Remote Work During COVID-19: Webinar Recording and Notes

On Friday, March 20, 2020, AIA Virginia hosted an open discussion on managing and working in remote teams. Several Virginia architecture firm leaders shared their approaches, best practices, and lessons learned.

Robert Clark, PE |Baskervill
Nick Cooper, AIA | HKS
Bill Hopkins, AIA | Hanbury
Rob Reis, AIA | Hanbury

Moderated by: Corey Clayborne, FAIA

Listen to the webinar and read the key takeaways below.

Key Takeaways

  • Communication and transparency are key.
  • When comfortable, share your camera during video calls. It enhances communication when people can see facial expressions.
  • Maintaining a sense of community is important. One firm hosted a virtual happy hour where team members shared their favorite drink recipes. Another gives awards for best hat or hairstyle during online team meetings.
  • Firms are using GoToMeeting, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, and Slack to stay in touch with each other and clients.
  • The biggest challenges so far have included audio quality and broadband/wifi issues.
  • Test technology in advance so meetings can start on time and glitches are minimized.
  • Consider business continuity. If you do not have a continuity plan in place, begin planning now in the event that key team members become ill.
  • If you don’t already have them in place, consider enacting policies regarding remote work, travel, and meetings that address the current call for social distancing.
  • Don’t forget to care for your well-being and mental health. Schedule breaks to walk around and get fresh air.
  • Try to carve out a working environment that matches your traditional space.
  • Temper your expectations. Your schedule may need to be flexible. With flexibility, comes transparency. Don’t forget to communicate.

AIARVA: Feedback Form

AIARVA: How Can We Support You?

As our community responds to COVID-19, we are in uncharted territory. Please let us know how AIA Richmond can support you and your firm.
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  • How can AIA Richmond serve as a resource to you or your firm?
  • What are you and/or your firm doing to adapt that could help others?
  • What are some concerns you have that we might be able to help with?
    What are you currently facing?
    What are your concerns about the future?

COVID-19 Resources and Best Practices for the Architecture Community

AIA Virginia stands at the ready to serve as a resource to our members. As the architecture community — and the global community at large — move through this uncharted territory, please let us know how we can help.

The AIA has compiled the resources below to help members and firms navigate the rapidly evolving global pandemic. As new resources become available, the list will grow. Is there a resource we should add? Let us know.

Federal and State Government Resources and Updates

For Individuals

For Firms

Recorded Webinars

Let Us Know How We Can Support You and Your Firm

How Can We Help?

As our community responds to COVID-19, we are in uncharted territory. Please let us know how AIA Virginia can support you and your firm.

Architecture Exchange East: Foresight 2020

Breakthroughs in technologies, research, and thinking are dramatically transforming the AEC industry at an unprecedented pace. For 3 days this November, come together to envision what the future holds for the profession at Architecture Exchange East: Foresight 2020.

Identify critical changes designers must make to address the climate crisis and learn how to effectively advocate for systemic change. Consider how “the internet of things,” design automation, autonomous transportation, and AI will change the way you work. Discuss what the “city of the future” looks like and understand how you’ll need to adapt as a designer now and over the next 5, 10 and 20 years.

Change is inevitable — be prepared to design the future instead of catching up to it.

Save the dates for Nov. 4–6, 2020


We believe community-driven content is the cornerstone of a great conference — which is why we want you to have a voice in the programming at ArchEx.

Our call for presentation proposals will launch in late March, but you don’t need to be a speaker to help shape ArchEx. Simply let us know what you want to discover.

Is there a topic you’ve been wanting to explore or experts you want to hear from that align with our theme of Foresight 2020? Maybe you have a panel discussion idea that has been percolating in your head for a while. Or a project you’ve always want to tour. Or a workshop concept that just needs to become a reality.

The idea can be rough around the edges, but we’re looking for something a bit more refined than “sessions for emerging professionals” or “historic preservation.” (Don’t get us wrong. We’ll definitely be curating content on those topics.)

