Category Archives: Environment

Information on sustainable design, green architecture, USGBC, and news from the AIA-NJ Committee on the Environment.

Architecture and the Solar Eclipse

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

 

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

USGBC NJ Golf Benefit

US Green Building Council NJ’s 2017 Golf Benefit

Monday, October 16, 2017

  • When
    16-Oct-2017

    11:00 AM – 7:30 PM

  • Location
    Black Oak Golf Club, 169 Bartley Road
    Long Valley, NJ 07853

AIA NJ’s East Coast Green 2017 Conference

Protecting the Health, Safety and Welfare of the Public

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While our country has been watching national environmental protection erode, the AIA NJ COTE Committee has been culling their resources to create a powerhouse, one-day conference filled with industry experts, award winning architects, sustainable sponsors and continuing education.

This event is nothing new for committee chair and past president, Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED Fellow, but this year it may mean more than ever before.

While we have limited control over the legislative requirements pertaining to the environment, nothing is holding back architects from educating themselves on best practices that can be incorporated into all of our projects, making responsible design an office standard, and beyond that, an industry standard, with AIA Architects leading the path toward a more sustainable future for the whole planet, supported on the backs of healthy buildings, responsible manufacturing and green construction practice driven by the smart choices built into the designs of an educated, environmentally savvy AIA.

This year’s conference looked at sustainability from a different perspective, with the primary program focus on sustaining the health of the people who use our buildings.  Wellness considered and built into the building, by design.

Held on June 22, 2017, at the USGBC LEED Platinum Watershed Center in Hopewell, NJ designed by Michael Farewell, FAIA, attendees were treated to an absolutely perfect day, as we stepped into summer. Mr. Farewell led two tours, inside and out, explaining the history of the site, the basis for many of the design decisions and how the building works, from day-to-day, as well as through the seasons.  Michael was also the morning keynote speaker, presenting Two Rivers Run Through It: The Stony Brook Millstone Environmental Center.

For members interested in attaining USGBC Well Building Accreditation, a five-hour training seminar was taught by Lia Nielson of Simply Sustainable LLC and the Green Building Center, to assist attendees in preparing to take the Well Building certification exam.

Two other tracts included 8 courses associated with either Safety or Welfare:

  • Climate Reality – Effects and Solutions taught by Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED Fellow/ Faculty
  • Resilient Design in a Changing Environment presented by Tom Dallessio, AICP/PP/FRSA and Illya Azaroff, AIA
  • The A/E Role in Creating Good Indoor Environmental Quality, speaker Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED Fellow/ Faculty
  • Selecting and Specifying Healthy Materials in the Age of Product Transparency with Mark Jane Augustine
  • Meeting the new Energy Code ASHARE 90.1 & IRC 2015 with Bill Amann, PE, DCEP, LEED Fellow
  • Commissioning the Architects Role to Ensure Optimal Performance presented by Kirk Tucker
  • Show your Client the Money: ALigning Available Grants & Incentives with Project Goals by Gary Magiera and Tiffany Rolfing

and

  • Tectonics of High-Performance Design presented by David Gibson, AIA

Video clips of the programs are in production for publication on our YouTube channel. Keep a look out for announcements of their release.

 

USGBC NJ Summer Social

All AIA NJ members are invited to our annual Summer Social networking event and fundraiser.
August 9th
Martell’s Tiki Bar
Point Pleasant Beach
Funding goes to support our Annual Kids Green Education event: Each year, USGBC NJ hosts roughly 200 children (& chaperones) from not-for-profit organizations including NJ Boys and Girls Clubs, and urban summer school programs for a green education event.
USGBCNJ_SummerSocial2017

A Sustainable Engine for Innovation in Philadelphia

 

 

A Sustainable Engine for Innovation in Philadelphia

Case Study: The University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Center

KSS_Pennovation

The University of Pennsylvania’s new Pennovation Center is a rebel, a futurist, a disruptor. It’s a phenomenon of a building that is also a machine for sparking new growth in the fields of learning, commerce, and community across greater Philadelphia and beyond. What’s more, its bold approach to sustainability that leverages its industrial heritage as an engine for research and learning has earned it a LEED Gold rating.

Read more about Pennovation Center – Click Here.

 

Stats:

 

Pennovation stats

AIA NJ supports the passing of Senate Bill-3317

On June 26, 2017, NJ Senate passed S-3317 to require NJ to Join Climate Alliance to uphold Paris Climate Accord. AIA NJ supports the passing of this Senate Bill.

Along with AIA National, AIA NJ stands for a sustainable future and for protecting communities from the impact of climate change. 

Climate change caused by human activity remains one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. Rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases already are causing rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and degradation of natural resources. These trends are projected to continue and possibly accelerate, posing significant risks to national security, human health, food supply, global economies, and natural ecosystems; many of these result in refugee crises.

The AIA recognizes that current planning, design, construction, and real
estate practices contribute to patterns of resource consumption that will inhibit
the sustainable future of the Earth. Architects, as the leaders in design of the
built environment, are responsible to act as stewards of the Earth.
Consequently, we encourage communities to join with us in changing the
course of the planet’s future by supporting governmental and private sector
policy programs, including the development, evaluation, and use of codes,
standards and evidence-based rating systems, that promote the design,
preservation, and construction of sustainable communities and highperformance
buildings.

