CanStruction 2014 – Call for Entries


16th Annual New Jersey Design/Build Competition

It starts with one can, to feed the hungry, to lift the spirit, to change the world. Can- struction is a charity committed to ending hunger, using “one can” as a catalyst for change. Every month, over 500,000 New Jerseyans access hunger reflief programs supported by the Community Food Bank of NJ. New Jersey’s design/build competition puts a visual spotlight on hunger while showcasing the state’s best and brightest designers.

Think you have what it takes to design and build a structure entirely out of canned food? Enter today! Get creative and help!

This year’s theme: “Trick-CAN-Treat: Creative Halloween designs”


Teams of New Jersey Architects, Designers, Engineers, and Contractors


WHAT – Design and build structures made entirely from canned foods within a 10′ x 10′ x 8′H space


WHERE – Livingston Mall, Livingston, NJ


WHEN – September 10th   : Deadline for entry – 5:00 PM

October 24th: Build Day  – 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

October 24:  Open to the Public

November 2nd:  Decanstruction (end of display)

Nov. 6th:  Awards Dinner – TBA


HOW – Download and Complete entry form.

Download Call for Entries


WHY – To benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey

Complete rules & regulations will be emailed upon receipt of entry form. Teams are responsible for acquiring canned food .


INFO – Contact Ronald Weston, AIA

CANstruction Chair

Contact Ronald Weston, AIA to request an entry form.
Phone: 973.280.9614

In Memoriam: Saul Prail

Saul Prail, 93, passed away at the Morris View Health Care Center in Morris Township, N.J., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Born in Exeter, N.H., Saul also lived in West Orange, N.J., and Barnegat, N.J., before moving to Morris Plains, N.J., in 2010.

He was an architect for Gerber & Pancani of Newark, N.J., and Springfield, N.J., for 40 years before retiring in 1988.  Saul served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II from 1943 to 1945.  He was active in the Pheasant Run Community of Barnegat.

Saul was the beloved husband of the late Renee; devoted father of Kenneth Prail and his wife, Nancy, and the late Richard Prail; dear brother of Edith Spielvogel and the late Jeanette Flexer and Lillian Cantor; loving and proud grandfather of David, Matthew, and Mindi, and great-grandfather of Kennedy and Jacob.

Funeral services were conducted by Menorah Chapels at Millburn, 2950 Vauxhall Rd., Union, N.J.   Interment was at Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Iselin, N.J.

Donations in Saul’s honor may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. -

See Obituary here




AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Saul’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.


If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807



2014 Design and Service Awards

red_eagleNominations are open for both Design Awards to be announced at the annual Design Conference on October 9, 2014.

More information can be found online:

Design Awards

Service Awards

Any questions call AIA-NJ at 609-393-5690


NOMA Conference: For The LOVE of It


For the LOVE of It

The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) invites you to the 42nd Annual NOMA International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hosted by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (PhilaNOMA)  at the historic Loews Philadelphia Hotel.   With the theme, “For the LOVE of It: Community…History…Design,” the NOMA 2014 conference will celebrate ARCHITECTURE in the vibrant, innovative design environment known as the city of Brotherly LOVE!


October 1 – 4, 2014
For more information:
The NOMA 2014 conference will features exciting international keynote speakers (Paola Moya is the CEO and Principal of Marshall Moya Design), and includes a host of professional development and continuing education seminars, networking events, exhibitions, local tours and design workshops to connect you to your passion for architecture, planning and design. The conference also includes a full day Community Legacy project and the NOMA Student Design Competition, both focused on creating design interventions within the city of Philadelphia. Other conference hallmark events include the Bros Arts Ball, the Host Chapter Panel and Party, the Student vs. Professionals Sporting Exhibition, and the Annual NOMA Professional Design Awards Banquet and Ceremony. Over 500 NOMA members, affiliates and students are expected to be in attendance, including architects, landscape architects, interior designers, planners, engineers, and construction and building industry professionals.

Articles for Newsletter

red_eagleAs members of AIA-NJ membership, we would like to hear about your projects.  A member benefit many do not know about is publishing articles about NJ Architecture by NJ Architects.

Send any press releases regarding projects to AIA-NJ for it’s newsletter.  We can not guarantee that everything you submit will be published, however based on space and availability we will put any submissions in for review by the editorial team when the issues are being prepared.

Please submit via email to

In Memoriam – Hugh J. Connolly, AIA

Hugh Connolly, AIAHugh Connolly, 56, died at University Medical Center at Princeton on May 31, 2014, after a courageous one-year battle with metastatic melanoma. It was his, and wife Peggy’s, 34th wedding anniversary.

