Monthly Archives: May 2012

Green Building Becoming The Norm

Reprinted from The Zweig Letter, Aril 30, 2012, Issue 957

Clients are now demanding features that make a statement and shave costs.

By Liisa Sullivan Correspondent

Editor’s note: Second of a two-part series marking Earth Day.

Large-scale collaboration is seen as key to the continued growth of the booming green-building movement – a future where sustainable buildings will be the norm.

In the first of this series, The Zweig Letter spoke with the Chair of the National Board of Directors of the U.S. Green Building Council, Elizabeth Heider, who is also senior vice president of Green Markets for Skanska (Solna, Sweden), a leading international construction company. She predicted a bright future for green building.

This week, Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEEDap, Director of Sustainable Design at Spiezle Architectural Group (Princeton, NJ), talks to TZL on the topic. He’s one of the original co-founders of USGBC-NJ’s chapter and the only nationally recognized LEED faculty in New Jersey.

The Zweig Letter: Tell me about a recent green building collabora- tion?

Jason Kliwinski: In 2008, Spiezle was engaged by TD Bank to review its leg- acy prototype with an eye to achieve LEED-basic certification. Restrictions on the project included not changing the aesthetics of its legacy image, reducing first costs 10 percent and main- taining its normal aggressive construction schedule of three to four months to build a retail branch. We led TD Bank through a three-month integrated de- sign process where we examined every current method of construction, building material selection and building systems. Using energy modeling to do real-time analysis of HVAC, lighting, and building envelope options allowed us to capture the synergies between these elements and to reduce first costs 10 percent while improving energy performance by 40 percent over its original proto- type design. The team met biweekly to review progress, vet decisions and define goals. During these meetings, exterior renderings of the building, energy models and materials were presented to TD for re- view and selection. In the end, not only did we achieve a 10 percent first cost reduction, maintain the schedule and image, but we also exceeded the LEED basic certification level requested and reached a LEED Gold certification. As part of this metamorphosis, TD Bank wanted to communicate its sustainability commitment to the public. So, we redesigned the conventional drive-through and entry canopy of the building to be a solar drive-through and entry, where the roof is comprised of solar panels, making them completely building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). The bank generates over 10 percent of its power from these BIPV systems. Three of these prototypes were built between 2008 and 2011. Since this success, TD Bank has taken our LEED prototype platform further, creating a new image and now designing and building to LEED Gold/Platinum levels across the East Coast. Our crowning achievement with TD Bank was the design of the first net-zero energy bank in Cypress Creek, Fla. The greatly reduced energy demand of the building allowed us to design a solar panel system capable of fitting on site to meet 100 percent of the building’s energy needs on an annual basis.

TZL: Is green becoming more of a design standard?

JK: Over the last five years, the skep- ticism and convincing needed around green building has morphed into a demand and requirement by clients of all types. The drivers, we believe, are threefold:

1) Climate change: The environmental aspect of climate change has now been widely accepted due to the science behind it and extreme record-breaking weather events.

2) Economic sense: Increased operating costs due to high utility rates, combined with lower construction costs due to more experienced manufacturing and construction force, have allowed LEED-certified Silver and even Gold buildings to be built today at the same or less cost as conventional buildings.

3) Human health: People are the most costly expense associated with a build- ing, and more importantly, we spend about 90 percent of our lifetime in buildings. The indoor environmental quality of buildings is, therefore, critical to our health and wellbeing. People’s sick days, salaries, and benefits are 10 to 100 times more costly than any upfront or long-term equipment costs. So, improving the performance of employees just one to two percent can have an ROI of up to $2.50 per square foot in an office setting.

TZL: what percentage of Spiezle’s projects are in the green-building niche?

JK: Nearly all of the firm’s major new buildings and renovation projects. The firm has over 17 LEED-registered projects in almost every version of the LEED-rating system. In addition to conventional buildings, the firm has developed a strong portfolio of less conventional green-building services into which most architects have not ventured, including carbon neutrality master planning and design, net-zero energy design, green building/LEED education, renewable/solar energy design, energy benchmarking/auditing, commissioning, energy modeling and LEED certification consulting. This has allowed the firm to provide turnkey, green-building design services to our clients, as well as consult to a number of design teams around the country.

TZL: What’s in store for the future?

JK: It’s heading to the norm. Codes and standards such as ASHRAE 189.1, International Green Construction Code, and California Title 24 have codified what was once a LEED-certified or Silver building. As states begin to adopt these codes, LEED Silver level buildings will become the norm. The U.S. Military, General Services Administration, and many state and local government entities have already mandated LEED Silver certified new construction or better in the absence of more stringent codes. It’s only a matter of time before more state codes incorporate and mandate LEED certification.

