CEO Update – September 2021

Angelina Pillai , 12 September 2021

Angelina Pillai takes us through a busy month, emphasising ACA’s focus on the critical topic of ventilation in the built environment, and outlining our latest industry collaborations and advocacy work.

This edition of our newsletter has a big focus on ventilation and air quality. Whilst vaccinations are touted as the key to living with COVID, the other ‘V’ that is gaining critical prominence is ventilation. There has been increased debate and discourse in print, radio and television news in the past month on the role that good ventilation and indoor air quality can play in reducing COVID-19 transmission rates. Experts are calling this the ‘ventilation revolution’ and the ACA is weighing right into this conversation.

Last week, I sat down (on Zoom of course) with Ted Baillieu, former Victorian Premier, trained architect and founding member of the ACA, John Held, ACA National President, and Susie Ashworth, ACA National Editorial Manager, to unpack the key issues impacting architects and the short, medium and long-term strategies that can be employed by architects, the wider built environment professions, and also as occupants and users of buildings. You can read our account of this discussion here.

The ACA is also represented on an industry ventilation reference group with over ten other industry bodies tasked with raising awareness, lobbying authorities and developing ventilation guidelines for relevant sectors of our communities.

There’s a serious economic imperative driving our motivations, which is about changing culture and behaviours. Better air quality leads to healthy buildings; heathy buildings lead to healthy staff, which leads to improved wellbeing levels, which leads to happy staff; and with happy staff, productivity is a winner. Seems like a no-brainer.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

In other non-COVID related updates, the Building Confidence Report’s (BCR) Recommendation 3 states “that each jurisdiction requires all practitioners to undertake compulsory CPD on the National Construction Code“. In response, the BCR’s Implementation team with the Australian Building Codes Board has released a discussion paper on the development of national model guidance to provide assistance to governments and industry, and to facilitate national consistency. The ACA has submitted a response in corroboration with the Australian Institute of Architects and the Architects’ Registration Board, NSW, which can be accessed publicly on the ABCB website.

Meanwhile, if you have missed out on a particular ACA on-line CPD, we have just released a range of new formal and informal webinars on demand, include a number related to the NSW Design and Building Practitioner’s legislation. Head to CPD On-Demand and take your pick.

Architectural bodies partner up

The ACA is delighted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Architects’ Registration Board of NSW, the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the Australian Institute of Architects. This MoU is intended to promote collaboration, effective communication and reciprocal facilitation between us with the aim of establishing a united approach towards the development of a high-quality, nationally relevant CPD program specifically for architects on the requirements of the National Construction Code and National Standard of Competency for Architects.

Our organisations have a mutual mission, and that is the wellbeing and prosperity of all Australians through the design and delivery of quality built environments, serving the needs of architects, architectural practices and consumers of architectural services. This MoU signals that strategic vision.

ACA National Executive Committee

In operational news, the ACA national executive committee and the wider ACA staff met online for a two-day strategy planning session last month. Top of the agenda was reviewing the ACA strategic plan and agreeing the main priorities for the operational activities for the financial year to ensure we are managing expectations of our members within the requisite financial capability of the ACA business.

We have committed to continuing to strengthen our voice on matters that impact the profession, build on the existing member benefits, engage in strategic partnerships, contribute to meaningful research, identify new benefits for our members, prioritise the importance of wellbeing, and update our compliance on governance matters.

As the current strategic plan will come to fruition at the end of 2022, we are about to kick-start the process to develop a new and improved strategic plan for 2023 and beyond. Stay tuned for more information and ways in which you can contribute.

Get involved

For other professionals and the general public to understand the value and impact of this profession in their lives now and in the future, we need to amplify the message of the value of architecture to a national, broader audience. The ACA is mandated to support and advocate on behalf of architectural practices, so the larger our membership base, the stronger and more credible our voice we will be… Find out more about joining the ACA and getting involved.