Monthly Archives: June 2012

Design Conference 2012 – Save the Date

Save the Date
AIA-NJ Design Conference 2012

Design Day 2012

The Berkeley Hotel
Asbury Park, New Jersey

Three sessions, one tour, six credits
(pending approval)

Frank Grauman, FAIA

                   Senior Partner, Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson, Philadelphia, PA

William Loose, AIA

Partner, Bohlin, Cywinski & Jackson, Philadelphia, PA

Charles Renfro, AIA

Partner, Diller Scofido & Renfro, New York, NY


Stephen Kieran, FAIA

Senior Partner, KieranTimberlake Architects, Philadelphia, PA

Program updates can be found soon on the AIA NJ website at

2012 Design Submission Requirements are posted online at


August 29, 2012      Deadline to submit Design Awards entry form and fee.
September 11, 2012   Submit project boards to the Berkeley Hotel, Asbury Park, NJ
between 10 am and 4:30 pm
September 12, 2012   Design Awards Jury convenes

September 13, 2012   Exhibition of design submission boards & announcement of
Design Award winners at 5:45 PM
January 5, 2013       Presentation of the Design Awards at the Awards Dinner

AIA New Jersey Board of Trustees Meets During East Coast Green

The AIA New Jersey Board of Trustees worked late in to the night on June 13th at its regularly scheduled meeting which was held at the Warner Student Life Building at Brookdale Community College, the site for East Coast Green. In addition to general AIANJ business the Board discussed the SDA, ASID and other closely allied professional organizations. We also discussed the 2012 AIANJ Calendar of Events, which includes: the IRC Seminar, East Coast Green, Design Day, The League of Municipalities, and the Business and Ethics of Architecture. Reports of recent activities were provided by Committee Chairs from L&GA, AIA National Small Firms, APAC, Public Awareness, Membership Committee, RAD, and others. All AIA New Jersey Sections were dutifully represented.

Laurence E. Parisi, AIA
2012 President, AIA New Jersey


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

Recently, Joseph Simonetta, CAE, our Executive Director, credited me with securing in his words, “A HUGE VICTORY”!  Joe was speaking of the complaint that I had filed against a company and its principal some twenty-one (21) months ago, for practicing OUR profession without the benefit of having a license to do so.  The State Board of Architects had found both guilty of just that.

Unfortunately there are many others out there who think that they can practice OUR profession without the education, internship and rigorous examination that we have completed and that enables us to call ourselves ARCHITECTS!  May be the Board’s action will finally stop illegal practice of OUR profession?  However, herein lies the BUT I have put in the title of this article, so please read on my colleagues and please let me know what you think?

Over the years, I have asked many of you to file complaints when you believe that there is a violation of the practice of OUR profession.  Unfortunately, few of you have.  May be you just can’t be bothered, or think it takes to much effort? May be you believe that there might be some retribution?  May be you are just not sure there even is a violation?  Well, all you have to do is find the complaint form on line, spend ten (10) minutes filling it out and send it to the NJ State Board of Architects.  I would strongly recommend that this and any correspondence with the Board be completed via certified mail, return receipt requested.  I do not think that is too stressful, and would urge everyone of you to do this.  Once received, it their obligation to investigate the merits of the complaint.  In short, they take it from there.

Those of you  who take the time to read the AIANJ E-newsletter, know  and  may remember that I mentioned that the State Board of Architects Acting Executive Director apparently took what I believed was an inordinate amount of time in addressing this complaint for reasons still unknown as I write this latest article.  I pressed on.   I even went above his head to the Director of Consumer Affairs at the time, but to no avail.

About six (6) months in, the State Board of Architects finally mounted an investigation that took on some sort of elaborate sting operation. My guess was that they wanted to be absolutely sure that they had the evidence they needed to find at the time the “potential violator” guilty of what I believed was his illegal practice of OUR profession. Well, the sting apparently worked and they had him, but again for some unknown reason not the architect who had helped him in his sham, by signing and sealing his drawings!

