Category Archives: Business

Working With The Media Pays Off

AIA-NJI hope you are familiar with our Working With The Media series. Having read these articles you might wonder if any of this really makes a difference? Well, here is concrete example of how it can work.

I recently read an article in my local newspaper announcing the groundbreaking for a new local public charter school. As we often see, the article named local and state politicians that were present, quoted the executive director of the new school and named both the developer and the contractor for the project. What was missing was the name of the architect.

I did a Google search to see if I could identify the architect for the project, but was unable to find any reliable information. However, I know the contractor and I know a local architect that does a lot of this type of work. Therefore, I sent them both text messages to try to confirm the name of the architect. While I waited for their responses, I sent the following email to the newspaper:

I read with great interest your article, Vineland School Breaks Ground, Saturday, May 28, 2016. I am glad to see this new school coming to our community. I also noted that the article referenced a local contractor with whom I have completed multiple successful projects – Capri Construction.

However, I was very disappointed to see that the article does not mention the architect for the project. This is especially troubling when one considers the focus on STEM (or STEAM) in education today. Architects, and careers in architecture, are a direct result of the STEM/STEAM educational program. It is sad therefore, that the architect is overlooked or deemed irrelevant to an article about the very buildings they are helping to bring to life by virtue of their STEM/STEAM education.

Every building project involves three primary entities: the owner, the architect and the contractor. It is the three-legged stool of every project. It should be fundamental to the who, what, when, where, and why of any article. I urge you to ALWAYS include the name of the architect in any article about any building.

Remember – be it a home, school, or an office; wherever we live, eat or pray; every building has an architect!

Respectfully,

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
President, AIA South Jersey

I was pleased to receive a very prompt response from the newspaper:

Unfortunately – the name of the architect was not included with the information provided by the school.

However, I will keep your suggestion in mind next time I receive this type of information.

Thank you!

This is not an unusual response. And, the conversation could have ended there. But, I decided to continue the dialogue. Once I confirmed the name of the architect – Manders Merighi Portadin Farrell Architects of Vineland – I sent that information to the newspaper. I also offered that if the newspaper ever has difficulty finding this type of information for any of their articles that they could contact me. Within a very short period of time I received a reply from the newspaper that the information was added to the online version of the story. I was perfectly satisfied with this outcome. I thanked them and thought that would be the end of it. However, the next day my original email appeared on the opinion page of the newspaper. That was icing on the cake. Not only had I engaged in a positive conversation with the newspaper about the value of including the name of the architect, but I also got the opportunity to deliver that message to a larger public audience.

This is the value of working with the media. This isn’t difficult. Any of us can do it. In fact we all can. It won’t always deliver such immediate and positive results, but we need to try. If the media hears from enough architects on a regular and routine basis we can make an impact. After all, we are their readers. They will appreciate our attentiveness to what they write.

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

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. You can also find samples of other quick responses here.

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

Delivering Your Message In An Interview

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Composing a Press Release

Press Release Boilerplates

Personal Engagement

Small Firm Exchange (SFx) Lounge at Convention

BDT2If you’re a small firm or sole practitioner and attending the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia, you won’t want to miss the Small Firm Exchange (SFx) Lounge. Come by to meet new people, view a demo of the AIA Kinetic App 2.0, and discuss what challenges you most in the practice of architecture. Hear more about the Small Firm Practitioner Collection, a curated lineup of workshops, seminars, events, and other programs designed to help small firm architects unlock their power and apply the latest trends to their practice.

The SFx Lounge offers a great touch-down area, with comfortable lounge furniture, where you can catch up on your work or catch a brief mini-education session to learn about programs and benefits to help you in your practice! Look for the brightly colored cubes just outside of Hall E near the AIA Expo– stop by.

As your AIA New Jersey representative to the SFx, I will be spending some of my free time at the lounge. If you see me there, I will be happy to make introductions.

The AIA Small Firm Exchange Lounge is sponsored by the AIA Trust.

I hope to see you at the Convention!

Bruce D. Turner, AIA

The Small Firm Round Table (SFRT) was recently renamed the Small Firm Exchange (SFx) to better reflect the idea that the group is meant to foster an exchange of ideas and a sharing of experiences.

