3.11 AIAVT Newsletter

Advocating for Industry Changes: My First Trip to AIA National’s Grassroots Conference

This year’s AIA National Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference, “Design Voices,” took place February 2-5 in Washington, D.C....  More...

AIA-Vermont Joins with CSI-Vermont to Present “Designed in Vermont” Symposium

On Thursday, June 2, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-Vermont) will join forces with the Vermont Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI-Vermont) to present  More...

YAF News Update

On January 20, the newly formed Young Architects Forum (YAF), Vermont Chapter held its inaugural social event at the Burlington Community Arts (BCA) Center    More...

New Directors Join AIA-Vermont Board

Who's New

Advocating for Industry Changes: My First Trip to AIA National’s Grassroots Conference

By Tom Bachman, AIA

This year’s AIA National Grassroots Leadership and Legislative Conference, “Design Voices,” took place February 2-5 in Washington, D.C. The focus of this year’s conference was how to effectively communicate the value of good design to the public, including not only our legislators in Washington, but also the general public.

The AIA-Vermont contingent was sparse this year, due to the “nor’easter” that prevented AIA-Vermont President Harry Hunt from making the trip; many representatives from neighboring component chapters faced the same fate. Of the seven representatives from New England who attended the Northeast Component Meeting at the conference, two were from our state: AIA-Vermont Vice President Diantha Korzun, AIA, Truex-Cullins and me—AIA-Vermont Secretary/Treasurer Tom Bachman, AIA, Gossens Bachman Architects.
At the conference, Diantha and I learned that AIA National’s legislative priorities for 2011 focus on creating jobs under the overall theme “When architects work, the nation builds.” On February 3, we trekked to Capitol Hill, where we advocated for changes regarding four specific issues within this theme at the offices of U.S. Senators Leahy and Sanders and U.S. Representative Welch.

The specific issues on the agenda were as follows:

1. Unfreeze Credit and Create Jobs: The design and construction industry accounts for one out of nine dollars of the U.S. GDP and, as we all know, is experiencing significant hardship and job loss. AIA states that construction projects all across the country, which could employ millions of Americans, are on hold because banks will not provide adequate loans/have frozen credit. AIA is pushing for Congress to support “reigning in” regulatory overkill by passing appropriate legislation such as the “Capital Access for Main Street Act.” Restoring and sustaining liquidity for development is vital to achieving a strong economic recovery.

2. Jumpstart the Market with Building Retrofits as an Engine of Economic Growth: Energy efficiency reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, lowers energy bills and creates jobs. With electrical use within commercial and residential buildings accounting for nearly 70% of all electrical usage in the U.S., AIA believes that focusing on building retrofits would result in the greatest “bang for the buck” in reducing usage. AIA also believes that by increasing incentives for efficiency measures, the government could increase jobs while securing our energy independence. In AIA’s opinion, government policies, programs and incentives should encourage energy efficiency, especially as it relates to the built environment.  AIA urges Congress to increase the “Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction from the current $1.80/sf to $3.00/sf.”

3. Pass a Transportation Bill to Get Communities Moving: Outdated transportation laws and tax funding have overbuilt our highways, while under-funding our public transportation and encouraging suburban sprawl.  AIA argues that these outdated practices deter the development of livable and sustainable communities.  AIA also urges that Congress enact a five-year reauthorization of federal transportation funds.  This reauthorization would establish national and regional transportation priorities to reduce congestion, help communities prosper, and ensure long-term funding needs are met.

4. Remove Regulatory Burdens that Handicap Small Businesses: AIA supports the repeal of the Form 1099 filing requirement.  This provision requires businesses to file a 1099 Form for every transaction of goods or services worth $600 or more. This requirement places a financial and administrative burden on small architectural firms, many of which are already struggling in the current fragile economy.  AIA is pushing Congress to pass the “Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act” to eliminate this requirement. Ironically, while we met with Senator Leahy’s staff, they indicated that this requirement had been eliminated in Congress earlier in the week. Case closed (at least for the time being)!

After our Capitol Hill visits, we returned to the conference where National AIA recommended that component chapter representatives meet with their legislators when they are home during in-district work periods. Diantha and I came away convinced that we need to work more vigorously to ensure that Senators Sanders and Leahy and Representative Welch know about the issues that are affecting design and construction in Vermont and what they, as our Vermont representatives, can do to keep our industry’s economy moving forward.

If you are interested in participating in AIA-Vermont’s public policy committee, please contact Carol Miklos, our executive director, at cmiklos@ aiavt.org.

AIA-Vermont Joins with CSI-Vermont to Present “Designed in Vermont” Symposium

On Thursday, June 2, the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-Vermont) will join forces with the Vermont Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI-Vermont) to present, “Designed in Vermont: Creating Communities that Flourish in the 21st Century," a symposium on the future of Vermont’s built environment. The theme of the symposium reflects AIA-Vermont President Harry Hunt’s theme for our AIA Chapter for the year. “What I envision,” Hunt says, “is that during this full day of discussion—architects, policy makers, engineers, developers, planners, and landscape architects—along with many other design and construction industry professionals, will explore the role of thoughtful design in creating Vermont communities that will fare well in the 21st century.”

