10.08 aiaVT Newsletter

Announcement - "Neighborhoods Task Force" presentation

aiaVT's "Neighborhoods Task Force" will be taking part in the upcoming VHFA housing conference.  A summary of the conference is provided below for your review.  More...

So you think you're pretty good...

Call for Design Competition Entries
Better Buildings by Design Conference Returns to Vermont  More...

ACE Mentoring Program

The ACE (Architecture, Construction & Engineering) Mentoring Program is a highly successful nationwide effort that introduces high school students to the almost limitless career opportunities available in engineering, construction and architecture.  More...

For those who thrive on competition

Burlington City Arts (BCA) is issuing a Request For Proposals from artists for a project at Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) in Burlington, Vermont.  More...

Announcement - "Neighborhoods Task Force" presentation

aiaVT's "Neighborhoods Task Force" will be taking part in the upcoming VHFA housing conference.  A summary of the conference is provided below for your review.

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (www.vhfa.org) would like to invite you to attend the 2008 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference, set for Tuesday, November 18th, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington.

This biennial conference is hosted by a group of private and public housing-related organizations, and it is the premier event for people in Vermont’s housing industry and for anyone with an interest in housing development in the Green Mountain State.  The conference, which typically draws nearly 400 people, offers workshops on a housing issues ranging from state and federal policy to green building, from homelessness to housing market analysis, and from economics to financing.

This year’s event will emphasize community planning and development, including a special track of workshops aimed at local officials, particularly those who serve on planning commissions, zoning boards and development review boards, who are concerned about housing development.  Those workshops cover topics that include Vermont’s regulatory environment, principles of designing for density in housing development, and taking steps to provide adequate infrastructure for housing development.  There will also be workshops on cottage development and the costs of creating new housing.

This conference is also a very good opportunity for networking, meeting and talking with developers, planners, financiers, advocates, policymakers, and other architects.

Our keynote speaker will be Michelle Kennedy, of Chelsea, author of “Without A Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) In America.”

The conference runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with the doors opening and same-day registration beginning at 8 a.m.  A continental breakfast and a luncheon will be provided.  Registration is $50,  and a limited number of scholarships will be available.  A full agenda and online registration are available at http://www.vhfa.org/conference/.

Questions concerning the Statewide Housing Conference can be directed to John Fairbanks at VHFA.  802.652.3434 or jfairbanks@ vhfa.org.

Beware the Ides of March

If only Caesar had an official aiaVT calendar. Then he would have known when those Ides were and he still might be alive today.  But he didn’t, and look where that got him.  Don’t let the same thing happen to you!  Mark those Ides on your trusty new 2009 aiaVT calendar and know when to be wary of friends brandishing cutlery.  Not only may this calendar save your life, it is also chock full of contest-winning photo goodness.  Amazing!  Now how much would you pay?  Don’t answer yet, because if one of your photos was picked to be in the calendar, then the price shouldn’t matter.  You owe it to yourself to buy a couple dozen of these high quality gems to share your photographic genius with friends, loved ones, and especially jealous rivals.  Go ahead, rub it in…after all, you’re a winner!  To everyone else out there I advise you to buy a copy for yourself before they all fly off the shelves.  They will be on sale at the annual aiaVT awards dinner. So go ahead and bring a little extra cash with you so that you don’t have to choose between that last drink and the calendar. We all know which way that coin will fall. 

So you think you're pretty good...

Call for Design Competition Entries
Better Buildings by Design Conference Returns to Vermont

The region’s premiere conference on energy efficiency in building design and construction will return to Vermont this winter. Efficiency Vermont will present The Better Buildings by Design Conference at the Sheraton Conference Center in South Burlington on February 11 and 12, 2009. As in past years, a highlight of the conference will be the presentation of "Best Integrated Design Solution for Energy Efficiency" awards. These awards recognize innovative and integrated design approaches that promote energy efficiency in Vermont’s commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily buildings.

Efficiency Vermont is now accepting poster entries for the 2009 Design Competition in two new categories: Small buildings (< 20,000 sq. ft.) and large buildings ( >= 20,000 sq. ft.). Eligible projects must be new construction or gut-rehab, located in Vermont, and substantially completed between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008. The deadline for submissions is November 14, 2008.

