Monthly Archives: April 2012

USGBC NJ Central Branch SALSA Night


MONDAY, JUNE 18th, 2012



5/1/2012 Update:  Member Early Bird Pricing extended to May 11, 2012

SO, YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE CODE?…… you had better darn well know it, for you are responsible for designing to it……

Laurence Parisi, AIA, President AIA-NJ 2012

The 2009 International Residential Code New Jersey Edition has been adopted by DCA Division of Codes and Standards. It is your responsibility as an architect to prepare your plans in compliance with the code. The 2009 IRC-NJ was adopted in the end of 2010, this code is considerably changed from the previously used code.

Our membership has asked for this seminar and AIA-NJ has responded. Kurt M. Kalafsky, AIA-NJ’s Vice President has chaired and organized this vital seminar. This program has been structured to enable architects to come up to speed with understanding the code and all of the adopted changes and best of all it will be taught by Jack Boekhout, retired Code Official who is an instructor for the Department of Community Affairs at Rutgers University….yes you will be given this seminar by the same person who instructs NJ Code Officials. Another bonus is that it will cost you less and you’ll get breakfast, lunch and 6 HSW LCU’s. It is also a great opportunity to network with your colleagues. How can you go wrong?

In order to accommodate every architect in the State, AIA-NJ is offering this seminar in two convenient locations and dates. The first seminar will be given on May 30 in Jamesburg, NJ at the Crown Plaza and again on May 31, 2012 at the Crown Plaza in Secaucus, NJ. Both locations are located just off the NJ Turnpike. Registration is now open, sign up to this highly sought after course. Member’s fee for the seminar is $125.00, non-member architects fee will be $175.00. Prices will increase on May 2, 2012 so take advantage now. We look forward to seeing your there. Come hungry for knowledge and leave nourished! This is our profession, let’s keep it strong and let’s keep it ours.

Register online today:


April 8-14 is a celebration week for the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association.  AIA New Jersey Architects are donating copies of their Guidebook-150 Best buildings and Places to their local libraries.

The recently published book was edited by award winning architect Philip S. Kennedy-Grant, FAIA, and has stunning photographs by Sandy Noble.

“Books in our public libraries tell stories,” stated Renee Riczker, Director of the West Orange Public Library.  “This book tells the story of a select amount of New Jersey architecture and contains a great diversity of contexts and intentions,” stated Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA who is in the second year of a three year term representing New Jersey’s Chapter and Region on the Institute’s National Board.

The book has buildings like Asbury Park’s Stone Pony, the unofficial performing home base of the “Boss” (Bruce Springsteen) and the whimsical Lucy, the Margate Elephant, which has graced the end of Atlantic City’s barrier island since 1881 and is on the National Register of historic Places.  West Orange Library patrons will be most familiar with the Pleasantdale Chateau, the Gatehouse at Llewellyn Park, which leads to the Glenmont, the home of Thomas Alva Edison.  On the previous page is a stupendance night time photograph of the Edison Factory and Museum that invokes a scene from a movie that of course would not have been possible if Mr. Edison did not invent the motion picture camera!

Two copies of the book have been made available by Mr. Eben who stated that “with the celebration of the 150th year of the township just a few short months away, West Orange has a rich history of other structures that do not appear in the book.” They include but are not limited too the St. Mark’s church which Richard Upjohn, FAIA, the founder of the American Institute of Architects worked on and Civil War era homes on Forest Hill Road and many other gems.”

While not listed in the book the West Orange Library itself was designed by William E. Lehman and Mr. Eben worked on the addition early in his career with the succeeding firm Lehman Architectural Partnership.

AIA South Jersey Membership Meeting


By Laurence E. Parisi, AIA

On Wednesday April 11, 2012 AIA-NJ inaugurated its first Diversity Day. Spearheaded by Diversity Day Chairperson, Yogesh Mistry, AIA, the event was well attended by students, professors, architects and special guests. Held at The New Jersey School of Architecture, NJIT, the program was ground breaking for AIA-NJ and the dialogue among students of architecture and the special invited guests was riveting.

Inclusion is the word, facilitating each and every one to stand up and be special. Especially stimulating was having Sherry D. Snipes, Director of Diversity and Inclusion from AIA National, Washington D.C. Additional guests included Ms. Carol Kurth, FAIA, who owns and operates a highly successful women’s architectural practice in Bedford, NY. Ms. Kurth is also instrumental in forming and supporting women in architecture in the Westchester area.

