Architect-Builder-Constructor-Project Manager News

Architect News

The control of architect practice is different in different places.  In Australia, the control is on the use of the title - architect.  One will need to attain the required qualification to become an architect, have sufficient practical experience as an architect, and register with the architects registration board before the person can be called an architect.  An architect firm needs to nominate a registered architect to be the representative architect. When it comes to submission of development application to authorities, it requires that a design proposal will need to be prepared by an architect depending on the size of the development.  An architect, or architect firm, will need to maintain professional indemnity insurance in order to be registered as practising architects.  

In Hong Kong, the control of architect practice is similar.  One will need to have the required qualification as an architect, have sufficient experience as an architect and register with the HK architects registration board as an architect.  That leads to the title registered architect, instead of chartered architect used in the old days.  However, when it comes to submission of development application to the HK building authority,
there is one more qualification requirement for architects.  In Hong Kong, only authorized persons can submit plans of building development proposal to the building authorities.  An architect, who is not an authorized person, may still practise building design and provide other architect's service, but the architect cannot submit plans to the building authorities.  There are three lists of authorized persons kept by the Hong Kong building authorities.  Authorized Persons List 1 are for architects.  To become an authorized person, an architect will first need to become a registered architect
in Hong Kong.  The architect will then need to prepare and sit for a professional examination including interview by 8 or more experts from the building authorities, building professional bodies and local building industry.  The stringent requirement and process is to make sure that the architect has sufficient practical knowledge and experience in application of the building regulations, procedures, codes and standards in the local building industry environment.

AAPAC GROUP has maintained registration as registered architects in both NSW Australia and Hong Kong.  Our Principal has also maintained registration as Authorized Person (List 1 - architect) in Hong Kong. 

Constructor Builder News

1. Recently, there have been reports of fire incidents and electrical shock incidents with photovoltaic solar panel installation in Australia.   Authority has issued alert to the building industry that if the inverter is immersed in water,
it is highly probable that arching will occur.  If arching is unchecked, it can lead to fire.  The hazard is the same whether or not the solar panel is connected to the mains power grid or not.
Builders and tradespeople should be aware of buildings with
photovoltaic solar panels in flood affected areas.  Areas of attention include:
    * PV Arrays will generate potentially lethal voltages during day light hours.
    * These voltages will be present in all cables between the array and the inverter.
    * In NSW and some other Australian states there is no requirement for an isolator (switch) to be installed adjacent to the PV Array.
    * In regional areas tradespeople are more likely to come into contact with ground mounted PV Arrays which will be generating electricity. These Arrays should be avoided wherever possible.
    * PV Arrays cannot be switched off.
    * Only when a PV Array is covered with a blanket or a tarpaulin will it cease generating electricity.
    * If tradespeople are to climb onto a roof they should keep as far away as possible from the Array. (Source: Master Builders Association NSW)

2. The Engineering Construction Survey conducted by Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that the value of all engineering construction work completed in NSW Australia has risen by 1.6% in the September quarter of 2011.  The rising trend has continued for a straight six quarters.  The type of construction work included in the survey includes roads, highways, subdivisions, airport runways, bridges, railways, tramways, harbours, water storage, water supply, sewerage, drainage, power generation,
electricity transmission and distribution, pipelines, recreation, telecommunications, heavy industries such as oil & gas, minerals, mining, coal, etc.

Project Manager News

Is Virtual Project Management possible?  The answer is yes.  With widespread and high speed internet infrastructure, virtual project management is possible.  This means a team of project professionals in different locations can manage project, produce design, collaborate, implement and oversee progress of a project in a different geographical area, whether it is close by or far away from the project manager and the design team.
Several characteristics of virtual project management include:
* Collaboration platform needs to be easily accessible and user friendly.  In this case, it has to be a web platform which can be accessed with various digital equipment and devices, such as desktop computer, notebook, netbook, smartphone, etc.
* Connection among all team members should be group based, except the occasional necessary one-to-one communication.  Email, although widely used, is not the best mode of communication for collaboration in this case.
* Connection between the team and the physical project should preferrably be available anytime online.   Whether it is static graphic images presentation of the status at a time interval or a streaming video recording depends on the type of project.
* Protocol to present various feeling & expression of views & opinions should be established for the communication platform.  This is important to replace facial expression and body language which can be picked up during face-to-face contact.
* Frequent use of VOIP and video conference, particularly group meetings, will help in managing project virtually.  This is beneficial to the team members because it saves a lot of travelling time.
* Instant Messaging (IM) and recorded video or audio clips (recording of meeting or discussion) will also benefit collaboration between team members located in different parts of the globe and in different time zones. 
The communication platform should include an area for posting of response.  A good custom is for all who has accessed the recorded material to post a comment or response, no matter how short.  This will facilitate gathering of concensus to suggestion and approach.
AAPAC GROUP has the ability to provide project management service from a distance using virtual project management technology.

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Disclaimer - all information provided on this website is for reference only.  Readers should not rely on the information to make any decision without consulting AAPAC GROUP, their consultants or source of information.
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