ArchEx 2011 Registration Open

ArchEx 2010 Keynote Address
ArchEx 2010 Keynote Address. Photo by Jay Paul.

Registration for the mid-Atlantic’s largest conference and expo for architects is now open. Early bird rates are available for only a short time, so register now to secure the discounted registration rate.

Architecture Exchange East, Nov. 2-4, 2011, in historic Richmond, Va., features over 60 educational sessions, spectacular behind-the-scenes architectural tours, engaging special events, and over 125 vendors in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall.  Download the registration brochure.


Who should attend?

Architects, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, planners, builders, firm administrators, emerging professionals


Architecture Exchange East,  featuring Keynote Speaker Michelle Kaufmann, LEED® AP, takes place Nov. 2­-4, 2011, in Richmond, Va. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  You can find out more or register at


Special Events + Highlights

Keynote Address
Thursday 2:30-4 p.m.
Simplicity: Reinventing our Practice
Michelle Kaufmann, LEED® AP, discusses rethinking the standard architecture business.
Sponsored by Hourigan Construction and MTFA Architecture, Inc.


ArchEx Exhibit Hall
Thursday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Discover the latest trends, products and technologies in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall.


Mid-Atlantic Design Showcase
Delight in the work being done by your colleagues! To exhibit your work, call (804) 237-1776.


CONNECTIONS Cocktail Party
The popular opening reception returns in 2011 with networking, beverages and hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and fun.  AIA Regional Director Mary Cox, FAIA, will make special remarks congratulating newly-registered architects.
Sponsored by Riverside Brick & Supply Co., Inc and Shade & Wise Brick Company.


NEW! Practice Management Series
This provocative, inspirational program of sessions on practice management will challenge existing paradigms.
presented with the AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community


NEW! ArchEx Exhibit Hall Education
Vendors will deliver content-rich information in quick, 15-minute sessions on our Presentation Stage. If you attend a minimum of one hour, you can self-report product research, based on the time listening to presentations or speaking with exhibitors.


Virginia IFRAA Series
Friday, 8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

The Nature of Sacred Space: Sustainability and Spirituality
Discover how sustainable design solutions are redefining sacred spaces.
Sponsored by SunTrust. and presented with Virginia IFRAA, a Knowledge Community of Virginia Society AIA


Virginia Women in Design Series
Discuss the challenges faced by women in the profession in this second annual series on women in design.
presented with Virginia Women in Design


Virginia Society AIA Annual Meeting
Thursday, 1-2:30 p.m.
Hear about vital developments, elect officers, and conduct other business affecting your professional society.


In FOCUS: Emerging Professionals

Take part in a series of sessions that was assembled especially to support the needs of emerging professionals and students.



E Pluribus Unum

Interschool Design Competition at the National Building Museum
Interschool Design Competition at the National Building Museum

Imagine being the statue that crowns the U.S. Capitol.  Yikes, it’s high up!  Looking down, the houses of Congress appear unified.  Looking out and around, the geometry of L’Enfant’s plan is evident and reflects the beauty of the Golden Section.  From this vantage point, you can see great buildings where diverse voices come together – the White House, the National Building Museum, the National AIA Headquarters and so many more.  Connected by majestic bridges in the distance is Virginia — a symbol of the unity to the West and all the states in our democracy.

We know that at ground level things don’t measure up to this utopia.  Unity in Congress is harder to achieve as our mounting multi-trillion dollar debt seems to have no end in sight.  Similarly, the AIA finds itself divided into fiercely independent and competitive chapters and state components.  I often hear that the National Institute is out of touch with its members.  Within each chapter we create events that primarily focus on architects and don’t make clients and allied professionals feel welcome.  Most professors of architecture are not members of the AIA and downplay the role of the AIA in our profession.  Many young and emerging professionals view the AIA as an exclusive club for seasoned architects.  Sometimes, we don’t connect.

