Liability and Innovative Products • Testing Ethical Decisions • The Pre-RFP Sales Process
JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS OF BC
Managing Snow Avalanche Hazard Sustainable Energy Management
2013 President’s Awards
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2 013 [ vol .17 no .5)
Managing Snow Avalanche Hazard for BC Engineering Projects Frank W. Baumann, P.Eng., and Cornelius Amelunxen
Innovation Balancing Act – Minimizing Liability While Using Innovative Products Sonia Sahota, P.Eng., LLB
Sustainable Energy Management – It’s a Gold Mine Andrew Cooper, P.Eng.
President’s Viewpoint – Continual Improvement at APEGBC
Association Notes – APEGBC Membership Renewal; Annual Conference Session Recordings and AGM Webcast Available; 2012/2013 Annual Report Now Available; BC Seismic Solutions Making an International Impact; Voting for the Council Election and Bylaw Ratification; Engineering and Geoscience Undergraduate Scholarships
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s New Look and Feel
Win the Work before You Bid: The Pre-RFP Sales Process
Collaborating Across Continents: Engineering, Education, and Social Enterprise
depar tment s
5 Letters 6 Newsmakers 28 APEGBC Professional Development 37 Discipline and Enforcement 37 Membership 42 Professional Services 46 OQM List
Large avalanche in coastal British
Columbia threatening a transmission line at the base of the slope.
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 VOLUME 17 NUMBER 5
One of the planks of my statement of candidacy for president included “enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountabil- ity of all APEGBC activities and operations.” For my final viewpoint, I wanted to share some thoughts on how well APEGBC is conforming to these particular aspects of continual improvement. Efficiency refers to the extent to which effort and resources are well used for an intended task or objective, whereas effectiveness is con- cerned primarily with the usefulness of the outcome, taking account also of the need to identify the right objectives in the first place. These concepts may apply both to APEGBC’s ongoing activities as well as to new initiatives and projects. For example, with respect to the former, APEGBC generally considers a range of performance indicators (e.g., for the registration process, these include the average time from initial application to attaining membership), and generally performs very well relative to its sister associations. However, with respect to the development of new initiatives or projects—taking account of project formulation, recommended actions and then implementation—I get the impression that we could certainly improve, and I have urged that staff look at ways to bring this about. One aspect of continual improve- ment relates to the annual value-for-money review of the efficiency and effectiveness of expenditures relating to various departments. This is working very well and is leading to thoughtful enhancements each year. Transparency relates to the degree of openness of an organization, such that members have access to the maximum possible amount of information regarding its operations and activities, with this being avail- able in as user-friendly a manner as possible. A key aspect of transpar- ency relates to the deliberations of Council and the extent to which, and ease by which, these are available to the membership. Council meetings include: open sessions that may be attended by any member, and that include minutes that are readily available (see www.apeg.bc.ca/about/ council); closed sessions that are attended by relevant staff members; and in-camera sessions attended by Council only. Thus, portions of a meeting relating, for example, to strategies and financial proposals under development, and personnel matters are rightly kept confidential and are considered in closed or in-camera sessions. I have urged that all Council deliberations occur in open sessions to the maximum extent possible, and that all associated materials, in addition to the minutes themselves, are readily available to the membership. Finally, accountability refers to the organization taking responsibil- ity for its policies, decisions and actions, being answerable and respon- sive to enquiries, and reporting back appropriately to the membership. At APEGBC, key approaches to doing so include ready access to minutes and reports, as mentioned above, the annual report, and the annual general meeting and related events. In this vein, a budget report is presented each year during the annual conference, we meet with our past presidents every year to provide updates and obtain feedback, and at the AGM we encourage a broad range of questions, feedback and discussion points. As well, one feature of our annual report relates to the disposition of all motions carried at the preceding AGM. Overall, I am pleased to report that, while there is certainly room for improvement, APEGBC has been advancing steadily with respect to the efficiency and effectiveness of its activities, and with respect to being transparent and accountable.
