Author Archives: AIA NJ Advocacy

The Kids are Back in School, How ‘Bout You?

Jerry Eben, FAIA has been speaking to children about architecture for over 30 years now, estimating that he has reached over 10 thousand children with valuable information about our profession. Recently, he has started teaming up with fellow architect Jose Gennaro, AIA to provide bi-lingual programs, especially in schools with large Spanish speaking/ ESL populations.

Jose made his first presentation about 12 years ago when a teacher friend asked him to present at her Perth Amboy school career day. Many of his early programs were geared toward showing young immigrant students what opportunities for success are attainable, with focus and commitment.

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The majority of their partnered sessions are requested in the spring by schools that feature career discussions, but they try and respond to all requests, year-round. They travel most anywhere that they are asked, but most often find themselves in Harrison, Newark, Perth Amboy and the surrounds. If they are not available to attend themselves, will seek out a willing AIA colleague from the school’s local community.

 

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Jose likes sharing his trade best with 3rd-5th graders, while Jerry finds 6th-8th grade most rewarding, but they have presented to all ages, K-12! Most presentations are about 20-30 minutes, with renderings, perspectives, blueprints and photographs circulating around the room.

AIA Newark and Suburban has also provided giveaway items, such as pencils, with the section name embossed on the side.

 

The kids especially love to check out traditional drafting tools and hear about the transition from drawing by hand to CAD.
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The architects share ideas on the best classes to take in high school to prepare for applying for an architecture degree in college, the basic process of licensure, what a day is like in an architectural firm and other career statistics. They discuss building types and what it’s like to run a project.
But even more important than encouraging kids to become architects, the men seek to enlighten the kids on being aware of the buildings in their own communities, respecting their environments, and understanding the value of good design.
Jerry and Jose are cultivating your next generation of educated clients! 
Jerry always tries to get the kids engaged in building human flying buttresses with two tall children & two small children. When he asks where they have seen this around the neighborhood, he always gets a correct answer from a few: “The church around the corner!” He recommends that everyone “LOOK UP” and see the architecture they interact with every day.
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The program is so well received that most schools ask them back year after year.  They have received pictures and thank you notes from the kids.
Jerry recommends the book EXPERIENCING ARCHITECTURE by Steen Eiler Rasmusson and would love to encourage all AIA NJ members to order a few copies from Amazon to offer each school as a leave behind, to extend the lesson beyond their short talk.
Jose suggests the AIA NJ Guidebook to 150 BEST Buildings and Places as a great resource for local kids to find interesting architecture, no matter where they live.
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Both encourage YOU to contact your local school and offer to come in and share your profession with the students. Architects are naturals at presenting, and the conversation requires nothing more than your regular, off the cuff, knowledge.
For more resources and recommendations, look for the next installment of “The Kids are Back in School, How ‘Bout You?” in a future AIA NJ article.

Results of the 2017 AIANJ Annual Meeting

red_eagleAIANJ 2017 Annual General Membership Meeting

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, AIANJ held its 2017 Annual General Membership Meeting in Kenilworth, NJ.

The general members in attendance were asked to consider two important decisions: endorsing the proposed slate of officers for 2018 and approving the revised bylaws put forth by the AIANJ Governance Task Force.

Each was called to a vote and passed. 


The slate of officers for 2018 AIANJ Executive Committee is as follows:

President:    Verity Frizzell, AIA

President Elect:     Judith Donnelly, AIA

1st Vice President:     Kim Vierheilig, AIA

2nd Vice President:    Ruth Bussacco, AIA

Secretary:  John Cwikla, AIA (two year term)

Treasurer:     Steve B. Lazarus, AIA (2nd Year of Two Year term)

Immediate Past President:     Ben Lee, AIA

Regional Representative (2nd Year of Three-year term):    Bruce Turner, AIA

YARD:    Jessica O’Donnell, AIA

RAD:     Brandon Warshofsky, Assoc. AIA

AIANJ thanks all of the newly elected officers for their willingness to serve.


The proposed bylaws changes were finalized after the Governance Task Force received comments from the members at the May meeting.

Please see the resultant report, here.

The approved version passed easily, with only one request for clarification from the attendees.

Click here to read the approved bylaws. All new content is easily identified by looking for the blue text.

AIANJ would like to thank all members that attended the meeting and participated in the election. 

