9.08 aiaVT Newsletter

aiaVT President's column

Back in December, at the Annual Meeting, I made a plea on behalf of the Board of Directors for assistance from the membership to plan and carry out various programs we would offer during the year.  More...

aiaVT Neighborhoods Task Force

On August 20, 2008, the first meeting of the aiaVT Neighborhoods Task Force took place in Barre, Vermont.  More...

50 years with one Vermont architecture firm!

Freeman French Freeman, Vermont’s oldest architectural firm, turned 71 this year and celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of its senior staff members, David Ashley.   More...

Ich bin ein curmudgeon

Welcome to the age of entitlement my friends.  It’s time for another foreshortened look at reality from your lighthearted editor and all around bon vivant --- me!  More...

aiaVT President's column

By Guy Teschmacher, AIA

Back in December, at the Annual Meeting, I made a plea on behalf of the Board of Directors for assistance from the membership to plan and carry out various programs we would offer during the year.  A number of you – the members, did step up at that meeting and speak to me personally to offer that help.  Those of you who know me will not be surprised to hear that I lost the list I started that evening, and furthermore, am having trouble remembering the names.  So, here goes again -- I want to speak of three of the programs that are in progress and in need of help and/or participation:  the Golf Tournament, Learning By Design, and Canstruction.

First, the Golf Tournament.  In recent years, this kind of event has been touted by many other AIA Chapters as a no-brainer fund raiser, and since we have felt constrained in many of our programs by a lack of funds we thought we ought to try it.  We have sent a number of e-mails out on this, it’s set for September 10th, at the Country Club of Vermont in Waterbury, a premier Vermont golf course.

We have been able to obtain a modest number of sponsorships (donations) and could certainly use more, since this is basically the fund raising component intended to augment our scholarships programs, and players’ fees were set to just cover our costs.  For some time, we have been asking for players to sign up, both from within the membership and the public at large, and we have reached our required minimum, but we are still short of our target.  As I say, the venue is a premier golf course, we feel lucky to get it.

I am appealing here, again, to the membership, to consider signing up if you play (it’s truly not necessary to be any good at it, and CC of Vt is a super course) – aside from the fun, there have been a number of very enticing prizes donated (I said one was a Buick in an earlier message, but it’s actually a brand new Lincoln Continental) – and/or solicit others to play or be a sponsor. We also need volunteers to be at the event who would not play, but help out with running things.  The Entry and Sponsor form is on our website.  Please join us on September 10th.  We need this to be a success if there’s going to be a 2nd Annual.

Learning By Design.  This is an ongoing program of AIAVT that was started about four years ago and has been kept alive by a small but dedicated committee.  The basic idea is to introduce the subject of Architecture and architectural design into our schools.  LBD programs exist in several States throughout the Country, all with essentially the same purpose.

Since we started, a number of very successful workshops have been conducted in classrooms of varying grades, by Vermont architects.  But that number has been small, and only a few architects have been involved.  The LBD committee has also staged two competitions, open to students 4-12, the first one with good participation, the second, not so much.  Currently, a Call for Entries is out for a third competition.  Entry forms are due to be submitted September 24th, and project submissions will be due November 14th.  Here’s a plea for the membership, especially ones with kids in school, to advocate for your school (class or classes, or teams or individuals) to take on the competition, and volunteer to help the kids with their submissions.

LBD is a very worthwhile program, the kids love the workshops, the competition entries were obviously labors of love, the teachers are very receptive to the idea that a workshop on Architecture or a design competition can be integrated into their curriculum, and it’s terrific fun to work with the kids.  What we mostly need is architects to get involved.  So, if you have kids in school (or not), please consider volunteering to help a school with the competition, or spending a day or two out of the office, plus some time to figure out and organize a workshop – it’s most amazing to work with the kids and see what they can do.

Canstruction. This will be the 4th Annual Canstruction in Vermont, to be held once again at  University Mall in Burlington, on October 17-19.  We started with six teams, then went to ten; the 3rd year we were restricted by the Mall to ten, but this year they have given us space for up to 15 teams.  So far this year, only 7 teams have signed up.  Even though we are past the original deadline for entries, we would most gladly accept more teams.  This is another event which works well to have a team of students with an architect or engineer to lead or mentor.  There have been several e-mails to the membership about this event and there is information about it on our website.  Again, please consider participating.  Aside from the considerable value to Vermont’s communities, it has always been a totally fun experience, and this year, by popular demand, we are reintroducing the poster design as an optional side competition.

An extra:  Don’t forget the Photography Competition for our First Annual AIAVT Calendar.  Submissions are due September 12th.

aiaVT Neighborhoods Task Force

By Shawn Brennan, AIA

On August 20, 2008, the first meeting of the aiaVT Neighborhoods Task Force took place in Barre, Vermont.  The participants were Harry Hunt, Shawn Brennan, David Boehm, Susan Coddaire, Jim Drummond, Greg Gossens, Neil Husher, Diantha Korzun, and Guy Teschmacher.

