Advocacy Update

The CAA has many volunteers from member firms who serve on committees sharing the goal of building a positive business environment for the practice of architecture in Alberta. Over the past several months, our committees have been tackling the following issues / activities:

  • Engagement of specialty consultants by architects vs clients
  • Lack of honorarium within U of  A Design Build RFP
  • Covenant Health contracts
  • Alberta Infrastructure Debriefing process -
  • Alberta Infrastructure project delivery decision matrix
  • AHS prime consultant agreement and other procurement issues
  • City of Lethbridge indemnity clause
  • Education of procurement specialists
  • City of Calgary - consultation on sustainable development
  • 2012 IPC Conference Planning
  • NWPTA fee cap  


Engagement of environmental, survey and geotechnical consultants - In recent proposal calls both the City of Edmonton and Alberta Health Services required the prime consultants to engage the Hazardous Materials Consultants directly. We asked both clients to remove this requirement, indicating that environmental, survey and geotechnical consultants should be hired directly by clients.  The City removed the requirement and has further consulted with the CAA on the matter of engaging specialty consultants.  We have an upcoming meeting with AHS where this issue will be among those raised.

Lack of honorarium with University of Alberta Design Build RFP
– for the Camrose Performing Arts Centre project.  We have asked that the U of A set honoraria that fairly compensate teams for the cost of design services required to complete a compliant design-build submission. View the letter here.


Covenant Health contracts - This client is undergoing some internal transition and have suggested a willingness to look at how their contracts might be revised to be more in synch with industry standards and best practices.

Alberta Infrastructure Debriefing process
- we provided input to Alberta Infrastructure on their debriefing process.  They have recently issued a revised set of guidelines which achieve some but not all of our goals.  We will continue to provide feedback as they develop their new RFQ and RFP debriefing process. See more on this topic here.

Alberta Infrastructure Construction Management and Design Build Committees
– we are very pleased that AI has invited our representatives to join these two committees to provide input to their team as they develop their approach to these two methods of project delivery.

Alberta Infrastructure project delivery decision matrix
- The CAA is providing input to AI as they develop a matrix for their reference in choosing  the most appropriate delivery model for any given infrastructure project.

AHS prime consultant agreement and other procurement issues
- We recently met with Alberta Health Services to discuss the Prime Consultant Agreement and the various terms within that document that are of concern to our membership. Although AHS has made it clear that they are not willing to entertain going back to using industry standard documents (such as RAIC 6), they are willing to looking at our specific concerns - especially those related to liability. The CAA has agreed to prepare an outline of  specific concerns with a focus on the liability issues. We look forward to working further with AHS on revisions to the Prime Consultant Agreement that will provide for a more balanced contract. It is also worth noting that AHS mentioned they are looking at blanket liability insurance in place that they can carry on behalf of their consultants.

City of Lethbridge indemnity clause
- A recent RFP contained clauses of concern to our membership. We expressed our concerns to the City of Lethbridge are awaiting a response that we hope will help shape future RFP’s.

Education of procurement specialists
- In an effort to be proactive, we are looking to develop mechanisms to communicate with a broad segment of the procurement industry - both private and public sector. Our goal is to provide procurement specialists with a better understanding of the unique issues and processes related to procurement of architectural services.

City of Calgary - consultation on sustainable development
- The CAA has been invited to provide input to the City of Calgary as they identify barriers that exist in their current approvals processes that inhibit sustainable designs and developments from successful implementation.

2012 IPC Conference
– Planning for the third annual Infrastructure Partners Conference has already begun. The date for the 2012 conference is set for October 29 & 30th. The theme for this year has been set: Partners in Progress: Sharing Perspectives.  Presentations will fall into three streams: National and International Perspectives; Trust & Collaboration; and Lessons Learned.


NWPTA fee cap – The CAA has begun discussions with industry partners around the current $75,000 fee threshold within the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. It is our position that the higher threshold of $250,000 would better allow public procurement authorities flexibility to source consultants for small projects and ease the administrative burden for both procurement authorities and consultants. We are having ongoing discussions with our colleagues at the Consulting Engineers of Alberta on how our position on this issue may or may not impact their goal of having consulting services removed from this agreement altogether.