2020 Student Design Competition Launched

The AIA Virginia Prize design competition kicks off the new semester by offering students the opportunity to win a $2,250 prize. Three additional $250 “Best of School” prizes will also be awarded. The competition is a design charrette that engages students at all of the accredited schools of architecture in Virginia. The 2020 AIA Virginia Prize, which challenged students to design an oyster hatchery in Norfolk, launched Friday, Jan. 24 at 5 p.m and ran through Monday, Jan.27 at 9 a.m. Read the complete prize brief.

Conducted simultaneously at Hampton University, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, students work over the weekend to create a design solution. Each school’s faculty reviews the submissions and sends up to 10 finalists to AIA Virginia for judging.

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

The competition was launched in 1980 and is intended to promote collaboration between the profession, students, and professors in Virginia. Watch for announcement about the winner in the coming months.

To learn about last year’s competition, check out the 2019 AIA Virginia Prize Announcement.

Interested in Architecture Tours?

We’ve received some great suggestions for multi-day architectural tours that offer the opportunity to earn learning units while exploring interesting and significant sites. We think they sound exciting, but we want to make sure you do too before exploring them further! Let us know by completing this 30-second survey.

Jefferson Pools and Homestead Tour
This multi-day event would involve overnight travel to the Omni Homestead Resort. Tour the newly restored Jefferson Pools (anticipated completion 2021) and get a behind-the-scenes look at the phased renovation of the resort. The program may include visits to other nearby sites.

Architectural Tour of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail
The multi-day tour would involve overnight travel to destinations along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. Discover some of the unique challenges of distillery design and visit some of the architecturally significant stops along the trail.

(final programs may vary)

Your response is not an obligation to participate – we just want to see if enough members are interested before investing in further planning.

Have other programming ideas to share? Email your suggestions to Rhea George.

Class of 2020

The 2020 Class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture includes:

Allison Powell, AIA
Amanda Ferzoco, Associate AIA
Ariana Arenius, AIAS
Catherine Hendrick, AIA
Chris Cheng, AIAS
Gabriela Orizondo, Associate AIA
Jacob Sherry, AIA
James Vidoni, Associate AIA
Kenneth Johnston, Associate AIA
Kristin Jones, Associate AIA
Matt Stevison, Associate AIA
Mert Kansu, Associate AIA
Michael Lawson, AIA
Paris Casey, AIAS
Randa Malkawi, AIAS
Zachary Robinson, Associate AIA

Also pictured are Interim Chair, Christopher Kehde, AIA, Vice-Chair, Nick Cooper, AIA, and ELA 2019 member Divya Nautiyal, Assoc. AIA.

RESCHEDULED: Design Forum Explores Shadows, Craft and Materiality

Junichiro Tanizaki, in his book In Praise of Shadows writes, “In darkness, immutable tranquility holds sway.” Designers integrate this interplay of light, color, and shadow in the spaces they imagine — navigating the clarity that light brings alongside the ephemeral mystery of the shadows.

Inspired by this 73-page homage to “well-placed darkness,” the fourteenth biennial Virginia Design Forum: In Praise of Shadows embraces this theme through an exploration of craft and materiality.

The program, which is intended to challenge and stimulate design and creative thinking, was originally scheduled to take place on March 27–28, 2020, at the recently-opened Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. It has been rescheduled for Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 and will be presented in collaboration with Architecture Exchange East.

Through a series of conversations, the Design Forum showcases the work of talented individuals whose shared craft extends beyond the calculated and strictly quantitative into more holistic practice — whose leading-edge preoccupation with light and shadow extends the diversity of approaches to how designers seek beauty through form, space, and materiality.

The work of the speakers embodies those essential connections.

About the Speakers
These thought leaders come from diverse cultural and professional contexts, yet their work shares the power and nuance of how architects and allied professionals shape form through light. Through engaging the continuum of dim to bright, these designers shape our experience.

Steven Holl, FAIA (Steven Holl Architects | New York, NY)
Steven Holl is widely recognized for his ability to blend space and light with great contextual sensitivity and to utilize the unique qualities of each project to create a concept-driven design. He specializes in seamlessly integrating new projects into contexts with particular cultural and historic importance.

Kirsten Murray, FAIA (Olson Kundig | Seattle, WA)
Throughout her 30-year tenure at Olson Kundig, Kirsten Murray has created buildings and spaces that strengthen and enrich communities. Long inspired by Scandinavian modernist traditions, her architecture emphasizes warmth, natural materiality, tactility and refinement. By translating the innate conditions of a site—its nature, culture, topography and history—into built form, Murray’s designs create new interpretations of place that remain relevant over time.

Herve Descottes (L’Observitoire International, New York, NY)
In 1993, Hervé Descottes co-founded the lighting design firm L’Observatoire International in New York City after eight years of design practice in Paris, France. Descottes creates the lighting concepts for all projects designed by L’Observatoire, and oversees project development through project completion. He has been recognized numerous times by the lighting design and architectural community.

