NCARB Practice Analysis Survey

Every five to seven years, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) conducts a comprehensive survey of the profession of architecture in order to capture its current realities. The resulting data is then synthesized to inform its programs and services. This includes future decision-making and discussion regarding revisions and improvements to the programs that comprise the NCARB path to licensure—such as the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). Educators and intern architects, in addition to a large sample of architects throughout the United States and Canada, are invited to complete the Practice Analysis of Architecture survey, a unique opportunity to shape the future of the profession. Simply go to It will be available until Monday, April 30, 2012.

What to Expect at the AIBC Special Meeting and Annual Meeting (May 12, 2012)

(Updated: Please click here for new meeting time and location.)

Special Meeting

This meeting has been called after being requested by 15 AIBC members, in keeping with the Architects Act and AIBC bylaws. Under established protocols for such a meeting, the only business that may be considered is that for which prior notice has been given. In this instance, it is limited to the questions, proposed bylaw resolutions and advisory motions contained in the original petition. There will be no opportunity to submit or consider additional agenda items or motions.

This meeting will begin at 8:45 a.m. There will be a half-hour registration period (8:15 – 8:45 a.m.) prior to convening to confirm voting privileges and ensure the requisite quorum. Only AIBC members in good standing and honorary members will be entitled to vote. Associates, while not entitled to vote, are permitted to speak to any matter raised at the meeting.

To review the special meeting agenda and protocols, as well as the petitioners’ materials (all of which have been mailed to all members, honorary members and associates), click here. Participants are encouraged to review the materials and come prepared for discussion.

2012 Annual Meeting

The 2012 Annual Meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. There will be a registration period a half-hour (12:30 – 1:00 p.m.) prior to convening. This is required to confirm voting privileges and ensure the necessary quorum.

A package of materials, including agenda, protocols, draft minutes from the 2011 Annual Meeting, Honorary Membership nominee, President’s Report, Auditor’s Report and proposed bylaw amendments, has been mailed directly to all members, honorary members and associates. It can also be found here.

Only AIBC members in good standing and honorary members will be entitled to vote at the annual meeting. Associates, while not entitled to vote, are permitted to speak to any matter raised at the meeting.

AIBC Council Election

A primary item of business at the annual meeting will be the election of the 2012/2013 AIBC Council. The voting period has already begun. Members and honorary members are encouraged to cast their votes through the balloting process outlined in the information packages distributed by mail. Ballots can also be hand-delivered:

  • weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the AIBC offices until May 8, 2012;
  • between 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the registration tables during the 2012 AIBC Annual Conference, May 9-11 at the Vancouver Convention Centre; and
  • at the BCIT Downtown Vancouver Campus on Saturday May 12 from 8:15 a.m. until the AIBC President closes the election at the start of the 2012 Annual Meeting.

Voting officially closes directly after the annual meeting is called to order. Ballots will the be counted by appointed scrutineers with the results announced prior to the adjournment of the annual meeting.

Bylaw Amendments

Another significant annual meeting agenda item concerns a number of proposed bylaw amendments, the nature of which has been discussed and shared with membership over recent months. There are a significant number of proposed amendments to be addressed. Some of them are purely editorial and non-controversial, while others may require individual explanation and/or be subject to questions and discussion. In order to get through the required business items on the meeting agenda in an effective and efficient manner while allowing for optimal discussion/debate, the council president may ask the assembly for consent to “bundle” non-contentious proposals for consideration as a single package. This approach would allow for greater time to be spent on matters that may be seen as more complex or important.

Members’ Forum and Members’ Motions

The annual meeting agenda allows for a Members’ Forum segment. Whether this session takes place, and for how long, is dependent upon how efficiently other business items on the agenda are concluded. If held, the Members’ Forum will be an opportunity to raise, discuss and debate issues of interest of concern to the profession. It is intended as a civil, collegial discussion amongst architects, associates and members of AIBC Council.

The Members’ Forum also provides the opportunity for members to bring forth new ideas and fresh perspectives in the form of advisory motions to council (“Members’ Motions”). Such motions must be properly constructed, concise, complete, unambiguous and in writing. While strictly advisory in nature and not binding on AIBC Council, Members’ Motions that meet with the support of the membership will go to council for its consideration.

All Members’ Motions received will be directed to the Motions Review Committee, a group of members who will ensure they meet the above-noted criteria; are clearly  understandable; and are consistent with the Architects Act, AIBC bylaws and the AIBC Code of Ethics.

While it is recommended that Members Motions be submitted by May 1, additional motions may be submitted (to the Executive Director or a member of the Motions Review Committee) up to 30 minutes after the annual meeting has been called to order. Anyone bringing forward a motion must have a written version of the proposed motion in hand at the meeting, and be prepared to speak to it, with a seconder already identified.

