10.16 AIAVT News

AIAVT Membership: What Does it Look Like?

AIAVT membership is at an all-time high; the chapter has 286 Vermont resident members as of September 2016.   More...

Finalists in Montpelier 2030 Design Competition Include Several AIAVT Members

Net Zero Vermont, Inc. has announced the finalists for its Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition.    More...

Statute Compliance Re: Construction in Vermont—New Focus for Public Policy Committee

Addressing code-related issues was the main priority among AIAVT members who responded to the Public Policy Committee’s (PPC) survey at the beginning of the year    More...

Licensing Summit Provides Insight on AXP and Transition from 4.0 to 5.0 ARE

This past August, Devin Bushey, Vermont’s AIA state component architect licensing co-advisor, attended the annual NCARB summit for licensing advisors throughout the U.S. The summit focused on two topics this year: the first topic was the transition from the Internship Development Program (IDP) to the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)  More...

Vermont Architects Take Home AIANE Awards

This year’s AIA New England Annual Meeting and Design Awards event was held in Portland, Maine. Two Vermont firms took home awards.  More...

Calling for Entries: Efficiency Vermont Best of the Best Awards

Awards season has arrived at Efficiency Vermont!    More...

art by Architects

Reciprocal AIAVT member Ted Sheridan, AIA, CPHD, LEED AP of Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects creates prints using the oxidation of metals directly on to heavy weight printing and watercolor paper.   More...

AIAVT Membership: What Does it Look Like?

by Carol Miklos 

AIAVT membership is at an all-time high; the chapter has 286 Vermont resident members as of September 2016. By category, AIAVT has 213 architects, 22 emeritus architect members, and 51 associates. The counts are well up from the financial crisis period of 2007-09, when the chapter had 245 members, and from a decade prior to that time, when membership totaled 170. 


To put this in some perspective, quite a few chapters across the U.S. are down in membership numbers from where they were in 2009. For example, in our own New England region, Rhode Island and Maine both have fewer members than they did in 2009. 

Something else that might come as a surprise is the fact that after AIA Massachusetts (which includes the Boston, Western Mass. and Central Mass. chapters) and AIA Connecticut, the New England chapter with the most members is none other than AIAVT. Here are actual membership counts: 

AIAMA   2475

AIACT    1277

AIAVT    286

AIARI     272

AIANH   265

AIAME   225 


In terms of gender, of our 286 Vermont members in the architecture field, 79% are male; 21% are female. Compared with figures from 2007, this represents a slightly more gender-balanced chapter; back then 86% of members were male and just 14% were female. 

In terms of age, the breakdown is: 

25-29        (5%)

30-39        (13%)

40-49        (21%)

50-59        (25%)

60-69        (24%)

70 or over  (12%) 

These age statistics are, for the most part, reliable—but it should be noted that a few members declined to fill out the age field in the AIA national database! What can be determined is that our oldest living member is 98.

Wonder where Vermont members are geographically located? Fifty-six (56%) percent of our members reside in the northeast counties of Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle. Twenty-seven (27%) percent of our members reside in centrally-located counties/municipalities of the state—considered (for this story) to be Washington, Lamoille, Orange and Rutland counties, and the municipalities of Norwich and White River Junction. In the south of the state, in the counties of Bennington and Windham and regions of Windsor County (excluding Norwich and White River Junction), the chapter has 17% of its membership.  Membership in Orleans, Caledonia and Essex counties is less than 1%. 

Note: For the purposes of this story, it seemed more useful to consider the state map, highway system and driving distances from certain population centers rather than report geography strictly by county. 


When we factor in our professional affiliate members in engineering, construction, building products and other related industries, as well as our reciprocal members (i.e., AIA members from chapters outside Vermont who pay our state dues), our membership count totals 340. 

Remember, a roster of AIAVT affiliates is on our website in the directory listings, under “Affiliates.” These are companies and individuals that have paid dues to support AIAVT and hope to do business with our architecture firms. 


All in all, membership counts are up, especially as compared with other New England chapters, which is positive for AIAVT health. AIAVT is excited about and thankful for your interest and support; we feel that it is an indication that we are providing services and programs that are of interest and value to members.  Not that we don’t know that we can always improve. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas and suggestions.