AIA NJ Leaders participate in the Municipal Land Use Law RE-FORUM Meeting on May 19,2017

Presentation of Compendium of Notes

from MLUL RE-FORUM Meeting on May 19, 2017 

to the West Orange Township Council

by Jerome Leslie Eben, FAIA, PP, [email protected]

 

The Hon. Joe Krakoviak, West Orange Township Council President recently invited AIA NJ Past President Jerome Eben, FAIA to speak on the Municipal Land Use Law Re-Forum. Organized by the NJ Chapter of the American Planning Association this past May, AIA NJ was one of many sponsors. Jerry talked about this extremely informative event and a follow up meeting in July that he attended with President Ben Lee, AIA.

Jerry explained to the Council, Hon. Robert Parisi, Mayor and about 75 members of the public that along with many of his colleagues, we have long known that the  zoning in this New Jersey is broken and has been for a very long time.  He explained that AIA-NJ had a decade ago, given thought to the problem, as well as a name, calling it:

 

“Zoning Ridiculousness”

 

Jerry spoke of the lack of intelligent planning throughout New Jersey’s 565 municipalities.  Highlighting that this is especially critical in areas along common border lines.   Despite the apparent fact that individual Master Plans declare that the so called intelligent planning exists between these communities, in truth it does not.
This is the consensus of the many professionals who have the chore of navigating the MLUL on behalf of their clients.  He explained that the costs both the clients and in turn (alphabetically) architects, attorneys, engineers, planners and sometimes many other consultants in appearing before municipal regulatory boards, is out of control.

In a very general way, what came out of the RE-FORUM meeting was the following important QUESTION:

How can we enhance and update the MLUL to reflect 21st century planning advancements, recognize the diversity of conditions across municipalities, create an efficient, value-driven review process, and ensure development and preservation outcomes that support shared statewide priorities of prosperity, environmental stewardship, affordability, mobility, public health & safety, quality places and sustainable design?

 

The meeting organizers recommended attendance by experienced practitioners, decision-makers and opinion leaders.  There were well over 150 participants to share their vision for how the MLUL could be updated to authorized the use of invocative planning tools in NJ communities. The goal would be to PREVENT internal inconsistencies between Master Plans, Zoning Ordinances and re-examination reports that in fact confound the for mentioned professionals, not to mention the public.

The Compendium of Notes from this program reflect the highlights from twenty-eight (28) Breakout Sessions.  Over fifty (50) pages of records have been placed on the association’s web page.  They reflect the general opinions from those who participated in these sessions.  

Click here to read the entire report.
Because of a time constraint, Jerry addressed only a few of the items, but he tells us they were those close to his long time push to get enforcement under control, make sure contents of the Master Plan include detailed points to review on the zoning ordinances and that it would be helpful to professionals appearing before these boards if the volunteer board members were better educated and prepared by visiting the proposed sites prior to their actual meeting.

 

He also mentioned that it is extremely important for Zoning Officers to be a trained in Planning and Zoning issues and State certified with followed up mandatory continuing education credits!  

 

Lastly, he spoke of the support of non-automobile mobility options………SAFE STREETS ARE A MUST and ordinances on paper need to be applied to all applicants with strict enforcement.

 

The Re-Forum committee meets again in September. Ben and Jerry will be present and promise their fellow members of AIA NJ a follow up to where hopefully this will lead all of us to the removal of Zoning Ridiculousness in our State.

 

NJIT CoAD heads back to school

Submitted by Anthony Schuman, Interim Dean, College of Architecture and Design at NJIT

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Award-winning Schindler Competition student team from MIP Studio taught by Prof. Jesse Lecavalier  (r)

The College of Architecture and Design at NJIT is embarking on the critical phase of our Dean search process when candidates will be brought to campus for meetings with faculty, students and administration.  The transition in leadership comes at a pivital juncture for the College, which has renewed its faculty with three new hires in the past year and three junior faculty up for tenure this fall. The general thrust of the recent hires has been toward research – notably in digital fabrication, robotics, and materials science.  At the same time, the architecture faculty maintains its traditional strength in design and urbanism.  Students in our infrastructure planning options studio placed in the top six of 250 international entries in the bi-annual Schindler urban design competition, held this year in Sao Paolo.  A 4th year student won honorable mention in the ACSA / AISC Student Design Competition. Students in the School of Art + Design continue to distinguish themselves through competitions and invited exhibitions.

Administratively, efforts are underway this fall to create new display areas for student work within the school and to strengthen relations with the school’s alumni through an expanded Dean’s Council. The role of the latter will be to promote better communication among the alumni of the College and to enlist their support in recruiting and fund-raising efforts. Our lecture series this fall, co-sponsored as in past years by AIA NJ, will feature a talk and gallery installation by local artist Willie Cole. We hope you will join us for this special event. Look for details later this year in the AIA NJ Newsletter. 

AIA NJ 2017 Service Award Nominations are open!