David J. Lewis, AIA (LTL Architects, New York, NY)
David Lewis is founding principal of LTL Architects, a design intensive architecture firm founded in 1997 with Paul Lewis and Marc Tsurumaki, located in New York City. LTL Architects develops solutions that work within project constraints to inform the design trajectory, exploring opportunistic overlaps between space, program, form, budget, and materials.

The Design Forum is generously sponsored by:

Clark Nexsen

AIA Richmond
Nydree Flooring
School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech
UVA School of Architecture
William & Mary, Art & Art History

American Hydrotech, Inc.
Moseley Architects
Quinn Evans

Ascent Engineering Group, Inc.
Glo Windows and Doors
Lighting Environments
Reader & Swartz Architects

AIA Northern Virginia
Dunbar Milby Williams Pittman & Vaughan
Gulf Seaboard General Contractors, Inc.
Pella Windows of Virginia
Pyrok, Inc.
Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC


Tickets sales will reopen when registration for Architecture Exchange East launches in September.

Earn up to 7 AIA/CES learning units.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Contact Judy Cheadle.

Virginia’s Fire Safety and Prevention Codes

When buildings or structures, except exempt structures such as farm structures, are constructed in Virginia and when work is done on existing buildings and structures, the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) ensures that a minimum level of safety is achieved. After the work is completed, the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (SFPC) ensures that the level of safety in those buildings and structures is maintained. The USBC regulates construction-related aspects of fire safety and the SFPC regulates certain maintenance and operational related aspects of fire safety in existing buildings and outdoors. Both regulations incorporate provisions of the International Fire Code (IFC), a national model code that contains a comprehensive set of fire safety regulations that was developed to be used as a stand-alone code in jurisdictions that do not have a building code, or to be used in conjunction with the International Building Code (IBC) in localities that utilize the IBC as their model building code. The IFC also contains fire prevention regulations related to operations and the maintenance of buildings, structures, and systems, that can be referenced in jurisdictions that have a fire prevention code.

In Virginia, the IBC is incorporated as part of the USBC for construction. The IBC references the IFC for requirements related to hazardous materials, spray finishing, high-piled combustible storage, tents, and several other items. Each time the IFC is referenced, those provisions of the IFC are incorporated as an enforceable part of the IBC, and since the IBC is incorporated as part of the USBC, those referenced provisions of the IFC are incorporated as part of the USBC. When enforcing the USBC, it is important to remember that any references to the IFC are just that, and are not a reference to the SFPC.

The SFPC in Virginia is applicable to certain operations and to the maintenance of buildings and structures after a certificate of occupancy is issued or the work regulated by the USBC is completed and approved. It also includes some regulations specific to items that are not regulated by the USBC, such as food trucks. The SFPC incorporates those portions of the IFC, not incorporated by the USBC, that are related only to operations and the maintenance of buildings, structures, equipment, activities, and systems. The administrative provisions of the SFPC state that any provisions of the model codes that relate to the scope of enforcement of the code are deleted and replaced by the administrative provisions of the SFPC. Since the scope of the SFPC does not include the design, construction or installation of buildings, structures, systems, equipment or fire protection systems, those provisions are not incorporated as part of the SFPC.

The Virginia SFPC was edited during the 2015 code update cycle to remove references to construction requirements brought in from the IFC, in an effort to eliminate confusion over what is enforceable in the SFPC and what is not.

Local governments in Virginia are required to enforce the USBC. Enforcement of the SFPC is at the option of the local governments. The State Fire Marshal’s Office has the authority to enforce the SFPC in those localities in which there is no local SFPC enforcement.

The USBC and SFPC contain enforcement procedures that must be used by the enforcing agency as well as provisions for administrative appeals to resolve disagreements that may occur between the enforcing agencies and an aggrieved party.

Submitted by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

2020 ELA Class Nominations Open

AIA Virginia announces the call for applications for the 2020 class of Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA): An Honors Academy of AIA Virginia.

The application and more information is available here>>
The application deadline is Nov. 8, 2019.

ELA is an intensive program of educational sessions structured around presentations, discussions, team exploration, analysis, consensus-building, collaboration, and case study activities undertaken over the course of a year by a small cadre of participants selected for their potential to be outstanding contributors to the profession and the community. Facilitators and mentors who are established leaders in the building, finance, non-profit, development, university, legal, consulting, and design professions and in the community at large develop and deliver the sessions, designed to provide participants with advanced knowledge and skills related to specific areas of leadership and practice.

The program consists of monthly, day-long seminars, work sessions, or class project presentations, culminating at a presentation at Architecture Exchange East in November.

