Monthly Archives: March 2014

Senate to Review of 179D Legislation

red_eagleA Message From AIA Government and Community Relations


We are hearing that the Senate Finance Committee is planning to debate legislation next week to extend tax incentives that have expired – and that the 179D energy efficient commercial building tax deduction won’t be on the list unless they hear from the public.

The 179D deduction allows building owners to claim a tax deduction of $1.80 per sq. ft. of building area to install systems that reduce the total energy and power costs by 50 percent or more. Architects across the country have used it to make commercial, high-rise multifamily residential, health care, institutional, public, and educational facilities more efficient, and it’s helped finance projects when other funding sources dried up.

Unfortunately, 179D expired at the end of 2013. The Finance Committee has told us that they will reinstate only those incentives that have broad support.  That’s why we need you to get the word out and show the Senate that 179D needs to be extended.

We need you to do the following things:
1.    Send an action alert from the AIA’s advocacy center.
2.    If your Senator is on the Finance Committee, contact their staff person ASAP to let them know that the 179D deduction is an important tool for energy efficiency. (See theSenator and staff list, as well as talking points below)
3.    Spread the word to your networks, and urge AIA members to contact their Senators.  The link above can be shared with other AIA members.

We have a good shot at getting 179D reinstated this year – but if we don’t let the Committee know we support it, it will be left out of the bill.

If you have questions, please contact Christina Finkenhofer at [email protected].

Thank you again for your help!


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


Sustainable Developments Seminar

WIA New JerseyWomen In Architecture NJ
Featuring Robin L. Murray FAIA

Our next WIA NJ meeting hosted by Modernfold will be held on April 16th with the opportunity to speak with Robin L. Murray, FAIA.  Robin was elevated to fellow by the AIA for her national impacts in sustainability and smart growth, making her one of 400 women of 3000 fellows out of 80,000 members world-wide.   This is a great opportunity to meet and be inspired by a great leader in our industry. Please see below for Robin’s full bio.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 16th @ 6:00 PM (Light refreshments will be served).

WHERE: Modernfold/Styles, Inc. 802 King Avenue, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Contact # 858.665.1488

RSVP: [email protected]   by Friday, April 11th

TOPIC: Eco-districts – 1 CEU

Eco-districts are comprehensive sustainable developments. They are the current form of communities that have been in existence for several decades. Initially called eco-villages in European countries the developments have incorporated both expanded sustainable policy and technology. They propose and often achieve full net zero water, energy and waste while providing mixed use, mixed income, multi modal developments. This talk will discuss Dockside Green, Victoria, BC, one of the most successful eco-district developments along with the Eco-district movement in Portland and how these are replicable in NJ.


Continue reading

President’s Message – One Voice

Kurt Kalafsky, AIA

Kurt Kalafsky, AIA

The American Institute of Architects was founded in New York City in 1857 by a group of 13 architects to “promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “elevate the standing of the profession.”

The AIA and AIA New Jersey uses the collective power of our membership to speak as our one voice to the public and private decision makers in our home state and country.

Here at home we continue to push forward on the ” Good Samaritan” bill that would help to limit the liability for our brothers and sisters who want to help their communities by donation of their skills, experience and knowledge in times of disaster as we saw after hurricane Sandy.

We also continue to push to get licensure comity with Canada to help our firms that have opportunities across our northern boarders but are unable to pursue them in this ever shrinking global business climate.

This week as Architects from all over the country converge on Washington DC for our annual Grassroots Conference, we will be meeting with our legislators to advocate for march larger issues that affect us. The theme is “Let’s get America Building” and the major topics will be helping small businesses, repairing and strengthening our existing buildings, revitalizing our  communities, reforming our government and protecting the next generation of Architects.

We are exploring new way to heighten resiliency awareness in design and planning by participating in the Regional Resilience Coalition, helping the state write new guidelines for raising historic structures and supporting NJIT’s new Resilient Design Center.

On behalf of AIA New Jersey, I would like to thank all of our volunteer leaders and the staff at PSI for continuing to push for ward in advancing the awareness of Architecture at the state and local levels.

It is an honor to serve as your President and want to thank you for giving me the privilege of representing our state chapter composed of a talented and diverse group of professionals. We really do have the opportunity to shape the future of our state through the quality of our work.

