May 28, 2008
by: Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

In this issue:
· Convention Elections: 2010 President, 2009 Vice Presidents, 2009 Secretary Announced
· AIA Releases Study of Three Green Building Rating Systems
· McGraw-Hill Construction Launches Continuing Ed Center
· Passing: Jan Pokorny, FAIA

Convention Elections: 2010 President, 2009 Vice Presidents, 2009 Secretary Announced
At the 2008 AIA National Convention, Chapter member and former president George H. Miller, FAIA, was voted in as the 2009 AIA first vice president/president-elect and 2010 Institute president. A partner at Pei Cobb Freed, Miller is currently an AIA vice president. He has also served in a variety of other leadership positions at the AIA: treasurer, National Chair of the AIA150 Advisory Committee, member of the Gold Medal and Firm Advisory Committee from 2004-05, regional director for AIA New York State from 2004-06, and 2003 AIANY president. Miller will be the first NY-based architect to hold the position I 28 years. Max Urbahn was president in 1971.

In addition to Miller, Walter Hainsfurther, AIA, president of Kurtz Associate Architects (Des Plaines, IL), and Pamela Loeffelman, FAIA, LEED AP, principal at Perkins Eastman (Stamford, CT), were elected to two-year vice presidential terms beginning December 2008. And in a run-off election, Stephen Loos, AIA, senior design architect for the Mulhern Group Ltd. (Denver, CO), will serve a two-year term as AIA secretary also beginning December 2008.

AIA Releases Study of Three Green Building Rating Systems
The AIA has released “Quantifying Sustainability,” a study of three green building rating systems — Green Globes, SBTool 07, and LEED NC 2.2 — and assessed their effectiveness in supporting the organization’s sustainability goals (see AIA Sustainable Ratings), including the objective to achieve carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. “This study is not a report card or ranking of the various standards,” said AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee. “The intent is to offer design and construction professionals an in-depth review of the three systems with particular emphasis on areas for improvement in relation to more rigorous energy conservation requirements.”

McGraw-Hill Construction Launches Continuing Ed Center
McGraw-Hill Construction, a part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, announced its new interactive Continuing Education Center, an online learning center to provide AIA members approved courses in a “mentored learning” format. Users may access content organized by date, topic, sponsor, keyword, popularity, and multimedia type. Special features, such as Test Tracker and course alerts, update users on their progress and new learning opportunities. Those who read print articles or take courses offered at,,, and may receive Continuing Education Learning Units through the AIA Continuing Education Program as well.

For more information visit the website or contact Marissa Wyss at 212.904.2838.

Passing: Jan Pokorny, FAIA
By Susan Chin, FAIA, Assistant Commissioner of Capital Projects, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

In 1976, Jan Hird Pokorny, FAIA, was my studio professor at Columbia University. It was the first year the Historic Preservation studio was part of the curriculum, and the last year with James Marston Fitch, the program’s founder. Jan helped me understand that preservation went beyond adaptive reuse and that average buildings could be improved, rather than ripping them down and constructing another average building.

Jan was a wonderful mentor for a young woman architect — giving me my first job in an architectural office, allowing me to oversee construction on the restoration of Schermerhorn Row Block at the South Street Seaport to broaden my experience. He also assigned me to the Riverside Park project, where I met the love of my life, Charles McKinney, Affil. ASLA.

Jan’s integrity, collaborative spirit, and leadership in the architectural profession have influenced me throughout my career, like so many others. He sponsored me for AIA Fellowship, which has led to deeper engagement and responsibility with AIANY and national AIA; both have changed my life.

In his role as a commissioner on the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Jan oversaw two pivotal projects of mine at the Department of Cultural Affairs — the American Museum of Natural History Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Brooklyn Museum — both had far reaching effects on how contemporary interventions are made successfully with historic structures. I frequently ask myself, “How would Jan view this?” I will miss his wise counsel and good cheer.

Jan Pokorny, a Czech-born architect whose NY-based firm became known for restoring and adapting historic buildings for reuse, passed away five days short of his 94th birthday. The funeral was scheduled to take place at the Church of the Holy Family on 05.28.08. Click here to read the NY Times obituary.


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