Suggest a session below and we’ll help make your vision come alive. Plus, if your idea is selected, you’ll receive a discount code for 25% off your registration. Deadline: April 15, 2020

ArchEx 2020 Suggest-A-Session

Help us curate content for ArchEx.
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Jury Announced for 2020 AIA Virginia Prize

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the jury for the 2020 AIA Virginia Prize. The competition — which took place over the weekend of Jan. 24–27 — challenged students to design an oyster hatchery in Norfolk. Students were asked to imagine sustainable solutions where humans and nature could gracefully coexist. [Read the full competition brief.]

Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to Richmond for final consideration by the jury.


Bob Moje, FAIA, founding partner, VMDO Architects | Jury Chair
Patrick Farley, AIA, owner, Patrick Farley Architect
Lynden Garland, AIA, project manager, Baskervill
Donna Phaneuf, FAIA, president and lead design principal, VIA Design Architects
Chuck Swartz, FAIA, principal, Reader & Swartz Architects

The Prize is expected to be awarded in April.

About the AIA Virginia Prize

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton UniversityUniversity of VirginiaVirginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, the competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia. Students are given the competition program on a Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. They work over the weekend to create a design solution and submit it by 9 a.m. the following Monday. The top submission wins a $2,2500 prize, with $250 prizes to each “Best of School” honoree.

Launched in 1980, the competition is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. Historically, the charrette has taken place in January, however over the last several years, the competition has been hosted in September to accommodate an ongoing scheduling conflict at one of the schools. Now that the conflict has been resolved, the Prize weekend has shifted back to the spring semester to better align with the demands of the academic calendar.

Development of the competition brief rotates between the four schools annually — the 2020 Prize challenge was developed by Hampton University.

Construction Site Signs Available for Architecture Firms

How many times have you walked past a construction site and seen signs promoting the general contractor? We think architecture firms deserve recognition on construction sites too! Construction sites inspire curiosity. They tell a story. Wouldn’t you like to help shape that narrative?

The AIA has created custom construction site signs to recognize how new construction will contribute to the community. We think this is a great idea — so we’re sponsoring up to 10 banners for members. We’d love to see at least one in each of Virginia’s 5 components.

If you have an active (or soon-to-be active) job site and are interested in participating, please contact Rhea George.

Simply work with us to customize a banner by sharing a project image, firm contact information, logo, and a compelling headline. These mesh banners are durable and come with zip ties for easy fastening to a fence.

All we ask in return are a few photos of the sign posted at the job site.

Members can also create a Brand Shop account and design and purchase signs directly from the AIA.

AIA Virginia and ACEC Virginia Acknowledged by General Assembly

AIA Virginia and our legislative advocacy partners ACEC Virginia were acknowledged on the House floor of the General Assembly on Feb. 26, 2020.

Below are the remarks made by Del. Betsy Carr:

Thank you, Madame Speaker, I rise for an introduction. Today joining us in the gallery are representatives from the American Council for Engineering Companies of Virginia and the American Institute of Architects Virginia Chapter. If they would please stand…

These organizations are present today to represent the important work that architects and engineers do for the Commonwealth, whether it is the design of buildings, parks, roadways, public utilities, electrical grids or renewable energy sources, or the next generation of the Commonwealth’s infrastructure. Architects and engineers have a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all Virginians through designing equitable, resilient, and healthy communities. They take an oath and must be dedicated to protecting the public health, safety, and welfare in performing their professional services. 

Today, as Virginia responds to a changing climate, both architects and engineers are working together to respond to these effects by designing sustainable and resilient structures that reduce their impact upon the natural and built environment, and protect the life and property of all Virginians.

Madam President I ask that members of the body please stand and give them a warm House welcome.

Pictured in photo
Bottom row, left: Lynden Garland, AIA; Kathy Galvin, AIA; Corey Clayborne, FAIA; Rob Comet, AIA; Chris Stone, PE
Top row, left: John Stuart, PE; Eric Burke, PE; Nancy Israel; Paul Anderson, PE

AIARVA- K-12 Volunteer Interest Form

AIA Richmond

AIARVA 2020 - K-12 Speakers Bureau

Are you interested in connecting with students in grades K-12 to help them learn about careers in architecture and design? Let us know.
  • Please select which grade levels you're interested in working with. Choose all that apply.
  • Let us know the type of volunteer/engagement opportunities you're interested in. Select all that apply.
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