Category Archives: NJ Architect Newsletter

New Benefits to Yout Membership

red_eagleby Justin A. Mihalik, AIA Membership Chair 2014

Just flying back home from the 2014 Convention and there are some exciting new benefits to your membership I wanted to share with you.  First, if you have not been to an AIA Convention it is a must at least once in your lifetime!  Visit the schedule on AIA’s website and pick a city that you have always wanted to visit and make your reservations. The 2015 Convention will be in Atlanta. There are so many fabulous tours and behind the scenes tours of the cities, buildings, parks and places that are sure to teach you something that you did not know before.  Personally, I use the convention as an opportunity to take my family so that they too can enjoy another beautiful city in this country.  My kids were able to see the city this year from the crown of the Chicago Tribune tower and it was just fabulous!

The benefits of membership is something that is always questioned by members so I felt it was important to share with you some exciting things AIA is doing to help provide its members with the tools and information that will make us all successful.  First, in order to keep the membership up to date on what it has been doing thus far in 2014, AIA has published the AIA Foresight Report, the first of its kind, which you can download from the AIA website for free.  This document is an example of the transparency of the Institute and its move toward full inclusion of the membership on its operations.   Second, is a new strategic partnership with Reed Construction Data that is sure to be the best thing AIA has done since it has embarked upon Repositioning.  I was fortunate to have taken part in a market test group at the Convention to get a sneak peak and give valuable feedback.  The product called accessArchitecture, is a web portal that will allow AIA members for free as part of your membership the ability to access Reed’s database of over 500,000 projects for things like products and specifications specified, project data, construction cost data, and owner and project team information.  But probably by far the best feature is project leads!  Members will be able to search for job leads anywhere in the country, by project type, project value, and even by owner.  As an architect who does retail franchise work in many states, this enables me the ability to seek out other opportunities in markets that I am already working in. There is also very important market trend data available that allows you to see analyticals on various aspects of the market, whether geographical or by project type. The dashboard is totally customizable to each user and is memorized for the next time you use it again.  The best part about this is that it is free with your membership!  Now that is value and if you are able to use this tool to your advantage it will pay for your membership.

Regional Architecture Groups Look At Critical Infrastructure in a Post-Sandy World

Reprint of article published on July 11, 2014, on NJBiz

Chapters of the American Institute of Architects from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island held a “regional recovery working group” Friday on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, focusing on changes to critical infrastructure design in a post-Hurricane Sandy world.

The event was the third in a series of Sandy-related workshops. Others have looked at Sandy’s effects on cities and coastal communities.

Speakers from both the public and private sectors weighed in Friday, touching on issues concerning resiliency, design, building codes and the coordination on the parts of regional governing bodies.

“Forums like this are pretty awesome because it’s the idea exchange that happens,” said John Boulé, a vice president of global planning firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. “Brain cells start to knock against each other … and hopefully it will spur you to some action.”

Boulé discussed protecting transportation assets and rethinking planning strategies, namely by incorporating cost-benefit analysis into the framework.

“You have to come up with different ways of thinking about risk,” Boulé said.

Scott Davis, senior advisor in the office of the secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that at the federal level, making progress after Sandy is the goal, but it’s difficult to put broad timetables on projects.

“I think we’re all looking to move forward as quickly as possible and some projects might be more complicated than others,” Davis said.

Davis added that he feels a focus point in the future for architecture groups and others in the industry will be turning resiliency into a household word, much like sustainability is today.

Read Full Article…


USGBC-NJ Hosts Senator Norcross Networking Event



USGBC NJ Chapter
South Branch Presents
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
5:00 – 8:00 PM
Wyndham Philadelphia – Mount Laurel

Come out and enjoy a night of networking and socializing with others in green building & advocacy related fields. Senator Norcross will discuss the topics of economic development, green building, and school construction, particularly in South Jersey.


Senator Donald Norcross (D),
Legislative District 5:
Committees: Law and Public Safety, Chair, Military and Veterans’ Affairs Transportation. Senator Donald Norcross was sworn to the Senate on January 19, 2010. The Senator has been an advocate for the working men and women of New Jersey. He also championed efforts to expand and diversify the workforce through the recruitment and hiring of women and minorities. As a legislator, he is working to reduce the costs of government and to bring property taxes under control. He also promotes reform movements within government spending, ethics, and accountability. He is dedicated to creating public-private partnerships and other initiatives to spur economic development, revitalize neighborhoods, and rejuvenate the downtown business districts within Camden.CLICK HERE for full bio.