Ah, but magic happens when we do connect.  We can move mountains!  Consider these examples from around Virginia:

Front Porch
AIA Richmond's Front Porch

The AIA Richmond hosts an event called Front Porch to engage similar minded individuals, outside of our profession to become partners in championing the causes promoted by the AIA such as sustainable communities and the power of thoughtful design.  The guest list includes the entire creative class of Richmond…artists, photographers, actors, graphic designers, ad agency executives, chefs, hair dressers, modeling agencies, etc… Ed Gillikin, AIA says that “the chapter members forge a connection with these unique individuals while being surrounded by good food and live music.”

Through School Connections, the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter fosters collaboration between practicing architects, students and professors.  Current committee chair, David Prevette, AIA, says that mentorship experiences abound through amazing programs.  Students, as well as young and emerging architects, are encouraged to participate in competitions, design awards, portfolio reviews, emerging leadership programs, IDP programs, forums, seminars, tours and more.

architectural bike tour
Participants enjoyed an architectural bike tour arranged by AIA Central Virginia.

Throughout Virginia, Architecture Week is a way to connect to the community through various architectural programs that strive to empower and educate.  For example, Elizabeth Rhodes from AIA Central Virginia says that “Architecture Week gives us a reason to bring accomplished guests to Charlottesville showcasing our industry and our talented group of community design members.”

AIA Hampton Roads is interested in creating stronger links with allied professionals and the community. Director Rob Reis, AIA says that the Chapter accomplishes this through an array of interesting, informative, or entertaining events such as narrated historic walking tours, hard hat tours, the Annual Speaker Meeting and Pecha Kucha Night.  These are promoted through various arts groups, community associations and professional organizations to engage diverse and enthusiastic participants.

Bill White, AIA from the AIA Blue Ridge describes with enthusiasm how his chapter links to Allied Professionals through joint meetings.  This year they had 15 organizations participate including contractors, interior designers, engineers, planners and landscape architects and the USGBC of southwest Virginia.  This led to the founding of the “RATPAC” – Roanoke Area Task-force of Presidents and Chairs.

As many of you already know, the Virginia Society AIA has been promoting public and professional collaboration by implementing the new, vibrant, Long Range Plan.   This plan encourages interaction between us all… young and old, individual designers, chapters of the AIA, students, professors, allied professionals, communities and more.   In the last couple of months we have focused on connecting to allied professionals that we know from our daily, professional lives.  Board members have reached into their address books, and they have made hundreds of contacts with the hope that we can become a far more diverse membership and reap the rich rewards of these connections.  Would you be able to send the VSAIA a few names of professionals that you work with that should be allied members?  Just think, if every member brought in just one allied member to the AIA, we would be one of the largest components in America!

Now, again, imagine being the statue at the top of the capitol.  You are balancing on a globe (yippee … yikes!) that is inscribed with the words “E Pluribus Unum.”  That motto should also be our institute’s goal – “out of many, one.”


James P. Clark, AIA
VSAIA President


2011 Design Awards Announced

The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects honors 18 projects with Awards for Excellence in Architecture. The 2011 Design Awards are presented by Scott Long Construction and sponsored by Carolina Cast Stone Co., Inc.

Held annually, the Awards for Excellence in Architecture recognize projects no older than five years that contribute to the built environment as clear examples of thoughtful and engaging design. 134 entries in the categories of Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Interior Design were reviewed by three blind juries.

Recipients of the Awards for Excellence in Architecture presented by Scott Long Construction will be honored during Architecture Exchange East, at the Visions for Architecture gala on Nov. 4, 2011, in Design 2011, a special exhibition at the Virginia Center for Architecture opening on Oct. 20, 2011, and in Inform magazine’s annual directory.

Members of the design teams are identified where available. Stay tuned for an image gallery as images and credits become available.

Winners of the 2011 Award for Excellence in Architecture are:



Honor Awards

PNC Place in Washington, D.C. for PNC Financial Services
Designed by Gensler (Washington, D.C.)


