1.15 AIAVT News

AIAVT Announces 2014 Design Excellence Awards: Many Small Projects Score Big Wins

Stephen Dynia, FAIA, of Dynia Architects, a firm with offices in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Denver, Colorado, presented the AIAVT Design Excellence Awards on December 4 at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier.   More..

from the PRESIDENT

My theme for this coming year is Resiliency…Is This the New Definition of Sustainability?  More...

Will Vermont Finally Pass a Statute of Repose for Architects and their Colleagues?

For a good part of 2014, AIA Vermont's Public Policy Committee (PPC) took a leadership role in advocating for legislation that would put in place a State of Repose (SOR) for the state's architect, design, and construction community.    More...

Archistream Getting Lots of Attention at Southern Vermont Winter Home

After the Archistream, AIAVT’s mobile gallery and design resource center, completed recent successful visits to ABX in Boston and Yestermorrow in Waitsfield, the vehicle was transported to its winter home at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) in Manchester.    More...

On the Boards/In the Works

This is a new column in AIAVT News that we hope will grow in time. AIAVT members, please provide "blurbs" about current projects you are working on /just got awarded that you feel comfortable sharing.  More...

AIAVT Announces 2014 Design Excellence Awards: Many Small Projects Score Big Wins

Stephen Dynia, FAIA, of Dynia Architects, a firm with offices in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Denver, Colorado, presented the AIAVT Design Excellence Awards on December 4 at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. Dynia had served as the head juror on the four-architect jury of AIA Wyoming members; the others were Shawn Ankeny, AIA, Ankeny Architecture and Design, LLC, Jackson Hole; Karen Parent, AIA, Dynia Architects, Jackson Hole; and Jeff Lawrence, AIA, Carney Logan Burke Architects, Jackson Hole.

Nearly 130 individuals turned out for the awards presentation, which also serves as AIAVT’s Annual Meeting. Attendees began celebrating with drinks and appetizers in the dining area, moved to the awe-inspiring legislative chamber for the actual presentation, and headed back to the dining area for roast pork, haddock, and other tasty preparations.

Before presenting the Vermont awards, Dynia talked about how serving on the jury had allowed him to observe how well the body of entries was suited to the Vermont landscape, which in turn led to a short presentation on designing for place in his own work.  Dynia spoke about how his work responds to its site and its users while acknowledging the vernacular of the place it inhabits.  With his work, he strives to enhance individuals’ experience of the world around them. Dynia showed examples of this with his work on the Jackson Hole Performing Arts Pavilion and numerous other award winning projects.

Nine design awards, chosen from 35 project entries received from AIA member architects throughout Vermont as well as a reciprocal member from Massachusetts, were presented. A tenth project received the People’s Choice Award.

McLeod Kredell Architects of Middlebury received an Honor Award for “Island Chicken Houses,” a project completed in collaboration with Marvel Architects of New York City and 11 students. The project was designed and constructed on remote Bear Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine and then transported and sited on a neighboring island’s public school farm, all in just one week’s time. The jury said of the project, “We appreciated the multipurpose facets to the design,” providing a “standard home for chickens” that is “movable so the chickens can provide service to the gardens, and the use of the coops as benches.” Jurors also thought the project elevated “the typical chicken coop to a work of multifunctional art” with “nicely composed, sculptural forms.” 

McLeod Kredell also received a Merit Award for “Chipman Hill House,” a private residence newly constructed on an existing foundation in a dense neighborhood in Middlebury. The jury noted that the 2300+ square-foot-residence “features a well-executed, clear, and pleasing layout with a great use of natural light.”  Referring to the eastern white cedar and cement panels on the outside and the eastern white pine and plaster on the inside, jurors said, “The simplicity of the exterior materials is appealing.  The “simple palette inside is attractive. The restraint in simple and consistent material choices made for a strong overall design.” 