Winners will be notified during the first week of January 2009. Awards will be presented at the Better Buildings by Design Conference reception on February 11, 2009, and all entry posters will be displayed at the conference. Award-winning entries will be featured on www.efficiencyvermont.com. Efficiency Vermont will seek to promote winning entries in trade publications as well as in local and statewide media. Selected winners may be featured in magazines and other publications.

Planning for the Better Buildings by Design Conference is underway. The two-day event is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants, including design and construction professionals, vendors, facility managers, and building owners from throughout the region. The conference will offer more than 30 valuable workshops about design and construction approaches and technologies that are being used to create today’s high-performance buildings. Registration information will be published in early December. Efficiency Vermont will provide more information about the conference as planning continues.

To download the 2009 Design Competition fact sheet, which includes eligibility criteria, poster requirements, and the registration and release form, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/conference. For additional information, contact Efficiency Vermont’s Design Competition Chair Molly Hooker Hatfield at 888-921-5990 ext. 1090 or mhatfield@ veic.org.

ACE Mentoring Program

by Bruce Bowman, Dean David Crawford School of Engineering
Norwich University

The ACE (Architecture, Construction & Engineering) Mentoring Program is a highly successful nationwide effort that introduces high school students to the almost limitless career opportunities available in engineering, construction and architecture. Over the past 13 years, ACE has given more than 37,000 students a close look at the excitement and rewards of working in the building industry. Students across the country work alongside more that 2,000 engineers and other industry professionals who volunteer their time to show these students first-hand the opportunities and advantages of a career in design and construction.

The ACE Mentoring Program offers professional organizations, professional firms and construction companies, and individuals a unique opportunity to serve their profession by motivating our youth to follow us in our professional careers.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Bruce Bowman has been Dean of Engineering at Norwich University since July 2007, has served on the faculty at West Point and has completed a career in the U.S. Army. He is active in the ACE Mentoring Program and is a leader in implementing it in his home state of Vermont.
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
5:30-6:30 PM Social time at Milano Ballroom, Crawford Hall, Norwich University
6:30-7:30 Dinner *(Roma Buffet antipasto and Chicken Parmesan)
7:30-8:30 Speakers/dessert
* Go to http://sections.asce.org/vermont/ and click Newsletters to download the Oct Newsletter for the planned menu.
Please sign up with Gene Sevi by Oct. 22nd, 2008
(e) sevi@ norwich.edu (p) 802-485-2275 or (f) 802-485-2260
(m) Norwich University 158 Harmond Drive, Northfield, VT 05663
For the Vermont Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers - 1 PDH earned for attendanceAssistance is available, please call AIA Vermont (802) 496-3761.

For those who thrive on competition

Request For Proposals: Two- or Three-Dimensional Designs

DEADLINE TO APPLY: November 17, 2008

Burlington City Arts (BCA) is issuing a Request For Proposals from artists for a project at Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) in Burlington, Vermont. 

PROJECT: West Atrium Wall

Project Description:  Fletcher Allen Health Care is seeking proposals for two- or three-dimensional artwork for the interior four story-high polished limestone wall in the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) wing of its Medical Center campus. Proposed artwork may be attached to the wall directly and should make use of most of the wall’s height, as it will be viewed from many levels. Proposals may vary in subject matter and style and any medium/material may be submitted for consideration, with the exception of water features, or pieces that require electricity. Please keep in mind that the wall is exposed to southerly light through large glass windows, which are lightly tinted, but which have no U.V. protection. 

For more information call: 802-865-7554 or email jdyer@ ci.burlington.vt.us

News bits from Fire Safety

State o f Vermont Department of Public Safety
Division of Fire Safety
Fire Safety News
September & October 2008

Another milestone achieved for John Vergin, 45 years and counting! That’s when John began his fire prevention career in the Vermont Department of Public Safety June 17, 1963. He began as Deputy State Fire Marshal and Captain of the Vermont State Police where he served ten years in code enforcement and conducting fire investigations. John was then transferred to the Fire Prevention Division of Labor & Industry in 1973 where he became the Chief Plan Reviewer.

AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupters) Improve Fire Safety - The 2008 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), proposed for adoption in November 2008, expands the use of AFCIs beyond bedroom circuits to other areas of a dwelling unit, such as the family room, the dining room, the living room, closets, and hallways. Vermont law has required this expanded coverage since 2001. An AFCI should not be confused with a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter). GFCIs first appeared in the NEC in the 1960s and are now used in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, unfinished basements, and outdoor receptacles to protect people from shock hazards if parts of an electric appliance or a tool become energized due to a ground fault. An AFCI protects branch circuit wiring from arcing faults that could start an electrical fire.  Arc faults occur when current flows in an unintended path, and the heat generated at the point of the arc, which may reach 10,000F creates burning particles that can ignite combustible material. Arc faults may occur from building wiring, as when a nail punctures a wire during installation or maintenance, or when the wire or insulation deteriorates due to age and abuse, or when an electrical appliance malfunctions. A combination AFCI device detects both parallel and series arcs. An AFCI uses its built-in electronic processing technology to monitor a circuit for both dangerous and normal arcing conditions, based on known behaviors of electrical arcs. If the AFCI deems the signal to be a dangerous arc, it will open the circuit, removing the arcing condition and the fire hazard. The technology has matured to the point where AFCIs are better programmed to discern a dangerous arc from a normal arc, or even normal operating conditions. The AFCI technology has other benefits, such as serving as a means of quality control for electricians. If an AFCI is tripping, it could mean that a mistake was made during the installation process that can be fixed, or an appliance may be alfunctioning and causing the breaker to trip. An AFCI that is tripping due to an improper installation or malfunctioning appliance is doing its job protecting the building and occupants from the hazard it was designed to address.

Fire Protection Plan for Buildings during Construction, Alteration or Demolition – The potential for a fire in a building during construction, alteration or demolition is greater than after the work on the building is completed.  Construction and demolition sites contain large amounts of combustible material and debris. There are numerous ignition sources such as temporary heating devices, temporary electrical wiring, cutting, welding and other work with torches for plumbing and sheet metal, and smoking on the job site. Arson is another concern because of the availability of combustible material and the open access to the building. Fires can be controlled or prevented through early planning and implementation of fire prevention measures. The assistant state fire marshal or municipal official may require a fire protection plan for the building before any work begins, including:
> A schedule for regular removal of rubbish and debris
> Security measures to prevent unauthorized people from gaining access to the site
> Installation of new fire protection systems as construction progresses,
> Preservation of existing fire protection systems during alterations or demolition
> Communication and pre-planning with the fire department,
> Consideration of special hazards such as temporary heat, vertical openings in the building, hazardous materials, etc.
> Protection of existing portions of the building and adjacent buildings and equipment
> Means of escape for construction workers at the site
> Fire department and emergency vehicle access to the building.

A complete list of requirements for Safeguards During Building Construction, alteration and Demolition Operations is contained in NFPA 241, 2000 Edition.

Please take note

The Brian Healy Lecture scheduled for October 23rd at Middlebury College has been postponed.  The revised date will be announced shortly.

News Item - A first for commercial buildings

AIArchitect This Week

Volume 15 | September 12, 2008

Washington, D.C.’s new Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 aims to promote energy-use disclosure by commercial office building owners through the use of Energy Star benchmarking scores, making the nation’s capital the first city in the country to require building owners to provide these scores. This proposal was approved unanimously by the city council, and passage is expected soon with Mayor Adrian Fenty’s signature.

News Item - AIA Home Design Trends Survey

Residential Architects Report that Popular Home Features Focus on Energy Conservation and Accessibility. With the housing market very weak and home energy costs remaining above normal levels, sustainable design features, with a particular focus on energy management and conservation are the home features growing the most in popularity. Households are looking for new home insulation technologies, while interest in alternative energy generation techniques and energy management systems is growing. Key energy-efficient products are almost universally seen as growing in popularity. With less focus on increasing the size of homes, special function rooms are waning in popularity. Business conditions are deteriorating at architecture firms, with projects billings, new project inquiries, and project backlogs all showing declines. All major residential construction sectors are reported as weakening, with the townhouse and condo, and custom and luxury markets showing sharp reversals from a year ago. The home improvement market is still showing some gains for many residential architects. These are some of the key findings from the AIA Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2008. This survey of residential architects covered home features including special function rooms, special features, systems and technologies in homes, and the types of products that households are looking for in their homes from the perspective of which are gaining in popularity at present, and which are not.

