Monthly Archives: September 2011

AIA New Jersey Elects the Slate of Officers for 2012

AIAAIA New Jersey held its Board of Trustees meeting on September 21st at Bally’s Hotel and Casino to kick off the tri-States Conference. At this meeting AIA New Jersey voted in the slate of Officers for the 2012 calendar year.

Laurence E Parisi AIA will be President, Jack Purvis AIA will be President Elect, Kimberly Bunn AIA will be 1st Vice President, and Kurt M Kalafsky AIA will serve as 2nd Vice President. The office of Secretary is currently vacant. Per the AIA New Jersey by-laws, the incoming President, Laurence Parisi AIA, will appoint a Secretary at the beginning of his term. Justin A Mihalik AIA will be completing the 3rd year of his term as Treasurer. Michael J Hanrahan AIA will be serving as Immediate Past President. Jerome Eben AIA will be serving the 2nd year of his term as Regional Director and Clair Wholean AIA will be serving the 2nd year of her term as Regional Associate Director.

We commend all of these individuals for their commitment to the betterment of our profession as a whole. AIA New Jersey would also like to thank all of the Committee Chairs and their members for their time and energy that make this organization run so smoothly.

Architectural Intern or Architectural Designer: What’s the Difference?

By David Del Vecchio, AIA, Chair, AIA/NJ Legislative & Government Affairs Committee

A recent discussion on LinkedIn asked whether anyone claiming twelve years of experience working in the field of architecture can call themselves “architectural designer”. I gave this subject much thought, and while I sympathize with graduates pursuing their licenses (or not, for whatever reason) I had this to say.

The suggestion that an unlicensed person with twelve years (or any amount of years) of experience should be allowed to call themselves an “architectural designer” is clearly counter to current AIA Public Policy which reserves the use of the term “architect” or its derivative forms to those who are licensed as architects, and provides a limited exception for interns with an accredited degree in architecture. The policy on the “Use of the Title Architect and its Derivatives” says,

The AIA supports protecting the public by reserving the use of the term “architect” and its derivative forms to those individuals licensed as architects. In addition, the AIA supports the use of “architectural intern” or “intern architect” for graduates of NAAB-accredited degree programs.

Further it is contrary to most, if not all, state statutes that prohibit the use of the title or even the words “architect, architectural, or architecture” in describing one’s qualifications or title. While the guidelines are very specific as to which terms are permissible, some confusion may arise when NCARB tells interns that,

“A person currently employed under the responsible control of an architect and who maintains in good standing a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Record may use the title “intern architect” or “architectural intern” in conjunction with his/her current employment, but may not engage in the practice of architecture except to the extent that such practice is excepted from the requirement of registration.”

Some believe that this should then allow them to also call themselves “architectural designer”. But the difference between the terms “architectural intern” and “architectural designer” is significant, the former implying that an individual has obtained the necessary educational requirements for licensure (an NAAB-accredited degree) and it actively enrolled in an acceptable internship program (NCARB’s IDP program); the latter does not necessarily imply either.

NCARB fails to explain to those enrolling in the IDP program that state regulations may prohibit the use of terms beyond what the NCARB and NAAB guidelines suggest may be appropriate. It is up to each intern to check their local laws for themselves before they use any term that may mislead a member of the public to believe they are qualified to take responsibilities beyond their licensure status.

In some states, like New Jersey, every regulated professional has an obligation to report suspected violations of the law, including the use of restricted titles. Members of the AIA New Jersey Legislative and Government Affairs Committee recently wrote an article educating our members about that responsibility, and about how to recognize, document, and report instances of illegal practice.

Most state regulatory boards rely on the licensed professionals to police themselves. They will not actively seek out instances of unlicensed practice. Whether this is due to insufficient resources, a lack of any budget to perform what most architects may think is exactly what the board was created to do (using a portion of their biennial licensing fees), or a lack of the proper language in the enabling legislation, is not certain to this author. So without an active and concerted effort by every architect to control our own profession, we often become our own worst enemy.

It seems most interns don’t truly appreciate what is at stake or even what it means to be a regulated professional. It’s not about what you “get”, it’s about what responsibility the law allows you to take on in order to safeguard the public.