Finalists in Montpelier 2030 Design Competition Include Several AIAVT Members

Net Zero Vermont, Inc. has announced the finalists for its Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition. After votes by Montpelier residents, workers, and visitors at both the group’s Main Street gallery and its website, as well as a review by a technical committee, the 20 entries showcased were pared down to five finalists. 

Valerie Fletcher of the Boston-based Institute for Human Centered Design and a member of the technical review panel said, "In my many years offering technical reviews and serving on juries for design competitions around the world, I have never experienced this kind of public response and engagement. It is heartening to see this level of interest, and I'm honored to be part of this exciting project."

Finalists have until December 2 to refine and enrich their concepts before they present again. Deb Sachs, executive director, Net Zero Vermont said, “We are incredibly proud of both the quality of the designs put forth and the community’s engagement in helping us decide on what now moves forward.”

The finalists are:

  • Gossens Temkin Collaborative: Montpelier. Composed of Gregg Gossens, AIA; Aron Temkin, AIA; and David Burke, this Vermont team combines experience with sustainable designs in community settings and urban design, park design, and low-income housing to create a unique vision for the future of Montpelier.
  • Scott + Partners: Essex Junction. Led by Joel Page, AIA, this team is formed from a versatile architectural firm that focuses on commercial, healthcare, and multifamily housing design and planning.
  • Team Bridges: Cabot. Inspired by the many bridges that shape Montpelier and the surrounding area, Team Bridges is a purposeful blend of 15 accomplished and passionate professionals from 10 companies and organizations, specializing in areas as broad as urban design and policy development.
  • White + Arup: Gothenburg, Sweden. White tackles the challenges of sustainability using a method of exploration and a multitude of disciplines. In addition to architects and engineers, also employed at White are project managers, urban planners, landscape architects, social anthropologists, environmental and energy specialists, lighting designers and interior designers.
  • Wiemann Lamphere Architects: Colchester. A firm with numerous local projects under its belt, this group prides itself on creative, design solutions that respect the environment, the building’s occupants, the budget, and the project timeline.

Net Zero Vermont, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization established to help Vermonters create a shared vision for a sustainable future that provides vibrant, people-centered downtowns and transforms our transportation and energy systems to low carbon alternatives. Sustainable Montpelier 2030 is the organization's first project.

Statute Compliance Re: Construction in Vermont—New Focus for Public Policy Committee

By Dan Goltzman, AIA 

Addressing code-related issues was the main priority among AIAVT members who responded to the Public Policy Committee’s (PPC) survey at the beginning of the year to determine its focus. The committee’s work so far has confirmed the importance placed on this issue, as it has proven to be a considerable effort with multiple challenges. 

The committee initially addressed the Department of Fire Safety’s (DFS) 2015 building code update. A call went out to the membership to comment on the proposed revisions and those comments, combined with committee members’ input, allowed us to work in concert with DFS to ensure suggestions from the architectural community were incorporated into the changes. On October 10, the 2015 Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code update was adopted (please read “Vermont Building Code Changes” elsewhere in this issue of AIAVT News). This endeavor represented a successful collaboration between DFS and AIAVT.

The PPC’s next effort, however, has proved more complex. Based on members’ observations and meetings with DFS, it came to light that the department was not consistently enforcing the statute requiring the use of licensed professionals for building. This issue has become the Public Policy Committee’s new focus. 

VT Statute Title 26, Chapter 3, Articles 121 through 124, requires licensed design professionals and stamped construction drawings for all building projects statewide, with the exception of one to four-family residences and related shed, storage or garages, farm buildings, barns, silos, sheds, equipment storage and farm animal housing and pre-engineered buildings (which are required to be stamped by a licensed professional in the appropriate field). 

AIAVT PPC members brought to DFS attention the fact that a construction “guidelines chart” that was posted on their web site could be interpreted by builders and owners in such a way that was not consistent with the Vermont statute. After review of the language, DFS agreed with this assessment and worked quickly to remove the chart from their web site. 

