Tag Archives: green building

New Program Offers Assistance For “Green” Businesses

New program offers recognition and reliable, no-cost assistance for “green” businesses

By Deborah Smarth

njsbr_logoFor almost 40 years, the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, also known as America’s SBDC New Jersey, has providedcomprehensive services and programs for New Jersey entrepreneurs to help expand their operations, manage their growth, or start new ventures. 

Up until recentlyNJSBDC’s consulting services focused primarily on core operational activitiessuch as helping entrepreneurs develop business plans, obtain financing, identify new markets, develop marketing and sales strategies, learn recordkeepingand accounting skills, find procurement and international trade opportunities, commercialize technology, and develop an E-commerce presence. 

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and its long-standing working relationship with the Bureau of Energy and Sustainability (BES) at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)the NJSBDCnetwork has now added sustainability as a new specialty to its vast repertoire of services. The new specialty offers prompt and easily accessible services and a business friendly approach to help New Jersey small business owners start or expand environmentally conscious practices. 

One component of the new specialty program focuses on the pro-bono and confidential management consulting services for which the NJSBDC is renowned!  Whether you want information about starting or expanding a sustainability program, or a strategy to help you deal with an existing environmental concern, the NJSBDC will provide you with an expert counselor who is knowledgeable in all facets of sustainability, energy conservation, waste reduction, pollution prevention, toxics mitigation, and disaster preparedness.  Continue reading

East Coast Green Registration Now Open

Architecture Week Marks Opening of Registration for

Third Annual East Coast Green Conference

Tickets and Sponsorship Available for New Jersey’s Premier Green Conference

TRENTON, N.J. (DATE) — The Committee on the Environment (COTE) of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ), has announced that registration for its third annual East Coast Green Conference opened today in honor of Architecture Week, a weeklong celebration that increases public awareness of architecture.

This third annual conference, which will be held for the second consecutive year at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, N.J., in June, is titled: “Re: Thinking Green,” and will take a look at the future of sustainability and the environment in the architecture and construction industries.

“We at AIA-NJ are pleased and proud to announce during Architecture Week the commencement for registration of the Third Annual East Coast Green Conference,” said Laurence E. Parisi, president of AIA-NJ. “Architects have a keen understanding of the built environment along with strong consideration and respect for a sustainable future of our ecology.”

Trenton-based AIA-NJ, which has about 2,000 members, is the state chapter of the national organization, which helps architects serve the public’s needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society.

East Coast Green will be held on June 14, in conjunction with AIA-NJ’s second “COTE Top 10 Awards,” which will recognize outstanding built work in the area of sustainable design.

The conference will be preceded on June 13 by a full day of workshops sponsored by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). A Green Building Expo featuring green building products and materials will also be held in conjunction with the conference.

This year’s educational tracks include “Re: Codify,” which will look at the different sustainability codes and policies facing the architecture and construction industries; “Re: Certify,” which will facilitate LEED professionals to maintain their credentials; and “Re: View,” which will provide case studies of successful sustainable applications.

“AIA-NJ is very excited to be hosting our third annual East Coast Green Conference,” said Parisi. “With the success of the past two events, we’re able to attract the industry’s top players for the workshops and lectures. This year’s event is expected to be the region’s biggest and best green conference.”

Over the two-day event, more than 20 courses will be offered, all of which are eligible for AIA and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) continuing education credits.

Sponsorship and exhibit opportunities are also available. Sponsors will have the opportunity to increase their company’s visibility in the “greening” consumer markets, as well as to network with leaders and present their products and applications to an audience of early adopters and industry leaders.

For information on exhibiting or sponsorship, visit the ECG website or e-mail Jack Purvis at [email protected]

Architecture Week is held from April 8- 14, and this year’s theme is “Design Connects,” which encourages people to join the online conversation. The event is completely virtual and is using social networking platforms such as Pinterest and FourSquare to showcase good design and encourage those interested in architecture to share thoughts and engage with others. Click here for more information about Architecture Week and how to get involved.

East Coast Green 2012 Save the Date


ENERGY is the fourth annual AIANJ symposium at that College of Architecture and Design at NJIT. Since 2007, AIANJ has provided support for an annual symposium and Endowed Lecture. Past symposia have engaged issues such as building information modeling, parametric design, and post-occupancy. Previous Endowed Lecturers have included Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, Stephen Kieran, and Thom Mayne. Symposia are published annually in the Conversations in Practice book series by the college.