The endless conversation in which we all engage about the use of restricted titles by those not entitled by law to use them does serious damage to our long range efforts to curtail illegal and unlicensed practice by interior designers, home inspectors, and other registered professionals practicing outside their expertise, as well as home contractors providing construction documents, energy auditors who suggest improvements rather than merely quantifying an existing condition, LEEDap’s without a license stepping all over an architect’s responsible control of a project …well, you get my drift. The list is endless.

How can we advocate for tighter restrictions on what we define as the practice of architecture if we allow unlicensed graduates of architecture programs to use the term “architect” prematurely? It becomes impossible to make a reasoned argument that our title affords any level of protection to the public users of the buildings we design. Until you pass the A.R.E. or otherwise obtain a license, your credentials simply do not meet the minimum threshold established by law necessary to call yourself an architect.

By the way, the “right to practice” is really the “right to be held accountable to the public for protecting their health, safety and welfare”, or in other words “the right to be sued for screwing up”. It is not a license to print money, that’s for sure.

[Space here does not permit me to touch on the whole subject of “software architects”, but I will say that the arguments I’ve heard are specious at best. Creators of computer software are not involved in the design of buildings, any more than the Lawn Doctor is performing open heart surgery. Maybe that could be the topic for another article in the future.]

Allowing the use of the term architect in any form by someone who has not yet obtained a license makes it increasingly difficult to expand the purview of the profession in states that don’t require a licensed professional to design many buildings, based on their use or size. At a time when home design and the renovation of commercial buildings, for example, become increasingly more complex, as technology advances, and as security and energy concerns move to the top of the public conscience, a diminution of the criteria for allowing the design of any building results in the public being afforded less protection than when buildings were built more simply, when energy was cheap, back in a time before building codes were first adopted on a state-wide basis during the second or third quarter of the last century.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could argue that a single family home is less “architecture” than is a Wal-Mart or a McDonalds. Yet most homes in this country are built without the direct involvement of a licensed architect, merely because some regulation was passed decades ago, clearly without the public’s true interest in mind.

Those seeking licensure should be shouting to change those laws in their state, if they really believe that the license they seek means anything beyond being able to use the term “architect” in their title. Everyone who lives, works, plays or prays in any building should be afforded the same level of protection from incompetent design and illegal practice.

This is not an exclusive club to which we architects belong. It’s not like the old days when you had to be born to the correct family, have a ton of money, gone to the “right” school or have gained entry into the right circle of high society in order to successfully practice architecture. Anybody who works hard to get the correct five-year degree, then undergoes the proper internship for at least three years, and then successfully passes the right examination will have the right to practice architecture by sending in their application and fees to their state registration board.

AIA New Jersey Guidebook Published

AIA New Jersey is proud to announce the publishing of the AIA-NJ 150 Best Buildings and Places as a book.  During the celebrations of AIA’s 150th Anniversary, AIA New Jersey members nominated buildings, places, and structures from around the state to make the official top 150 listing.  That list, released in 2007, has now been put into book form, with pictures and descriptions of each location.

A special pre-order discount is being offered to AIA-NJ members.  Order your book today, see discount coupon at the end of this article.

AIA-NJ Guidebook

Here is the release information from our friends at Rutgers University Press:

The AIA New Jersey Guidebook reveals the state’s rich architectural legacy and the eclectic mix of periods and styles that make it unique. Only in New Jersey can you find the cradle of America’s industrial revolution, stately Victorian inns, and distinctive “Doo Wop style” motels.

The 150 structures depicted in the AIA New Jersey Guidebook include both justly renowned buildings and hidden architectural gems. The book’s authors— expert architects and building historians— give equal attention to the works of such modern masters as Louis Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright and to the ballparks and diners that give the Garden State its local flavor. Stunning color photographs capture the beauty of New Jersey’s architectural heritage. Thorough descriptions of each building explain its historical significance and architectural features in clear, direct language.

Compact and organized by region, the AIA New Jersey Guidebook is a wonderful traveling companion for road trips across the state or sightseeing day trips. Start your tour of the Garden State today!

PHILIP S. KENNEDY-GRANT, FAIA, is the principal of Kennedy-Grant in Bernardsville, New Jersey, and has served as the editor of Architecture NJ. He received degrees from the U.S. Military Academy and the University of Notre Dame.

MARK ALAN HEWITT, FAIA, is an architect, preservationist, and architectural historian. He received degrees from Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania.

MICHAEL J. MILLS, FAIA, is the principal of Mills + Schnoering Architects, LLC, in Princeton, New Jersey. He holds degrees from Princeton University and Columbia University and completed postgraduate work at ICCROM in Rome, Italy.