NJ Architectural Firm Positions Available

The following positions are available, qualified candidates please inquire directly to the firm below:

Project Architect

Northern NJ Architectural firm has immediate opening for a Project Manager position.
Min. 5 years experience in Multi Family and Commercial projects in NY, NJ & CT.
License required. NYC Experience preferred.
Successful candidate must be self motivated, able to work independently and/or as part of a team.
Proficiency in AutoCAD, Revit and Microsoft Office is required.
Forward resume and salary requirements for consideration.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Draftsman/Junior Architect

Northern NJ Architectural firm has immediate opening for a Drafting Position.
Min. 5 years experience in Multi Family and Commercial projects.
Successful candidate must be self motivated, able to work independently and/or as part of a team.
Proficiency in AutoCAD, Revit and Microsoft Office is required.
Forward resume and salary requirements for consideration.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Marco A. Neves, AIA, NCARB
Neves Architecture & Design, LLC
582 Kearny Avenue, 2nd Floor
Kearny, New Jersey 07032
Tel. 201.246.7979
Fax. 201.246.0235
E-Mail: [email protected]

WORKING WITH THE MEDIA – Personal Engagement

AIA-NJOur previous installments of “Working with the Media” have discussed ways in which you, in a personal or professional context, can begin to build a bridge with the editorial staff of your local 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 to send to journalists.

In all of these installments, we were mainly addressing “proactive” media outreach, which is to say, outreach initiated by an architect specifically designed to garner publicity.

However, in certain cases, you may be spurred to engage with a journalist because of comments or omissions that he has previously made. While we touched on “letters to the editor” – letters written to be published in the paper – in a previous piece, we’d also like to discuss a somewhat different concept: Engaging specifically with the journalist by writing a personal note directly to him or her (as opposed to “letters to the editor,” which are targeted at the broader public).

It’s a scenario that you’ve likely encountered many times: The local paper runs a feature article about a building and includes comments from the developer – but there is no reference to the fact that there was an architect on the project that conceptualized the design and drew the blueprints. While this frustrating scenario is all too common, if approached properly, it can be an opportunity to educate the reporter so that the same mistake isn’t repeated in the future.

Before we discuss how to approach the journalist, it’s important to recognize several likely facts about the omission:

Reporter specialty – In many cases, the reporter is not particularly familiar with architecture – or even real estate development. The editorial staffs are shrinking at most newspapers, and reporters are frequently tasked with covering several beats. In some cases, the offending article may be the only one the reporter writes relating to architecture or real estate over a period of several weeks or months.
Communicated information – Many real estate developers provide reporters with press releases, which include much of the basic information about their projects. Frequently, reporters write stories based nearly entirely upon the press release – including mention of the architect if she is mentioned in the press release, but omitting it otherwise.

What both of these facts mean is that the reporter was probably not omitting the architect’s identity deliberately; chances are that he or she simply doesn’t understand the architect’s importance. With this in mind, the best practices for this sort of letter are clear:

Choose judiciously – While every building has an architect, that doesn’t mean that every article written about a structure without reference to its architect should turn into a letter. Instead of flooding the inbox of a reporter after every offending article, only send a note when the omission is flagrant, e.g. if the building’s architecture is particularly noteworthy, or if the article focused significantly on the building’s design.
Keep it educational – The article is already published, so the goal is to explain to the reporter why the architect is an integral part of the building process, so architects are included in future articles. Because most journalists have limited knowledge of architecture, be as detailed as possible, including not just the legal requirement of having an architect but the specific value and creativity that the architect brought to that particular building, what is architecturally unique and/or how it promotes safety.
Offer to have a follow-up call – In addition to the obvious benefits of having a broader discussion on local architecture if the reporter accepts the offer, the offer itself drills home the point that you’re not looking to criticize the reporter because of an error they made; rather, you’re looking to provide them with your expertise to enable them to write more knowledgeably in the future.