LumenHAUS in Blacksburg, Va. for the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech
Designed by the Virginia Tech Solar Team
The design team was lead by faculty members Joseph Wheeler, AIA, Robert Schubert, David Clark, and Robert Dunay, FAIA


Merit Awards
Kensington Residence
in Kensington, Md.
Designed by the Alexandria, Va.-based firm David Jameson Architect Inc.
The design team included David Jameson, FAIA, and Ron Southwick


Nevis Pool and Garden Pavilion in Bethesda, Md.
Designed by the Washington, D.C-based firm Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
The project architect was John Riordan, LEED AP


Virginia Commonwealth University Dental Clinic at Wise, in Wise, Va., for Virginia Commonwealth University
Designed by the Richmond office of HKS, Inc. Wise-based Thompson & Litton is the Architect of Record

Covington Farmers Market
in Covington, Va. for the City of Covington
Designed by design/buildLAB at the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech
The 17-member student design team was lead by professors Keith Zawistowski, Assoc. AIA and Marie Zawistowski


in Richmond, Va. for The Greater Richmond ARC
Designed by the Richmond-based firm 3north
The design team included Sanford Bond, AIA, Danny MacNelly and Jason Dufilho


HRA Mosaica Public Charter School to be built in Washington, D.C.
Designed by the Washington, DC.-based firm Studio 27 Architecture
The design team included Todd Ray, AIA, Hans Kuhn, Raymond Curtis, and Jason Shih


George Mason University Founders Hall in Arlington, Va. for George Mason University
Designed by the Washington, D.C. office of   SmithGroup


Graticule in Great Falls, Va.
Designed by the Alexandria-based firm David Jameson, Architect


Sir John Soane Personality Award

Loft Upon Cork in Winchester, Va., for Dr. Peter Bullough
Designed by the Winchester-based firm Reader & Swartz Architects, P.C.
The design team included Beth Reader, AIA, Chuck Swartz, AIA, Laura Ours, AIA, Joel Richardson, Assoc. AIA



M2L Collection in Washington, D.C.
Designed by the Washington, D.C.-based firm Robert M. Gurney, FAIA, Architect
The project architect was Claire L. Andreas


The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. for the Pew Charitable Trusts
Design by Gensler (Washington, D.C.)
The design team included Chris Banks, Lisa Amster, Faisal Naveed, Steve Steimer, Ryan Waltke, Carmen Epstein, David Epstein, Jessica Taylor-Williamson, Kelly Dabney, Anat Gimburg, Min Kim, Timothy Taylor, Scott Hasty


Rincon Bates House in Washington, D.C., for Juan Felipe Rincon and Robert Bates
Designed by the Washington, D.C.-based firm Studio 27 Architecture
The design team included John K. Burke, AIA, Todd Ray, AIA, Chris Dehenzel, and Hans Kuhn


Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. for James Madison University
Designed by Norfolk-based Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company




Freemason Baptist Church Renovation + Addition in Norfolk, Va. for Freemason Baptist Church
Designed by Norfolk-based Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company


The Bowman House in Staunton, Va. for the Frontier Culture Museum of Virignia
Design by the Williamsburg-based firm Carlton Abbott and Partners, PC
The design team included Carlton S. Abbott, FAIA and David M. Stemann, AIA


The Hazel River Cabin in Woodville, Va. for Joe Svatos
Designed by the Washington, D.C.-based firm Bonstra | Haresign Architects
The design team included David Haresign, AIA, Sarah Carrier, LEED AP, Brian L. Forehand, Assoc. AIA, Laura Williams, Tom Wallinga, AIA, and Evan Hathaway


Commercial Sector Expected to Lead Industry Recovery

By Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, AIA Chief Economist

An uneven economic recovery, hesitancy on the part of lenders to finance construction projects, the weak financial position of governments at all levels, and rising costs of key building material commodities are all conspiring to restrain a recovery in the nonresidential construction sector. The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast panel is projecting a decline of 5.6 percent this year in nonresidential spending for buildings, followed by a modest recovery of 6.4 percent in 2012. Because these predictions come on the heels of a more than 20 percent downturn in the overall nonresidential building sector last year, and a more than 30 percent drop in spending on commercial buildings, this year’s and next year’s expected declines are quite modest in comparison.

