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Webinar Series

The AIA Housing Knowledge Community explores the ways that architects use research to enhance the health, safety, social, economic and environmental performance of buildings as well as the experiences of housing residents.

*View and register for future web seminars*

Live Date: April 17, 2014
Presenters: Beth E. Notar
Resources Available: Presentation

In May 2014, the AIA Housing Knowledge Community is sponsoring a program in Yunnan Province, China to explore the opportunities and challenges to sustainable housing and community design and development.  Anthropologist Beth Notar will be presenting the historical and cultural context for the program in Yunnan.  Chair of the Anthropology Department at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and author of Displacing Desire: Travel and Popular Culture in China (2006), Notar has done considerable research in Yunnan Province and will provide a captivating introduction to this ethnically, culturally, and biologically diverse southwestern corner of China.  

Register at no cost now »

 

Live Date: February 24, 2014
Presenters: Emiliano Gandolfi and Jeanne van Heeswijk
Moderator: Thomas Burns, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation

The Curry Stone Design Prize promotes and honors designers who address critical social needs.  The Prize champions the belief that design can be a powerful force for improving lives and strengthening communities.  It is intended to inspire both designers and a broad audience by telling stories of change agents in short documentary videos.  In addition to the videos, the prize gives no-strings-attached cash awards. 

Over the past six years, the CSDP has awarded 23 three awards to designers who’s work range from massive post-disaster reconstructions, to using plastic bottles to bring light to informal settlements. Their projects illustrate a fresh view on how design can learn from the local context and make projects that, while solving urgent issues, are also empowering local communities.  

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Live Date: December 2, 2013
Presenters: Jonathan White
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation

This presentation is designed to educate design professionals, government officials, and advocates on visitability and related initiatives that support the development of single-family housing with basic access for people with disabilities. The presentation will give participants a basic understanding of the concept of visitability, provides good practice examples and cost estimates for visitable features, and describes advocacy strategies for developing visitability policies in local communities. The presentation provides a summary of the IDeA Center’s evidence-based research that supports the development of visitabile homes and inclusive neighborhoods. The research included a literature review, demographic analysis, cost comparisons, and surveys of aging adults, as well as a survey of the local and regional governments that have adopted visitability measures. The presentation will also briefly discuss our related laboratory research on the functional abilities of people with mobility disabilities with respect to their spatial requirements, turning abilities, and reach capabilities.

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Live Date: December 2, 2013
Presenters: Anne-Marie Lubenau, AIA and Brent A. Brown, AIA
Moderator: Thomas Burns, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation

This presentation is designed to educate design professionals, government officials, and advocates on visitability and related initiatives that support the development of single-family housing with basic access for people with disabilities. The presentation will give participants a basic understanding of the concept of visitability, provides good practice examples and cost estimates for visitable features, and describes advocacy strategies for developing visitability policies in local communities. The presentation provides a summary of the IDeA Center’s evidence-based research that supports the development of visitabile homes and inclusive neighborhoods. The research included a literature review, demographic analysis, cost comparisons, and surveys of aging adults, as well as a survey of the local and regional governments that have adopted visitability measures. The presentation will also briefly discuss our related laboratory research on the functional abilities of people with mobility disabilities with respect to their spatial requirements, turning abilities, and reach capabilities.

Register at no cost now »

 

Live Date: October 21, 2013
Presenters: Bryan Bell, Ph.D.
Resources Available: Presentation | 
Video | Q&A 

Public Interest Design is a quickly growing sector of the practice of Architecture. For the last ten years, evidence has been growing that this type of practice is growing and becoming an important means to serve those who have been traditionally not had access to the benefits of design. Specific projects and people have shown that design can address the most critical social, economic and environmental issues faced in the world today. As the field develops, we must learn what works and what fails to meet a level of ethical and professional standards that the public deserves. Using twelve years of research including the 2011 AIA Latrobe Prize, the presentation will include best practices and propose a systemic way forward that can maximize the public value of design. Additionally, the SEED Evaluation tool will be explained. SEED provides Public Interest Design with a professional standard of ethical practice through a clear and step-by-step process to guide ethical community engagement based on case studies of best practices.

