Category Archives: Practice Management

Job Opening: Milltown, NJ

Company: Kurt J. Ludwig, AIA, Incorporated

Location: Milltown, NJ 08850

Status: Full Time Employee

Available Position: We are currently seeking an Architectural Designer/ Draftsperson

Our Firm: We are a full service architectural design firm specializing in custom new construction, additions, and alterations for residential and commercial design. Our size and structure provides opportunities for personal involvement and growth. Visit our website at http://www.kjludwig.com and see how our valued partnership with our clients has allowed us to be part of quality projects over many years. We are committed to service and quality excellence to our clients and our team members. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Requirements:
• Must hold a degree
• Must have experience in Architectural Design and Drafting
• Minimum of two years experience

Responsibilities:
• Assist with construction documents
• Field survey existing conditions
• Produce drawings of existing conditions

Need to be proficient in AutoCad Architecture 2015 and AutoCad LT 2015. Will need a car. Excellent opportunity for self-motivated, goal oriented team player. Please forward resume to [email protected].

WORKING WITH THE MEDIA – Composing a Press Release

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 third 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 and architecture.

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. These techniques are useful in positioning yourself as an architectural expert and a go-to source for future pieces related to development, construction, and design.

But, announcing news of your own requires a more deliberate structure of information. This is where a written announcement, usually referred to as a press release, comes in handy.

The logic behind a press release is that it provides detailed, accurate, and controlled dissemination of information. A well-composed press release lists each of the necessary factual elements of an announcement, leaving little room for speculation or supposition – the who, what, when, where and why. In today’s ultra-fast-paced digital news world, it’s an especially handy tool for providing a journalist with the nearly all of the information they’d need for a story – all in one neat package.

Ultimately, you’ll have to employ what you know about the interests of a particular media outlet to judge whether your announcement might be “newsworthy.” But, most press release announcements for architects fall into a few categories:

• Major contracts
• Awards
• Notable or innovative large-scale designs
• Anniversaries or other milestones
• Hiring, promotions, etc

Once you’ve decided to proceed with the press release, there are several rules of thumb that ensure that it’s well organized and digestible for a reporter:

Length: A press release is designed for efficiency; your release should rarely exceed 500 words, and a simple one-pager is usually preferable.
Messaging: The “inverted pyramid” model applies in press releases, which is to say that the most important points should appear first, while minutiae and contextual details should be included in the latter portions. For project-based announcements, latter paragraphs should reference building-specific information including size, cost, start date, finish date, function (program), owner, architect, contractor, funding source, project personnel, etc.
Structure: Each release should contain a headline, date, location, contact information, and boilerplate information about your company. Examples of suggested formats can be found here.
Voice: Press releases are written essentially as if they are news stories. Press releases should be based entirely on fact, written completely in the third person. In a previous entry in Working with the Media, we mentioned that press releases may, in some instances, be published as-is. A good litmus test is to read your press release and ask yourself if it could stand on its own as a news story.
Include a quote: Typically, press releases will include a quote from the issuer somewhere after the lead paragraph. This is your opportunity to provide more subjective insight and interpretation.

In future installments, we’ll be going more in-depth into how to finesse the language within your press releases and how to properly tailor your announcement to a variety of press outlets.

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at http://www.aia.org. Please note this is a password protected, member only website. Therefore, we cannot provide a direct link to the site for you. But you can find it under Practicing Architecture; Best Practices; Part 2 – Firm Management; Chapter 6: Marketing and Business Development. You might also find a lot of other beneficial material in this area of the website.

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

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

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

ikon.5 Architects Receives Award for Newark Community Center

Princeton, N.J.-Based Firm Designs Training, Recreation and Education Center for Newark Housing Authority

AIA-NJ has recognized Princeton, N.J.-based design firm ikon.5 Architects, with a Merit Award in the Unbuilt category for the design of a new Training, Recreation and Education Center in Newark, NJ.

As conceived by iikon5_NewarkHousingAuthoritykon.5, the community center will be housed in one building composed of two interlocking triangular wedges. One wedge is transparent, and is designed to contain meeting and educational facilities, while the adjacent building, with its opaque walls, will be used for recreational activities. The unique creation was inspired by the geometric clash of the city’s urban grid and idyllic Weequahic Park in southern Newark.

“The design’s two triangles represent an important and iconic trait of this city,” said Joseph G. Tattoni, FAIA, principal of ikon.5 Architects. “The final product will demonstrate the complementary nature of the two components, which will combine to create a multi-use community facility that will benefit the entire neighborhood.”

