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Congratulations to AIA Pennsylvania on being recognized as leaders in government affairs and communications among their association industry peers. They were presented with the Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives (PASAE) Laurel Awards for Government Affairs and Communications at the PASAE’s Educational Summit and Expo earlier this month. http://www.aiapa.org/2016/04/11/aia-pennsylvania-honored-with-government-affairs-communications-awards/ Anne Law , Manager, Business Practice and Policy
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Senate Deals a Blow to Federal 2030 Targets – But Fight is Far From Over Late last month, the U.S. Senate voted to approve S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. Although this bill contains some good provisions for energy efficiency, it also includes the repeal of current 2030 fossil fuel reduction targets for federal buildings. The bill was passed due largely to a strong lobbying push by the natural gas industry, which has made repealing 2030 one of their top priorities, and despite a major push by the AIA and its allies to raise opposition to the provision. As we celebrate Earth Day and the nations of the world come together...
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One week has passed since returning from the CAE Berlin Conference. In Portland, Maine this week a group of well-organized parents from Protect our Neighborhood Schools organized proponents of the project packing a Joint School Board Facilities and Finance Committee Meeting. The aim was to put pressure our School Board and City Council to send a $70 million bond to Portland taxpayers to renovate four of the City's crumbling elementary schools. In the end, the committees voted to recommend the project to the full board. A small step towards finally renovating these buildings. It's been a long process for our community. The report which recommended renovating...
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EPA to Hold Webinar on the Cognitive Impact of Green Buildings On Wednesday, May 11th from 1:00 – 2:30 PM EDT the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Indoor Environments Division will hold a webinar entitled “Knowledge in the Air.” During the event, leading researchers will present their finding on how green buildings affect cognitive function. Presenters include Joseph G. Allen and Piers MacNaughton, of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as Usha Satish, from the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Upstate Medical University. Webinar participants will learn to recognize the optimal IAQ conditions for health and productivity,...
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As a travel scholarship recipient to the Committee on Architecture for Education's 2016 spring conference, I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had this past week. Berlin presented a myriad of architectural wonders, both within the education sector and without. The city itself was quite inspiring, given that the Berlin wall came down only 27 years ago, and much has already been accomplished in this once-divided city. Conference attendees toured a variety of educational settings, from kindergarten to higher education, which provided us with a small peek at the German approach to education (see CAE's Facebook page for pics of the sites). This...
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The top ten things to consider for your architecture firm’s next website. By Josh Miles Summary Your website is potentially the most underutilized business development and validation tool in your practice. But are you doing everything you could to leverage this opportunity? While a successful website could range from a single landing page, to hundreds of pages deep, a site that uniquely positions your firm, your expertise, and your people is invaluable. With the advent of responsive web design and the ever-changing role of search engines, best practices are constantly evolving. Here are the top ten things your firm can focus on today to...
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By Tim Barrick, FSMPS and Tony Steinhardt, FSMPS, CPSM “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” - Michael Jordan This quote – from a guy who knows something about winning – fittingly describes the “team sport” of business development in the AEC industry. To win work, firms must assemble a team of both business developers and seller-doers that work well together, share intelligence and leverage each other’s unique skill set to accomplish a common goal. The Business Developer’s Role The business developer plays a vital role in the process of winning work by initiating new relationships...
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Business Development Letter from the Editor By David Brent Richards, FAIA This issue of the Practice Management Digest is focused on Business Development. Special thanks go to Karen O. Courtney, AIA, a Past President and Fellow of the Society for Marketing Professional Services for envisioning the content and coordinating the contributions to this edition of the PM Digest. Many sides of Business Development are discussed in this issue. In her article, Developing Good Business Development Habits , Karen Courtney, AIA, FSMPS, the CMO of Fanning Howey provides insight to improving your BD bottom line. BD from a small firm perspective...
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Greetings from Louisville and the ICC Group B Committee Action Hearings Construction codes and standards adopted by state and local government agencies impact architectural practice every day. These regulations are heavily influenced by national model codes developed every three years through a consensus process involving building industry stakeholders. AIA member involvement in this process is critical to continue enhancing our nation’s model codes to reflect the design process and embody the AIA’s public policies. The International Code Council (ICC) Group B Committee Action Hearings running April 17-27 in Louisville will determine the...
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Do you believe in the power of architects to make the world a better place? Do you want to have a say in the laws and regulations of your state or community, but don’t know where to start? Your chance to advance the architecture profession by engaging in legislative and political advocacy is here. Registration is now open for SpeakUp 2016 , AIA’s premier advocacy training event in Washington, D.C. For three dynamic and inspiring days, SpeakUp will unite you with other engaged members to develop the skills you need to advocate for your profession and your community. Whether you’re a student tackling debt, a small firm owner concerned with...
