Presenters & Programming 2017


Post-Program Info…

  • Earn GBCI CEUs!  Download the information below each course for self-reporting. Simply copy and past relevant course info.
  • Request a Certificate of Completion. Email request with the courses that you attended to and allow a few weeks for processing.
  • Please be advised that the reporting process for AIA/CES has changed, and as such, the reporting process will take a bit longer. It’s a big conference, so please bear with us for the next few weeks as staff works on this effort. Please check your transcripts in a few weeks and let us know if you’ve found any discrepancies.

Educational Tracks…

BuildBuilding Performance 
focuses on systems integration, materials and methods, operations, and metrics of a viable building that contributes to a healthy work and living space.

 topics include project planning, either new building or existing, from concept design through design development and documentation.

 is knowledge that inspires changes and transformations in thinking and practice, in regard to issues of society, firms, and organizational entities

 topics address processes, procedures, and policies involved in running a firm and/or managing projects, and may include discussions regarding safe and sustainable built environments, project delivery systems, contracts and agreements, intellectual property, ethics, and risk management as they are practiced within firms, corporations, government agencies, and other organizations.

Presenters & Programming…

Session One: 9:15-10:45 a.m. 

Code Q&A: Answers to Common and Challenging Code Questions DesignPractice

Presented by: Erik Harless, Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI), City of Pittsburgh

AIA Pittsburgh surveyed its members to find out the most pressing code-related questions. Using these results, Erik Harless from PLI will address these pre-selected questions to help attendees navigate and interpret some of the more complicated issues that arise on projects. This discussion will focus on interpreting the current building code while providing insight into the plan review and permitting process so that solutions can be identified.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Code Q&A

Pittsburgh’s Riverfronts Revisited DesignPracticeLearn

Presented by: Vivien Li, Riverlife, and Eric Osth, AIA, Urban Design Associates

Founded in 1999, Riverlife is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with property owners, public officials, and community groups to create a vibrant riverfront with parks, trails, civic amenities, and housing and economic development opportunities. Riverlife is also focused on new, broad initiatives that will substantially impact the quality of the experience on the rivers in Pittsburgh. Vivien Li, President and CEO of Riverlife, and Riverlife Board member, Eric Osth, AIA, who serves as Co-Chair of Riverlife’s Riverfront Design Committee, a consortium of Pittsburgh professionals that includes AIA Pittsburgh members, will present Riverlife’s position on high-quality development and its contributions to high-quality projects on the riverfront edge. This session will focus on efforts that Riverlife is actively promoting: Riverfront Interim Planning Overlay District and development of permanent riverfront zoning, Strip District Riverfront Park vision, and Riverfront Design Review. Participants of this course will be able to gain a better understanding of initiatives that have substantially impacted the rivers and riverfront environments, current initiatives along the riverfronts, design characteristics that build great riverfront environments, and Riverlife’s future and how practitioners and citizens can participate in that vision.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Riverfronts Revisited

Building Your Team: Finding, Getting, and Keeping the Employees You Need for Business Success LearnPractice

Presented by: Phyllis Hartman, PGHR Consulting, Inc.

We are finding that we are living in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous), and keeping the best talent for our businesses seems at times impossible. Join Phyllis Hartman for a discussion on the hiring and retention challenges we face and learn effective strategies for better results. This course will explore approaches to finding and recruiting the candidates you need and to establishing a selection and hiring process that zeros in on the best candidate. The challenges faced due to competition and if you are a smaller employer, as well as learning how to reach younger professionals who want different things from an employer also will be covered. Participants will learn strategies for retaining and developing your most valued staff so that you don’t need to face constant recruitment costs.