Other guests included William Brown III, AIA President of NOMA the National Organization of Minority Architects, Ravi Shenoy, PE Past President of the Society of Indo American Engineers & Architects, Manuel J. Pereiras, AIA Society of Cuban American Architects and Engineers, Vicky Tran, NJIT-AIAS President, Jane F. Gaertner, Associate Director of Career Development Services NJIT and Joyce Raspa, AIA, Esq. AIANJ Regional Diversity Chairperson. Also in attendance was Jerry Eben, AIA NJ Regional Director. We all had a great time and look forward to this event being held bi-annually. Be inspired, join us and show your true colors.


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

As many of you know and this especially goes for Michael Hanrahan, AIA, OUR immediate Past President who absolutely knows that over the last few (or more) years I have certainly talked and even written about getting older.   My four decades of continuing membership in OUR organization, is very special to me.  My so called badge of longevity is almost front and center of everything relating to my home section of Newark and Suburban Architects and more recently, OUR AIANJ Chapter/Region of the Institute. In fact in my position in representing you the member on the National Board of Directors, I think that I can safely state that I have the longest tenure of membership in our organization among the fifty plus members of OUR esteemed leadership.

While at my age and I must mention here that my good friend Joseph Flock, AIA, always reminds me “that age is only a state of mind.  If you don’t state it, I don’t mind!”  However, I was looking forward to becoming an Emeritus Member, and am a bit disappointed that I will just have to wait another……………never mind, I won’t state how many more years!

The proposed By-Law to be voted on at the AIA Convention, which you all should be attending, next month, since it is in Washington, DC,  has made some of OUR ‘older members’ young again!  Here is what is being proposed:

Under the current Bylaws, Architect members are eligible for Emeritus status if they have been members in good standing for 15 successive years and are at least 65 years old. Under the proposed amended Bylaws, the 15 years of continued membership applies, but members will have to be retired from practice and now have to wait until age 70!

Now you may ask why change the eligibility criteria, or to quote Al Pacino from Godfather 3, “just as I was ready to get out………….they pull me back in again!”  Well the answer to that question is three fold:
Continuity: with a longer life expectancy, so has the period of active professional life, so the change simply reflects that demographic.
Consistency: The change would align the Emeritus status with the requirements of many licensing boards with the emphasis on retirement from practice a key criterion.
Fairness: Those whose livelihoods are derived from active professional practice benefit from Institute programs and they should continue to contribute to our ability to provide those programs for as long as they benefit.

You should not worry if you are already an Emeritus member, but not 70 years old, because your Emeritus status remains.  What is most important to understand is that OUR strength is in OUR membership.  Critical to that strength is our ability to engage emerging professionals while retaining the experience of our prior generations.  If our membership retires and disengages, OUR position as an industry leader will certainly suffer.  We must afford all members a meaningful opportunity to remain engaged, and encourage them to do so, for as long as possible.

Lastly, a substantial portion of OUR membership is employed in varied alternative careers which do not fit into any workable definition of the “profession of architecture” we could ever realistically create. Therefore, in order to provide an objective benchmark that will apply to all members equally irrespective of their form of employment or practice; we must employ a measure that focuses on an objective principle that is common to all members.

Though I am sure Michael will try to remind me of my age, I will now just state that I am an older member who by virtue of the passing of this proposed Bylaw is young again! Please join me at OUR annual Convention and help me celebrate what Jerry Larson, Sr. AIA has always called me……”Jerry the younger!”

Thank you,

President’s Corner – April 2012


Dear Colleagues:
As practitioners of architecture we all believe we know a lot about business.  But unfortunately hanging your shingle does not make for an astute business person.  Most schools of architecture don’t offer business classes as part of their curriculum. If you were clever enough to have taken some business classes you’re ahead of the game.

I’ve met a lot of aspiring architects young and not so young who even though they are licensed and want to have a practice of their own, don’t really know when or how to take the leap of faith into the profession of architecture. Not knowing what to expect and how they will pay their bills or feed and support their family.  It is not uncommon that most small firms survive month by month, hand to mouth, living off savings and credit cards hoping for a commission or waiting for a client to send a check that is long overdue.  This is no picnic! Where can architects go for help to better understand and deal with this predicament?

