Monthly Archives: June 2011

AIA-NJ 2011 COTE Top 10 Awards

In a reception at the East Coast Green conference held on June 23rd, AIA-NJ announced it’s inaugural COTE Top 10 Award winners. Congratulations to all the following winners:

Institutional Category – Honor Award
The Goldstein Partnership
Maplewood Police & Court Building

Commercial Category – Merit Award
Spiezle Architectural Group
TD Bank

Residential Category – Merit Award
WJM Architect
Private Residence

Thank you to all who submitted, and to the 2011 jurors:
Randy Croxton, AIA, LEEDap
Partner, Croxton Collaborative

Urs Gauchat, AIA
Dean, NJIT School of Architecture

Darren Port
Green Building Administrator, NJ Department of Community Affairs

AIA 2012 National Committee Appointments


I am pleased to share with you this chart listing the AIA national committees, task groups, etc., that we’re currently aware of as well as some that are being considered for 2012. Also please find a list of all members noted in NetForum as being appointed or assigned to an AIA national committee, as of June 20, 2011. (If the links aren’t working, these are documents posted to the For leaders page on, in the section titled “AIA National Board of Directors.”)

If you’d like to nominate a member to serve on any of these committees, please email me ([email protected]). Please attach a brief (one or two pages) resume for the individual, and the member’s head shot (B&W or color, low resolution is fine) so that when his/her qualifications are being reviewed by 2012 President-elect Jeffery Potter, FAIA, he can make an informed decision.

If you have a member who is interested in serving on a committee but is not sure where his/her talents can best be utilized, please do send us that member’s name and resume so that if an opening comes up, he/she can be placed without delay.

Also – when making appointments such as these, we look for diversity not only in terms of geography but also ethnicity, gender and age – so consider engaging those members who might not otherwise get noticed… the emerging professionals, for example.

The deadline for making nominations is 5:00 p.m. (Eastern) Friday, September 30, 2011. Following that deadline, staff will be reviewing the nominations received, and if necessary, soliciting nominations for any positions not filled. On October 20, 2011, 2012 President-elect Jeffery Potter, FAIA, will review all nominations and make appointments for the upcoming year. Shortly thereafter, the successful nominees will be notified of their appointment, and those not selected will also be advised accordingly.

(Please also note that there are a number of appointments made mid-year, such as for juries, so if your nominee is not appointed in November, he/she will be considered for appointment later in the year.)

If you have any questions about the committees listed, or the process, please don’t hesitate to call or email me (or the staff person listed as the committee contact on the chart). Thanks for your assistance and cooperation in opening up the committee process to engage more of our members!

(Note: This message is being sent to the Presidents’ listserv, the CACE listserv, and the Board of Directors. Please feel free to forward the information on to anyone you feel might be interested in making a nomination.)

Pam Day, Hon. AIA
Senior Director, Governance Administration
The American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
phone 202-626-7305
[email protected]

Summer Networking Social

Join us for a Summer Networking Social
Realtor + Architect + Interior Designer + Builder = Success

Download registration form here:SummerNetworkingSocial2011

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts by Frank Furness

By Frank Cunha III, AIA
Editorial Writer

Ever since I first heard about Frank Heyling Furness (1839–1912) during an Architectural history class I have been fascinated by his work. I made several trips to Philadelphia to see his work and I am familiar with his Emlen Physick Estate in historic Cape May, New Jersey. Although at first glance his work appears to be traditional Victorian, his body of work trandscends any particular style. I consider Furness the first Deconstructivist (or Pre- Post-Modernist) the way he melded different styles to create his work. Below I am featuring his most well known and preserved work, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts located in Philadelphia, which is one of the few projects that have been preserved.

Read the rest of the article on the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Resources for Associate Members

The National Associates Committee is dedicated to representing and advocating for Associates, both mainstream and non-traditional, in the national, regional, state, and local components of the AIA.

Visit the National Associates Committee page, it is a resource for Associate AIA members.

East Coast Green – Early Bird Ends June 9th

2011 East Coast Green – June 22nd & 23rd
Warner Center Brookdale Community College

Two Days up to 13 CEU’S – both AIA HSW/SD and GBCI approved
Early Bird pricing only $95 – ends June 9, 2011

Union-only Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) Eliminate Merit Shop Contractors From Competing For and Winning Construction Projects

Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are almost always awarded exclusively to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 20 percent of New Jersey’s private construction workforce belongs to a union. This means PLAs would discriminate against eight out of ten construction workers who otherwise would work on construction projects if not for a union-only PLA.  The following provisions typically discourage non –union or Merit Shop contractors from working on PLA projects.
The following provisions typically discourage merit shop contractors from working on PLA projects.

• PLAs require non-union companies with their own benefit plans to pay their workers’ health and welfare benefits to union trust funds. Thus, companies have to pay benefits twice: once to the union and once to the company. Workers never see any of the benefits sent to the unions unless they decide to leave their non-union employer and remain with the union until vested;
• PLAs require non-union companies to obtain apprentices exclusively from union apprenticeship programs. Participants in federal and state-approved non-union apprenticeship programs cannot work on a job covered by a PLA. This means craft professionals enrolled in non-union apprenticeship programs are excluded from work in their hometowns.
• PLAs require non-union companies to obtain their workers from union hiring halls. This means a non-union company has to send its own employees to the union hiring hall and hope the union sends the same workers back.
Union-only PLAs drive up the cost of construction projects

By unnecessarily limiting bidders and following outdated and inefficient union work rules, PLAs consistently drive up costs on projects.
According to a October 2010 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development study that analyzed NJ schools being build from fiscal year 2008, schools being built during this time frame with a PLAs were 30.5% MORE EXPENSIVE to build than schools that did not have a PLA.  This same study also proves that PLA projects take 25% longer to complete.  This study can be found here:

The PLA issue is not a wage or benefit issue because of NJ’s prevailing wage law
Pro-PLA advocates are more interested in distorting the truth and misleading the public into thinking that the heart of the public policy intent for PLAs is to ensure high wages. All projects subject to PLA laws are subject to NJ’s prevailing wage law, which establishes government mandated wage and benefit rates that are almost identical to union wages. In reality, wages have little to do with the real reasoning why building trades unions and pro-union politicians support PLAs; it is about securing union contractors a monopoly on state funded construction projects.

