ACEC-BC COVID-19 Advisory Team: Meeting #2

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Meeting 2: Shifting to Digital and Building Industry Resilience

The ACEC-BC COVID-19 Team reinforced their commitment to the industry, working together to shift to a digital environment and sharing ideas on managing schedule uncertainty.

Engineering practices and construction site health and safety continue to be of high priority to support project momentum and workforce productivity. The importance of industry resilience was reinforced by both client and member commitment to industry liquidity.

  1. Clients confirmed their approvals and payments processes have transitioned to a remote team environment achieving typical payment timelines.
  2. Members were clear in their commitment to subconsultant relationships and solvency; accounts payables teams are fully remote and resourced to keep the cash flowing.

Key highlights:

  • Digital Proposal Submissions: Metro Vancouver issued addendum for all open consulting engineering RFPs to notify proponents of a new process to accept digital submissions. The Ministry of Transportation has advised they are making progress toward adoption of a similar process.
  • Digital Signature / Electronic Seal: The Ministry of Transportation committed to review their practices with respect to sealing of engineering documents. ACEC-BC is supporting the Ministry with resources and training to accelerate the transition.
  • Site Review: Owners and consultants shared practices employed in the past week to perform site visits without increasing risk to the health and safety of team members and their communities. ACEC-BC is working with Engineers and Geoscientists BC to clarify the practice guidelines with respect to the use of proxy reviewers and video technology.
  • First Nations Monitors and Site Work in Indigenous Communities: Protecting vulnerable Indigenous communities is a high priority with additional measures being taken to reduce risk through use of technology and increasing safety practices when working in community.  
  • Schedule Uncertainty: Delays related to supply security, pricing, approvals processes, and availability of sub-consultants and trades are unavoidable. All team members are committed to mitigating risks and managing schedule changes. Consultants are encouraged to work closely with clients to manage schedules and to highlight risks as they arise. Clients have committed to manage costs and delay as they become apparent.

The team will meet again on Thursday, April 2 to address areas of common interest which include: maintenance of capacity, industry liquidity, contract delays and other issues that arise. This week we will also discuss concerns regarding permitting processes – especially those already a source of delay in construction – and commercial processes for managing delay or cancellation.

Questions? Concerns? We want to hear from you. Submit your comments and issues through the ACEC-BC online feedback portal available on the ACEC-BC Resource Centre. Issues submitted will be forwarded to the Advisory Group for review and comment.

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