach of professional confidentiality; disciplinary proceedings; pollution (including asbestos and mould); joint ventures; design build; claims reporting; and contravention of statutes.
Consider other possible coverage needs including full retroactive coverage; damages, defence and legal costs; a broad definition of professional services; and a broad definition of named insured. A full listing of any prior firms / companies should also be covered by name.
Evaluate how your firm size affects your insurance needs. Larger firms typically require higher limits due to larger projects and the historical accumulation of work. Sole practitioners usually have the same (and, at times, highly complex) insurance considerations but on a smaller scale.
Seek the advice of a trusted lawyer prior to finalizing your insurance policy.
For More Information: BFL CANADA Insurance Services Inc. is the largest employee-owned and operated commercial insurance broker and consulting services firm in Canada. BFL CANADA specializes in the placement of Professional Liability Insurance (Errors & Omissions Insurance), offering a team that serves the needs of the architectural and engineering professions. http://www.bflcanada.ca/site/index.php. Jardine Lloyd Thompson Canada Inc. has been providing advice to the design community for more than 60 years. Its team includes professional and financial risk specialists focused on professional liability. Founded in Vancouver in the 1900s, JLT Canada now has eight offices in five provinces. http://www.jltcanada.com/. Metrix Professional Insurance Brokers and XL Insurance - including its predecessor companies - have worked together in B.C. since 1987. Their team includes professionals serving the architecture and engineering sectors. See http://www.mpib.com/ and http://xlgroup.com/insurance/.
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Disclaimer: The content provided here is for general information purposes only and does not constitute advice. Every effort has been made to provide content that is accurate as of the date of writing. Seek the advice of a trusted lawyer and insurance professional to discuss your specific situation and requirements.
The Business of Architecture: The Big Picture Steve Baird HBA, Senior Wealth Advisor, Portfolio Manager The Baird Group
Successful architects must constantly balance two very distinct roles: that of designer and that of business manager. As such, it’s important to keep in mind that “big picture” economic factors have important impacts on the health and welfare of your practice. In the 2011 edition of architectureBC, I introduced some key trends that I encouraged architects to watch. Often in the fast pace of our day-to-day operations, we lose touch of what is going on out there in this great big world of ours. But as we so clearly learned in the economic crash of 2008, we live in a global village. Even though British Columbia is a very unique and beautiful place to live, we are very much connected to international happenings. To give but one example, a teetering world currency - such as the Euro – significantly affects the Canadian economic landscape. I’m often shocked that this simple fact comes as a surprise to many Canadians. In this article I will outline some important global economic factors that architects and other design professionals should monitor. It is my hope that this knowledge will benefit your practice, while helping to ensure that economic events don’t blindside your business. There are two key wild cards that could affect the construction and real estate markets that are so closely tied to architecture. The first is the flow of credit and the second is interest
rates. The following is a summary of key factors that I monitor, as well as some possible scenarios that I would encourage you to keep an eye on. Canadian Real Estate and Credit Markets Over the past year or so, Canadian real estate markets have continued to thrive. That said, certain areas have seen some softness as witnessed by the decline of bidding wars and a marked elevation of inventory. Meanwhile, the ongoing saga in Europe has created a pretty hefty news flow. Some of us are following the nitty-gritty details more closely than others. As such, a very interesting scenario has emerged – one that has led to challenges in the global markets. From my perspective, this has created headwind in the Vancouver residential market as evidenced by the massive build-up of real estate inventory. On the credit side, I always tell my clients that the main pillar of my investment philosophy is “Credit Rules.” When the system is healthy, there is a solid backdrop for assets to increase in value. This is great for the architectural sector as projects will be on the table and financing will be readily available. But what happens when the global credit system falters? In April 2011, I penned an article titled “The Spain Pain”. (http://www. stevebaird.ca/media/documents/ MonthlyCommentaryApril%202012. pdf). At that time, I identified Spain’s
credit issues as the number one factor driving equity markets. As I write this article, this continues to be the case. Studies show the cost to insure Spanish bonds has increased nearly tenfold over the past three years. You may ask, “Why does this matter to British Columbians?” Consider this: the bond holders are European banks – and those banks are heavily intertwined with North American banks. When banks get squeezed, they look to reduce risk - and this includes reducing risk in their loan portfolio. In essence, the threat of a nation defaulting on their debt puts tremendous pressure on the global banking system. So while the issues of Spain and other countries are a worry in Europe, Canadians also experience pressure due to the global economy.
