As the business voice for Alberta architects, the Consulting Architects of Alberta is committed to empowering green architecture in Alberta. “Building Green” is both a cost effective and noble goal, but those benefits can be difficult to pitch to many clients and professionals.
As a way to encourage and equip architects to counsel their clients towards green building strategies, we are holding the CAA Pitching Green Workshop, presented by Edmonton architect Shafraaz Kaba. This workshop will focus on case studies and best practices, as well as group discussion of what does and doesn’t work when trying to “pitch green”.
When: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, June 26 2019
Where: Edmonton Construction Association, 10215 176 Street NW Edmonton, AB T5S 1M1
RSVP Via EventBrite today!
Shafraaz Kaba is the co-founder of Media, Art and Design Exposed (MADE), helping keep creative architectural talent in Edmonton. He has also recently started ASK for Better World, a design consultancy focused on helping clients achieve carbon-neutral, net-zero energy and regenerative buildings through Lean methodology. While at Manasc Isaac Architects, Shafraaz designed several green buildings including the Yellowhead County Administration Building, which uses geothermal energy and solar water heating, and facilitated the creation of the Mosaic Centre, a LEED Platinum, net zero energy commercial building in Edmonton.
The CAA is proud to celebrate the excellence of Alberta’s architectural community with the 3rd annual CAA Business Awards. Until September 1 2019, the CAA will be accepting submissions which demonstrate excellence in the business aspects of architecture. Find more details here and start working on your submission!
DIALOG design shares the story of the new Walterdale Bridge, showcasing the concepts and goals that make it such a special part of the Edmonton skyline.
CAA Business Advisory Series:
Creating an Employee Share Ownership Plan
June 20, 2019
We are hosting our second CAA Business Advisory Series, which is a set of complimentary business advisory presentations throughout the year, tailor-made to benefit CAA members.
Architects attending these sessions will receive a completion certificate and can then self-report 1.5 structured learning hours.
The topics that will be discussed are business issues relevant to architects operating in Alberta and we are co-hosting these presentations with our friends at MNP.
Register today for the session: Creating an Employee Share Ownership Plan on June 20th, 2019.
How easy (or difficult) are they to set up and maintain, what are the long term impacts that you can expect on your business and your way of doing business, what exactly are phantom shares, and are there different strategies to achieve your objectives?
Recruiting and retaining the best quality employees can become a challenge. Creating a sense of ownership and a customized rewards program could make all the difference. Join the discussion with MNP’s Lynne Fisher and Ian Meier. Find out about employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), other customized compensation structures and structuring minority shareholder rights to learn whether they are right for your business.
If you are interested, please see details below.
When: Thursday, June 20, 2019 ~ 11:30am to 1:00pm
Where: MNP Edmonton Office
10235 101 Street NW, Suite 1600 (MNP Tower), Edmonton
RSVP to Bevan Bolen or call 780.969.1468
CAA update … Working On Your Behalf
Already the end of the first month of a new year has passed … and the CAA has been busy on working behalf of our members.
From time to time, we get questions about what the CAA is doing. Sometimes it is a specific issue and other times, it’s just a question in general. Recently, were asked about QBS and what the CAA is doing about it.
The short answer is “a lot.”
For years, the CAA has worked with the CEA to promote QBS with Alberta Infrastructure (AI). In response, last year AI prepared and released two pilot QBS projects – proponents were selected without reference to fees, which were negotiated after selection. We met with the Deputy Minister of IA and the IA team in the Industry Liaison Committee (ILC) meeting two weeks ago to discuss the results and to promote the expanded use and to promote their expanded use of QBS by AI. AI’s team is reviewing the procurement results but all indications are positive and AI appears open to expanding its usage. We see this as really important to our members; one of our most important initiatives. The DM is considering the results of her team’s review and very open to the idea. We are key players in the discussion.
We have also been at the table and participated in many ongoing discussions with the cities of Calgary and Edmonton to support their ongoing use of QBS. We are also in discussions with AHS about their use of a QBS selection process.
Additionally, we have prepared a draft private QBS proposal call, available on our website, for clients’ use. The Royal Mayfair Club recently used it in Edmonton to select architects for a new clubhouse project. It was seen as very helpful and they are a good reference for the approach.
Our CAA representatives are particularly impressed with the open-oriented approach of Shannon Flint, AI’s Deputy minister, and her team in our industry liaison meetings.
We are active leading participants of several related working groups dealing with AI’s procurement policies, BIM standards and choice of procurement methodologies. The CAA is an important and respected voice for our firms in these discussions.
The CAA is also at the forefront of many discussions with many different organizations. For example, Doug McConnell, co-Chair of the CAA’s Procurement and Contracts Committee, spoke in a plenary session to the RAIC Festival with the heads of the OAA and the OAQ and PWGSC on the topic – very much discussed with questions from the floor.
