Volume 4, No. 11 - October 6, 2010
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Luther Paul Weber AIA, Architect
Oser Residence, by Luther Paul Weber AIA, Architect (more info)
In This Issue

Speed Mentoring

Annual Meeting + Honors Dinner

In Practice...

Featured Project: Oser Residence


Visit the AIANOVA Website

The Importance of Mentoring to Both Intern and Mentor
by Sonia R. Jarboe, Associate AIA, LEED® AP, Chair, Women in Architecture
Regardless of where you studied or received your degree, the majority of what we learn about our profession occurs after we've set foot in an office. Beyond being designers, we are managers. We develop a design to meet our clients' needs, coordinate the consultants, oversee the construction and mediate the contracts. Architects are not only composers, but also conductors, in the symphony of building design and construction. But where are we to learn how to lead the orchestra, when at school we focused on theory, concepts and the history of architecture?

We are first introduced to mentors as part of the Intern Development Program (IDP). One of the roles of the mentor is to sign off on hours, but the more important role is as someone who can provide guidance to enhance the professional growth of the intern. We also learn from our co-workers, who are our mentors every day. Having a mentor outside the firm provides a more diverse perspective of the profession. Interns look to their mentors for advice, technical expertise and critical feedback. Without this sort of counsel, our profession would grow stagnant and unable to adapt to the changing world.

Where we choose to work and who we have as mentors, have a great impact on our careers, far beyond what type of architecture we practice. Mentoring is more than what happens in the office. Mentors teach us the importance of getting involved, whether it is through the AIA, local review boards and commissions or other groups and organizations. They show us how to use our talents to contribute to our communities and the profession.

As with most things in life, you get out of mentoring what you put into it. Young professionals have a lot to offer and are the future of the profession. They are full of enthusiasm and passion and offer innovative ideas and a different perspective. The profession of Architecture is constantly changing and young professionals are at the forefront of this change, leading the way. Seasoned architects find themselves looking to these young professionals for input and ideas on how to stay relevant in a constantly changing profession.

Mentoring is one of the most important things architects can do for the profession. The need for mentorship does not stop at IDP; it continues throughout our careers. Our roles are ever changing and so create a need to seek and accept mentorship from those who come before and after us, as well as offer mentorship to those following in our footsteps.

In honor of mentorship, at Architecture Exchange East, the Virginia Society Women in Design is hosting an open Speed Mentoring session. Twenty architects at different stages in their careers have volunteered to be mentors for this session. The idea is to give the mentors and mentees 4-5 minutes to "get to know" each other with the opportunity to set up a formal mentorship after the session. For more information or to sign up, please click here.

The AIA website contains resources for both mentors and mentees, including information on career mentors, IDP mentors, tools for firms, and best practices. Access the mentor site here.

AIA Northern Virginia 35th Annual Dinner and Honors Celebration
Tuesday, October 19, 6:00p cocktails, 7:00p dinner

Please join us at Sea Pearl Restaurant in Falls Church for an enjoyable evening as we recognize the service of several colleagues with Honor Awards and vote for our 2011 officers and directors. Reservations are requested by October 14. For additional information and reservations, click here.

In Practice...
Young Architects Forum Planning Meeting
We are gearing up for the ARE 2011 Series and other upcoming events such as Hard Hat Tours and Speed Mentoring. Please join us if you want to serve on the committee, volunteer to help with different functions, or just want to find out what we're up to. Wednesday, October 13 at 6:30p at the Chapter House, 205 S Patrick Street, Alexandria. If you cannot attend but would like to be included on the YAF email list, please email the Chapter House at aianova@aianova.org.

