Volume 3, No. 2 - February 23, 2009
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Studio27 Architecture
Design Army, by Studio27 Architecture (more info)
The Economy Issue

ARE Prep Series Begins Next Week

Sustainability Workshops Offer New
  "SU" Sustainability CES Credits

Economic Update

In Practice...

Featured Project: Design Army

Calendar

Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website


Open House Tomorrow Night

ARE Prep Series Begins with a Roundtable Discussion + Introduction
The Young Architects Forum has scheduled the 2009 ARE Prep Courses. The series begins next Wednesday, March 4 with a roundtable discussion about the exams and the study sessions. NCARB representative Rachel Kors, AIA will give a brief presentation and will be available to answer any questions. Also, newly licensed architects and 4.0 test takers who have recently passed the exams will be on hand for questions. The roundtable will be held March 4 from 6:30-8:30p at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. Refreshments will be served. Please be sure to RSVP for this free event by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

The series continues with presentations on all sections of the exam. Each seminar will feature knowledgeable practitioners summarizing information relevant to the exam in question. The pertinent Graphic Vignettes will also be discussed, including a brief tutorial of the software and review of a practice vignette. For a complete calendar and additional information, visit the ARE Page on the Chatper website.

As part of the series, Professor David Thaddeus, AIA will once again conduct his popular Structural Systems Workshop from April 17-19. This will also include review of the Structural Vignette that is now part of the Structural Systems Exam. The registration form can be downloaded here.

The Saturday morning seminars will be held at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. AECOM Design is within walking distance from Clarendon Station on the Orange Line. Street and Garage Parking is also available.


Sustainability Training + Study Sessions Offer up to 25 CES Credits
PSA-Dewberry is planning a program for their employees to introduce sustainability concepts and LEED®, which have become a requirement of an increasing number of clients. The firm is inviting AIA members to participate as well.

These sessions will offer an overview of sustainability principals and in-depth training in preparation for accreditation. Five lunch-time sessions are planned in March and April with directed study sessions between.

Upon completion of the training you will be able to understand the basic principles of sustainability and the LEED® process. The five sessions will cover sustainable sites, water resources, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor air quality.

Attendance at all five sessions with participation in the directed study sessions, both in person and virtual, offer the opportunity to earn a total of 25 AIA/CES HSW SU learning units. The SU refers to the new AIA sustainability requirements. For a list of the specific topics to be covered, please refer to the calendar entry for each session on the Chapter website.

The sessions will be held at PSA-Dewberry in Fairfax on five consecutive Thursdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2, from noon-1:15p. You are invited to bring a lunch or pick up a lunch at the on-site deli. PSA-Dewberry is located at 8401 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax 22031. Sessions will take place in Training Room D, in the rear building. Free parking is available, but due to some ongoing construction, please park on the upper parking deck.

These sessions are offered free to AIA members and members may register for the entire series or for individual sessions. There is a fee of $150 for non-members to participate in the entire series. We are not able to offer registration for individual sessions to non-members. Registration is required by emailing your request to reservations@aianova.org. For additional information, contact the Chapter at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

Please note:
According to the USGBC, in order to maintain alignment with the new LEED® 2009 Rating System, the last date that candidates will be able to register for the current LEED® for Commercial Interiors 2.0 and LEED® for New Construction 2.2 Accredited Professional (LEED® AP) exams will be March 31, 2009. New registrations will not be accepted by GBCI after March 31, 2009. The retirement dates for the LEE®D NC 2.2 and LEED® CI 2.0 AP exams have not yet been determined. For complete information about the LEED® AP exams, visit http://www.gbci.org/Default.aspx.


Virginia + the Economic Stimulus Plan

On February 17, President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to states to help create new jobs, billions to help individuals and businesses, and nearly $300 billion in tax cuts. This economic stimulus package is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $787 billion over the 2009-2019 period.

The AIA has been heavily involved in the development of the new law through its Rebuild and Renew advocacy campaign. Through Rebuild and Renew, AIA members nationwide called on Congress and the White House to ensure that the stimulus bill includes provisions that will allow architects to get back to work through investments in green buildings, safe and efficient infrastructure, affordable housing, and 21st century schools.

Funding from the new law will be distributed quickly to states and federal agencies. Now is the time to contact Governor Kaine and Virginia to share your views on how to best allocate the funds. The Commonwealth has made it easy for you by developing a website that allows citizens, groups, localities, and others to submit project proposals to be considered when federal stimulus funds become available. Visit www.stimulus.virginia.gov.

The website provides an online form to submit potential projects. All projects submitted are then posted on the Virginia Stimulus web page and shared with state and local government officials and agencies that are responsible for selecting projects. You may submit more than one proposal.

Please keep two things in mind as you submit proposals. First, the stimulus money reserved for construction projects - whether highways, mass transit, schools, public building renovations, or some other infrastructure need - should be divided between so-called "shovel-ready" projects and those that can be ready for groundbreaking within 24 months. This will ensure that architects have work to do and that the construction jobs established immediately will not abruptly halt at the end of the first projects. Second, request that we not only build, but build with the future in mind. Build in an energy efficient and environmentally conscientious manner.