Live Date: October 7, 2013
Presenters: Brent Stephens, Ph.D.
Resources Available: Presentation | 
Video | Q&A 

Much of human exposure to outdoor air pollution often occurs indoors, particularly in residences where people spend most of their time. This presentation will highlight recent research exploring the impacts of two important influences on indoor concentrations of outdoor particulate matter in residential buildings: building envelopes and central HVAC systems and filters. In these measurements, the infiltration of outdoor particulate matter was shown to be predicted with reasonable accuracy using results from simple blower door air leakage tests. Also, the removal of indoor particles increased systematically with higher efficiency HVAC filters. Overall, these results suggest that occupants of older and leakier homes are exposed to much higher indoor concentrations of outdoor particles than those in newer and tighter homes. Additionally, the use of higher efficiency HVAC filters can have a large impact on reducing exposures. These data suggest that an occupant’s indoor exposure to outdoor air pollution can vary by a factor of more than 60, depending on building design and construction.

Live Date: May 6, 2013
Presenters: Sherry Ahrentzen, Ph.D. and Kim Steele, MArch, MLA, MA
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | 
Video | Q&A 

Over the past thirty years the incidence of autism has climbed from 1 in 10,000 children in the 1970s to the present rate of 1 in 88 (CDC). With the spike in numbers of children with autism, a spike in the number of adults with autism will follow causing parents, social workers, health care providers, service providers and others to wrestle with how best to support this rapidly growing segment of our population. Recently, attention has begun to focus on developing supportive residential environments that address the specific needs of post-school-age autistic adults: over the past year a series of national town hall meetings conducted by a consortium of autism groups, housing agencies, developers, service providers and parents of adults with autism have identified housing as a primary concern. This webinar provides instruction in evidence-based design for residential environments for adults with autism and other cognitive disabilities.

Live Date: April 1, 2013
Presenters: José Galarza and Carey Clouse, AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

In the fall of 2011 and 2012, Yestermorrow Design Build School and UMass Amherst Architecture+Design Program ran their new Sustainable Design|Build Semester program in rural Vermont.  Open to undergraduate students from any discipline and school, the program addresses far-reaching sustainability topics through the lenses of small scale architecture and collaborative design/build. Over the course of two respective single fall semesters, students have designed and built two small houses.  While referencing other national design|build models, this program distinguishes itself for four unique parameters: an interdisciplinary design approach, a sustainable design agenda, a consensus model of decision-making, and an immersion “study away” campus experience.

With that in mind, presenter, Jose Galarza, defines the basic methods for running effective design/build studios. This presentation covers the first two projects completed: two semesters of design|build with two different groups. The work covered will discuss sustainable systems, design, and strategies, and explain of techniques used to address building safety and user comfort in the context of a very small building. The course provides an introduction to the design and construction of very small spaces, along with an overview of teaching considerations for this unique classroom alternative.

Live Date: March 11, 2013
Presenter: Peter Muessig, Assoc. AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A 

Although prefabrication is not new to the practice of architecture, its full potential, particularly in residential design and construction, has yet to be realized. The time for architects to take the lead in realizing this potential is now. New concepts and technologies in prefabrication are creating exciting new architecture and opening the opportunity for architects to influence a larger segment of the construction industry. Not only will prefabrication expand architects' influence, it will also help revitalize residential neighborhoods, influence sustainable design, and provide lower-cost home-ownership alternatives.

In an effort to realize this ambition, Andrew Daley, Jason Fleming, and Peter Muessig (all recent M.Arch. graduates of the Rice School of Architecture in Houston, TX) set out to design and build a pre-fabricated, consolidated kitchen/bath/mechanical “core” tailored specifically for renovation of existing homes. Having just successfully installed their first fully working prototype, the three will present their project as a case study of the opportunities and challenges inherent to pre-fabrication. Specifically, their talk will examine the advantages of prefabrication, including the time and material savings realized through careful oversight and the resulting reductions in cost either passed along to the consumer or re-invested in the forms of increased quality of construction and finish. They will also examine the challenges and constraints faced by residential prefabrication, particularly the necessity of transport and the ever-present dilemma of what to complete in the factory and what to complete on-site. They will share their experience in order to highlight alternative and innovative responses to these constraints, including the use advanced design, analysis, and construction techniques. Finally, they will highlight the potential to pair prefabrication with existing homes as a means to leverage existing neighborhood infrastructure and culture.

