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Alberta architectural services declared essential

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) has announced that the delivery of architectural services, including those services provided by licensed interior designers are considered essential.

According to both the Architects Act and the Alberta Safety Codes Act, the design and construction and/or renovation of certain types of buildings require engagement of professionals for reasons of public safety. In many cases architects and licensed interior designers act as prime consultants and partner with other professionals such as engineers, contractors and specialty consultants for the effective and safe delivery of building projects.

On their website the Government of Alberta has noted that both professional services, and construction projects and services qualify as non-restricted services. Specifically, professionals are included in the “other essential services” category, however architects and licensed interior designers are not named specifically.

Recently the AAA sought clarification from the Government of Alberta on whether architectural services are included in this category and were informed that the AAA “knows your industry best and whether this, or any of the other essential services on the list, apply to your situation.”

AAA president Jan Pierzchajlo welcomed this clarification from the government and stated that “given this perspective it is very clear that professional engagement by members of the AAA is indeed an essential service.”

He went on to say, “designers are by their very nature adaptable and while this pandemic has been challenging for all Albertans, I am proud to say that the AAA membership has hardly missed a beat. Most, if not all, firms have been able to transition to working from home studios and are able to make adjustments in the delivery of their services such that public safety is never compromised, even when it comes to site visits at projects under construction.”

All members of the AAA are expected to be aware of the current public health orders and guidelines, including maintaining physical distancing and must make sure they and their staff are following such guidelines.

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