To learn more about the federal stimulus package and to see where the money is going, visit www.recovery.gov.

To learn more about the AIA's Economic Stimulus Plan, visit Rebuild + Renew. This site is constantly updated to provide current information on the economy. You can also participate in the AIA Angle blog site.

The AIA is offering a free webcast, Position Your Firm for the End of the Economic Downturn, on Tuesday, March 17, from 2:00-3:30p. Advance registration is required and is available for AIA members only. Click here for information.

Finally, on a personal note, several Chapter members have been laid off recently. If your firm is in a position to hire a colleague, either on a permanent or temporary part-time basis, please contact the Chapter House and let us know. And, if you have lost your job, please feel free to send your resume so we can try to help.

We are offering free classified ad space in our Chapter newsletter for firms who wish to advertise job openings. This offer is good throughout 2009. Ads are limited to 100 words and should be submitted to aianova@aianova.org. The Chapter also provides an online Job Board which offers free job postings for members. You can easily list openings by completing the online form available here. The Chapter House also maintains a folder of resumes for people seeking employment.

So, if you have a job, need or job, want to place a free classified, want to add your resume to our file, or check out the resumes we have, please contact the Chapter at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.



In Practice
Convention Registration
The Early Bird registration deadline for the AIA National Convention has been extended through March 3. Come to San Francisco from April 2 - May 2 and take a closer look at the profession's changing purposes, practices, and audiences during four unforgettable days with renowned industry leaders and peers. For additional information and Early Bird registration, click here.

AIA National Website
Visit the new AIA website at www.aia.org. This online resource offers member focused content to help you with your practice and career. Check out the Architect's Knowledge Resource, Member Spotlights, Advocacy page and Career Center. Watch a two-minute introduction to the site here. Start exploring today and share your comments at feedback@aia.org.

A new login procedure has been implemented for members checking their continuing education transcripts online. For security reasons, the AIA Continuing Education System is switching to a single source sign-in (SSO), just like the log-in procedure to access the member-only sections of the AIA website. At the same time, members now have the ability to access many different areas of the website without logging in multiple times. To check your transcript online, visit http://www.aia.org/education/index.htm and enter your email address and password. The default password is your last name, which is case sensitive. If you need assistance with resetting either your email address and/or password, contact AIA CES at ces@aia.org or (202) 626-7436.



Featured Project

Design Army
Washington, DC
Studio27 Architecture

In 2006, Design Army - an accolade laden Washington, DC graphic design firm - looked for a new space to locate its growing business. After a concentrated search, Design Army was able to purchase a dilapidated building in the City's NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) District. Destroyed in the riots of 1968, the NOMA District had lain dormant for over thirty years before being identified as a focus redevelopment zone in the City's master plan.

Programmatically, Design Army needed to gut and expand the structure from a two to a three and a half story building. The eight person firm needed two and a half floors of studio space as well as a street-front retail space they could lease to supplement the operating costs of the new building.

The architects were aware that the new zoning overlay about to be adopted for the neighborhood would make this impossible by restricting the building to three floors. The architects were able to work with the planning commission and zoning board to obtain a variance to allow a mezzanine roof deck and kitchen area for Design Army to use and make sure the emerging neighborhood did not lose this new development. Design Army represented a vibrant new source of activity and anchor redevelopment property for the block.

In 2008, Design Army took possession of a luminous work and meeting space that reinforces their clients' belief that they have hired a graphic design firm that provides "designs that resonate with intelligence, relevance and professionalism."



February 24 - AIA Northern Virginia Open House
6:00-8:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. Celebrate Mardi Gras with classic New Orleans food and drinks. Street parking is available. The Chapter House is also accessible by Metro, using the King Street Station. You can walk down King Street to Patrick, about an 8-block walk, or hop on the free King Street Trolley which runs, about every 15 minutes, down King Street connecting the metro station to the waterfront. Free and reservations are not necessary.

February 27 - Small Firms Roundtable: The Residential Mortgage Industry
Noon-1:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. As the Small Firms Roundtable continues its look at the current state of the economy, we are pleased to announce that Keith Raggio will join the discussion at our February meeting. As many members already know, Keith has worked in the residential mortgage industry for more than 25 years. As part of his work, Keith has actively communicated with architects and builders to keep them abreast of trends and concerns within the residential mortgage industry. Now, with architects confronting a housing industry that has changed dramatically in the past twelve months, Keith will offer his insight regarding what happened, where we are now, and what is likely to occur in the future. 1 AIA/CES LU. $5.00 per person for lunch (pizza + drinks), collected on site. Registration is required by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

March 4 - Firm Pin-Up Series at WAAC
6:00p, at Virginia Tech's Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, 1001 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Sponsored by the AIA Northern Virginia Schools Connections Committee, this is part of a series where firms pin-up projects for discussion with the architecture students at WAAC. This pin-up features Glenn Canencio, Intl. Assoc. AIA, with Kerns Group Architects, PC, speaking about Columbian Architecture. Open to students, faculty and professionals. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-947.

