Category Archives: Uncategorized

Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals – Brian Penschow

“Drawing Inspiration from our Emerging Professionals” is an eight-part series that will be published on the AIA NJ blog over the course of the month of October, AIA Emerging Professionals Month. In this series, our young professionals will chronicle the personal stories of how they were attracted to become architects — and how architecture inspires them.

epic_penshaw.jpg    Drawing Out My Inner Creativity

I like to joke with people that I came to architecture after trying accounting, anthropology, and archaeology, but that isn’t really true – my career path wasn’t nearly that simple. And while it is true that I played with legos and lincoln logs when I was a child, grew up in and around the beautiful architecture of New York City, and had a poster of the World Trade Center with the 1976 King Kong on my bedroom wall, none of those things inspired me to become an architect or even led me to architecture school.

In grade school, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but I didn’t know how to make a life out of that. (Ironically, my wife found a way; she actually teaches Marine Biology.)

As I grew older, my plans transformed and I was convinced that I would be a patent attorney, as my logic skills and gifts with mathematics and science would help me excel in that field. I planned to get an undergraduate engineering degree, and then go to law school, but none of that worked out. The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

While I did enter engineering school at the age of seventeen, I never finished my degree. After bouncing around several different jobs, some of which I considered possible careers, I decided to go back to school and study business, which ended up being a complete disaster. I was good at engineering, but in engineering there is one particular solution to a problem, and there is very limited room for creativity. I found business school very boring, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I was completely lost.

It wasn’t until I took my first class in architecture at my local community college that I finally felt at home. I was willing to work long hours, stay up all night, cry after brutal critiques, and even sacrifice a social life for a discipline that would allow me to use all of my skills and creativity. Architectural school, for the first time, helped me release my inner creativity that was always trying to get out.

My inspiration for becoming an architect, and for producing architecture comes from within. Finding that locus of inspiration within me is the secret to my ambition, my drive, and, in large part, to my success.

Brian Penschow, AIA

NCARB Launches ARE 5.0

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 5.0 launched November 1, 2016, and incorporates the latest testing technology.

ncarbLearn more at NCARB.com

The next version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), ARE 5.0, will launch November 1, 2016, incorporating the latest testing technologies and format that more closely aligns with modern practice. The six-division exam will include case studies that simulate real-world practice, and will be offered without a fee increase.

Developed by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the multi-division exam is taken by all candidates seeking architectural licensure in the United States. As with all licensing exams, the ARE is updated periodically to ensure it continues to test the knowledge and skills necessary for the independent practice of architecture.

To adapt to changes in the profession, ARE 5.0 will incorporate a new division structure and the latest graphic testing methods. The exam content has been reorganized into six divisions, which are designed to reflect the phases of architectural practice—from practice management to construction and evaluation. The new divisions also align with the experience areas of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), making the licensure process smoother and easier to understand for candidates.

Incorporating the Latest Testing Technology

The new exam will retire vignettes—a graphic question type used in the current version—and incorporate two new question types: hot spots and drag-and-place. ARE 5.0 will also include case studies to assess a candidate’s ability to synthesize multiple pieces of information. Each ARE 5.0 division will feature 80 to 120 questions comprised of these new question types, plus multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, and fill-in-the-blank questions.

NCARB carefully develops the ARE in conjunction with hundreds of practicing architects who volunteer their time, services, and expertise to write, test, and analyze the exam. The ARE is then reviewed by experts who verify the questions are fair, reliable, and in compliance with national testing standards.

 

2016 AIANJ DESIGN AWARD WINNERS

2016 DESIGN AWARDS WINNERS

MERIT UNBUILT

PROJECT:
Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science & Innovation
FIRM
HDR 

PROJECT:
Village House
FIRM
Stonewater Architects   

PROJECT:
The Unitarian Church Expansion
FIRM
ikon.5 architects   

     

PROJECT:
Olympic Archery Park
FIRM
ikon.5 architects   

MERIT INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE 


PROJECT:
Guerrilla Fitness
FIRM
Solid and Void   

MERIT BUILT-OPEN

PROJECT:
Pinbright Institute
FIRM
HDR  


PROJECT:
Biotrial North America Headquarters
FIRM
Francis Cauffman   

MERIT HISTORIC PRESERVATION

PROJECT:
93 Reade Street
FIRM
CTS  

MERIT RESIDENTIAL

PROJECT:
Holly Pointe Commons, Rowan University
FIRM
Erdy McHenry Architects  

PROJECT:
Prosepct Avenue House
FIRM
Joseph Hobart Weiss   

 

HONOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION 

 
PROJECT:
Porcelanosa
FIRM
CTS   
 

HONOR BUILT 

 
PROJECT:
NJ Insitute for Food Nutrition and Health
FIRM
              Ballinger         
PROJECT:
MD Anderson Cancer Center
FIRM
HDR  

 

Francis Cauffman Wins AIANJ Award for Biotrial’s North American Headquarters

Annual awards program honors design excellence in New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ–Architecture firm Francis Cauffman has been honored with a Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Jersey, as part of their 2016 Design Awards. The Merit Award for Built Projects celebrates French contract research company Biotrial’s North American headquarters in Newark, New Jersey’s University Heights Science & Technology Park (UHSTP).

The AIA is a professional organization that builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. The annual Design Awards bring public and professional recognition to design teams that have made a significant contribution to design excellence in New Jersey.

“Francis Cauffman has a great team that collaborated closely with Biotrial to understand their work and their specific needs for this building,” said James Crispino, President of Francis Cauffman. “Our building embodies Biotrial’s culture and seamlessly integrates it into the urban fabric of Newark.”

biotrials_na_hdqrs

Biotral’s new North American headquarters in Newark.  Photo by Chris Cooper.

 

Francis Cauffman’s team included: Buro Happold (Building Systems Engineer); Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer); Sciame (Construction Manager, Cost Estimator); David Langdon (Cost Estimator); Langan Engineering Services (Site Civil, Traffic, and Landscape Architect); Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster (Land Use Attorney), Joseph A. Natoli Construction Inc. (General Contractor).

Biotrial’s Design
The 70,000-sq.-ft. building is strategically located in the Park, an urban redevelopment initiative uniting five universities and other biomedical organizations.  The high quality of the building’s design, which expresses Biotrial’s mission, has raised the bar for this redevelopment neighborhood, adding jobs and stimulating growth.

Francis Cauffman designed the building as two interlocking planes, whose materials reflect Biotrial’s values. The rear, private façade is solid black brick with matching mortar, which gives a sense of strength and solidity. In contrast, the front is a fritted glass curtain wall, communicating openness and transparency. The fritting creates movement as the light passes through, while also providing privacy. Inspired by the nature of Biotrial’s work, the designers created a ribbon of metal, suggestive of the fluidity of chemistry, to tie the two planes together. The ribbon forms an entrance canopy on the private side, moves through the building as the lobby ceiling, and reemerges on the public side to create a frame for the vestibule and finally the canopy for services.

Natural light penetrates deeply into the interior through the glass, and through asymmetrical ribbon windows in the brick façade. Inside, the building contains a laboratory, pharmacy, and clinical facilities including a 100-bed unit to conduct trials, corporate and volunteer recruitment office, a café, library, lounge, and gardens. 

DOE Energy Code Training

ENERGY.GOV
Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Building Energy Codes Program

TOMORROW:  The Energy Codes Commentator

Daylighting Controls in Commercial Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program is excited to announce the next event in its Energy Code Commentator training series!

Daylighting Controls in Commercial Buildings

Featuring Rahul Athalye, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Thursday, September 8th at 1pm (eastern)

Registration is now available by clicking the above link!

What’s the Energy Code Commentator?

The DOE Building Energy Codes Program hosts a webinar-based training series called the Energy Code Commentator.  The series spans a variety of special topics of interest to all energy code stakeholders–for both residential & commercial buildings. Events will be held regularly on the second Thursday of each month at 1pm (eastern).  Check out the DOE Building Energy Codes Program training portal for the scheduled lineup and recordings of past events!

If you have suggestions for future topics or speakers, please submit them to [email protected].

 

AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx)

AIAeagle_2016The AIA Small Firm Exchange (SFx – and previously the Small Firm Roundtable SFRT) recently published its inaugural newsletter. Click here for a link to the letter from the Chair. There you will find the first articles and a link to sign up for the Small Firm Exchange (nationally), which will put you on the email list for the newsletter.

As mentioned in previous SFx posts, AIA New Jersey is also interested in organizing local Small Firm Exchanges (Roundtables) throughout the state. Please stay tuned for additional information, but if you have an interest, you can always contact me directly.