ALEXANDER M. NOBLE is a professional photographer. He has photographed and written a regular column for New Jersey Countryside Magazine.

224 pages • 156 color photographs, 7 illustrations,  1 map • 7 x 9
Paper $29.95 • 978-0-8135-5126-5

This title may be available as an eBook
Consult our website for a list of retailers

CLEANTECH NJ 2011: The Business of Clean Technology: Registration Discount

Members of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects are eligible to receive an exclusive discounted $35.00 rate for “CLEANTECH NJ 2011: The Business of Clean Technology,” a business and investor-focused conference/networking event on October 25 at the Woodbridge Hilton in Iselin, NJ. Enter code: AIANJ when registering at to receive 50%+ off the $75 fee, courtesy of Antenna Group.

The Keynote speaker for the event is Caren Franzini, CEO of New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority, and there will be two dynamic panels with a closing keynote from Mary Beth Brenner, assistant director of the Division of Economic Development and Energy Policy for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, who will discuss the state’s Energy Master Plan, the revision process, next steps for finalizing the plan and its working groups’ recommendations. The event is sponsored by Antenna Group, a nationally recognized strategic communications firm specializing in clean and renewable energies. Antenna is a subsidiary of Beckerman, one of the top 10 fastest-growing independent public relations agencies in the country, which also runs one of the nation’s largest real estate practices.

CLEANTECH NJ 2011 Conference Agenda Highlights

11:30-noon Registration
Noon – 12:15 p.m. Opening Remarks

12:15 – 1:30 p.m. LUNCH/KEYNOTE

1:30 – 1:45 p.m. BREAK

1:45 – 2:30 p.m. PANEL/New Jersey’s Dynamic Energy Future
New Jersey has established itself as a national solar leader, second only to California in installed solar capacity. This panel will examine how New Jersey can consolidate and build upon this momentum. The panel will look at the future of New Jersey’s renewable energy sector, and how it is likely to be affected by changes in market conditions, state and federal policy initiatives and financial incentives. Among questions that will be addressed are:

• What is the future of the Section 1603 Treasury Grant Program and other federal incentives?
• Program and other federal incentives?
• How will revisions to the state’s Energy Master Plan affect the solar industry?
• How has the solar industry affected job creation?
• How can the state attract more solar manufacturing? How can government facilitate the implementation of solar by streamlining codes and standards?
• How is the industry likely to be affected by new technological innovations?
• What will a mature solar industry look like?
• How can NJ evolve from a ‘solar state’ to a true clean tech R&D hub that rivals Northern California and Boston?

Tom Johnson
Co-Founder, Energy and Environment Writer, NJ SPOTLIGHT

Neil Cooper
Co-Founding and Co-Managing Partner, SORINROYERCOOPER LLC

Jamie Hahn
Managing Director, SOLIS PARTNERS

Richard FX Johnson
Chief Executive Officer, MATRIX DEVELOPMENT

Phil Stone
Sales Director, GeoGenix | SunPower

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. PANEL Q&A SESSION

Billions of dollars have flowed into renewable energy investments over the past decade. As the number of cleantech firms proliferates – from solar, to wind, to alternative fuels — more and more companies are entering the fray. This panel will examine the current state of various cleantech sectors, the promise of each and what investors find attractive about companies in the space. The panel will answer such questions as:
• What are the major sectors and trends within each?
• What new technologies are on the horizon and their chances for acceptance across the country?
• How are investors making investment decisions?

Caroline Venza
Senior Vice President and General Manager

(Panelists to be confirmed)

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. PANEL Q&A SESSION
4:45 – 5:15 p.m. CLOSING KEYNOTE
Mary Beth Brenner
Assistant Director of the Division of Economic Development and Energy Policy, N.J. BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES (BPU)


Tri-States: 3D Conference

AIATri-States in Atlantic City is in full swing.  The event, a first ever collarboration between AIA New Jersey, AIA New York, and AIA Pennsylvania started yesterday afternoon.

Mickey Jacob, FAIA, AIA Vice President, welcomed attendees to the three day event.  ” We elevate the way we promote architecture and design in our communities,” he told members.   First on the schedule was Richard Meier, FAIA, with a keynote address.   Meier inspired attendees with real-world examples of how architecture can overcome constraints.