Known as a kind, patient, ethical and always loving person, he will be missed enormously by his family. He is survived by his wife and college sweetheart, Peggy; his daughters, Erin, and Hope (Daniel Gadala-Maria); his brother, Patrick (Laura); sister-in-law Nancy Hoffmann (Dom Wadhwa); mother-in-law Ann Hoffmann; nieces, Mindy Hoffmann (Mark Wang) and Jennifer Hoffmann; aunts, and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Kathryn Donahue Connolly and Hugh (Jack) Connolly; his father-in-law, William G. Hoffmann, his brother-in-law, James Farwell Hoffmann, uncles and cousins.

Born on March 25, 1958, in Glen Ridge, NJ, and raised in New Vernon, NJ, Hugh graduated near the top of his class at Morristown High School, where he earned awards in track and field, was active in Yearbook, Literacy Magazine, History Club, golf and bowling. He earned a five-year professional degree of bachelor of architecture at Cornell in 1981, graduating a semester early due to Advanced Placement credits. He met his future wife, Peggy, in their freshman dorm, Cornell University Hall Two, and married in 1980. He worked for major architecture firms in the Princeton area, including The Hillier Group, Nadaskey Kopelson, The Spiezle Group, and Clarke, Caton, Hintz. In 2009, he started his own firm, Connolly Architecture, LLC with an emphasis on environmentally sustainable design.

During his career, he designed the headquarters of Beneficial Finance in Morristown, NJ; Shannondell Senior Living in Valley Forge, PA; a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style house in Lambertville, NJ; Katmandu, a former ironworks in Trenton to become a nightclub, and a home for a family with chemical sensitivities; he redesigned the Lambertville House Hotel as well as designed an addition to his family’s house. Valuing its character, he and Peggy restored many aspects of their American Four Square home.  He was one of the first in the area to earn the LEED designation from the United States Green Building Council. He received the 1997 Downtown New Jersey Awards for the design of the Mercer County Civil Courthouse, Lambertville House, and Katmandu Night Club and the 2001 Downtown New Jersey Award for One Bergen Plaza.

He and Peggy settled in 1981 in Hopewell, where they raised their two daughters. He was active in many community organizations, including: Hopewell Harvest Fair (board member, contest chair, business exhibitor, and developer of ‘Green Lane’), Hopewell Borough Train Station Committee (to save the train station), the first Hopewell Gazebo Park Playground Committee, Hopewell Valley Green Team, and the Hopewell Borough Planning Board. Always a proponent of his daughters’ educational and recreational activities, he coached Hope’s softball team, developed an architectural scavenger hunt and helped with cookie sales (Girl Scouts), and fought the educational establishment to obtain the education his daughters needed. He always made time to be a part of his daughters’ activities to support them.

He was also a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Souvenir Building Collectors Society, Mensa, BNI Tigers Networking of Princeton, and the Princeton Chamber of Commerce. Hugh loved to travel, particularly to see outstanding architecture and visit historical sites, to walk through Hopewell, to collect souvenir buildings, to read sci-fi books, to play board games with his family, to watch historical and sci-fi movies, to test new games at Mensa’s annual Mind Games and to attend Mensa Princeton Tuesday lunches.

Viewing was held Saturday, June 7, at Hopewell Presbyterian Church, followed by a church service, with burial afterwards at Highland Cemetery, Hopewell.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Melanoma Research Foundation, Sierra Club, or  Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University.   Arrangements were by Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, NJ.  Contact his family at or 609-466-1898.



A Note From AIA-NJ:


AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey.   In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Hugh
’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.


If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ  08807


In Memoriam – Robert Harding Lee, AIA

Mayflower Descendent

Robert Harding Lee, 89, of Devon; Chester County, PA passed away on Wednesday morning, July 16, 2014 in his home.
He was born on May 10, 1925 in Essex, CT, the only child of Clarence and Hazel Harding Lee.
A Veteran of the United States Army, he served during World War II, and was honorably discharged a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, WW II Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Service Stars, Distinguished Unit Badge, and The Bronze Medal.
Mr. Lee graduated from the University of Michigan and retired from Crabtree and Lee in CT and the State of New Jersey where he was an Architect. He also served as President for the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture.
An avid traveler, he traveled worldwide seeing and studying architectural design.
His wife of 62 years, Mary Jane McWhorter Lee, whom he met on a blind date while they both attended the University of Michigan, and married on June 28, 1952, survives.
Surviving in addition to his wife are his children Robert H. Lee, Jr. and wife Norma of Tallahassee, FL, Susan Guenzer and husband Philip of Malvern, PA, Virginia Katherine Pearo, wife of the late John, of Phoenixville, PA, Cathleen Elizabeth Garrett and husband Jeff of Pottstown, PA, Mark McWhorter and longtime companion Robin Basile of Burgetsttown, and James E. McWhorter, III and wife Yasmin Abadian of Potomac, MD; seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Friends were received on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in the Lee & Martin Funeral Home, Burgettstown. Interment  followed in the Cross Creek Cemetery.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Burgettstown Area Senior Citizens Association, 200 Senior Way, Burgetsttown, PA 15021.