The 22,000-square-foot building will feature a gymnasium, fitness and aerobic room, community meeting rooms, locker room and showers, childcare center, and a library and study area. The center is a welcomed addition to the surrounding community and is expected to rejuvenate the residential community.

“ikon.5 Architects has created something special and demonstrated how creative architecture can contribute to the reinvigoration of a neighborhood,” said Kimberly Bunn, president of AIA-NJ. “Despite the project’s tight budget constraints, ikon.5 utilized efficient design techniques to create a low-cost building that is visually dynamic and will meet the community’s need.”

The project was commissioned by the Newark Housing Authority and will serve the residential Dayton Neighborhood in the South Ward of Newark. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority both contributed funding.

AIA New Jersey and Houzz

We are excited to announce our participation in the Houzz Affiliation Badge Program. Houzz has become the leading online platform for home remodeling and design. With more than 25 million homeowners using Houzz every month, we know that using Houzz can help you build your brand and grow your business. The Badge Program will let you showcase your  affiliation right on your profile. Please follow us on Houzz and add the AIA New Jersey badge to your Houzz professional profile today by clicking the “Add as Affiliation” button under the Members area. Our logo will appear as an affiliation badge on your profile. schools&orgs6.png p.s. If your company is not yet on Houzz, just create a professional profile on Houzz here – it’s free and takes just a few minutes to set up.

Houzz

ArchiPAC Update- Race for the ArchiCUP!

ArchiPac_2015AdvocateThe Convention in Atlanta was a great success for ArchiPAC and I wanted to thank those AIANJ members that contributed while there!  Thus far ArchiPAC has raised $24,000 and recruited 225 members.  This year at Convention to make things interesting there was a competition amongst the Chapters and team ArchiAdvocates, which included AIANJ, took 4th place and raised $4,326.50 with 31 contributors!  It was a very close race and was all in good fun!  I wanted to provide AIANJ members with a legislative update to understand that AIA Advocacy is working hard on your behalf and we continue to need your help so that AIA can continue to lobby on behalf of its members with our legislators.  Here is the latest update from AIA headquarters:

  • Design-Build reform: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that takes steps to improve the design-build process federal procurement process.  A similar bill, Design-Build Efficiency and Jobs Act of 2015 (HR 1555) was introduced by Representative Sam Graves (R-MO).  AIA has been a critical factor in the emergency of Sen. Portman, Rep. Graves and others as champions for reforms within the federal procurement arena.
  • Small Business Administration size standards: Ron Reim, AIA, testified on June 4th before the House Small Business Committee on the issue of SBA’s size standards.  Ron spoke in favor of a bill introduced this year by Representative Mike Bost (R-IL) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), the Stronger Voice for Small Business Act (HR 1429), which would allow small firms to appeal size standards they see as unfair directly to the SBA rather than having to go through the costly federal courts.  Standards established by the SBA defines a “small business” and firms fitting that description are eligible for SBA loans and set-aside projects from the federal government.
  • Tax Reform: as the debate over tax reform continues, members of Congress are looking everywhere for possible ways to trim the tax code, including a number of provisions that directly benefit architecture firms.  An example of this is Section 179D-Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings (passed as part of HR 5771) which allows building owners and tenants who make expenditures to cause new or renovated commercial buildings to be more energy efficient will be eligible for a tax deduction up to $1.80 per square foot.  Currently this deduction expires annually but efforts are currently under way to introduce legislation that would make the deduction permanent.  That push is being led by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).
  • Student Loan Forgiveness: Legislation was introduced last Congress as the National Design Services Act of 2014 by Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D-CO) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) that would provide some level of student loan forgiveness for architecture students who volunteer design services within their community. The program would mirror ones in the medical, legal, and even veterinarian professions.
  • Building Codes: Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) recently reintroduced bill HR 1878- Safe Building Code Incentive Act incentivizing states to strengthen their building codes, mitigating the various negative impacts of disasters.
  • 2030: Both chambers of Congress are contemplating language to repeal the 2030 fossil fuel reduction targets for federal buildings as part of comprehensive energy legislation. AIA is working with allies to advocate against a repeal of the 2030 targets, a critical issue for the design industry.