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Action Needed to Save Federal 2030 Targets After a false start earlier this year, the U.S. Senate is poised for a final vote as soon as today on S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. Now we need your help to save sustainability in federal design. This legislation would repeal the current mandate to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in new and majorly renovated federal buildings by the year 2030. The 2030 targets are a cornerstone of the federal government’s sustainability efforts, committing federal facilities to meeting the terms of the 2030 Challenge in which many leading architecture firms are participating. Although the legislation...
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Department of Energy Expands Building Technology Crowdsourcing Initiative Architects have an exciting and unique opportunity to share their innovative ideas in order to help the Department of Energy improve building performance. DOE recently announced a major expansion of Jump, its online crowdsourcing platform for building technologies. Jump currently has active calls for innovation in six categories: Appliances, Building Envelope, Building Analytics and Information Systems, Lighting, Heating and Cooling Systems, and Sensors and Controls. The best ideas in each category will be eligible for cash rewards or opportunities to partner with national...
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It’s been a busy week for the Administration. In addition to new inversions regulations , the Treasury Department also unveiled its latest tax reform proposal . Below are a few of the highlights on how the plan might impact design firms, starting with the good news: This year marks the 30 th anniversary of the passage of the last major tax reform bill (captured in the image above). In that time, it’s become saturated with unnecessary and wasteful provisions, and is long overdue for another overhaul . The White House plan takes important steps to “trim the excess fat” from the code, freeing up much-needed revenues. As quintessential...
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By Erin Persky, Assoc. AIA, CCHP and Tommy Sinclair, AIA The criminal justice system is facing a critical juncture: “reform” is on the horizon, but what this means and where it will lead are yet to be determined. The decisions made by justice architects today will have a lasting impact on the relevance of architecture professionals in the discussion of justice reform, and those individuals currently young in their justice architecture tenures will be faced with the consequences of present-day decisions for the duration of their careers. Fortunately, many of these young professionals possess keen insight into factors influencing emergent...
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By Lorenzo Lopez, AIA University Outreach is a new committee of the Academy of Architecture for Justice. It is intended to be another means to reach out to emerging professionals; specifically, those still enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate architecture program. The goal is to partner with architecture programs to help influence the projects in design labs and collaborate on projects for presentation at AAJ conferences. This program may also provide opportunities to involve the universities in AAJ research. The idea of the University Outreach program developed out of a unique professional experience. A few years ago, I was invited...
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By April Pottorff, FAIA with T.J. Rogers Remember when Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) with Graphic Annunciation Panels were cutting edge in jail security electronics? The PLCs integrated all the various systems and devices so they communicated with one another – cameras, intercoms, door controls – it was all the rage. Those floor plan graphics on a membrane board with colorful lights a glow were the best thing since sliced bread. The control officer answered an incoming intercom call, viewed the smiling face of an officer that automatically appeared on the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) call-up monitor, and, then pressed the door...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee Personal Information: Where did you go to school and what degrees did you earn? MF: I went to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for a BArts in Architecture, and then the University of Arizona for a MArch and BArch. Experience: What was your role in the AAJ before you joined the Leadership Group and what other committees are you involved in? MF: I was the AAJ Research & Technology Committee Co-Chair from 2006 – 2015 and since 2007, continue to be actively engaged on the AAJ Sustainability Committee. Why Justice?: What prompted you to begin working...
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By the AAJ Communications Committee Personal Information: How do you like to spend your free time? EL: Seattle has the best options for relaxing after a long day or week. Typically a walker, I explore different routes around the city and hopefully find a small trek in a more natural setting on the weekends. I recently purchased a remote cabin in the North Cascades, so I’m planning projects and hikes around the area for a summer out in nature. Where did you go to college? EL: I was an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis, and graduate at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, (mainly to find an excuse to play in...
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Spring is coming! It’s minus -20 degrees Fahrenheit outside as I write this today, but mark my words, spring is coming and newness is emerging. The proof is the youthful energy in our first Journal of 2016. It all starts off with an interview featuring Emerging Professional Erica Loynd. I had the pleasure of meeting Erica for the first time during our conference in St. Louis and am now looking forward to working with her as she is the co-chair of the Sustainability Committee. You will get a perspective on not only her love of Seattle, but also her drive as an architect to “actually change human lives in a direct and influential manner.” My thanks to Erica...
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The Treasury Department last week released its latest proposal for combating “inversions,” a strategy that’s been increasingly used by companies seeking to reduce their tax liability, or avoid U.S. taxes altogether. In its simplest form, an inversion is little more than a change of address. An American corporation will either merge, buy, or be bought by a foreign company, and in the process change its legal location. Inversions generally don’t change the operational structure or actual location of a company, but in the eyes of the IRS it is seen and taxed (at lower rates) as a foreign entity. As a result they’re highly controversial, and have become a favorite...
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