AIA New Jersey is very saddened by this loss to our architecture community in New Jersey. In keeping with our policy of promoting architecture and mentoring our future professionals, AIA New Jersey will be making a donation in Robert’s name to the AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation.

If you would also like to make a donation in his name to the Scholarship Foundation, please send donations to:
AIA New Jersey Scholarship Foundation
c/o Jeanne Perantoni, AlA
1011 US Highway 22, Suite 203
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Empowerment by Design Series: Maximize ROI by Maintaining Discipline

Employing a clear “go/no-go” decision-making process will help maintain discipline and lead to greater ROI.

by Steve Whitehorn

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in the Empowerment by Design series by Steve Whitehorn of Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc., providing A/E professionals with practical tips for a more successful, profitable practice.

During the worst years of the sluggish economy many firms took absolutely any work they could get in order to keep afloat. As the economy improves architects are finally beginning to see the projects flowing in, and again, the temptation is the same — grab up any projects possible in order to grow the firm and increase the bottom line.

So why should a firm resist the temptation– isn’t all work good work? The short and the long answer for firms concerned about their ROI and reputation is no! The principle for both fat and lean times remains the same: maintain discipline.

Exercise a simple go, no-go decision-making process to maintain discipline and adhere to the firm’s objectives.  Go/no-go is a term that comes from the tool and die trade, and refers to a simple gauge tool used to test a workpiece- there are only two outcomes: go or “go/no-go”.  When selecting work for a firm the two most important considerations to test with “go/no-go” strategy are client selection and project selection.  The criteria evaluating clients and projects must be grounded on the firm’s goals. Here are some pointers for maintaining discipline in your practice.

Establishing Goals

Firms should establish clear financial and reputational goals and stick to them. Principals should have a shared design philosophy, and a clear vision of how the firm should present itself in the marketplace.  Determine the firm’s financial goals – make the 1-year and 5-year plans. Be pro-active and creative in meeting financial goals but above all maintain the discipline to stick to the firm’s established standards.

Client Selection

Establish common ground with potential clients – make certain they share the firm’s values and motivation. Does the owner have the money to do project, and realistic expectations? Is the contract reasonable and have timely payment terms? Does the contract make the architect responsible for contractor performance, or design changes? Is the client known to be litigious?

Project Selection 

Project selection should be based on a thorough ROI evaluation based on both financial and reputational goals. Is this a project that fits within our firm’s creative vision? Has the firm done this kind of work before? Do we have the capacity? Can we do a good job and meet our financial goals?

If a firm has established clear goals and maintains the discipline to stick to those goals, making a decision on a project can be as simple as “go/no-go”.

Steve Whitehorn is the author of the upcoming book, Empowerment by Design and creator of The A/E Empowerment Program.® He is also Managing Principal of Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc., which helps its clients create a more significant legacy and empowers them to achieve greater impact on their projects, relationships, and communities.


Editorial – Proposed IDP Changes

In reviewing the proposed revisions to the IDP program I believe that both the short and long term measures are problematic and can ultimately be detrimental to the profession at large.

Phase 1 abridges the minimum reporting hours from 5,600 (3,740 Core Hours + 1,860 Elective Hours) to only include the 3,740 Core Hours. The contention that the elective hours do not necessarily demonstrate an effective means of developing competency in protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public is fair. The response to eliminate literally 1/3 of the apprenticeship period (reducing the approximate 3 years of training to 2) is misguided, unbalanced, and reflects poorly on the perception of our field compared with other established professions.