Thanks,

Bruce D. Turner, AIA
email: [email protected]

AIA South Jersey & AIA West Jersey Joint Meeting

AIA SJ&WJ Sept 13 2016 invitation

AEC Cares at the 2016 AIA National Convention

In this month’s ARCHITECT Magazine, July 2016, pages 52-53 feature the AEC Cares project from the National Convention in Philadelphia. The project was a “blitz-build” renovation of the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center. As described on the AEC Cares website: “In 2016, AEC Cares partnered with the Community Design Collaborative to renovate the Philadelphia Athletic Recreation Center. Used by hundreds of children in the Sharswood neighborhood for after school and sports programs, the center was in desperate need of repair and upgrades.” As their sixth annual blitz build, project Philadelphia, as it was dubbed, took place on May 18th, 2016, the day before the 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia. AIA WJ Emerging Professional, Jeffrey Brummer, AIA, was a member of the design team. Jeffrey is located on the far left side of the design team photograph on page 52 (and below).

Visit www.aeccares.com for more information. There are videos on the website highlighting the program.

Story submitted by Mark Barone, AIA, President-Elect of AIA West Jersey

AEC Cares at 2016 AIA Convention One Page

SURVEY – Business Models for Small Architectural Firms

AIAeagle_2016The Small Firm Exchange (SFx – previously called the Small Firm Roundtable, or SFRT) seeks the anonymous input of small architectural firms (10 persons or fewer) on a variety of business practices. Below is a full article by Kevin Harris, FAIA explaining the request. This article will soon appear in the CRAN Journal. But, to help us get a jump on this we are asking for you to participate in the survey now. The survey is very brief and should not take long to complete.

To access the survey click HERE!

Kevin Harris PhotoCRAN Journal – Summer 2016
Article by Kevin Harris, FAIA

ARCHITECTURAL MODELS FOR SMALL FIRMS

As architects, we are all familiar with the process and benefits of modeling our designs prior to construction. Models are an effective medium to study proposed creations and help communicate those concepts to our clients.

Constructing a model takes time however, it can give us an opportunity to take a break, reflect on new insights, and manipulate the parts until all seems right. Working with a model is a process that helps us elevate our plans from good to better.

As part of their ongoing effort on identifying what information could best benefit members of the AIA, the Small Firm Exchange (SFx) distributed its Small Firm Survey (Beta version) during the 2016 AIA Convention. Its purpose was to identify and measure the variety and commonalities existing in small firm models with the goal of providing meaningful insight to all architects practicing in small firms. It collected data on firm location; staff number, credentials, and commitment; project numbers, types, locations, and budgets; business plan existence and update frequency; contract usage; fee methods; gross revenue; and identified interest areas for additional studies.

The surveys were distributed as paper copies in both the SFx and AIA Fellow/VIP Lounges at the convention. Participants in this “Beta” test group formed a small sampling however, one large enough to reveal certain patterns of important concern to small firm practitioners.

Most notable is the fact that very few responded as having, or updating, a business plan. Those that did have one admitted at best to infrequent review or updating of this important planning tool. A business plan is widely acknowledged as a basic guide that is to be used throughout the lifetime of any business. In order to be of value, the plan must be kept up-to-date!

This brings up the rhetorical question that, as a profession, why don’t architects apply those concepts of creative process improvement modeling used to arrive at better designs, to plans used to guide their own businesses? Why indeed!

I am also guilty of spending little to no time on developing, studying, or “modeling” my own business plan. This SFx survey has piqued my interest on what other things I might learn from observing other practices. What patterns are applicable to my own firm? For example, since I want to improve my financial success, is there a correlation between firm income and the number of projects each year? Or does the number of staff in my outfit restrict the types and sizes of projects I can best handle? What type of contracts do others use? Are there better patterns to distribute the responsibility hats worn by a sole proprietor when in a firm of 2-4 people, or is it any better with 5-10? Is a larger firm more profitable than a sole practitioner without support staff? The data sampling of small firms must be greatly enlarged to properly study these and other relevant questions.

Below is a sample “dashboard” that visually communicates the data gathered from the initial “Beta” version. Similar outputs will be applied to the digital version, and will be made available to all who participate. Follow this link to the survey: http://tinyurl.com/AIASFxBusinessModelSurvey

SFx Beta Survey Results

Answering basic business questions and conducting mid-stream course corrections is required for your basic business survival. Having access to a database illustrating how your peers address these same issues will go a long way towards guiding you towards a more financially sustainable practice.

Download the survey link NOW! http://tinyurl.com/AIASFxBusinessModelSurvey

Updated small firm model statistics will follow in a future issue of the CRAN Journal.

CRAN Journal – Summer 2016
Article by Kevin Harris, FAIA