DFS leaders, who were enthusiastic about meeting with Committee members, consider themselves in a tough middle-ground position regarding the statute, facing pressure from owners, developers, builders and legislators—while simultaneously feeling underfunded. As a result, the department has been deciding—more or less on a case-by-case basis—which projects require a licensed professional and which do not. They have also developed an informal process whereby DFS staff may tell builders on-site, during building inspections, what to do to satisfy the code and thereafter consider such projects in compliance. This process tends to eliminate the involvement of a licensed professional as required by law. 

DFS leadership suggested that if the statute was enforced on every project as per the law, the extra review would create increased lead times, add to project costs, and be perceived as “anti-business.”  Lack of staff to manage what would be the total workload was again cited as an issue—with funding to hire new staff not likely in the foreseeable future. 

The Public Policy Committee’s position is to now work diligently with DFS to modify these practices. Our main goal is to have the statute enforced by the designated AHJs (authority having jurisdiction). AIAVT has offered to help advocate for additional funding for DFS to create additional reviewer positions and possibly even get an architect on DFS staff. 

In our discussions, the Committee has noted that drawing reviews take time whether licensed professionals are involved or not. Additionally, there exists the potential that builders and owners may feel that codes (e.g., life safety, energy) and the engagement of professionals can be ignored—believing or “hearing through the building grapevine” that permits can be easily obtained without strict adherence to process. What would happen if there was an accident or failure at a project where no stamped drawings were used? Where would the liability trail lead? 

DFS has been a willing partner to date in our shared goal of ensuring safety for Vermonters through the code adoption discussions and the Public Policy Committee is hopeful for success in this second effort. We are working towards a compromise that creates a state-wide permitting process beneficial to project owners and designers—one that keeps costs down, keeps lead times down, is transparent, complies with the Vermont statute, and has clearly defined deadlines. 

As professionals, we must do our part to be respected and valued—from ensuring submitted drawings are fully code-compliant, staying educated on current codes, keeping the most current versions of the codes in-house, and working with local AHJs to foster this very important relationship. 

Also, members can help the AIAVT effort by reporting about projects that may not be in compliance with the Vermont statute to Carol Miklos.

Licensing Summit Provides Insight on AXP and Transition from 4.0 to 5.0 ARE

This past August, Devin Bushey, Vermont’s AIA state component architect licensing co-advisor, attended the annual NCARB summit for licensing advisors throughout the U.S. The summit focused on two topics this year: the first topic was the transition from the Internship Development Program (IDP) to the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the second was the transition from ARE 4.0 to the new exam, ARE 5.0, launching in November. 

For AIA associate members or architect members’ staff who are in the process of getting licensed, here, according to Bushey, is a summary of the key points: 

The biggest change in both AXP and ARE is the new categories. Rather than having 17 specific categories (as is the case in IDP) and seven exam sections in ARE 4.0 (that don’t relate to the IDP categories at all), NCARB has created six new broad categories for AXP that relate directly to the six exam divisions in 5.0. “Through this redesign, NCARB hopes to create a more efficient and effective path to licensure,” said Bushey. 

NCARB has also reduced the number of hours needed to complete AXP; the number is now 3,740. Candidates should note that some states will still require completion of the old 5,600 hours to receive initial licensure. For this reason, Bushey suggested that all candidates log hours until they have hit at least 5,600. This ensures reciprocity in the future. 

Now for important news about the ARE: The new exam will use updated software and won’t include the vignettes from 4.0. There will be new question types that attempt to create an exam more closely related to actual practice. NCARB is also offering financial incentives for the first 600 test takers of 5.0.

Some initial drawbacks regarding 5.0 include the fact that since the exam is new, there isn’t a wealth of knowledge or community support to draw from. Also, since the exam is brand new, the “cut-scores” have not been determined. This means that early test takers in 5.0 may have to wait (while these scores are being created) before receiving their results.

“The summit also provided information about some non-traditional paths to licensure,” said Bushey. Examples included people who have been practicing for decades without getting licensed, people coming from foreign countries, and people who may have let their NCARB record lapse or never had one to begin with. So, if anyone out there has considered becoming licensed but thought it was unattainable, please don’t hesitate to ask questions. 