Live Date: January 7, 2013
Presenters: Thomas A. Gentry, AIA and Robert W. Cox, Ph.D.
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video 

Well-designed housing uses ventilation to maintain a healthy indoor environment and to provide thermal comfort with a low carbon footprint. However, the methods for achieving these goals – be they natural/passive or mechanical/active – impose significantly different design requirements on the form, fenestrations, and internal zoning of the residence.

With that in mind, presenters, Thomas A. Gentry, AIA, LEED AP, CDT and Robert W. Cox, Ph.D. define the basic methods for providing effective ventilation and explore their implications in the overall design process. They also describe design aids ranging from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to rules-of-thumb, and briefly review ANSI/ASHRAE 62.2-2010 - Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Lastly, they describe the work being done at the University of North Carolina Charlotte to couple whole-house fan-forced ventilation with real time power monitoring to reduce air conditioning loads. They will describe how this method could be well suited for existing and new housing throughout much of the United States.

This presentation draws from ongoing research at the University of North Carolina Charlotte that is funded in part by a U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program (WIPP) grant.

Live Date: December 3, 2012
Presenter: Liz Falletta
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

In BY-RIGHT/BY-DESIGN, Liz Falletta of USC presents a qualitative analysis of significant Los Angeles multi-family housing design projects and their associated development types. A side-by-side graphic comparison of these works—common, basic types developed in large numbers over time by builders and landlord interests, versus an example of high design by a noted architect—tells a visual story of the complicated interactions between design, development and planning, highlighting how negotiations among these disciplines have shaped residential life in Los Angeles. 

Three comparisons will be presented: the Mackey Apartments built in 1939 by Rudolph Schindler with a Four Flat, primarily developed during the teens and twenties, the National Apartments built in 1954 by Ray Kappe with a Dingbat, primarily developed during the fifties and sixties, and the Harold Way Apartments built in 2003 by Koning Eizenberg with a Podium Apartment, which began development in the eighties and is ongoing.

The study identifies a “typology of trade-offs” that categorizes the consequences of disciplinary approaches to important housing design decisions, including density, unit mix, unit aggregation, access, parking and relationships between indoor and outdoor space.

Live date: November 5, 2012
Presenters: Tricia Stuth, AIA and Samuel Mortimer, Assoc. AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A| Transcript

Tricia Stuth, AIA, and Samuel Mortimer, Assoc. AIA, of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville use the data collected from the New Norris House's 52 monitoring sensors to discuss water efficiency, modular construction efficiency, community integration, and indoor environmental air quality.

Background: In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority created a model community in Norris, Tennessee as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A key feature of this New Deal village was the Norris House, a series of home designs built for modern, efficient, and sustainable living. In light of the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project, a design/build university team created a 21st century New Norris House. Collaborating with a large modular home builder and various regulatory bodies, the team completed the demonstration home and landscape in 2.5 years.

The New Norris House achieved LEED for Homes Platinum certification and was recognized with numerous awards, including the EPA P3 Award, a Residential Architect Merit Award for single‐family housing, an AIA East Tennessee Honor Award, and an NCARB Prize for the Creative Integration of Research and Practice.

Live date: October 8, 2012
Presenters: Bryan Bell, SEED and Thomas Burns, Assoc. AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

In 2005, the Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Network was founded at a conference organized by the Harvard Loeb Fellowship.  The SEED Network established a professional community specifically with a public interest mission and a common set of principles to guide ethical community engagement.  In a 2011 poll of members of the American Institute of Architects funded by the AIA Latrobe Prize, 77% agreed that this mission was appropriate for Public Interest Design:

Every person should be able to live in a socially, economically and environmentally healthy community.

To convert this mission and principles into design-based action, a new tool was developed, the SEED Evaluator. The SEED Evaluator is a communication tool that allows designers and communities to define design projects that address critical issues. The Evaluator provides for significant involvement of the community, resulting in greater transparency and accountability, and allows tracking a project through its entirety.