The purpose of the meeting was to determine the Task Force’s mission statement and to set immediate goals for the group.  It was a very thought provoking discussion about the dynamics of housing development in the state and how the architecture profession, in partnership with other professionals and interested parties, can assist in the stewardship of this very important aspect of Vermont’s future.  The true task of this group is to determine how to make use of the vast amounts of information and expertise available so that a meaningful and beneficial impact can be had on development patterns. 

Our second meeting was held on September 3rd in Montpelier and added Lauren Davis, Robert White, and Sam Purvis.  We welcome your participation in our next meeting which will be coming up in the next couple of weeks.  Please contact Harry Hunt at harry@harryhuntarchitects.com if you are interested in attending.

aiaVT Neighborhoods Task Force mission statement:To offer a leadership role in developing sustainable housing in Vermont communities.

2008 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference

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

This biennial conference is hosted by a group of private and public housing organizations, and it is the premier event for people in Vermont’s housing industry and for anyone with an interest in housing development in the Green Mountain State.  The conference, which typically draws 350 people from all over the state, offers workshops on a housing issues ranging from state and federal policy to green building, from homelessness to housing market analysis, and from economics to financing.

Since it has become clear in recent years that housing is an economic issue for Vermont’s communities, this year’s conference will have a strong emphasis on community planning and development, including a special track of workshops aimed at architects, developers, planners and local officials, particularly those who serve on planning commissions, zoning boards and development review boards.  Those workshops cover topics that include Vermont’s regulatory environment, principles of designing for density, and taking steps to provide adequate infrastructure for housing development.  

Of related interest, there will also be workshops on cottage development and the costs of creating new housing.

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

The conference runs from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with the doors opening and same-day registration beginning at 8 a.m.  A continental breakfast and a luncheon will be provided.  Registration is $50, $40 if you sign up early, and a limited number of scholarships will be available.  A full agenda and online registration are available at www.vhfa.org/conference/.

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

50 years with one Vermont architecture firm!

By Tonya West

Freeman French Freeman, Vermont’s oldest architectural firm, turned 71 this year and celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of its senior staff members, David Ashley.  David joined the firm in 1958 after graduating with a BA in Architecture from Yale University.

David worked with the founders of the firm – Bill Freeman, through the ‘70s; John French, until he retired in ‘67; and Ruth Freeman, who died in ‘71.

“I know I speak for all of us when I say we’re all still learning from him. He is a master at his craft,” said Steve Mosman, Vice President, to 70 employees, family and friends during a July celebration in David’s honor.

David, however, doesn’t consider the 50 years as work at all.  “It’s not like I had the same job all those 50 years,” he said.  “I was able get exposed to many facets.”

David and his wife of 52 years, Sandra, live in Westford.  They have five children and 15 grandchildren.

Ich bin ein curmudgeon

By Shawn Brennan, AIA

Welcome to the age of entitlement my friends.  It’s time for another foreshortened look at reality from your lighthearted editor and all around bon vivant --- me!  

Remember the days of the office coffee pot when your biggest decision was regular or decaf?  Oh live a little, go for the high test, and don’t forget to put some change into the honor cup.  Now I will admit that I’m not a coffee drinker (a fact you may pick up on as you read on), but I recognize the addiction…um…affection for this murky mixture so the appreciation is understandable when an office is good enough to provide it free of charge.  

But let’s take this to the next level “oh chef of the future” (I can’t be the only one who watched “Honeymooners” reruns).  Let’s euthanize the prehistoric coffee pot and deliver unto this world the individual cup whirligig.  Don’t let my technical jargon fool you, in theory it still just makes coffee.  What it really does, however, is turn your office into a Starbuck’s franchise with box after box of little creamer sized containers of every type of coffee imaginable, from “Double Black Diamond” to “Summer Symphony”.  Silly me, I thought people drink coffee because they actually like the taste, but evidently you need to blend in some flavor that is actually palatable.  What that flavor is I can’t guess…what  is a “Lake and Lodge” supposed to taste like?  Our franchise has 11 different coffee flavors, and heaven help you if you try to free up a little counter space by eliminating one of them.  Although, how a person can tell the difference between them after adding in the free Sweet ‘N Low or sugar, coffee creamer or milk or Half & Half or organic milk, and perhaps even a little honey, is beyond me.  Maybe if coffee didn’t taste like water filtered through an old dirt filled sock then so many other flavors wouldn’t need to be added to mask it, but that’s just a personal opinion.  Obviously I’m wrong or else why would people be using up all of the pristine bottled water to make this magic elixir?  Heaven forbid we run tap water through that sock.  