  AIA-NJ Service Awards Program is Now Open!
The AIA NJ Architect of the Year Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to a registered architect AIA New Jersey member in good standing recognized as having made a major accomplishment in the field of architecture and has distinguished himself/herself both professionally and personally. The award is to be based on professional, technical and personal accomplishments. 
The AIA NJ Intern Architect of the Year Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to an Associate AIA New Jersey member in good standing recognized as having made a significant contribution
within the Architectural Experience Program (formerly IDP) and has distinguished himself/herself both professionally and personally by not just meeting the requirements of the program, but by surpassing them. The award basis is on both professional and technical accomplishments.
The AIA NJ Resident of the Year Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to a resident of New Jersey recognized as having made major contributions to the built environment through community activity, legislative involvement, professional (non-architect) practice or by means of other appropriate activities.
The AIA NJ Firm of the Year Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to an Architectural/Engineering, or Architect led Design/Build Firm located in New Jersey recognized as having made major accomplishments to the field of architecture. The award basis is to be professional, technical and personal accomplishments.
The AIA NJ Distinguished Service Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to a registered architect AIA New Jersey member in good standing recognized as having provided distinguished service to the profession and to the Society. The award is to be based solely on his/her involvement in the profession and in AIA’s programs and activities.
The AIA NJ Young Architect of the Year Award
Description of Award/Eligibility
An award may be given to an individual recognized as having made major accomplishments in the field of architecture and has distinguished himself/herself both professionally and personally. This award is to be presented only to an AIA New Jersey member who has been registered in the practice of Architecture for no more than ten (10) years. This award is to recognize an individual for achievements in the profession at an early point in their career.
Deadline:
September 29
 
Submit via email:
Submit by mail:
Service Awards Program
414 River View Plaza
Trenton, NJ 08611-3420
Please visit our website for additional information about the program, awards, and more.
With any other questions, please call 609-393-5690.

Raymond F. Wells, AIA, 1928-2017

He lived by the motto, “Service above Self”

AIA NJ is sorry to share the news that Raymond F. Wells, AIA has passed away on August 27, 2017.  We share his obituary with you here. If you were a colleague of Ray’s, we invite you to comment on this post with a memory.

Please consider making a donation to the AIA NJ Scholarship Foundation in the name of Raymond F. Wells, AIA, so that his contribution to architecture can live on through you.

 

AIA NJ takes action to protect New Jersey from New Executive Order that exposes Government Infrastructure to Flood Risk

red_eagleOn Tuesday, August 15, President Trump issued a new executive order that rolls back Obama-era protections put in place to ensure that government-funded infrastructure projects in flood prone areas would be less exposed to flooding and the effects of climate change. Read more on this executive order here.

Illya Azaroff, AIA Regional Recovery Work Group, and a resiliency expert on AIA National’s Strategic Council says, “In the northeast alone 20% of the US GDP is accounted for from the Boston-Washington corridor or megalopolis. In that same 2% of US land area 48.6 million people reside and it is all connected by a tangled web of infrastructure that is very vulnerable to immediate shocks and stresses. Since Super Storm Sandy the way forward in not only this region but around the country has progressed toward comprehensive resilient building measures that account for risks of today and those predicted in the future. To reverse Obama era directives that aim to design for climate change across political and state boundaries is to say the least a short sighted failure of leadership. I believe the health safety and welfare of the public is at greater risk without these measures in place. ”

Here in New Jersey, we still hear residents speak of the effect of Sandy on our communities, the days before compared to the way things are now.  While the Obama regulations created a new landscape for many on the Jersey Shore, those changes brought a sense of security to people, allowing them to stay in their communities rather than relocating to higher ground. Will that now be ripped out from under our neighbors?

New Jersey’s environmental groups respond to the new executive order. See comments here.

AIA NJ is not in support of the new executive order. It goes against our core values:

  • We stand for a sustainable future
  • We stand for protecting communities from the impact of climate change

President Elect Verity Frizzell, AIA says, “Yes, there is some additional cost to raising projects another 2 or 3 feet, but it is nothing compared to the cost of rebuilding after a flood.  It shouldn’t cause any delays in permitting, at all, unless the original plans weren’t drawn to the higher standard and had to be re-drawn.  It is another example of our President’s shortsightedness and operating without full knowledge of the consequences of his decisions.”

AIA NJ President, Ben Lee, AIA has issued a plan of action that is already underway, with AIA NJ representatives scheduling Summer Recess meetings with our Congressmen and Senators,  and discussions with State Legislators being planned. Our Committee on the Environment is advising on the recommended plan for our state.