Live date: September 10, 2012
Presenters: Camilo Parra, AIA and Polly Ledvina, PhD, LEED AP Homes
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

This presentation focuses on the new energy guidelines and how to make tight houses meet the ASHRAE Health Based Standard 62.2 related to fresh air requirements.

Speakers Camilo Parra, AIA, and Polly Ledvina, PhD, LEED AP Homes, discuss different climatic regions and passive design strategies for these regions. They outline the energy guidelines that apply to new house construction in the United States and review how some of the guidelines are not region specific. They discuss problems associated with achieving the energy guidelines with a house’s mechanical system and how these problems can be overcome. Lastly, they explain the ASHRAE Standard relative to fresh air.

Live date: June 4, 2012
Presenter: J.B. Clancy, AIA
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

This June 4, 2012, webinar focuses the design and construction of a Passive House in northern Vermont. This house was the first Certified Passive House in the U.S. for Habitat for Humanity, the first Passive House in Vermont and the first to be built modular.

The webinar will discuss the principles of Passive House design: Envelope specifications; insulation, air sealing, and thermal bridge free details; mechanical systems; and modeling in the PHPP. The webinar will then walk you through the construction of the Passive House. The webinar will also review the monitored data on energy consumption, temperature and indoor air quality. Lastly we will review lessons learned and think about what is to come.

Live date: May 7, 2012
Presenter: Bill Rose
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

Bill Rose dicusses building science and research on buildings, and how building science has been accepted within the architecture community. He draws heavily on writings and examples from throughout the 20th century, with particular emphasis on research before and after World War II. The course tracks how the architecture literature of the time described the integration of science and research into architecture. It touches on the variety of research, including behavioral, health, history, and technology.

The principal example is the science and research that led to prescriptive measures of moisture control such as vapor barriers and attic ventilation. The webinar traces how these measures were introduced (by an architect!), codified, applied, challenged, and changed over time. The example illustrates how architects participate in the research process, and how they apply the products of research.

Researched Sustainable Strategies in Historic Housing applied and documented in contemporary practice
Live date: April 2, 2012
Presenters: Louis Wasserman, AIA and M. Caren Connolly
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

When architects innovate they have a responsibility to “Prove their Point.” On the April 2, 2012 webinar, Wasserman and Connolly demonstrate the innovative and sustainable building practices of historic residential architecture found in the homes they researched for their book Wisconsin’s Own: Twenty Remarkable Homes. They explain how one particular sustainable strategy: the Vent Chimney was researched and adapted to new projects.

maintenance and lengthen the working life of structural components in wood-frame structures. The webinar focuses on moisture transport mechanisms, relative threats, primary actions, prevention and control.

Live date: March 5, 2012
Presenter: Paul Fisette
Moderator: Stephen Schreiber, FAIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Q&A

Controlling moisture, rain and ground water are the most important factors in the design and construction of durable buildings. The shell of a house serves as the first line of defense between the occupants and the outdoor environment. Walls function as a weather barrier, nail base for finish materials and an energy conserving boundary. A sensible wall system is durable. And this requires all components in a wall assembly to be compatible for the long haul. Siding, siding finishes, housewraps, insulation and wall frames must work together while achieving distinctive goals.

Professor Paul Fisette of University of Massachusetts Amherst discusses the detailing of houses as part of an overall strategy to control moisture. These strategies reduce maintenance and lengthen the working life of structural components in wood-frame structures. The webinar focuses on moisture transport mechanisms, relative threats, primary actions, prevention and control.

Live date: February 16, 2012
Presenters: Mark Ginsberg, FAIA and William Stein, FAIA
Moderator: Kathleen Simpson
Resources Available: Presentation | Q&A

On this 02/16/2012 webinar, a panel will explore innovative approaches to sustainable, high density, affordable housing in New York City through case studies and will examine the AIA New York Chapter's advocacy for affordable urban housing through the New Housing New York (NHNY) Project. The panel will demonstrate how architects contribute to improving the urban environment through design, professional advocacy and civic engagement. The case studies include two projects: the Fortune Castle Gardens, a new 113 unit mixed-use affordable housing development in Harlem and Via Verde, the Green Way, a new 222 unit mixed use, mixed income development in the South Bronx and winner of the NHNY Legacy competition. Both projects are partnerships between private and non-profit developers; both are key elements in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods; and both are designed to achieve LEED-NC Gold certification. Rick Bell FAIA, Executive Director of the AIA New York Chapter, will moderate the panel. Mark Ginsberg FAIA and William Stein FAIA will present the case studies with detailed descriptions of sustainable strategies. The panel will review the New Housing New York Project, which the AIA New York Chapter initiated to promote affordable urban housing, and discuss how NHNY helped frame public policy for New York City's ambitious affordable housing program. At the speaker's request, the webinar was not recorded.