I am happy to speak with any members that have any questions regarding the issues above and/or how members can get involved as “Architects in Action”.  Please visit the ArchiPAC website to become an advocate as well as to INVEST in ArchiPAC!ArchiPAC_Invest Sincerely, Justin A. Mihalik, AIA 2015 ArchiPAC Steering Committee Member

Faith Taylor Keynote at ECG2015

East Coast Green 2015
Creating A Culture of Sustainability

Keynote speaker for this years event is:

Faith Taylor is a senior global executive with progressive record of achievements and significant experience in strategic planning, development of new and existing businesses, innovation and change management, P&L and brand management as well as marketing.    Known as an expert in Corporate Responsibility, Innovation and Sustainability she has a broad experience to draw from.

She oversees the strategies and policies for Wyndham’s Worldwide corporate responsibility programs that includes, sustainability, philanthropy, diversity, wellness, human rights, responsible sourcing, ethics and governance.  She developed and started the Wyndham Green program in 2006 and has overseen the Company’s external reporting, strategic plans, auditing/assurance and branding initiatives. In 2014, the Wyndham Green program reduced its carbon and water by 20% and 18% globally and 27% of its $2.1 Billion supply chain has met their Green criteria.

Additionally, she is Chair of the Sustainability Working Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council and Chair of the Board of Directors of the USGBC of New Jersey. She is a member of the International Tourism Partnership organizations where she has participated in setting industry standards like the Hotel Carbon Metric Initiative and policies. Wyndham is a recognized corporate leader working with the Clinton Global Initiative and the Obama Better Building Challenge in setting leading programs for the built environment.

During the day long ECG event session topics have a wide range of options for all angles of building sustainable:
• Green Building Risks & Rewards
• Developing a Green Building Master Plan
• Renewable Energy
• Green Materials for LEEDv4 & LBC Compliance
• Designing & Commissioning High Performance Building Envelopes
• International Green Construction Code
• Update on the NJ Code  –  IBC in New Jersey

During the event the AIANJ Top Ten Green Projects will be announced.
Submit your project to be considered for inclusion.

See more by clicking here.

Still time to register.  Sign up to attend TODAY.

Need more AIA credits before the July license renewal deadline !!

Register today

Receive keynotes, multiple seminars, lunch, networking reception and

5 HSW AIA CEUs & LEEDap credential maintenance

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AIA Small Firm Exchange at 2015 AIA National Convention

Did you know that 50% of AIA members practice in firms of of 5 or less people? Did you know that 70% of members practice in firms of 20 or less? The AIA Small Firm Roundtable (SFRT) seeks to specifically address the needs of the small firms. At the AIA National Convention there is a track of programs and events specifically tailored to the interests of small firms. That track is call the Small Firm Exchange, or SFx. This year in Atlanta the SFx track is particularly robust. Please see the flyer below for the complete schedule of events. And, while in Atlanta look for people donning a SFRT badge. They will gladly welcome you to the group!

2015 SFX LAYOUT DRAFT v05

Working With The Media – Writing a Letter to the Editor

AIA-NJIn our recent 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 second 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 and architecture.

In the inaugural installment of our Working with the Media series, we discussed the process of familiarizing yourself with your local media landscape, including reporters and editors from various mainstream and trade outlets, and local community papers. We discussed a process called source filing, in which you, as an architect, establish yourself as a professional resource for future building and design-related stories that a journalist may be writing.

This is a necessary first step to making a splash in your local publication, but as a standalone measure, it leaves you in a passive position. Source filing vastly increases your chances of being contacted by a reporter when they need a source, but what if you want to proactively offer your expertise to the media?

Without pitching a story to a local reporter, it’s still possible to get published through a simple letter to the editor. A letter should be short – ideally less than 300 words – addressed to a newspaper or website’s editorial staff regarding a specific story or pertinent trend. Once you’ve identified the correct email or mailing address for the editor (usually located on the ‘Opinions’ or ‘Letters’ page), it’s time to get started on your letter.

As you’re writing your letter, keep in mind a few key points:

  • Keep it (somewhat) formal: Begin your letter with a proper salutation and thoroughly check it for spelling, grammar, and unnecessary shorthand writing. The printed letter is a direct reflection of you as a professional!
  • Send it electronically: While sending a physical letter is a novel idea, you greatly increase your chances of being published if you email the letter. It’s far easier for busy editors to copy/paste a letter than to retype it.
  • Clearly state your position in the opening paragraph: Whether you’re responding to a recent article or commenting on a building or architectural issue, make sure that you don’t bury your main point. In the first paragraph, be sure to plainly state your stance in relation to the story or subject.
  • Don’t (always) have a bone to pick: The tendency for many is to write a letter to the editor only when they are upset or opposed to something that a reporter has written. In fact, letters to the editor can be laudatory of a reporter, fellow architect, development project – anything! In fact, as long as you’re offering a fresh perspective, staying positive is a great way to solidify your relationship with the publication in the early stages of your relationship.

