Monthly Archives: August 2011

AIA-NJ Post-Irene Relief Efforts

Michael Hanrahan, AIA - 2011 President

Post Irene Message from AIA-NJ President Michael Hanrahan, AIA:

“Over the past few weeks, New Jersey has been affected by several unprecedented events, ranging from the earthquake to the devastating Hurricane Irene. We sincerely hope everyone is safe and recovering. To that end, if your business has been affected, AIA NJ would like to know. Please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help and be a resource for you during these difficult times.”

If your office is in need or if you have office space / supplies you can offer a fellow AIA architect effected – please go to the AIA-NJ LinkedIn discussion to post needs/offers.  Click Here to go to LinkedIn discussion board.Or contact Laura Slomka at AIA-NJ (609-393-5690)


AIA-WJ Trip to 2011 Solar Decathlon

AIA West Jersey is running a bus trip to the Solar Decathlon in the west potomac section of the national mall in Washington DC on October 1st.
In addition to seeing the cutting edge sustainable designs by future architects, AIA members get 8 HSW continuing education units for the day.

Seats are still available –  all AIA members and friends are welcome.
Interested contact Jim DelGrosso at:     [email protected]

AIA-WJ 2011 Trip to Solar Decathlon

AIA Disaster Resource Website Launched

AIAWith Hurricane Irene pounding much of the Atlantic coastline, millions are moving out of harms way. In response to the massive storm, the AIA has prepared a special web page as a disaster assistance resource that will be updated with the latest news and information as Irene moves up the Eastern seaboard.

Read more and keep updated at:

Ways to Prepare for Earthquakes

After this weeks’ earthquake that shook New Jersey this article has very good information for all AIA members. Thanks to Charles Spitz, AIA, NCARB, CSI, PP, for passing along for all to read:

National Institute of Building Sciences

Institute Offers Ways to Prepare for Earthquakes  

Yesterday’s earthquake, which was felt all along the East Coast, has many people who never before experienced an earthquake wondering what to do when an earthquake occurs and how to prepare for the next one. The National Institute of Building Sciences, whose Building Seismic Safety Council develops the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP)Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), offers these suggestions:
During an earthquake, evacuating the building is not necessarily the best option. Falling debris outside is more likely to cause injury. Instead, “Stop Drop and Hold.” Stay inside. Move away from windows that could shatter and heavy furniture, such as bookcases, that could fall over. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture, such as a desk or table, that will protect against falling debris and hold on until the trembling ceases. If already outside, stay clear of buildings, trees, telephone poles or overhead structures, such as overpasses, that could potentially collapse. Instead stand in an open area.
“Many people thought first about a terrorist event during the first few seconds of yesterday’s earthquake and instinctively evacuated their buildings,” said Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, President of the National Institute of Building Sciences. “This put them at risk from falling hazards, especially since many stood on the sidewalks just outside. When evacuating, people need to stand clear of buildings and other potential falling objects.”
Once the earthquake is over, upon arriving at home:
  • Take a look at the house or apartment building. Look for cracks in the foundation, walls, chimneys and fireplaces. Look at porches and balconies to see if they have become detached from the main structure. If problems exist, contact a licensed professional.
  • Smell for potential gas leaks. If detected, leave the premises immediately and call the gas company.
  • Look for any signs of water leaks near pipes and plumbing fixtures. If found, turn off the water until the problem is corrected.
  • Photograph any damage and contact your insurance company before cleaning up but be aware that homeowners’ insurance may not cover earthquake-caused damage.
  • Be sure to address any damage before using fireplaces, gas appliances and plumbing.
“Although single family homes tend to perform relatively well in a moderate earthquake, masonry walls and chimneys and piping can suffer damage and cause serious problems if not repaired properly,” said Green. “If left unresolved, these problems may cause major complications later, such as carbon dioxide poisoning from cracked chimneys, explosions from gas leaks or mold from water infiltration. Keep in mind that outdoor propane tanks also can topple over and rupture.”
Check for damage that could breach the building at corners or intersections of a wall and roof area. It may not be an imminent structural threat, but people should be looking at their buildings to assess if movements may have damaged these areas to allow leaks and long-term moisture-related damage to occur. Brick veneers may not have peeled off, but moved enough to allow water leaks around windows or doors.
Once immediate risks have been addressed, and especially with the threat of Hurricane Irene on the way, it is important to prepare for a future event:
  • Establish a family emergency plan so people know where to go and who to contact in case of an event.
  • Prepare a disaster kit with necessary supplies.
  • For older homes, consider retrofitting unreinforced brick walls and chimneys. Hurricane winds can cause damage similar to that of an earthquake.
  • Fix any cracks in foundations and walls where hurricane winds can cause water to seep in.
“With the earthquake fresh on everyone’s minds and newscasters reporting on the threat of Hurricane Irene hitting the East Coast later this week, now is a good time to prepare home and family for a potential disaster,” said Jim. W. Sealy, FAIA, NCARB, HFES, Hon. ICC, Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors. “Natural disasters can strike at any time. The National Institute of Building Sciences works with both the public and private sectors to continually improve the resiliency of our nation’s buildings and communities.”
FEMA has a number of resources to help prepare for earthquakes:
The Earthquake Safety Guide for Homeowners (FEMA Report 530) briefly describes the most common weaknesses in houses exploited by earthquake ground shaking and what a homeowner can do about them.
The Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake-Resistant Design and Construction (FEMA Report 232)explains earthquake-resistant building code requirements designed to protect life by preventing collapse. It also includes a series of “above-code recommendations” and low-cost measures that can improve the performance of a house and help keep it functional after an earthquake.
“What to Do During an Earthquake” This page on the FEMA website is an easy primer for what to do when the earth starts to tremble.
“What to Do Before an Earthquake” This FEMA web page addresses emergency communication plans, disaster supply kits and steps to take around the house to prepare for an earthquake.
To learn more about the National Institute of Building Sciences and its Building Seismic Safety Council, visit

