PA Symposium at AIA24: Public Architecture: Dignity, Enterprise, Vigor, Stability

When:  Jun 5, 2024 from 08:30 AM to 05:15 PM (ET)
Associated with  Public Architects Committee

PA Symposium at AIA24

Public Architecture: Dignity, Enterprise, Vigor, Stability - SYM200

Full conference registrants, $99; Symposium only, $249.

The Public Architecture Symposium, held in conjunction with the AIA Conference on Architecture & Design 2024 in Washington, DC, will examine how public policies impact communities and the architects at multiple scales.  Today’s architects juggle multiple responsibilities - designing and building for safety, affordability, wellness, sustainability, and resilience - while adapting to rapid changes in business practices and the global economy.  The symposium, organized by the Public Architects Committee, will gather experts working on public architecture projects and programs to share their knowledge and best practices for implementing and developing public policies aimed at the adaptation, regeneration and repair of our built environment.

The theme of the Symposium was inspired by the GSA Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture as articulated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1962 Report to the President by the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space:

“The design of Federal office buildings, particularly those to be located in the nation’s capital, must meet a two-fold requirement. First, it must provide efficient and economical facilities for the use of Government agencies. Second, it must provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American Government.”


Learning Objectives

  1. Develop a solid understanding of the role that public architects play at various levels of government – federal, state, municipal, institutional and private - and the importance of their work for the public health, welfare, life safety and design excellence in the communities where they practice.
  2. Be informed on how a variety of international federal, state, municipal and/or institutional policy requirements drive creative strategies for sustainability, resiliency and decarbonization. 
  3. Make the case for adaptive reuse and historic preservation in the context of limited capital budgets, the challenges posed by climate change, and the imperative to develop a circular economy.
  4. Gain tools, information and knowledge to collaborate and lead within your organization, and to advance your professional success in support of the public good.


Program Agenda

8:45-9:00 am - Opening Remarks

  • Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham, FAIA, LEED AP BD&C, Senior Campus Planner and Architect; University of Massachusetts; Chair, Public Architects Committee

9:00-10:00 am - Principles Into Practice: Celebrating 30 Years of GSA Design Excellence
In 1994, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) established the Design Excellence Program to better fulfill the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture. In the 30 years since the program's launch, federal teams and their private-sector collaborators have used the Guiding Principles to assess the design quality of individual GSA projects. "Principles Into Practice" celebrates the three-decade anniversary of the Design Excellence Program, as well as the versatility of the 1962 document on which the program is founded. Panelists will reflect on why it has endured as a benchmark of quality, even as the Design Excellence Program's purview expanded from ground-up courthouses to land ports of entry, building modernizations, and workplace interiors. They will further discuss how the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture have accommodated changing standards in security, sustainability, and landscape urbanism—and how its points are being interpreted to support recently emerging trends like decarbonization and participatory design.


  • Charles Hardy, AIA, Chief Architect, GSA Public Building Service
  • Julie Snow, FAIA, Founding Principal, Snow Kreilich Architects
  • Grant Marani, AIA, LFRAIA, Partner Emeritus, Robert A.M. Stern Architects
  • Amy Weinstein, FAIA, Weinstein Studio

10:15-11:15am - Inverting the Decision Driver in Worldwide Diplomatic Resiliency Policy
Resiliency has been a forefront consideration for the US State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) for years, with policy dictating LEED certification minimums, adaptive reuse strategy, and vulnerability reduction methodology application across the State Department’s 26,000+ diplomatic facilities in more than 170 countries globally. As the catastrophic effects of natural hazards intensify planet-wide, OBO identified the need for a more comprehensive framework sophisticated enough to encapsulate the high level of divergence across geographic hazards while simultaneously standardizing resiliency criteria application for diplomatic facilities of varying scales. OBO’s Climate Security & Resilience program is leveraging combined architectural and engineering expertise to develop standard metrics intended to enhance the resilience of U.S. diplomatic missions. The metrics will be tested in two regions that present high risk levels: La Paz, Bolivia, where there is exposure to earthquakes and landslides and Chennai, India, where coastal geography and flat terrain present flood risk.