NJIT Design Showcase 2014

Design Showcase 2014

You are invited to the annual celebration of design excellence produced by students and alumni of the College of njit_coadArchitecture and Design at NJIT

DATE:  Thursday April 10, 2014

Join alumni and former teachers…
View outstanding student designs…
Earn CEU credits…
and Support new programs at NJIT…

Attend the eighth annual Design Showcase 2014

In 2013, more than 200 practicing architects from the NJ/NY area attended our annual design showcase.  These alumni of the College of Architecture and Design (CoAD) at NJIT – from large and small firms, as well as from government agencies, builders, developers and real estate managers – joined our 1000 current students and more than 100 industry suppliers and friends of the school.   Come join us for the 2014 event.

For More information or to Register:


4:30 pm   Registration

5:00 pm  CEU Lecture:  Craig Dykers

6:00 pm  Reception

NJIT Architecture Students go to India

image005In January of 2014, AIA New Jersey (AIA-NJ) helped sponsor a delegation of four undergraduate NJIT architecture students, accompanied by School Director, Darius Sollohub AIA, on a one-week trip to India. Working in partnership with India-based Abellon Clean Energy and their non-profit arm Poornakumbha, the team undertook design reconnaissance for a project at Abellon’s agriculture research station in Modasa. Upon return, the students served as ambassadors to guide the entire third year undergraduate class at NJIT (over 100 students) in the design of a state-of-the-art school at Modasa.
While in India, the team immersed themselves in Indian technology, architecture, spicy food and culture. At Abellon’s genomics lab and agricultural research station, they learned about Abellon’s development of bamboo as a sustainable fuel and building material. Students also visited Ahmedabad’s world famous architectural landmarks, including the Indian Institute of Management by Louis Kahn, Le Corbusier’s Millowner’s Building and Balkrishna Doshi’s Center for Environmental Planning and Technology. Students also made an overnight excursion to Udaipur in the neighboring state of Rajasthan. Known as the lake city, Udaipur is the site of some of the finest examples of Mughal-era architecture in India. Interspersing a very full trip, and guided by Abellon staff, the team took in many aspects of vibrant Indian culture and experienced Indian culture, including participation in Ahmedabad’s spectacular Kite Festival.
The third year studio held their final review of the school at Modasa project on March 3rd. The review was attended by AIA-NJ First Vice President, Justin Mihalik AIA. “It was great to be invited back to my alma matter as a critic for a wonderful project that will benefit the India community of Modasa”, Mihalik said. Yogesh Mistry AIA, a Past President of AIA Newark & Suburban Architects also took part in the final critique. NJIT will publish the best sixteen projects in a final report due later this year.
In addition to AIA-NJ, the Society of Indo-American Engineers and Architects (SIAEA), NJIT, Abellon Clean Energy and private donations funded the trip. This was the second year of what NJIT hopes to be an annual excursion.


Green Lane Building Designed by Gruskin Group Opens at Kean University


The Green Lane building at Kean University in Union, NJ, was designed by Gruskin Group.

The Green Lane building at Kean University in Union, NJ, was designed by Gruskin Group.

Kean University’s latest addition to its UnionNew Jersey, campus, a 102,275-square-foot, mixed-use academic building, opened to students for classes on January 21, 2014. Located at the intersection of Morris Avenueand Green Lane, the undulating glass, stone, and brick building now serves as a gateway icon, marking the west entrance to Kean’s campus. The Green Lane building, which has already won an AIA Newark and Suburban Architects Gold award, was designed by Gruskin Group™, a leading design firm based in SpringfieldNew Jersey.  

Kean University President Dawood Y. Farahi said, “Kean University is dedicated to the intellectual, cultural, and personal growth of its students, faculty, and professional staff alike. In particular, we are committed to preparing our students to think critically, creatively, and globally.  The new Green Lane building is another important step for Kean in providing world-class facilities and educational opportunities for its students.  Gruskin Group’s vision for the building’s design was a compelling one that reflected these values.”

The six-story building, which is designed to provide both a stimulating and metaphorical environment for learning, includes a Barnes & Noble college bookstore and cafe on the first floor (both scheduled to open later in 2014), classroom and administration space on floors two through five, and a conference center and rooftop terrace on the sixth floor with views of New York City.  The building will serve as the home for Kean’s new Robert Busch School of Design, as well as the University’s expanding business programs. 

“Our goal was to mark the campus entry with a bold architectural statement and announce to visitors and the general public that they are about to experience something special upon entering the campus,” explained Kenneth A. Gruskin AIA, principal and founder of Gruskin Group. Continue reading

Membership Renewal time…only two weeks left!