UI/UX Design and Architecture: Leveraging Web Technologies for and by Architects DesignPractice

Presented by: Eddy Man Kim, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Architecture

It is high time architects are critical of the standard suite of digital design and communication tools that are being used in practice. These tools are typically outdated, immobile, heavy-handed, over-wrought with features, and difficult to learn. Meanwhile, web technologies are developing at a phenomenal pace and are proving to be efficiently scalable and reliable at all scales of application. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of web technologies and discuss the merits of their application in architectural design practice. More specifically, the course will identify opportunities to create early design or pre-design tools to forge new design communication interfaces. On a conceptual level, the course will discuss the parallels between traditional understanding of architectural design practice and the emerging principles of UI/UX design for digital experiences on the web.


Session Two: 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

p4 Performance Measures: Reformulating Sustainable Development in Pittsburgh

Presented by: Rebecca Flora, ReMake Group LLC

The p4 Performance Measures (Measures) are based on a central unifying framework—People, Planet, Place, and Performance—that is intended to create a new sustainable, innovative, and inclusive model for development and design, which will establish Pittsburgh as a “city of the future.” www.p4pittsburgh. org This course will provide background on the process that was utilized to develop the Measures. Through that process, a diverse group of stakeholders was engaged and contributed to the final set of metrics contained within each of the twelve Measures. Multiple opportunities for synergy with existing systems and initiatives were also identified and integrated into the Measures. Through these efforts, learn about the process and intent behind the development of Pittsburgh’s p4 Performance Measures and their expected impact on decision-making in Pittsburgh. The Measures are well positioned for success; however, much work remains to advance widespread use and adoption. This course will delve into a few of the challenges to implementation that were identified during the process, and how the City and others are working to address these bigger, system-wide issues. It will also focus on a few of the less-quantifiable Measures—Community, Opportunity, Innovation, Design—to consider how these very important aspects of sustainable development can be fostered to further support the p4 vision.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh p4 Performance Measures

FEMA Floodway and 100-year Floodplain: Impacts to New Building Construction or Renovation PracticeDesign

Presented by: Daniel Fitzpatrick, PA Department of Community and Economic Development Floodplain Manager, and Josh Lippert, Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh

Gain a better understanding of the challenges dealing with the floodway and floodplain with respect to building construction and renovation. Presenters of this course will provide an overview on NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and current state/federal floodplain regulations and also discuss differences between the floodway and the 100-year floodplain to help designers determine if projects have the potential to be impacted. An overview on various FEMA permits that are required for projects within the floodway and/or 100-year floodplain will also be given while a City representative will be on hand to discuss how they are reviewing projects within the Floodplain Overlay District.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh FEMA Floodway and 100

Communicating Across Generations PracticeLearn

Presented by: Seth Hufford, The People Group

Do you sometimes find it difficult to relate to your younger staff members? Do you find yourself wishing that management could better understand you? Do you sometimes feel like you are speaking a different language when speaking to people who are from a different generation than you? Working with other people, particularly those from a different generational set, is not always easy…and yet we are just expected to figure out this aspect of human interaction, without the proper tools to do so. With the modern workforce made up of as many as five distinct generations, it not only is necessary to work with people from different backgrounds and ages, but it is also critical to the success of your business and office culture. The good news is that there are some practices you can put in place that will support communication across generations. At this interactive session, participants will have an opportunity to learn from others and leave with specific ways to improve communication.

Digital Marketing Strategies that Drive Business
Practice1.5 LU HOURS

Presented by: Scott Henry and Leah Moore, Pipitone Group

Whether you have a marketing plan collecting dust that needs to be revived or you don’t have one at all and just need some tips on how to incorporate digital strategies to drive business, this course will help you best understand and utilize the most up-to-date marketing tactics that you can track, analyze, and adapt. This course also will provide you with ideas, tactics, and tips on how to infuse digital strategies into your existing plan and how to measure their effectiveness.

Session Three: 2:15-3:15 p.m.

