On October 25, 2017, Governor Wolf signed HB 409 into law, creating Act 36 of 2017, a move applauded by AIA Pennsylvania. “This piece of legislation represents a compromise between numerous stakeholders and what AIA Pennsylvania advocated for as a step in the right direction for updates and code adoption in the Commonwealth,” said AIA Pennsylvania Executive Director, Stephen Swarney, J.D., on the passage of the bill. Act 36 of 2017 will significantly change the code review and Uniform Construction Code adoption process for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Review and Advisory Council, currently chaired by Maureen Guttman, AIA. AIA Pennsylvania remains an influential leader regarding building codes and the UCC in the Commonwealth continues to advocate for comprehensive and aggressive...
Governor Signs UCC Building Codes Legislation into Law
After Two Legislative Sessions, Pennsylvania is a Step Closer to Building Code Updates
Design Pittsburgh 2017
View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 19, 2017
DESIGN + INNOVATION: Certificate of Merit PROJECT NAME: Penn51 Façade CLIENT: 11 to 3 LLC ARCHITECTURE FIRM: mossArchitects DESIGN TEAM: Andrew Moss, AIA; Darren Lloyd, Rebecca Murden ENGINEERS: Conway Engineering CONTRACTORS: P2 Contracting, LLC PHOTOGRAPHERS: Anthony Musmanno INTENT: The Penn51 project, one of many 1-3 story building facades along the Bloomfield and Garfield commercial corridor, is nestled in the center of the Penn Avenue business district; an area that has been the focus of revitalization, with a strong emphasis on the arts. The design solution seeks to reinterpret the facade as a folded skin that simplifies and unifies its previously disconnected property while adding an artful reinterpretation and visual activity to the busy commercial avenue. The design aims to connect...
Why is Architects’ Volunteerism so Important to a City’s Disaster Recovery?
AIA's Response to Hurricane Harvey and How You Can Help
Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West) We’ve all followed the devastating impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on Houston and western Louisiana. Among the hundreds of thousands who have been directly affected by the storm, nearly 3,000 are AIA members. The storm and the flooding have left none of them unscathed. AIA Houston had more than three feet of water in their building, affecting their servers and computers.
Is Wellness Design the New Sustainable Design?
A Review of Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes our Lives
By F. Jeffrey Murray, FAIA Posted on August 18, 2017
Image courtesy Harper Collins Sarah Williams Goldhagen’s new book, written for the general public more so than the design community, is timely, important and worth a careful read by design professionals. Her fundamental claim is summarized in the preface: “What the new paradigm of embodied or situated cognition reveals is that the built environment and its design matters far, far more than anybody, even architects, ever thought that it did.” (p. xiv) Her book is timely because in the last couple years we’ve seen new checklists and scorecards for ‘wellness’ design (14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, The Well Building Standard, Fitwell — to name a few). Wellness design appears to be a trendy term for what has traditionally been called...
Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification
Preservation Project Achieves Peak Performance
By Maya Henry Posted on July 18, 2017
Photo courtesy Green Building Alliance. A remarkable example of building reuse and historic restoration, a Pittsburgh state-of-the-art green building has successfully met the goal of achieving a high-level LEED Platinum certification. On July 18, community leaders and government officials, architects, designers, and contractors all gathered to celebrate the the achievement. The project team includes DLA+ as architect, CJL Engineering as MEP engineer, Klavon Design Associates as landscape architect, evolveEA as the sustainability consultant, and Mascaro Construction as general contractor. The 200,000 square-foot Energy Innovation Center (EIC), which hosts trade apprenticeship programs, energy-related technology labs for five universities, co-working facilities, and other production, design, and workspaces for nonprofit organizations and businesses, was opened in 2015 in the former Connelley Trade School Building....
