Author Archives: AIA New Jersey

NJ State Convention – 3 Weeks Away


AIANJ State Convention 

Register Now on the convention web page to not miss a single keynote or tour.

Friday October 23rd and Saturday October 24th.
Hanover Marriott

More information and online Registration:

A change is being made to the Friday night event –

The Friday night dinner has been changed to a Reception similar to year’s past.  For those who register for a full two day package or Friday only get the reception included.  If you would like to attend just the Reception with none of the other sessions or keynotes, it will cost $50.00 a la carte, and includes two drinks and hors d’oeuvres.   Announcement of Design Award winners will happen at reception.

If you have already registered for the dinner, you will be receiving an email soon with information about refunds.

This years Convention also hosting a Student Design Competition, entry deadline October 16th.  Find out more online.

Student Design Competition

Essex County’s Branch Brook Park holds a Cherry Blossom Festival every year. Design a stage pavilion to be used for festival activities such as jazz performances and theatre plays. Continue reading

CALL FOR SESSIONS – 2016 NJ History & Historic Preservation Conference

Help shape the 2016 Conference – Submit a Session Proposal!
Proposals are due by November 23, 2015
The NJ History & Historic Preservation Conference attracts a broad audience of professionals, historic site and museum managers, historic preservation commission members, and more. The conference planning committee seeks to balance its program by offering educational sessions that target the conference’s primary audiences.  Proposals that address topics of interest to more than one of the target audiences will be given preference by the selection committee.

for more Information:

NJ Canstruction Update

Two Canstruction events are happening in New Jersey this fall.  canstruction

AIA Newark & Suburban is hosting it’s annual Canstruction event to benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey at Livingston Mall starting this week.

Build day is Thursday, October 8th, and the structures will be on display until October 18th.    Stop by and see the creative build-outs the teams develop this year – Livingston Mall, Livingston NJ.

Find out more information – at

In South Jersey, the South Jersey Food Bank just finished it’s first annual Canstruction Event at Cherry Hill Mall.  Three teams put their imaginations and architectural skills to the test in the inaugural competition.  Participants included GREYHAWK, a construction management and consulting firm; Lammey & Giorgio, an architectural and planning firm, and Adams Rehmann & Heggan (ARH), a consulting design firm.

The judging panel included representatives from Lockheed Martin, Rowan University’s College of Engineering, Home Depot, and AIA New Jersey (AIA-NJ).  A number of awards were presented at an Awards Ceremony this past Sunday, October 4th.

Greyhawk Construction CAN-Dole

Greyhawk Construction CAN-Dole

Lammey & Giorgio

Lammey & Giorgio
“The Wave”

Adams Rehmann & Heggan CAN-Do

Adams Rehmann & Heggan
CAN-Do “Wit”

Both events are sanctioned by Canstruction®, a non-profit organization that has helped hunger-relief organizations like FBSJ raise 30 million pounds of food through its innovative twist on conducting food drives.

Gruskin Group Takes Honors at AIA Newark & Suburban Competition

Gruskin Group™ Designs SPEEDVEGAS


Gruskin Group Takes Honors at AIA Newark & Suburban Competition for Design of Las Vegas’ Premier Driving Experience Venue

2015_SPEEDVEGAS_Gruskin Archi_Red Car 

Springfield, NJ, (October 5, 2015) — Gruskin Group has created an award-winning design for SPEEDVEGAS, an exhilarating, 100-acre supercar experience located minutes from the Las Vegas strip.  Scheduled for completion in early 2016, the 1.5-mile Formula One-inspired course includes 60 feet of rising elevation, banked corners and a half-mile straightaway.

According to Kenneth A. Gruskin, AIA, founder and principal of Gruskin Group, “The team designed the entire complex around creating the best possible driving experience for SPEEDVEGAS visitors.  It begins with the track, designed for drivers to experience exotic supercars in all their glory.  The track has a strong visual presence to the adjacent highway as well as from SPEEDVEGAS’ Welcome Center.  Drivers on South Las Vegas Boulevard and the I-15 can view the supercars swooping through the ‘S’ curve up a hill in a long banked curve, and see the exotics accelerating from the starting grid along the track’s merge lane.  This creates an exciting visual canvas of the SPEEDVEGAS experience.”