DesignVote Returns with New Features
The AIA is bringing back the DesignVote program with new features, resources and information for voters. DesignVote10 is a non-partisan effort to mobilize architects to vote while also providing opportunities to position AIA members front and center on public policy issues affecting the profession in the 2010 campaign. This guide provides pertinent information to voters on legislation that impacts architects and the built environment, including the bills and votes in the 111th Congress pertinent to the AIA and legislator profiles with information on how the incumbent voted or acted in regards to the key AIA issues. Additional resources include links to find polling locations, voter registration information and links to your state election office's website. As a reminder, the deadline to register to vote in Virginia is Tuesday, October 12.

IDP Changes as of October 1
First, interns will be able to earn IDP experience earlier. Also approved are new supplementary education opportunities including site visits with a mentor, entries in design competitions and volunteer service at a community-based design center. Detailed information on the new eligibility dates and supplementary education opportunities is available in the IDP Guidelines on the NCARB website.

Featured Project

Oser Residence
Luther Paul Weber AIA, Architect
Arlington, VA

Instead of moving to a warmer climate, this client decided to stay in town and retire in the narrow 1800 square foot slab-on-grade house in which they raised their family. They requested clean minimal detailing with low maintenance materials, a new kitchen, master bedroom suite, more storage, a four-season porch and the ability to convert a room into a future bedroom and handicapped bath on the ground floor. They also requested that the house be energy efficient and incorporate elements of passive and active solar design.

Though the existing structure built in the 1960's was modern in form, it lacked openness, a livable connection with the outdoors and sufficient natural light. Existing walls were removed and functions reoriented creating a clean and spacious interior that was opened toward the outdoors. The massing and roof angles incorporate passive solar principles. Sun pours in from the south during winter seasons, but is blocked with sunscreens during the summer. Large expanses of glass are fixed insulated units, while all punched openings are operable and arranged for cross ventilation allowing a whole house fan to draw in fresh air on cool evenings. Active solar panels mounted to the roof fully heat the domestic hot water. Sun tubes also draw natural light down deeper into internal spaces. An old existing wood burning fireplace was replaced with two efficient gas-burning units that re-circulate warmed air. In sum, the clients enjoy feeling the "bones" of the house in which they raised their children yet look forward to retirement in a much more exciting and livable environment.

The builder for the project was Witters & Bank, and the structural engineer was Woods Peacock. All photographs by Hoachlander Davis Photography.

October 13 - Young Architects Forum Planning Meeting
6:30p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. See In Practice above or click here for information.

October 14 - Reservations Due for Annual Meeting and Honors Dinner
Remember to make your reservations for the Chapter's Annual Meeting and Honors Dinner by emailing reservations@aianova.org.

October 16 - House Tour - South River Residence: A Room with a View
11:00a, 3313 Old Point Road, Edgewater, Maryland 21037. Benjamin Ames, AIA, principal of Amestudio, will give a tour and presentation of this 7,500 sf. home, focusing on its relationship to the shore and the control of natural sunlight. For additional information on the house and tour, click here.

October 18 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. For additional information, email aianova@aianova.org.

October 19 - AIA Northern Virginia 35th Annual Meeting and Honors Dinner
6:00p cocktails, 7:00p dinner, at Sea Pearl in Falls Church. Reservations are requested by October 14. For additional information and reservations, click here.

November 3-5 - Architecture Exchange East
At the Greater Richmond Convention Center. ArchEx features over 60 educational sessions, architectural tours, special events and over 125 vendors in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall. This year's keynote speaker is Julie VandenBerg Snow, FAIA, from the Minneapolis-based firm, Julie Snow Architects. For complete program information and registration, visit the conference website.

November 17 - AIA Northern Virginia Lunch Series
11:00a-1:15p, location to be determined. Two sessions: Emerging Intelligent Buildings and Recent Trends in Acoustical Design. Presented by Mark S. Valenti, CTS, President and CEO of The Sextant Group, Inc. and Jeffrey E. Babich, INCE, CTS, Acoustical Consultant. 2 AIA/CES LUs. Reservations are required. For additional information, click here.

For additional information on any of these events, please contact the Chapter House at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org. The Chapter House is located at 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314.