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC Canada V5C 6N2 Tel: 604.430.8035 Fax: 604.430.8085 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.apeg.bc.ca Toll free: 1.888.430.8035 2012/2013 COUNCIL, APEGBC P resident M.D. Isaacson, P.Eng., PhD, FEC, FGC (Hon.) V ice P resident M.B. Bapty, P.Eng., FEC P ast P resident J.H. Holm, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) COUNCILLORS A.E. Badke, P.Eng.; S.M. Carlson, P.Eng.; J.J. Clague, P.Geo., FGC, PhD; A Fernandes, CIM, FCSI; H. Hawson, P.Eng., FEC; D.M. Howes, P.Eng.; H.G. Kelly P.Eng.; G.D. Kirkham, P.Geo., FGC; J. Martignago; A.J. Mill, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC; K.E. Savage, P.Eng., FEC; M. Waberski, BCLS; M.C. Wrinch, P.Eng., PhD, FEC; S. Wynn, PhD ASSOCIATION STAFF A.J. English, P.Eng. C hief E xecutive O fficer and R egistrar T.M.Y. C hong, P.Eng. C hief R egulatory O fficer and D eputy R egistrar J.Y. Sinclair C hief O perating O fficer M.L. Archibald D irector , C ommunications and S takeholder E ngagement J. Cho, CGA D irector , F inance and A dministration D. Gamble D irector , I nformation S ervices P.R. Mitchell, P.Eng. D irector , P rofessional P ractice , S tandards and D evelopment D. Olychick D irector , M ember S ervices G.M. Pichler, P.Eng. D irector , R egistration G.A. Thiele, LLB D irector , L egislation , E thics and C ompliance R.M. F ilipiak, P .Eng. A ssociate D irector , A dmissions V. Lai, CGA A ssociate D irector , F inance and A dministration J.J.G. Larocque, P.Eng., LLB A ssociate D irector , P rofessional P ractice
Continual Improvement at APEGBC
Dr. Michael Isaacson, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) President
Melinda Lau M anaging E ditor
EDITORIAL BOARD S. Chiu, P.Eng.; R. Gupta, P.Eng., P h D; C.L. Hall, P.Geo.; S.K. Hayes, P.Eng.; K.S. Hirji, P.Eng.; M.A. Klippenstein, P.Eng.; I. Kokan, P.Eng.; M.E. Leslie, P.Eng.; B. Thomson, P.Geo., FEC (Hon)
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Subscription rates per issue $4.50; six issues yearly $25.00. Annual subscriptions of Association members are apportioned from membership dues in the amount of $15 per member (rates do not include tax). Innovation is published six times a year by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. As the official publication of the Association, Innovation is circulated to members of the engineering and geoscience professions, architects, contractors and industrial executives. The views expressed in any article contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Council or membership of this Association. Submission Guidelines: Innovation encourages unsolicited articles and photos. By submitting material to Innovation, you grant Innovation a royalty-free, worldwide license to publish the material in Innovation magazine; and you warrant that you have the authority to grant such rights and have obtained waivers of all associated moral rights. Innovation reserves the right to edit the material for length, clarity and conformity with our editorial guidelines (www. apeg.bc.ca/resource/innovation/editorial.html) and is under no obligation to publish any or all submissions or any portion thereof including credits. All material is copyright. Please contact the Managing Editor for reprint permission.
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Getting Serious About Floodplain Management
Resources for Tackling Acid Rock Drainage Acid Rock Drainage/Mine Rock Drainage (ARD/MRD) have been noted environmental hazards for many years. As professionals we have grappled with this for a long time. With the advent of environmental regulations, these sources of environmental pollution have been a source of many investigations. As professionals who have dedicated themselves to this challenge, the need for information is always at the forefront. Recently while doing a web search for information, I came across a website for the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP), an industry group created to help meet the challenge of acid drainage. I recommend to those from all levels of experience to visit this website dedicated to this problem (www.gardguide.com) and use this information to assist you in your work. Websites like these are extremely helpful for those geologists and engineers who care and who are working on tackling Letters to the editor containing your views on topics of interest are encouraged. Opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are not necessarily endorsed by APEGBC. Letters can be e-mailed to email@example.com.