The seminars are interactive, drawing on real examples and actively involving participants. They rotate among sites in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria, and Norfolk in conjunction with the firms, schools, and the local AIA component in each area.

The class project for 2020 will be in Norfolk, VA, so many sessions and the project workdays will be located in the Norfolk area.

How to Apply
The committee seeks applicants from three categories:

Component Nominees: Each of the five AIA Virginia local component Boards may nominate one or more individuals for admission to the program. One participant will be selected from each component for a total of five. If interested, please contact your local AIA chapter representative. Each chapter sets its own deadline and application requirements for these positions.

  • AIA Blue Ridge – 2020 candidate selected
  • AIA Central Virginia – 2020 candidate selected
  • AIA Hampton Roads – 2020 candidate selected
  • AIA Northern Virginia – 2020 candidate selected
  • AIA Richmond – Contact: 2020 candidate selected

Student Nominees: Each Virginia Architecture School (UVA, VT, Hampton, and WAAC) may nominate one or more students for admission to the program. One participant will be selected from each school for a total of four. If interested, contact your department Chair/Dean.

Open Applications: Applicants may apply on their own or be nominated by someone else. Seven participants will be selected from among these applicants.

The application and more information is available here>>
The application deadline is Nov. 8, 2019.

If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Guske, Member Services Director at AIA Virginia, cguske@aiava.org

Resiliency Week Events

Register for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Seminar and SAP Training Being Hosted During Resiliency Week

During the 2019 General Assembly, AIA Virginia was proud to endorse Senate Joint Resolution 277 which designates the first week of September as Resiliency Week.  For this inaugural occurrence, AIA Virginia will host two events: a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) seminar in collaboration with the USGBC in Reston and a Safety Assessment Program Training in Richmond.  Please consider joining us for one or both of these events.

Sustainable Building through Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) in Northern Virginia

Develop more efficient, more competitive, and more valuable buildings with C-PACE financing for Existing Building retrofits and New Construction projects! This Lunch & Learn will demonstrate the value proposition from C-PACE to commercial real estate owners, developers, and service providers. Plus, the event will summarize the addressable market for C-PACE across the NOVA Region and provide the latest on progress toward C-PACE in several jurisdictions. Interest in C-PACE across NOVA is growing; this is one event you won’t want to miss!

Learning Objectives

  • List C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing benefits to building owners, developers, and service providers, and general eligibility requirements for existing building and new construction projects.
  • Describe how C-PACE financing impacts the economics and accessibility of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, stormwater management, and resiliency measures.
  • Discuss how to integrate C-PACE into client discussions and project proposals to improve building performance, sustainability, and competitiveness.
  • Describe the addressable market for C-PACE in existing buildings and new construction across NOVA today and one year out.


  • 11:30 a.m.: Lunch & networking
  • 12:00-12:20 p.m. Panel 1: C-PACE Financing Value Proposition for Owners, Developers, and Service     Providers
  • 12:20-12:40 p.m. Panel 2: C-PACE Addressable Market in NOVA
  • 12:40-1:00 p.m. Q&A & networking


Panel 1:  Scott Dicke, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Director of VA C-PACE Programs. Daron Coates, Thinkbox Group, Managing Director of Finding Opportunities

Panel 2:    Rich Dooley, Arlington County, Arlington C-PACE Program Manager. Dennis Cumbie, Loudoun County, Loudoun C-PACE Program Manager. Bill Eger, City of Alexandria, Energy Manager

DPR Construction
109 Sunset Hills Road
Suite 200
Reston, Virginia 20190

Date:  Monday, August 26, 2019
Time: 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

  • 1 GBCI CE Hours + 1 AIA LU

Registration link:  https://cpacenova.eventbrite.com

SAP Training – Limited Seats Remaining

Registration is open for Safety Assessment Training on Sept. 6, 2019, in Richmond. Post-disaster Safety-Assessment Program (SAP) training provides architects, engineers, and building inspectors with the knowledge to provide evaluations of facilities and buildings in the aftermath of a disaster. Learn more.

At the end of this training, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the important role architects and associated building professionals play in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Accurately conduct a post-disaster rapid building assessment and complete appropriate damage assessment forms.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the Applied Technology Council’s ATC-20 Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings and ATC 45 Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Windstorms and Floods damage assessment procedures.
  • Earn a Cal-OES registration ID card.


Date: Friday, Sept. 6, 2019
Time: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Location: Richmond, VA

Fee: $70 members; $175 non-members

Earn 6.5 learning units | HSW

Register today>>

Call for ArchEx 2019 Volunteers

We’re seeking a limited number of individuals to serve as volunteers at Architecture Exchange East 2019. In gratitude for your service, volunteers are invited to attend ArchEx for free on the day(s) you help out.

We are looking for volunteers who are capable of completing a number of different tasks throughout the conference. Volunteers are expected to commit to a minimum of one full day in order to receive the complimentary conference registration.

