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Council Highlights - December 11, 2015 Meeting

OAA Council held its final meeting of 2015 on December 11 and dealt with the following priority agenda items: 
OAA Building Committee – Options Study Report
The OAA Building Committee and Architect David Fujiwara presented the results of the Options Study undertaken over the summer months as approved by Council late spring 2015.  The study directed the design and construction management team to complete a comparative evaluation of four specific options.  The four options moved progressively from a best practice ‘business as usual’ base case (Option 1) through designs that achieved progressively the 2030 Challenge, specifically, the 2015 target of a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (Option 2), the 2030 target of a 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (Option 3), and finally the 2030 target on a net zero basis (Option 4).   In addition to the evaluation of these options in regard to the 2030 Challenge, the team isolated the individual components of the proposed project that were unrelated to the energy and carbon neutrality goals of the 2030 Challenge and priced those separately for evaluation on their own merits.  These other components included proposed renovations to provide additional or improved office space on the second and third floors to meet both OAA and Pro-Demnity current and anticipated needs as well as improvements to parking and exterior site lighting.  
OAA Council received the report of the consultants and as a final step in evaluating those options has directed a risk analysis and third party review of Options 3 and 4, along with an implementation study including funding options for the various options. The results of this additional work is anticipated for the March Council meeting. 
Web-based Practice Tools Resource Library
The Chair of the task group made a presentation to Council as a follow up to the report presented at the November meeting and further outlining the work that had been done over the course of the last year by the Task Group under the auspices of the OAA Practice Committee.  The Task Group had been given the mandate to engage a consultant to study the options available regarding the creation of an online ‘Architects Resources Library’.  Council has received the Report of the Task Group and Consultant and will be considering it further as part of its priorities and planning session in early February.
Report from Admission Course Review Task Group
Council approved a number of recommendations resulting from a report presented by the Admission Course Review Task Group December 11.  Earlier in the year Council had instructed the Registrar to examine and propose changes to the Admission Course.  Accordingly, the Registrar engaged Interns in a discussion of how to improve delivery of the course and methods that may improve delivery and accessibility. 
Of particular note, OAA Council has approved a proposal, including funding, to begin moving the Admission Course online via the University of Toronto School of Continuing Education.  Also approved is the option for interns to undertake the Admission Course in segments as opposed to the requirement that all three days of learning be undertaken at one time.  Interns can now register for individual days of the Admission Course being held this year in Toronto during the OAA’s Conference in May.  Finally, Council has approved the continuation of the Task Group for 2016 to complete the full review of the program and implementation.
Amendment to Schedule A – OAA By-laws  
Amendments to Schedule A of the OAA’s By-laws was approved by Council reflecting the inflationary increase of 1.2% to the 2016 Annual Fees.  As reported previously by Council in December, this small increase follows five years of no increases and is felt to be fiscally responsible given the value of programs and services the OAA delivers to its members, including an expansion of services to members in the policy/advocacy and continuing education areas.
ConEd and Tour Roster for Conference 2016
Council approved the roster of Continuing Education Sessions and Tours which will be featured at OAA Conference this coming May.  Details for each session and tour are currently being finalized and the full list will be available for viewing on the OAA Website in early March.  As a reminder, this year’s conference events are being hosted at the Allstream Centre in Toronto and the official conference hotel is the Westin Harbour Castle.
Report and Recommendations from Interns’ Forum
Council received the report of the Interns’ Forum representing work that has been done by the group over the course of 2015 and specifically approved the following recommendations: 
  • That the Interns’ Forum be established as a permanent committee of Council;
  • That an Interns’ Portal Working Group be established to report to the Interns’ Forum regarding the interns’ presence on the website and in other jurisdictions; and,
  • That the Interns’ Committee work in concert with the Ontario schools of architecture to provide complimentary student membership to the OAA and extend the
invite to students of architecture nationally to become student members.
Appointments to OAA Committees for 2016
OAA Council made its annual appointments to the wide variety of Committees that carry out the work of the Association across the breadth of its activities.  Over 30 member appointments were made effective January 1.  The interest from the membership this fall for these volunteer positions was overwhelming and unfortunately not all could be accommodated.  Council would like to thank everyone who submitted their interest and acknowledge that without this incredible level of interest and volunteerism the work of the Association would not be possible.
Sponsorship for 2016 Biennale in Architecture 
OAA Council approved sponsorship for the Biennale in Architecture for 2016.  This year’s Canadian entry for the Biennale hosted in Venice, Italy is titled EXTRACTION.  As announced in a December 7 press release issued by the Canada Council of the Arts, EXTRACTION explores the architectures, histories and economies of Canada’s culture of resource extraction, to profile the rise of Canada as a global resource empire. EXTRACTION engages contemporary and historic media across a range of cultural, spatial and industrial views. It brings together perspectives from business, history, art, activism and elsewhere, to radically rethink Canada’s global position as home to 75% of our planet’s prospecting and mining companies.  The Biennale in Architecture, held every second year, provides an opportunity for architects and designers to showcase new projects, arranged in different pavilions, each with different themes.
The next Council meeting will take place on Friday, January 22 at OAA Headquarters. Members are welcome to attend the open session. Please RSVP to Tina Carfa if you plan to attend.