An Australian Architect has become the first to register in Canada under a new agreement signed earlier this year that enables a streamlined recognition process of architects in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In its latest announcement, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia says local architect Andrew J.D. Scott has become the first Australian to meet conditions for registration in Canada under the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed in February between the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authority, the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board.

“The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) is pleased to announce that Australian architect Andrew J.D. Scott is the first person to successfully satisfy the conditions for registration in Canada through the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” the AIBC said in a statement.

Negotiated under the APEC Architect Framework intended to facilitate the provision of architectural services between participating economies around the Pacific Rim, the trilateral agreement allows for registered architects throughout any of the three countries who met a number of criteria including having at least seven years’ worth of senior experience to access a fast-track registration scheme in each of the other two countries whereby the assessment criteria focuses predominately on country-specific building methods and processes.

The signing of that agreement in February followed earlier MRA’s Australia had struck with Japan and Singapore.

Whilst interest regarding recognition under the framework among Australian architects has been muted thus far – partly because architects already have the ability to work overseas in association with a local architect or as a consultant without such an association – that is expected to change as Australia starts to enter into MRAs with countries such as the US and Canada.

Building methods and techniques in Canada differ somewhat from those in Australia as the cold and (in British Columbia) wet climate drives a need for specific building codes and construction methods (freeze/thaw cycles; the need for effective rain screen setups; insulation, condensation and vapour barrier placement and the management of snow etc.) and the abundance of wood drives encouragement on the part of the Canadian government toward heavy timber construction.

Also, rules differ between the countries when it comes to contact administration provisions and protection of the interests of various stakeholders.

Under his new practice, Scott – who had previously worked on design and consultancy project in the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and the UAE – will focus on institutional work such as schools and churches as well as large scale mixed use developments.