In the event that time does not allow for all Members’ Motions to be heard, any motions not aired at the annual meeting will still be considered by AIBC Council.

Member Advisory: Energy Performance of Buildings

Complying with the various energy performance requirements for buildings can be a challenge. A building may be required to meet a third-party certifying program’s requirements (such as LEED™) as a condition of the development process or as a client’s requirement.

The BC Building Code  and the Vancouver Building By-law  both reference the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers  (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1, Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, yet each requires compliance with different versions, and the referenced versions are likely to change when new editions of these codes are issued later this year. In addition, the BC Energy Efficiency Act, through its BC Energy Efficiency Standards Regulation (BCEESR), contains minimum performance levels for windows, doors and skylights (as well as a wide variety of other products) regardless of which building code is applicable.

To further complicate matters, buildings that comply with ASHRAE 90.1 are exempt from the fenestration requirements of the BCEESR, and ASHRAE 90.1 is multi-disciplinary, containing requirements for not only the building enclosure but mechanical and lighting systems as well.

The AIBC continues to work with its colleagues at the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC), as well as such other industry stakeholders as the Glazing Contractors Association of BC (GCABC), the Homeowners Protection Office (HPO), the BC Ministry of Energy (MOE) and the City of Vancouver (CoV) to develop a coordinated approach to energy performance of buildings in the various climate zones of British Columbia.  Working with APEGBC and CoV, the institute recently participated in a half-day professional development session on the CoV’s ASHRAE 90.1 documentation process.

In addition to the ASHRAE 90.1 standard itself, which is available in both metric and imperial versions, ASHRAE publishes the User’s Manual to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA STANDARD 90.1. This document is of great value in understanding and applying the standard. Both are available in either hard copy or PDF format at . This web site also has various design guides available for specific building types.

At the upcoming 2012 AIBC Annual Conference (May 9-11 at the Vancouver Convention Centre), there will be a session that specifically addresses the 90.1 standard. ASHRAE 90.1: What Architects Need to Know will provide a ‘roadmap’ of where practitioners need to go to achieve compliance.

There will also be a session on state-of-the-art thermal modeling research, Above and Beyond: Can Your Building Meet 2020 Targets?  Whether or not an architectural firm takes on thermal modeling in-house, or relies on consultants for this service, it must have sufficient familiarity with the modeling process to make decisions on when it is the most appropriate method of achieving compliance, and if so, will need to work with the model to fine-tune the building enclosure design.

The HPO recently updated its Builder’s Insight (BI) #9, Fenestration Energy Performance: A Roadmap for Understanding Requirements for Residential Buildings in British Columbia. Along with Builder’s Insight #7, ASHRAE 90.1 – Requirements for the Building Enclosure: Understanding the Compliance Paths for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings, these documents provide a good overview of the requirements as they apply to housing. BI #9 is especially useful in explaining the interplay of the various regulatory requirements. Both are available online at , with hard copy versions of BI #9 also available at the AIBC reception desk while supplies last. These HPO documents would be a good place to start for those new to the issues, followed by the AIBC conference sessions which are developed by, and targeted specifically at, architects. The conference registration process can be accessed at

The CoV has also developed excellent online resources as part of its documentation process requirements. There is a 40-page tutorial available at . As well, documentation submission checklists and compliance checklists available in MS excel format at . Though provided for the CoV process, the compliance checklists are ASHRAE forms, used with permission, and would be useful on projects required to comply with ASHRAE 90.1 under the BC Building Code. The AIBC is currently working with the APEGBC, the MOE and the GCABC to develop additional resources for specifying commercial glazing products in compliance with the BCEESR, in order to supplement the existing GCABC Glazing Systems Specifications Manual. Glazing specifications, particularly for site-built commercial windows, are critical to achieving compliance while at the same time necessarily providing a fair and equitable bidding process in the competitive marketplace. The existing specifications manual, an essential resource for any office, is available from the GCABC at .

Architects are fundamentally responsible for the design of the building enclosure and its energy performance. As coordinators, we must work together with our engineering consultants to tie the various building systems into a cohesive whole. At the larger scale of determining the size, shape and transparency of a building and at the finer scale of determining of what the skin of the building will be composed, we must develop building designs that meet the energy performance requirements of our clients, the community through its planning processes, and the various building and manufacturing regulations.  Of course, at the same time, designs have to be within budget and readily buildable.  We have been entrusted with this critical responsibility for environmental stewardship. Yes, it is a challenge, but it is one that both the profession as whole and the individual practitioners of which it is comprised, accept.


Maura Gatensby MAIBC

Practice Advisor