Commercial facilities—office, retail, and hotel—are expected to see a more significant decline ( 6.5 percent) this year, but also a stronger recovery (almost 12 percent) next year. Spending on the construction of manufacturing facilities is expected to see a steep decline this year of almost 16 percent, followed by a relatively modest rebound of 8 percent. The traditionally more stable institutional sector is expected to fall just over 3 percent this year, and then offset this decline with a 4 percent increase in 2012.

The economic recovery continues to disappoint

While the 2008–2009 economic downturn was certainly severe, this recovery has still been unusually weak. In prior post-WWII recoveries, the U.S. economy averaged more than 6 percent growth (inflation adjusted) in the first year of a recovery, and more than 4 percent in the second. In the first year of this recovery, growth was only 3 percent, and when figures for the second quarter of this year are released, it’s likely that the second year gains will be below the first year. This modest level of growth is not too surprising given that the economy lost an additional half million jobs during the first year of the recovery, and gained just over one million during year two. At present, there are almost seven million fewer payroll positions in our economy than when the recession began in early 2008.

With such slow growth, most businesses and institutions do not feel the need to expand their facilities, although spending on renovations to existing facilities has remained quite strong. For example, McGraw-Hill Construction reports that nonresidential construction awards for new buildings and additions declined 43 percent between 2008 and 2010, while awards for building alterations declined less than 2 percent over this period.

Unstable home prices, unusually severe weather conditions, rising energy costs, concern over growing debt, and the rising national unemployment rate (up from 8.8 percent in March to 9.2 percent in June) have made consumers extremely nervous. Both the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index have fallen since the beginning of the year. Business confidence has not fared much better. Moody’s reports that business confidence has fallen significantly from March, as the recent slowdown in the economy has many businesses worried that 2011 will generate significantly slower growth than anticipated.

Falling business confidence is becoming more of an issue internationally, which could impact construction levels and demand for design services in regions that have seen rapid growth in recent years. Moody’s survey of global business confidence shows a dramatic decline since the beginning of the year in the Asia/Pacific index, largely due to the continuing problems from the Japanese earthquakes. But even the fast-growing Chinese economy seems to have stalled a bit recently. In contrast, the business confidence index for South America has been trending up this year, and the European index is holding its own, in spite ongoing government debt issues in Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. Solid business confidence in Germany, the largest European economy, has largely offset concerns in other areas.

Regional patterns emerging

As the construction markets begin to recover, some areas of the country are performing better than others. Though national construction employment is at almost exactly the same level as a year ago, 23 states have reported increases in construction payrolls over this period. Somewhat surprisingly, Michigan leads the pack with a 5.2 percent increase in construction payrolls over the past 12 months. Seven other states–Hawaii, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, and Illinois—and the District of Columbia have seen gains of 3 percent or more. At the other end of the spectrum, Nevada and Rhode Island have each lost 10 percent or more of their construction payrolls over the past year, with Georgia not far behind.

The Federal Reserve Board monitors economic conditions for each of its 12 districts, and its report from early June was that nonresidential markets were beginning to show some improvement, in contrast to the still-stalled residential sector. From the report: “Nonresidential real estate leasing markets have been generally stable, while construction activity has remained very subdued. Loan demand was steady to stronger in most districts, especially in the commercial and industrial sector, and widespread improvement was reported in credit quality.”

In terms of conditions in specific districts: “Commercial leasing markets showed modest signs of improvement in the Richmond and San Francisco districts. Boston and Dallas noted some firming in property sales markets, but Kansas City reported declines in prices for office buildings. Nonresidential construction, though widely reported to be at very low levels, rose modestly in the Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Dallas districts, though Chicago noted that public sector projects are becoming smaller. Cleveland observed a pickup in industrial and high-end commercial development, but [also saw] a pullback in healthcare-related projects. Richmond reported some pockets of strength in the retail market. More broadly, contacts in a number of districts expressed a general sense of optimism about the outlook for the second half of 2011.”