AIA-NJ is busy planning an incredible seminar that will be given this fall on the Business and Ethics of Architecture, spearheaded by Larry Lam, AIA and Stephen R. Whitehorn, Managing Principal of the Whitehorn Financial Group, Inc. This will be a fascinating and highly informative seminar on understanding business and making a business of the practice of architecture. You will be given the tools and understanding of what where and how to deal with, accept or decline prospective clients. Understand what a business plan is and how to use it and so much more. We are coupling this with a session on the ethics of architecture given by Lawrence Powers attorney and partner of the firm Hoagland, Longo, Dunken, Dunst & Doukas. A precursor of this session was given at the AIA Leadership Conference last fall. It was attended by the Executive Committee, Section Presidents and the AIANJ Board of Trustees and it was absolutely exhilarating. We expect nothing less this fall. Place, time and dates will follow soon.

Most people (non-architects) who venture into business have a business plan and expect to make a profit. Something most architects know little about. We are in a service business and provide design documents that we create from our imagination.  We start off with a blank sheet and ultimately provide places to live, work, shop, eat, learn, worship be entertained or incarcerated. In other words we turn dreams into reality. This is a fascinating and highly honorable profession unlike any other.  That is why we are architects, not interior designers, although they understand the concept of business better that we do.

You see, I believe it all starts with a little kernel when we’re born. It is the “altruistic” gene that we as architects possess and it is the one common element that exists in most all architects.  This is the concept that with good design we can fix the world and make it right. Even as I write these words, I believe this to be true.  The desire to make the ultimate design that will unite all and bring peace to the world. So, let’s do this design even if we don’t get paid for it, right?  What is wrong with this depiction? Nothing, but you won’t last in business for very long and or will probably die alone and broke.

Young newly licensed architects are clamoring for a chance to illustrate to the world how fantastic a designer they are at any cost or even if there is no fee at all.  Just to get this one project under their belt. Does this really pay in the long run? I too was a young architect.

A few things and the final word that I feel are noteworthy: As a practicing architect licensed by the state, we have a responsibility to our clients to maintain high standard in design as well as knowledge of the building sciences, all the codes, ecology along with the responsibility for health, safety and welfare of the public. I believe that if you choose to go into your own practice you should have an office, home office, a trailer, boat, I don’t care where, only that you maintain it and are physically there providing services on a full time basis. I am not a believer in having a full time job and practicing on the “side”.  In my mind this is not a viable or responsible way to conduct business. How is it possible service your clients on a part time basis or for that fact be responsive to the firm or institute you work for. Certainly you are taking time from your employer to do you own work, whether it is fielding phone calls or posting to facebook, twitter or some other social network. You are stealing time and not being responsive to your client, your employer or your self esteem.

2013 Slate of Officers

The 2013 Slate of Officers still has an open position.  Anyone interested in being a part of the discussion of “Your AIA” please contact Nomination Chair, Michael Hanrahan AIA ( [email protected] ).

The nominations for the 2013 officers are:

Jack Purvis, AIA – President
Kurt Kalafsky, AIA – President Elect
Kimberly Bunn, AIA – First Vice President
Justin Mihalik, AIA – Second Vice President
Verity Frizell, AIA – Secretary (second year of a two year term)
OPEN  – Treasurer
Jerome Eben, AIA – Regional Director (third year of a three year term)
Laurence Parisi, AIA – Immediate Past President

East Coast Green Registration Now Open

Architecture Week Marks Opening of Registration for

Third Annual East Coast Green Conference

Tickets and Sponsorship Available for New Jersey’s Premier Green Conference

TRENTON, N.J. (DATE) — The Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), has announced that registration for its third annual East Coast Green Conference opened today in honor of Architecture Week, a weeklong celebration that increases public awareness of architecture.

This third annual conference, which will be held for the second consecutive year at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J., in June, is titled: “Re: Thinking Green,” and will take a look at the future of sustainability and the environment in the architecture and construction industries.

“We at AIA-NJ are pleased and proud to announce during Architecture Week the commencement for registration of the Third Annual East Coast Green Conference,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ. “Architects have a keen understanding of the built environment along with strong consideration and respect for a sustainable future of our ecology.”

Trenton-based AIA-NJ, which has about 2,000 members, is the state chapter of the national organization, which helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society.

East Coast Green will be held on June 14, in conjunction with AIA-NJ’s second “COTE Top 10 Awards,” which will recognize outstanding built work in the area of sustainable design.