Letters to the editor offer a unique opportunity for architects because they are not controlled by an editorial board or journalistic practices. They’re an opportunity to say something constructive, educational, or unique about architecture while solely owning the message. Best of luck and happy writing!

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at www.aia.org. Please note this is a password protected, member only website. Therefore, we cannot provide a direct link to the site for you. But you can find it under Practicing Architecture; Best Practices; Part 2 – Firm Management; Chapter 6: Marketing and Business Development. You might also find a lot of other beneficial material in this area of the website.

If you would like to read the previous article in this series, please click here.

If you would like to see a sample Letter to the Editor, please click here.

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

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

Working With The Media

AIA-NJIn our recent 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 first in a series of articles that will help you in that regard. This is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more. With your help, we hope to be able to leverage our strength in numbers to help promote architects and architecture.

You’ve just completed design and implementation of your plans for a building. Or perhaps you feel that the media is ignoring an important architectural story in the news. The question is: Now what? How can you leverage your hard work and expertise to build your reputation and attract future business prospects?

Luckily, for architects, several avenues exist to publicize projects through “earned media” – that is, unpaid, “legitimate” news stories. And with the proliferation of specialized digital media, it’s even more likely that a building that you’ve helped to design can garner significant media coverage.

But first thing’s first. It’s often not enough to simply “cold call” a news outlet in order to garner ink. Working with the media is as much about building relationships as it is about hard news. Remember, reporters are people, too!

Building a working acquaintanceship with your local media is effective not only in building respect for your firm’s individual projects, but also in positioning yourself as a go-to expert for architectural issues. Reporters will often need to quickly reach out to an industry expert in order to obtain necessary information or print a quote for their story. This process is called source filing.

Luckily, beginning the dialogue with your local media is relatively straightforward:

  • Familiarize yourself with local media: The first step to interacting with your local reporters is to understand their publication and their area of expertise. Read your local papers and identify which reporters report on real estate, business, and community development.
  • Email a reporter: In most publications, it’s easy to locate an email address for a particular reporter on its website. Simply send a brief “hello” introducing yourself, your practice, and your specific area of expertise. It helps to reference a story that the reporter wrote recently, which demonstrates your familiarity with their work.
  • Call the publication: Particularly when you’re seeking to connect with a reporter about a timely issue, it’s best to call the publication’s main number and ask for the reporter. You can even invite them to lunch or coffee as an introduction.

While these approaches may not translate to instantaneous news coverage, building a relationship with your local reporter is the most prudent first step to constructing your own public relations campaign. Over time, it will pay dividends.

For more suggestions, refer to AIA Best Practices – Getting Good Press on the web at www.aia.org. Please note this is a password protected, member only website. Therefore, we cannot provide a direct link to the site for you. But you can find it under Practicing Architecture; Best Practices; Part 2 – Firm Management; Chapter 6: Marketing and Business Development. You might also find a lot of other beneficial material in this area of the website.

Kyle Kirkpatrick
Account Supervisor
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

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

Careers: FVHD Architects + Planners promotes Joseph Como

FVHD is pleased to announce that Joseph V. Como, AIA, LEED Green Associate is joining our exceptional team of Senior Associate Gary A. Rostron, AIA, and Associate Jason J. Dubowitch, AIA, NCARB

JOSEPH V. COMO

FVHD Architects + Planners is pleased to announce the promotion of Joseph Como, AIA, LEED GA to Associate, effective January 1, 2015. Joseph has over 15 years experience working on public and educational facilities, providing consistent management and leadership on all projects. His creativity and attention to detail make him a valuable member of the firm. Since graduating from Philadelphia University in 2000 with a 5-year Professional Bachelors in Architecture, he has approached all projects with great enthusiasm, striving to make each a success for the client, firm, and community.  As an Associate of the Firm, Joseph will increase his involvement in the Firm’s operations, supporting the Principals, while continuing his role as Project Manager. He is a Registered Architect in New Jersey, credentialed with USGBC as a LEED Green Associate, and a current member of the Lawrence Township Historic Preservation Committee. Recently, Joseph has completed renovations to the Ambassador’s Residence to Cyprus, in Washington DC, additions and renovations to the Hillsborough #3 Fire Station, in Hillsborough NJ, and is currently working on security additions and renovations at (9) facilities for Marlboro Township Public Schools. Continue reading

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