  • The definition of a “professional corporation” typically is reserved for lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers, and certified public accountants. Here is a brief synopsis of the educational / training requirements encountered for these other professionals.
    • Lawyers – 4 year undergraduate degree + Law school (typically 3 years) + licensing examination
    • Doctors – 4 year undergraduate degree + Postgraduate degree + Postgraduate training depending on specialization (ranges from 3 year to 6 years)
    • Engineers – 4 year undergraduate degree + 4 years qualifying work experience + licensing examination
    • Certified Public Accountant – 4 year undergraduate degree + 1-2 years of work experience + certification examination
  • In reviewing these estimates it is clear that those professionals whom have the greatest relationship to preserving HSW are those that uphold a post-graduate training or education period of no less than 3 years. (CPAs manage finances which I would contend is not a fair comparison).

I believe that the crux of this argument is to further enable an expedited licensing process for young design professionals. It is important to nurture talent and keep this younger generation engaged in the practice of architecture. The ongoing problem with many leaving the profession due to a lack of jobs in the marketplace or lower wages will not be ameliorated by getting licenses in their hands faster. If anything it will hurt them more because a company looking to hire will expect to pay more for a licensed architect than they would for a draftsman but concurrently they will expect a greater degree of knowledge. Those that elect to pursue independent practice on their own will be more susceptible to act quickly without necessarily understanding the consequences of their decisions because their training was never really completed.

Accrediting bodies will not be the ones to fix the “brain drain” effect, only practicing architects that can give them opportunities to grow, learn, and mature in the profession while still making a living wage will fix this problem. Current academic practices do not teach to the Architect Registration Exam nor does actual work experience always translate one to one, however each provides components that inform the material of the ARE. We would do a disservice to younger designers by rushing this process while devaluing the body of knowledge that we have fostered over generations. If anything the abridgment reads to me as a surreptitious means of getting more people to qualify to test sooner, resulting in a larger body of people paying to take tests that they are likely less prepared for but which would result in more money flowing to NCARB by way of testing fees.

Time in internship matters. If the argument is that 1,860 hours of service are irrelevant in the current system because they cannot be quantified empirically as useful, the response should be how do we rethink 1,860 hours of service. A simple answer would be to keep them as elective hours but evenly distributed over each of the (4) experience categories. If upon further review the argument arises that some experience categories are more valuable than others, the 1,860 hours can be divided proportionally according to perceived value. Alternately, the hours need to be reapportioned within the (17) experience areas. It is of paramount importance that NCARB cease the endless litany of decisions whereby problem resolution occurs solely by means of total elimination of the problem (eg. the drafting software for ARE vignettes is outdated and fails to match with tools used in daily practice, the response is to eliminate the vignettes in lieu of fixing the software.)

Regarding the Phase 2 plan to revise the (4) experience categories to (6) that each align with the ARE exams is a logical direction to go in however the proposal goes too far. Trying to maintain multiple systems of documenting experience (one via the workplace and the other via testing) is burdensome and can be confusing for interns. It is a good idea to match experience categories with examinations however if the suggestion is to overhaul the system eliminating the (17) experience categories, then once again we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It is imperative that these specific categories be structured into the (6) larger experience categories rather than removed. It may be prudent to even expand upon these categories as a means of reapportioning the 1,860 hours described previously. While I agree that the complexity of the current system exists, the problem lies in the broad definitions of the experience categories themselves. Personally I do not agree that reducing complexity results in fewer categories I think it translates to more categories with less ambiguous definitions. The ultimate key though is that the categories of experience match firmly with the intent of the associated ARE exam. The broader focus presented in the narrative explicitly states, “the current 17 experience area of IDP, in combination with their respective minimum hour requirements, reflect an extremely specific and detailed format that keeps internship focused on the details rather than the broader picture.” Even Mies van der Rohe knew that “God is in the details.” We as architects live through details. It is only through rigor, passion, and a commitment to details that we can effectively uphold the health, safety and welfare of the public. We do not need a holistic, feel-good approach that won’t adequately prepare the next generation, we as practitioners need to better mold our workplace to foster their growth so that they can thrive and be successful both at the apprenticeship level as well as throughout their careers.


Respectfully submitted,

  Andrew W.J. Kollar, Associate AIA


The above article is an Editorial submitted by an AIA-NJ Member, views expressed are not the views of AIA New Jersey.


Online ARE Review Course at NJIT

njit_coadThe College of Architecture & Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology is offering an online review course for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE 4.0) in Structural Systems this fall semester.

The course will start on the week of September 2nd and will cover the exam material in a lecture format, including the related graphic vignettes. The instruction will be delivered entirely online so students do not need to travel to campus to attend class. Lectures are recorded weekly and posted on a password- protected website. Questions are answered through the same website or by e-mail. Registrants can view the lectures at their convenient time. The course will run for 15 weeks ending by December 12, 2014.

For further information and for registration, please contact the instructor, Rima Taher, by e-mail at:


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