A Merit Award was given to Gossens Bachman Architects of Montpelier for a “District Energy Facility” located in Montpelier; according to the architecture firm, the facility is a first-in-the-nation-partnership between state and city government to develop a central biomass fueled power plant. The 15,000-square-foot facility will provide heating to state buildings and the entire downtown district, reducing emissions by an estimated 11 tons per year.  Jurors said, “The project raised the bar for buildings of this type…It's the Pompidou Centre of Montpelier, but with perhaps an even stronger underlying purpose for its community. The approachability and transparency of public infrastructure within proximity of the State Capitol is compelling.”

A 360-square-foot pergola built by TruexCullins Architecture of Burlington for a house in Huntington received a Merit Award. Consisting of a shaded canopy for outdoor dining and a changing area for an existing nearby pool, the jurors said, “At first this seemed too simple, but upon further inspection, there was a sophistication of restrained detail that was compelling—particularly the use of cables along with the perforated steel tubes that created the framework for the future growth of vines” along the ceiling of the pergola. “We want to see this again in a few years—when the vines have taken hold of the structure—to see the quality of light within it,” jurors added.

The New Squash Center at Middlebury College earned a Citation Award for Massachusetts firm ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge. Regarding the 17,775-square-foot project, which is an addition to the College’s main, existing athletic facility, jurors said, “The structure is timeless, solid, grand, well composed, and with nice proportions. It anchors the campus athletic buildings…There’s a simple, clean and strong diagram and good use of natural light and large open spaces. This looks like a building that could evolve with future use changes if needed, but seems to work very well for the current program.” 

Norwich University of Northfield, led by faculty member Tolya Stonorov, AIA, earned a Citation Award for the Archistream, a vintage Airstream trailer that was transformed into a traveling architecture education center and design gallery for AIAVT. “We've seen many Airstream renovations, but here, the thorough analysis of the structure and attention to detail and materiality was compelling…, said the jury. “The …educational aspect, ribs, materials, craftsmanship, details, tactile quality of interface for students and users—all were impressive.” (Read more about the Archistream in this issue.)

Autumn Hill Lane, a striking modern Shelburne residence of 2,300 square feet, earned a Citation Award for Williston-based Brown + Davis Design. “The exterior material palette and color selection seemed to integrate well with the house’s environment—especially in the winter months,” jurors said of the Douglas fir, rusted steel and grey cement board siding combination. “The interior materials and layout were well done…,” jurors added. “The house features an efficient plan, with restraint in the forms and exterior materials, which work well in a common residential environment, yet is interesting and minimalist.”

Gossens Bachman Architects’ “Capstone Community Action Central Offices Building” seems “like a ‘happy’ place to come for public functions—with warmth on the exterior and interior,” said the jurors who awarded the project a Citation Award. Located in Barre, Capstone’s offices provide space to host programs and services aimed to improve quality of life for low-to-moderate-income Vermonters. Jurors said of the renovation and addition to the nonprofit’s existing building, “We like the skylight introduced into the existing building to central space for offices. There’s nice composition of the exterior materials. The interior is inventive and expresses the structure of the building. The apparent modest budget and expression of inexpensive materials has a certain charm. The connection to the existing building was well executed...The simple use of daylighting through trusses is an integral move.”

LineSync Architecture of Wilmington received Honorable Mention for “Resilient River Apartment,” a comprehensive rehabilitation of a river-sited structure that had been eviscerated as the result of Hurricane Irene. The firm’s challenge was to redesign the dwelling to be both “hydrophobic” and waterproof. Jurors said, “The project opened a lot of discussion about how to make these places desirable and livable again, while reducing fear of the next big flood.  The concept was great, including helping to keep a downtown area viable in light of natural disasters…This was an innovative response to the inherent risks of a river site.” 

Maura Wygmans, AIAVT then-President, presented the People’s Choice Award to Norwich University for the “Delta T-90 House,” a prototype solar-powered residence designed by the school’s architecture students as part of a national solar decathlon competition. Nearly 1,000 individuals throughout the state and region cast their votes at AIAVT’s website to choose the winner. Matt Lutz, the professor who led the project, accepted the award on the school’s behalf. 