The article in the July/August 2013 edition of Innovation by Jakob and Holm (“Germany and Alberta’s Floods”) on the need to revamp floodplain management in BC nicely conveys how much can be lost on floodplains that lack appropriate development restrictions during rare flood events. A second point tied directly to the first is how much could be saved in the long term if comprehensive flood risk studies were undertaken and appropriate flood damage reduction measures that would result from such studies were implemented. The gathering cloud of more severe and erratic storms as global warming intensifies during this century underscores the need for the Province to take all (most) of the recommendations in the subject article to heart and begin to get serious about improving floodplain management in BC. (All of Canada should do likewise.) Having worked in the floodplain development control program for over two decades as a BC government engineer, I am familiar with the political and social pressures that arise in so many cases when government tries to restrict floodplain development in some fashion. In my opinion, however, the former provincial floodplain management program, despite its shortcomings, was one of the
this type of environmental problem. Paul Gann, P.Geo., New Westminster
continued on page 6
9/23/2013 11:25:28 AM
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l et ter s most beneficial to provincial (and federal) taxpayers that the Province administered over the nearly 30 years that it existed. It was a sad day, I believe, for the taxpayers of BC when the Province downloaded this program to local governments. As the Innovation article mentions, many local governments are simply not funded nor staffed to take on this work, and the political and social pressures to allow unwise floodplain development are often more potent when the local bureaucrat saying no to a development
proposal happens to live next door to the proponent. Worse than that, perhaps, is now there is currently little to no hope of getting inclusive flood damage reduction plans in place that assess the potential negative impacts of flood reduction measures at one location on other communities that may be upstream, cross- stream or downstream of a community that undertakes flood reduction measures in isolation of its neighbours. Paul Doyle, P.Eng., Oliver, BC
n ewsmaker s
The Lieutenant Governor in Council of the Government of British Columbia recently appointed Ken Laloge, CA, to serve on APEGBC Council for a two-year term effective September 23, 2013. Mr. Laloge replaces outgoing appointee to Council, Joe Martignago, who has completed three terms with the association. Mr. Laloge is a tax and consulting partner at MacKay LLP, with a focus on tax and corporate finance issues. He is an active member of the Kelowna community through his involvement in the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. Mr. Laloge has served in voluntary positions with Kelowna Minor Lacrosse, Football, Soccer, and Baseball, as well as Scouts Canada and Okanagan Junior Football. A chartered accountant, Mr. Laloge received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta.
New Government Representative Appointed to APEGBC Council
Ken Laloge, CA Joe Martignago
During his six years with APEGBC, Mr. Joe Martignago has served on the Audit Committee and Governance Committee and has brought his expertise on municipal government and human resources management to the Council table. APEGBC thanks Mr. Martignago for his service and valuable insight. APEGBC’s Council comprises 13 elected councillors and four government appointees. The role of government appointees is to act in the public interest, support governance best practices and to add value to Council through their diverse experiences and professional backgrounds.
CEO’s Letter in Prince George Citizen Urges Expanded Training Opportunities in the North In a letter published August 19, 2013, in the Prince George Citizen , APEGBC CEO, Ann English P.Eng., applauded the announcement of BC government funding to the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to develop new masters programs in wood engineering and design. These two programs will be offered at the new Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George. English acknowledged the importance of additional skills training opportunities in northern BC, where industry is largely resource based. As engineers play a key role in the economy of the North, she encouraged the expansion of UNBC programs to include civil and mechanical engineering undergraduate programs. “These undergraduate programs would
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further support post-secondary education and skills training in the North, where labour market studies show a critical shortage of skilled engineers and trained professionals in the region,” writes English. The full letter is available online on the Prince George Citizen website at www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20130819/ PRINCEGEORGE0303/308199984/-1/princegeorge/ engineering-programs-welcomed.
Connect with APEGBC Online Connect with APEGBC on social media. We keep you posted with the latest association events, news and interesting engineering and geoscience stories from around the web. Find us on Twitter @APEGBC (www.twitter.com/apegbc) and on LinkedIn (ca.linkedin.com).
Remembering W.J. Wallace, Q.C. On February 12, 2013, the Honourable Wilfred J. (Bae)
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Wallace, Q.C., an honourary life member of APEGBC, passed away at the age of 94. Mr. Wallace acted as counsel to the Association of Professional Engineers of BC until 1979 when he was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Mr. Wallace received his APEGBC honourary life membership in 1982. A graduate in mining geology in 1942 from the University of Toronto, Mr. Wallace was an engineering officer with the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II, and received his LLB from Osgoode Hall in 1947. He was called to the British Columbia bar in 1948. While at Bull, Housser and Tupper, Mr. Wallace’s practice included the defence of claims against engineers and architects, complex engineering/construction litigation and arbitration. He was involved in such landmark cases as BC Hydro’s WAC Bennett Dam and the Commission of Enquiry into the collapse of the Ironworkers’ Memorial Second Narrows Bridge. Following his appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Mr. Wallace was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1993, and was also involved in numerous mediations and arbitrations after his retirement as a judge. Mr. Wallace maintained a keen interest and friendship with APEGBC until his passing. In addition to his distinguished legal career, he will be remembered for his significant contributions to the association and BC’s engineering community. W.J. Wallace, Q.C.