Note that there are also several ways you can proactively go about making sure that you are given credit when your projects are covered in the media:

Create a requirement in your contract: Including a requirement that all project publicity will mention your firm is one way to guarantee that your participation is acknowledged in the developer’s press materials.
Provide a description of the project to your client: Giving your client an architectural perspective on the project will not only help them in their media outreach, but it will also ensure a proper description of the architectural elements of a project. In doing so, it is natural to include a mention of your firm in the description.
Draft your own press release: Now that you know how to compose your own press release from a previous installment of “working with the media”, you may be able to “take the lead” on announcing the project, which means that you can control what specific details are being shared with the reporters. If the developer is looking to do media outreach, they may be open to collaborating with you on the press release, which would also mean that you will have at least some control of what details are being sent to journalists.

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. You can also find samples of other quick responses here.

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

Delivering Your Message In An Interview

Building Relationships

Writing a Letter to the Editor

Composing a Press Release

Press Release Boilerplates

Shlomo Morgulis
Account Executive
Beckerman PR Real Estate Team

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

Architect Business Development Summit Scholarships

Free Business Development Scholarship for AIA NJ Small Firm Principals
There is an opportunity for 2 members of AIA NJ to get a free scholarship to the upcoming Architect Business Development Summit in NYC on April 7 + 8 (read more here: http://architectresources.org/qoe8).
Attending this event will help you acquire the skills you need to help your firm prosper, and it is specifically tailored for smaller firms who might lack a dedicated marketing team.
Scholarship includes free registration for the 2-day event ($997 value)
Here is the link to apply for a scholarship: http://architectresources.org
The deadline for applications is March 24, 2016.
Use sponsor code: AIANJ
 arch-business-dev-summit-2016
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2015 NJ Code Update

AIAeagle_2016On September 21, 2015, NJ formally adopted the 2015 ICC series of codes including the International Building Code (IBC), the International Residential Code (IRC), the International Mechanical Code (IMC), the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) along with the National Electric Code NFPA 70-2014.

As with all NJ subcode revisions there is a 6 month grace period in which the design professional can chose to use either the current or previous version of the code. The grace period is about to expire, and all applications submitted for plan review after March 21, 2016 will be required to use the 2015 codes.

The National Standard Plumbing Code 2015,  was not adopted until January 4 2016, so the option to use the previous version of the plumbing subcode only, is still available until July 6, 2016.

This is the first code update since 2009 and it comes with literally hundreds of changes.

Below is a small sample of some of the significant changes to the code.

  • Wind born debris regions that trigger the requirement for impact resistant glazing have been modified. This will affect many buildings along the NJ Shore.
  • Institutional uses, including medical offices & assisted living facilities will be affected by the addition of “Occupancy Conditions.”
  • Most of the Barrier Free Subcode requirements have been moved to Chapter 11 of IBC.
  • Egress requirements from mezzanines have been changed.
  • New sprinkler requirements for buildings with assembly occupancies on roofs.
  • New requirements for low level “Exit” signs in some occupancies.

Visit the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) home page for a complete list of code adoptions with links to full versions of the codes online. http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/

Robert Longo, AIA
AIANJ Codes & Standards Chair

NJIT Design Showcase 2016

 

Register today for Design Showcase 2016!

New Jersey Institute of Technology
 FEBRUARY 2016 
 

College of Architecture and Design

Design Showcase 2016 – Our 10th Year!

Celebrating CoAD’s continued commitment to 

Students and Industry Professionals

 

 Thursday, April 7, 2016

Weston Hall Gallery

 

An evening featuring keynote speaker James Tichenor ’99, student design awards, live music and a cocktail reception. 

Registration with dedicated professional networking session for all guests begins at 4:30 pm.

 

To register, sponsor and for more information visit link:
Design Showcase 2016

or contact Tracy Bermeo at [email protected] or at 973-596-5531

 

Thank you!  

We look forward to seeing you on April 7th!

 

 

What Architects Need to Know About Responsible Charge

by David Del Vecchio, AIA
AIANJ Legislative & Government Affairs Chair  (L&GA)

A2023 was signed into law in New Jersey on January 11, 2016.  The bill revises the definition of “responsible charge” as it pertains to licensed professional engineers and land surveyors.  AIA New Jersey requested amendments to include architects along with the professional engineers and land surveyors included in the original language.

The original bill sought to revise the standard of supervision a professional engineer or land surveyor must give to individuals whose work affects the quality and competence of the professional services of the building design professional.  More specifically, the bill would change the definition of “responsible charge” as it pertains to architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, or land surveying work.

