AIA-NJ HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE
NEWS AND UPDATES – HURRIPLAN TRAINING
by: Laurence E. Parisi, AIA – Regional Disaster Assistance Coordinator
Recent training sponsored by The New Jersey Society of Architects was held at the Holliday Inn, in East Windsor, NJ. This two day event brought a wealth of pre-hurricane strategic planning knowledge to a community of some 60 New Jersey architects all eager to grasp valuable insight into Hurriplan. This skillfully prepared program which had its origin at the University of Hawaii is funded by FEMA and was presented by three well versed and highly knowledgeable instructors who also happen to be practicing architects. This trio of Hurriplan instructors dedicate themselves to bringing this vital knowledge based program into fruition as it relates to climate change and the ever evolving threats to coastal communities. Whether you believe it or not climate change is here.
Admittedly, when I first heard the name “Hurriplan” I questioned its validity. After a few hours into the program I realized I was mistaken. I began to visualize that the premise and concept of this program was sound, formidable and very much in line with the objectives of AIANJ’s Homeland Security mission statement.
Our first day included training on the aspects of pre-hurricane planning with a full and detailed background on specific design criteria in order to mitigate the damage that is surly caused by Cat 4 hurricanes that have graced the coastal shores of New Jersey.
The second day led us to a design charrette for a safe house for the city of Cape May proposed on a school site within the proximity of the of hurricane alley.
Presentation drawings prepared by attending architects were posted and critiques were given by the instructors on the beneficial characteristics of each design parti. Overall the designs as submitted were excellent.
As emphasized by Don Watson, FAIA, Architects should be at the forefront as leaders of a community movement to provide protection in the way of advanced planning to mitigate damages and conserve property and preserve life and the built environment.
Don Watson, FAIA, unassuming and the lead instructor of the Hurriplan course is a former dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a present professor there as well. He is also a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He is a practicing architect who has dedicated his career toward the energetic resolve of what are the bases for and of disaster mitigation.
Dean Sokotomoto,FAIA, B. Arch. University of Oregon, M. Arch. Cranbrook Academy of Art and a graduate of Yale with a degree in Environmental Design. He is a Hurriplan instructor and also is a practicing architect with offices in Hawaii and Connecticut. A forerunner and co-creator of this Hurriplan program he is a vital force with this dynamic trio.
Illya Azaroff, AIA, Hurriplan instructor is an Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) where he is a recognized expert in disaster mitigation and resilient building strategies. He is also a practicing architect with offices in Brooklyn, NY. Illya is very active with AIA-NY and a friend and ally to AIA-NJ. He is a forerunner in the disaster assistance program in NY and also is the AIA-NY Regional Representative. His knowledge in hurricane planning is further qualified by his undergraduate studies in meteorology.
Overall, Hurriplan is a worthwhile program for the advancement of the architectural community. Taking advantage of this and other programs offered by AIA-NJ is more than advisable it is beneficial to the relevance of your architectural practice. Look for other learning programs offered by AIA-NJ that will be coming to your knowledge community soon.