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as soc ia t ion notes
Annual Conference Session Recordings and AGM webcast Available This Year APEGBC is offering a variety of opportunities to learn and connect through the 2013 Annual Conference and AGM, in Whistler, BC, October 24-26, 2013. This year’s conference professional development sessions feature 10 stream topics: engineering and geoscience in the resource sector, municipal engineering, environmental engineering and geoscience, geotechnical, management, young professional, structural, energy efficiency and renewable energy, better business, and APEGBC. Keynote presentations and social events will present opportunities to build your networks. The tradeshow will feature 38 exhibitors and showcase materials and services geared towards engineering and geoscience professionals. APEGBC conference sessions are now being recorded using the latest screen capture technology, which captures not only the speaker’s audio but also their presentation slides, embedded videos, images and anything else that appears on the presenter’s screen. Catch up on sessions you missed, watch your favourite sessions again and continue your professional development between APEGBC events. Sessions can be viewed on tablets and other mobile devices. Take advantage of pre-conference prices by adding this to your conference package. On Saturday, October 26 at 8:30 am, APEGBC will hold its 94 th annual general meeting. All members are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held in the Sea to Sky Ballroom at the Whistler Conference Centre. There is no charge to attend the AGM business portion of the Annual Conference. New this year, APEGBC is pleased to announce that a live webcast of the annual general meeting can be viewed at no cost from the convenience of your own computer. Please register early to avoid cancellation of the AGM webcast. For more information on the 2013 conference program, accommodations and registration, visit the conference website at www.apeg.bc.ca/ac2013. Or, follow @APEGBC for the latest news on annual conference sessions, highlights and promotions. The official Twitter hashtag for the APEGBC Annual Conference and AGM is #apegac13 . APEGBC Membership Renewal is Around the Corner: Update Your Contact Information and Your Practice Declaration Don’t forget to keep your practice declaration and contact information up-to-date ahead of the annual membership renewal period. The practice declaration information provided by members and licensees identifies industry of practice and fields of expertise. It is used in the online member directory on the APEGBC website and assists the private and public sector in connecting with members and licensees to meet their engineering and geoscience related needs. The information also better assists APEGBC in more accurately identifying and serving members by practice area and expertise. In preparation for annual membership renewal, members are also asked to keep their contact information up-to-date prior to the renewal period (October 15-December 31, 2013). As the annual membership renewal package will be sent to the most current
- update contact info - update practice declaration
mailing address or e-mail address on file, please verify that this information is correct. Updates to practice declaration and contact information can be made through the APEGBC online member portal located at https://secure.apeg.bc.ca/. Members can also verify and update their communication preferences to determine which communications they receive from APEGBC as well as their delivery preferences.
2012/2013 Annual Report Now Available The APEGBC annual report for the 2012/2013 reporting year is now available on the APEGBC website, www.apeg.bc.ca. The report looks at APEGBC’s work on key issues and topics of concern to members and the public during the course of the year. It includes the audited financial statements and shows how the association has delivered on the strategic plan set by Council. Print copies of the report may be requested by contacting the APEGBC office at 604.430.8035,
toll-free at 1.888.430.8035, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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BC Seismic Solutions Making an International Impact
On July 30, 2013, a delegation from Israel’s Ministry of Education met with representatives of APEGBC’s Seismic Peer Review Committee, the UBC Earthquake Engineering Research Facility and the BC Ministry of Education. The Israeli Ministry of Education recently initiated a nationwide seismic retrofit program for school buildings. Having learned of the important work being done through BC’s School Seismic Upgrade Program, they are hoping to benefit from the experience gained in British Columbia. The visit included a field trip to schools that are in the