The cutting edge of green-building design will remain the elusive LEED Platinum level, as well as even higher aspirations, such as the Living Building Challenge and Regenerative Design. There is, for perhaps the first time in history, a larger guiding plan at work. Professional and government organizations have embraced the science and goals of the Architecture 2030 Challenge, striving to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030.  This non-profit organization, spearheaded by architect Ed Mazria, has set carbon reduction goals at 60 percent by 2010, 70 percent by 2015, 80 percent by 2020, 90 per- cent by 2025, and 100 percent by 2030.

Click Here to view The Zweig Letter article.

NJ Electric Code Update

AIAFrom the AIA-NJ Code Committee Chair:

On May 7, 2012, the New Jersey DCA adopted a new Electrical Code  –  The National Electrical Code, 2011 (NEC2011).   The six month grace period started on May 7th, and ends November 7, 2012.   Begin using the updated version of the electrical code on new projects before November.

Copies of the code can be obtained From: National Fire Protection Assoc [617] 770-3000.  The code can also be obtained from the ICC –

CANstruction – 14th Annual New Jersey Competition

14th annual New Jersey design/build competition

2012 – call for entries

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:      “Back to School!”

WHO – Teams of NJ Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Designers, and students attending Schools of Architec- ture, Engineering, and Design

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 – August 1: Deadline for entry
September 20:  Build Day
September 21:  Judging & Awards Gala

HOW – Complete entry form below. Entry fee $100.
Make check payable to:

“AIA Newark/Suburban Chapter”

Mail to:  Christy DiBartolo Gensler
10 North Park Place
Morristown, NJ 07960

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


2011 Entries

NK Architects
15 Minutes of Fame of Fight Hunger

Milrose Consultants
The “Can” Film Festival

USA Architects
Egg-Nite the Fight Against Hunger!


For further information, contact Christy DiBartolo at 973.290.8544

[email protected]

Sponsored by AIA New Jersey

AIA-NJ & ASID Networking and Art Lighting Seminar

Networking has so many important benefits for you and your business.


On Thursday, June 7th you will have the opportunity to meet the newest members of ASID NJ, the “Class of 2012” which includes both designers and Industry Partners.


We look forward to joining the NJ AIA members who are invited to join us once again to mingle.  It is a great time to work on your elevator speech!  Don’t forget to bring lots of business cards to hand out!  You never know where your next project will come from!




We will be treated to a yummy cocktail reception in a wonderful contemporary art gallery with lovely views and be wowed by our sponsor’s products related to lighting.  We will learn the latest information on how to light art and be treated to a rare NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH as well.  Maybe you will win one of the fabulous Give-A-Ways!


American Art for Design
Thursday, June 7, 2012
72 Miller Road 6:00-9:00 pm for All Attendees
Morristown, NJ


FREE VALET PARKING – The Gallery is in a residential location with very limited street parking.  We are encouraging you to carpool if possible.


Thanks to Michael Chutko from American Art for Design for hosting the space for our meeting, the refreshments at the Tea and arranging for Free Valet parking and seating.


Special thanks to Tripp Speight from Legrand USA who is sponsoring the food and beverage service at the Networking Event.


Matt Goren, IP Rep Hardware Designs, Fairfield
Dane Romann, IP Rep J & S Designer Flooring, Morristown
Tobi Indkye, IP Rep Periwinkle Skies, Morristown
Diana Rattazzi, IP Rep Benjamin Moore, Montvale



6:00-7:00 ASID NJ and AIA NJ Networking Social Cocktail Reception
7:00-7:15 Welcome/Announcements/Introduction of Class of 2012
7:15-7:25 Michael Chutko Director American Art for Design presentation “A REVIEW OF MODERN ART”
7:25-7:55 Tripp Speight LeGrand USA new product launch & presentation “SECRETS OF CORRECTLY LIGHTING ART”
8:00-9:00 More Mixing and Mingling Dessert/Coffee/Tea


Connect with some of the best!  Develop new friendships and relationships!



Don’t forget your “goodie bag” when you leave.  Have a great summer!



Click here to register


Since we are catering this event, please be considerate and register early.


RSVP BY JUNE 4, 2012  

AIA-NJ IRC Seminar – Last Call



Laurence Parisi, AIA, President AIA-NJ 2012

MAY 30, AND MAY 31, 2012



The 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 according to the code. The 2009 IRC-NJ was Adopted in the end of 2010, this code is considerably changed from the previously used code.

As a member benefit, AIA-NJ’s Kurt 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 get 6 HSW LCU’s. It is also a great opportunity to network with your colleagues and How can you go wrong?

In order to accommodate every architect in the State, AIA-NJ is offering this seminar in two locations and dates. The first seminar will be given on May 30 in Jamesburg, NJ at the Crowne Plaza and again on May 31, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza in Secaucus, NJ. Both locations are conveniently 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 $175.00, non- member architects fee will be $225.00. Take advantage now before all the seats are gone.  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 our’s.