Interest Rates Are bonds the next bubble to burst? Many financial analysts believe they are. If so, this is something that could blindside your world and your business. Let me explain. Whenever we pat ourselves on the back for getting that fantastically low rate on financing for a project or a mortgage we should recognize that we are essentially taking advantage of the low side of a teeter totter. When the demand for bonds drives the price of bonds higher and higher, this drives interest rates lower and lower. Real estate has enjoyed the long term decline of interest rates since the early 1980’s. But what if this trend was to reverse and interest rates start to head back up again? Remember that from an institutional investment perspective, pension funds and other large endowments view real estate as a substitute for bonds. But all else being equal, investors would prefer the security of bonds.
So if - and when - bond prices come down (on a relative basis), bonds become more attractive; this draws money from the real estate arena. In essence, investors take on a bit more risk in order to increase the yield of their portfolio. However, when there is an opportunity to reduce that risk and lock in a better rate on bonds, money will flow from real estate into bonds. Thus the tag of “Interest Rate Sensitive” for the real estate sector. We need to be reminded that we are in a historically low interest rate environment; one that is unprecedented. As Andrew Mystic notes in his article Bondage: Handcuffed to Lower Rates in Q2/12, “Taking a longer perspective, it’s difficult to argue that rates have not come to the end of their bullish 30-year secular trend. For this reason we remain somewhat bearish on bonds.” (http://www.stevebaird.ca/media/ documents/BairdGroupIPQQ22012. pdf.)
Why is this important to you as an architect? My thesis is that rising interest rates may create a headwind for the developments and projects you are working on. In essence, higher rates create higher costs for the developers but during construction as well as for the owners after construction. Interest costs are very important component in the overall profitability and feasibility of a project. In a perfect world, interest rates would remain low and stable in the future. Along with a stable global credit market this would create the perfect environment for projects and the business of architecture. The risk comes in the form of interest rate spikes and any other unforeseen sudden changes. In summary, we live in a global village. International economic storms have the potential to derail the economic backdrop that allows the B.C’s architectural landscape to thrive. By keeping an eye on the key areas indicated here, hopefully we can all make better - and more successful business decisions.
We talk about low yields, but how low are we...? The Baird Group is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The group’s mission is to empower investors by breaking away from the frustration of traditional investing. For more information, go to: http://www.stevebaird.ca/.
® Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used by ScotiaMcLeod. ScotiaMcLeod is a division of Scotia Capital Inc. (“SCI”). SCI is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
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Executive Director’s Message (continued)
continued FROM p. 122 That is the simple and sound rationale behind AIBC Council’s decision to now permit employed architects, with the agreement of the firm and under certain understandings and conditions (including a certificate of practice), to sign and seal documents for which they are responsible. A revised Bulletin 61 articulating details and protocols is in preparation. Regional Connections Building upon council’s thoughtful decision to unbundle a number of activities formerly joined at the proverbial hip in time and place (including the AIBC’s annual induction/retirement ceremony, volunteer recognition event and annual conference), the 2013 AIBC Annual Conference will take place in October in Vancouver. More intriguingly, it will be a joint venture with the American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region, an expanse that includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Hong Kong and Japan. The conference, which promises to explore together north/ south interests and influences, builds upon a relationship begun three years ago and aims at greater mutual awareness and understanding among architects, intern architects and students of issues and solutions applicable to our natural region … political boundaries notwithstanding. Professional Development Architects, intern architects and other associates have expressed keen interest
in the AIBC’s delivery of pertinent continuing education throughout the year (i.e. aside from a singleopportunity conference) both in subject areas needing augmentation (e.g. applied business skills; project delivery models) and inspiration. The former are under development by the AIBC’s Professional Development Department; the latter began last Spring with the first in a series of guest speakers (Snøhetta and 3XN). The Perspective Lecture Series, intended to be universally affordable and of interest to students as well working professionals, will continue this fall. Also under early review is the scope and extent of those courses that are mandatory for obtaining one’s registration, so they may be better aligned with evolving practice demands and the recently updated Internship in Architecture Program. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) This coming October, the abovenoted international organization’s architectural council will meet in New Zealand to continue discussions about commercial opportunities among Pacific Rim member countries, including Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.S.A. and Canada. Our country’s licensing jurisdictions will be represented by the AIBC, in cooperation with the Alberta Association of Architects. We expect to return with an improved network of
contacts and sound information about how enterprising Canadian architects might do business in these economies. How does this connect with the AIBC’s regulatory mandate? An opendoor, cross-border trade policy (such as that which exists at the provincial level among B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan) is a funny thing. While removal of restrictive trade barriers can be relatively easy to do, it helps that those same governments are also on side with ensuring that the public is protected from incompetence. In our frame of reference, that means any architect coming to a Canadian jurisdiction to practise must first demonstrate professional competence in keeping with its statutory requirements and standards. The reverse applies equally. As a result, there is considerable interest in Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) between or among licensing jurisdictions. That is something the AIBC will continue to pursue at the New Zealand meetings and thereafter when the institute undertakes the APEC Council’s secretariat function in preparation for hosting its next meeting in October 2014. Of parallel interest is the ongoing dialogue between Canadian architectural jurisdictions and the Architectural Council of Europe (ACE), France, Mexico, and the U.S.A. (via the NCARB). On such
international matters, our profession has a long history of being an “early adopter” (e.g. it was the only profession named in the first North American Free Trade Agreement document.)