2013 APEGBC Engineering/Geoscience Undergraduate Scholarships The APEGBC Foundation and APEGBC branches offer a number of scholarships to engineering and geoscience students attending BC universities. Five different scholarships are currently available this fall: the BC Hydro/APEGBC Scholarship, the APEG-MAPS Scholarship, The South Central Branch/TRU Scholarship, Central Interior Branch/UNBC Scholarship and the Okanagan The 2013 BC Hydro/APEGBC 4 th Year Engineering and Geoscience Scholarships encourage students to continue their goal of becoming professional engineers or geoscientists. These scholarships, each valued at $1,500, will be awarded to deserving student applicants from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, BCIT and the University of Victoria, from all engineering and geoscience disciplines. APEG-MAPS members are eligible to apply for the APEG-MAPS Post Secondary Undergraduate Scholarship. Valued at $1,000 each, these scholarships are offered annually to APEG-MAPS members attending engineering and geoscience programs in BC, and reward undergraduate students for their contributions to the advancement of the professions. The deadline for application submissions is November 1, 2013 . APEGBC Branch Scholarships The Central Interior Branch of APEGBC has established a scholarship to support the Engineering Degree and Geoscience Programs at University of Northern BC. This scholarship, valued at $500, is awarded on the basis of a combination of factors. Applications are evaluated on the basis of academic standing, extracurricular activities, financial need and a student statement. The deadline for application submissions is October 21, 2013 . The South Central Branch of APEGBC has established a scholarship to support the Engineering Transfer Program at Thompson Rivers University. This scholarship, valued at $1,000, is awarded on the basis of a combination of factors. Applications are evaluated on academic standing, extracurricular activities, financial need and a student statement. The deadline for application submissions is October 11, 2013 . The Okanagan Branch of APEGBC has established two scholarships to support 4 th year students in engineering and geoscience at UBC Okanagan. These scholarships, valued at $500 each, are adjudicated based on academic excellence, extracurricular activities, financial need and a student statement. The deadline for application submissions is October 18, 2013 . For application forms and for more information on APEGBC scholarships, visit the student section of our website at www.apeg.bc.ca/students/scholarships/ or contact us at 604.430.8035. Branch/UBC Okanagan Scholarship. APEGBC Foundation Scholarships process of being retrofitted. As a result of the visit, the Israeli government is considering a collaborative approach based on the BC model in applying the performance-based methodology utilized in the Seismic Retrofit Guidelines. L-r, front row: Armin Bebamzadeh, EIT; Yaron Offir, David Hattis, Bishnu Pandey. Back row: Graham Taylor, P.Eng.; Jim Alkins, P.Eng.; John Wallace, P.Eng., Struct.Eng., FEC; Phillip Chambers, John Sherstobitoff, P.Eng.; Liam Finn, P.Eng., Carlos Ventura, P.Eng., FEC.
Voting for the Council Election and Bylaw Ratification The 2013/2014 Council election and bylaw ratification vote is now open. Voting information and candidate statements have been circulated to eligible members and licensees by e-mail. The information is also available online. Additionally, paper ballots and hard copies of the candidate statements are available by contacting the APEGBC office. Please note that voting will close at noon PST, October 11, 2013 . Professional members (P.Eng. and P.Geo.) and Limited Licensees (Eng.L. and Geo.L.) are eligible to vote. For more information, or to proceed to online voting, visit the APEGBC website, www.apeg.bc.ca.
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Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s New Look and Feel
Robin J. Miller
Few people, if any, actually enjoy going into a hospital—and it’s not just because you have a health problem or you’re visiting someone who has. For many of us, the problem also lies in the facility itself: the lack of privacy with those thin curtains between the beds, the absence of sunlight and fresh air, the gloomy institutional paint on the walls. But, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s new 6,200 m 2 Emergency Room and Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit is different. Opened in fall 2012, the addition has been a hit with patients, families and staff alike, largely, says Deanna Fourt, Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation for the Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health), because of the immense care that went into the design. “Our Capital Design and Construction Department worked with our designer to find out what staff considered essential for patients and for themselves in the new unit,” says Fourt, “such as sustainability and natural light and fresh air. As a result of those design sessions, I think the staff feel like they own the space now—it’s their space—which is great.” Like all provincial health authorities, Island Health is required in all new building projects to target LEED Gold standards of energy efficiency and environmental design. But also, like all provincial health authorities, Island Health’s budget is tight. For the Nanaimo addition, the design team needed to find advanced energy-saving measures that were cost-effective, and that also fulfilled the staff wish list and mandatory infection control requirements.