  • Paul Phillips, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, KCCT
  • David Keller, PE, LEED AP, Climate Security & Resilience Program Manager, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Cassandra Smith, PhD, Integration, Monitoring, Policy Lead, U.S. Department of State
  • Mark Miller, PE, HDR

11:15am-12:15pm - GSA Leading the Way to Decarbonization
From an embodied carbon standpoint, it’s often said that the most sustainable building is the one that already exists. But is that necessarily true, particularly for buildings that require significant repairs to meet current standards? Designers with HOK and Trivers Associates faced this challenge when modernizing the Frank E. Moss Courthouse in Salt Lake City. The century-old masonry building lies within the active fault zone and needed a full seismic retrofit to meet current building codes. Yet even with significant new steel bracing and concrete sheer walls, the renovated building reduces embodied carbon by 59% (compared to a replacement building) and will use 50% less energy and 30% less water than typical buildings of its size and scale. The design team will share lessons learned from the Moss Courthouse renovation that can apply to other historic refurbishments and modernization projects in this interactive session focused on embodied carbon and electrification.


  • Charles Hardy, AIA, Chief Architect, GSA Public Building Service
  • Allison Johnson, AIA, Sustainable Design Leader, HOK
  • Barb Kerlin-Anderson, AIA, Principal | Sr. Project Manager, HOK
  • Claire Moore, Director of Engineering, HOK

1:45-2:45pm - Adaptive Reuse and Future-Forward Thinking for Public Service Delivery
Pueblo County, Colorado, established in 1961, has its history and identity based in the railroad and steel industries, which are responsible for the community’s vigorous work ethic and diverse cultural heritage. Today, Pueblo County is a hub of industry, arts, and renewable energy. We are LEED for Cities Gold Certified, our steel mill is the first solar-powered mill in the country, and one of the region’s largest coal power plants is being decommissioned by 2030 in lieu of over 500MW of utility-grade solar. Pueblo County Government and its services to citizens is ever-changing, and space to provide those services has changed to suit the needs of the community. This session will explain how we coordinate for resiliency and sustainability, practice adaptive reuse of buildings, from operating our main administration out of an Historic 111 year-old Beaux Arts Courthouse, to our goal of constructing the first net-zero jail in the country.


  • Weston C. Burrer, AIA, Staff Architect, Pueblo County Government

2:45-3:45pm - Documenting and Preserving undiscovered Modern icons on the American Campus
In the nation's capital, come learn how the 117th U.S. Congress, through its passage of the 2022 and 2023 Consolidated Appropriation Acts, has  ensured the rightful recognition and preservation of previously undiscovered architectural gems of the Modern Movement that characterize the American college campus of the last century. Get acquainted with how one federal agency's multi-million dollar grant program has been able to effectively ensure preservation of Mid-Century Modern, Brutalist and  International style learning and research facilities that may otherwise not have been saved. Hear  from and how academic, federal and state officials coordinated efforts to successfully facilitate this unique program for the public benefit and outreach.


  • Phillip W Neuberg, FAIA, Federal Preservation Officer, National Institute of Standards & Technology

4:00-5:00pm - Why Architects in Government Matter
Governments at all levels spend billions of dollars each year on major capital projects, yet there is a lack of architects in government who oversee and ensure these projects are built to the highest standards. Civic projects often occur once in a lifetime and need to be built to last as they are for the people and represent the best of civilization. Through a diverse panel discussion, we will present the many roles the Architect in government can play, whether it be project manager, review boards, designers, and/or functioning in the official role of city architect.


