ARCHITECTURE New York State | Q4 | Dec '21 | Jan '22

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DEC ’21 | JAN ‘22

In this issue: The 2021 Tri-State Conference: Return to the Future, held in early December, focused on looking ahead and meeting the challenges faced by the profession. It provided 13 high impact education programs and three keynote presentations with insights, solutions, and resources on how architects can reshape the future of their firms. If you weren’t able to join us back in December, or if you did and missed some of the concurrent sessions, we asked some of the thought leaders and subject matter experts from the conference to provide a summary of or to expand upon what they presented at the conference.

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Contents President’s Letter


Executive Vice President’s Letter



Building Small, Building Better


Photogrammetry for As-Builts: Using Ground Level Imagery to Save Time and Money During Schematic Design Process 10

3 4

Curating the Local



Citizen Architect: Giving Back in a Civic Capacity



Architect as Entrepreneur: Lessons in Establishing a New Practice 22


What’s Missing from Missing-Middle Housing Solutions 26


Leveraging Existing and Historic Buildings for Climate Action 30


Building Electrification & Moving Towards Energy Decarbonization 34 AIA New York State Updates


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Dear friends, colleagues and leaders; And what long strange trip it’s been… Wow that’s a great song…apropos for 2021. Rather than reflecting on this past year, I would like to, in my last letter as your AIA New York State President, reflect forward in the vein of “Return to the Future.” We are always in the state of becoming, and disruption of any kind affects our growth and evolution. In fact, disruption means that traditional rules no longer apply. Think about that for a moment—rules of society, work and commerce in upheaval. That is exactly what we have been experiencing, informing our current state of becoming. What are we to become as we look to “Return to the Future?” As we approach “tomorrow,” let’s view disruption as an opportunity to define new rules that can, and will, shape our destination as a society. A world with healthy, sustainable, equitable communities that ecologically regenerate the world. Transformative “rules” that inform our role as architects; embracing science, and leading innovative approaches to create a true blueprint for better. In 2022, we continue to confront many of the challenges that we encountered in 2021 with a slow return to school, office life, and travel. The future of society, and all we do, has been forever altered. I am proud of how we, as AIA New York State, responded. We did not sit idly by and wait for change. We worked to shape the future through the AIA Unified Task Force City and State; the on-going efforts of the Task Force continue to chart an immediate path forward demonstrating the power of one AIA. However, “Returning to the Future” has a much greater set of far reaching challenges we must face on the horizon. In light of COP-26, we have a true target destination and choices to make to arrive safely. We have 11 years to chart our path, and architects are key in defining that destination through our work, advocacy and innovative thinking. In my mind, “Returning to the Future” calls for an intense focus and commitment by the design community to lead us to a positive future. The work that we have near term may be addressing the pandemic, however, our true ethical charge lies in addressing the impacts of climate change on our communities. As systems thinkers, we cannot get caught “debating” how to design a better bucket when the world is on fire. We need to recognize that resilience is action, the science is clear, and we need to use every “bucket” and resource we have. We have the ability to lead positive change every day—in our lives, in our practices and hand-in-hand with our communities. The New York governor’s plans for climate action explicitly reaches out to the AIA to partner and lead on these issues. So let’s write the rules for the future, manage the change, and be explicit in how transformation can happen. We need subject matter experts to step forward (that is YOU the member), to join me and the state board as we engage in returning to the future, a BETTER future. Sincerely,

Illya Azaroff, FAIA 2021 President | AIA New York State


LETTER PAGE 4 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

It’s hard to believe that 2021 has come and gone, yet I reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year and I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together. Providing our members with quality education programs is a priority, and something I am particularly passionate about since program development was my area of expertise and focus prior to becoming Executive Vice President. You already understand the value of education simply by what you’ve chosen to pursue as a career. It takes time and commitment to earn your degree, to gain experience under a licensed architect and to sit for, and pass the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). While continuing education is a requirement to renew your license in New York State and to fulfill your AIA membership, the benefit of learning goes beyond being a requirement. According to a blog post from Connect2Lead, some proven benefits to learning are:

Learners are earners. People who continually learn (whether or not they have advanced degrees) will earn more money than those who rely on a narrow set of skills and experiences.

There is a link between education level and life expectancy. Those who are better educated are healthier.

Parents who value learning for themselves have children who stay in school longer, have lower rates of crime, and aspire to higher paying jobs.

People who seek adult learning opportunities are more socially connected, more involved in their communities and more likely to be politically active.

A research report from The Center for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning indicates that “personal soft skills such as self-regulation, behavioral management, and social and communication skills are developed in educational settings.”

• • •

The rate of depression is lower for adults who are actively involved in learning.

• •

When people learn, they gain confidence to try new things and stretching themselves.

People in learning environments have a wider and more diverse social circle. Those who learn readily and continually are better able to pass along what they have learned and act as teachers to their children and to their peers. Continual learning contributes to higher levels of resilience and self-efficacy in completing a task or tackling a challenge.

This issue includes some of the valuable content presented at our Tri-State Conference held back in December. We hope you take some time to read the articles and learn something new. Sincerely,

Georgi Ann Bailey, CAE, Hon. AIANYS Executive Vice President | AIA New York State



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BUILDING SMALL, BUILDING BETTER by Eric Fisher AIA, LEED AP and Bea Spolidoro AIA, WELL AP; Principals at Fisher ARCHitecture


t is common for clients in need of architecture services to meet with their chosen architect and ask for the moon thinking that bigger is better. Rather than postponing or avoiding the subject, it is important for architects to let their clients know that it may well be possible to fulfill their programmatic needs with less area. As we will discuss, architects also need to make this argument with local municipalities and at the state and national level.

COMMUNICATING WITH CLIENTS ADVOCATE FOR QUALITY: We live in a MORE IS MORE society. Many owners feel like big houses are status symbols. In our experience at Fisher ARCHitecture, owners are more concerned with how THEY will live than with saving the planet. So we make the argument that building small presents a huge opportunity to focus on QUALITY construction. We show our clients precedents from our own work and from around the world that demonstrate that oversized spaces aren’t required if their homes are designed thoughtfully. Better quality finishes and details can result when folks build smaller. ADVOCATE FOR SAVING MONEY: More often than not there is a gap between our clients’ available budget and their construction goals. We let them know that designing fewer rooms but connecting them in a skillful way means buying less construction materials and using less resources. This leads to smaller mortgages, reduced energy bills, and fewer maintenance costs. PAGE 6 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

“The Irwin Studio,” Fisher ARCHitecture, Pittsburgh, PA

When hard discussions about the project budget are postponed the result can be shattered expectations and unhappy clients. Not only do we share projected cost per square foot numbers with our clients before we draw a line, we also advocate for having a contractor budget the project as soon as possible. This is made possible with a “negotiated bid” process in which the contractor becomes part of the team at the very start. ADVOCATE FOR EFFICIENCY: Here is a big truth: Most people only use a small amount of their living space. The “Center on

ADVOCATE FOR LIVING OUTSIDE YOUR WALLS: We recommend to all our clients, whether they are renovating or building new, that they maximize the connection between indoors and the outdoors by means of windows, porches, and screened elements. This makes their interiors seem much larger and creates richer, more varied home experiences. Biophilic studies have shown that more natural light improves our mental wellness. Then we advocate that clients upgrade the quality of their outdoor spaces. The more livable clients’ yards become, the more likely they are to spend time in them. Graphics courtesy of “The Center on Everyday Lives of Families” at the University of California (research period: 2014-2017)

Everyday Lives of Families” at the University of California has collected data on where in the home people spend their time. The study found that close to seventy percent of the time was largely spent either a) congregating around food prep/consumption areas in the kitchen or b) sitting on the family room couch in front of the TV or a PC. Designated “formal spaces” like dining rooms were barely used at all. We caution our clients against including “one day a year spaces” in their programs. Owners are creating big problems for themselves when they build additional space in their homes that they pay for one hundred percent of the time but only use five percent of the time. Inefficient use of space often starts in the kitchen. We tell our clients that well-designed kitchen spaces require less area, less cabinet/counter construction, and fewer closets than they may imagine. And once the kitchens are built, less food will be wasted. When it comes to “room to grow,” we ask our clients to think carefully about their projected future needs and ask themselves questions like, “How much room will our future kids really need?” and “Will this be our forever home?”. And we talk about phasing, suggesting that we can design their projects now so that they can easily grow in the future based on needs. A “whole-house systems” approach to design will increase a new home’s efficiency: When you and your consultants consider all the variables, details, and interactions that affect energy use in a building from the beginning, not only are you designing with the future in mind, you are making your home more valuable. ADVOCATE FOR SIMPLER INTERIOR DESIGNS: Americans have a “stuff” problem. European interiors typically have less furniture than those in the United States but more “special” pieces. We recommend custom built-ins to optimize space. All that extra furniture more often than not just ends up in self storage facilities—a building category that has grown by almost eight percent per year since 2012—or in clients’ garages. Amazingly, a third of all families that own two-car garages can only park one car due to clutter. Eliminating the area of a two car garage can reduce your total home area by as much as a quarter!