 

 

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

On August 14, 2017, a terrific article on the East Point Lighthouse was published in The Daily Journal. Despite the extensive coverage, the architect, AIA NJ Member and Chair of the AIA NJ Historic Resources Committee, Michael Calafati, AIA, was left out of the article.

Read the article by clicking here.

CANstruction at Prudential CenterUpon noticing this, New Jersey Regional Representative to the AIA Strategic Council, Bruce Turner, AIA, sent along a letter to The Daily Journal reminding them of the important role of the architect and recommending an edit to the on line version of the article and a suggestion to always credit the architect when writing about any building.

In a matter of minutes, the The Daily Journal Content Specialist responded to Bruce that the editor was being advised of Bruce’s comments, and AIA National’s Media Relations Sr. Manager, Matt Tinder, sent along his accolades to Bruce for the letter being “perfect – polite, balanced, clear, and direct” and offering his support should the editor not respond.

But Bruce did not need to take Mr. Tinder up on his offer because the very next morning, The Daily Journal featured our Regional Representative’s letter…Read Bruce’s letter here.

What a great moment for Michael Calafati, AIA and architecture!

A special thank you to Bruce D. Turner, AIA for being ever vigilant and a message to all AIA members to be on the lookout for more ways to support our profession and our colleagues in a similar fashion.

Be the Voice of AIA and your profession!

Micro-MBA in Architecture

The Business of Architecture Certificate Program
AIA West Jersey, in partnership with Temple University’s Fox School of Business and the Department of Architecture at Temple University, is pleased to announce the creation of a two-part sequence of courses: an Architecture-focused business essentials professional certificate and an Architecture specific Micro-MBA executive program.
This multi-tiered program kicks off with two certificate programs to help prepare Architects and Construction Professionals with limited or no business training to enter the Micro-MBA executive program in late 2018. The Business of Architecture Basic Certificate will be offered Sept. – Oct. 2017 and The Business of Architecture Advanced Certificate will be offered Jan. – Feb. 2018. Each of the certificate programs will be five weeks in duration and provide background training to help ensure the candidates’ success. Classes will be taught by a combination of Temple University Professors and licensed AIA Architects at the Temple Center City Campus.
Registration for the Business of Architecture Basic Certificate is now open! Details on this exciting program are outlined in the attached.

Architecture and the Solar Eclipse

By William J. Martin, R.A., AIA, P.P., LEED AP-Hbill headshot

 

We are about to experience one of the greatest wonders the natural world has to offer humanity.

 

In late August,  here in the New Jersey area, there will be a solar eclipse. Solar eclipses are not commonplace. They are actually very rare, especially events visible in the area of New Jersey.  This time around, the sun and the moon will provide a fairly substantial partial eclipse with about 70% of the sun covered at peak time.  This should occur about 2:44pm, local time, on August 21, 2017, and weather permitting, it will be visible throughout New Jersey.

 

A solar eclipse is a reminder from the universe that we are part of a larger environment.  As architects down here on the earth, we strive through design to make the best use of the effects of the natural world.  The occurrence of a solar eclipse visible in New Jersey is a great opportunity to discuss how architects use the movement of the sun through the sky to design better buildings.

 

Climate change, the high cost of energy, and reducing dependence on non-renewable energy sources is an important priority for professional architects.  Utilizing design strategies to reduce heat loss and heat gain allow for a reduced environmental footprint and a lower operational cost for the constructed building.  This business case for reducing the carbon footprint of buildings is strong.  It reduces the economic burden on both the building user, and the environment as a whole.

 

Our design strategies include proper layout and configuration of the buildings we design.  The layout we create responds to the north-south directions through careful building site orientation.  Our spaces are arranged within the building to take advantage of natural solar daylighting reducing dependency on artificial light thus reducing energy utilized.  We incorporate design features such as roof overhangs, that help to manage and minimize solar heat gain by shielding South facing wall surfaces during the hottest parts of the year.  Properly sized overhangs and windows also allow that same solar heat gain to enter the building at the coldest times of the year. Designing to make use of local environmental conditions just makes good design sense.

 

Roof designs can also be affected.  Architects design roof angles and slope direction to provide surfaces for photovoltaic solar panels to be installed.  We create building forms and shapes that maximize efficient renewable energy generation.

 

As architects, we play an important role in helping to reduce the effects of climate change through intelligent building design.  Architects understand how buildings can fit into the natural world and we have the skills to design buildings that will reduce, and not contribute to the negative effects of climate change.

 

This upcoming wondrous celestial event, once again, reminds us that what we do as architects is truly connected to the broader natural world in a most fundamental way.

 

https://www.aia.org/resources/77541-where-we-stand-climate-change