AIAVT extends it gratitude to Marvin Window & Doors, the underwriter of the event, and to the sponsors: Charron Inc.; Pearson and Associates, Engineering Consultants; Poole Professional Ltd.; and Tree Ridge Enterprise Inc.

Will Vermont Finally Pass a Statute of Repose for Architects and their Colleagues?

By Carol Miklos

For a good part of 2014, AIA Vermont's Public Policy Committee (PPC) took a leadership role in advocating for legislation that would put in place a State of Repose (SOR) for the state's architect, design, and construction community.  Specifically, the SOR calls for limiting the time frame for legal action to ten years from the date of project completion. Currently, Vermont is just one of three states without an SOR in place for this population of professionals. 

“It's just absurd that designers and contractors and their estates can be sued for work those individuals might have completed decades ago, when memories have faded, witnesses have moved or died, records have been lost, and standards of care have changed,” said Jesse Beck, AIA, Freeman French Freeman, Burlington. Beck, a PPC member, said, “Vermont has an SOR in place to protect medical professionals. It's high time that our profession and colleagues in the building industry were protected, too.” 

A critical prong of the PPC's effort was to contact and find support in the legislature. This step also involved presenting certain senators and representatives with rough drafts of proposed legislation developed with support from William “Sandy” Fead, Esq., of Fead Construction Law, an AIAVT affiliate member, and Brendan Cosgrove, executive director, American Council of Engineering Companies of Vermont (ACEC).  

PPC member Bob Duncan, AIA, Duncan Wisniewski Architecture, who had begun discussing the SOR with Senator Tim Ashe (D-Chittenden) as far back as a year ago, said Ashe’s support has been unwavering ever since. In recent months, Senator Ashe’s staff finalized the draft bill in preparation for the Senator’s sponsorship; in fact, the bill was introduced in mid-January.   

About Ashe’s sponsorship of the bill, Duncan said, “This is tremendous news for everyone in our industry. To have the support of a senator as well-respected as Tim Ashe is critical and we're deeply appreciative. He has shown us that he understands and cares about our concerns regarding working in Vermont under the current laws.”  

Forming a coalition with colleagues in support of establishing the SOR was a second crucial aim. The PPC contacted representatives of business associations in the state whose members would, along with architects, benefit from reduced professional risk by the passage of such legislation. Not surprisingly, the Committee encountered broad support. In addition to ACEC, the Associated General Contractors of Vermont, American Society of Landscape Architects, Vermont Chapter; Structural Engineers Association of Vermont, American Society of Civil Engineers, Vermont Section; Construction Specifications Institute, Vermont Chapter; and the Vermont Independent Electrical Contractors Association joined AIAVT in this effort. 

With the bill now introduced, the PPC is focusing on making contact with those serving on legislative committees likely to review the SOR.  This includes Senator Ashe’s fellow members of the Senate Judiciary: Dick Sears (D-Bennington), Chair; Joe Benning (R-Caledonia), Vice Chair; Jeanette K. White (D-Windham), and Alice W. Nitka (D-Windsor) and the House Judiciary: Maxine Jo Grad (D-Washington), Chair; Willem Jewett (D-Addison), Vice Chair; Tom Burditt (Rutland-2), ranking; and Barbara Rachelson (Chittenden 6-6). Members residing in these counties/districts are urged to contact AIAVT as soon as possible for guidance on how best to approach these individuals to ask for their support. 

AIAVT’s PPC and coalition members will also need to provide testimony on cases that demonstrate the need for an SOR. Has anyone among the membership ever faced a legal action that would have been prevented had an SOR existed for our profession?  Has anyone of our members or colleagues been sued regarding a structure designed or built many years ago where this suit resulted in wasted resources to defend or determination of the truth was impaired due to lack of sufficient evidence or some other reason?  Some law makers incorrectly believe that an SOR is not needed for our profession because no injustices exist without it. Anyone who can provide useful testimony towards our efforts is urged to contact Carol Miklos by email at info@ aiavt.org or to call Jesse Beck (802.864.6844), Bob Duncan (802.864.6693, x4), or Harry Hunt (802.253.2374). 