A consent decree was offered to the culprit, but he wanted his day in front of the Board.  He was given the opportunity and I was contacted to testify as the complainant by Meaghan Goulding, Esq. (DAG) prosecuting the case.  More months passed and finally I was subpoenaed (as if they had to guarantee my attendance) to testify on April 12, 2012.  I reserved the day blocking out the time on my calendar.   At the eleventh hour, DAG Goulding called me and told me that the unlicensed individual had requested more time to prepare his case.  To say the least, I was not happy about the delay, but I had no right to protest, past voicing my concerns to Ms. Goulding, which you can be sure I did.

In agreement with me, a new date of May 10th was set for my testimony and again I was subpoenaed!  Late on May 9th she called me again to tell me that my testimony would not be required as they were working on a settlement. “A settlement, I asked?”  How often does one (1) get another swing after a strike out?  The answer is, never, apparently and unless you are called in front of the State Board of Architects!

When I asked to know what this settlement was, I was told that I had to wait until it was made public!  Not satisfied with that answer, I called the Board’s DAG Michele Albertson, Esq. I have always had found her to be open to discuss the situation of illegal practice of OUR profession.  Michele called me back at the end of the next day to tell me what had transpired.  By the time you read this article, it will be part of the public record.

The fine for practicing without a license is $10,000.  The investigation for this particular case was $7,000.  The State Board of Architects reduced the fine to $5,000; further forgiving $4,000, so that the fine was $1,000!  To add insult to injury, the violator will be allowed to pay the fine off in several monthly payments.  The DAG stated that he cannot use the word DESIGN in the advertisement of his business and will be on probation for the next four (4) years meaning that any violation during this period would be considered a 2nd violation.  I have no doubt that this will occur, but I have doubts that he will ever be caught.

As to the title of this article “A HUGE VICTORY……………BUT”,  I have been told that my hard work in bringing this complaint forward to the State Board of Architects and in turn despite the long time period it took, finding this individual guilty as explained, is a HUGE VICTORY!

Somehow I do not feel too victorious and either should any of you!  The true victor here is the violator and by all accounts it is a HUGE VICTORY for him!  He gets away with a minimum fine and probation period that is unenforceable. The NJ consumer and tax payer is left unprotected from the illegal practice of architecture and at the same time is out some $16,000.  On top of all of this and in my opinion, worse yet, we still do not have the architect who helped him defraud the clients they worked for, not to mention those of us who practice OUR profession legally!

[email protected]

Professional Practice Notes: Can the IgCC make Buildings Greener?

By Karen Blose, Esq.

Thomas Friedman, noted author, Pulitzer prize winner and NY Times columnist has said that when the government sets a deadline, like a level of renewable energy produced by 2025, the U.S. rises to the challenge with innovation; however until required, as a nation we resist having to change.  Perhaps recognizing that sociological phenomenon is one of the motivators leading to the creation of the International Green Construction Code (“IgCC”).  The IgCC which was issued in March 2012, was developed over the past several years by the International Code Council in a consensus driven process with a consortium of leading organizations throughout the design and construction industries, including the AIA, ASTM International, ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society and of course, the U.S. Green Building Council.

As part of AIA’s 2030 Commitment to facilitating carbon neutrality, the  AIA had significant participation in the process. The new code was  profiled in the March 2012 edition of AIA Architect and at this year’s national convention on May 17, 2012 AIA issued its new “Guide to the IgCC “ [downloadable for all AIA members ].

According to the International Code Council website, the new code’s regulatory framework applies to both new and existing buildings, establishing minimum “green” requirements while offering a customizable baseline that can be modified by enacting jurisdictions to adapt to local environmental conditions, construction practices and other community- based interests. Many have described the IgCC as “an overlay to the existing set of International Codes,” because it includes provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code and ICC-700, the National Green Building Standard, and incorporates ASHRAE Standard 189.1  which is offered as an alternate path to achieving IgCC code compliance. In its new guide, the AIA describes the IgCC noting:

“The new code is intended to provide “minimum requirements to safeguard the environment, ‘public health, safety and general welfare’ and reduce the negative impacts and increase positive impacts of the built environment on the natural environment and building occupants. As such, it covers natural resources, material water and energy conservation, operations and maintenance for new and existing buildings, building sites, building materials, and building components (including equipment and systems).”