For any questions regarding becoming licensed, contact Devin Bushey or licensing co-advisor Dave Mentzer

November 1, 2016 - ARE 5.0 Launches
June 30, 2018 - ARE 4.0 retires. No 4.0 exam divisions will be given past this date.

Vermont Architects Take Home AIANE Awards

This year’s AIA New England Annual Meeting and Design Awards event was held in Portland, Maine. Two Vermont firms took home awards. 

Truex Cullins Architecture received a Merit Award for its “Ice Ark” project. Rolf Kielman, AIA; Josh Chafe, AIA; Andrew Chardain, Assoc. AIA; and Keith Nelson made up the team involved in the project. Ice Ark was featured in AIAVT News earlier in the year. Read more at ice ark and/or watch at: ice ark talk rolf kielman

Elizabeth Herrmann Architecture garnered a Merit Award for “microHOUSE,” a project that has received much attention in the last 11 months, including a 2015 AIAVT Citation Award and a feature in Design New England in its March/April 2016 issue.

Calling for Entries: Efficiency Vermont Best of the Best Awards

Awards season has arrived at Efficiency Vermont! Each fall, Vermont’s building design and construction community is invited to participate in the Best of the Best Awards, Efficiency Vermont’s annual competition that recognizes excellence in design approaches for energy efficiency across four major categories of new construction and retrofit projects in Vermont’s commercial and residential buildings. Best of the Best offers those in the industry an opportunity to share work with peers and gain recognition for projects that went above and beyond standard energy efficiency practices. 

The Commercial Building Design & Construction award category highlights innovative and integrated design approaches for energy efficiency in commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily buildings. Entries are reviewed by a panel of judges and rated against a set of criteria including economics, design, enhanced performance, and presentation. An exciting update this year is the addition of a special category for multifamily buildings. While multifamily entries have always been accepted as part of the broader commercial category, this unique category will highlight multifamily projects separately, making it a great year to enter a project in this category. 

The Residential New Construction award category recognizes excellence in energy efficiency in new single family detached or attached homes (e.g., townhome or duplex up to four units). Projects are judged for demonstrating a comprehensive, whole-house approach to energy-efficient new construction and employing outstanding solutions to overcome energy-efficiency challenges. Entries will be considered for the Best of the Best in Residential New Construction, as well as Affordable Energy-Efficient Construction, and Partner of the Year. 

Complete details, including submission requirements and official entry forms, can be found at https://contractors.efficiencyvermont.com/bbd/awards. Entering is not only free, but also a great way to have your work recognized at Efficiency Vermont’s Better Buildings by Design conference (February 1 & 2, 2017), where all entries will be on display as part of the Best of the Best exhibit. There is no limit to the number of submissions accepted, and the entry deadline is November 18, 2016.  If you have any questions, please contact:

For commercial—Tori Scarzello at awards@ efficiencyvermont.com or 802-540-7850

For residential—Erin Cleere at ecleere@ veic.org or 802-540-7702

art by Architects

Reciprocal AIAVT member Ted Sheridan, AIA, CPHD, LEED AP of Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects creates prints using the oxidation of metals directly on to heavy weight printing and watercolor paper.  Iron, in particular, in object form, granules and powders provides a medium that can be combined with water, magnetism and gravity to create impressions of mass, force and flow.  The pieces are initially set up completely dry, but are then carefully submerged in water for periods ranging from days to weeks to “develop.”  As the metal oxidizes, it changes color and bleeds into the paper forming the final image. 

Uncontrollable currents in the water—and the natural tendency of the saturated paper to warp—create uncertainty in the process as the overall compositional organization gives way to the unpredictable behavior of the materials. 

Works from a new series by Sheridan, called Furrows, was recently featured in an exhibition at The Commons Gallery in Margaretville, NY. 

State of Vermont Building Code Changes

by Joel Page 

Some members may already be aware, but AIAVT thought it would be wise to ensure that everyone knew that on October 10, 2016 the Vermont Division of Fire Safety (DFS) adopted the 2015 version of the Fire and Building Safety Code. The 2012 version no longer applies. 