ENERGY will continue these discussions on the contemporary state of architectural practice by bringing together academics, architects, engineers, lobbyists, and sustainable technicians. We hope you will join us in Newark at Weston Lecture Hall 1 on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to Samanthea Jones at (973) 596-3080. Admission is free and carries 4 AIA/CES credits to licensed architects.

Free Continuing Eduction Credits

At a recent AIA Newark Suburban board meeting we were discussing ways to increase the benefits to the membership.  One board member said that one of the most common email and phone call questions he gets is about where to find low cost continuing education (CE) credits. Especially at this time of odd numbered years when NJ architect licenses are set for renewal by August 1st.

As most members know, membership includes monthly general meetings.  At these meetings we usually have a CE event.  This is also the case at the other local components throughout AIA NJ.  These are a great source of knowledge and CE credit.

Another great source of CE material is online. Much of it at no cost. I frequently read the articles found at McGraw Hill Construction (http://continuingeducation.construction.com/), publishers of Architectural Record, ENR, Green Source, and Sweets. After reading the articles, either online or in print form, I usually take the online test.  The system notifies me that I have passed and forwards the passing grade to the AIA’s group that keeps track of the records.  I also print out (usually to PDF file) a copy of the certificate for my records.  All at no cost.  You can’t beat that.  For a $10 fee the test can be taken on paper (either from the tear-out in the printed publications or printed from the online version) and mailed in to be graded and recorded.

Most of the articles are usually of very high quality technical knowledge and take a little more than an hour including the ten question test.  Many articles are labeled for HSW and the new SD (sustainable design) credits. I generally find the ones not written by representatives of product manufacturers and service companies to be of the greatest value, but I’ll leave that judgment up to you.

Each licensing jurisdiction may have different requirements on the number of CE credits that can be accepted in this format. I believe NJ accepts up to 7 credits per cycle. Check each jurisdiction to make sure you are in compliance.

Here are the links to a few of many hundreds of excellent no cost online CE articles.  Enjoy.

Robert Mencarini, AIA

AIA Newark Suburban Architects, Trustee 2007-2009

BIM Promotes Sustainability http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article.php?L=5&C=516

Best Practices in Integrated Project Delivery http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article.php?L=115&C=408

Energy Modeling for Sustainability http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article.php?L=5&C=399

Some Other Useful BIM & IPD Information Sources…

I’ve been working with BIM, mostly Revit, for 10 years now.  In the beginning there wasn’t much published on the subject. It wasn’t even called BIM.  Back then the terms were more like Object Modeling and virtual building.  Now, not only do we have numerous printed books, we also have scores of software & service companies, websites, blogs and wiki’s devoted to all sorts of BIM tools and processes.
Ten years ago, blogs and wiki’s didn’t even exist.  Now they are one of the greatest just-in-time learning tools available.  And the best part is the information is completely free.

Every day I spend at least a few minutes glancing at what others have posted.  Almost every day there is something of value.  Here I’ll share with you a few of the ways to find these great sources of information.

The first tool in my BIM knowledge toolbelt is Google Alerts.  Google Alerts are a free web news clipping service.  You sign up for any topic you are interested in, not limited to BIM, and every day or week Google Alerts will email you the new or revised links regarding that topic.  It’s as if someone is reading every single online reference to a particular subject and clipping out the link, writing a synopsis, and emailing them to you.  Google Alerts automatically keeps track of what it has sent you in the past and only sends the updates.  I have a few Google Alerts set up to subjects such as Revit, Bentley Architecture, Archicad, various IPD topics and tools, Autodesk, etc.  I have them set to email once per day.  I could also set it to send as it finds them, which is too frequent for me, or once per week.  Once every day I get an email that tells me about any web-news article, any blog, or wiki regarding BIM or Revit or what ever the Alert is set to. This keeps me very informed about the subject.