Once adopted, the IgCC applies to new construction, existing building restoration and renovation, commercial and residential buildings over 3 stories. Topics addressed in the IgCC include:

  • Site development and land use [erosion control, transportation, heat island mitigation, graywater systems, habitat protection, and site restoration];
  • Material resource conservation and efficiency [50% of construction waste to be diverted from landfills, and at least 55% of building materials to be salvaged, recycled-content, recyclable,  or indigenous];
  • Energy conservation and earth atmospheric quality [judged by performance, buildings are to use not more than 51% of the energy allowed under the 2000 International Energy Code;  minimum mechanical system requirements, submetering, renewable energy systems and lighting];
  • Water conservation and efficiency [maximum flow rates for fixtures, limits for appliances, rainwater storage and graywater systems];
  • Indoor environmental quality and comfort [no smoking in buildings, radon, VOCs sound transmission, daylighting];
  • Commissioning, operation, and maintenance [pre and post occupancy commissioning, and training for operations].

Like the LEED certification process, the IgCC takes the lofty goal of improving the environmental performance of buildings through “sustainable” design and construction concepts and makes them project requirements. The LEED process essentially offers an aspirational performance measurement tool for owners, designers and constructors to identify and implement more “sustainable” processes, materials and technologies during design, construction, operations and maintenance. Because of the commercial success linked with LEED, as well as its philosophical and environmentally acceptable attributes, LEED has enhanced the level of industry awareness, product development and participation in more sustainable construction—but on a voluntary basis.

On the other hand,  code enforcement presents a different approach to improving the environmental performance of buildings because once adopted,  code requirements are mandatory, and compliance is essential to obtain use and occupancy rights. The IgCC provides another set of requirements for architects and engineers to understand and adhere to, in addition to the requirements of the applicable Building Code. And like other enacted building codes, failure to adhere to those requirements will subject the design industry to the same risk and potential liability as other instances of code non-compliance, namely negligence and in many jurisdictions, “negligence per se” .

Many of the IgCC requirements will not be new to actively practitioners since the LEED certification processes have already made these concepts familiar ground. Risk managers and professional liability insurers will start stepping up the education and training offerings as the IgCC becomes law in more locations because of concern that even in jurisdictions where the IgCC is not officially adopted, professional practices will adapt their delivery processes to comply with the IgCC, which may spread into the general practice of architecture or engineering on some level and affect what becomes the applicable standard of care.

“This will be the first time code officials, owners and designers will have an integrated regulatory framework to put into practice that meets the goal of greening the construction and design of new and existing buildings,” according to Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland. “Only a code that is useable, enforceable and adoptable will have the capability of impacting our built environment in dramatic ways.”

The process of adopting the IgCC has had a slow start, and few States have enacted the IgCC on a mandatory basis. While Maryland, Rhode Island and Oregon  each have enacted some level of adherence to the IgCC to achieve compliance or “equivalence” with their laws on “green public” facilities, only Maryland has required the IgCC to apply to all commercial buildings and residential buildings with more than 3 stories. [The IgCC website provides those places with the IgCC in force].

Many notable design practice commentators are just beginning to read the IgCC and ponder how it will interact or potentially supplant LEED processes. While LEED enhanced the environmental awareness in an industry that is one of the largest contributors of various types of pollution, by applying to all mainstream construction, adoption of the IgCC will raise that floor. How high that floor rises will depend on the willingness in the current political climate to adopt new codes, but the IgCC is here and should be on the radar screen for those active in the design and construction industries.

Author: Karen Blose, past in-house counsel and commercial director at several national design practices is now providing consulting and in-house counsel on-call services through AEdvise LLC. She can be reached at: [email protected]

A future continuing education program for the AIA NJ is currently under development by AEdvise to provide more substance in terms of the technical areas and risk management issues that occur by adoption of the IgCC on a mandatory basis. Watch upcoming issues of this newsletter for further information.