View the complete SOR Issue Brief in PDF format. 

AIAVT News and “special bulletin” emails will keep members up-to-date on progress regarding this important issue.

These communications will include asking members and colleagues to write letters of support; we encourage you to be prepared to do so

Archistream Getting Lots of Attention at Southern Vermont Winter Home

After the Archistream, AIAVT’s mobile gallery and design resource center, completed recent successful visits to ABX in Boston and Yestermorrow in Waitsfield, the vehicle was transported to its winter home at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (SVAC) in Manchester. The Archistream is to be hosted by the museum for the entire winter, until weather again permits safe travels. 

First up on the schedule of visitors to SVAC was art teacher David Paarlberg-Kvam’s 8th grade class from The Dorset School. Having just completed a unit on architecture, the students were taken to see and experience the Archistream with the hopes that they would gain inspiration for tackling an on-site assignment to build “Fun Houses.” 

The students squeezed inside the Archistream’s updated interior, immersed in its sleek and high-tech design. Drawing ideas in their sketchbooks, the class prepared their plans for carrying out their own construction assignments. 

Working in groups, with a variety of materials at their disposal—from ice pop sticks to clothespins to pipe cleaners and modeling clay—the students demonstrated creative and innovative designs for their houses. They exuded not just youthful imagination but keen attention to the criteria for which they were later judged: Stability and Construction, Design Aesthetic, and Originality and Complexity. 

Abby Pinkard, SVAC’s director of educational programming, said, “The Fun House project, in conjunction with AIAVT’s Archistream, fulfills SVAC’s outreach mission by bringing art education and experiences to the community. We are happy that in fulfilling our museum’s outreach mission we have simultaneously helped AIAVT to fulfill its own outreach goals to create broader awareness of and appreciation for architecture across all age groups.” 

Pinkard said that several more student groups are scheduled to take field trips to see the Archistream this winter. To schedule a program at SVAC within the Archistream, contact Abby Pinkard or call at (802) 367-1311.

On The Boards/In the Works

Bob Duncan, AIA, and Michael Wisniewski, AIA, of Duncan Wisniewski Architecture in Burlington are working on a 30-unit senior housing building in Milton which may become the first affordable multifamily project to meet passive house standards in the U.S. in a climate as cold as Vermont’s.  The project includes apartments, covered parking, and generous common spaces.  

Note: This is a new column in AIAVT News that we hope will grow in time. AIAVT members, please provide "blurbs" about current projects you are working on /just got awarded that you feel comfortable sharing.  Currently, we are accepting information about all categories of projects. Drawings and sketches are welcome. Client name will not be published; please do include town, city or at least county.



Sellers Treybal Structural Engineers (STS) is an experienced structural engineering firm operating in Vermont and licensed in several states. STS serves both public and private clients and offers service from offices in Williston and Middlebury. The principals, Greg Sellers and John Treybal, have expertise in a wide range of projects, building methods, and materials, as well as project management experience covering all phases of a project from early planning through completion.  STS approaches every project with the capabilities of a larger firm, while delivering the hands-on principal involvement of a small practice. Contact: Greg Sellers, (802) 382-0250, greg@ sts-engineers.com

from the PRESIDENT

Members and colleagues—my name is Lisa Rovner and I’m the 2015 president of AIA Vermont. As an independent architectural consultant in the Burlington area, I focus on large institutional, commercial, industrial and mixed-use residential projects. I received an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University. Most of my early career was spent in New York City before I moved to South Burlington.