Take Action and Get Involved

AIA Convention Speakers to AIA members – Take Action and Get Involved

Perhaps due to its location, the 2012 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition, held last week in Washington DC, seemed to particularly emphasize advocacy and the ability of architects to speak out on behalf of their profession.

Members of the AIA who attended convention this year heard a rallying call from some of our nation’s leaders for architects to engage our federal government and policymakers. In their keynote speeches and various briefings, they highlighted the value that architects add, particularly to discussions on those issues that are the most relevant to our industry. They made it clear that the people in positions of power need to hear from us on the issues that concern architects the most.

Now is the time to engage our leaders. Go to our action center by clicking below and send a message to Congress on one (or all) of these issues that are affecting architects today:

Sec. 433 of EISA- Federal 2030 targets: Tell Congress that weakening or eliminating 2030 targets will harm the federal government’s ability to design and build facilities that use less energy and protect the environment. For the AIA issue brief on 2030 for Federal Buildings click here.  Take action click here.

H.R. 1365- Capital Access for Main Street Act: Tell Congress to create stability in the economy and promote growth in the private sector by freeing up capital to finance worthy projects. For more information on AIA’s efforts to remove barriers to private lending click here.  Take action on the Capital Access for Main Street Act click here.

H.R. 3987- The Small Business Protection Act of 2012: Tell Congress to safeguard the interests of small businesses by ensuring that the SBA size standards reflect an industry’s unique demographics.  For more information on SBA size standards click here.  To take action on the Small Business Protection Act click here.

Student Loan Debt Relief for Architects: Tweet your Representatives and tell them to support student loan aid for architects who do pro bono and non-profit work.  For more information click here.  To see if your representative and senators are on twitter, click here.

It is no coincidence that some of the most powerful policymakers in Washington, DC called on architects to engage their leaders. It is a testament to the insight and knowledge that architects can provide to those crafting the laws that affect our industry and nation. Please take the time to voice your position today.



Paul Mendelsohn, Assoc. AIA

Vice President, Government and Community Relations

AIA Convention App and More

For those heading down to Washington DC later this week for the AIA 2012 National Convention there is an app available for your smart phones.  The updated convention schedule, plan your sessions, much more. Find out more or how to download online at

Also, if you are part of the twitterverse be part of the conversation and while at the convention remember to add the hashtag  #aia2012

For those of you who will be staying in New Jersey, you do not have to miss the convention completely, visit the Virtual Convention.  Find out more here.

Canstruction Announces Winners of 19th Annual International Competition

Portland, OR (May 7, 2012) – Canstruction, Inc announced the seven winners of who received top honors for the 19th Annual Canstruction International Design Competition.   Of the seven awards, local AIA New Jersey and AIA Newark & Suburban based NK Architects entry “15 Minutes of Fame to Fight Hunger” earned the Best Use of Labels and, for the third year in a row, the coveted Most Cans award.

Judges marveled at the careful shading, color, can placement and the massive scale of the structure with 17,411 cans of food.  An accurate self portrait of the iconic artist, Andy Warhol.  Molly Georgetta of the Portland Compound Gallery thought the Campbell’s soup cans lining the exterior were “very punny”.

To read the full press release announcement and about the other six winners go to the website.

See all the entries to the 2011 Canstruction event held at the Livingston Mall:

BIM 101: An Introduction to Building Information Modeling

Building Contractors Association of New Jersey will be hosting BIM 101: An Introduction to Building Information Modeling on June 27, 2012

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27, 2012 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Earn 8 GBCI CE Hours or 8 AIA Learning Units

Your Resource for Successful BIM Implementation

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is changing the way projects are constructed. Whether you are a prime contractor using BIM across an entire project or a subcontractor impacted by a specific BIM implementation, this emerging practice requires new mindsets and technological know-how in order to achieve significant improvements in efficiency and cost control.

AGC’s BIM Education Program—developed in conjunction with leading BIM practitioners, technology firms and educators—is designed to prepare construction professionals at all experience levels to successfully implement BIM on a construction project.

More information:


Young Architects at 2012 AIA National Convention

The AIA National Convention is a great place for architecture students, intern architects, and young architects to network with each other and learn from industry experts. Stop by the Emerging Professionals Lounge, sponsored byKaplan Architecture Education, at this year’s convention.

Candidates for National Office will also engage with emerging professionals at the Emerging Professionals Lounge on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 1:00pm. View National Candidates’ responses to questions from emerging professionals.


Convention Highlights for Young Architects:

View a list of Young Architect Events and Sessions >

Emerging Voices: Repositioning Architecture TweetUp & Chat >

Emerging Professionals Reception >