While we try to accommodate all requests, you’ll be assigned to positions where we have the need. (You must fulfill your entire commitment to receive complimentary conference registration.)

If you are interested, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form. We’ll be in touch later to confirm the details of your participation.

Disaster Response Training Seminar Coming in September

AIA Virginia is proud to offer a course that certifies attendees as Building Evaluators in the nationally recognized Safety Assessment Program (SAP) on Sept. 6, 2019, in Richmond, VA. The program is intended for licensed architects, engineers, or certified building inspectors. It utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers, architects and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluation of their built environment in an aftermath of a disaster.

SAP is the training standard of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program, which provides leadership, advocacy, and training to architects who are interested in volunteering their professional skills in times of crisis. This workshop will teach participants to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability and will receive a nationally recognized Cal OES registration ID card from the state of California.

Register online.

Breakfast and lunch and is included in the registration.  All participants will be able to earn 6.5 AIA LU|HSW.

Design Awards Jury Announced for 2019

AIA Virginia is pleased to announce the jury members for the 2019 Design Awards program. The Design Awards program recognizes outstanding design — both built and unbuilt — from the past eight years. Five categories are considered by the jury: Architecture, Historic Preservation, Interior Design, Contextual Design, and Residential Design. 

The awards are expected to be announced in the fall and will be celebrated during Architecture Exchange East and at Visions for Architecture on Nov. 8, 2019.

Ann Beha, FAIA, Jury Chair
Principal at Ann Beha Architects

Ann Beha, FAIA

Beha is Principal of Ann Beha Architects, a Boston practice known for its exploration of heritage in dialogue with contemporary design. She founded ABA to focus on preservation and adaptive re-use, and has led ABA to honors for new design and construction and planning, extending its reach nationally and internationally.

She has been Design Principal at the University of Chicago, Princeton University, Cornell University Law School, Yale University, and MIT. Her civic projects include the United States Embassy in Athens, Greece, and projects at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Beha received a Master of Architecture from MIT, an undergraduate degree from Wellesley, was a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design at the City College of New York. She is a member of Harvard University’s Design Advisory Council, received the 2018 Award of Honor from the Boston Society of Architects and the 2019 Honor Award from the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations Industry Advisory Group.

Rodrigo Abela, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal at Gustafson Guthrie

Rodrigo Abela, ASLA

Rodrigo Abela is the principal in charge of GGN’s Washington, D.C. office and leads national and international projects. His award-winning work is recognized for its striking clarity in form, materials, and purpose.

Abela holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cornell University and a Master of Architecture and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia. His award winning projects include the landscape at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, CityCenterDC, and the winning design for the National Mall Design Competition for Union Square.

Sara Caples AIA, LEED
Principal at Caples Jefferson Architects, New York

Sara Caples AIA, LEED

Founder of New York architecture firm Caples Jefferson Architects with Everado Jefferson, Sara Caples is committed to designing cultural, educational and community facilities for neighborhoods underserved by the design professions. She frequently lectures at schools, community, and professional events, and has served as the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Assistant Professor of Architecture at Yale School of Architecture; Visiting Critic at University of Miami and Syracuse University; and lecturer at many more colleges and universities. Her passion for design is embodied in the tenets of her firm: Architecture must communicate; Architecture must deal with social issues & cultural context and Architecture must have formal coherence. “We try to make each project very specific to what it is,” says Caples. “That means that the aesthetic development of each project [differs], and it also means, in a way, that each project is its own artistic statement.”

Anthony Pangaro
Partner, Millennium Partners (retired), Boston

Anthony Pangaro

Anthony Pangaro has transformed the Boston skyline with his building projects. An architect by trade and a former Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Pangaro’s career in development has included residences, downtown development, and the comprehensive redevelopment of the historic Filene’s department store in Downtown Crossing. He has served as the Manager of the Southwest Corridor Transportation Redevelopment Project for Massachusetts, advisor to the Government of Puerto Rico, and the New York State Urban Development Corporation.  His passions for history, contemporary design, neighborhood revitalization, and service to the community, have been the hallmark of his distinguished career.

James Elmasry, AIA, LEED AP
Senior Program Planner, Yale University 

James Elmasry, AIA

As a Senior Program Planner for Yale University, Jim oversees many of Yale’s largest projects, capitalizing on his passion and success in designing and implementing creative solutions to complex problems. Representing multi-faceted client groups, Elmasry’s expertise in programming and design has informed and enabled remarkable outcomes for Yale and its stakeholders, as well as the architects who he directs.

His projects reflect the extensive design and project management experience he developed while working on dozens of award-winning higher education, civic and performing arts projects along the East Coast during his 26 years with Newman Architects.

Elmasry was a director of the Connecticut Building Congress and received his Master of Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Studio Arts Degrees from Tulane University.