The bill defines “responsible charge” to mean the providing of oversight by a competent building design professional by means calculated to provide personal direction to, and quality control over, the efforts of subordinates of the licensee which directly and materially affects the quality and competence of the professional services rendered by the licensee.

The bill amends a section of law that currently lists various acts or practices engaged in by a licensed closely allied professionals that are deemed to be acts or practices in which that licensee has not rendered proper supervision.

The bill removes from this enumerated list of acts or practices contained in current law reference to the regular and continuous absence from principal office premises from which professional services are rendered, except for performance of field work or presence in a field office maintained exclusively for a specific project.

AIA New Jersey Legislative Committee was successful in having the bill amended to revise the definition of “responsible charge,” as it relates to engineers and architects, to mean the provision of regular and effective supervision by a competent professional engineer or architect, as the case may be, who shall provide personal direction to, and quality control over, the efforts of subordinates of the licensee which directly and materially affects the quality and competence of the professional services rendered by the licensee.

The amendments specify that a licensee engaged in the rendering of a limited, cursory or perfunctory review of plans or projects in lieu of providing sufficient direction to, and quality control over, the efforts of subordinates of the licensee shall be deemed not to have rendered regular and effective supervision.  Plan stamping is still plan stamping.

So while the bill allows building design professionals to provide personal direction and quality control to staff not located in the same office location, it maintains the prohibition Plan Stamping.

AIA National Strategic Partner Autodesk Offers Small Firms Big Discount on Revit LT Suite

AutoDesk ImageThe AIA and Autodesk are working together to ensure that small firms have the resources they need to be successful. As part of Autodesk becoming an AIA Strategic Partner, the software designer is providing AIA members with a special 25 percent discount on a key practice tool, AutoCAD Revit LT Suite.

The discount, available only to AIA members now through January 31, 2016, responds to an ongoing request from small and solo practitioners to help them stay competitive and current in a fast changing marketplace. The Autodesk discount makes the latest tools and resources more affordable, so small firms can use them to better serve their clients and communities.

The Suite includes two of the most important tools small firm practitioners might need: AutoCAD and Revit. Priced by seat licenses, a one-year, one-seat license is $505; with the 25 percent discount, members can receive it for $378.75. Members can purchase up to 3-year license terms, and more than one seat license can be purchased for that same 25 percent discount.

This offer is available to AIA members only, now through January 31, 2016. Click here to access the member only portion of the AIA National Website with access to links to make the purchase. Enter the coupon code AIARevit25 at checkout to receive this special discount for either the 1-year, 2-year or 3-year basic subscription.

Reminder: You must use one of the three links on the AIA National Website to make your purchase, and this deal ends January 31, 2016.

DCA Hosts Webinar on ePlans in December


dca_eplans

dca_njThe New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) has launched ePlans, a new web-based electronic plan review system, which eliminates paper-based building and code review processes and reduces the amount of time between plan submission and final approval.

We invite you to attend an informational webinar to learn more about ePlans and how you can benefit from using the new system. The webinar is being offered from 10-11 a.m. on December 10, 2015.

 

ePlans provides a number of benefits and cost-saving measures for both the building community and the Department including:

 

  • 24-hour access to the system from any computer
  • Elimination of the need for paper plans to be manually printed and delivered
  • Reduced printing costs
  • Transparency and auditability
  • Reduced turn-around time to review plans

 

ePlans will be extended to all State building projects that require plans from a licensed architect or engineer.   The Department will require mandatory usage of the ePlans system by December 31, 2015.  When a citizen (architect, engineer, contractor, owner) submits an application for a construction or land use permit requiring drawing plans and other documents, the Bureau of Construction Project Review will use ePlans to complete the initial review. Required changes are noted on the files and then communicated to the applicant, who can re-submit corrected plans electronically, 24/7, from the convenience of any computer. The review cycle continues until all the regulatory requirements are satisfied and the DCA grants approval for the plans.

 

For more information about accessing DCA’s ePlans system, or to register for the upcoming ePlans webinar, visit:

 

www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/offices/ePlans.html

 

Click here to download a digital version of the ePlans brochure.

 

Please feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.

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