March 4 - ARE Prep Series: Roundtable Discussion + Introduction
6:30-8:30p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. See the article above for information. Registration forms for the ARE Prep series are available here and registration forms for the David Thaddeus Structures Workshop are available here. The Roundtable discussion is free, but registration is requested by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

March 5 - Sustainable Design Workshop
Noon-1:15p, at PSA-Dewberry, 8401 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax 22031. First of five sessions, repeating Thursdays at noon through April 2. As many as 25 AIA/CES HSW SD LUs available with additional study sessions. Read more in the article above.

March 7 - ARE Prep Series: Construction Documents + Services I - Legal
10:00a-2:00p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. See the article above for information. Registration forms for the ARE Prep series are available here.

March 9 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30-6:00p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

March 18 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series - Two Seminars
11:00a-1:15p, at PSA-Dewberry, 8401 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax 22031. In Training Room A+B, in the rear building. Free parking is available. Due to construction on site, please park on the upper parking deck.

First Presentation: Understanding Energy-Efficient Windows (11:00a-noon). This program addresses variables that determine a window's energy efficiency: U-factors, solar heat gain and loss, visible transmittance, air infiltration, frame construction and glazing options. 1 AIA/CES HSW SD LU. Second Presentation: Window Fenestration and the USGBC LEED® Green Building Rating System (12:15p-1:15p). This presentation gives an overview of the ways the US Green Building Council's various LEED® Programs apply to windows. It reviews credit requirements within the commercial and residential rating systems, and goes into detail about how windows can contribute points towards LEED® certification. 1 AIA/CES HSW SD LU. Both presented by Marc S. Held, CSI, CDT, Vice President Commercial Sales, Marvin Windows and Doors / Light Styles Ltd. Lunch provided. Registration is required by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

March 21 - ARE Prep Series: Construction Documents + Services II - Practice
10:00a-2:00p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. See the article above for information. Registration forms for the ARE Prep series are available here.

March 24 - Economic Roundtable
3:00-6:30p, at PSA-Dewberry, 8401 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax 22031. Presented by Virginia Society AIA and AIA Northern Virginia. Determine the best strategies to ensure survivability for your business. This free, solution-focused program is designed to help architects and construction-industry professionals respond to the current business climate. Hear an analysis of the current financial situation and its short- and long-term impact on the design and construction industry. Take part in two roundtable discussions with your peers followed by a summary discussion from each session. Be prepared for future fluctuations in the marketplace - including the eventual economic upswing. 3.5 AIA/CES LUs. Free for AIA members (registration is required); $10 for non-members. Download the registration form here. For information, contact jwalker@aiava.org.

March 25 - Firm Pin-Up Series at WAAC
6:00p, at Virginia Tech's Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, 1001 Prince Street, Alexandria 22314. Sponsored by the AIA Northern Virginia Schools Connections Committee, this is part of a series where firms pin-up projects for discussion with the architecture students at WAAC. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

March 27 - 6th Annual Canstruction® Build-Out Night
5:00p-midnight, at Ballston Common Mall, 4238 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington. Ballston Station on Metro's Orange Line or park in public garage at mall. AIA Northern Virginia is holding its 6th Annual Canstruction® Competition, featuring teams of architects building fantastic structures entirely of canned food, which ultimately goes to a local food bank, the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Over the last five years, this event has become the single largest food drive benefiting AFAC. A jury will select the best to move on to the national competition. Watch teams build their structures on March 27 and visit the exhibit through April 4. The event is free and registration is not necessary. For additional information, click here or contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or (703) 549-9747.

April 4 - ARE Prep Series: Building Design + Construction
10:00a-2:00p, at AECOM Design, 3101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 900, Arlington 22201. See the article above for information. Registration forms for the ARE Prep series are available here.

April 6 - About Architecture #4: Expanding Architecture, Design as Activism
7:00-8:00p, at the Lyceum, 201 South Washington Street, Alexandria 22314. The Chapter's About Architecture series continues with a presentation by Bryan Bell, 2009 Sure Professor at UVA and Founder + Executive Director of Design Corps, a nonprofit community design program headquartered in Raleigh, NC. Design Corps was founded in 1991 to create positive change in communities by providing architecture and planning services for small rural communities composed of low-income families who do not have access to the technical services needed to shape their physical needs. The lecture will discuss an expansion of the role of designers in the community, with examples from Bryan's new publication Expanding Architecture: Design as Activism. Sponsored by AIA Northern Virginia, Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center and the City of Alexandria Lyceum. 1 AIA/CES LU. Free and registration is not necessary. Refreshments will be served. For additional information, contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org or call (703) 549-9747.