3.08 aiaVT Newsletter
A message from the Editor
Welcome to the Marbruary issue of the aiaVT newsletter! Technically this was supposed to go out in February, so I’m going to blame this missed deadline on the engineers. More...
Bread Loaf, Banwell Take Top Energy-Efficient Design Honors
Bread Loaf Corporation and Banwell Architects have each received top distinctions in the 2008 Energy Efficiency in Buildings design competition. More...
An evening with Bill McKibben
On January 22, 2008, AIA Vermont hosted a discussion with renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben at the Kirk Alumni Center of Middlebury College. More...
Wrap it in foam
At three dollars a gallon for heating oil the imperative for energy efficiency is greater than ever before. The time is now to reconsider how to keep heat inside our buildings for as long as possible. Our presentation "Wrap it in Foam" attempted to address the conundrum of how to advise our clients which wall system is worth their investment. More...
A message from the Editor
Welcome to the Marbruary issue of the aiaVT newsletter! Technically this was supposed to go out in February, so I’m going to blame this missed deadline on the engineers. I am the new editor attempting to take over for the recently “retired” Andrea Murray. She has been instrumental in helping me make the transition, although I imagine that after reading this intro she will want to divorce herself from any future involvement.
This is my first issue so in literary terms I am still finding my “voice”, which is a circumlocution for I don’t really have a clue as to what I should be doing yet. Looking back on it, it would have been helpful if I had made it a practice to read the aiaVT newsletter (sorry Andrea), or any other newsletter for that matter, before eagerly volunteering for this assignment. Putting a “glass half full” spin on things, this naiveté will allow me to bring a fresh perspective…one decidedly foreshortened and with unresolved portions hidden behind strategically placed shrubbery. I feel a bit like Raul Castro must right now with an unglamorous job I wasn’t elected to, which primarily consists of begging others for help while keeping the masses uninformed as to what is really going on behind the scenes. Not only is this my first issue, it is also the first issue that will be entirely web based rather than in PDF format. I know what you’re thinking (I’m the editor after all, I know everything) “A novice editor, AND a new format…WHAT A GREAT IDEA!” You are soooooo right, what could possibly go wrong?! Fortunately, I have Steve Clark to assist me, which is unfortunate for Steve Clark. Over the next several issues we will improve the layout and graphics, so at least all of you have that to look forward to.
At this point I will solicit articles from all areas of the profession: Student’s stories, project updates, staffing news, nominees for masochist of the month, architectural photos, opinion pieces, anything that you think might be of interest to other Architects. Don’t be afraid to get some controversy going here. If Jerry Springer has taught us anything, it’s that confrontation sells. When is the last time someone threw a chair at a design review meeting for crying out loud? Somebody has to pick up the torch now that Coach Knight has retired. So go ahead and fling it baby, I can take it, I went to architecture school! Please note that this could also be my last issue depending on how well this first issue is received.
Shawn Brennan, AIA
Bread Loaf, Banwell Take Top Energy-Efficient Design Honors
Bread Loaf Corporation and Banwell Architects have each received top distinctions in the 2008 Energy Efficiency in Buildings design competition. Given by Efficiency Vermont, the awards recognize excellence in energy-conscious design for commercial, institutional, industrial, and multifamily buildings constructed in Vermont. Bread Loaf Corporation of Middlebury, Vermont was honored in the New Construction category. Banwell Architects of Lebanon, New Hampshire, received recognition in the category of Renovation & Retrofit. Second Place and Honorable Mention winners were also named, as specified below.
Award winners were formally be announced on February 13 during the opening plenary session of the two-day 2008 Better Buildings by Design Conference. All competition entry posters were on display throughout the conference, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center, February 13 and 14.
More than 1,000 design and construction industry professionals were expected to attend the conference, which presented 40+ workshops on approaches to energy-efficient building design, construction and renovation.