ADVOCATING AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL The world is shrinking. How can architects communicate that the American dream of owning a big house should change? We should start by advocating for multifamily living and by urging each generation to share their homes with those preceding theirs. Living smaller doesn’t mean that our great country has lost its capacity to provide opportunities to its citizens. To the contrary, smaller homes means more home ownership and more money left over to invest in our free market economy! There simply isn’t land left for affordable single-family home construction anywhere near city centers. And NO single family home built today is truly sustainable. Unfortunately, existing zoning rules encourage the construction of large single family homes at the expense of other more modest types of construction. Building fewer homes on larger lots drives up the price of both land and homes, increasing gentrification. Zoning regulations must change. One solution may be the use of form-based rules that use physical form rather than separation of uses as their organizing principle. In principle this allows more flexibility for what can be built on a property. Form-based codes are certainly not the only way to go. Yet our belief is that architects should always rethink default approaches—or at least consider doing so—as we are considering the future. The development industry still thinks that people want big. The norm is for developers to max out their lots. Yet, there is an increasing demand for smaller, better spaces. Single-person households are now thirty percent of the market and that number is expected to grow even more. Empty-nesters and young folk especially are looking to downsize. Big homes today are like the fake wood-clad station wagons of the sixties. Buyers are becoming increasingly aware that they will not hold their value.

CONCLUSION We believe in the MAYA principle, “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable.” The task is to push as hard as you can without losing your audience. Living in places that are too small can produce stress. Tiny houses are great for some but not for everyone. continued on page 8

DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 7

There are environmental, budgeting, and aesthetic reasons for building less area. If architects are not ready to design better and smaller buildings, we risk losing opportunities to generic builders and developers who will build with much less quality. Change is coming, and architects must evolve professionally into thoughtful design and construction leaders in order to stay relevant in a changing world. l

metal made better

_____________ 1 energy-efficient-home-design 2

Pittsburgh-based firm Fisher ARCHitecture has become a recognized advocate for quality, contemporary, green design. Principals Eric Fisher and Bea Spolidoro design “experiential” buildings that are sustainable and affordable. Eric Fisher, AIA, LEED AP, is a Harvard-educated Pittsburgh native, putting the experience he has gained working for renowned architects around the world to use in his hometown. While in LA, he assisted with the design of the Getty Museum for Richard Meier and Partners. Eric has a vast portfolio of residential, commercial and institutional projects.

The future then. The future now.

Bea Spolidoro, AIA, WELL AP, is an Italian architect registered in Pennsylvania and the 2021 VP of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pittsburgh. She has also served as a judge for the Institute Honor Awards of AIA National in 2016. Bea is passionate about building sustainable, healthy environments at any scale.

Beautiful, sustainable. Unisphere, Queens, NY Rigidized® Metals’ pattern 1UN

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THE PHOTOGRAMMETRY SOLUTION With HOVER, a photogrammetry app you can use on any Apple or Android smartphone, the future is here and hand measuring can be a thing of the past. HOVER transforms smartphone photos of any home into an accurate, interactive 3D model with measurements so architects and designers can save time sketching existing structures and spend more time doing what you do best—designing.


magine never having to gather measurements for an initial exterior as-built model again. No pulling tape, no hand measuring, and certainly no getting up on a roof to estimate pitches for early measurements of a building. No more going from the project site back to the office to draw the structure from scratch or return trips to the site to verify forgotten details or measurements in messy handwriting. The initial assessment of a structure can be done many ways, but however you choose to do it, schematic diagrams and sketching are essential to quickly convey spatial ideas to the client. Today, creating as-built models in the schematic design phase of a project is highly manual and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

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The technology expedites the concept and schematic design phases by creating as-built models with as little as eight smartphone photos in about two hours. The measurements are accurate within plus or minus five percent aggregate for the entire structure and an excellent place to start your work. HOVER uses ground level imagery to produce accurate measurements and 3D models of structures so you don’t have to. Once the model is generated by the software it can be exported into 3D files including DWG, DXF, and SKP files which can be taken into modeling software to work from or can be used as reference items. Measurements from the software can also be used by contractors when it comes to production and construction. Reports include detailed information on roofing, siding, openings including windows and doors, soffit, gutters, and more. These are especially useful for takeoffs and include waste factors and breakdowns of measurements by material types.

Within the HOVER platform you can also model different products on the home, including products from most major manufacturers and a wide range of colors that are available from their product lines should it be helpful to show options to clients with minimal effort and cost.

CAPTURE PROCESS Capturing a structure is simple. The app prompts you for a project title and an address, then you begin the workflow of capturing photos or you can send an invitation to a client for them to do the capture. There is also an option to capture the property without ordering the model and measurements for times when you may not know if you’ll want to order, but want to save a return trip, perhaps when you don’t yet have a retainer or if you’ve got additional or surrounding structures that may or may not become relevant to a project. Once you begin capturing photos the app prompts you to add photos of each face and each corner of the building with a small amount of clearance around all edges. There are eight standard photos, but as many are needed can be added. There is also active guidance which helps users to know how they’re doing and that the entire structure was captured in each photo or if you might need to add more.

WHAT TYPE OF STRUCTURES CAN BE CAPTURED? From residential homes to commercial buildings, HOVER can model quite a lot. With the photos from various angles the program can work around trees and obstructions surprisingly well. Multifamily properties can be captured by simply adding additional photos if they don’t fit all in one photo. Similarly

commercial properties can be captured as long as you can get the ground to roofline all in one photo. Some interesting properties that have been modeled include Chichen Itza, Monticello, and Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World.

HOVER HISTORY In 2011, A.J. Altman and Ross Hangebrauck founded HOVER. They originally created the product to reduce risk for military personnel in harm’s way. After working with the Department of Defense they saw the opportunity to disrupt an unchanged home improvement industry. HOVER partnered with some of the best in the business and quickly found a product-market fit within home improvement. Today, HOVER has raised $147M to help people improve their homes with the world’s best 3D property data. Every day, the team invents new ways to structure the data about the physical world and build incredible homeowner and pro experiences that bring significant value today and lay the foundation for the future of spatial data. l

Alicia leads HOVER’s Architecture expansion efforts. She is responsible for gathering market feedback, working cross functionally with the product team to create solutions for the space, and iterating on packaging solutions so HOVER can be a better resource for their Architect clients. She previously worked with small to medium size contractors at HOVER and has a background in communication and program development. DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 11

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CURATING THE LOCAL by Brian Phillips, FAIA, Founding Principal & Creative Director, ISA and Deb Katz, AIA, Principal, ISA


SA’s design practice is rooted in the local conditions of the Philadelphia context—its physical patterns, cultural history, zoning codes, construction costs, consumer market and climate. The studio’s inquiry-based methodology looks to leverage the city’s local constraints as dynamic drivers of program, form and urbanism, generating unexpected solutions for a variety of building types. Over the past two decades, as the city’s population grew and its market generated a wider array of development potentials, ISA’s projects continue to refine their relationships to site and place while growing in scale and complexity. The following projects represent examples of highly constrained sites for urban housing, where sensitivity to context yielded surprising results.

TINY TOWER Early waves of redevelopment often begin on sites with standard dimensions, leaving behind the odd-shaped or extra small parcels facing alley streets. Unlocking the development potential of these leftover parcels can be a tool to increase the supply of low-cost housing for a diverse range of lifestyles. A client came to us with one such parcel—a vacant lot measuring just 12 by 29 feet—wondering what could be done with it. Even though the zoning code allowed an as-ofright single-family house with no associated parking, similar adjacent properties were being used as rear parking spaces for the homes facing the larger street on the next block. Further research into the site’s history uncovered the fact that a row PAGE 14 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

Tiny Tower, 2108

of classic Philadelphia Trinities—tiny row-houses typically less than 1,000 sf with single rooms stacking vertically across three stories and linked by a steep winding stair—had been torn down on the block prior to the sale of the parcel. Inspired by the Trinity typology—but looking to expand the traditionally tiny square footage to a more livable 1,250 sf —the Tiny Tower project used a carefully designed vertical circulation strategy to link six levels (including basement and roofdeck) within the 38-foot-tall zoning envelope. While Trin-

Tiny Tower, 2018

XS House, 2019

ities typically buried winder stairs in the middle of the house to preserve full front and back windows, Tiny Tower seized the extra-shallow parcel dimension as an opportunity to place a feature stair constructed out of folded plate steel at the front of the home. Since the house is so vertical, the stair itself operates as a room—a light-filled procession with oblique views up to the sky and down to the sidewalk. A large window strip defines the front façade, allowing ample light in through the perforated metal stair guardrail, acting like a privacy blind for the rooms within.


The design promotes vertical living, occupying the entire footprint of the site in the required setbacks with a lowerlevel window garden, a second level walk out terrace, and a roof deck. With a kitchen at the lower level and tucked away bathrooms on upper ones, each floor is free to define live, work and play in multiple configurations. The experience of going up and down the stair is integral to the daily life of the building, adding a sense of adventure for the occupants. Tiny Tower demonstrates how—for urban dwellers willing to trade quantity of space for quality—small in scale can feel large in amenity and experience.

