Handiss Spotlight - Joseph Passa

Handiss Spotlight: Joseph Passa – Architect & Business Owner

Joseph Passa is an architect and owner at Passa Associates since 1993. He has a vast experience in a range of building design including institutional, educational, commercial, recreational, residential and industrial projects. 

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Q: What are some of the major projects you have worked on in Canada?

A: Passa Associates is dedicated to the formulation of sensitive and imaginative buildings. We strive for architectural excellence in the exploration of ideas within the economic and environmental responsibilities that are demanded of all projects. Building designs involve the multiple performance considerations of comfort, economics, energy, environmental impact, and aesthetics. Projects we have completed include: schools, a police station, an art gallery, libraries, a theater, and green buildings. Currently, we are renovating a historical building.

Q: How do you market your architectural firm?

A: We occasionally advertise in magazines, and we have an online presence through our firm’s website and on Facebook. In addition to those, we also provide volunteer work with service clubs.

Q: To what extent do you apply LEED standards in your projects? Can you give us examples?

A: We are LEED AP’s but while we have designed to Silver and Gold, the projects were not registered.

Q: During the lockdown, how did your team cope with remote work from home? Was it something new to your company?

A: Sadly, the entire month of April was lost. We started working from home, then came back into the office in May to work on a part-time basis. We increased the working hours gradually until we managed to get back to working full-time right now.

Q: Do you see advantages that would let you maintain some remote work on the long run?

A: Unfortunately, remote work seems difficult since in person communication is required for most parts of our work. Also, I am hesitant about accessing our server with so much information online, so working from home does not help.

Q: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Architecture is a difficult business that takes a lot of time, effort and diligence which you must be prepared for. Also, ensure you always charge for your work like engineers and lawyers do. We have our worth and if our drawings look simplistic they do so because of the thought that we put into them to achieve good design.

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