Gruskin Group designed the master site plan and the 21,000-square-foot Welcome Center to evoke a motorsports character of track and racing facilities, while amplifying the intensity of getting up-close and personal with these exciting vehicles both on and off the track.  Among its key features:

  • The facility incorporates red, yellow, and silver – colors typically associated with racing/motorsports events – which stand out in contrast to the sand coloration of the surrounding terrain.
  • The Welcome Center has exposed structure and mechanical systems, along with a standing seam barrel roof, metal siding, stucco accent walls, industrial-style lighting, and stained concrete flooring to authentically mirror the lean and purposeful engineering aesthetic inherent in exotic cars.  The long exterior horizontal walls feature racing style graphics to enhance the overall visual appeal and excitement.  The facility’s elongated linear design emphasizes the horizontal nature of driving and the blur of traveling at “SPEED!”
  • A “Vegas-sized” sign tops off the Welcome Center and stretches nearly 100 feet.  It features internal and external back lighting to make the building “pop” in the dark desert evenings and provide a Vegas vibe.  The Welcome Center’s interior public spaces are designed to maximize the visceral connection to the track and cars.
  • To conserve energy, the various overhangs were designed to minimize solar heat gain and shade the windows, providing comfortable shaded seating on the exterior terraces.

Continue reading

IBC and IRC Code Seminars Registration Open

AIA 2016 Code Hdr

The second set of code seminars to highlight the changes of the transition from the 2009 IBC/IRC Codes to the 2015 IBC/IRC Codes is set for February 3rd and 4th, 2016.  Registration is open, the September sessions sold out quickly, seating for these sessions are limited, reserve your spot today.

Find out more information and Register online.


AIA 2016 CodeInfo

WORKING WITH THE MEDIA – Press Release Boilerplates

AIA-NJIn our year end review of the 2014 activities of the AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee, we asked you to stay tuned for tools that will help you make a splash in the press. Below is the fourth in a series of articles that will help you in that regard. With your help, we hope to be able to leverage our strength in numbers to help promote architects, architecture and AIA-NJ.

Our previous installments of Working with the Media discussed ways in which you, in a personal or professional context, can begin to build a bridge with the editorial staff of your local or regional publications. This included some strategies as to how to introduce yourself (and your expertise) to the outlet, along with a brief guide for writing an effective letter to the editor and a primer on packaging newsworthy projects into a formal press release that you can distribute to relevant media.

One component of most press releases is referred to as the “boilerplate,” because of its repeated usage in various announcements put out by the company or organization. A firm’s boilerplate is generally a brief overview of the company as a whole, which is approximately a paragraph in length and provides context about the company’s core competencies. Content-wise, it includes general company information, such as size and scope of the client base and service offerings, as well as any affiliations or accolades of note.

For demonstrative purposes, below is the boilerplate language that AIA-NJ uses on each press release it issues:

Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and allied professionals. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architecture profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has 2,000 members in six local sections. For more information, please visit visit .

As the above example exhibits, a boilerplate should give a brief description of the organization and its relevant history, while also promoting the any notable accomplishments of its membership.

In your boilerplate, it’s also helpful to reference AIA-NJ to help contextualize your company for the reporter. Because most industry reporters in the region have a built-in familiarity with AIA-NJ, this description helps to codify the announcement with their prior coverage of architecture. See below for a potential example from a member firm:

[NAME] is a licensed architect and a member of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) with a focus on the design and implementation of sustainable residential and commercial buildings. With over 20 years experience in the region, [NAME] continues to uphold a commitment to meticulous, detail-driven design. For more information, visit our website at

Composing this sort of tailored, purposeful summary has a distinct value beyond press releases. Once completed, this brief company overview can also be used in other contexts, from the “About Us” section of your firm’s website to providing succinct descriptions to potential clients on the firm’s core competencies. The boilerplate language is also natural content for use on social media channels or marketing materials.