Inclusive in the new 2015 Fire and Building Safety Code is the adoption of the following nationally recognized codes:

  • NFPA 101 Life Safety Code, 2015 edition
  • NFPA 1 Fire Code, 2015 edition
  • The International Building Code, IBC, 2015 edition
  • International Existing Building Code, IEBC, 2015 edition
  • National Board Inspection Code, NBIC, National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, 2015 

The State understands that there are many projects designed and soon to be permitted that are using the 2012 standards. To accommodate the transition there is a 180 day grace period that is described in section 11 on page 29 of the Fire and Building Safety Code. 

Additional information as well as down loadable documents can be found on the Division of Fire Safety web site (http://firesafety.vermont.gov/buildingcode/codes).

Want to Know More About the Living Building Challenge?

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a building certification program, advocacy tool, and philosophy that defines the most complete and advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today. Created in 2006 by the non-profit International Living Future Institute, it inspires us to create buildings that are not simply “less bad,” but are actually good! Its criteria include net-positive energy and water usage, demanding constraints on site and materials usage, and holistic requirements on often-overlooked aspects of buildings relating to social justice, beauty, health, and happiness.

Among the AIAVT membership, John Rahill of Black River Design Architects earned LBC certification for the Class of '66 Environmental Center project at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

The LBC program is definitely a challenge! Learn more here: http://living-future.org/lbc

Interested in exploring further? Brian Just from VEIC is a member of the LBC Ambassador Network and has offered to provide a one-hour overview presentation and workshop on the LBC for any firm or group (with at least 10 attendees please). To set up a session, contact Brian at bjust@ veic.org . AIA members can earn 1 AIA LU (HSW).

Efficiency Vermont Offers Firms Energy Code Workshops

Interested in reviewing energy code issues and learning about updates to Efficiency Vermont’s new construction services? Energy consultants from Efficiency Vermont have been holding some informational sessions with design and construction firms, addressing code, energy, and project support questions in an informal, discussion-based format.

If you would like to set up or participate in a two-three hour workshop over the next six to nine months, please contact Tori Scarzello (vscarzello@ veic.org or 802-540-7850). Depending on the number and size of firms interested, some combined group meetings may be scheduled to enable an active workshop size (10-20) and broad input.  As the questions and topics are flexible, advance comments on areas of interest are encouraged.


Josh Chafe, AIA, TruexCullins Architecture, has received his license to practice architecture. 

Cam Featherstonhaugh, Assoc. AIA, CSI, project manager, TruexCullins Architecture, has been elected to the National Board of Directors for CSI.  His term began in July of this year and runs through June 30, 2018.  

Diane Elliot Gayer, AIA, FWIA, has authored a book, Of Earth and Being, published by the Vermont Design Institute. The limited edition is a collection of photographs and essays critiquing and celebrating what we know and who we are; it reflects the author’s personal journey through time and place. The book will be available at Phoenix Books and Flying Pig starting November 10.  For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/ofearthandbeing/. 

Claire Gear, AIA has accepted a position at Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She will be operations director. This marks the first time that the school will have an architect on staff. 

Ward Joyce, AIA, has made several local presentations on Public Open Space Design. At Downtown Day on April 14, Community Planning and Revitalization, Vermont Dept. of Housing and Community Development, he presented “Revitalizing Public Spaces”; on June 4 at City Center Collaborative, South Burlington, he presented “Design for Impact, Tactical Urbanism”; and at the 2016 Vermont Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference on June 10 he presented “Ready, Set, Activate.” 

The Shelburne Vineyard Winery, a project by Stephen Selin, AIA, of Selin + Selin Architecture, has become became LEED Certified. Selin believes it’s the first winery in Vermont to achieve this status.

Tolya Stonorov, AIA, Assistant Professor of Architecture, School of Architecture and Art, Norwich University received the Peggy R. Williams Emerging Professional Award from the Vermont Women in Higher Education organization.  Stonorov also led a design/build studio, CASA 802, with the Norwich University School of Architecture and Art on affordable tiny homes as an alternative to trailers.

Stonorov also presented/published a paper for the National Conference for the Beginning Design Student, Cal Poly. Lastly, Stonorov, in conjunction with Norwich University School of Architecture and Art students, design a new Habitat for Humanity house in East Montpelier.