Construction commodity prices remain volatile

In spite of a still-depressed construction sector, material prices remain unusually volatile, with some recent increases. Overall, prices for construction commodities have increased 7.5 percent over the past year, just slightly higher than the 7.3 percent overall increase in wholesale prices. In the overall wholesale price index, energy costs have been the main culprit. Without food and energy prices factored in, the overall index rose by just over 2 percent. However, price volatility in the construction sector certainly extends beyond energy costs. Steel, copper, and aluminum prices have all increased 10 percent or more over the past year, offsetting price declines for lumber and many concrete products. Some analysts feel that price pressures for construction commodities are shifting. According to Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America, “The noise has died down over diesel, steel, and copper prices. Now the attention has shifted to asphalt, plastic, roofing, and insulation.”

Momentum is beginning to shift in the nonresidential construction sector, but even after the markets begin to recover, there is a long climb to get back to the levels enjoyed before the recession. Home building generally creates demand for nonresidential facilities, so the extremely weak housing recovery is not generating much demand for new projects. Job growth also is a key factor in creating need for new buildings, and, like home building, an employment recovery has not gotten underway to any significant degree. All of this points to a fairly modest expansion in the nonresidential building sector once growth resumes in late 2011 or early 2012.

*With the release of this update of the AIA Consensus Construction Forecast, all construction spending figures are presented in current (non-inflation adjusted dollars). Prior reports were presented in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.

AIA Offers ArchEx Scholarship

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.The 2011 AIA Knowledge Scholarship will fund a dedicated and knowledgeable person to attend a Knowledge Community fall conference in order to cover the event via social media, capture the content and deliver a variety of products to wider audiences during and after the conference. The Virginia Society AIA’s Architecture Exchange East is among those conferences included in the scholarship opportunity.

AIA Young Architects (licensed less than 10 years), Associate AIA members, and AIAS members are eligible to submit an application.

The AIA Knowledge Scholarship seeks to provide a dedicated and knowledgeable person on-site to capture the content from the conference and deliver a variety of products to wider audiences during and after the conference. Some existing products are listed below for reference and innovative methods are highly encouraged.

  • Project profiles by site on tours (text and images)
  • Real-time blogging on AIA KnowledgeNet
  • Audiocast with speaker/expert in the field
  • Videocast on topic
  • Transcript of panel discussion or interview for a KC Newsletter
  • Topical article related to conference theme for AIArchitect
  • Keynote/Session summaries
  • AIA Best Practice on topic

Scholarship funds will be awarded to compelling applications that address creativity, feasibility, impact and outcomes. Applications will be evaluated on: quality and quantity of knowledge products; innovation; demonstrated skill in area of knowledge delivery (for example writing or video editing experience); how the end product will interest the intended target audience; coverage of conference/knowledge topics in demand; thoroughness of application.

Applications must include: a complete application form, resume, two professional references, and a purposed budget including the cost of conference registration, travel expenses and supply expenses. The completed application must be submitted by August 15, 2011. Submit the application to as a single letter-sized PDF document titled “2011kcscholarship_firstnamelastname.pdf.” The PDF should not exceed 5mb in size or 10 pages in length.

All applicants will receive an email confirmation of receipt of their application within two business days. If you do not receive an email confirmation, contact Tamzin Howerton at 202-626-7358. All applicants will receive notification of the jury’s decision by September 1, 2011.

Your Political Action Committee

A rousing start to the election season was generated by contributions and pledges to the VSAIA political action committee campaign by long-time supporter Gauthier Alvarado & Associates in Falls Church and relative PAC newcomer HDR in Alexandria.

Rob Morris, III, AIA, PE, presented his firm’s traditional $1,000 check to the PAC in December.  Jim Draheim, AIA, announced his firm’s pledge of $2,000 in March.  Both have combined their firms’ support with personal efforts to increase the level of participation in the PAC.  They are sending letters to their peers in several firms encouraging them to join in supporting the PAC and asking that they also encourage their employees to do the same.

Ed Gillikin, AIA, VSAIA vice president for government advocacy, and the members of the government and industry affairs committee ask that individuals contribute the equivalent of one hour’s billable time to the PAC.  They request that firms contribute a like amount. 

With all 140 seats in the Virginia General Assembly open this year, the campaign goal will be to top the PAC’s previous best year of $23,630 contributed in 2006. 

