Navigating the political process has been compared to making sausage…you don’t always want to know what goes into it. But like it or not, sometimes there are important “ingredients” that should not be overlooked. This article is the first in a regular series about some of the latest developments heard “around town” which may have an impact in the regulatory world.
Announcing Executive Appointments
Much of what the AIACC is able to achieve in the regulatory arena is founded on our trust-based relationships with decision makers; it’s harder to say no to a friend than a stranger. And so we were quite pleased when we learned Governor Brown has chosen to reappoint James Barthman as a Public Member to the California Building Standards Commission.
Jim has served on the CBSC since 2000 contributing his vast amount of experience gained as a building official, electrical inspector, and, most recently, as a building and electrical code consultant and regional supervisor of codes and technical services for Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Jim has been a good friend and supportive of the AIACC’s efforts to assure California has safe, sustainable, affordable, and sensible building codes. We look forward to working with Jim and congratulate him on his appointment to the CBSC.
In addition to Barthman, Governor Brown has also appointed Richard Sierra, of San Bernardino, as the Organized Labor Member to the California Building Standards Commission. Mr. Sierra has worked at the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 783 since 1977 and has served as business manager since 1996. The AIACC welcomes and looks forward to working with Mr. Sierra.
These positions require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.
A New Twist on Qualifications Based Selection
I hesitated to put this in writing for fear I would be participatory in this becoming the new norm – if it’s not already.
For years public project owners have “complied” with California’s Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) laws using the sealed “wink wink” envelope method to pretend compliance with the law, while in actuality circumventing it. For years this has been their solution to the prohibition on requesting fees prior to the ranking of a firm, based on its demonstrated competence and professional qualifications prior to selection.
Now, I’ve learned from an AIA member of a new strategy that, to be quite candid, caught me by surprise: a school district has taken the position that all architects responding to their Request For Proposals are equally qualified, thereby avoiding the need to individually interview and rank them.
Obliquely, one could conclude that the district has met the selection requirements of QBS and is within the law. What is clear is that the profession is being treated, now more than ever (and especially so in this economy), as a “product”. A commodity no different than any other be it a case of copy paper or a carton of paper towels, moving us further from a service and closer to its margins.
Changes to LEED 2012: Public Comment Period Open
The USGBC is seeking public comment on revisions to LEED for 2012. Architects are encouraged to review LEED 2012 information and submit their input. Changes are scheduled to be released by USGBC at this year’s Greenbuild Conference in San Francisco – November 12-16. The deadline for comment is March 20, 2012.