The first step to setting up a Google Alert is to create a free Google Account (https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount).  This account give you access to all of the free Google tools.  Some people call this the Google OS.  It includes email, Contact Manager, Calendar, Google Docs (Writer, Spreadsheet, Slide Presentation, etc.) I’ll write more on these very useful tools in a future post.  Once your Google account is set up you go to: http://www.google.com/alerts?hl=en to set up a Google Alert. Enter the Search Terms, the type of places to search, how often to send it to you, and to what email address or RSS feed to send it to.  That’s it.  All for free.  I highly recommend this free tool.

The are many blogs that I look at least every few days.  I’ll list them out in no particular order.  There are many more available.  Do a search and see what helps you the most:

paulfaubin.blogspot.com by Paul Aubin, author of Mastering Revit Architecture book

revitoped.blogspot.com by Steve Stafford

allthingsbim.blogspot.com by James Vandezande, SOM colleague

www.caduzer.com by Scott Rosenbloom, SOM colleague

www.designreform.net by David Fano

The list could go on.  I have over fifty in my Google (blog) Reader.  I suggest you do a search, see what you find and share the really good ones by posting a comment to this post.


Welcome to the AIA NJ Technology In Practice Blog!

The purpose of the AIA NJ Technology In Practice blog is to share knowledge about the use of technology in the professional lives of our members and their firms.
The goal is to expand the knowledge, flatten the learning curve, and decrease the time it takes to implement and benefit from the tools and technologies that allow Architects to be more efficient, more productive, & more profitable.

A decade ago, having been involved with the use of technology in residential and large and small scale commercial / institutional architecture since the mid 1980’s I jumped at the chance to join a small startup software company in Massachusetts called Charles River Software. The goal of this company and it’s founders was to deliver on the promise of what technology can offer the AEC industry. This company, later known as Revit Technology Corporation became part of Autodesk, Inc. in 2002 where my role was working with firms around the United States and beyond implementing these new tools. I left Autodesk in 2005 to form my own BIM consulting and architecture firm. Eventually, after many years of working with firms on the early implementation stages of BIM tools, I joined Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, LLP in NYC as a Senior Manager of Virtual Design + Construction, for the opportunity to apply this knowledge on very large buildings with teams that are beyond the early adopter phases of Building Information Modeling.

We’ll start the blog with two main areas, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

In this context the term technology means more than the many electronic hardware and software tools available to architects. It also means processes and procedures that can help us achieve our goals. The tools and processes that we use interconnect to form a fabric that runs throughout our business. I have a long list of topics and links to related and helpful information to start this knowledge share and ensuing discussions.

I suspect, as I’ve seen in other related ventures, the interconnections from BIM to IPD to Sustainable Design is very much intertwined. The implementation of one informs the needs and uses of the others.

As the Editor and Contributor of the AIA NJ Technology in Practice blog I will share with you my knowledge in these areas and invite others, from within the AIA NJ community and beyond, to share their knowledge as well.

I look forward to this opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with the AIA NJ community.

Robert Mencarini, AIA

AIA Newark Suburban Architects, Trustee 2007-2009


A Note form the AIA State Government Network Representative:

(May 13, 2009)
The ICC is forming a new committee entitled the Sustainable Building Technology Committee (SBTC). The SBTC was originally tasked with the improvement of ICC Codes, Standards and Guidelines in the areas of sustainability and high performance. This includes areas of water, energy and mechanical efficiency, as well as new and renewable energy sources such as solar, hydrogen fuel cells and other systems. On May 4th the ICC voted to develop a Green Building Code. The SBTC will develop the first draft. There will be 4 – 5 SBTC meetings, each three days in length, between July/2009 – Jan/2010. Work Groups may also hold meetings as part of the drafting process. Meetings via web-conferencing are also anticipated.

Sustainable Building Technology Committee members are appointed by the ICC Board of Directors. Travel required and paid for by ICC. Click here for an application. or contact Mike Pfeiffer, 1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 4338. Application deadline: June 1, 2009

AIA-NJ Members Featured on PBS Special on Green Building

TRENTON, N.J. (April 19,2009) — Two members of the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) will be featured as “green-building pioneers” on a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television feature on green builders.

Deane Evans, FAIA, executive director of the Center for Architecture and Building Science Research at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J., and David E. Cohen, AIA, of DEC Architect in Princeton, N.J., will be featured on “Green Builders,” which will air multiple times on local public television stations this month. Continue reading