Live date: December 5, 2011
Presenters: James Brauer, John Stephen Saunders, Bill Greene and Dean Gamble
Moderator: Casius Pealer, Assoc. AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

ENERGY STAR is an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy and requires homes to meet strict guidelines regarding energy efficiency. Although ENERGY STAR is an important program on its own, most holistic green building programs like LEED for Homes and the ICC 700 use ENERGY STAR as a key benchmark for energy efficiency. Overall, nearly 1.2 million ENERGY STAR qualified homes have been built since the program's inception, including more than 126,000 new homes in 2010. However, in 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been phasing in new and more rigorous guidelines for homes that will require ENERGY STAR homes to be approximately 15% more efficient than the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This session will discuss requirements for compliance with ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 3, including both single family and multifamily applications, and will include the perspective of a multifamily owner/developer. Session presenters will highlight design issues in particular, including documentation and verification issues especially relevant to architects.

Live date: November 7, 2011
Presenters: Greg Secord and Sherry Ahrentzen, Ph.D.
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video | Additional Resources

Experts will explore the many connections between the design of homes and the health of residents. They will discuss the impact of indoor air and water quality on health outcomes. The nature and cause of home injuries will also be explored. Participants will learn how to apply research to their practices in order to create healthy homes. Few factors are as key to healthy aging as a physically active lifestyle. A review of research and post-occupancy evaluation studies highlights residential design factors and strategies that can support physically-, mentally-, and socially-active lifestyles in seniors. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion. With speakers: Greg Secord, Director of Resource Development at Mutual Housing Association of Greater Hartford and Sherry Ahrentzen, Ph.D., Shimberg Professor of Housing Studies, College of Design, Construction & Planning, University of Florida.

Affordable Housing Research
Live date: October 24, 2011
Presenters: Assistant Secretary Dr. Raphael W. Bostic and Yianice Hernandez
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

There are a new series of resources to support evidence-based design of affordable housing and public and private initiatives to improve the quality of work-force housing. Participants will learn about informational resources being developed by HUD and other federal agencies and the way in which national intermediaries and leading practitioners are applying research to their work. With speakers: Assistant Secretary Dr. Raphael W. Bostic, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research (PD&R), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Yianice Hernandez, Deputy Director of Green Communities, Enterprise Inc.

Live date: October 10, 2011
Presenters: Stephen Schrieber, FAIA and David Perkes, AIA
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

Experts in research on resilient building practices will explore their research on design and strategies that mitigate the impact of natural disasters. Stephen Schrieber, FAIA will discuss, "Mitigating the effects of hurricanes on marginal housing in Florida", which will focus on the effects of wind and flooding on mobile home parks in south Florida, with a particular emphasis on the design of manufactured housing and communities. David Perkes, AIA will discuss his research on the response of various building systems to infiltration during flood events.

Live date: September 26, 2011
Presenters: Carlos Martín, PhD and Marty J. Davey
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

Experts in research on sustainable building practices will explore the current state of green building research applicable to architectural practice. The latest trends in evidence-based sustainable design will be discussed. A case study will be presented on the analysis and benchmarking of utility usage to inform the design of housing rehabilitation.

Live date: September 12, 2011
Presenters: Jamie Horwitz, PhD and Michael J. Monti, PhD
Moderator: Kathleen Dorgan, AIA
Resources Available: Presentation | Video

A panel of experts in architectural and environmental research will explore various approaches to research and strategies for the application of scientific and non-scientific research to architectural practice. The latest trends in evidence-based design will be discussed as will the current status of housing research at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. A case study of assisted-living facilities commissioned by the architect and conducted by a leading researcher will be described and analyzed. There will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

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