Are you AIAVT’s Louis Kahn? Looking for Art by Architects!

AIAVT News initiated a new column to showcase the fine art of our members. Send your jpeg files of sketches, painting, sculpture, and non-work related photography to Carol Miklos.

Student Award Recipients Announced

AIA Vermont has granted three awards to students of architecture this year, thus far. The awards were made possible through the Hanne N. Williams Scholar Fund, which derives support from the AIAVT Guy Teschmacher Memorial Golf Tournament, the AIA National Component Matching Grant Program, and other sources.

Andover, Vermont resident Vanessa Griswold, a graduate of Green Mountain Union High School who had been a recipient of an AIAVT Scholar Promise Award as a high school senior, has continued with her outstanding achievements, now at Vermont Technical College (VTC). Griswold received both VTC awards to students in the Architectural and Building Engineering Technology (ABT) Program—the Robert S. Brady Award for greatest all around academic development in ABT and the Ruth Freeman Memorial Award to the student in the first architectural design studio class who showed the greatest promise.  In total, AIAVT awarded Griswold $1,500.  AIAVT President Gary Corey was on hand at the VTC convocation ceremony to present the award.

The third award was split between Ben Polizoti and Adam Wiles-Rosell, for their entries in the “Best in Show” competition at Norwich University held this past spring. Each student received one-half of the $500 award amount. 



Catherine Lange, Assoc. AIA, recently completed her Master of Architecture degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a focus in sustainability. While at RIT, Lange was president of AIAS and earned a LEED Green Associate certification. She began working as a designer at Scott + Partners in Essex on October 1. Previously, Lange had been working as the lead designer at 2Revolutions, where she communicated the multi-faceted world of education through visual design and storytelling. At 2Rev, she combined her interests in design and architecture by researching how school buildings affect learning in kids and adults. Lange’s interests lie in the design of healthier buildings that inspire people at work and at play. Before joining 2Rev, Lange launched a graphic design and organizational development consulting company in Burlington, where she partnered with nonprofits and small businesses across New England and the East Coast to create sophisticated and personalized design strategies. Lange also holds a B.S. in Design and Environmental Analysis: Interior Design from Cornell University and currently resides in Burlington.

AIAVT Design Awards Traveling Show Installed in Manchester

The AIAVT 2015 Design Awards traveling show is at its last stop of the year at the Manchester Library in Manchester, Vermont. All of the entries from the 2015 competition are on display through Election Day. For those of you that have not yet seen the entry boards in the flesh, together, as part of one show, you can still have that opportunity. 

Many thanks to Kelly Clarke and Ryan Gariboldi of Centerline Architects, Bennington, who helped hang the show. This year’s show was made possible, in part, by our Underwriter, Brownell Windows & Doors, and sponsors Charron Inc; Poole Professional Ltd., and Wallboard Supply Co.


Guardian Glass, a part of Guardian Industries, is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and is one of the world's largest glass manufacturers with leading positions in float and fabricated glass products for commercial and residential applications. The company strives to use fewer resources than its competitors. Its energy-efficient, low-E-coated glass is designed to meet the toughest architectural and aesthetic challenges to help designers Build with Light®. Scientists and engineers at the company work to create new glass products and solutions using the most advanced technology. Some of the most recognized buildings in the world feature SunGuard Advanced Architectural Glass, including the Hearst Building in New York City to the Burj Khalifa in the Middle East.  SunGuard coatings can be used to reduce heating and cooling costs and are a key element in obtaining LEED certification as well. For more information, contact Doug Craven, dcraven@ guardian.com, M: (774) 570-0214.

AIAVT News is published by AIA Vermont, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 

Opinions are not necessarily the views of AIAVT or any other organization.

AIAVT reserves the right to edit articles for available space and determine appropriate content prior to inclusion. For consideration, submissions must be received 60 days prior to publication month.

For advertising rate and specifications, see our Media Kit.

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

Carol Miklos, Executive Director, AIA Vermont

CMiklos@ aiavt.org

88 Blackbird Lane

Charlotte, Vermont 05445