And they did. “They built us an amazing facility with a lot of leading edge design features, well within budget,” says Fourt. Those leading edge design
Cubicles are separated by glass sliding doors instead of curtains, reducing dust and increasing natural light and privacy.
features include a state-of-the- art HVAC system with thermal labyrinth. “It’s hard to find the right system for a hospital, a system that will show meaningful energy savings, because of the health care standards it is required to meet,” says BC Hydro Specialist Engineer Bojan Andjelkovic, P.Eng. “For one thing, hospitals change the air two to three times more often than regular office spaces to ensure the air is clear of contaminants. These standards put some major constraints on the design, because you need more air, more heat, more cooling, and your ventilation load is very high.” The thermal labyrinth system—a complex of concrete tunnels and water storage tanks integrated into the addition’s basement that can store heat in winter or act as a heat sink in summer—uses the building’s concrete mass and the water tanks to pre-heat and pre-cool air through strategically located and controlled air-inlet/outlet shafts. Other energy-saving features, identified through an energy-modeling study funded by BC Hydro’s New Construction Program, include extra insulation in roof and walls, high- performance glazing on operable windows, energy-efficient lighting and lighting controls and exterior solar shades. In a first for a BC hospital, the new addition also has a displacement ventilation
system coupled with radiant heating/ cooling ceiling panels. “It’s definitely a new thing to try in health care,” says Fourt. “The air comes in at low velocity, slightly cool, and sweeps heat and pathogens up to the ceiling and out. You have fresh, clean air all the time.” The addition also has lots of natural light to reduce dependence on electric fixtures, brought in through a series of courtyards—painted in cheerful and uplifting colours—that guarantee a view for virtually every room. In addition, cubicles are separated by glass sliding doors instead of curtains, reducing dust and increasing both natural light and privacy (they are sound-proof and can be quickly darkened). In total, the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s new Emergency Room and Psy- chiatric Intensive Care Unit is saving an estimated 1.1 million kWh per year over a similar space built without energy-sav- ing measures, which makes Deanna Fourt and Island Health very happy. “For a small investment in the beginning, you get a long- term reduction on your operational costs year after year,” says Fourt. “We estimate payback at just seven years. And I believe the way the unit was designed has had a great effect on patients as well. Patients and families spend time just looking out the win- dows. It’s a calming and beautiful space.” v
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of this program is to provide ethical resources, information and problem-solving skills for members, and, through the Secondary Professional Liability Insurance policy, limited coverage for the legal costs of whistleblowers. At their September meeting, Council considered a number of additional initiatives and actions that APEGBC could undertake that are in line with past and current projects, initiatives and goals. The recommendations discussed by Council relate to additional work in promoting and enhancing the use of the Code of Ethics, potentially expanding the OQM program in the future to address ethical issues at the organizational level, examining the introduction of a mandatory ethics course and continuing education requirement for practicing members, developing a whistleblower policy, and encouraging anonymous complaints through the creation of an ethics hotline. Audit Committee Reports Successful Audit for 2012/2013 Fiscal Year The Audit Committee assists Council in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities by reviewing financial information, systems of corporate controls, and the audit process. The 2012/2013 audit of the association’s finances was completed without any issues noted and Council approved the financial statements for the year at their September meeting. The Audit Committee met with PriceWaterhouse Coopers, the association’s external auditor, to determine the audit approach and areas of special focus. Areas of audit focus for the year included: • Affinity program • Payroll service provider controls • Completeness of revenues • New accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations. No issues were noted for any of these areas. The association’s operating income of $338K exceeded the deficit budget by $474K for the fiscal year. The major factors for revenue variances included membership growth and the membership fee
APEGBC’s Council of elected members and government appointees meet throughout the year to conduct the business of association governance. The following are the highlights of the September 13, 2013 Council meeting.
Council Examines Ethics Recommendations The Charbonneau Commission is investigating corruption and collusion in Quebec’s construction industry. Evidence regarding engineers and engineering companies engaging in unethical behavior has been detrimental to public confidence in the profession in Quebec. APEGBC Council has reviewed key information from the Charbonneau Commission in relation to engineering firms and practitioners, what the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) has done in response to the problem, and what action the Quebec government has taken. OIQ has taken action to try to restore the image of the engineering profession in Quebec and has implemented three major reforms: voluntary audits for consulting engineering firms, a mandatory course on professionalism, and an ethics hotline (available to members and the public). Preliminary feedback has shown that these measures have resulted in an improvement in the public perception of the profession. Though British Columbia does not appear to have the same collusion and corruption issues, it is important to be proactive and to avoid assuming Quebec’s incidents were isolated and could not happen here. At their September meeting, Council discussed what APEGBC is already doing to encourage ethical behaviour, and what additional work APEGBC could do based on the findings and response in Quebec. APEGBC enforces a Code of Ethics, instructs future members in ethics through the Law and Ethics course, and has initiated a program called Ethics in Practice. The goal
increase and continuing professional development event revenue, while major cost savings were noted mainly in legal costs and unused contingency. As in previous years, the Chief Executive Officer’s expenses were also audited and expenses verified against supporting documentation. Expenses were considered reasonable per association policy and properly authorized with no substantive issues noted. For more information, contact Jennifer Cho, Director, Finance and Administration at jcho@apeg. bc.ca or 604.412.4870, or toll-free at 1.888.830.8035 ext. 4870.