Clearing the Path to Success
The foregoing initiatives characteristically provide positive impacts on our profession, its members and its practice. Some are relatively immediate, others more farreaching. In each case, they expand opportunities and add value consistent with the institute’s regulatory, public interest mandate. All told, it’s an interesting position in which we currently find ourselves. Rather than a tight corner, it’s a window of opportunity.
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Executive Director’s Message
The Corner Office Michael A. Ernest Architect AIBC Executive Director to underpin progressive growth. Here are some examples of AIBC initiatives and activities that currently stretch our horizon.
Interesting things, corners. A lot depends upon not only their configuration but also one’s perspective. Getting backed into a corner is not a comfortable situation, but having solid planes at one’s back and being able to see and move outward with confidence is strengthening. Corners are where conditions come together, reinforcing each other when well-designed and constructed. And corners are where paths intersect and keep going, sometimes in unexpected directions. The question is … architectural or otherwise … do you stand in wait at the corner or do you step forward with intention? Much of what the AIBC publishes and that gets discussed by our community is understandably a matter of regulatory mandate, including identity, association, scope, licensing requirements, programs and services in support of public confidence as well as the profession’s health. That’s all good and worthy, but also necessary 122 architectureBC
Community of Architects The Broadly Educated Foreign Architects (BEFA) program began at the AIBC several years ago as something of a skunkworks initiative to explore the feasibility of an approach to licensing immigrants who could demonstrate their professional competence, serve the public to the requisite high standard, and enrich our ranks. To say that approach was viewed with skepticism, both here and across the country, would be an understatement. Fast forward to September 21, 2012, the day upon which the BEFA program, following its successful implementation in B.C., will be launched nationally, having been adopted by all Canadian architectural licensing jurisdictions and placed under the purview of the jurisdictions’ Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). This initiative, which resulted in advances in competency standards and assessment tools, attracted government support (including financial) both in B.C. and federally due to its alignment with public policy respecting immigration, trade and mobility. From its onset, it also seemed to be the right thing to do. Credit also goes to Architecture Canada, instrumental in effecting the federal connection and project management.
Signed, Sealed and Delivered Have you ever wondered why only architects who are owners of their firms can legitimately sign and seal professional documents? And why, in our sister profession of engineering, any P. Eng. has that authority? For one thing, under governing statutes, there are no requirements for engineering firm registration or ownership. However, such considerations do apply to architectural practice. For another, traditions die hard, even when patterns of practice change and especially apropos trust and taking responsibility. That status quo came to be seen by some as limiting the potential and standing of many employed architects and intern architects. Evidence from the engineering profession and liability insurers suggested that having professional responsibility signified by the engineer (owner or employee) most familiar with the document (e.g. drawing or letter of assurance) posed no notable risk or conduct concern. On the contrary, there is a strong argument to be made that the more immediate relationship provides better protection for both the consumer and the firm. At the same time, it serves to enhance the individual professional’s sense of responsibility, contribution and value while enabling real growth potential and succession prospects within a firm - adding tangible value to being a registered professional.
continued ON p. 120
The AWCC developed, maintains and updates the Wall and Ceiling Specifications Standards Manual. The Association first published the Standards Manual in 1978. It continues to be the recognized industry standard manual for specifications and field practice for wall and ceiling work within Canada and USA. The WCI Wall and Ceiling Specification Standards Manual 2012 Edition is completely revised, and is current with the latest standards, codes and industry practices. The Manual is now available in an online accessible format for an annual subscription fee and a newly formatted print version. The online format allows for timely revisions and updates and provides users with portability for use in the field with iPad and tablet compatibility.
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The Architectural Institute of British Columbia is a self-governing body dedicated to excellence in the profession of architecture for the benefit of the public, the profession and the environment.