As Philadelphia’s population grows, its urban grid of small lots originally containing single-family row-homes faces increasing pressure to add residents and units within its compact parcel footprints. Beyond the dimensional, use and parking considerations typical of zoning requirements, multifamily building configurations on non-standard lots face additional construction type and egress challenges governed by building code. The site for XS House was a sliver of land left behind after a 1960’s-era sunken expressway was constructed through the center of Philadelphia’s downtown business district. The 11-by90-foot parcel lies between Philadelphia’s Chinatown district to the south and a pair of surface arterial streets flanking the 100-foot-wide Vine Street Expressway cut to the north. At the outset of the project, the site was nearly invisible as a developable lot—surfaced in asphalt, it was being used informally by the adjacent property owner as tandem surface parking for two cars. XS House packed seven units onto the site in a dramatically narrow envelope, adding urban density while continued on page 16 DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 15

upper level two-bedroom bi-levels (850sf each). XS House also addresses the needs of residents and visitors with mobility challenges within a walk-up building configuration—two of the project’s one-bedroom micro-loft units fulfill accessibility requirements with at-grade entry points also serving to activate the street edge along Vine. The project took advantage of the city’s interpretation of the parking portion of the zoning code at the time of development, which allowed zero parking spaces for multifamily residential projects with fewer than ten units. By providing no parking for residents on or off site, the building footprint, number of rentable units, and interior unit area were maximized, the high cost of developing parking was eliminated and walkable lifestyles were encouraged.


XS House, 2019

preserving the street life and walkable lifestyles of typical Philadelphia fabric. Though the XS House parcel had no height limitation, a typical high-rise building would have required an elevator and two egress stairs, which in the narrow footprint would have left very little area for units. ISA instead proposed a single-stair, stick-frame building which utilized mezzanine levels and projecting bays to maximize the four-story building code limit for a wood-frame structure while providing dramatic double-height interior spaces overlooking the highway. Despite being a four-story building, the 63-foot-tall section connects seven levels of occupied space within its very small footprint. Utilizing the mezzanine portion of the building code expanded four of the seven units by nearly one-third, changing them from very small studio units (380sf) into comfortable one-bedrooms (500sf) with private sleeping areas in otherwise open layouts. Two micro-lofts and a basement one-bedroom flat (650sf) are accessed directly from Vine Street, while the other two micro-loft apartments flank a central stair that also serves PAGE 16 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

Designing urban housing with context in mind can uncover, amplify and improve the social, economic and urban relationships among people, buildings and neighborhoods. Although architects may not control the many forces shaping housing, those sensitive to local context can find the critical pressure points where change is possible. Leftover lot projects often demand extra effort on behalf of both the design team and the developer, as solving them is an intricate puzzle rather than a prototypical, replicable solution. While unique in their deployment, projects like Tiny Tower and XS House promote naturally occurring market-tempered housing by unlocking the development potential of sites that historically have felt less economic pressure. Engaging with the right clients, the key concerns of neighborhoods, the supply chain for materials, the realtors that influence development decision-makers and the lawyers and investors that understand the value of design is of equal importance as the baseline dimensional and code constraints. Embracing the small batch bottom-up urbanism that many American cities like Philadelphia have been built upon can provide designers with tools for productive critical engagement, producing novel results with potential to make a positive impact on the social fabric of American cities. l

ISA designs buildings, master plans, installations, and conversations that address changing climates, lifestyles, technologies, and urban environments. The firm’s work has been featured in Architect, Architectural Record, DWELL, Metropolis, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and on NPR Radio. ISA has won over 70 local, regional, and national design citations, including AIA Philadelphia Silver and Gold Medals, four AIA National Housing Awards, an AIA COTE Top Ten Award, and USGBC LEED for Homes Project of the Year. Brian Phillips was awarded a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts and ISA was named an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York in 2015.

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rchitects are adept at participating and giving back to the profession. But when it comes to giving back to our communities as “Citizen Architects,” our participation seems to wane.

WHAT IS A CITIZEN ARCHITECT? The term “Citizen Architect” is a title informally bestowed on AIA members, given with great pride and representative of a call to action for Architects to take greater role in the civic advocacy of their communities. As defined in 2008 by the AIA National Board of Directors ( resources/194196-citizen-architect-handbook), the Citizen Architect: •

uses his/her insights, talents, training, and experience to contribute meaningfully, beyond self, to the improvement of the community and human condition;

stays informed on local, state, and federal issues, and makes time for service to the community;

advocates for higher living standards, the creation of a sustainable environment, quality of life, and the greater good; and

seeks to advocate for the broader purposes of architecture through civic activism, by gaining appointment to boards and commissions, and through elective office at all levels of government.

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The program “Citizen Architect: Giving Back in a Civic Capacity” was part of the 2021 Tri-State Conference, held back in early December. The program demonstrated, by example, how volunteering as “Citizen Architects” provides an opportunity to become public educators by default. By serving, Citizen Architects are provided with the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in and understand one’s community. You are offered the opportunity to see “the movers and shakers” as they operate and control the municipality, and because of your direct volunteer appointment, selection or election, you become a part of that team. A well-attended and well received program, I served as the moderator of an interactive question and answer session with four panelists—Brian Kulpa, AIA, Supervisor for the Town of Amherst in New York; Senator Timothy Kearney, State Senator for the State of Pennsylvania; Susan Bristol, AIA, Principal at SPB Architecture LLC; and David J. Pacheco, AIA, Director of Operations, Vice President & Partner at H2M architects + engineers. The program demonstrated how to bring much-needed technical, political perspective to the organizations that lead their communities; how to engage local stakeholders in decision-making by advocating for underrepresented groups; how to participate and influence local politics without being an elected official; and how to utilize every aspect of civic service to educate the public and their individual communities on what “architecture” is all about and what architects do in their professional lives.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SERVING AS A CITIZEN ARCHITECT? The panelists each presented their current and former volunteer services, and the combined group presented a varied and wide distribution of civic service. One would expect the usual service on municipal Planning and Architectural Review Boards, but the most effective services were on those committees, commissions and boards having little to no direct connection with our profession. Within those groups, the panelist was the only architect. Being the only architect on those committees presented a unique opportunity for the participants to utilize the full spectrum of their education and expertise.

Conflict of interest laws prevent volunteers from financially benefiting from their service by obtaining contracts and projects for the organization they are serving, but all the panelists confirmed that they or their firms benefited from public exposure that could never be purchased as advertisement and that ultimately resulted in obtaining clients and projects they otherwise would not have had an opportunity to secure.

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO DEDICATE AS A CITIZEN ARCHITECT? In response to a program attendee question on “how much time is involved,” the panelists were unified with their response. You, as the volunteer, control the time and commitment for the role. Other than the commitment to attend scheduled meetings, any further time commitment depends on how involved you want to be, how many internal committees you see as needing your help and expertise, and of course how many elected executive positions you are willing to serve. There was a word of caution from panelists who eventually became elected political members of their communities, usually because they saw another need, or the community saw talents that could accomplish more or affect change. The elected officials all agreed the time commitment is greater and if it weren’t for their business or life partners taking over the business workload, their architectural practices would have suffered. As one stated, “there is no such thing as a part-time political elected position.”

Susan P. Bristol with Co-Founder of Citizens for Responsible Growth and ‘Community Collage’ arts exhibit donating materials to our local library. Susan P. Bristol is now an Elected Local Official in Rocky Hill, NJ serving as a Councilwoman.

WHAT VALUE DOES THE CITIZEN ARCHITECT BRING TO THE TABLE? The architects serving their communities brought with them their ability to solve problems; seeking out details and to see the bigger picture. They also brought forward their organizational abilities, and their “thinking out of the box” mentality. All, regardless of age, had experience in running meetings, taking notes, preparing and understanding budgets, and confidence to speak out. Regardless of the organization, their volunteer service offered an opportunity to educate the public on what an architect does and the value they bring to the table. Serving on non-architectural related boards or commissions help to dispel the perceived notion that “architects only work for the wealthy.” As participants and volunteers, architects are in positions to educate and positively affect change. While giving back to your community is the primary benefit of being a Citizen Architect, a secondary benefit is that you become a “mover and shaker.” All the panelists, for assorted reasons, found themselves presenting and speaking to the public, in front of governing community elected officials or in the press as a result of a dedication, accomplishment, or social function.

HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT ORGANIZATIONS THAT COULD BENEFIT FROM A CITIZEN ARCHITECT? In answer to another question on “how do you find the organizations in your community that need you” the answers were unified. Only you, who lives within a specific community, can know that. You are the one who sees how and where you can help. Some organizations publicize “vacancies” but typically when becoming a member of an organization, you receive newsletters and publications that are great sources of information on where assistance is needed. A follow up answer also pointed out that most citizen architects start in organizations they have an interest in, reflects a hobby of theirs, one they would like to see improve or make changes to, all eventually leading someone to becoming an active member of the group as a Citizen Architect. l

A Past President of AIA New York State in 2008, Orlando has served on numerous state level AIA committees, juries and was elected to offices at the chapter and state levels. He served on the AIA National board from 2001 through 2004. As a Citizen Architect, he currently serves on a Library Board of Trustees, is a member of a Historical Society; and is an appointed member of a Diocese Facilities and Real Estate Committee.

DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 19

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Real projects start with the industry standard








Before they broke ground, HBG Design ensured the Guest House at Graceland™ Resort was protected with AIA contracts. AIA Contract Documents used: B103-Owner/Architect Agreement for a Complex Project, C401-Architect/Consultant Agreement, E201-Digital Data Protocol Exhibit, plus associated administrative G-forms. Learn more at

Photography ©Jeffrey Jacobs

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here are more people of color running firms and leading firms to winning awards in the future. How did we get there?


Which typologies currently generate the more lucrative labor-to-revenue ratios?

estimate there are approximately 677 AIA black-owned architecture firms (2.8%). Clearly the goal now is to increase the numbers of licensed practitioners and it should not go unsaid that agency in this profession comes with ownership and ownership stakes. Given the additional social barriers surrounding obtaining capital, business confidence, cultural code-switching, socio-economic revenue generation, potential client network, and perception, starting a firm would be additionally difficult. Although reports on this value don’t yet exist, the expectation is far less than the 25% of the average conversion from the +3,000 licensed black individuals transitioning to starting a firm.


How to acquire knowledge in a typology that someone did not learn while working under another architect?

The purpose here is to encourage and prepare them to develop the confidence to start a firm.


How to build a client base, and how long does it take to expand a network?

I am presenting six key figures to know prior to going out on your own. The first three factors can be reflected inside the data presented in 2020 AIA Firm Report and the AIA Professional Practice Guide. The second three are primary business notes for anyone going into business.

The Pre-conference Session for the 2021 AIA Tri-State conference, “Architect as Entrepreneur: Lessons in Establishing a New Practice,” was a great success. However, due to time limitations there were a few things I wanted to cover with more depth. Items that I would like to cover are:

There is a new enthusiasm for diversifying the practice and stewardship of the architectural practice, yet it is difficult to stay in the practice and acquire licensure for architecture. The multitudes of increased barriers get in the way of developing the confidence to hang out one’s shingle. By the numbers from the AIA 2020 report, out of 116,246 licensed professionals in 2019 approximately 2.8% are Black. A similar percentage factor is published from NCARB. We don’t have data about how many black-owned firms exist but, with that same percentage factor out of the total approximate 24,176 AIA member firms (per 2021 AIA Firm Directory) in the United States, we could PAGE 22 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22


Generating Revenue Per employee - $159,000 of average.


It would take approximately eight people to get to generating annual Revenue of 1M.


Why? It is difficult to manage five independent people on a multitude of tasks. This is where the pyramid begins, and the type of firm one plans to build.


The 10-year rule — It may take that long to create the expertise and a following in the niche(s) that one selects as well as a body of work that can tell a story of consistency.


Three years’ experience before to speaking to a bank. Know your market, get to know your client.


Hiring your first full-time staff person. When you can project procurement that you can generate 50% of both your own revenue and theirs and acquire a line of credit for a minimum of $25K (if not 50K). Probably a minimum of three years. Otherwise, they may be part-time employees or freelancers.

WHICH TYPOLOGIES CURRENTLY GENERATE THE MORE LUCRATIVE LABOR-TO-REVENUE RATIOS? The more lucrative typologies for someone within the one to four employee range are: healthcare, college and university work, custom single-family homes, and industrial facilities. In a nutshell, each of these disciplines require expert knowledge from contract agreement through to completion that generally ranges more than 10 years of continual experience. The recommendation would be to know these disciplines well or make sure that the people who hire for these disciplines know who you are.

HOW TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE IN A TYPOLOGY THAT ONE DID NOT LEARN WHILE WORKING UNDER ANOTHER ARCHITECT? This is more difficult and most anecdotal reports present the opportunity of luck. However, the gritty way of acquiring this work is to use similar work that has been accomplished to ac-

quire work that contains more of the typology that one hopes to acquire. The most important thing to remember is that one most likely will need to see the successfully completed project or hear from someone else that success had been attained. We as architects know that there are strong similarities along the production end of completing work. However, it may be harder to convince the individual or institution who is buying that this can be achieved without question. Think of work typology like entropy. It is much easier to go from a hotter energetic state to lower energetic state in order to find equilibrium, but much more difficult to go the other way. The example would be that it may be much harder to develop a firm from a knowledge base of residential design and construction process only as opposed to a knowledge base of a variety of project types. Although all one needs is one project to obtain the next, to appear as an expert (which is the prevailing expectation for winning high profile projects), one might need to show that they have accomplished more than one project. In order to frame this in reference to the title of the article, an informative book, The Crisis of the African-American Architect by Melvin L. Mitchell, FAIA originally published in 2001 digs deeply into the socio-cultural boundaries and the economic challenges of revenue generation that more likely confronts an African American in a successfully run design firm. Thus, successfully starting a firm may be impacted highly by the expertise one can prove or present. A better way to put this is more expertise may be directly proportional to one’s ability to present the firm’s value to a client. If one only had completed one project, they are less likely to be considered qualified for a new commission. However, in a future position continued on page 24

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by completing several, meaning (five or more) projects in equal or greater scale, improves the likelihood of winning a contract competitively against firms that may not.

HOW TO BUILD A CLIENT BASE AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EXPAND A NETWORK? One of the best means of building a client base is using one of the most valued means of influence in the North American business culture, the principal of reciprocity. This is also known as the loss leader. What does this really mean in time? A great example would be volunteering for businesses and/or organizations that you like. This will be translated through your commitment and allow for a trusted exchange. This grounds for trust will directly relate to being likable and thus encourage an equivalent reciprocal response. The art will then be dependent upon how you make the recall on the effort. However, I personally think it is just in the pleasure of letting someone know that you are going out on your own. You may be surprised how they respond if they are already aware of your contribution in volunteering. l

Ian Smith is the founding principal of IS-DG, an award winning full service design architecture firm in Philadelphia, PA. IS-DG is a member firm of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects as well as a certified DBE in Pennsylvania. Ian’s combined accomplishments from the Rhode Island School of Design and at Yale University have trained him to pursue perspectives in design, architecture and urbanism to expand best practices. His cumulative experiences have afforded him opportunities in the design of healthcare, commercial, residential and institutional buildings. One of the core values of the firm, Ian firmly believes that, “Much of who we are as people comes from the stories we have been told, as well as the ones that we are a part of. We work to identify the intertwined emotional narratives upon which we depend. This allows us to have a sensitivity to the many challenges that may influence the outcome of the project. Not only did we find that this came easily when pursuing memorial, dedication, and legacy projects, but also became relevant to single family homes and utility additions.” Ian continues to serve the civic discourse through teaching occasionally at local universities in addition to his current appointments on the PhilaNOMA, Philadelphia Preservation Alliance Board, and Inglis House.

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ow do people want to live? This is the question that professionals in the housing sector grapple with daily. Some of the answers to this question come easily: affordably, comfortably, safely. The real issues arise when we attempt to produce new housing and upgrade the existing stock within the current regulatory and economic frameworks. Compromises are made, and certain essential answers to the “how” question remain unaddressed. After presenting virtually on the topic “Finding the Missing Middle” as part of the most recent AIA Tri-State Conference, the discussions that followed began to suggest that we as architects, however well-intentioned, can be too focused on the wrong measures of outcomes. The efforts of all housing sector professionals—developers, planners, lenders, everyone—tend toward missing-middle housing solutions that deliver X number of units, within monthly rental range Y, for location Z. While meeting targets for X, Y, and Z is important, what’s missing in the middle is not just affordable units—it’s community. The pandemic has thrown the need for a sense of community into sharp relief. Residents in mid-rise and high-rise developments might pass two dozen identical doors between the elevator and their apartment and never see another face—and now, for many, the prospect of meeting a neighbor in that hallway evokes fear of infection and illness. Likewise, suburban homeowners shuttle between home and work without even cursory social interaction—if they leave home at all. This was the reality before, to some degree, which COVID has intensified. Filling the missing middle appropriately addresses this issue, introducing opportunities for social interaction by increasing PAGE 26 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

density in walkable locations. Some solutions will create new walkable neighborhoods from the ground up, while others will enhance existing ones. The best designs and development strategies will include open spaces or amenities, or both, to create or enhance socially dynamic settings that appeal to so many, which we refer to in our practice as “pockets of urbanity.” These communal, social settings are indeed widely desired. Both millennials and the emergent Generation Z, long believed to be hyper-focused on living and working in urban centers, turn out to be primarily interested in a socially dynamic location and will happily trade an expensive apartment in New York for a walkable, and culturally and economically diverse neighborhood in Princeton, for example, with entertainment, shopping, dining, and needed amenities steps away from home. The problem, of course, is that few such places currently exist. Demand is high, which means rentals are often unattainable for entry-level residents. Everyone benefits when folks like teachers, nurses, firefighters, and other such community linchpins can live in the same neighborhood as more affluent professionals. This kind of diversity is itself a desirable outcome, strengthening the ties that undergird our social contract, and it also counteracts the potential for economic and cultural stagnation that many communities face. It’s natural for people to resist change, but some towns face an uncertain future unless they begin to evolve. Grassroots residential organizations focused on preserving the status quo would do well to pivot to partnering with housing professionals, planning officials, and develop-

