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Meet an OAA Volunteer: Paul Dowsett

19 Sep 2019
Image Credit: Paul Dowsett
Architectural Credit: NA
OAA members who volunteer on Committees are vital to the Association’s work, with a diversity of voices, opinions, skills and knowledge critical to its decision-making process.
Right now, there are vacancies opening up for three-year terms in 11 OAA groups, ranging from the Regulatory, Interns and Communications Committees to the Sustainable Built Environments Committee (SBEC) and Policy Advocacy Coordination Team (PACT). If you’ve ever considered sharing your skills, perspective and experience to serve the profession and the public interest, now is the time! (To find out more about how to put your name forward by October 18, click here.)
To help demystify what OAA Committees do and what work is involved, we’ll be sharing the stories of OAA volunteers on the blOAAg over the month of September. Today, we’re talking with Paul Dowsett of the Sustainable Built Environments Committee (SBEC).
1. Who are you?
My name is Paul Dowsett and I am the principal architect at the Toronto-based firm, Sustainable. Architecture for a Healthy Planet. Prior to joining SBEC, I did not have any regular involvement with the OAA.
2. Why did you decide to join SBEC?
Two things: First, at this stage in my career (early 50s), I decided that it was time to contribute to the OAA and to the advancement of our profession as a whole. Second, with a personal and professional focus on sustainability, I thought that my best contributions would be to help those in our profession with how to be sustainable with their own practices... and life outside of work.
3. What kind of things do you do as a member?
We have monthly meetings, with a summer break. Our committee was strongly involved in the delivery of the OAA +2030 Professional Series, and I have been a technical advisor for green criteria within the OAA’s Design Excellence Awards program. I have also been a key part of the production of the OAA’s (Part 9) Four Walls Bulletins.
4. What are the meetings like?
The meetings are a gathering of like-minded architects from whom I learn a lot. At the meetings, we discuss the pressing matters that affect the delivery of sustainable architecture and also explore strategies to address these issues for the advancement of our profession.
5. Why should someone join the group?
If you think that it's your time to contribute to the OAA and if you have contributions to make in the advancement of sustainable architecture, then joining the SBEC may be right for you.

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