I thank you for electing me as your 2015 president. Before I talk about my plans for AIAVT for 2015, I wish to take this opportunity to celebrate the closing out of a wonderful year of accomplishments and new enterprises for AIAVT in 2014.  I thank Maura Wygmans, AIA, now our immediate past president, for a great year of service; Carol Miklos, for her ongoing dedication as our executive director; all of my fellow board members both new and steadfast; all current AIA members and affiliates; and the team from Norwich University who worked to bring the Archistream to fruition. It was a year of hard work that definitely paid off.  Through the Archistream project, AIAVT became nationally recognized and continues to reach new horizons both here at home and in New England. AIA National’s funding of our idea and efforts brought our tiny chapter to the forefront of the architecture community and into the spotlight at ABX Boston, where I witnessed first-hand what a hit we were with our Archistream!  As Maura passes the reins to me…well…all I can say is, “Keep your seatbelts fastened!”

As your 2015 president, I have a number of exciting goals:

My theme for this coming year is Resiliency…Is This the New Definition of Sustainability? The AIAVT board of directors will be working with me to create a number of interesting events around this theme. We hope to have one or two studio socials with accompanying HSW learning units. If your firm is interested in hosting one of these studio socials, please contact Carol or me. We’ll be putting together a panel discussion later in the year to address the topic of resiliency in a more intimate and interactive way.

AIAVT will continue to support our popular Archistream and keep it on Vermont roads for much of 2015. If any of you is interested in supporting that effort going forward, your help would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, our annual joint conference with CSI Vermont, ACX ‘15, is in the works and takes place on May 20-21 at the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Burlington. AIAVT & CSIVT have secured representatives from F.E.M.A. to deliver a half-day workshop that promises to be quite interesting. Our keynote speaker will be Alex Wilson, founder of Building Green, Inc. and the Resilient Design Institute.  Six other sessions, narrowed from a large pool of presentations, will also adddress resiliency and its effect on design, engineering and construction.

As fellow members of AIAVT, I invite you to call or email me with any thoughts or suggestions for making 2015 a productive and memorable year!

AIAVT 2015 Design Awards: What Do/Did You Think?

The 2015 AIAVT Design Awards & Annual Meeting evoked strong reactions from some members and AIAVT would like the broader membership to weigh in. If you have an opinion about the design awards, including criteria for awards, special award categories, the awards dinner, presentations by jurors, or anything else you would like to share with the membership about the AIAVT Design Awards, please contact Carol Miklos at cmiklos@ aiavt.org and put your opinions and thoughts in writing.  The AIAVT Board of Directors would like to hear from as many members as possible.

Once we receive responses, we’ll consider posting them to our blog to illicit further discussion and /or publishing them in the next newsletter.


Several members of the AIAVT Board of Directors stepped down at the end of 2014. Past President Tom Bachman, AIA; Andrew Chardain, Assoc. AIA; a former president who had returned for a second go-round, Barbara Conrey, AIA; Diane Gayer, AIA, and Tonya Forcier, AIA, all left. We are grateful for their dedicated service. They will be sorely missed.

To fill the vacated seats, AIAVT is happy to announce a group of new members. Please read about them below.

Daniel Goltzman, AIA joined Burlington developer Redstone as a project manager after ten years as a practicing architect in New York City, Colorado and Vermont. Originally from Montreal, he moved to Vermont with his wife and two boys to be perfectly situated between his family in Montreal, hers outside New York City, and their camp in the Adirondack Mountains.

Ward Joyce, AIA is a practicing architect in Montpelier and an assistant professor of architecture at Vermont Technical College, where he teaches courses about design, 3D building modeling, history and green buildings. At VTC, he founded the Design/Build Club which in its first year completed a public “Parklet” that was installed in downtown Montpelier. Joyce has worked for 25 years in a variety of roles—mixing traditional architectural practice, teaching, and working independently as a design/builder and construction manager. He has a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Minnesota, and is active in local and state professional associations, including serving on the boards of Montpelier Alive’s Design Committee and the Pyralisk Arts Center.

Adam Lemire, Assoc. AIA is senior designer at LineSync Architecture in Wilmington.  He has been an active member of the AIAVT Emerging Professionals Network (EPN) since 2012 and is serving as the group’s 2015 director. Lemire earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture in 2008 from Temple University in Philadelphia. Since graduating he has received top honors in multiple emerging architect competitions, including AIAVT, AIANH, and DVGBC (Philadelphia).  Recently, Lemire has refocused his energy towards organizing competitions, including the annual AIAVT EPN competition.  In 2013, he founded a monthly conceptual competition, “PINarchitecture.org,” which has received over 400 entries from around the world. 