30 Maclean Street | In a walkable, historic African American neighborhood near the center of Princeton University’s campus, a masonry and timber frame structure has a new future as a LEED-designed, multi-family residence. The ten new apartments range from 500-1000 sf studios, 1-and 2-bedroom units. In conformance with the municipality’s 20% affordable housing requirements, two of the apartments will be priced accordingly. In a “small city” town where space is scarce and increasingly expensive, the existing infrastructure has been efficiently refurbished to add to the fabric of the community. The character of the building has been preserved with original brick, stucco, and wood exposed where possible. The exterior gains a new stair and elevator tower addition. Photo Credit: Michael Slack Photography

ment experts to explore opportunities in which both longtime residents and families new to the area can flourish. Done appropriately and wisely, filling the missing middle should create opportunities for a more sustainable future for everyone. In Princeton, a historic college town whose citizens tend to be preservation-minded, recent activity offers reasons to be optimistic. New projects are increasing density in affordable ways within a ten-minute walking distance radius of the central Nassau Street district, with its various retail, dining and other offerings – and some of these projects are adding new amenities. At the former location of Nelson Glass & Aluminum Co., for example, the new six-unit mixed-income residence rising up from the original commercial structure is nearing completion. The floors containing apartments feature a massing that steps back at each level, reducing its profile to preserve the feel of this residential street. The project will convert the first floor, previously a family-owned commercial fabrication shop, into retail or restaurant use that will activate the neighborhood with a new social hub. In the town center itself, developers are exploring opportunities for converting existing space in the floors above street-level retail into new affordable dwellings, which combined with other efforts at new construction on underdeveloped lots will boost density and enhance local economic activity by enhancing the area’s foot traffic among locals so that retailers are less dependent on Nassau Street’s image as a destination.

For one neighborhood adjacent to the town center, solutions under discussion for a multi-block development project are modeled on campus quadrangle-style plans with multiple entry points and outdoor spaces. To achieve a permeable plan that fosters walkability and established visual connections from street to street, the development will comprise numerous small multifamily structures conceived to harmonize with nearby residential districts, and avoiding the pitfalls of large-scale midrise apartment blocks. As architects we have a responsibility to provide creativity and leadership, especially where we live and work. Happily it’s a responsibility that, once fulfilled, redounds to our own benefit through fostering diverse, socially constructive neighborhoods. Engaging with peers and colleagues in development, planning, and capital investment to promote true missing-middle housing solutions results in closely knit communities and sustainable local economies – in other words, places where social discourse and engagement are the norm. l Joshua Zinder, AIA is managing partner of JZA+D, which he founded 15 years ago, and current president of AIA-New Jersey. His career spans more than 25 years, with a design portfolio of structures and interiors in the commercial, high-end hospitality, academic, worship, and private and multi-family residential sectors. DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 27

SUPERCHARGE YOUR BUILDING SECURITY WITH SOFTWARE As much as they advertise otherwise, most modern security systems compete evenly with one another. They all offer access control and video surveillance. There are, however, two important main differentiators. The first is how they utilize software in expanding the reach of security systems beyond physical control systems. The second is the open architecture of systems that allow them to meet the needs of different building types. Software can transform an out-of-the-box modern security system into a tailored solution for any application. An example is gun recognition or gunshot detection, which might be critical for schools and stadiums, but may not be as important in buildings with more corporate functions. Another example is asset management solutions, which can monitor location of vehicles, heavy equipment, and similar technologies, critical to operations like mining or utilities, but less useful for schools or corporate buildings. Software allows customization as well. Rules based building access control can provide custom solutions like changing camera views and/or displaying an ID photo on denied access, COVID questionnaire or staff temperature monitoring related denial, and employee access management. This customization can go even further, with tailored solutions like Clean Room, which maintains a sterilized environments and prevents cross contamination by limiting access to certain rooms after certain conditions are met. For instance, if you enter a clean room working with contaminants, your access to any other clean room can be denied. A wider application is rules for temporary employees and contractors, like date and time-based denied access.

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The underlying software you choose for your security system is also important. In many cases, each building may have a different deployment of technology. This could be from a variety of reasons, but most often it’s because construction times vary, physical security is installed at different times, or security personnel may have different opinions on security technology they want to implement. When this happens, different buildings may have different security subsystems . Your choice is to replace all of the systems that your organization has invested in or ,instead integrate them together with software. Software integrations can expand the reach of the physical security systems even further. A mustering solution gives you post-crisis headcount, meeting OSHA requirements. It can provide an attendance log for meetings and required trainings. Systems should also integrate with BMS solutions for HVAC and lighting control to eliminate losses for lighting and heating/ cooling in unused areas. This solves a problem for buildings with large warehouses Today, large-scale campuses want to use mobile devices so they can include their employees and create a new layer of security. An example of this is the Maxxess InSite software, which combines human intelligence with system intelligence and allows employees to log incidents and trigger emergency notifications in real time. These systems can improve much improved security detection and response to a variety of real-time events and provide instant emergency notifications. These new personnel-based systems, such as InSite are scalable and can integrate with most available access control, surveillance, and physical security systems. There’s no rip and replace necessary and it works over any combination of hardwired, wireless, cellular, or internet network, allowing every employee to be part of the overall security network.

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LEVERAGING EXISTING AND HISTORIC BUILDINGS FOR CLIMATE ACTION by Stevens Krug, AIA, PE, LEED AP, AEE Fellow; Lori Ferriss, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD+C; Channing Swanson, AIA; & Michael Ingui, AIA, NCARB, Certified Passive House Designer


xamples of reuse of historical elements and adaptive reuse can be found throughout history. Using appropriate physical assets created by previous generations is important to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this article, the complexities of renovations and reuse will be covered, helpful strategies and opportunities will be identified. First, we will discuss some truths about climate change. We will describe why the reuse of the existing building stock is one of the most effective tools we have in addressing GHG emissions in the environment. Next, two case studies will show how architects can address climate change through adaptive reuse and green energy retrofits. First, we will illustrate how an adaptive reuse project can anchor urban revitalization and redevelopment through sustainable design. Then we will describe an approach to address historic masonry Passive House retrofits, which you can apply to all kinds of masonry buildings.

EXISTING BUILDINGS AS AN ASSET IN CLIMATE ACTION We have created a climate emergency. To have the greatest chance staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the ambitious target suggested by the Paris Agreement, emissions must be reduced by 65% by 2030 and to net zero by 2040. Thus, there is a time value to carbon emissions; to reduce the rate of emissions dramatically and quickly, carbon mitigation strategies that

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yield immediate reductions are more valuable than those that take years. This is where existing buildings enter as a key asset in climate action. Globally, 37% of greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. Of that, roughly two thirds of emissions come from operation of existing buildings; the rest represent embodied emissions from construction and manufacturing of buildings. In urban centers like New York City, buildings’ contribution is much higher, frequently around 70%. These numbers reveal a tremendous opportunity for climate action in our existing built environment—by reusing and upgrading buildings, we can drive down and decarbonize building operations with minimal upfront, embodied carbon. According to the Zero Net Carbon Collaboration for Existing and Historic Buildings, renovating a building can yield as much as a 75%-80% reduction in embodied carbon compared to replacing it with standard new construction, supporting the need for near-term carbon reductions. Case studies have shown that even if new construction can achieve higher levels of energy efficiency, it can take decades, frequently well beyond 2030 or even 2050, for the higher embodied carbon investment of new construction to pay back through energy savings. Additionally, building reuse, conservation, salvage, and deconstruction offer co-benefits like support of local economic growth, preservation of cultural heritage, and strengthening of community.

Top Left: Exterior of Market One. Top Right: Rooftop solar array and green roof of Market One. Bottom Left: Interior office space of Market One, with original historic elements. Bottom Right: Interior of Market One. Photography: Cameron Campbell

MARKET ONE: ADAPTIVE REUSE AND URBAN REVITALIZATION There is no more sustainable act than breathing new life into an existing resource. Market One tells the story of how traditionally competing goals—sustainability and historic preservation—can indeed be synergistic. The project illustrates the role historic buildings can play in anchoring urban revitalization with sustainable principles. With pragmatic intent and a sensitive touch, Market One integrates sustainable strategies and rigorous design into a charismatic existing structure, maintaining the building’s original character and yielding healthy, open work environments faithful to its original, airy spaces. The project meets both the challenge of pursuing energy conservation and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation. This project exemplifies the sympathetic integration of new technologies into old structures. The combination of geothermal and solar renewable energy sources allows this project to essentially eliminate energy use from outside sources without dramatically changing the building’s masonry envelope or

losing the building’s historic character. Given that central Iowa is 85% powered by wind energy, Market One likely consumes nearly zero fossil fuels. A ground-sourced variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system heats and cools the building. This strategy decouples ventilation requirements from heating and cooling needs, allowing energy to be more efficiently transported by fluid in small-diameter piping instead of by air in large ducts. This aids in maintaining the historic character-defining volumes of the building. A fourstage energy recovery ventilator system (ERV) also serves the building, working in tandem with eighteen geothermal wells just north of the building. Electrical consumption is offset by an array of photovoltaic panels on the roof and in a large solar canopy over the adjacent surface parking lot. LED lighting was provided throughout the building and all water heating is done electrically. Occupancy sensors monitor outlet receptacles, LED lighting, and fixture operation to minimize the buildings energy use. Market One achieved LEED platinum and an Energy Star score of 94.