It is in this spirit that AIA NJ supports the passing of Senate Bill-3317 and we are looking forward to supporting the passing of coordinating Assembly Bill-5040.

SENATE, No. 3317

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 15, 2017

 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH, District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN, District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

 

SYNOPSIS:      Requires NJ to join U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold Paris Climate Accord.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT:      As introduced.

An Act requiring New Jersey to join the United States Climate Alliance, and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

  1. The State shall join the United States Climate Alliance and uphold the Paris Climate Accord, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and address the threats posed by climate change in accordance with the goals established therefor by the alliance.

 

  1. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

STATEMENT

This bill would require New Jersey to join the United States Climate Alliance, a group formed to pursue policies to uphold the United States’ commitments to the Paris Climate Accord in order to address the threats posed by climate change.  The group was formed by the Governors of California, New York, and Washington after President Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

The Paris Climate Accord, joined by 195 countries, sets forth a five-year goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels and aims to limit the increase in average global temperature to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.  The signatories to the agreement also pledge to undertake rapid reductions in greenhouse gases thereafter in accordance with best available science. Before and during the Paris conference, countries submitted comprehensive national climate action plans.  Since the formation of the U.S. Climate Alliance, the Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia, as well as the Governor of Puerto Rico and the Mayor of the District of Columbia joined the alliance.  Hundreds of mayors, business leaders, and university presidents have committed to honor the goals of the Paris agreement as well.  The United States Climate Alliance is committed to upholding the Paris Climate Accord and reducing greenhouse gases in order to address the threats posed by climate change.

Current member states of the U.S. Climate Alliance comprise 36 percent of the United States population and over 30 percent of the United States gross domestic product.  The United States’ goal under the Paris Climate Accord was to reduce national emissions by 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

AIA Newark & Suburban to Host AIA National 2018 President

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Carl Elefante, FAIA 

National AIA President, 2018

elefonte

AIA Newark & Suburban :  General Meeting #3

Design Impact Matters – Architects Shape Lives

2017 presents a changing landscape, as concerns over environmental decline, increasing atmospheric carbon, and competition for resources mount. At the same time, creative and courageous people are forging new pathways full of promise and hope. More and more research demonstrates the impact which the built environment has on many of the most daunting challenges, and also, how important transforming the built environment is in resolving them.

In 2015 and 2016, more than 200 nations including the Unites States came together to address these issues head on. In December 2015, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted, mapping out strategies to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In May 2016, Habitat III, conducted in Quito, Ecuador, adopted the New Urban Agenda which embraces the importance of urbanization in meeting human needs and correcting unintended consequences.

To achieve Paris Agreement targets and advance the New Urban Agenda, architects are called to retool how buildings are designed, constructed, and operated and to shape better lives for the clients and communities we serve: everything; everywhere; everyone.

Architects shape lives. By accepting the mandates of the Paris Agreement and New Urban Agenda, architecture’s relevance, value, and prosperity are secured for a generation or more. How will architects respond?

 

Location:  Mountain Lakes Club    18 Lake Drive, Mountain Lakes, NJ  07046

Schedule:

6-9PM

6-7 Networking/Cash Bar

7-9 Dinner/Presentation

1.5 LUs

AIA Newark & Suburban Members (Regular, Associate and Allied) FREE:  register HERE

Students, $25 when attending with a member register HERE

All Others:  $50.  You will be contacted for payment after you register HERE

Sponsored by:

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East Coast Green 2017

Protecting the  Health, Safety &East Coast Green 2017 Welfare of the Public 

 

Where:      Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy
and Education, Pennington, NJ

When:       Thursday, June 22, 2017

Time:         8:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Credits:     Potential of 6 LUs
 Cost:          $175 per person

Sponsorships Available

 

Save the Date for AIA-NJ

Don’t forget to clear your calendar to attend these important AIA-NJ events…

May 19. NJ Re-Forum. Municipal Land Use Law. Details and registration here.

June 12. Architects Action Day. Register Here.

June 22. East Coast Green: Health, Safety & Wellness. Registration is open!

August 1. Community Resilience Course. Limited capacity; register here.

November 9-11. Quad States. AIA NJ Design Conference is at this event! Click here.

The New Micro Living at ALNNJ

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE NEW MICRO LIVING
1 LU

A presentation from nARCHITECTS on Carmel Place, the winning design for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2013 adAPT NYC competition.  Carmel Place opened last  year and set new standards as a prototype for micro living.  The competition tasked firms with responding to the city’s growing small-household population as part of the Bloomberg administration’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, which aimed to bring new options to the city’s housing market.

Maggiano’s Little Italy
70 Riverside Square Mall
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Click here for Map and Directions

Board Meeting at 4:30 PM
Social hour at 6:00 PM
Dinner at 7:00 PM
Presentation at 7:30 PM

Please send your RSVP to [email protected] before 12 Noon on Monday, March 13, 2017.

Members of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey may attend this meeting as a complimentary benefit. Non-members and guests of the League are welcome at $50 per person, reservations required.  We encourage all members to share suggestions for speakers, venues or topics for future meetings or articles in Leagueline.