CAA … working on your behalf (May 2016)
The Consulting Architects of Alberta continues to work on behalf of its members, and we are getting positive results and breaking new ground.
At the 2016 Banff Sessions this past weekend, CAA Chair Linus Murphy co-presented with AAA Practice Advisor Barry Johns for a session entitled “Lessons from the Trenches.” The room was sold out with standing room only at the back. Present were not only AAA architect and interior design members, but also a sizeable representative of Owners.
The session enabled both associations to highlight their roles and also the work that has occurred over the past few months. While Barry Johns talked about regulatory and legislative issues that impact Alberta architects, Linus Murphy informed the packed room about the role and work of the CAA.
Linus advised about the significant improvements that the CAA has achieved regarding updated contract wording with Alberta Infrastructure and how the CAA has been establishing and reinforcing effective relationships with a wider group of associations like AHS, City of Calgary, City of Edmonton, University of Calgary, University of Alberta and, of course, Alberta Infrastructure. He mentioned that the CAA participates in numerous meetings, which includes industry liaison committee meetings with each of those mentioned above. Also, Linus reinforced the CAA’s central leadership role with provincial round table discussions with the Minister of Infrastructure and more.
The buzz in the room after the presentation centred around “how can we help the CAA” and so Linus noted that our two most active committees are Procurement and Contracts and Fee and Scope and encouraged those in the room to participate. Exciting too was an unsolicited call from the audience to join the CAA if you want to be part of the solution.
The whole of the presentation was around the most prominent concerns of the CAA which are:
· fair RFP process
· fair contracts
· fair fees
Linus reported that to date, the following changes have been achieved with Alberta Infrastructure:
· VRAES shortlisting process has been cancelled
· P3’s will be very selectively used, if not at all P3’s
· Bundling will be vey selectively used and only where appropriate
· politics will be removed from the project schedules
· spending will focus on dependable infrastructure
The CAA has also been working on reducing preliminary fee focus, appropriate honourariums, accepting invitation in RFP submissions and common Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Health Services RFPs.
To date, the CAA has achieved:
· standard duty of care clause is being used in lieu of elevated duty of care by removing “ensure” and “best”
· realistic fee breakdown to match BIM projects
· LEED penalties have been removed
· set off ability has been removed
· improper wording (e.g. warranty, guarantee) has been removed
The CAA continues to work on the issues of ownership of copyright, unlimited liability and un-insurable clauses such as “defend and hold harmless”.
In concluding, Linus noted that the CAA has a number of reference materials, including:
· White papers
· “Working On Your Behalf”
· Committee contacts
And he encouraged all in the industry, if you come across any contract issue or have questions about the CAA, please contact:
Consulting Architects of Alberta