Attendees then broke up into smaller continuing education courses.  These courses continued today, as well as an exhibition of vendors and sponsors.  Tonight will close with a Design Reception showcasing the Tri-State Design Competition entries from each of the three states and announcement of the Design Award Winners.

Tonights events, more classes tomorrow and a keynote address from Stanley Tigerman, FAIA, tomorrow afternoon are still to come.   There is still time to be a part!


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

During the last quarter of the year the six (6) Sections of AIANJ as well as the Chapter itself start to think about formulating their budgets for the coming year.  It is that reason why I am writing this article, for this issue. I would like to request of all of you to consider putting some money into your budgets to send as many of your current and MORE IMPORTANTLY future leaders to the AIA’s Annual Grassroots Leadership Conference, which is scheduled for 2012 in early March.

I attended my first conference in 1989 or 1990 (it was so long ago I can’t actually remember) and it was there that I sharpened my leadership skills and built upon the foundation I had learned while with the Hillside (NJ) Jaycees.  In the years that followed and because I was either funded by my local section or the Chapter, I had the opportunity to continue to attend this annual event, and in the ensuing years I do not think I have missed one or two of these meetings.

Never have I been disappointed with the investment of time and the opportunity to learn so much about AIA.  I have brought back many ideas and shared them at both the Section and Chapter levels.  I truly believe that the successes I have obtained in various leadership positions in service to OUR organization have benefitted and are a great help to me now that I am the Regional Director and have a voice on YOUR National Board!

LEADERSHIP is so important for any group, but especially OURS.  At Grassroots you will find numerous workshops that will teach you the skills to bring back and help you run you’re Section or if you choose in the future OUR Chapter.  There are group meetings where you can learn from other components from around the country and opportunities galore to pick up ideas for projects that will help you and all of us reach out to the NJ public to help educate them as to what it is that we do for a living.   Inspiring speakers always are stars of these few days together with your peers and the information that they provide can be the spark you need to have that GREAT year to follow.

Paul Welch, Hon. AIA who stepped in and served the Institute for about 10 months as our interim CEO/VP said, “True leaders always strive to do the right thing. They create an atmosphere of respect and empowerment. They are courageous and encouraging when all seems lost.”  I believe that Grassroots offers an opportunity for my colleagues who have never served in AIA leadership positions to come to Washington this coming March and to learn to do extraordinary and inspirational things for their local Section and Chapter.

Therefore I call upon all Section Treasurers and Budget Committees to look hard at your finances and find a little bit more money to send not only your President and President-elect to this conference, but other officers and even a trustee or two.  I would like AIA New Jersey to have the largest contingent of members at this leadership event.  More importantly, I know that the opportunity to learn will in the end be a benefit not only to the individuals you choose to send, but to the entire membership with what they will bring back.

Take it from a Grassroots Veteran (I believe I hold the record for the most attendance at this event) that by attending you can gain strengths and have a renewed sense of optimism for YOUR AIA and above all YOUR profession!

Thank you,
[email protected]

LEED AP+ Enrollment

Verity Frizzell, AIA, LEED AP – 2011 AIA-NJ COTE Chair

Many AIA NJ members took advantage of the LEED Study Groups offered by AIA NJ the past couple of years, and successfully became LEED Accredited Professionals. For those of you who became LEED APs before the exam format changed in June 2009, you have been given the option of enrolling in the LEED AP with specialty designation. There are two options for enrolling. Along with agreeing to the Credential Maintenance Program and Disciplinary Policy, Option 1 includes taking an exam, Option 2 involves Prescriptive Credential Maintenance. The window for enrolling will be closing soon, and may have already closed for some. (To find out what is your particular deadline, go to on the MyCredentials tab. It will show you on that page by when you must enroll.) But what does all this mean? Do you have to do this? What happens if you don’t? I will attempt to make sense of it all…

Enrollment in the LEED AP + specialty program is entirely optional. You can choose to stay exactly as you are – a LEED AP. You will never lose this credential, and must do nothing to maintain it. Even if you opt in, you will always have this designation, as well as any additional specialty designations.