The PAC supports the campaigns of those candidates who have shown an understanding of what the profession does and of how architects affect the quality of life within their communities.  If a candidate is running for the first time, the VSAIA considers its members’ evaluations.  For incumbents, the VSAIA concentrates its support on those who serve in leadership positions and those who serve on the General Laws committees in the House and Senate.  This committee reviews nearly 90 percent of the bills affecting the profession.

A candidate’s party affiliation is not considered.  Historically, the VSAIA PAC’s contributions run just about 50-50 on supporting Democrats and Republicans.  Information on past activity can be obtained from the Virginia Public Access Project website  VAPA’s home site is

It takes time to build rapport and trust between the architects and elected officials.  This is done through individual meetings among the VSAIA legislative counsel, staff and members, and the legislators. Those in office depend on us for information about the possible impact of a bill.  We depend on them to weigh that information with other sources and to reach a reasonable conclusion when the votes are taken. 

To maintain the investment in these relationships, the VSAIA needs to support those candidates who supported restricting unlicensed practice, who supported limiting by contract an architect’s liability, and who support the concept of qualifications-based selection for public projects. 

In supporting the PAC, you are supporting your firm and your ability to practice your profession.  Please contribute to the PAC today by sending a check equal to one-hour’s billable time to the VSAIA PAC, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA   23220.

APELSCIDLA Update: June-July

Draft legislation concerning unlicensed practice and continuing education was shown to architects serving on the regulatory board at their May meeting.  The architects and board staff had no official comments, but offered some suggestions.

The first of the two proposed measures aims to add flexibility to the continuing education requirements that, if passed, would put Virginia in a good position to accommodate changes being discussed at the national level by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.  The second aims to strengthen the laws identifying unlicensed practice.

Architects serving on the committee are J. Everette “Ebo” Fauber, AIA-E, James Boyd, AIA, and Michael LeMay, AIA.  Boyd was elected as section chairman for the 2011–2012 year.

In discussing continuing education, Fauber explained that the nation’s registration boards are all over the map with their requirements.  For example, Virginia requires 16 hours per biennium.  Fauber said 34 jurisdictions require 12 per year.  Most jurisdictions specifically require hours in health, safety, and welfare.  Virginia does not.  The more critical element to standardizing criteria nationally, he and Boyd agreed, was the reporting period end date. 

NCARB’s model law is being reviewed in an attempt to establish common criteria throughout the country including a single reporting date.  Currently in Virginia, the month an architect received his license is the reporting — or re-registration — date every other year.  In allowing the board to slide architects’ re-registration dates to a single date, those architects licensed in multiple jurisdictions would find it easier to manage their records.  

Delegates to NCARB’s national meeting in June will discuss and vote on the package of resolutions that includes revising its model law.

The proposals concerning unlicensed practice initially have been inserted into the list of unlawful acts that apply to any occupation requiring a license.  To the existing list of nine acts, the VSAIA is suggesting three.  These are:

  1. Entering into a contract to provide a professional or occupational regulated service or offering to provide a regulated service without holding a valid license to provide the regulated service.
  2. Advertising to provide services regulated by the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation when the individual or business entity is not certified or licensed to practice the regulated occupation including, but not limited to, telephone directory listings, Internet websites, and radio and television advertisements. 
  3. Including unlicensed persons or business entities in published rosters or lists of persons who offer a regulated service where the person or business entity is not certified or licensed to offer the regulated service, including telephone directories, Internet sites, newspapers and periodicals.   

Both of these proposals were viewed earlier by the Joint Legislative Committee (JLC), which will determine how to refine the drafts prior to the 2012 legislative session.  Along with the VSAIA, the JLC comprises the two statewide engineering societies:  the American Council of Engineering Companies and the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers.

Virginia Firm Urges AIA Action on SBA Proposal

In part at the urging of Commonwealth Architects in Richmond, the national AIA Government Advocacy team has been working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to revise its definition of an architecture small business. 