And this week, the CAA’s Chair is bringing greetings at the Edmonton Construction Association’s Infrastructure and Productivity Forum and Builder’s Connect Luncheon.
The CAA is always looking for more perks for its members. One recent event was the MNP’s Lunch and Learn session that took place on January 25. In addition to the information provided in the session (titled Tax Planning for architects in the current environment) attendees also earned 90 minutes of structured learning hours.
The CAA is now working on holding a similar event in Calgary, as well as additional Lunch and Learn sessions on different topics.
There are a variety of opportunities to get involved with the CAA to help expand the work that we do and the perks that can be created for members. If you are interested, feel free to contact any of the CAA board members or me. Our information is posted on the CAA website.
Consulting Architects of Alberta
Happy New Year!
A quick wrap up of a couple of CAA’s actions in December 2019. I addition to regular communication and meetings, the CAA also secured two new key actions :
- Finalizing the details for a Lunch and Learn event for CAA members.
The 90 minute session focuses on tax planning for architects in the current environment, and takes place on January 25, 2019 at MNP’s Edmonton office.
Note: Architects attending can self-report 90 minutes of structured LHs.
- The CAA also signed Personal Insurance as a new sponsor.
In addition, we embarked on significant changes to the CAA’s website. The revised version will be unveiled very soon.
September and October 2018 were busy for the CAA. November has been full of last minute details, quirks and technical difficulties with CAA’s new website, so this WOYB must go out before the website launch. Watch your emails for the official unveiling and new website, coming soon.
This year’s AGM (September 20th in Calgary) was well attended, both in terms of CAA members and sponsors.
This year’s meeting included presentations from both the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services. Information from both presentations are posted on the CAA website. Click here.
In addition to preparations for the CAA Annual General Meeting, the CAA worked with the University of Calgary to organize a lunch hour session with EVDS students. The presentation was well received, with several students asking questions both during the presentation and after it ended. A copy of the student session is posted on the CAA website. Click here.
The CAA Business Award was also announced at the AGM. Because there was a tie in our judges’ assessment this year, the CAA opted to present the award to two firms:
- RPK Architects for Lean @ Work
- DIALOG for Edmonton Design Week
This year, we have posted all the submissions on the CAA website. Click here.
The CAA’s Procurement and Contracts Committee continues to meet monthly to deal with current issues from RFPs and agreements based on member concerns.
The CAA joined the restart of AI’s re-vamped Industry Liaison Committee on October 26th, a forum including the Deputy Minister and some of AI’s new Assistant Deputy Ministers. Discussion topics included the vendor performance program, community benefit agreement, sub-committee on best practices for timely project completion , liquidated damages and the Etergi system. The next meeting is scheduled for late January 2019.
Our members regularly meet senior representatives from AI’s procurement team to discuss current procurement and agreement issues, including reviewing Alberta Infrastructure’s decision matrix for construction contractor procurement methodology, the development of AI’s protocol for debriefings and reference letters.
A separate group representing the CAA has been meeting with AI concerning its approach to the implementation of BIM. Ultimately, AI’s direction will likely set an important industry precedent with industry-wide implications concerning roles, expectations , scope and fees.
The CAA joined regular meetings with a City of Calgary task force with the CEA. The intent is to work through current industry issues; this meeting’s agenda focused on the importance of the use of the Consultant’s Division 1, front-end specification sections.
As a reminder, a focus of the CAA’s activities has been our work with the CEA to develop our Suggested Fee and Scope of Services Reference. We are really pleased that the Alberta Association of Architects now includes a direct link from its website to our CAA Reference.
Similarly, members may not remember that the CAA developed a template for clients to use to prepare an RFP for architectural services and posted it as a resource on our CAA website. We are proud to note the recent successful use of our RFP template and our Fee and Scope Reference by the Royal Mayfair Golf Club as it went through the process of selecting and engaging a design team for its new clubhouse project. A member of the Club’s Facilities Committee commented on how helpful it was to have these references to facilitate an effective qualifications-based selection process.
As always, if you come across procurement and contract issues, please reach out to the CAA so that we can follow up on behalf architects in Alberta.
October also saw considerable effort focused on the CAA’s Pitching Green initiative.
Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. Your responses helped us create a database about green architecture. The final report for Phase 1, was submitted on time.
While phase 1 is completed, the CAA has also developed a proposal for funding Phase of the Pitching Green initiative. That proposal has been submitted too, but the outcome won’t be revealed until the new year.