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Three-Year Strategic Planning Cycle Considered APEGBC creates and follows a strategic plan to provide direction and focus to the organization’s activities. Currently, the strategic plan is developed every three years in September and takes effect the following July. The association develops an annual budget that runs from July 1–June 30. Because the three-year strategic planning cycle is not closely aligned with the one-year budget cycle, this can impact how the plan is delivered. As a result, there is limited ability to plan for long term goals, and the allocation of resources is challenging. At their May meeting, Council expressed support for aligning these processes so that there are appropriate resources to carry out the strategic plan. Advantages of alignment include the ability to implement longer-term strategies, the ability to better forecast future financial standing, and initiative prioritization. Council considered options for moving forward and approved adopting a process that aligns the three-year strategic plan with a three-year budget where year one would be set, and years two and three would be approved in principle. Balanced Scorecard Updated The association’s Balanced Scorecard was created in 2008 and contains 19 performance measures that provide a snapshot of performance in various areas. This year, 11 of the 19 indicators were achieved, and some targets, such as those for member satisfaction and student outreach, were exceeded. Targets related to CPD seminar attendance and voter participation were very close to being achieved, and progress was also noted in the areas of practice reviews completed and time required for a complaint to be processed. Council reviewed the past year’s performance and approved the updated measures for the coming year. Recommendations to Address Gender Imbalance in the Professions Approved Council approved the implementation of activities addressing gender imbalance in the professions based on prioritized goals proposed by the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Task Force. The task force was established in March 2013 to identify the causes of gender imbalance in engineering and geoscience and recommend actions APEGBC could undertake to mitigate this imbalance. The recommendations approved for implementation were considered, along with associated resource requirements and budget allocations, by the Executive Committee. The approved initiatives will help APEGBC undertake more targeted career outreach and provide a more diverse online presence that will focus on building more diverse workplaces.
APPOINTMENTS INTERNAL Building Codes Committee Timothy Brown, P.Eng. Tim Ryce, P.Eng. Building Enclosure Committee Ron Krpan, P.Eng. Brennan Vollering, P.Eng. Consulting Practice Committee Bill Alcock, P.Eng., Struct.Eng.
Discipline Committee Darryl Chambers, P.Eng. Dave Ricketts, P.Eng., FEC Investigation Committee Troy Issogonis, P.Eng. Allan Dakin, P.Eng. Sustainability Committee Nelson Lee, P.Eng.
Bill Donald, P.Eng. Todd Stewart, P.Eng.
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It has been said that life is a series of tests. In engineering and geoscience, tests are frequently used to establish quality, performance or reliability. For practising professionals, tests are also found in challenging or difficult situations that reveal their own or someone else’s strength or quality of character.
APEGBC members and licensees encounter both kinds of tests— whether they are in the field, overseeing or reporting on operations, managing projects, designing applications, or active in the numerous other ways they apply their scientific and technical knowledge, training and expertise. Testing for Quality, Performance and Reliability Every day, APEGBC members and licensees are trusted with work that involves inherent risk to public welfare, health and safety, the natural and increasingly the technological environment. This is because the public recognizes that engineering and geoscience professionals possess a combination of education, experience, training and judgment that gives them the ability to engage in such work while at the same time safeguarding them against such risks. This ability and necessary confidence is rooted in the practice of testing and verifying everything from initial observations, assumptions and calculations to findings, recommendations and processes. This approach is characteristic of scientific education and training that focuses on inquiry and problem solving. Its purpose is the same whether it is beta testing a new operating platform, verifying ore assay results for a mining operation, or strength testing in a construction project: ensuring that the quality, performance or reliability of the test subject meets or exceeds acceptable standards. Judgment and Conduct Under Pressure Due to the nature of their work, members and licensees are often required to make decisions and to act independently of consultation and supervision at times under considerable pressure. Increasingly, the projects and processes they are engaged in involve the challenge of finding a way to balance economic benefit and productivity with paramount concerns for human safety, public welfare and environmental protection. Often this occurs within a context of competing and/or conflicting public and private interests, contentious issues, media scrutiny, rapid development and technological change, and economic, industry and political pressure