The presentation of the symposium represents the first time that AIA-Vermont and CSI-Vermont will work together to produce a major event. CSI-Vermont Chapter President John Kamencik says, “Although there is a great deal of overlap between our memberships, our organizations have always presented separate educational programs. We see this year’s collaboration as a first step towards achieving broader integration across all bodies that participate in the shaping of our built environment.” Whether viewed through the lens of public policy, architectural design, energy conservation, or historic preservation, many Vermonters seem to share similar values. AIA’s and CSI’s intent with this symposium will be to reveal these areas of common purpose.

Please plan to join us at the Coach Barn, Shelburne Farms for what is sure to be a vibrant educational event. We are in the stages of applying for 5-6 LUs. Check your email inbox for registration information in the coming weeks. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or securing a display booth, please contact Carol Miklos.

YAF News Update

by Cam Featherstonhaugh

On January 20, the newly formed Young Architects Forum (YAF), Vermont Chapter held its inaugural social event at the Burlington Community Arts (BCA) Center, the former Firehouse Gallery. A lively crowd of 25 gathered to network and hear presentations from seasoned architects Alisa Dworsky, principal, Terra Firma, Inc., and Lisa Rovner, principal, Rovner Architectural Designs and member, AIA-Vermont Board of Directors.   Bob Maurer, past-president of Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)-Vermont and vice-president of Gordon’s Window Décor in Burlington also presented. These guest speakers generously made time to speak about their professional experience in the hopes of benefiting young architects. 

Dworsky, an artist, architect, and professor of architecture at Norwich University School of Architecture + Art, spoke about how her artistic endeavors inform her architecture. Her work focuses on the inherent order that is imposed on the world by the observations of people. She discussed how this order can be seen in the real world technologies of cartography and navigation, as well as in many examples of architecture and design. Dworsky’s gravity and weaving-based sculptures have been featured at the University of Vermont Fleming Museum, the BCA Center, and several other area galleries.

Maurer discussed his work with CSI and the opportunities that come with membership, which are numerous for emerging architects. CSI offers a variety of professional accreditations; the first and most applicable to emerging architects is the Construction Documents Technologist (CDT). CDT accreditation provides good background for any professional looking to learn more about creating a set of Bid Documents, particularly at the designer or job captain level.

Rovner, a longtime member of both AIA and the Vermont Chapter’s Board of Directors, has built a consultancy practice that brings her into many of Vermont’s top architecture firms. For emerging professionals, Lisa explained that membership in AIA is crucial to meeting principals in the state’s most prestigious architecture firms. It is also viewed by employers as a mark of seriousness about the profession.

YAF-Vermont was established in 2011 with the receipt of a grant from the AIA College of Fellows. The funding was given to nurture and develop the state’s emerging professionals through various events, such as the inaugural social, to allow for networking among young architects, newly licensed architects, and experienced architects. A young architect is defined as a person who is less than ten years removed from architecture school or has been a licensed architect for less than ten years.  Membership in YAF-Vermont is complimentary. YAF-Vermont is also supported by AIA-Vermont.

Upcoming events include:

·       Sit-Down Learning Social—This coming spring, an informal opportunity to learn from two local architects about topics they find pertinent to their practice will be offered.  LUs will be available.

·       Inaugural Public Benefit Folly—YAF will work with a Vermont municipality to design and build a small, needed public-works project, such as a set of park benches or a bus stop. Materials and time will be donated by members of the Forum. The Folly represents a great way to bring design into a community while providing a community service. Participant hours spent on this event will count towards IDP community service hours.

·       Canstruction—This event, where architect teams construct sculptures using donated food cans, is being resurrected and will take place during the 2011 holiday season. The goal is to have at least five teams compete and to generate a minimum of 5,000 lbs. of food to give to Vermont food shelves during their busiest time of year. If you are interested in forming or sponsoring a team, please contact Cam Featherstonhaugh for details.

·       Facebook, Study Groups—YAF-Vermont has a Facebook page. “Friend” us and you will automatically become a member of the Forum. Also, we are happy to facilitate study groups for professional architect examinations: some funding and study materials may be available. Contact Cam Featherstonhaugh for details.

The YAF is open to hearing about ideas for other activities and is also looking additional officers. Please contact Josh Chafe, assistant director, YAF.  The group looks forward to seeing new faces at its next event.

New Directors Join AIA-Vermont Board

Aron Temkin, AIA, joined AIA-Vermont and its board of directors this year. A recent transplant to Vermont, Professor Temkin is the new dean of the School of Architecture + Art at Norwich University. Before locating to Vermont, Temkin served for five years as director of the Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture in Fort Lauderdale, where he had been a faculty member since 1999. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate level design studios as well as foundation level and advanced seminars in digital design, furniture design, and graphic communication. He is particularly interested in the pedagogy of design foundation—developing coursework and research in support of beginning design students. His professional work includes graphic design, master planning, and architecture with an emphasis on sustainable place making. Through his built work he aspires to reconnect people to the dynamic conditions of their surroundings. Temkin was raised in Massachusetts and Connecticut and is happy to now be back in New England.