• 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm sign-in, networking & drinks (cash bar)
• 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm buffet dinner and networking
• 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm speaker Senator Norcross (includes Q&A)
Members/ Non-members & Students/ Emerging Professionals: $25
(Click here to register)
LOCATION: Wyndham Philadelphia – Mount Laurel
1111 Route 73 North, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054



Bill now moves to Governor Christie’s desk

Last night, the New Jersey State Senate unanimously passed A2025, a AIA-NJ-supported bill that grants immunity from liability for certain professional services rendered during emergencies under certain circumstances.

The bill was also unanimously passed by the Assembly in May, with the support of sponsors Assemblymen Lou Greenwald, Paul Moriarty, and Upendra Chivukula.

The bill now moves to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk for his signature. This is an important bill that AIA-NJ has been in support of for years. Please call or write to Gov. Christie to let him know how important this is for us:

Office of the Governor 
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625


To send a message to the Governor online, follow

this link and select from the topic list, ‘Law & Public Safety’.



9th Annual Photography Competition

AIA West Jersey Hosts Annual Architectural Photography Competition

2014 – Call for Entries

AIA West Jersey Photography Competition



The 9th Annual AIA West Jersey Photography Competition has opened for entries.   Submit your interesting images of everything architectural – from the buildings around the corner, to a current project to an interesting place you visited.
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Seminar: Design Sustainable and Energy Efficient Buildings







Newark, NJ – Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Hilton Newark Penn Station
1048 Raymond, Blvd Newark, NJ 07102

Date:                   Tuesday,  June 17th, 2013   8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Location:             Hilton Newark Penn Station Gateway Center – Raymond blvd, Newark, NJ, 07102-5107, USA

Credits:                7 AIA HSW + 7 USGBC/GBCI

Cost:                    AIA & USGBC members: $65  Non-members: $90    Breakfast & lunch Included.

Topics:                 Geothermal Heating & Cooling • Skylights & Rooftop Support • Stone Wool Insulation • Advance Solar Facade Design  • Sound Attenuation • Quartersawn Hardwood • Non-wood Guardrail

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N.J.’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites 2014

njs-10-most-endangered-historic-sites-2014-list-fc84bd4bcba6f2acPreservation New Jersey’s top 10 most endangered historic sites in the state for 2014 includes at Mercer County diner, a Sandy-damaged lighthouse, and a post office in Maplewood.

The 20th annual edition of Preservation New Jersey’s list cites historic locations that are in “imminent danger of being lost” often due to neglect or planned redevelopment, though Superstorm Sandy damage landed a lighthouse on the list.

“Our goal is to bring awareness to cherished sites that have been a vital part of a community that, without intervention, would fade from existence,” said Michael Hanrahan, president of Preservation New Jersey.

At least one of the sites in this year’s list was being offered for free in December to anyone willing to cart it away. The Giordano Diner on Route 1 in Lawrence, which has also operated under the names Calhoun, Cass, and Ben’s over the last 50 years, is one of five surviving diners built by the Mountain View Diner Co., a Little Falls company. It’s been vacant for decades.
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The Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) Announces Newly-Elected Society Directors and Trustees

TST_HeadshotPrinceton, NJ – May 30, 2014
Thomas S. Townes, AIA, FSMPS, CPSM, Director Business Development, Van Note-Harvey Associates, PC has been elected Fellows Delegate on the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) 2014 – 2016 Society Board of Directors.

SMPS is a community of marketing and business development professionals working to secure profitable business relationships for their A/E/C companies and is the only organization dedicated exclusively to creating business opportunities in the A/E/C industry. SMPS was created in 1973 by a small group of professional services firm leaders who recognized the need to sharpen skills, pool resources, and work together to build their businesses. Today, SMPS represents a dynamic network of 6,000+ marketing and business development professionals from architectural, engineering, planning, interior design, construction, and specialty consulting firms located throughout the United States and Canada. The Society and its chapters benefit from the support of 3,700 design and building firms, encompassing 80% of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms and Top 400 Contractors.