The agency’s latest proposal will move the definition to $19 million annual gross receipts from the current $4.5 million.  As of 2009, a majority of firms qualified for SBA business status based on their billings.  Should this change go through, 97.7 percent of the firms responding to the 2009 AIA firm survey would fall within the architecture small business category.

At risk are the special set-asides included within federal contracts for firms within the small business category.  With the change, more firms will qualify for such set asides and more large contractors may qualify for contracts through the greater number of small business sub-contractors. 

More information can be found on the AIA website:  Included are links to discussion groups on the topic and a request to send comments, stories and empirical data to be used by the AIA to strengthen its discussions with the agency and congressional leaders.

Call for Entries: Design Awards 2011

The Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects calls architects, interior designers, and preservationists to submit to the 2011 Awards for Excellence in Architecture presented by Scott Long Construction.

Three categories, three juries:

ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, and PRESERVATION will each be judged separately by a jury of esteemed professionals.

Winners will be honored at a special session during Architecture Exchange East and at Visions for Architecture, a gala event hosted by the Virginia Society AIA. Winning projects will also be the subject of the fourth annual Design Awards exhibition at the Virginia Center for Architecture, and featured in Inform magazine’s annual directory.

The 2011 Design Awards are presented by Scott Long Construction and sponsored by Carolina Cast Stone Co., Inc.


4 p.m., June 30, 2011      REGISTRATION

4 p.m., July 21, 2011        PROJECT SUBMISSION

No faxes or mail to send! The Virginia Society AIA continues to pursue a more sustainable model of operating and therefore is accepting only electronic registrations.


All entries must be the work of licensed architects who have an office in Virginia OR are members of the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. This includes Associate Members of the VSAIA.

The location of projects is not restricted, but any built work submitted must have been completed after January 1, 2006.

Un-built work will also be considered, as long as it was commissioned by a client as opposed to hypothetical work completed in the mode of research or academic training.

Meet the Jury Chairs

Paul Mankins, FAIA
Recipient of the 2003 AIA Young Architects Award, and elected to the AIA College of Fellows at only 40 years old, Mankins is a founder and principal of the nationally recognized collaborative design practice Substance. In addition to awards from Architecture, Architectural Record/Business Week, Contract, I.D. (International Design), Interior Design and Residential Architect magazines, his work has been recognized with more than 35 Honor and Merit Awards at the regional, state and local level. In 2002 he received an AIA National Honor Award for Architecture. He serves on the National Board of Directors of the AIA, and during his time as Editor-in-Chief of Iowa Architect, it was recognized by the AIA as the outstanding component publication in the nation.

Kevin J. Flynn, FAIA, IES
Currently serving on the AIA National Board as a Regional Director from the Central States Region, Flynn has extensive experience in architecture, lighting design and theatrical design. Through his work as Executive Vice President of Kiku Obata & Company, he has been recognized for architecture, lighting, and retail design work by the AIA, Chain Store Age, the International Conference of Shopping Centers, Institute of Store Planners/Visual Merchandising & Store Design Magazine, and the International Illumination Design Awards.  In addition to his service to the AIA, he has served as president of the Illuminating Engineers Society of North America.

He is the 2012 Chair of the AIA Institute Honor Awards for Collaborative and Professional Achievement.

Eugene C. Hopkins, FAIA
Principal and co-founder of HopkinsBurns Design Studio, Hopkins is a nationally-recognized leader in historic preservation architecture. He has extensive experience in the restoration and rehabilitation of hundreds of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places including a number of National Historic Landmarks. As president of the American Institute of Architects in 2004, he led efforts to renew the AIA/National Park Service/Library of Congress partnership; save the Farnsworth House; advance the integration of Historic Preservation principles into the architectural curriculum of colleges and universities and excluded the historic tax credit from the JOBS/Tax bill. He has received numerous recognitions for his contribution to architecture, including the 2003 prestigious Gold Medal from AIA Michigan, 2006 Gold Medal from AIA Detroit, the 2002 Robert Hastings FAIA Award and the 1992 AIA Michigan Young Architect of the Year Award. His work on the Michigan State Capitol received a National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 1992 and an AIA Honor Award for Architecture in 1996. In 2008 he was appointed Architect of the Michigan State Capitol.

