Members Advisory – Request For Proposal: Powell River Public Library

Request For Proposal: Powell River Public Library
Architect Services for a Design Concept
Deadline: 18 October 2011

Having reviewed the above‐noted RFP, the AIBC is obliged to issue the following cautions:

  • Regarding Clause 8.3: Persons (including architects) cannot contract out of their statutory rights: nor is it feasible or insurable for an architect “to save the Client harmless from all liens which may be asserted against property covered hereunder, including without limitation mechanic’s liens or claims arising under Worker’s Compensation or Occupational Health and Safety laws and from all claims for injury to persons or property arising out of or related to such property unless the same are caused solely and directly by the Client’s negligence”. Among other factors, the architect (or any engineer) is expressly not responsible for construction safety as a matter of industry standard and the B.C. Building Code.
  • Regarding Clause 9.2: AIBC Bylaw 28.3 states that all drawings, specifications, models and documents prepared by the architect as instruments of service shall remain the architect’s property, the copyright in the same being reserved to the architect in first instance. Accordingly “Any work, writing, idea, discovery, improvement, invention (whether patentable or not), trade secret or intellectual property of any kind first made or conceived by the Architect in the performance of the Agreement or which is derived from the use of information supplied by the Client” is the exclusive property of the architect in the first instance.  The architect, per AIBC Practice Note 7, can provide such property (“their instruments of service”) to the owner for use with exclusive or limited rights as long as the pertinent service has been paid for.
  • Regarding Clause 9.3: Intellectual property remains the property of the architect. The request that the architect “grants to the Client, and to the Client’s subcontractors and customers, in connection with the use, offer for sale, or sale of products provided to or work being performed for the Client, an irrevocable, non-exclusive, paid-up worldwide license under any and all intellectual property (whether domestic or foreign), including patents, copyrights, industrial designs and/or mask works owned or controlled by the Architect at any time or licensed to the Architect…” is unnecessary, unacceptable, and impracticable in the extreme (see note referencing Clause 8.3, above).
  • Regarding Clause 9.5: “All estimates, budgets, reports, design documents, digital animations and similar documents prepared by the Architect” are considered the architect’s instruments of service and are in their first instance, the property of the architect. Accordingly, providing the client with the exclusive rights in the first instance to these instruments of service would also be unnecessary, unwise, and a contravention of AIBC bylaws.
  • Regarding Clause 11.1: The architect cannot and should not “warranty all services against defects in performance for a period of one year following delivery.” The architect provides advice and service, not a product. Professional liability insurance policies do not cover an architect’s provision of products or guarantees.
  • Regarding Clause 17.1: The request that the “Client reserves the right to audit Architect’s records to assure compliance with the terms of the Agreement” needs careful, practical attention. Being open and transparent is a healthy approach, but subject to professionally reasonable limits of time, resources and access.

While the project itself is of interest and well‐intentioned, proposals that comply with the RFP as written would place architects and their firms in jeopardy as to business risk, professional conduct, and insurability. Specific attention needs to be drawn to AIBC Bylaw 28: Conditions of Service ( and the Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct thereunder, as well as AIBC Bulletin 64: Proposal Calls and Related Issues ( and the Guidelines on Intellectual Property (published jointly by the AIBC, Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of British Columbia  and Consulting Engineers of British Columbia).

The AIBC has shared these concerns with those responsible for this project and looks forward to the RFP’s amendment so that architects and their firms are able to submit responsible proposals in keeping with AIBC Bulletin 64: Proposal Calls and Related Issues.

Why Architecture’s Identity Problem Should Matter to the Rest of Us

By John Cary, Good Design
October 13, 2011

Perhaps it was the Legos, or watching Mike Brady belly up to his drafting board on TV. In recent months and years, the likes of President Obama, Brad Pitt, Lenny Kravitz, and numerous other public figures have divulged a love of architecture, going so far as to say they once—or still—wanted to be architects. They, like so many of us, have a romantic view of the architecture world. More … 

SSAC Student Essay Competition

The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada invites submission for its annual competition for the best architectural history essay. The Martin-Eli-Weil prize is awarded annually by the SSAC to a student who submits an essay “on the role played by the built environment in Canadian society”, with the winner receiving a $250 prize and certificate. in addition to being published in the society’s journal. The competition is open to any part-time or full-time student registered in a program leading to a degree in a Canadian university, as well as foreign university students writing about a Canadian subject. Submissions, in French or English, may deal with a specific building (contemporary or historic, whether existing or at a proposal stage); a complex of attached buildings; a specific building type (examined for its historical, functional, structural, or aesthetic importance); cultural landscape (parks, cemeteries, farms, etc.); the life of a person who has influenced the built environment; or a philosophical, sociological, or historical issue related to the built environment. The deadline for submissions is March 2, 2012. Access the Call for Candidates at For more information on the society, visit