Volume 15, No. 1 - February 3, 2020
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects
Beachwood Public Safety Center Fire Station 2, by LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects (more info)

In This Issue

ABI Slide Continues

30 Women in 30 Days

2021 ARE Prep Series

Ramsey Homes Symposium

Notes, Awards + Opportunities

Featured Project: Beachwood Public
    Safety Center Fire Station 2


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Architecture Billings Continue to Lose Ground

The pace of decline during December accelerated from November, posting an Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score of 42.6 from 46.3 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings). Meanwhile, the pace of growth of inquiries into new projects remained flat from November to December with a score of 52.4, though the value of new design contracts stayed in negative territory with a score of 48.5.

"Since the national economic recovery appears to have stalled, architecture firms are entering 2021 facing a continued sluggish design market," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "However, the recently passed federal stimulus funding should help shore up the economy in the short-term, and hopefully by later this year there should be relief as COVID vaccinations become more widespread. Recent project inquiries from prospective and former clients have been positive, suggesting that new work may begin picking up as we move into the spring and summer months."

Key ABI highlights for December include:
  • Regional averages: South (46.8); Midwest (43.6); West (43.4); Northeast (38.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (48.0); commercial/industrial (47.2); multi-family residential (46.1); institutional (38.5)
  • Project inquiries index: 52.4
  • Design contracts index: 48.5
The regional and sector categories are calculated as a three-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

Visit AIA's website for more ABI information.

 30 Women in 30 Days | Women's History Month

Throughout the month of March, Women in Architecture (WIA) will recognize 30 amazing women in architecture, design, and allied fields on social media platforms, highlighting the incredible work and dedication of women throughout the DMV and beyond. So please nominate a woman who inspires you! You will be asked to help the committee communicate with the nominee to produce a brief biography and obtain a headshot and project photo. Nominate someone here.

2021 ARE Prep Series

Make this your year to get licensed! Organized by our Young Architects Forum, our award-winning ARE series will be held virtually this year:
  February 20 – Project Management, 10:00a-4:00p
  March 20 – Practice Management, 10:00a-4:00p
  April 17 – Programming + Analysis, 10:00a-3:00p
  May 15 – Project Planning and Design, 10:00-4:00p
  June 12 – Project Development + Documentation, 10:00a-4:00p
  July 17 – Construction and Evaluation, 10:00a-3:00p

Visit our ARE Prep page to register and for additional for details.

AIA Annual Conference on Architecture Virtual in 2021

Originally scheduled to take place in Philadelphia, A'21 will be a virtual experience this year. The conference will offer four online events across two months, beginning on June 17. Registration will open this spring. Sign up for conference updates.

Ramsey Homes Symposium – Historic Preservation, Community, and Architecture of Public Housing in Alexandria
February 11, 9:00a-4:30p

 This virtual symposium is a case study of the innovative precast concrete construction typology of the World War II era Ramsey Homes and their African American residents. Originally built as temporary housing for African American war industry workers in the 1940s, the homes later served as permanent affordable housing for Alexandria residents for the next 65 years until their demolition in 2019. Symposium panelists will explore the history of public housing, genealogy of early residents, and the buildings’ unique construction and design context in architectural history. The symposium will conclude with a virtual site tour of the Lineage, the new multifamily, mixed income project that replaced the four Ramsey Homes quadplexes. Free. Details and registration.

Session 1Finding a Place to Call Home: Race and Place in Alexandria, Virginia, 1860s-1960s, presented by Dr. Krystyn R. Moon
Session 2The Evolution of the Ramsey Homes Site, circa 1834-2018, presented by Anna Maas Segregation War Time Housing: Story of the Ramsey Homes, presented by Char McCargo Bah
Session 3The pre-Fab Four: Experimental Design and Construction of the Ramsey Homes & New Digital Technologies for Interpretation, presented by John Dumsick, PE, FAPT; Purvi Gandhi Irwin, AIA; and Al Cox, FAIA

Membership Renewals

You should have already received your renewal invoice from AIA. Recognizing that 2020 was a challenging year and that many are apprehensive about 2021, the AIA Northern Virginia Board voted to reduce chapter dues this year. This reduction rolls back dues amounts to our 2018 level for Architects and our 2016 level for Associates. Also, please know that dues installment plans are available and allow you to pay your dues in monthly installments. It's fast and easy to renew your membership online, by phone, or mail. Learn more about your options.

