Volume 4, No. 13 - December 1, 2010
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

DBI Architects, Inc.
AOL Company Store, by DBI Architects, Inc. (more info)
In This Issue

2010 AIA Issues

In Practice...

Featured Project: AOL Company


Visit the AIANOVA Website

Ten Issues from 2010 Affecting 2011 at AIA National
by Edward Tucker, AIA, Virginias Regional Director
Having just returned from Architecture Exchange East, I thought I should submit a written report to follow my regional meeting comments of activities from AIA National and its Board of Directors. Keeping with my "top ten" format used at ArchEx, this list highlights significant developments and actions from the past year: (in no particular order of importance):

1. CEO Transition. Following Chris McEntee's resignation last spring, Paul Welch, Hon. AIA, from the California Council was willing to step in as our Interim Chief Executive Officer. He has been a steadying presence and positive influence while the search committee, led by former president Thom Penney, FAIA, works to identify a new CEO, hopefully to be in place by early 2011.

2. AIA Legacy. Formed during the AIA's 150 celebration, AIA Legacy has now significantly increased its potential for a mission of public engagement and advocacy following AIA's landmark agreement with the American Architectural Foundation. Erica Gees, AIA, is its new Executive Director. Erica is a current Director on the AIA Board and Finance Committee member, so I have come to know her well. Active in many other areas of AIA, I believe she will be the catalyst for making the most out of Legacy's 501c3 structure as it seeks to better utilize the Octogon, provide scholarships and likely assume other AIA programs that fit its public mission.

3. CES Discovery. AIA's new Learning Management System is now up and running. Completely web-based, it provides more tools for AIA members' CES needs and replaces records management from the University of Oklahoma. My records appear to have transferred 100%, but there undoubtedly will be some rough spots in the transition, so please report any problems you or your members may have to AIA. Learn more about the change here or investigate for yourself at the CES Discovery Home.

4. Hanley Wood Partnership. AIA members will no longer receive Architectural Record as a member benefit, but will begin receiving their choice of one or all of 3 Hanley Wood publications: Architect, Residential Architect and EcoStructure. Moreover, with Hanley Wood as our Convention partner, we have the opportunity to integrate and leverage AIA presence and content as never before. AIA and Hanley Wood editorial staff are working closely together to create an efficient content development and production approach to AIA-dedicated pages now available through the partnership. AIA and Hanley Wood staff (including convention, editorial and consumer products) are also working together on the formulation of the partnership's Web strategy.

5. Financial Stability. Serving on Finance and Audit Committee, I am grateful for the excellent guidance and leadership of John Rogers, Treasurer, and AIA staff including Tracy Harris, CFO, and Lisa Green, Managing Director of Finance and Accounting. The previous year has seen us bring a tenant back into AIA's lease space at the Institute and refinance the $15 mil balloon payment to a traditional fixed rate 15 year loan. Despite the ongoing economic doldrums, we've kept on budget and out of the red. Implications of a dues installment payment plan are still being analyzed but President George Miller, FAIA, has committed to a plan being available to all members in 2011.

6. AIA Headquarters. With the exception of meeting in Miami during Convention, AIA Board meetings have all taken place at the Institute this year to lower meeting costs. With our tenant space renovated and the GSA (Secret Service) now occupying these floors, and the reopening of first floor spaces for wider use (the First Floor Gallery), more people and activity are in the building to enliven the Institute's use. Our greening renovation program, scaled back by the Board's direction in 2009 to a phased plan, is preparing for its next phase of replacing outdated equipment and other improvements.

7. AIA Strategic Plan 2010-2015. An updated Strategic Plan was rolled out at Grassroots and is being used across all components as a template to guide their own strategic and long range planning. Its Vision Statement "The American Institute of Architects – Driving Positive Change through the Power of Design" reaffirms our belief in the primacy of design.

8. 2011 Operating Principles. With an eye on our Strategic Plan, and as we budget for the coming year, the Board of Directors committed to 2011 Operating Principles that will promote the value of design, enhance knowledge sharing, support emerging professionals and optimize abilities of all AIA Components.

9. AIA Awards at Convention. The AIA Gold Medal and Firm of the Year awards had heretofor been presented at rather exclusive black-tie type affairs. At this year's convention in Miami, attendees were able to witness first hand these prestigious award presentations, hear panel discussions with winners and meet them at book signings. Hearing Peter Bohlin, FAIA, speak about his life and career was my convention highlight in Miami this year (okay, the mojitos weren't bad either).

10. International Green Code. The AIA's ongoing commitment to sustainable design has positioned us as a key player in the development of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC). With the AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE), AIA advocacy, the ICC and ASTM the review and development can be tracked at http://www.iccsafe.org/IGCC. I encourage you to take some time to read the proposed code and make comments to broaden AIA member influence. The review process is lengthy but each stage moves along quickly so it is critical to be timely with suggestions.

This is my final year as Regional Director, and as such the Virginias Region has elected Mary Cox, FAIA, at our meeting during ArchEx. With her years of experience in leadership at VSAIA and the Association of University Architects, I know she will be a great representative for us on the AIA Board of Directors. Elected at Convention last June, we will also be very fortunate to have Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, as our new Secretary of the Institute for 2011-2012.