If you would like to read the previous articles in this series, please see the following links:

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Composing a Press Release

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
Chair, AIA New Jersey Public Awareness Committee

Additional Dates AIANJ Code Seminar

AIANJ Code Seminar – Additional Sessions Dates

The scheduled seminars for the adopted 2015 International Building Codes and the 2014 National Electric Code are sold out for next week.  A second set of the seminars are in the process of being scheduled now.

Save the Dates:   February 3rd & 4th, 2016

Registration will be open soon, if you were unable to attend the September seminars please call AIANJ and we will put you on the reserve list to be one of the first to register for the February sessions,  Please call:  609-393-5690

AIA 2016 Code Seminar STD

AIANJ State Convention

AIA New Jersey State Convention Highlights to Include Michael Graves Retrospective, Annual Design Awards and Tours of Architectural Gems

WHAT:  The biggest names in New Jersey architecture will meet for a two-day convention, highlighted by a panel review of AIA-NJ’s annual design award submissions. In addition to the Design Awards dinner and keynote presentations from several prominent architectural leaders, the convention will feature: Various seminars and roundtables; a trade show; tours of local architectural gems – Wyndham Worldwide Headquarters, Craftsman Farms and the Hebrew Academy of Morris County; and a retrospective on the life of Michael Graves. The two-day event will feature the review of the first-ever student design competition, with New Jersey architecture students vying for a cash prize and recognition of design excellence.

Friday Keynote: Shirley Blumberg, Founding Partner of KPMB Architects, on the          topic of “Five Significant Architectural Challenges: Diversity, Inequity, Environment, Building Community and Limited Financial Resources”

Saturday Keynote: Michael Michalowicz, Wall Street Journal and MSNBC commentator, on the topic of “The Pumpkin Plan”

Student Keynote: Obiekwe M. Okolo on the topic of “Kanye Architecture: Just West of Insanity”

 Saturday Roundtable “Discussion with the Deans”:

Thomas R. Fisher, Assoc. AIA, Dean and Professor of Architecture of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota;

Urs P. Gauchat, Hon. AIA, Dean and Professor of Architecture of the NJIT College of Architecture and Design;

Tom Hanrahan, Dean of the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute

Convention – Friday, October 23, 8:00 a.m. – Saturday, October 24, 4:45 p.m.

 Trade Show – October 23, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
 Tours:
Hebrew Academy of Morris County, October 23, 10:45-12:15

Wyndham Worldwide, October 23, 2:15-3:45 p.m.

Craftsman Farms, October 24, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

 Design Awards Dinner – October 23, 6:30-10:00 p.m.

 Retrospective of Michael Graves Work – October 24, 3:15-4:45 p.m.


WHERE: Hanover Marriott, 1401 NJ-10, Whippany, N.J. 07981

REGISTER: Go to  for more information

or Click Here

Bridging the Hudson – Emerging Professionals Networking Event

AIA-NJ EPC (Emerging Professionals Committee) is hosting a networking event on 9/25 in NYC.

Bridging the Hudson will look to bring emerging professionals from both sides of the Hudson River together.  Emerging Professionals from AIA, ASLA, IIDA please join us.

If you are an emerging professional interested in learning more about these organizations, join us.
Friday, September 25, 7:00 – 11:00 pm

Thanks to our sponsors for helping to make this event possible – Wikhahn, Delta Light, and D’apostrophe.

Find out more information or register – Click Here.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the event organizer, Nick Caravella, at [email protected]


AIANJ Code Seminar – Space Limited

Update 9/1/2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015, session SOLD OUT

Space still available in Wednesday, September 23, 2015, session.   Reserve your spot today.
AIA 2015 Code Seminar Invite 3.2



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