For the purposes of this discussion, I will assume that most AIA members who already are a LEED AP would rather enroll without taking another test; therefore I will talk about Option 2. If you decide to enroll, you must complete 30 CE hours of Prescriptive Credential Maintenance (PCM) in the first reporting period. Your first reporting period will commence on the day you enroll in the specialty credential and end two years minus one day from that date. (There is no provision for reporting courses completed prior to your enrollment date.)  PCM is very specific, and requires you to complete a certain number of hours in each LEED category. The number of hours varies depending on whether you choose the BD+C, ID+C, or O+M specialty. That information can be found on the website in the Credential Maintenance Program Guide Appendix E. After the first reporting period, there is a $50 fee every 2 years, and you must complete 30 CE hours every two years in any category. Also, GBCI credits are self-reported, so you must get some kind of transcript or certificate for your records for reporting purposes.

There is a financial advantage to enrolling under the prescriptive path (Option 2) in that there is no fee for the first reporting period. Option 1 requires testing, which can be expensive: $100 application fee, $150 test fee for USGBC members, $250 test fee for non USGBC members. CE hours can be expensive as well, but that would be an equal expense for both options. If you decide to enroll after the enrollment window closes, your only option is to take both parts of the exam, which will double your expenses (and the risk of not passing the exam).
So why enroll? You will differentiate yourself from your peers by demonstrating expertise in a particular field. Credential maintenance keeps you up-to-date with the rapidly changing green market. If your practice involves LEED projects, enrollment is a no-brainer. If not, you should weigh the financial and time considerations of having to complete an additional 15 CE hours every year. It should be noted that not all AIA courses are approved for GBCI hours. By the way, if you decide to enroll and fail to complete the CE hours, you will lose the specialty designation, but not the LEED AP without specialty credential.

You can also enroll in Option 2 under your original exam, and add specialty designations in other categories by testing and maintaining each credential (30 CE hours for the primary specialty and 6 additional hours for each additional specialty every 2 years). There are other options for multiple specialties, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Please refer to the Credential Maintenance Program Guide on the website for more information.

Should you have any further questions regarding this, or any other subject related to sustainability or sustainable design, please feel free to contact the AIA New Jersey Committee on the Environment (COTE) at: [email protected]

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

By Clark Manus, FAIA

We’re rapidly closing in on the 10th anniversary of one of the most terrible days in our nation’s history. The attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon erased what turned out to be a false sense of security.

We woke up on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, believing that the vast oceans that separated us from much of the rest of the world would keep us safe. When we went to bed that night, even those who were able to sleep felt a new chilling sense of vulnerability.

Ten years later, a reflexive hunkered-down mentality persists.

Consider the drawn-out controversy over the design of the lead tower of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. The tallest building in the United States, standing at a symbolic height of 1,776 feet,will rise from a bombproof base that critics have compared to a concrete bunker.

In Washington, D.C., the National Park Service is considering ways to secure the Washington Monument from attack. In one proposal, visitors would gain access through an underground door and atrium. Across Constitution Avenue and opposite the White House, President’s Park South was the subject of a National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) design competition earlier this summer. Over the past decade, this area has been littered with Jersey barriers and makeshift fencing. To put it generously, the place looks like an abandoned construction site.

The impulse to spruce up the park is commendable. Yet why was design thinking an afterthought? The message is clear: Security and design operate at cross purposes. The architect’s role has been relegated to masking the more unpleasant aspects of contemporary life.

Of course, protecting those who use the buildings and the spaces we design has to be a priority. But what’s new about that? 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.

Yes, the stakes are higher and the damage that can be inflicted by a single determined terrorist is frightening. Yet a free society that values access and openness must not be frightened into a defensive posture that subverts the most precious values of our democracy. It’s incumbent upon us as a nation—and those of us specifically entrusted with the public health, safety, and welfare—to factor in the most advanced thinking about security before disaster, in whatever form, occurs. Design is more than skin-deep; it’s about preventing harm, not coming in afterwards to tidy up the debris.

This past April, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) rolled out new Design Excellence Guiding Principles. With assistance and input from the American Institute of Architects, OBO is adopting Design Excellence as both a tool and a solution for advancing a new generation of secure, high-performance, and sustainable facilities that support the conduct of American diplomacy—and, not so incidentally, convey American values.

The action taken by OBO underscores the fact that security and design excellence are not separate matters to be reconciled. Security is the nexus of a broad spectrum of design decisions, ranging from how a structure performs under stress to the way it uses energy. It’s what we do.

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.

Clark Manus, FAIA, is President of the American Institute of Architects. This piece is adapted from Mr. Manus’ “Perspective” column in the August Issue of Architect magazine.