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Left: Front façade of Passive House Plus in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Restoring the front façade and stoop and carefully designing a full-story addition and dormers allowed this house to seamlessly blend with the rest of the neighborhood. Middle: Rear façade of Passive House Plus in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Passive measures and triple-paned glazing from Zola Windows and Doors allowed us to create a light-filled, dramatic rear façade. Photography: John Muggenborg Right Top: Rooftop solar canopy of Passive House Plus in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. On the roof, a solar canopy from Brooklyn Solarworks generates electricity while providing shading and preventing solar heat gain. Photography: John Muggenborg Right Bottom: Interior of Passive House Plus in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Minimizing the need for complex mechanical systems allowed us to create open, bright interior spaces. Photography: John Muggenborg

A REPEATABLE APPROACH TO PASSIVE HOUSE MASONRY RETROFITS As a New York City-based firm, many of our projects include historic masonry retrofits constructed long before modern energy codes were adopted. Preserving historic fabric and mitigating the environmental impact of buildings is as essential to our practice as creating beautiful architecture. Passive House strategies allow us to achieve these goals, while freeing us as designers. Frequently, incomplete information leads to missed opportunities. Many homeowners aren’t aware that through Passive House their home can be quiet, serene, well-sealed, and free of outside allergens, pests, and contaminants. They don’t know that traditional mechanical systems can be replaced with better heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. Nor do they realize that all of this frees the designer to include large expanses of glass and other desirable features. Once they learn all of this, the choice to pursue a Passive House becomes an easy one. Improving the existing building envelope is the key element to passive masonry retrofits. Our process starts with under-slab insulation and including a vapor barrier to create a warm, dry cellar. This vapor barrier connects to a vapor-open smart membrane installed continuously through each building level and to the underside of the roof. Outboard insulation at the roof steadies internal temperature by preventing external heat PAGE 32 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

from entering the home. High quality windows that reduce thermal bridging via insulation and ensure a sealed envelope via attachment to the vapor open membrane are also key to successful passive building. Well-sealed, well-insulated homes that reduce thermal bridging enable smaller mechanical systems. Often, a simple VRF heat pump system provides adequate heat, and an ERV ensures a healthy indoor environment through constant filtered, fresh air. All-electric appliances can further reduce a building’s carbon footprint. These reductions in energy usage are imperative to opening the possibility of targeting net-zero rowhomes, where space for rooftop solar is often limited. Rooftop solar arrays are often the finishing touch to our Passive House retrofits.

CONCLUSION As Gold Medal winner, Ed Mazria, FAIA says, “The building sector is on the verge of helping change the trajectory of the planet. The numbers are changing. We are emitting less, while building more. That is a good thing. Regardless, we must do a better job. Reusing existing buildings is a powerful step.” Beautiful envelope retrofits, electrification of HVAC systems, use of daylighting, LED lighting credits, incentives, and renewable energy options help reduce building energy consumption and design healthy, vibrant spaces. Designers can support the repurposing of existing buildings and retrofit them to be more energy efficient and cost effective for climate action.

We encourage advocacy for incentives that promote these efforts.. Research shows that when communities implement sustainable zoning ordinances, stretch codes, open space preservation, land use planning, carbon fees, circular economies, and other incentives, people will invest in the reuse of existing assets and infrastructure.. Architects are in a special place to influence and optimize the recycling of facilities. Through renovation, we gain a healthier, more sustainable, resilient environment, while maintaining vibrant communities and inspiring places. l

Channing Swanson, AIA | As a native of Iowa, Channing is strongly influenced by the relationship of the Iowa landscape and its built environment. He has led the design effort of numerous private and public projects that approach the design of buildings through an understanding of the interdependence of building systems and components within their physical environments and local communities. Of importance in Channing’s work is the idea of clarity: the translation of high level aspirations into a coherent set of concrete actions that significantly improve the value of a project or process in terms of technical, economic, and environmental viability.


Channing is a 1993 graduate of Iowa State University. Prior to joining Neumann Monson Architects in 2011, he began his career at Shiffler Associates Architects before spending 12 years at the influential firm of Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture, the 2001 AIA National Firm of the Year.

i Architecture 2030, data source the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report ii Global Alliance for Building and Construction, 2021 Global Status Report, iii New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, https:// iv Lori Ferriss (2021) Sustainable reuse of post-war architecture through life cycle assessment, Journal of Architectural Conservation, 27:3, 208-224, DOI: 10.1080/13556207.2021.1943260

A. Stevens Krug, AIA, PE, LEED AP, AEE Fellow | Steve Krug, a West Chester architect well-known for his work in sustainable design, is Principal at Krug Architects and serves as Chair of the PA Climate Change Advisory Committee, appointed by the Governor. Steve is a LEED-accredited professional whose experience in sustainable design extends to award-winning public sector projects, education buildings and large commercial/residential facilities. Mr. Krug is also Co-Founder of,, and A former president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Krug is also Chair of the Chester County Economic Development Council’s Smart Energy Initiative, and a member of the Chester County Environmental and Energy Advisory Board. Lori Ferriss, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD+C | Lori Ferriss, Director of Sustainability and Climate Action at Goody Clancy, leads research and project initiatives for premier educational institutions that are renewing heritage campuses while advancing climate action goals. Her professional practice as an architect, structural engineer, and conservator combines broad policy development with deep technical insights to promote a culturally and environmentally sustainable world through design. She is active locally and globally through her roles on the AIA COTE Advisory Group and the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Energy, Sustainability, and Climate Change. She is a Co-Chair of the Zero Net Carbon Collaboration for Existing and Historic Buildings.

Since 2012, Channing has been a Principal of Neumann Monson Architects where he has helped lead the transformation of that firm. At Neumann Monson, Channing has worked on projects such as the West Campus Transportation Center at the University of Iowa, the Sukup Endzone Club in Jack Trice Stadium at Iowa State University, an operations center for MidwestOne Bank, a historic, adaptive reuse called Market One that is Iowa’s first commercial building that produces more energy than it consumes, and the acclaimed Des Moines Municipal Services Center. Current projects include ongoing adaptations to the State Historical Building of Iowa, fan experience upgrades to Hilton Coliseum at Iowa State University, and the new Des Moines Federal Courthouse. Michael Ingui, AIA, NCARB, Certified Passive House Designer | Michael is a Partner with Ben Baxt at Baxt Ingui Architects—a highly collaborative architectural design firm with extensive experience in residential, institutional, and commercial projects. He joined the firm in 1994 and was named Partner in 2000. Under Michael’s direction, the firm became a leader in the US Passive House movement, and most of our team are Certified Passive House Designers. Michael is active in the Passive House community, speaking at many national and international conferences including Passive House Institute’s 25th anniversary in Darmstadt, Germany. Michael and the team at Baxt Ingui have extended their collaborative efforts by opening their homes during construction to teach students, architects, tradespeople, homeowners, and developers to integrate better building techniques. In 2019, Michael founded the Passive House Accelerator as an engine to increase awareness of Passive House and support the community of Passive House builders. PHA has created a community where Passive House builders can share ideas and best practices, increasing industry knowledge and improving outcomes for clients.

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uilding electrification refers to using electric technologies instead of combustion-fueled technologies to supply the comforts of a modern building. An electrified building typically uses electric heat pumps for space heating, cooling, and domestic hot water, as well as electric or induction stoves for cooking. Every major end use for fossil fuels in buildings is ready to be electrified with currently available technologies.

New Paltz Police Department and Court Offices. Completed in November 2021.

The New Paltz Police and Court Municipal building that was recently completed for the Town of New Paltz is fully electric, employing no fossil fuels in the design. Electrification supports the long-term goal of building decarbonization. That is because the electricity grid is getting PAGE 34 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

greener and cleaner. By designing and constructing buildings to harmonize with the grid we will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Heat pump technologies use energy in highly efficient ways and, therefore, save building owners money. Heat pumps — whether ground-source or air-source — are basically air conditioners that can be run in reverse to provide heating as well as cooling. Air conditioners (and refrigerators) make a space cooler by extracting heat from it and releasing the heat in a warmer place. The key to this magic is the refrigerant, a fluid that changes from a liquid to a gas at ambient temperatures. After absorbing heat, the gas moves through a mechanical compressor that squeezes the heat back out.