Eric Morrow, AIA is a staff architect at Dore & Whittier Architects, where he has worked for nearly five years. Morrow says, “As early as college, I felt appreciation of the opportunity architects have to be in service to their communities.  It is the humble recognition of this privilege that invites relentless curiosity to my daily work. As I enter the next phase of my career, I am continually energized by the breadth and scale of contribution that architecture can play in a rapidly changing world.”

Megan Nedzinski, AIA, LEED AP, Certified Passive House Consultant, is a senior project manager at Maclay Architects, where she has been employed since January 2014. Her area of focus is on high performance buildings with special attention to building science, the balance of capital and operating costs, and creating enduring and endearing design solutions for commercial and institutional projects. Prior to relocating to Vermont in 2013, she managed her own design firm where she focused on elevating the mission of sustainable design and architecture in West Virginia’s coal-based economy.  At that time, she also served on the faculty at West Virginia University, teaching courses in sustainable construction and forest resource conservation.  Nedzinski has also worked as a project manager, architect and designer on award-winning projects for internationally known firms across the U.S. She is currently serving as treasurer on the PHAUS-VT Executive Board.

Joel Page, AIA joined Scott + Partners, Inc. in 1996, bringing experience in residential construction and solar energy system integration and management to the firm. Page became a partner in the business in 2013 and now specializes in multi-family housing, and commercial and health care architecture. He has steadily become a leader in the field of high-tech, energy-efficient building envelopes.  Recently, Page completed projects including the East Montpelier-Calais Emergency Services Building, Heritage Toyota-Ford in South Burlington, a Dermatology Clinic expansion at UVMMC, and the Avenue Apartments on North Avenue in Burlington. Several of Page’s recent projects have received awards at the Better Buildings by Design conference sponsored by Efficiency Vermont. When not in the office, Page can be found cycling and skiing the back roads and trails of Vermont.


In November, Diane Gayer, AIA, Vermont Design Institute and the UVM Ecological Design Collaboratory curated the exhibit “Third Landscape” at the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA). The exhibit was presented by the Pine Street Corridor, Watershed Design Charrette, and several sponsored speakers, including community/economic developer Bruce Seifer, stormwater maven Megan Moir, naturalist Walter Poleman, and ecologist John Todd. 

A Norwich house designed by David Pill, AIA, Pill-Maharam Architects received Vermont Green Building Network’s (VGBN) "Vermont's Greenest Award."  This is the third year in a row that a house designed by Pill-Maharam Architects has won that particular award. The firm also received Efficiency Vermont's “Best of the Best Award” in the small commercial category for the firm’s new studio at 53 Falls Road in Shelburne.  A high-performance mobile home pilot project of the firm’s design was featured in a story that ran in Seven Days.

Jamie Wagner, AIA, an employee of the Burlington firm Richard Henry Behr Architect P.C., recently passed her last examination and is now a licensed architect.  Wagner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from The Ohio State University and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati. Currently, she is working on residential projects to be built on Cape Cod and a recreation center exterior renovation project in New York.

MorrisSwitzer Awarded 2014 Best Healthcare Project by Engineering News-Record New York

North Shore LIJ Health System’s Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York was named "Best Healthcare Project" of 2014 by Engineering News-Record New York.  Chosen by a panel of six industry leaders, the 130,000SF project includes a new 23,000SF pediatric emergency department with the second and third floors containing a 25-bed pediatric intensive care unit and a 25-bed medical/surgical unit.

Designed by MorrisSwitzer~Environments for Health with interiors by Rockwell Group, the project has also been featured in Healthcare Design Magazine.  On hand to accept the award at the ENR “Best Projects Gala” in New York last fall was Thomas Morris, Partner, MorrisSwitzer (Architect).


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