Quick Notes...  

AIA Firm Survey Report...   says pandemic is likely to cause a significant increase in retrofits [info]... Q4 AIA Home Design Trends Survey...   invites you to view the latest interactive report [info]...   AIA Career Center...   offers job seekers access to free resume evaluations [info]...   The Committee on Architecture for Education...   provides COVID resources [info]...   Consensus Construction Forecast...   predicts mid-single digit percentage decline this year... consensus forecast panel is projecting a reasonably healthy recovery in 2022 [info]...

Awards and Opportunities

Due February 25AZURE Magazine's AZ Award Submissions
Due March 1Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition
Due March 16AIA Healthcare Design Awards
Due May 12021 AIA National Photography Competition

Design News
Job Board

As a benefit to our members, we maintain a Job Board of local postings. Pay us a visit for postings from: RRMM Architects, Adaptive Property Solutions, Ritter Norton Architects, Marks-Woods Construction Services, SMBW, PLLC, MW Architects llc, and LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects.

While always free for Chapter members, we are waiving all Job Board fees to share as many job opportunities as we can. We also maintain a resume library and share resumes with firms that are hiring. So please send us your resume to us at aianova@aianova.org.

Featured Project

Beachwood Public Safety Center Fire Station 2
LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects
Beachwood, OH

 Firefighter response time, health/safety, and practical training were priority considerations that shaped the design and layout of this mixed-use public safety facility.

Designed as a "gateway station," this new two-story, 25,600 SF facility features four apparatus bays and associated bay support spaces, an open lobby, private bunkrooms, residential style restroom/shower facilities, large fitness training room with a second level mezzanine, and administrative offices. The program also includes numerous on-site training features including a hose/training tower and a training mezzanine above the apparatus bays. The 911 Dispatch Center and Police Office share a suite at the front of the building with secure access from the lobby.

The station design organizes the building and site into two major zones: residential and operational. A dramatic stone faced "sound wall" bisects the building, marking the separation of the two zones with the residential spaces facing the neighboring houses to the west, and the operational spaces orienting toward the commercial retail neighbors to the east. The double volume public lobby provides secure access to the City's dispatch center, Fire Station, EOC/Training Room, Fire Administrative Offices and features a 9/11 Steel Memorial on the second floor.

The station design incorporates strategies for cancer reduction through contaminant control (Hot Zone Design) and improved behavioral health through the use of light, color and nature (Immersive Design).

 Photography © Cory Klein Photography

Mosaic Express
Featured Partner

 Mosaic Express has been honored to partner and support AIA Northern Virginia for over 10 years.

Mosaic Express is the go-to printing service for individuals and companies, large and small, in the metro area. If you haven’t given them a try, we invite you to speak with one of their print experts. Next time you need high-quality printing, corporate signage, or design help with cost-effective pricing, give Mosaic Express a call, stop by, or request a quote via their online form. Their printing specialists are standing by to answer all your questions. Email or call us them at (202) 296-3276.

Contact: Carol Dicks – carol@mosaicexpress.com
Gerry Ramos – gerry@mosaicexpress.com



8 | AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
     4:30p. [info]

11 | Biophilic Illusions
     12:00p. [info]

11 | Ramsey Homes Symposium - Historic Preservation, Community & Architecture of Public Housing
     9:00a. [info]

18 | CAE Meeting (Committee on Architecture in Education)
     5:30p. [info]

20 | ARE Exam Series: Project Management

22 | AIA Virginia Governance: Leading with Efficiency and Inclusivity
     12:00p. [info]

26 | Design Awards Committee Meeting
     12:00p. [info]

Combined Virginia / West Virginia Event Calendar
Now you can find all the webinars and architecture events in the region in one place. AIA chapters across Virginia and West Virginia are contributing to a combined calendar on the Inform Magazine site.

AIA Northern Virginia Calendar  |  AIA|DC Calendar  |  AIA Potomac Valley Calendar  |  AIA Virginia Calendar  |  Branch Museum Calendar

For additional information on any of these events, please contact the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org. The Chapter House is located at 1101 Duke Street, Alexandria 22314.