It has been my honor to serve you as our Regional Director. I hope you will give Mary and Helene the support they each need as they carry the torch for us at AIA National. Thanks for your support and encouragement during the past 3 years.

In Practice...
2011 Membership Invoices
AIA membership invoices were recently sent by both email and mail. You are able to pay your dues online, by fax, by mail or by phone. Specific instructions are included with your invoice and additional information is available on the AIA website. This is also a good opportunity to update your contact information and select additional Knowledge Communities.

To help members experiencing financial hardship, the AIA is offering a dues payment plan again this year. Under the plan, members are offered the opportunity to pay their dues in installments. Enrollment into the plan is open through April 30, 2011. Additional information on the plan is available here. If you haven't received your invoice yet or have any questions, please contact Debbie Burns, Executive Director, or Lorin Boswell, Membership Director, at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org for information and help with any of your renewal or membership questions.

AIA Design Award Opportunities

Wanted: Your Voice as a Residential Architect
For five years, the quarterly AIA Home Design Trends Survey (HDTS) has generated press coverage and raised the profile of residential architects in the design of new homes and home-improvement projects. The HDTS would be impossible without the participation of residential architects. The more architects participate, the more accurate and influential the survey becomes. That's why we need your voice.

Participation is fast and easy. As a survey panelist, you will receive a notice four times a year to report on the health of the residential segments you serve. The survey, which is administered completely online, should take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete. As a participant, you'll receive a copy of the survey report by email. You can view past survey results here. To join the survey panel or to get more information, contact us at economics@aia.org. You may also join the panel simply by completing the online background information form.

RFQ: Westmoreland Museum of American Art
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA is requesting qualifications to be considered for their museum expansion and renovation project. After several thoughtful planning exercises, the Museum is ready to select an architect to confirm the final building program, determine estimated construction costs, and then provide architectural services for the design, bid and construction phase for the proposed 35,000sf expansion to and renovation of the existing 32,900sf Museum. The Westmoreland is a museum of American art and feels it is important to select an American architect for this project to be consistent with its mission. The full qualifications information will be available December 9, 2010 on their website, www.wmuseumaa.org.

Visit the new AIA store website for some holiday shopping!

Featured Project

AOL Company Store
DBI Architects, Inc.
Dulles, VA

Four weeks before AOL's 25th Anniversary Party, the team was hired to re-design the AOL Company Store or "C" Store at the AOL Dulles, Virginia facility. The goal was to transform their small store that sold snacks and greeting cards into a 'boutique' store that could display some of AOL's branded merchandise for their employees. The new store was to have a cutting-edge, contemporary look that would reflect AOL's new brand image campaign. The challenge for the team was the time frame – it had to be designed and completed before the Anniversary Party which was in 24 days!
"With an ambitious time frame of only four weeks, DBI Architects was able to completely transform AOL's company store, from a dated, lackluster space into a cutting edge, contemporary shop that highlights our new, dynamic brand. Elizabeth and Tracy were incredibly responsive and a pleasure to work with. I look forward to many more opportunities to work with them in the future."
                            - Al Nielsen, AOL

Photography by Eric Taylor, Associate AIA

TONIGHT, December 1 - Women in Architecture Happy Hour
6:00-8:00p, at Domaso, 1121 North 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22209. Please join Women in Architecture for their monthly Happy Hour. If you have any questions, contact WIA at wia@aianova.org.

December 2 - Historic Resources Committee Meeting
5:00p, at the office of Stephen Smith, SASApc, 5901 Kingstowne Village Pkwy, Suite 205 in Kingstowne (Alexandria). Everyone interested in Historic Resources is invited to attend. Please RSVP to chair Stephen Smith, AIA.

December 10 - 2009 IBC Accessibility & Usability for Commercial Buildings
8:45a-4:00p, at Dewberry, 8401 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax 22031. This seminar primarily addresses accessibility in commercial buildings, including recognizing which accessibility requirements are enforceable by the building official; determining the extent to which accessibility code provisions apply to the design and construction of any facility, as well as the alteration or change of occupancy of an existing building; identifying the basis for the technical requirements set forth in the referenced standard; and identifying scoping and technical requirements. 6 AIA/CES HSW LUs. $170 members, $230 non-members. Organized by Virginia Society AIA. Additional information may be found here.

December 13 - AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
4:30p, at the Chapter House, 205 South Patrick Street, Alexandria 22314. For additional information, email aianova@aianova.org.

December 15 - IGCC Comments Due to AIA
Public version 2 of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) may be viewed here. Comments may be submitted on the AIA website through December 15. The AIA will compile comments and submit them to the ICC by their deadline of January 3, 2011.

December 15 - Brickstainable Design Competition Deadline
Information is available here.

December 17 - Comments Due on Assessment Tool for High-Performance Schools in Virginia
Developed by the Collaborative for High Performance Schools and the Virginia CHPS Criteria, the tool creates a benchmark for the design and construction of high-performance school buildings. Review the new standard here.

January 7 - Architecture in the Schools Exhibit
6:30-8:00p, at Virginia Tech's Washington Alexandria Architecture Center, 1001 Prince Street, Alexandria 22314. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome to attend to see the creative work done by local elementary, middle and high school students. For additional information, contact the Chapter at aianova@aianova.org.

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.