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February 23, 2007
by Murrye Bernard Assoc. AIA LEED AP

IN THIS ISSUE:

– Communities Benefit from Blueprint
– AIA Presses Congress to Establish New Energy Standards
– NCARB Restructures
– Training Architects to Manage Liability
– Passing: Luisa Kreisberg

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SAVE THE DATES: 2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Celebrations

2007 AIA New York Chapter Design Awards Celebrations

04.11.07 Design Awards Luncheon for Award Recipients and their clients
04.12.07 Design Awards Exhibition Opening at the Center for Architecture

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Communities Benefit from Blueprint

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) launched the nationwide community service initiative Blueprint for America to mark the organization’s 150th anniversary. In 156 communities across the country, AIA members are donating their time and expertise in collaborating with citizens to find and implement ways to enhance their communities.

“Architecture cannot exist in a silo,” said David Downey, CAE, Assoc. AIA, Managing Director of the AIA Center for Communities by Design. “Communities thrive when the public is engaged and encouraged to share their vision for the future.”

Over the last six months, the AIA has donated $2 million to community grant projects led by AIA chapters and members. Grant recipients were notified in May and October of 2006. As the projects are completed over the course of this year, the AIA will compile case studies from individual Blueprint projects. The case studies, intended for local officials interested in implementing similar programs, will be accessible through the AIA’s website free of charge. The completed piece, titled “Blueprint for America Mosaic: A Gift to the Nation,” will be presented by the AIA in 2008.

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AIA Presses Congress to Establish New Energy Standards

Following The American Institute of Architects annual Grassroots Legislative and Leadership Conference, 2007 AIA President RK Stewart, FAIA, testified before the Subcommittee on Energy of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the issue of energy efficiency in buildings. He explained that buildings play a pivotal role in contributing to climate change, and recommended that Congress pass legislation committing the federal government to meeting aggressive energy efficiency requirements for federal buildings. It is the AIA’s recommendation that all new buildings and major renovations owned or leased by the federal government should immediately meet fossil fuel-generated energy consumption targets that represent a 50% reduction from that of similar federal buildings in 2003. In 2010, this target would increase to a 60% reduction. The targets would increase thereafter at five-year intervals until 2030, when new federal buildings and major renovations would be carbon neutral.

“Because the built environment produces nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, there is an overwhelming need to revolutionize the ways that buildings are designed,” said Stewart. “While state and local governments have taken the lead on encouraging energy-efficient building design, the federal government is in the best position to accelerate adoption of sustainable design principles through a combination of tax incentives, regulations and legislative requirements.”

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NCARB Restructures

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) said it would restructure its staff leadership. It hopes the organization will bring a new focus on more integrated programs and improved operations over the next decade. At the core of the change is the establishment of two vice president-level positions that will report directly to Executive Vice President Lenore M. Lucey, FAIA. Long-term NCARB staff members, Mary S. de Sousa and Stephen Nutt, AIA, have been promoted to vice president of operations, and vice president of programs, respectively. Together with the Lucey, the two vice presidents will form the Office of the EVP. The leadership of the Council offered its strong support to this restructuring.

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Training Architects to Manage Liability
By Carolyn Sponza, AIA

Speakers Michael S. Zetlin, Esq., and Lori Schwarz, Esq., helped the AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA) kick off its 2007 Architects in Training series with the talk Contracts, Liability and Construction Law. “When we talk about construction law, it’s not really the truth; it’s about the perception of the truth,” according to Zetlin. The goal of the lecture was to help architects navigate successfully through the contracting phase, drafting an agreement that could help mitigate liability throughout the entire project.

Zetlin outlined potential pitfalls that architects often succumb to when assembling contracts, such as not clearly listing phases of service with tasks, an effort that assures both architect and client have a fixed expectation of project scope. Identifying what comprises an “additional service” is also important, as is identifying a fixed project end date. Other traps to avoid in the contract include using language that implies extremes, such as phrases like “to the highest professional standards” or agreeing to “guarantee” the work. Inclusion of such phrases could ultimately void insurance coverage. Schwarz ended the discussion with an explanation of dispute resolution, saying that despite all of the legalese, “don’t ignore your common sense.”

Architects in Training is a series of six lectures aimed at addressing practical issues not often taught in the workplace. Three lectures still remain in this year’s series:

02.27.07 Zoning: Regulating the Good You Can’t Think Of
03.06.07 Architect’s Financial Management Is Not an Oxymoron
03.13.07 Marketing Panel Discussion

For more information about upcoming events click the link.

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Passing: Luisa Kreisberg

Luisa Kreisberg, arts advocate and public relations advisor, has died at age 72 following a long struggle with cancer. She directed the communications office of the Museum of Modern Art during some of its most eventful years, and then went on to establish her own widely influential public relations firm, The Kreisberg Group, through which she advised a host of high-profile clients, from Lincoln Center, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Rockefeller Foundation, to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the New York Times Company.

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