AIBC Council Minutes – March 12, 2013

The adopted March 12, 2013 AIBC Council minutes can be found here: 2013_03_March_12_Council_Minutes_adopted

March AIBC Council Meeting Summary

At its most recent meeting on Tuesday, March, 12, 2013, AIBC Council considered a wide range of matters including:

  • A Finance Committee report that touched upon the review process for finance-related council policies. Approval was given for a resolution, to be brought forth at the June 1 annual meeting, calling for the reappointment of Wolrige Mahon LLP the institute’s auditor for the coming fiscal year. Council also approved a new policy regarding Council Members’ Expenses, revising the process for approving such expense claims.
  • A report from the Governance Committee, which continues to review council’s 3.0 (Governing Process) and 4.0 (Council –Executive Director Relationship) policy suites.
  • An Intern Architect Registration Expediting Committee report that called for related information sessions to be considered as part of the professional development program for the 2013 Annual Conference in October.
  • A status report from the Associate Options Task Force, now in the process of reviewing the regulation of associates by other professional regulators, considering legal opinions and engaging in consultation with associate groups in order to determine a clear course of action to be shared at the annual meeting.
  • A report from the Registration Board, including preparations for the recently-introduced Examination for Architects in Canada for B.C. intern architects, which will be available beginning June 1, 2013.
  • AIBC approval of a proposed Mutual Recognition Agreement between the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards which, if adopted, will facilitate cross-border recognition of certified architects in both Canada and the United States.
  • Information from council’s Strategic Planning Working Group, which has engaged an external consultant to lead a comprehensive planning process.
  • Updates to council’s Professional Development policies, which were tabled pending the report from council’s Associates Options Task Force.

Council also passed motions pertaining to various consent items dealing with financial, governance and professional practice policy compliance, committee changes, examination results and registration amendments. The next scheduled meeting of AIBC Council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, 2013, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the AIBC Offices (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver).

Construction Industry Group Calls For Government Crackdown on ‘Unscrupulous Contractors’ in Metro Vancouver

By Jessica Barrett, Vancouver Sun
March 25, 2013 

A group of construction professionals is pressing the federal government to crack down on “unscrupulous contractors” they say have made it impossible for law-abiding companies to compete in the industry. In a letter sent to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews last week, Wayne Cox, executive secretary-treasurer of the B.C. Regional Council of Carpenters, said the problem of unethical payroll practices and illegal workers in the Lower Mainland is rampant. More …

2013 BCSLA Annual Conference, Showcase and AGM

Depth of Field
The BCSLA premiere event of the year for landscape architects in B.C. will be held April 26-27, 2013 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. The program is always evolving due to speaker availability. Click Preliminary Program & Registration Form (PDF) for all the latest updates. Register by 12:00 p.m. on April 11, 2013 to take advantage of early bird rates.


Sustainable Region Initiative

The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues and Sustainability Community Breakfasts are outreach components of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainable Region Initiative. They involve a series of high-profile debates and discussions intended to help decision makers shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views and stimulating fresh thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labour and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, transportation, energy and agriculture. Please check the web site often to find out about future dialogues in your community.

Sustainability Dialogues: Paying For Our Cities
By most accounts, the Metro Vancouver region is in an enviable position – renowned for its livability, natural beauty and pursuit of a sustainable future. Yet, the pressure to compete in a global economy combined with a growing population, expanding cities, and aging infrastructure is creating significant regional challenges for local governments and citizens. Services that keep people healthy, safe and active every day – such as transit systems, parks, playgrounds, clean drinking water, recycling services, garbage disposal and waste reduction – are costly. They need infrastructure that must be maintained, renewed and replaced over time. But who pays and how? Are increases in property taxes, user fees or government transfers in the form of grants the answer? And if so, what is the role of different levels of government in easing the burden on citizens? Are there other roles to be played by businesses? What might be the full range of financing and design strategies that can keep our region healthy, safe, livable and sustainable? The latest in our Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues will feature, among others, representatives of the Canada West Foundation, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Translink, KPMG Management Consulting, and locally elected officials. Check online ( for details as additional panellists are confirmed. They take place at the following locations and times:


Vancouver –  Tuesday, April 9, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon)
Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue
580 West Hastings Street
Register at