  • Julia Laue, FAIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Principal Architect and Bureau Manager, San Francisco Department of Public Works
  • Rachel Flynn, AIA, Deputy County Executive, Fairfax County 
  • Paul Woolford, FAIA, IIDA, LEED AP, Senior Principal | Design Principal, HOK


Weston Burrer headshot

Weston C. Burrer, AIA
Staff Architect
Pueblo County Government

Weston began his career at Pueblo County in 2012, leaving a design firm to pursue project management. He became licensed in 2016, and was made Staff Architect in 2019. He now coordinates internal and external design partners to achieve the accessibility and functionality of the 30 buildings and parks of the County. Weston received his Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University and his Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Rachel Flynn, AIA
Deputy County Executive
Fairfax County 

Rachel Flynn is the Deputy County Executive of Fairfax County – overseeing seven departments, which include Planning & Development, Transportation, Economic Initiatives, Public Works, Environment & Energy, Land Development Services (building permits), and Code Compliance.  She joined Fairfax in 2019.  Prior to moving to Fairfax, Rachel worked for Google as Director of Planning and for Lennar/FivePoint Communities as Vice President in Northern California.

Chuck Hardy headshot

Chuck Hardy, AIA
Chief Architect, GSA Public Building Service

Chuck Hardy is chief architect of GSA's Public Buildings Service (PBS). He advises the GSA Administrator and PBS Commissioner on all matters concerning federal architecture and design, providing leadership and high-level technical policy direction for design quality, innovation, and cost-effectiveness in design.

Allison Johnson headshot

Allison Johnson, AIA
Sustainable Design Leader 

Allison received her bachelor of Architecture degree from Kansas University in 2006. She began her architecture career at RTA Architects in Colorado where she became a Project Architect, certified many LEED buildings, and worked on the Summit House on Pikes Peak pursuing Living Building Challenge certification. She has been at HOK since 2016 where she has lead sustainability on many projects including Moss Courthouse.

David Keller headshot

David Keller, PE, LEED AP
Climate Security & Resilience Program Manager 
U.S. Department of State

David Keller manages in-house OBO subject matter experts, interagency collaboration, and private contractors to support OBO and posts in identifying and reducing risks to personnel and property from natural-borne hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, geohazards, floods, and sea level rise. He is co-technical lead of the program’s seismic component and has structural design responsibilities for posts worldwide. Prior to OBO, he led vulnerability / feasibility studies and blast-resistant design as a structural / blast engineer.

Barb Kerlin-Anderson headshot

Barb Kerlin-Anderson, AIA
Principal | Sr. Project Manager 

With over 35 years of experience providing quality design and management services for a variety of project types, including federal, recreational, healthcare, correctional, commercial, corporate, hospitality, retail and education, Barb has expertise in project service delivery, client communications, organizational planning, and quality assurance. Her core strengths include problem resolution, managing comprehensive projects through development and construction and leading highly effective teams.

Julia Laue

Principal Architect and Bureau Manager, San Francisco Department of Public Works

Julia Laue, FAIA, LEED AP, NCARB, is the Principal Architect and Bureau Manager for the Bureau of Architecture (BOA) at San Francisco Public Works where her focus is excellence in Project Delivery and Design for the City's great Civic Projects. She came to Public Works from the private sector in 2013 and oversees 70+ Architectural staff to deliver hundreds of Civic Projects for the City and County of San Francisco, including Recreation & Community Centers, Libraries, Community Centers, Fire Stations, Police Stations, Neighborhood Health Clinics, Transportation and Public Utility Facilities to name a few.

Grant Marani headshot

Grant Marani, AIA, LFRAIA
Partner Emeritus
Robert A.M. Stern Architects

As a partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Grant Marani works across geographic and disciplinary boundaries to practice a people-centered, place-based approach to design. Through ongoing discussion and research, he helps create buildings and environments that exceed client expectations, enrich the civic realm, and advance the public good.

Mark Miller headshot

Mark Miller, PE
Associate VP; Sustainability & Resiliency Practice Lead 

Mark Miller leads HDR’s Federal Practice for Sustainability and Resiliency, leveraging 31 years of experience in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy management, and utility infrastructure development. He oversees the development of strategic approaches, technical teams, and service delivery models for renewable energy and energy conservation initiatives for public, private, and government-sector clients, including the US Air Force Installation Energy Plan and Installation Climate Resiliency Plan Program.

