Architect’s Role

Founding Principles

Board of Directors

We all have a role to play in society in order to minimize the impacts of climate change caused by the industrial developments of the last decade. Often, it is the poorest populations who have not even contributed to the current situation of the planet who pay the price. Hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, etc, affect these poor and fragile populations. Cooperation and Emergency Architects of Canada was established in order to mobilize populations and to help those suffering from the consequences of the inaction and reckless behaviour of the last decades. Also, these consequences are hitting more and more the richer populations of the globe, including Canada, and preparation and responsibility for emergency intervention is unavoidable. It is in this light that Cooperation and Emergency Architects of Canada was established in October 2007. Our mission is to help those that suffer from natural disasters and to contribute to their prevention and to sustainable development.

Emergency Architects is a humanitarian association, recognized by the UN, whose objective is to provide advice, assistance, and education to populations stricken by natural, technological or humanitarian disasters. Cooperation and Emergency Architects takes advantage of the unique expertise of architects to plan and implement reconstruction programs.

In existence since 2001, Cooperation and Emergency Architects has worked in many types of disasters (floods, earthquakes, chemical plant explosion) during the rescue of people, evaluation and reconstruction phases, throughout many regions of the world, notably in the following countries : Indonesia, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, France, Granada, Haiti, Iran, Lebanon, Madagascar, Morocco, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Romania, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Peru and Sudan.

In partnership with the Order of Architects of Quebec (OAQ), Cooperation and Emergency Architects has been established in Quebec in order to contribute to the actions of the International Grouping of Cooperation and Emergency Architects on Canadian soil. The Canadian division is organizing the collection of funds and the recruitment of Canadian personnel for specific Cooperation and Emergency Architects operations. Cooperation and Emergency Architects of Canada is also developing their own humanitarian missions, adapted to the specific needs of Canada and the Americas. Its mission is to maintain a pool of Canadian experts in the field of emergency interventions and to promote sustainable development.

Cooperation and Emergency Architects sets itself apart from other humanitarian organizations by its concrete involvement in the field in construction and reconstruction projects in disaster zones, while maintaining a sustainable development perspective.

Architectes de l’urgence se distingue des autres organisations humanitaires par son implication concrète, sur le terrain, dans des projets de construction et de reconstruction de zones sinistrées, dans une perspective de développement durable.

The board of directors of Cooperation and Emergency Architects OF CANADA consists of persons recognized for their involvement in their respective professions, or in their humanitarian involvement in similar areas of intervention.

You are invited to join this humanitarian movement and fight in the battle against climate change!

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By uniting the professionals of the construction sector, Cooperation and Emergency Architects contributes significantly to the development of healthy, secure and sustainable living conditions, by valuing equity, dignity, as well as independance of the most vulnerable populations.

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The objectives of Cooperation and Emergency Architects of Canada are to:

  • Promote sustainable development and respect of the environment.
  • Organize fundraising activities for Cooperation and Emergency Architects’ humanitarian missions, in partnership with other Canadian NGOs.
  • Recruit Canadian personnel to participate in Cooperation and Emergency Architects missions.
  • Coordinate and organize humanitarian missions during natural disasters or in conflict situations.
  • Develop specialized training for emergency architecture for professionals needing to act in humanitarian catastrophe situations.

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Cooperation and Emergency Architects have followed the lead of other professionals (medical professionals, fire and civil security, journalists, etc.) and banded together as professionals to be socially responsible in the event of a major crisis. Cooperation and Emergency Architects has been in existence in France, Switzerland and Australia for seven years. Cooperation and Emergency Architects work on behalf of those who have lost everything, in order to help them get back on their feet, and live a normal life. Earthquake, flood, or war, our teams intervene in all four corners of the world and help any person in distress, victims of natural, technological or humanitarian disasters.

Throughout the years, Cooperation and Emergency Architects has distinguished itself throughout the world by providing concrete humanitarian aid and support to disaster stricken victims. Current missions aside, Cooperation and Emergency Architects have organized 22 missions in 16 different countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Granada, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Madagascar, Morocco, Pakistan, Romania, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey. These interventions took place due to the following events:
  • Floods in France: The Somme in 2001, the Gard in 2002 and 2003
  • Floods in central Europe in 2002
  • Floods in Bangladesh in 2004
  • Chemical plant explosion (AZF) in France in 2001
  • Earthquakes in Afghanistan, in 2002, in Algeria, in Turkey, in Iran in 2003, in Morocco in 2004, in Pakistan in 2005 and in Java in 2006
  • Cyclones in Madagascar, Granada and Haiti, in 2004
  • Creation of a workshop in Kabul to train young Afghan professionals and students in 2004.
  • Devastating Tsunamis in southern Asia in 2004
  • Armed conflict in Lebanon in 2006
  • Construction of schools in Chad, in 2007-2008

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Architect’s Role

Following an earthquake or a catastrophe, who better than an architect to evaluate whether a home is still fit for human habitation or whether it has become dangerous?