AIA Newark & Suburban Professional Practice Committee Chair:  

Ronald C. Weston, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, / / Email: [email protected]



What is it when we talk about design; I mean what the hell does it mean when we say Design Matters? This is a broad term; it can mean anything from the design of a textile pattern to the Piazza San Marco. Design is in everything we see, use, taste, feel and smell. When architects talk about design I believe they relate to not only the aesthetic qualities of a structure or space but additionally, if not more importantly, the quality of the function of the use it serves. There is absolute beauty in a clean construction detail that works. This may be becoming a lost art if we don’t stop cutting and pasting details. I remember someone saying, “God is in the Detail” I do believe that to be true! And why is it that computer software writers consider themselves architects, are they kidding me? How has the term architect become such a widely used adjective for most anything related to an invention or inventor? Was Edison the architect for the light bulb? No way!

Are we all functioning on the realm of the “less is more” or “less is a bore” influences in design? Is it more important to “make no little plans? Do we think on a grand scale or have we succumbed to the restrains of building codes and ridiculous zoning ordinances? In my opinion architects should be writing the codes and be the professionals defining land use for zoning. We must be more involved with authoring these standards as we are the creators of the built environment. At the very least we should attend and participate in the ICC hearings on code development. In 2013 they will be held in Atlantic City, look up the scheduling and the details and make a point to attend and contribute. Why do architects leave these things to engineers? So they can tell us what height a riser should be. We are architects, we design buildings where people live, work, play and pray and we should be writing the code based on a legacy of architectural design throughout the millennia.

Are you a good architect if you are considered a good designer? Not if all your buildings fall down. Do you design for the sake of whimsical shapes and make them out of stainless steel? This made someone very rich and famous. Are my opinions of aesthetic qualities better than yours? I don’t think so, but this is what makes the world go around.

My design opinions are that of an architect, trained, educated as an architect, experienced for years in the workforce under the guidance of an architect to finally be eligible to sit and take one of the most grueling professional exams to be licensed as an architect. This is what makes my opinion and your opinion on design valid in society. This is what makes design matter. We didn’t just decide to call ourselves architects we earned the title. Be proud of who you are and know that you earned and deserve the highest respect in the construction industry. We think differently than engineers, contractors and interior designers. Do interior designers have more of a flare for design? I believe interior designers have a vital place in the overall embellishment of architectural designs. From the creation of man, there has been a need for secure shelter and Architectural Design does Matter. This is our profession, let’s keep it strong and let’s keep it ours.

Go Green – East Coast Green




JUNE 13 AND JUNE 14, 2012



THIS FABULOUS EVENT is set for a Pre-conference Workshop on June 13, 2012. Starting at 8:00 AM with Registration and Networking Breakfast the day is packed with seminars and  AIA HSW/SD &GBCI Credits.

The Second day again is chocked full of learning credits. Visit the AIA-NJ.ORG/ECG web page for registration and further details.

Sustainability is one of AIA’s top priorities and climate change is everyone’s concern, crossing state and regional boundaries. This conference will continue the discussion of meeting the goals of the Architecture 2030 Challenge. We are making progress, but there is still a long way to go. Codes, Case Studies, and Tectonics are among the topics to be covered. Earn up to 13 hours of AIA and GBCI continuing education credits over the two-day event!   Keynote Speaker – Mitchell Joachim, PhD, Assoc. AIA

This is our profession, let’s keep it strong and let’s keep it ours.

Keep Preservation Programs in the Transportation Bill

AIACongress is currently debating legislation to reform federal transportation laws, and unless they hear from us, there is a chance that historic preservation programs will be eliminated.

Some members of Congress have proposed eliminating the Transportation Enhancement program, which enables states and communities to use a small portion of their federal transportation dollars on projects such as the preservation of historic transportation facilities, rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, and the preservation of abandoned railway corridors for use as pedestrian or bicycle trails.

Eliminating the Transportation Enhancement program will not save a dime of taxpayer money, as the funds will be shifted to roadbuilding or other purposes, but it would end a successful program that saves historic spaces, enhances communities, and creates jobs.