AIA-NJby Justin A. Mihalik, AIA, Membership Chair 2014

Why renew your membership? I felt that this was an appropriate time to give my most important reason why I renewed my membership for my 14th year..I love being an architect and I love this profession and AIA is the only organization that is promoting the issues for the built environment on my behalf, not only at Capitol Hill, but right here in Trenton!  I consider the price of my membership as my insurance policy toward the protection of the profession that I make my living by.  This year more than 20 members from AIANJ will be heading to Washington for the annual AIA Grassroots Conference on your behalf to share best practices, learn about what other components are doing to keep their members engaged, and to hear what the Institute has in store with the Repositioning.  This also includes a very important trip to Capitol Hill on Thursday, March 20th to lobby on important issues that include tax reform, energy retrofits, small business procurement and student loan relief, you can view them by clicking the link here,

Over the next two weeks, AIANJ leadership from the six local sections will be hitting the phones hard and reaching out to those members that have not renewed their memberships and telling them why they have once again renewed their memberships.  March 31st is the deadline for renewal in order to avoid a lapse in membership.  We realize that many of our members are still dealing with the effects of this recession and AIA has options so that you can keep your membership in good standing.  Those options are the following: to enroll in the Dues Installment Plan or to request a waiver due to a financial hardship. In order to request a waiver, please contact Kelly Biddle with Membership Services at AIANJ at 609-393-5690, and she will be happy to assist you with the process.  For those members that have reached the age of 70, you may qualify for Emeritus status, which is free.  Please contact Kelly Biddle to find out if you qualify.



New Jersey FAIA Seminars on March 17 & 19

red_eagleAIA New Jersey Members;

This year, after two years without success, AIA New Jersey was successful in having two of its members elevated to Fellowship; John Hatch of Clarke Caton Hintz in Trenton and Gary Lapara of Michael Graves Architecture and Design in Princeton. We hope to continue this year to build on this success.

Last year I was able to hold a series of seminars to discuss the process of applying for Fellowship; it seems to have helped. As some of you know I had the opportunity to serve on the AIA Jury of Fellows from 2008 to 2010 and I became very familiar with the jury selection process and what the Jury of Fellows are looking for in their deliberations. I will lead each of the two seminars outlined below and answer questions regarding the process, the jury, and the submission itself.

This message is to encourage those of you who might be considering applying for Fellowship to attend. Even if you may not be thinking about it in the immediate future, it may be helpful to attend to understand what sort of information you should be collecting and organizing in the interim, so that when you do apply, it will be an easier process.

To begin this effort I will conduct two identical seminars at locations around the state; The dates and meeting places are shown below. The seminars will be to meet potential candidates, help explain the process, discuss approaches and strategize how to work with them as they complete their applications.

All individuals who are considering applying for Fellowship either now or in the future are urged to attend.

Please call or e-mail me if you plan on attending, so we can get some idea of how many people we will have to accommodate. Thanks.

Allan Kehrt FAIA

There will be two seminars as follows:

March 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm
New Jersey Institute of Technology
AIA Room, School of Architecture
Newark, New Jersey

March 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm
The offices of Clarke Caton Hintz
100 Barrack Street
Trenton, New Jersey

Allan Kehrt FAIA cell:    609-240-1364
E-mail:   [email protected]

HABS/HAER/HALS Summer Employment Opportunities for Students

npsAnnouncing Summer Employment Opportunities for Students

The Heritage Documentation Programs, NPS seeks applications from qualified students for 2014 summer employment documenting historic sites and structures of architectural, landscape and technological significance throughout the country. Duties involve on-site field work and preparation of measured and interpretive drawings, and written historical reports for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collections at the Prints and Photographs Division of The Library of Congress. Projects last 12 weeks, beginning in late May or early June.

View the job announcements and learn other important application details on our website at

Applications Due: 17 March 2014

Robert Arzola
HABS Architect and Holland Prize Coordinator Heritage Documentation Programs
HABS, National Park Service
Washington DC
——————————————-2014 Summer Hiring Poster

Regional Recovery Workshop – Second Workshop in Series

Regional Recovery Working Group Workshop flyerWhen:     8:30 AM – 4:00 PM MONDAY, MARCH 31

Where:   New York Institute of Technology – School of Architecture and Design, Old Westbury, New York.

Register to Attend:  Please Click here to RSVP

This day long workshop is geared for stakeholders across the four state region working in coastal communities at all scales of rebuilding and planning. The Working Group’s on going mission is to share experience and case studies of recovery efforts across the region, highlight good practices, notes changes to building codes along with updates to state and federal procedures, financing and opportunities. Attendees will gain real tools for rebuilding and insight into codes and regulations.

Regional Recovery Working Group Info