Van Note-Harvey Associates is a 120 year old consulting engineering and environmental services firm serving the Mid-Atlantic States.  Headquartered in Princeton, NJ with an office in Cape May Court House, NJ, VNHA provides project surveying, environmental and site development services including environmental compliance, permitting, subsurface utility location services, site and utilities engineering, and construction administration to municipal, public and private clients.

Prior to joining Van Note-Harvey Associates, Tom was President and Senior Principal at Focus Architecture of Pennington, New Jersey.  Over his 30-year career, he has helped his clients with a wide range of initiatives, from planning to project completion. Along with his solid capabilities as a project executive, his professional credentials include opening multiple branch offices for a national firm, programming, management, strategic marketing planning and business development.  Tom is a licensed Architect in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware and is certified by the National Council Architectural Registration Board (NCARB).  Mr. Townes resides in Hopewell Township, NJ with his wife Myra Anne B. Townes.


2015 Slate of Officers

The latest slate of the 2015 Officers for the AIA-NJ Executive Committee is as follows:


  • -  President    (ascends to position from current position)
    o Kimberly Bunn, AIA
  • -  President Elect:
    o Justin Mihalik, AIA
  • -  1st Vice President:
    o Ben Lee, AIA
  • -  2nd Vice President
    o Verity Frizzell, AIA
  • -  Secretary   (currently serving multi-year term)
    o Judith Anne Donnelly, AIA
  • -  Treasurer
    o Steven B. Lazarus, AIA
  • -  Regional Director  (currently serving multi-year term)
    o Robert Cozzarelli, AIA
  • -  Regional Associates Director
    o Nicholas Caravella , Assoc. AIA
  • -  Past President   (ascends to position from current position)
    o Kurt Kalafsky, AIA

As per AIA-NJ By-laws voting for these officers will be held at the June 17, 2014, Board of Trustees meeting.

Any questions please contact our AIA-NJ office  (609-393-5690) or  Jack A. Purvis, AIA
2014 Nominations Committee Chairman 

Studio Hillier Earns AIA-NJ Merit Award for Urban Trifecta

Studio Hillier Earns AIA-NJ Merit Award for Urban Trifecta Architectural Design Studio in Princeton, N.J.  

Firm Recognized for Innovative Repurposing of Vintage Commercial Building at 190 Witherspoon Street

379mnmm6fo4amk3lAIA-NJ has awarded Princeton, N.J.-based architectural design firm Studio Hillier with a Merit Award in the Built category for its creative transformation of 190 Witherspoon Street into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient design studio.

“Studio Hillier exhibited keen vision, revitalizing a once decaying building into an aesthetically and structurally stunning space,” said Kurt Kalafsky, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “With a clear dedication to energy efficiency, the Urban Trifecta project is a marvelous example of how New Jersey’s architects can introduce new life to our buildings and communities in imaginative ways.”

Once home to a warehouse and garage structure, the central component of 190 Witherspoon Street now houses Studio Hillier’s state-of-the-art storefront architectural design studio. The Urban Trifecta, as the project is known, is rounded out by two residential-turned-commercial structures flanking the studio.

Designed to meet LEED Gold standards, Studio Hillier designed the Urban Trifecta to draw daylight from three large clerestories on its roof, providing approximately 80 percent of the studio’s lighting needs. The rooftop also produces electricity through photovoltaic solar arrays, with surplus energy redirected back to the grid. The dramatic design creates a bright, shimmering atmosphere during daytime hours.

“The architect as developer is not such an oddity as it once was. We are in it for the value we create,” noted Barbara Hiller, founding partner at Studio Hillier. “For many small towns, this kind of investment and the regeneration it stimulates will have existential meaning.”

The AIA-NJ Annual Design Awards program recognizes architectural projects that exhibit design excellence in one of four categories: Open (meant for any building type), Residential, Historic Preservation and Interior Architecture. Projects are further designated as either Built or Un-built. To be eligible, projects must be either located in New Jersey or designed by an AIA-NJ architect. Submitted projects are evaluated during the organization’s annual Design Conference by a group of distinguished architects from throughout the country.


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