The fundamental question of security calls upon knowledge that is technical, social, financial, environmental, psychological and political. All stakeholders, specialists in their domains, structural engineers, hydrological engineers, geologists, specialists in plate tectonics, excavation or avalanche specialists, insurance specialists, political members, inspectors, psychologists and not forgetting the family in distress, hold a part of the answer.

Architects are used to working with all stakeholders, technicians, engineers, users, tenants or owners, project managers, contract authorities, independent engineers and engineers from the inspector’s office, elected or administrative.

Architects understand the thought process of each stakeholder, and their role in the administrative and political systems.
  • They understand the issues and consequences of their decisions.
  • They have experience with these practices.
  • They are used to communicating with the users.
  • They have social know-how.
  • They have technical know-how, and in particular, they know what is disorder, crisis, a crack, if it is contractual, serious, structural, if it is acceptable or not, if it affects the structural stability of the works or just the waterproofing of the façade. Architects understand dismay and are able to comprehend, thanks to their experience and practice, the rifting of social, family or political systems, or more literally, physical cracks in a structure.

Architects have maintained their historical role of builders, yet, for the last twenty years, their field of action has enlarged to include interventions in urban geography, sustainable development, urban sociology, social psychology and emergency situations.

The recognition of the status of an architect in society will be essentially linked to this multiplicity of competences and modes of interventions. The Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) and other organizations “without borders” have largely contributed to the social image of their profession in the collective conscience of society, as Cooperation and Emergency Architects is doing for architects.

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Founding Principles

All subscribe to the honour of the following principles :

  1. Its vocation is to mobilize the competencies of architects and building technicians, to come to the assistance of populations in distress, to the victims of natural, technological or humanitarian disaster, situations of belligerence, without any discrimination based on race, religion, politics or philosophy.
  2. Cooperation and Emergency Architects intervenes in all countries of the world, bringing together international architects through its founding principles.
  3. All commit to respect the ethics of their profession, and in particular to not receive any financial contribution other than that allocated by the association for which the service was rendered.
  4. The services of Cooperation and Emergency Architects are free for victims, independent with respect to all economic, political or religious power and force.
  5. They intervene at the request of the authorities responsible for security, the victims themselves, or of their own initiative when their conscience and professionalism in terms of safety of the people dictates it.
  6. Cooperation and Emergency Architects will not manage projects that have been entrusted to them by the association.

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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of Cooperation and Emergency Architects of Canada consists of persons recognized for their involvement in their respective professions, or in their humanitarian involvement in similar areas of intervention. The Board of Directors has nine members while the Executive Committee consists of the five following members:

Executive Committee

  • Yves Langevin, Architect, Urban Planner and Property Developer, President, works on several causes with a social character. He has been President of the Richelieu Club for the past decade and was also Commissioner at the Marie-Victorin School Board for a period of 6 years. Mr Langevin participated as a volunteer, in one of the very first missions of Cooperation and Emergency Architects in Haiti after the January 12th, 2010 earthquake.

  • Diane Simard, Architect, Vice-President, worked several years abroad on projects of town and country planning and urban restoration. She worked as an Associate in an architecture firm, was also a member of the OAQ Board of Directors and held positions of responsibility in the government services in public administration and property management. She now works in project management.

  • Sarah Talbot, architect, Vice-President, has worked with AUC since its beginnings as an intern and volunteer.

  • Johanne Boucher, Architect, MBA, secretary, is General Manager, Real Estate (Quebec), at Canada Lands Corporation.

  • Christian Leblanc, BAA, MBA, is coordinator of financial management at Hydro-Québec.


  • François Audet, Professor at the École des sciences de la gestion (ESG) of UQAM and
    Director of the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid (OCCAH).

  • Yvan Conoir, MA, MBA, Consultant, professor and author in international cooperation.

  • Patrick Coulombel, President, architect in Toulouse and founder-member of the Cooperation and Emergency Architects Foundation (France)


  • Bernard McNamara, architect, Founding President, was always active with his professional order. He is at present Treasurer of the OAQ as he also has been the President of the Professional Insurance Fund.  Mr. McNamara is also Managing Director of a construction systems manufacturing company at the international level.


  • Technical  Committee: Guillaume Lévesque
  • Funding and Fund Raising Committee: Yves Langevin
  • Communications Committee: Diane Simard, Sophie Laporte
  • Missions Committee: Michel Laguerre
  • Training Committee: Chantal Giard


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