Bread Loaf Corporation, Middlebury, VT
Health Care & Rehabilitation Services of Southeastern Vermont, Springfield, VT
TruexCullins, Burlington, VT; WTW Architects, Pittsburgh, PA
Dudley H. Davis Student Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
William Maclay Architects and Planners, Waitsfield, VT
Seventh Generation Corporate Headquarters, Burlington, VT
Renovation & Retrofit
Banwell Architects, Lebanon, NH
Vermont Technical College, Randolph, VT
Dore & Whittier Architects, South Burlington, VT
Lund Family Center, Burlington, VT
Freeman French Freeman, Burlington, VT
Mary Fletcher Building, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT
An evening with Bill McKibben
On January 22, 2008, AIA Vermont hosted a discussion with renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben at the Kirk Alumni Center of Middlebury College. Fifty eight people attended the informal event in which people were encouraged to participate in a dialogue with the speaker and with each other. The following is an email interview I conducted with an attendee, Jesse Robbins, to garner his impressions of the evening.
SB: Please state your profession and position.
JR: Intern architect with Freeman French Freeman, taking the ARE this year.
SB: List any pertinent affiliation(s) and position(s) held.
JR: Treasurer (1 yr) and board member (5 years) of the Vermont Green Building network, the VT chapter of the US Green Building Council.
SB: Explain your interest in the topic…what made you want to attend the event?
JR: I have had Bill McKibben's books reccommended to me many times, and have read several of his articles in national publications. I've missed several opportunities to see Bill speak, so I was excited when this opportunity came up. SB: What was the main topic of discussion?
JR: The talk focused on the social impacts of our oil based economy-- for example, it has created suburban environments that have led to 'hyperindividualism'. McKibben described the creation of the suburbs as "the primary domestic economic activity of the past 50 years."
SB: What are the key points that you came away with?
JR: The suburban lifestyle has been sold to "us" as a major component of the American Dream, and people continue to aspire to their own suburban home. Studies have shown that a suburban lifestyle is not living up to its promise. These studies indicate that the number of Americans who say they're happy with their lives peaked in 1956 and has been declining ever since. Group activities and social life is on the decline.
SB: Did anything McKibben say surprise you?
JR: This didn't surprise me, but I thought it was a great quote: "At the NAHB show in Las Vegas this past year, the president of the NAHB described "today's dreamhouse". It had a girl's room with a separate TV and karaoke room, an escape room for the spouse, and 2 master bedrooms..... What does it say about us when most of the world's citizens are lucky to be able to share a matress and the wealthiest citizens of the wealthiest country are staring from their 'caves' across the hall at their spouses... we've become unable to deal with snoring or sharing bedsheets.
SB: What was the style of presentation?
JR: There was a lecture of about 40 minutes followed by about 20 minutes of Q&A.
SB: Was there a good deal of exchange between McKibben and the attendees and among the attendees themselves?
JR: Bill was in the room when I arrived, talking with groups of people while hors d'ouvres and beverages were being enjoyed. He also sat at my table to eat.
SB: How could this discussion impact the way you approach your profession?
JR: Vermont has stronger, more cohesive communities than most of the US, and we're not as overwhelmed by sprawl and cookie cutter development as other places. Vermont architects have contributed to preservation of our downtowns, our cultural resources, and the mixed use type development that contributes to vibrant communities and social life.
SB: Why should someone who did not attend consider attending future events?
JR: This event reinforced many of the reasons I have worked to emphasize sustainable design in my work. The social hour let me catch up with people from other firms and feel connected to Vermont's architectural community.
aiaVT attempts to put on this type of event whenever possible. If you find this interesting then please attend one of our events and consider helping to organize one if the topic is of particular interest to you. We welcome feedback from all attendees so feel free to drop us a line...who knows, you may get published in the newsletter.