The AIA is working with a broad coalition to maintain Congressional support for these programs. Please act now to tell Congress not to eliminate these programs. For more information on Transportation Enhancement programs, click here.
Click Here to Contact Your Member of Congress NOW


Paul Mendelsohn, Assoc. AIA
Vice President, Government and Community Relations

Mitchell Joachim To Speak At East Coast Green

Leader in Ecological Design Featured at AIA-NJ Event

Mitchell Joachim, Assoc. AIA, a notable leader in ecological design, architecture and urbanism, will be the keynote speaker at its third annual East Coast Green Conference 2012, to be held at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J., on June 14.

Joachim is most known for his work on the Smart Cities Car, an environmentally friendly car designed for urban living, which he helped design while at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass. That project was recognized as Time Magazine’s Best Invention of 2007. He’s also well known for his Fab Tree Hab project, which presents a sophisticated methodology to grow homes from living native trees. This project has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

East Coast Green, which will be held for the second consecutive year at Brookdale Community College, is titled: “Re: Thinking Green.” The conference will take a look at the future of sustainability and the environment in the architecture and construction industries.

“We’re thrilled to have Mitchell Joachim as our keynote speaker for this year’s East Coast Green,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ. “Mitchell is one of the brightest minds in the area of ecological design, architecture and urban design spaces. Those attending his remarks at East Coast Green are in for a real treat.”

Joachim is the founding co-president of Terreform ONE, a non-profit design group that promotes green design in cities; and a partner at Planetary ONE, a unique cross-disciplinary partnership of designers and scientists collaborating to pioneer visionary socio-ecological and infrastructural strategies for urban environments. Terreform and Planetary ONE are based in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is also an associate professor at New York University in New York City and the European Graduate School in Switzerland.

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

In his remarks, Joachim will discuss architectural design groups that integrate ecological principles into the urban environment.

“We presume ecological design is not only a philosophy that inspires visions of sustainability and social justice but also a focused scientific endeavor,” said Joachim. “Our mission is to ascertain the consequences of fitting a project within our natural world setting.”

Solutions include green master planning; urban self-sufficiency infrastructures; community development activities; bio-design; performative material technologies, which challenge the way the built environment is designed; and smart mobility vehicles for cities.

Previously Joachim held the Frank Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architecture Design at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada, and was a faculty member at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Columbia University in New York City; Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.; Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.; and Parsons The New School For Design in New York City. He was formerly an architect at Gehry Partners, a full service architectural firm in Los Angeles, Calif., and the New York City-based architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed.

Joachim was awarded a senior fellowship in 2011 for TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading,” as well as fellowships for Moshe Safdie and Associates and Martin Society for Sustainability at the MIT. He also won the Zumtobel Group Award for sustainability and humanity in the built environment and the History Channel and Infiniti Design Excellence Award for City of the Future.

He was chosen by Wired magazine for “The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To.” Rolling Stone magazine honored Joachim in “The 100 People Who Are Changing America.” In 2009 he was interviewed on the Colbert Report and in 2012 his work was featured in Popular Science magazine as a visionary for “The Future of the Environment.”
East Coast Green will be held 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.

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.

To register, visit, click “register today” and follow instructions. 

2012 IRC Code Seminar

Many New Jersey architects joined speaker Jack Boekhout for a refresher course on the 2009 International Residential Code on May 30th and 31st.

2012 AIA-NJ IRC Code Seminar

AIA-NJ Scholarship Foundation Annual Scholarship

AIAThe New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) Scholarship Foundation has announced that it is seeking applicants for its 2012 scholarship grants, which reward the achievements of students at New Jersey architectural schools.

“We are thrilled that AIA will again celebrate achievements of architecture students in New Jersey,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ.   “These students are the future of architecture, and the grants will aid, and also reward, their talents and passion for the field.”

Eligibility is based on scholastic achievement and financial need as well as architectural talent.   Every year, the AIA-NJ Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees decides how much each recipient receives, with the awards ranging from $2,000 to $5000.

The deadline for submissions, including transcripts and all materials, is Friday, June 16.   The downloadable PDF application and further details are available at