Announcement - Norwich University lecture

Dr. Tom S. Hines
Lecture Title: Architecture as Catalyst: Rudolph Schindler’s King’s Road House, Los Angeles, 1922-
October 22, 6PM
Norwich University, Chaplin Hall
Event is free and the public is welcome

Dr. Hines is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles.   He is an internationally renown architectural historian and one of the leading experts in the area of American modern architecture.  He is author of the seminal work on the architect, Richard Neutra and currently lives in an apartment designed by Neutra.  His other texts include: Burnham of Chicago:  Architect and Planner; Irving Gill and the Architecture of Reform:  A Study in Modernist Architectural Culture; William Faulkner and the Tangible Past:  The Architecture of Yoknapatawpha;  Architecture of Richard Neutra; and with other authors: International Style to California Modern; Richard Neutra’s Windshield House.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including those from The National Endowment for the Humanities, the J. Paul Getty Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is currently writing a book on Los Angeles modern architecture and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Also, please visit the web site  of Dr. Hines at  http://www.history.ucla.edu/people/faculty?lid=607

News item - aiaVT welcomes...

The Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects wishes to welcome our newest members:  William Curley, P.A., Essex Junction, Stephen Plunkard, P.A., Cavendish, Robert Shakar, Assoc. AIA, Bennington, Robert Duncan, AIA, Burlington, and Michael Wisniewski, AIA, Burlington.

News Item - Energy standards in bailout bill?

The Angle
Volume 6 | Issue 21 | October 16 2008

Bailout Bill Extends Commercial Building Tax Deduction to 2013

The enactment of economic stabilization legislation also brought with it a major legislative victory for the AIA. The Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction will now be available to architects, building owners, and developers until December 31, 2013. The extension of this critical tax incentive for green commercial buildings was set to expire at the end of 2008. The new law also extends a number of other tax incentives for renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency.

Over the course of the year, both the House and Senate approved extensions of this deduction numerous times. However, procedural hurdles and policy disputes over how to pay for the deduction prevented Congress from reaching a mutual agreement and producing a final bill ready for the President’s signature.

Congressional leadership realized last week that it was now or never to extend these expiring tax incentives.

“If they hadn’t acted on the incentives before leaving for recess, it is quite likely that these incentives would have expired at the end of the 2008,” says Tom Bergan, the AIA’s manager for Federal Legislative Relations. “This would have had detrimental effects on not only green commercial construction, but also on energy efficiency nationwide.”

The AIA worked in coalition with nearly 700 companies, organizations, and environmental groups to urge Congress to approve a long-term extension of these credits before recessing for the year. Many AIA members throughout the country contacted their representatives in Washington, while AIA leadership drafted letters to key members of Congress, all in an effort to ensure that federal incentives for energy-efficient design and construction remain in place for years to come.

“Even though it took almost two years to achieve a long-term extension of this tax incentive, it goes to show that AIA members will not give up the fight on issues critical to the profession,” notes Andrew Goldberg, Assoc. AIA, the AIA senior director for Federal Relations.

The aiaVT newsletter is published by AIA Vermont, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Executive Director: Hanne Williams, Hon. AIAVT
aiavt@ madriver.com
1662 Mill Brook Road
Fayston, Vermont 05673

p 802.496.3761
f 802.496.3294

aiaVT is edited by Shawn Brennan, AIA.

Published views are the author’s and not necessarily the views of AIA Vermont or any other organization.

AIA Vermont reserves the right to edit articles for available space and determine appropriate content prior to inclusion. Submissions must be received by the 15th of the month prior to publication.

Please send articles, notices, letters, and graphic submissions to:

Shawn Brennan, AIA
Freeman French Freeman, Inc.
81 Maple Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401