National AIA Position Statement Review Comment Period

AIAThe AIA issues Public Policies and Position Statements as statements of belief to policy-makers, the public, and the construction industry on issues of public policy affecting the membership, the profession of architecture, and The American Institute of Architects. When passed passed by the AIA National Board, these position statements require compliance by all components and member activities when they are acting in an official AIA capacity.

Each Position Statement carries a three-year sunset date. The AIA Board of Directors (Board) is now in the process of conducting a comprehensive sunset review of current Position Statements as mandated under section 9.336 of the Rules of the Board.

Twenty-four (24) Position Statements now at the end of the current three year cycle have been identified for further review.

The 2011 comment period is open from August 15th – October 15th. Comments may be submitted to the AIA through the following link:

Let Your Voice be Heard–Comment Now on AIA National Position Statements

Thank you for your time and attention on this matter. Your thoughts and comments on assisting in the development of the AIA Position Statements is a valuable and important aspect of shaping AIA policy to best represent the interests of the AIA and its members. If you have any questions please contact Angie Taylor, Director, State Relations, Government and Community Relations,  at  [email protected].

If you would like to see all of the AIA Public Policies and Position Statements, they may be viewed on the AIA website at:

Security by Design; An Architect’s View on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

AIA President, Clark Manus, FAIA issued the following Op-Ed article discussing the inter-relatedness of security and design. This is a particularly relevant discussion as the 10-year milestone of the tragic events of 9/11 approaches. And, while we have learned much in the intervening years, as Mr. Manus points out:

“Security became a design issue for architecture and architects when the first humans moved out of caves. It’s no less a concern in an age of international terrorism.” And, that “to be alive is to be at risk; to live freely carries the greatest risk of all. Our role as architects is to secure the open space in which a democratic people can continue to risk without fear the bold adventure that is democracy, and to live the values of openness and freedom of movement that have made our nation great.”

As always, we urge our members to share their personal opinion on this matter, or to share Clark’s letter with others. In either way we help to inform the public with a knowledge of architects and architecture.

Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design

A certificate program in Sustainable Design is offered by NJIT.
Open to all, this is good prep for the LEED Green Associate or AP test.


AIA Fall Conference Scholarship

The AIA awards scholarships to attend the knowledge communities fall conferences, to applicants who can cover the event through electronic media. All EP’s, Associates and YAF are encouraged to apply. The deadline is Aug 15. Please forward to EP’s in your section and I hope that you also consider applying. Application documents are available a the following link.

Hearings on Energy Master Plan

Legislature sets hearing on Energy Master Plan
reprint from

By Bill Mooney | August 10th, 2011 – 12:44pm

TRENTON – The Legislature is offering the public another opportunity to weigh in on the governor’s proposed Energy Master Plan.

The Assembly and Senate environment committees will meet together at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at the town hall in Toms River to take testimony on the plan.

The administration had scheduled three hearings already, with two having been held and a third scheduled for Thursday at Richard Stockton College in Pomona.

When Gov. Chris Christie unveiled his plan earlier this year, it drew criticism from environmentalists who decried the reduced goal for renewables from 30 to 22.5 percent as well as the plan’s affirmation of nuclear power.

However, it drew praise from business sectors that championed its goals as realistic and supported its programs as job-creators, including expansion of a natural-gas pipeline system.

AIA New Jersey Involvement

Representatives from AIA-NJ has been at all of the public hearing to date, and will be attending this week at Stockton.

Canstruction 2011 – Looking for Teams

A reminder for those who would like to contribute to the competition!

Call for Entries!
For further details, click here.

Added incentives:
– Goya has been generous enough to offer donating ALL cans to one team! If interested, send Call for Entries form and entry fee check, as well as schematic sketch and/or description of your sculpture to the Canstruction Committee Chair by August 30. The recipient will be chosen shortly thereafter.
– Goya will also allow teams to buy cans at discounted price. Again, if interested or for further information, contact the Canstruction Committee Chair.

Sponsorship Initiative
If you’re interested in sponsorship of the event, click here for to view the Sponsorship Initiative information. All cans and monies contributed will ultimately go to the Community Food Bank of NJ to help feed the homeless.
Your generous contributions are greatly appreciated not only from AIA Newark & Suburban, but from the Community at large who needs your help!