Kirby Wu, AIA, LEED AP
Chairman ABC-NJ

Saphire + Albarran Architecture LLC celebrates its 25th year

Saphire + Albarran Architecture LLC celebrates its 25th year in business on May 13, 2011.  Founded by Joseph Saphire, AIA in 1986 as Saphire Associates, the firm reformed as Saphire + Albarran Architecture LLC in recognition of a new partner, longtime associate Edwin Albarran.  Based in Princeton for 20 years the firm now operates from Pennington NJ in a building it owns.

What began as a two-person practice, Saphire +Albarran is now a 14- person practice with a diversified clientele comprised mostly of healthcare and educational institutions.  This year, in what continues to be a slow construction market, the firm estimates the construction value of its committed projects to be $25-30 million.

Among the firm’s many clients are the Meridian Health System, St. Francis Medical Center, Penn Medicine, Rutgers University and Kean University. Projects currently on the boards include a new Emergency Department for the Southern Ocean Medical Center for Meridian Health; Enhancements to the Otolaryngology Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Renovations to Hardenbergh Residence Hall for Rutgers University and an addition to the Vaughn Eames Theatre at Kean University.

Silver is the watchword for Saphire + Albarran  this year as the firm awaits LEED Silver Certification for a new childcare facility it designed for the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune New Jersey-  a building recognized this year with an Innovative Sustainable Design Award from School Planning & Management magazine- and as it anticipates its quarter century mark.

Emerging Professional’s Companion

The Emerging Professional’s Companion (EPC) is a tool offered by NCARB to assist interns to earn IDP training unit outside of the office environment.  Interns complete learning activities for IDP training units.  This allows interns who may have lost their job to continue making progress towards licensure.  This is also useful for interns whose office may not work in a particular area, who may have difficulty getting training units in one of the categories.  Even for interns working in a firm able to offer them experience in all of the categories, using the EPC can help the intern to complete IDP in an accelerated time frame.   NCARB offers the EPC to give more flexibility to the IDP program.

To use the EPC, go to and follow the activities under the tabs for Design & Construction Documents, Construction Administration, Management, and Related Activities, which correspond to the IDP training categories.  After completing exercises, interns can then record the training units in the experience verification reporting system (EVR) in their NCARB record online, under the supplementary education tab.  Interns can earn a maximum of 225 training units, including both minimum (core) training units as well as supplementary education.

For more information on IDP, contact the New Jersey IDP Coordinator, Nicole DeCandia, at decandia‐[email protected]

President Obama, AIA?

President Obama, AIA?
By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIA NJ Regional Director ’11-‘13

As I was sitting down to write this article about the AIA Convention, in recovering New Orleans, I received an E-mail from AIANJ Past President Bruce Turner, AIA, who also serves as our current PA Committee Chair. Along with the message was the attachment of a you tube video of a recent event at the White House.   It was President Obama’s speech on the awarding of the Pritzker Prize in Architecture to Eduardo souto de Moura, the second Portuguese architect to win this great award in architecture.

In his wonderful remarks, the President stated: “There was a time when I thought I could be an architect, where I expected to be more creative than I turned out, so I had to go into politics instead.”  Taking the lead on this line, my thoughts are that the President could have had the letters AIA after his name, had he chosen to study architecture instead of the law and hence the title of this article.

He did tie in government and architecture, mentioning what the AIA has always stated, that the country’s third President, Thomas Jefferson had a passion for architecture long before it was recognized as a profession.  He spoke of Jefferson’s work on Monticello, his beautiful home, and of course the University of Virginia.  The President  went on to mentioned Chicago as not only his home town, but because it has left such a mark on the country with the great architects of Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van dur Rohe and the birth of the skyscraper.

Most importantly he defined architecture as follows: “It’s about creating buildings and spaces that inspire us, that help us do our jobs, that bring us together, and that become at their best, works of art that we can move through and live in.  And in the end, that’s whey architecture can be considered the most democratic of art forms.”

As our PA Chair, Bruce has sent out through social networking sites the President’s speech and each of you can do the same to your family and friends, and most importantly to your clients.  It does not matter where you are politically.  Think about the impact of the President’s positive words about our profession and how you too can use them in spreading the benefits of what we do for a living, to those you may come in contact with.  Follow Bruce’s lead!

Now for my convention’s remarks: Next year the AIA will hold our annual convention in Washington, DC and based on the President’s fondness for our profession, maybe the convention planners can secure him as the keynote speaker?  Washington’s close proximity to our region should allow many of you to start planning now to join AIANJ’s leadership at this annual gathering of America’s architects. The convention offers you the opportunity to pick up all of your required continuing education credits in the two full days of the event.  In addition, and as your Regional Director, I would welcome you to attend the business meetings, listen to candidates for national office and then caucus with your leadership to discuss where we should direct our votes.

The President in closing stated that architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.  In closing I would like to invite you to support your profession by planning to attend your convention next time and in a place that is close to our home and easy enough for all of us to get there.

[email protected]