that highlight the serious economic, environmental, social and public policy considerations and consequences for decisions and actions. The ability of engineering and geoscience professionals to bring their experience, integrity, and judgment to bear in such circumstances is grounded in a disciplined process for issue framing and decision making that is as important as it is in the more technical aspects of their work. Again, it is a combination of knowledge, experience, integrity and judgment that ensures that even those decisions made in difficult circumstances are sound, defensible and can withstand technical, legal and professional scrutiny. The latter consideration is an important one because across the range of activities they are involved in, professionally and otherwise, APEGBC members and licensees are required to conduct themselves according to a high standard of ethics and conduct that is a condition of acceptance into and continued membership in their profession. Members and licensees shall act at all times with fairness, courtesy and good faith to their associates, employers, employees and clients, and with fidelity to the public needs. They shall uphold the values of truth, honesty and trustworthiness and safeguard human life and welfare and the environment. APEGBC Code of Ethics Is it Ethical? Laws and regulations have evolved to establish formal baselines, limits and minimum standards for acceptable and lawful activity in a wide range of areas. However, to meet the higher standards set out in the APEGBC Code of Ethics, members and licensees must ensure their decisions and actions not only satisfy the rigours of scientific and technical testing and pass the compliance test that asks, “Is it legal?”, but also pass the test that asks, “Is it ethical?”
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Arriving at choices and decisions that pass the ethical test starts with an awareness and capacity to identify and address issues that have an ethical dimension or that raise ethical issues or concerns. As in scientific and other analysis-based disciplines, accurate identification and response are essential to sound and defensible problem solving and decision making. Various model approaches for identifying and framing ethical considerations and issues exist that involve different degrees of rigor and complexity depending on the nature and context of the issues or concerns. They can be useful, particularly in terms of establishing a consistent approach, but are best viewed as guides rather than formal direction since every situation has a distinct set of factors and circumstances that necessitate some flexibility and latitude to yield the best possible result. Sample Professional Decision Making Framework 1. Recognize : Recognize an issue or concern and the duty to act or become involved. 2. Define : Define the problem—including the principles, standards, and values involved—and identify fundamental objectives as well as potential conflicts and risks. 3. Review : Consider a range of possible alternatives and associated outcomes. 4. Analyse : Gather and evaluate information, with a view to forming an impartial, unbiased assessment and balanced decision;. 5. Decide : Reach a conclusion as to the proposed course of action, having given due consideration to the implications and consequences of that approach compared to others. 6. Test : Where possible, discuss or review decisions before implementation, having regard to confidentiality, individual rights, fairness and due process. 7. Act : Take decisive action, bearing in mind that a decision not to act is subject to the same standards of conduct as any action taken. 8. Record : Articulate and document the rationale for the decision and action. Each of the stages from initial recognition of an issue or problem, through analysis and response involve making assumptions, forming opinions and reaching conclusions that involve judgment as well as fact. In this, the best judgment is one that is informed and considered from a range of perspectives to increase insight, limit bias and reduce the risk that something is overlooked. It is rare, if ever, that a decision maker has perfect or complete information available in time with the decision making process; only hindsight is 20/20. As in all other exercises of judgment and discretion, members and licensees are expected and relied upon to act professionally and in accordance with the APEGBC Code of Ethics. Context Matters Decision outcomes are subject to the influence of a range of individual factors, both positive and negative, such as
an inclination toward short-cuts or non-compliant behaviour and a range of external, environmental factors and variables such as an organizational culture of risk taking or aggressive competition. Consequently, in order to create an environment where ethically, professionally and technically sound decision making is a valued norm, it is important that individuals and organization are conscious of and vigilant about taking steps to limit factors that negatively influence the decision making process and the quality of decisions. Studies have found that with proper guidance, individuals are better equipped to make decisions and to choose to behave in alignment with standards and expectations and to have confidence in their choices and their understanding of what they should be doing. These in turn strengthen confidence and resolve to “do the right thing” in the face of pressure to do something that they know is inappropriate, unethical or worse. For individuals to make ethical choices and decisions they must first be aware of the ethical dimensions of issues and situations they encounter. While some may be obvious, often ethical considerations arise in more nuanced “grey” areas rather than the clearly black and white. That said, they often trigger an instinctive alarm bell that signals something is not quite right, even though the exact reason may be unclear. In such situations it can be useful to go through a series of self-assessment tests, Is your project prepared for avalanche season?
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