See the Regulations and FAQs.

Virginia Society AIA Prize Announced

Students from Virginia’s architecture schools competed in January in the 2011 Virginia Society AIA Prize competition, sponsored by The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

Students were given one weekend to create a solution to a design problem: design a new Amtrak station in the town of Clifton Forge, Virginia. The current passenger train stop at this location is equipped with minimal facilities, consisting of a very small waiting room and bathroom, and is housed in a structure that is primarily a freight yard office building.

Program elements included a waiting room for approximately 25-30 people, a ticket counter with attached office, a small room for office and custodial storage, bathroom facilities, and onsite parking for 24 cars. There is a vacant one-story building on the site, which formerly housed a diner, but the competition assumed that it could be removed and/or replaced at the competitor’s discretion. Competitors could also alter or adjust the configuration of existing parking areas and driveways on the site.

The site is located along the main commercial street in downtown Clifton Forge, and competitors were encouraged to consider both pedestrian and vehicular connections to the street, such that the project could improve both the quality of passenger service as well as make a positive contribution to the town.

Each entry was required to be the work of one individual — no collaborative projects were allowed.

The jury was comprised of Timm Jamieson, FAIA (chair), Michel Ashe, FAIA, Joe Atkins, AIA, and Steven McCurdy of Norfolk Southern Railroad. They met March 30, 2011, to deliberate and select honorees.  Those honorees and the jury’s comments follow.

Congratulations to all those students who competed and a special thanks to our competition sponsor The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.

2011 VSAIA Prize and Jury Comments

All the honorees had clear and complete communication of the elements and the plan.  Those honored had the strength of an idea, coupled with representation that lifted the idea up and made it clear.

Noteworthy original thought was characterized in a number of entries.

2011 VSAIA Prize Winner

Siim Tiisvelt, Virginia Tech Washington Alexandria Architecture Center
Said the jury:

Click to enlarge

This entry made an interesting pedestrian connection to the town, providing a view of the river and trains.  A simple, straightforward, and elegant solution.  One simple gesture provided a drop-off for people coming by car and a straightforward procession to the platform, with an extension of the street above for anyone to view trains and river beyond.  Civic minded seat steps reflected back to the main street.  This entry clearly understood the topography of the site well, as the whole sense of arrival seems more in scale than any other scheme.  This was the best implementation of the concept of giving people a place to watch trains.


Best in School Virginia Tech Blacksburg

Garrett Reynolds
Said the jury:

There was good recognition of the topography.  The site section at the bottom grabbed our attention.  The civic scale canopy was reflected in the mountains and to the town, almost as Saarinen did with Dulles Airport.  Tucking the parking under was nice solution to a tricky problem.  This is almost too much architecture for the town, but the resolution of the design was strong.  The double acting canopy is very nice, however, the sense of arrival is not very sophisticated.

Best in School Hampton University

Biyengo Lwandiko
Said the jury:

Nice neoclassical set of pieces.  In scale with the site; the entrance addresses the street and allows entry from the sidewalk into the building and progresses nicely as you get onto the train.  The town would love it.  Very nice presentation.  Complete…we fully understood all the parts. The jury wished the two building components had been better connected somehow.

Honorable Mention

Gui Talarico, Virginia Tech WAAC
Said the jury:

This is a wild and wonderful concept.  We laughed out loud at “Why the hell are we stopping a 750-ton, 800 foot long train for 180 pound people?” In all seriousness, we like that someone devoted thought to ecology and saving fuel.

Michael Smyles, Virginia Tech Blacksburg
Said the jury:

Very nice portal, with good imagery of the procession from platform to train.  A container that has an object — it’s a nice miniature version of larger train station a la Grand Central.  Special note: the jury members all mentally moved the newer building to be in harmony with the old building.

Recognition for Artistic Merit

Natalie Mutchler, Virginia Tech Blacksburg
Said the jury:

Very nice graphic representation.  We would have liked to see more addressing of the site plan. It is Hopper-esque, almost a frame-able poster.