Aaron Cayer, a resident of Rumford, Maine and a past recipient of an AIA-Vermont student scholarship, is in his fourth year of architecture studies at Norwich University; he will earn his B.S. this May. A member of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) at Norwich, Cayer is the AIAS liaison to the AIA-Vermont Board of Directors. In serving, Cayer hopes to improve connections between the professional and educational realms of architecture in our state. Cayer has had the opportunity to travel broadly, sparking a deep interest in the sociological implications of architecture and modernity. He has recently been investigating the ways humans interact with the built environment and the ways buildings can evoke social reactions/interactions in different countries (i.e., Germany v. Africa). Through Lexia International, he studied for a semester in Berlin, Germany where he began much of his research. This summer, he is returning to Berlin to intern for an architectural firm. In the fall, he will begin the M. Arch program at Norwich. To learn more about Cayer’s research, visit: www.norwich.edu/about/news/2011/022511-crossCultural.html.

Goodbye & Thanks to Guy Teschmacher

Guy Techmacher, a member of the AIA-Vermont Board of Directors since 2002 and president in 2008, has retired from the board and the practice of architecture. Serving on many of AIA-Vermont’s committees over the years, from 2005-2008 Teschmacher played a significant role in AIA-Vermont’s participation in CANstruction, a design competition to benefit local food shelves. More recently, his contributions included co-chairing Learning by Design, an outreach program in elementary schools and co-chairing the Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the Hanne N. Williams Scholar Awards. Teschmacher, who had been employed with Black River Design since 1997, will continue to volunteer on Golf Tournament activities. The board and staff of AIA-Vermont give a heartfelt thanks to Techmacher’s service. His speaking voice at board of director meetings was often gentle, but always heard. .


4/13    CE LU Opportunity & Studio Social —4:30-5:30, “Benefits of Building with Concrete Forms” presented by Carroll Concrete (distributors of Nurdura in Vermont and New Hampshire) at Black River Design Architects, Montpelier. Free to members, $5 for non-members. Social to follow, 5:30-7. Join us for either or both segments of this event.

6/2    AIA/CSI Symposium—full-day event, “Designed in Vermont: Creating Communities that Flourish in the 21st Century,” at Shelburne Farms, Shelburne

9/10    House Tours—various locations, “Designed in Vermont”

9/14     Golf Tournament—at Vermont Country Club, Waterbury

Excellence in Design Awards: Coming to a Town Near You

The AIA-VT Excellence in Design Awards made its first stop for two weeks in February at Norwich University. All of the entries from the 2010 competition were on display. For those of you that have not yet seen the entries in the flesh, together, as part of one show, you can still have that opportunity. The show will hang at prestigious locations throughout Vermont in 2011:

June; Guilford Welcome Center, Guilford

July; State House, Montpelier

September; Hooker Dunham Gallery, Brattleboro

October; Tip Top Media & Arts Center, White River Junction.

  The show remains, from two weeks to a month, at each location.
  This year’s event is made possible, in part, by our Gold Sponsor, A.W. Hastings, distributor of Marvin Windows throughout the northeast and by our Silver Sponsor, Carroll Concrete, distributor of Nurdura Concrete for Vermont and New Hampshire. The Entries and Winners can be seen online, but the full Entry Boards include much more.

New Affiliate Members

DC Energy Innovations is a full-service electrical contracting company with a specialty in renewable energy and security systems and controls. The company installs code compliant commercial and residential solar and wind systems.  Contact: Ben Gordeskywww.dcenergyinnovations .com/dcei.html

KONE is a world-leading manufacturer and installer of eco-efficient elevators and escalators. The company’s EcoSpace elevators are designed to use up to 70% less energy than traditional hydraulic elevators while providing faster and superior ride quality. Contact: Paul McCarthy, www.kone.com/countries/en_US/Pages/default.aspx

Since 1974, Hubbardton Forge has been exploring the ancient art of metal sculpting, creating lighting and accessories of grace and simplicity. Each piece is hand-forged one at a time by skilled artisans in Castleton, Vermont. Contact: David Martin, www.hubbardtonforge.com

Rob Pickett &Associates, LLC is a building systems consulting firm specializing in log, timber and modular construction, representing Epoch Homes. RP&A is a charter member of the Build Green NH Council Steering Committee of HBRANH and a founding member of the ICC Building Safety Association of Vermont. Contact: Rob Pickett,, www.epochhomes.com 

Schindler Elevator is a worldwide manufacturer and Vermont market leader in the design, manufacture, installation, modernization, and service of efficient, eco-friendly, commercial vertical transportation systems. Schindler supports sustainable urban development with safe, reliable and ecologically sound mobility solutions.  Contact: Mike LaRivierewww.us.schindler.com

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

Executive Director: Carol Miklos
CMiklos@ aiavt.org
88 Blackbird Lane
Charlotte, Vermont 05445

p 802.425.6162
f 802.425.6165

aiaVT is edited by Carol Miklos.

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:

Carol Miklos, Executive Director, AIA-Vermont
CMiklos@ aiavt.org
88 Blackbird Lane
Charlotte, Vermont 05445

p 802.425.6162
f 802.425.6165