The Midwife Center’s Expansion Creatively Highlights Women’s Health
Rothschild Doyno Collaborative's design uses iconic mural to weave together old and new
By Maya Henry Posted on June 27, 2017
Photo by Maya Henry This March, nine months after it broke ground on a new 6,700 square-foot expansion, The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health opened its new facility and became the largest free-standing birth center in the United States. Local architects Rothschild Doyno Collaborative were selected as the design team and both client and architect saw numerous benefits from working together as neighbors. The Midwife Center didn’t set out to work with their new Strip District neighbor when the freestanding birth center thinking about expansion in 2010. The facility has doubled the number of births and gynecological visits in the practice since 2010 and the expansion would allow for two new birthing suites to better match demand as...
The Nonprofit Paradox: High-Performance on a Budget
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Annex, Byham Center for Dance
By Nicole Grayburn and Melanie Como Harris, AIA Posted on April 17, 2017
All photos Adam Warner, IKM Incorporated “High-performance building” takes on new meaning when showcasing a visual art like ballet. When the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre announced plans to build an expansion in 2013, they accepted an obligation to grow responsibly and ensure the longevity of a beloved arts organization. With this obligation comes a distinct set of priorities (and constraints) for nonprofit organizations where sustainable practices often fall short in the face of time and budget. How, then, does a brand in the business of “pushing the limits,” push the limits of green design on a budget? In partnership with IKM, a firm committed to the goals of the AIA 2030 Challenge, the Ballet agreed on a design that puts art on...
ACTION-Housing’s Penn Mathilda Development
What an Affordable Housing Solution Can Look Like in an Urban Neighborhood Business District
By Maya Henry Posted on March 28, 2017
All photos by Nathaniel Rice courtesy ACTION-Housing, Inc. unless otherwise noted. ACTION-Housing’s Penn Mathilda development designed by mossArchitects seems to defy conventions about what affordable housing is, can, and should be. The project provides 39 units of affordable housing with half reserved for veterans. Additionally, the commercial spaces are fully leased to arts-based, locally-grown businesses including Assemble, Level Up Studios, and Silver Eye Center for Photography. The project is contextual, adjacent to public transportation, and takes into consideration the Penn Avenue Corridor Master Plan that recommends that new developments be pedestrian-oriented and contain ground floor retail, restaurant, and gallery uses to promote active storefronts. Columns recently sat down with developer Lena Andrews of ACTION-Housing and architect Andrew Moss, AIA of mossArchitects to discuss the project....
Design Pittsburgh 2016
View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition
By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 27, 2016
ARCHITECTURE: Honor Award PROJECT NAME: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Knoxville Branch CLIENT: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh ARCHITECTURE FIRM: GBBN Architects DESIGN TEAM: Anne Chen, AIA; Amanda Markovic; Julian Sandoval ENGINEERS: Sci-Tek Consultants, Inc.; WBCM; WNA Engineering, Inc. CONTRACTORS: Shannon Construction Co. PHOTOGRAPHERS: Massery Photography, Inc. DESCRIPTION: Formally described as a bunker, this project transforms a brutalist 1962 building into an inviting destination for a diverse community. The deeply recessed entrances were moved forward to provide ample glazing that facilitates views to the street and daylight to the interior. Small additions at the front and side of the original building maximize the interior plan, providing a dedicated area for teens and expanded children’s area with an outdoor deck. JURY COMMENTS: With...
From the Ground Up
Prototype Housing Helps Shape the Places We Call ‘Home’
By Virginia Shields Posted on October 6, 2016
This article originally appeared in Columns Magazine in September 2009. It’s one of humanity’s basic needs. From caves to huts to houses, shelter has changed dramatically as humans sought to better their world. Many housing innovations have had to do with survival, furnaces for warmth, glass windows for protection, while other strides have been in the art of building and the building of art. Nonetheless, humans have been busy perfecting the construction methods of home-building for thousands of years. Each of the new developments in homes had to start with a dreamer architect and a prototype design, be it a Cro-Magnon with a crudely constructed hut or a designer with a neatly grafted blueprint. And today’s architecture is as rich...