Perhaps you feel the sense of entitlement, but lack the taste for coffee.  Fear not intrepid imbiber, we also have 9 kinds of tea for your taste testing.  Sure you can go for the old school Lipton, but why not try out some of that decadent “Gourmet French Vanilla”?  it’s tea without that nasty tea flavor.  I actually think the Lipton’s been up there since the Clinton administration.  If tea isn’t your cup of…um…tea…then why not try one of the two types of hot chocolate.  Yes I know you wanted marshmallows and you’re entitled to them, but we’re all out at the moment so please wait patiently for the Starbuck’s truck to get here.

It’s not that I am against the office gimme per se, since I myself am an aficionado of the free donut, but even I would have a problem if we suddenly turned into a Krispy Kream over here…probably a weight problem.  So before you fill that 8 cup thermos for a second time today let’s try to keep this entitlement thing to a reasonable level, and always remember:   “Ask not what your office can do for you, ask what donuts you can bring for your office.”

CSI Vermont and the Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association present...

2 hours of AIA HSW continuing education programs
Saturday, September 27, 2008 2:00-4:15 PM
Thompson Center, Woodstock VT
• Green Wood Specs 2008 - Includes rough carpentry, finish carpentry, and architectural woodwork. (1 credit)
• Effective Architectural Woodworking Drawings: from bid documents to shop drawings (1 credit)
Cost: $35 CSI members; $50 non-members
Price includes refreshments and a complimentary ticket to the 5th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival: www.vermontwoodfestival.org
Come early! Stay late!
• Celebrate the traditions and fine craftsmanship of Vermont woodworkers at Union Arena 10 AM-5 PM
• Enjoy the fall Forest Festival at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. 10 AM-5 PM
• Attend the Design Competition awards reception at the new Forest Center Building at MBR National Park 5:30-7:30 PM

News Item - Canstruction

To AIA Vermont Members:
The "Canstruction" Steering Committee is trying very hard to get more Teams for the 2008 "Canstruction" competition.  This year we are allowed more teams than previous years so we have more team slots available.  The Vermont Foodbank's needs are greater than ever.  Last year the "Canstruction" competition yielded 21,434 pounds of food for the Foodbank.  We would like to make that more this year but can't do it without your help!  If you would like to put a team together, please contact Hanne Williams at aiavt@madriver.com.

News Item - aiaVT 2008 design awards


Entry form and fees due September 8, 2008
Project submissions due October 24, 2008
Jury convenes the week of October 27 or November 3, 2008
Awards to be presented at the AIA Vermont Annual Meeting on December 11, 2008. AIA Vermont also intends to display the award winning projects in a traveling show during 2009.

AIA Vermont members and/or architects registered and residing in Vermont are eligible to submit entries.  Projects may be located anywhere in the world and must have been substantially completed since January 1, 2002, except as indicated below for the specific categories.  Multiple entries are accepted, and all materials included in project submissions must be cleared for public reproduction.

The Jury will consider projects for awards in the following categories. A project may receive an award in a maximum of only one category.
1.  Older Public Project: For a built public project completed 25 or more years ago.
2.  Recent Public Project: For a built public project completed less than 25 years ago.
3.  New Directions: For a built project design that challenges the imagination.
4.  Sustainability: For a built public or private design that exemplifies sustainability in a highly effective blend of aesthetics, function, and durability.
5.  Historic Renovation/Preservation: For a built or unbuilt design that represents an exceptionally sensitive and creative approach to historic renovation/preservation.
6.  Interior Architecture: For a built design that emphasizes interior landscape.
7.  Architecture as Landscape: For a built design that emphasizes a relationship with the exterior landscape.
8.  Small Project: For a built design of less than 1,000 sq. ft. in area or less than $100,000 in construction cost.
9.  Proposed Project: For an unbuilt or proposed project that represents exceptional design value.
10. AIA Vermont Honor Award: For a sustainable project that represents exceptional value beyond a single category and is worthy of special recognition.

Go to aiaVT.org for entry forms.

News item - aiaVT welcomes...

The Vermont chapter of the American Institute of Architects wishes to welcome our newest members: Alfonse Sorrentino, Assoc. AIA, Woodstock and Marsha Wilmot, P.A., Montpelier.

News Item - Code info

From State of Vermont Division of Fire Safety
Fire Safety News, July & August 2008

The Fire & Building Safety Code is now being updated to include the 2006 editions of the Uniform Fire Code, Life Safety Code and International Building Code.

Unvented room heaters and unvented fireplaces are not permitted in any building or structure regulated under the “Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code – 2005”.

A vertical platform lift may be installed in existing buildings in lieu of a passenger
or LULA elevator, for the path of travel to a primary function area, where the cost of an elevator is disproportionate or where the only alteration to an existing building is to provide access for the building for people with disabilities. The Vermont Access Board must approve any other use of vertical platform lifts.

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

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

p 802.496.3761
f 802.496.3294

aiaVT is edited by Shawn Brennan, AIA.

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

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

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

Shawn Brennan, AIA
Freeman French Freeman, Inc.
81 Maple Street
Burlington, Vermont 05401
sbrennan@ fffinc.com