Wrap it in foam
Better Buildings By Design presentation by Joseph Cincotta, AIA, and Joe Kohler, PE
At three dollars a gallon for heating oil the imperative for energy efficiency is greater than ever before. The time is now to reconsider how to keep heat inside our buildings for as long as possible. Our presentation "Wrap it in Foam" attempted to address the conundrum of how to advise our clients which wall system is worth their investment. Today more than ever before, there are a number of compelling alternative building systems and insulating solutions to choose from. Joe Kohler and I set out to create a metric to compare them in a manner we hoped would be useful for making an informed decision. Joe described the process as:
"We had originally wanted to rank walls in one giant list, but it is much easier to do them in families. We were focused on finding the optimum insulation thickness for each insulation type, which requires an incremental analysis. We knew that people have their favorite type of construction, and wanted to figure out how much insulation to economically apply to each type. It is possible to do an incremental analysis from mixed groups, but it is harder, and really requires a computer program to make it easy. Basically it would be possible to input a file of all available wall, roof, window, passive solar aperture R-values and costs and the program would spit out the optimum building construction with every component optimized. It could select the optimum building for any given cost, energy use or incremental dollars per million Btu."
We are still gathering labor cost data and, moreover, we are looking for a sponsor to underwrite some programing to generate more comprehensive heat lost and cost data. At this point we believe we have contributed some knowledge that had not existed before. However there is a lot more work to do and we look forward to opportunities to make further headway.
Stay warm, pay less!
Editor's note: You can view the PowerPoint presentation by going to efficiencyvermont.com, scrolling to the bottom of the list of programs and downloading the "Wrap it in Foam" .pdf slideshow.
News item - Headlines
AIA unveils Advocacy Week 2008 to take place March 24-28. To learn more go to www.aia.org.
USGBC announces that LEED AP credentials will be administered by the Green Building Certification Institute. To learn more go to www.gbci.org.
S.209 the "Energy Efficiency and Affordability Act" has been passed by the Senate and the House. To learn more go to www.leg.state.vt.us.
H.718 and S.306 the "High Performance School Design and Construction Standards" bills are currently in the Vermont Legislature. To learn more go to www.leg.state.vt.us.
Involvement - Universal design conference
Citizens with disabilities working together for dignity, independence, and civil rights
January 24, 2008
To: AIA of Vermont Members
From: Kim McCarty, HAP Coordinator
Re: Universal Design Conference
The Vermont Center for Independent Living’s Home Access Program will be holding our bi-annual Universal Design Conference at the Double Tree Hotel in South Burlington Vermont on Thursday April 24, 2008.
This will be an all day event offering workshops on built environment and resident’s rights. Our target area for attendees will be architects, housing providers, resident service coordinator, construction managers, designers and people with disabilities.
We are looking for architects and designers who would be willing to put a workshop together on “Barrier free Single family homes”. The workshop needs to be about 1 ½ hours long and will be offered in the afternoon. We have some funding available to pay presenters to do the workshop. If you are interested in putting together this workshop please contact me at 1-800-639-1522 or 802-985-9880. You can also e-mail me at kim@. Thank you. vcil.org
News Item - Architect migrations
Freeman French Freeman announces Steve O. Clark, AIA joined the firm as a Project Architect. He brings 20 years experience to the historic renovation, institutional, and commercial teams at FFF. Steve has served on the AIA Vermont Executive Committee for over nine years and for three years as adjunct professor at Norwich University Department of Architecture and Art.
News Item - New chair for "Canstruction"
aiaVT is pleased to announce that Karl Fandrich of Truex Cullins has volunteered to be the new Chair of "Canstruction". He takes the rains from the capable hands of Masha Wilmott of Black River Design who has led this event in Vermont since its introduction three years ago. If you would like to learn more about this wonderful sculptural event designed to help feed the hungry in our community then please visit the "Cantruction" portion of aiaVT.org.
News item - aiaVT welcomes...
The Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects wishes to welcome our newest members: Michael Buscher, P.A., Burlington; Jack Byer, AIA, North Bennington; Daniel Douglas, Assoc. AIA, Bennington; Irene Facciolo, AIA, Montpelier; Eric Kuchar, Assoc. AIA, Middlebury; Joel Page, AIA; and Thomas Stevens, Assoc. AIA, Bennington.
The aiaVT newsletter is published by AIA Vermont, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Executive Director: Hanne Williams, Hon. AIAVT
1662 Mill Brook Road
Fayston, Vermont 05673
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