The conference will be preceded on June 13 by a full day of workshops sponsored by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). A Green Building Expo featuring green building products and materials will also be held in conjunction with the conference.

This year’s educational tracks include “Re: Codify,” which will look at the different sustainability codes and policies facing the architecture and construction industries; “Re: Certify,” which will facilitate LEED professionals to maintain their credentials; and “Re: View,” which will provide case studies of successful sustainable applications.

“AIA-NJ is very excited to be hosting our third annual East Coast Green Conference,” said Parisi. “With the success of the past two events, we’re able to attract the industry’s top players for the workshops and lectures. This year’s event is expected to be the region’s biggest and best green conference.”

Over the two-day event, more than 20 courses will be offered, all of which are eligible for AIA and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) continuing education credits.

Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are also available. Sponsors will have the opportunity to increase their company’s visibility in the “greening” consumer markets, as well as to network with leaders and present their products and applications to an audience of early adopters and industry leaders.

For information on exhibiting or sponsorship, visit the ECG website or e-mail Jack Purvis at [email protected]

Architecture Week is held from April 8- 14, and this year’s theme is “Design Connects,” which encourages people to join the online conversation. The event is completely virtual and is using social networking platforms such as Pinterest and FourSquare to showcase good design and encourage those interested in architecture to share thoughts and engage with others. Click here for more information about Architecture Week and how to get involved.

Message from the President: AIA-NJ Diversity Day

An important message from Laurence E. Parisi, AIA President AIA NJ



Dear Colleagues:
This is the first time AIANJ, The New Jersey Society of Architects is hosting this fabulous event. We feel that this is long overdue and are hoping to host this annually. The planning has been in the works for almost a year.

The concept here is INCLUSION. Inclusion is something that we all need and have little understanding of unless you have been subject to non-inclusive situations or environment.

The welcoming of all races, creeds, gender, colors, ages, disabilities, sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds, into our world of design and architecture. This is a significant step forward in a business that originated mostly as a wealthy white man’s profession.

I would like to personally welcome all our AIA members, non-member architects, engineers, interior designers, contractors, venders, pretty much anyone related to the Construction Industry to come and join us for this inaugural event. Bring a coworker and introduce them to our diverse world.

The event is free of cost and you will receive 1 LCU. There will be a panel discussion with prominent figures in the world of minority spokespeople and light refreshments and libations will be served. I look forward to seeing you there. Attached is the announcement for this event with all the pertinent details. Kindly email [email protected] if you plan on attending. Come and show your true colors!

Diversity Strategies and Leveraging an Untapped Market

Please join us for an exciting panel discussion at Diversity Day on April 11th at NJIT.

Women & Minorities
This is a real important event for you to attend and voice your opinion. We need your participation to the future Diversity of our profession.

Women- Opportunity to meet Carol JW Kurth, FAIA a 2011 Diversity honoree and learn how she encouraged young women through her teaching, mentoring and practice. Also meet Nancy Goshow, AIA who chairs the Women in Architecture program in NYC.

Minorities- Opportunity to meet, network & join with local minority organizations. Learn how being part of their organization will support your career goals.

Principals- In order for our industry to grow we need to foster Diversity and Inclusion. Our demographics are quickly changing and without an effort towards diversity we will face a talent shortage. Come learn how others are embracing diversity for advancing business goals.

Invited Guests:

Joyce Raspa, AIA, Esq- AIA National Regional Diversity Chair
Carol J.W. Kurth, FAIA, LEED AP- Fostering Diversity through Teaching, Mentoring and Practice- 2011 AIA Diversity Honoree
William Brown III, AIA- (NOMA)National Organization of Minority Architects, President Ravi Shenoy, PE- (SIAEA) Society of Indo American Engineers & Architects, Past President
Nancy Goshow, AIA LEED AP BD +C- Chair of Women in Architecture, NYC
Manuel J. Pereiras- Society of Cuban American Architects and Engineers, Vice President Vicky Tran- NJIT- AIAS President
Jane Gaertner- NJIT- Career Services
Sherry Snipes, AIA- AIA National- Director Diversity and Inclusion

Who: Open to all AIA members, their employees & all Students


Where: New Jersey Institute of Technology, School of Architecture Building- Gallery Loft Space

When: April 11, 2012, 6:00pm Credits: (1) LU

Light refreshments will be served.

Please encourage your Human Resource personnel to attend. RSVP to Lori Lee at [email protected] if you will be joining us.