Electric resistance heat is 100% efficient at converting electricity into heat, a heat pump provides, at least, two to three units of energy for every one unit of energy consumed. Efficiency is often measured as the annual “coefficient of performance” or COP. The COP of a system is the relative measure of how much energy is delivered compared to how much energy is used. Most air source heat pump systems have an average annual COP of over 2.5. This means that the system is 250% efficient. Fossil fuel heating systems range from 80-95% percent efficient, at best. Heat pumps systems include: Ground source heat pumps (GSHP), which extract energy from the ground by tapping the relative constant temperature of the earth from about 5 feet, or more, below the surface. Groundsource heat pumps have some great environmental advantages over other heating and cooling systems. Ground-source heat pumps (GSHP) use the consistent temperatures within the Earth as a heat sink to provide energy-efficient heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.

GSHPs should not be confused with true geothermal heat, which is usually miles below the surface, where the earth’s crust gives way to a layer of molten rock. This geothermal energy occasionally explodes to the surface as a volcano, creates natural geysers and hot springs, and, in places like Iceland, it is tapped to produce electricity. Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) extract heat (energy) from the outside air when heating is needed and discharge heat to the outside air when cooling is needed. Air Source Heat Pump systems are available in many sizes and form factors, including small and large ducted systems as well as small ductless “mini splits” systems. In all cases the compressor system is located outside the building.

Alfandre Architecture’s Net Positive Energy Building in New Paltz, New York

Our Net-Positive-Energy office building is served by two Carrier Green Speed ducted systems. The compressors are located outside the building and the air handlers are located inside. Carrier claims that the green speed system has a COP of over 3.5.

In commercial applications most GSHP systems rely on a field of drilled wells fitted with a closed loop set of tubing through which fluid flows. By releasing building heat to the cool earth, rather than into hot outdoor air, GSHPs cool more efficiently than air conditioners or air-source heat pumps. They provide heat by using the same principle in reverse—drawing heat from the relatively warm earth, rather than from cold outdoor air. Most GSHP systems have a COP of over 3.5. Two buildings heated and cooled with ground source heat pumps:

Top Left: Carrier Green Speed Air Handler; Top Right: Carrier Green Speed Outdoor Compressor and Bottom: Mini Split Wall Unit

Left: M&T Bank in Balmville, NY and Right: New Friary at Graymoor, Garrison, New York DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 35

In cold climates, a GSHP has a higher efficiency than an airsource heat pump, because the temperature underground is considerably warmer in the winter than the outside air. The initial GSHP systems cost is higher than an air sources system. However, system efficiencies are higher, and the equipment lasts longer. Further, there are significant utility incentives in NYS as well as a federal investment tax credit for private development projects that use ground source heat pump systems. The U.S. is now adding renewable energy generation faster than any other source, which is putting us on a path to rapidly decarbonize the electric grid. In some parts of the U.S., the grid is already relatively clean. And President Biden’s Clean Electricity Standard, proposed through his Infrastructure Plan, would set the United States on a path toward 80% clean energy on the grid by 2030.

Renewable electricity generation has more than doubled from 2020 to 2018 and that trend is accelerating. According to the US Energy Information Agency ninety percent of that increase came from wind and solar generation. Costs have also declined rapidly. Solar and wind generation is the cheapest option for new or replacement electricity generation capacity. This capacity also includes electric energy storage assets owned by utilities (“utility scale”) and smaller distributed energy resources. Electricity generation from wind and solar is poised to surpass fossil fuel generation in the next 25 years, if not sooner.

U.S. Annual Renewable Generation By Fuel Type

U.S. Electricity Generation Projections To 2050

We can easily future proof the buildings we design, and build, today to save money and carbon, now and in the future. Using all electric space conditioning systems is the best way to make our buildings energy and cost efficient. l This article by architect Rick Alfandre originally appeared on page 4243 of the Summer 2021 issue of On The Level, the publication of the Construction Contractors’ Association.

Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C is a prolific architect who, over the past 30 years, has designed and built hundreds of projects ranging from multi-million-dollar hotels and resorts to solar residences. Recently completed projects include office buildings, churches and synagogues, retail buildings and spaces, multiple dwellings, restaurants, hotels, manufacturing facilities, and custom residences. The founder and President of Alfandre Architecture, he is an expert in the design of maximally energy-efficient, climactically responsive buildings that are solar-ready, and state-of-the-art construction systems that minimize energy requirements and create healthy indoor environments. A leader in the green building movement in upstate New York, Mr. Alfandre has worked closely with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to grow the USGBC New York Upstate region as well as the Hudson Valley Branch's regional programs. Alfandre is devoted to creating spaces and places of lasting beauty, working closely with clients to plan for efficient, resilient and cost-effective projects. Alfandre’s offices are located in their LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy office building situated on Main Street, New Paltz, NY in the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley. Alfandre is the recent past Chair of the US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter, is a past member of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Advisory Council and is a 2013 Business School Hall of Fame Inductee. Mr. Alfandre is National Council of Architectural Registrations Boards (NCARB) certified, a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), and the Construction Contractors Association of the Hudson Valley (CCAHV). He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from SUNY New Paltz in 1980 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1987 from the School of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Licensed to practice architecture in the states of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, Rick Alfandre has formed solid working relationships with area building and planning officials and has collaborated with many regional professionals to create a unique team approach to projects.

PAGE 36 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

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DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 37


Government Advocacy This past year was an ebb and flow as the world watched events unfold in Washington D.C. New York state began the year with red ink totaling some $15 billion and ended the year flush due to higher-than-expected tax collections and massive state and local aid stemming from the American Rescue Plan Act passed at the federal level. Autumn brought the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, promising a $550 billion investment over the next five years. AIANYS members played an important role in the success of the infrastructure bill via their participation in AIA’s Virtual Capitol Hill Day and through their response to numerous calls to action and letter writing campaigns to their members of Congress. Turning to 2022, AIANYS looks forward to helping the AIA in its advocacy for increased federal capital construction aid for schools, universities, hospitals, and affordable housing.

State of Success | Undeterred by the pandemic, volunteer advocates were resilient and resolute in the effort to meet the year’s policy objectives. This resilience involved adaptation to new ways to connect with legislators and their staff. For the first time ever, AIANYS held its annual Advocacy Day virtually, where participants held meetings with the Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and other leadership in both houses of the Legislature. These efforts were echoed and amplified throughout the month of May, as local chapters engaged in a series of Local Advocacy Days. Advocates touted the involvement and power of architectural design in making buildings safe, healthy, sustainable, and resilient. Specifically, members pressed legislators to support the Safe Schools by Design Act, the Emergency Responder Act, and urged them to invite architects to the table for infrastructure investment and community planning discussions. AIANYS assumed the mantle and debate surrounding school safety with the successful introduction of the Safe Schools by Design Act, aimed at unifying policymakers around the power of design in making our schools both safe and welcoming PAGE 38 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

learning environments. This bill made strides in its first year as a two-house proposal, gaining sponsors and stoking the intrigue of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. The campaign was complemented by a four-part education series “Reimagining School Design,” which brought together architects, educators, administrators, safety experts, psychologists, and other stakeholders to examine ways to shift the school environment paradigm toward a more holistic approach to address safety and student well-being. One of the major legislative victories of the year came with the passage of the $3 billion Environmental Bond Act. As a member of the New Yorkers for Clean Water and Jobs Coalition, AIANYS teamed with the environmental community to support the Environmental Bond Act, which invests hundreds-of-millions of dollars into green building projects and is estimated to create up to 65,000 jobs. Governor Hochul recently announced a commitment to increase the bond to $4 billion in the 2022-23 Executive Budget proposal. If voters approve the bond measure as part of the 2022 General Election ballot, the State will be in a prime position to leverage federal infrastructure aid and possibly exceed initial job creation estimates. The second legislative victory was secured when the governor signed the Architect Continuing Education Modernization bill into law this past November. Developed in collaboration with the State Board for Architecture, this update to the continuing education law will provide architects with enhanced flexibility to obtain continuing education credit through online learning. Architects will also be able to transfer up to six credits from one triennium registration period to the next and eligible to receive a full exemption from the requirement if a good cause can be established with the State Education Department. Further, the passage of this law will open the regulatory process and allow architects to comment on the update and offer recommendations to reform the definition of “continuing education” and expand it to other areas of practice deemed essential to the future of the profession.

2022: Challenges & Opportunities | 2022 will be

politically charged with the State elections and Congressional mid-terms in November. Newly drawn district maps and a surge in primary challenges will increase the likelihood for distraction and a desire by legislators to depart Albany to campaign. This means much of the substantive policy work will likely be wedged into the budget process running from January up until the budget is due on March 31. Despite the shortened work period for legislators, 2022 will be a watershed year for action on climate, as the Climate Action Council released its massive draft Scoping Plan aimed at meet-

ing the State’s goals to significantly reduce greenhouse has emissions. Public comment on the plan is currently underway and six public hearings on the draft plan will be held around the state over the next several months. The release of the plan provides a golden opportunity for architects to weigh-in on the proposals and help shape the future of New York’s energy and economic future. Some of the main recommendations include a major push to mandate building electrification in new buildings, the use of low-embodied carbon building materials, smart growth land use planning, and the integration of building decarbonization curriculum in architecture and engineering programs at public universities. The last two legislative sessions were dominated by concerns borne out of the pandemic. The state veered away from driving off a fiscal cliff with the help of significant federal assistance and the economy appears to be improving for much of the country. However, supply chain issues, employee retention, and the fluctuation of the architectural billings index in the Northeast is having a chilling effect on hopes for increased growth and profitability. AIANYS looks forward to reengaging lawmakers in meaningful discussions on a host of issues affecting the profession, and continuing the drive to elevate and advance members’ interests in Albany.