South of the Fraser – Wednesday, April 10, 2013
3:30 – 6:00 p.m. (light refreshments from 3:30  to 4:00 p.m.)
Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Club
7778 – 152nd Street, Surrey
Register at


North Shore – Tuesday, April 16, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon)
Eagles Hall
170 West 3rd, North Vancouver
Register at


Central Northeast – Wednesday, April 17, 2013
3:30 – 6:00 p.m. (light refreshments from 3:30  to 4:00 p.m.)
Executive Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre
405 North Road, Coquitlam
Register at


These dialogues are a key component of Metro Vancouver’s Sustainable Region Initiative, and are intended to help the citizens of Metro Vancouver shape the future of the region by presenting a range of views to challenge and stimulate discussion on significant regional issues. Metro Vancouver’s view is that the exploration of new and innovative approaches to regional issues by a broad spectrum of interested stakeholders is fundamental to the ongoing livability and sustainability of our region, and your participation in these dialogues is encouraged and greatly valued.

Tiny Plots of Land Hold The Promise of Big Change in Gritty Neighbourhoods

By Frances Bula, The Globe and Mail
March 26, 2013 

The little lots that are predicted to transform Vancouver’s gritty Downtown Eastside and Chinatown are invisible to many. But they’re everywhere and they’re the future of those neighbourhoods, say architects who are working on small, unusual projects that are aimed at bringing a new look and new people into the area while respecting what’s already there. More …

Member Advisory: Translink RFP Q13-017

RE:  Translink  RFP Q13-017: SeaBus Terminals and Administration Building Envelope Rehabilitation – Design Services
Deadline: April 5, 2013

Concerns regarding this recent Request for Proposals have been brought to the attention of the AIBC. Having reviewed the above-noted RFP, the institute is obliged to issue the following cautions.

In order for architects to propose professional services fairly and ethically, they must be apprised of critical information by the client. This RFP for architectural services does not meet the mandatory criteria for proposal calls, as articulated in AIBC Bulletin 64: Proposal Calls and Related Issues.

In this particular RFP, architects are required to submit a fixed fee for services without being provided the construction budget, or a clear and finite scope of work. The RFP itself states the extent of work required is uncertain, and within the stated scope of work is the determination of what work will be necessary, and establishing a budget for that work.  An architect cannot responsibly propose a fixed fee for work of uncertain scope and unstated budget. By asking for hourly rates and estimates of the number of hours required, this is de facto asking for a fixed fee.

A number of options are available to meet the objective of receiving proposals that can be compared fairly and the determining the most appropriate architect for this project. For example, a fixed fee can be solicited for the building envelope investigation work, options analysis and preliminary design report, along with either a percentage of construction cost fee proposal or an hourly rate (but not number of hours) fee proposal provided for the remainder of the work.

It is not possible for architects or engineers to accurately estimate the number of hours required to do a job if the extent of that job is unknown. In this instance, it does not serve Translink’s (or any client’s) interests to receive inaccurate, “low-ball” fee proposals and then have the price escalate beyond that which others had proposed. Also, it does not serve the interest of a public body, with an obligation to spend responsibly, to have proponents “cushion” their fees to allow for uncertainty of project scope as would be required of a careful proponent in this RFP scenario. This issue was identified by some proponents who noted that Addendum #1, Items 3.0 and 4.0 respond (negatively) to requests for consideration of alternate fee structures and request that a budget be provided.

Once the scope of work has been determined (that is, after the investigation and preliminary report), Translink can negotiate a fixed fee, based on the previously submitted hourly rates or percentage of construction cost, with their selected architect for the remainder of the work.

Despite the efforts of architects hoping to respond to this RFP, and the AIBC’s own attempts to bring the RFP in line with the requirements of AIBC Bulletin 64: Proposal Calls and Related Issues, the institute regretfully advises members that they risk charges of unprofessional conduct were they to submit proposals per the requirements of this RFP. This applies to architects proposing as the prime consultant as well as architects working with a building envelope engineering firm as the prime consultant.  Note that the work in this RFP requires an architect per the Architects Act.

Appreciation goes to the many firms that took the time to contact the institute and bring these matters to its attention.

Maura Gatensby Architect AIBC
Practice Advisor