And last but not least, two important meetings recently took place:
- On October 29, Allan Partridge and I met with the CAA’s Executive Director Barbara Bruce about the AAA’s Advocacy Strategy. The discussion focused on how we can work together, recognizing that some aspects are solely AAA’s and that there are some aspects that the CAA can be involved.
- On October 30, Doug McConnell and Allan Partridge met with Jason Meliefste, Branch Manager, Infrastructure Services at the City of Edmonton to discuss procurement issues at the City of Edmonton on our behalf, including issues noted by our members in past CAA surveys. Doug and Allan report an important step towards developing an even better working relationship with the City and note that regular discussions will be set up similar to those we have with both AI and the City of Calgary.
At CAA’s 9th AGM, held at the University of Calgary, EVDS, Allan Partridge, CAA Chair, presented to a packed room of students over the lunch hour. Click here for his presentation.
Nicola Huppertz’s Alberta Health Services presentation focused on the many of the changes in the AHS. She wasn’t able to share the presentation, but did provide an updated organizational chart. Click here to view the chart.
The City of Calgary’s Shawna Cochrane, Jennifer Enns, Erin Bird jointly gave a presentation. Click here for this presentation.
CAA provided a presentation on the Pitching Green initiative. Click here for this presentation.
August 2018 was a very busy month for the CAA. In addition to the regular day-to-day activities, the CAA had a few time-specific issues to work on.
One of the items was developing a survey for the Pitching Green initiative. The survey is now closed, but I hope that a significant number of CAA members completed the survey. The results will be included in the 2018 Annual Report.
With the deadline of June 30, 2018 for the CAA’s 2nd Business Awards, we also dealt with the submissions in August. I am pleased that we doubled the number of submissions this year.
The submissions were sent to the judges and the results will be announced at the CAA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting, which takes place September 20, 2018 at the University of Calgary.
Speaking about the AGM, we are in the midst of dealing with all the aspects that goes into arranging the event.
This year, we are working with the University of Calgary’s EVDS department, and their students. I am very excited that we are also providing a lunch hour-session for the students, about the business of architecture.
Shortly after that, we will be setting up for the AGM, which is an evening event also at the University of Calgary. If you want more details or need to purchase your ticket, click here.
In other news, the CAA recently attended a working dinner meeting with the Edmonton Construction Association about effective engagement and collaboration.
Some of the contract issues that the P&C committee discussed and/or acted on included the Lakeland College Vermillion Campus, the RCMP Jasper RFP, the and Red Deer’s COR certification.
I also met with Dr. Douglas Macleod about some of the initiatives that Athabasca University is involved in.
Now that we’re in September, many of the committees are back in action. If you are interested in participating in a committee on behalf of the CAA, please contact me.
As always, if you come across issues with RFPs, or other issues, please get in touch with me. I can be reached by email or 780.488.8878.
July was a very busy month, only partially due to the CAA’s fiscal year end. That in itself triggers significant activity on the business aspect of the CAA. Added to that this year is the earlier deadline for submissions for the CAA Business Awards program, which necessitates seeking judges for the submissions.
As well, moving the CAA AGM to an earlier date than previously keeps us very active to get all the bits and pieces of the event prepared sooner than usual.
July this year also involved additional work regarding the Pitching Green initiative, most specifically developing a survey that will be sent out very soon.
Beyond these actions, the CAA’s main focus is on contract issues and the impacts they have for architects in Alberta.
One of the key gems that works on this is the CAA Procurements and Contracts (P&C) committee that meets every month. Issues are put forward by committee members and /or from other architects advising about issues that they have come across. For most of the issues, the CAA reaches out to the client/organization. Some issues are dealt with through phone calls or letters and some through face-to-face meetings.
A couple of recent issues were:
- The subject of COR Safety certification was discussed with the outcome of both CAA and the AAA agreeing to send separate letters to the City of Red Deer.
- The CAA also sent a letter to Lakeland College regarding the weighting of fees in their RFP.
An example of ongoing issues is the AHS contracts. The P&C Committee has requested an update about the various AHS contract issues and expects to have a conference call with our contact for the September meeting.
The CAA is involved in several committees with the sole purpose of improving the working conditions for architects. This includes Alberta Infrastructure’s Industry Liaison Committee as well as AI’s Procurement committee. Both of these committees went hiatus over the summer months, but are scheduled to ramp up again in September.
In addition to the work that the P&C does, several CAA members also participate in a variety of meetings. That includes CEA driven committees, and also several committees and meetings with Alberta infrastructure, the City of Calgary, the City of Edmonton, Alberta Health Services, the University of Edmonton, to name a few.
If you are interesting in joining a committee or if you come across contract issues, please let me know.
ALSO – please mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2018 CAA Annual General Meeting, which takes place on September 20, at the University of Alberta.