Communications & Public Awareness This past year, the communications team implemented a successful plan that shared focused content with our members, non-members and the public. A breakdown of our successes are included below.

Communication Vehicles | Twenty-four issues of the e-news digital newsletter were in 2021. With 8,000 active subscribers and a 99% delivery rate, the YTD open rate is 64% and the YTD click rate is 4%. Over the fourth quarter (October 1 – December 31), 80 email campaigns were sent out to members, non-members, allied partners and potential sponsors totaling 558,459 sends; 157,519 opens and 5,065 clicks. The open rate was 30% (3% above industry avg.) and the click rate was 1% (-1% below industry avg.). The third issue of the quarterly publication, published at the end of September focusing on , received 1,897 impressions and 502 reads. The latter part of the year continued focusing on increasing our social media presence. A social media campaign was implemented highlighting the 2021 Design Award recipients each day throughout November and December. Our Social Media increased across four channels with a 34.4% increase in reach on Facebook; a 100% increase in reach on Instagram; a 60.8% increase in impressions on Twitter and a 65% increase in page views on LinkedIn. The goal is to continue expanding our reach in 2022 through a visibility campaign.

Disaster Assistance Resource Guide | The Disaster Assistance Resource Guide will serve as a resource for chapters and members to better understand their role in preparing for and responding to disasters throughout New York State. The Disaster Assistance Resource Guide Work Group, led by Tim Boyland, AIA and comprised of volunteer members, finalized the draft content and will secure an outside editor to review and comment on the document in 2022. Honor Awards Program Review | The Honor Awards

Task Force was established to review the current nomination process, submittal guidelines and awards and propose revisions in order to enhance and improve the program. The Task Force implemented updates to the James William Kideney Gold Medal Award; the Matthew W. DelGaudio Service Award; and the AIANYS Firm Award. The Honor Awards celebration occurred in conjunction with the Board Installation ceremony held virtually on January 20. The Task Force plans to continue its efforts in 2022 where they will focus on updating the remaining awards.

General Communications & Awareness |

Communication and outreach included the development of a press release responding to Governor Hochul’s State of the State address on January 5. In addition, press releases were developed for the announcement of the 2022 AIANYS President, the 2022 AIANYS Board, and the 2021 Honor Award recipients.

Goals for 2022 | AIA New York State is planning a website

redesign this year. The successful completion of this project will help us to raise the visibility and promote the value of architects to targeted audiences by profiling members, firms and projects; position leadership and members as subject matter experts and the voice of architecture; increase active member volunteer participation; build on the recognition and reputation of the AIA brand and promote strength and industry cohesion; and reinforce and share member benefits through a member’s only section. In addition, the team plans to develop a Communications Plan to Promote Subject Matter Experts and Support the 2022 Visibility Campaign. As part of the plan, we will align the quarterly publication with themes that support AIANYS initiatives including: Connecting Community; Education; Climate Action; and subject matter expert content from Healthcare, Small Firm and Legal Conference or Symposiums.

Emerging Professionals In December, the Emerging Professionals Committee selected the 2021 recipients of the AIANYS John A. Notaro Memorial Scholarship. This annual program, in partnership with AIA’s Component Matching Scholarship Grant Program, serves as a way of engaging and recognizing students who will soon be emerging professionals in design, giving the opportunity to interact, share ideas and concepts with professionals, to advance our every evolving profession.

DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22 | PAGE 39

Recipients of the 2021 Scholarships were recognized at the 2021 AIANYS Honor Awards virtual celebration held on January 20th. Four students that presented two projects were selected. Ahmed Helal, Bachelor of Architecture student with the City College of New York, Spitzer School of Architecture submitted “Monumentality and Public Space.” The project looks at the stories monuments tell and asks the question, “What are the narratives that we are shaping and re-telling in our present, what is the interplay between monumentality and the people, and how do we create new monuments that are as diverse as we are?” The second project awarded was a joint effort between Albert Vargas, Farai Matangira and Oliver Hadi, Bachelor of Architecture students at the New York City College of Technology. The project, “Cyber Campus,” was the outcome of their design studio that emphasized the development of environmentally sustainable design approaches and high-performance building practices. The project scope entailed the development of a research facility that would provide a variety of spaces for TESLA Inc and its affiliated companies, while also incorporating public outreach programs that would benefit the public.

Goals for 2022 | The Emerging Professionals team created a

number of goals for the coming year to serve the EP members. Members can look forward to a fresh series of episodes of our podcast, EP Architalk; education programs specifically targeted at the early career architect; and scholarship programs for both students and Associate members. Specific to our scholarship programs, we plan to expand the program for students enrolled in an architecture program in a community colleges. Members can be on the look out for a survey to enable us to identify the specific nature of our upcoming programming and how best to engage with you all.

Education AIA New York State’s mission to provide members with high quality and relevant continuing education programs was in full swing throughout 2021. We offered seven webinars, a four-part Re-Imagining School Design Symposium, two Safety Assessment Programs, three NYS Code Update programs, five business related webinars, a Tri-State Conference that included 13 sessions and three keynote speakers and 25 bi-weekly Oldcastle APG University programs. More than 3,000 participants attended these programs. This past year’s programs included: February | Alternative Forms of Contract: A Practical Guide to Architectural Agreements presented by David Kosakoff, Esq, of Kosakoff Cataldo LLP and Michael Spinelli, Esq. of Nassau Suffolk Engineering & Architecture, PLLC March | Returning to the Workplace: Considerations for Employers During the COVID-19 Pandemic presented by Haley Dryer, Esq. and Thomas Wassel, Esq. of Cullen and Dykman LLP

PAGE 40 | DEC ‘21 | JAN ‘22

April | Re-Imagining School Design: Adaptation & Transformation of Healthy Learning Environments (4 part series) May | How Your Firm Can Work with DASNY on Small Projects featured Sandy Daigler of DASNY moderating a panel discussion with Terrence O’Neal, FAIA of tonab architecture pllc, Bart Trudeau, AIA of Trudeau Architects pllc, David J. Meyer, PE of Pathfinder Engineers & Architects and from DASNY Chris Currey, Kara Mallard, Michael Clay, and John Savona, AIA, BD-C, Architect, DASNY; How to Think Like a Lawyer presented by David B. Kosakoff, Esq., LEED AP of Kosakoff & Cataldo LLP, and Stephanie Reda, Esq., of Everest Insurance; August | Introduction to Lean Construction & Design presented by Sam Spata, AIA of EXYTE Group, Jason Beach of GLOBAL FOUNDRIES and Kyle Price of WWPS; Hybrid Work Environment Best Practices presented by the Technology and Culture Discussion groups moderated by Evelyn Lee, FAIA and included program panelists: Jessica Sheridan, AIA, of Mancini Duffy, Diana Nicklaus, AIA of SAAM Architecture and Jennifer L. Massey, SPHR of Integra HR LLC. October | Basic Design by the 2020 Building Codes New York State presented by Laura Cooney remained one of most popular programs with members. December | Driving Change Through Technology presented by the Technology Discussion Group moderated by Effrie Escott, Associate in the Research Group at Timberlake Kiernan and included panelists Ricardo Rodriguez, Associate AIA, an At-Large Representative, AIA National Strategic Council, Violet Whitney, Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and Director of Product Management at Sidewalk Labs and Patrick Chopson, Co-founder, covetool. The Tri-State Conference: Return to the Future, also in December, provided 13 education programs and three keynote presentations. Architects from the Tri-State area were also recognized for their architectural excellence during the Tri-State Architectural Design Awards. Ongoing |The Oldcastle APG Online University’s bi-weekly webinar series continued their programs through December. They were provided at no additional cost and offer 1.0 HSW/LU credits. Upcoming Programs in 2022 | AIA New York State, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and the New York Construction Materials Association are presenting three live webinars at no additional cost to members. The first webinar is scheduled for February 3 on the “Top 10 Ways to Reduce Concrete’s Footprint.” The other webinars are scheduled for Thursday, March 3 and Thursday, April 7. First Energy, in cooperation with AIA New York State, AIA Pennsylvania and AIA New Jersey will be presenting a webinar on the value of energy analysis on Tuesday, February 15. If you have a topic that could be developed into a live, interactive program, contact Mike Cocca, Director of Education & Marketing at to discuss your topic. We are also planning to schedule more Safety Assessment Programs, NYS Code Update programs, a healthcare symposium, and a small firm symposium.

DEC ’21 | JAN ‘22 ARCHITECTURE NEW YORK STATE is a quarterly publication developed by AIA New York State, 50 State Street, Albany, NY 12207

For questions, comments and editorial content ideas, contact Robin Styles-Lopez, Director of Communications at or 518.449.3334.