Claire Moore headshot

Claire Moore
Director of Engineering 

Claire has more than 23 years of experience in structural engineering design and project management. Her technical expertise encompasses both linear and nonlinear analysis, seismic evaluations and retrofits, and structural design in all major construction materials. With a project experience ranging from large iconic buildings to small scale art installations, she brings experience in a variety of project types, including government, justice, science & technology, higher education, healthcare, and aviation.

Philip Neuberg headshot

Phillip W Neuberg, FAIA
Architect and Federal Preservation Officer 
National Institute of Standards & Technology

Phillip Neuberg, FAIA, an architect within the Office of Facilities and Property Management at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) serves as the agency's Federal Preservation Officer for all of its five nationwide campus locations.  In this capacity he works with the NIST Grants Management Team to establish transparent protocols for ensuring that all construction grants incorporate and comply with established historic preservation review (Section 106 Consultation) practices.

Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham, FAIA, LEED AP BD&C

Ludmilla Pavlova-Gillham is an architect, planner and project manager with over 30 years of professional experience, over two decades of which was dedicated to the University of Massachusetts community. She has contributed to and managed a wide spectrum of complex, multi-million-dollar projects, including master plans, carbon mitigation plans, historic preservation and building feasibility studies, as well as the design and construction management of corporate, municipal, and academic facilities for science, the humanities and student life.

Paul Phillips headshot

Paul Phillips, AIA, LEED AP

A leading voice in the promotion of the OBO mission to the AEC industry, Paul Phillips provides strategic design direction for diplomatic studies and has authored many of OBO’s current guidelines and design standards, including the new Diplomatic Facilities Design Manual. He leverages his acumen in the specialized needs of large federal campuses and culturally significant properties toward a broad portfolio of complex, public-facing projects in some of the most austere corners of the globe.

Dr. Cassandra Smith headshot

Dr. Cassandra Smith, PhD
Integration, Monitoring, Policy Lead 
U.S. Department of State

Dr. Cassandra Smith is a subject matter expert on geological hazards within OBO’s Climate Security and Resilience program, working to implement it throughout the State Department and Interagency. She is a 2021-2023 alumni of the AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship program, a role she served while in this office. She has developed a global volcanic hazard index and analyzed natural hazard response preparedness at the State Department’s diplomatic posts.

Julie Snow headshot

Julie Snow, FAIA
Founding Principal, Snow Kreilich Architects

Julie Snow is founding principal of Snow Kreilich Architects. She has taught architecture at Harvard GSD, the University of Southern California, and the University of Minnesota College of Design. Of her practice, an American Academy of Arts and Letters jury wrote, "within rigorous underpinning, she and her studio make the marvelous happen."

Amy Weinstein, FAIA
Weinstein Studio

Amy Weinstein FAIA is an architect who has combined architectural practice with teaching and professional peer review. Her built projects have been recognized by over 60 design awards and have been published in national and international architecture journals. She has been appointed to distinguished visiting professorships at the University of Virginia, University of Oklahoma, and University of Maryland; and she currently serves as a National Peer Reviewer for federal projects as part of the GSA’s Design Excellence Program. Ms. Weinstein has guided institutions in the development of their building programs, and she has served as an advisor for national design competitions.  

Paul Woolford headshot

Paul Woolford, FAIA
Senior Principal and Design Principal  

Paul is a Senior Principal and Design Principal for HOK’s San Francisco studio and is responsible for some of the firm’s most innovative and creative buildings. He is a recognized industry leader, whose work has focused on being a design catalyst for helping people rethink the relationship between themselves and their environments. Paul has been responsible for design leadership on several of HOK’s most complex, innovative and sustainable buildings and environments. As Design Principal, he is responsible for all aspects of the design process, leading interdisciplinary teams comprised of architects, engineers, planners, interior designers and landscape architects. His diverse portfolio includes civic and institutional buildings, corporate and commercial buildings, educational facilities, research facilities, hospitals, aviation/transportation facilities, and museums, and has been honored with numerous regional, national, and international awards.




Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Allen Y. Lew Place NW
Room 207 B
Washington, DC 20001
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