Sustainable Multi-Family Projects in Pittsburgh BuildDesign

Presented by: Michael Barnard, Oxford Development Company; Marc Mondor, AIA, evolveEA; and Mark Minnerly, The Mosites Company

Presenters will compare two recently completed and successful multi-family high-rise projects in Pittsburgh. Two projects, developed by Oxford Development Company, have 117 and 300 units and achieved LEED for New Construction Gold level certification. Meanwhile, three buildings, developed by The Mosites Company, contain 357 units and each achieved LEED for Homes Gold level certification. These projects are in walkable, connected Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Hear from the project developers as they discuss the decisions made in site selection, project design, team selection, project construction, and operations, as well as how the sustainability measures and certifications have impacted leasing and building value. The sustainability consultant for all projects will facilitate this session and give insights into the commonalities and differences among the projects.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Sustainable Multi

City of Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Legislation and Portfolio Manager Introduction PracticeLearnBuild

Presented by: Isaac Smith, Green Building Alliance

The City of Pittsburgh joins a growing number of U.S. cities, states, and counties that have passed benchmarking and transparency policies requiring buildings of a certain size to disclose annual energy and water consumption. Benchmarking provides owners and occupants a better understanding of their building’s relative energy performance, while helping to identify opportunities to reduce energy and water costs. This session will outline similar national benchmarking policies, discuss the reasoning behind the local legislation, and provide details around how to comply. In addition, Energy Star Portfolio Manager will be discussed as a free tool for benchmarking a building in compliance with the City of Pittsburgh’s Building Benchmarking Legislation.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Legislation

Gender Matters in Architecture: The Challenges of 21st Century Design of Toilet, Shower, and Bathing Facilities PracticeLearnDesign

Presented by: Jeff Light, AIA, WTW Architects; Larry J. Payne, AIA, WTW Architects; Andy Grese, Allegheny County Department of Health; and Henry Hegerle, Code Reviewer

How do we create awareness, advocate for, and create comfort for all individual needs that relate to gender inclusiveness in 21st century facility design? Join this roundtable discussion with architects and code officials on strategies employed and possibilities for meeting the requirements for toilet, shower, and bathing facilities with the goal of creating stress-free zones for all. The case studies presented will include a shower room for a K-12 facility, and toilet and bathing facilities for wellness and other university facilities. The difference between gender equal, neutral, and inclusive facilities will also be explained. Additionally, the presenters will address the role of the design professional as they advocate for equity in design to their community and clients, and through changes in policy.

Preserving Volterra: How Drones and Lasers are Documenting Ancient Italian Architecture PracticeDesign

Presented by: Mark Dietrick, Assoc. AIA, Case Technologies

Case Technologies, Autodesk, and the Volterra-Detroit Foundation led a two-week project to 3D scan key historical and archaeological sites in the ancient city of Volterra, Italy. An international team of architects, engineers, and historians used innovative technologies including drones, photogrammetry, and laserscanning reality capture techniques to digitally record the city’s buildings, roads, and artefacts. Why Volterra? The city itself was built more than 3,000 years ago and contains historic sites dating back to the fourth century BC. As well as being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, it also is home to the world’s oldest standing Etruscan arch. The city also contains one of the best examples of a Roman Theatre, excavated just 50 years ago, and continues to reveal new archaeological treasures such as a Roman Amphitheatre discovered just last year. Digital preservation of this type is important to better document and monitor architectural treasures as they deteriorate over time and provide a basis for more faithful reconstruction in case of a natural disaster. These techniques may also be applied to any structure or environment to more efficiently document existing conditions, more effectively study adaptive reuse, and to understand projects in a broader context.

Session Four: 3:45-4:45 p.m.

Resilient Pittsburgh 2.0: Opportunities for Architects PracticeLearnDesignBuild

Presented by: Grant Ervin, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh

In 2015, The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative selected Pittsburgh to join the second cohort of global cities at the vanguard of developing urban resilience. Last year, Pittsburgh’s Chief Resilience Officer, Grant Ervin, joined us at Build Pittsburgh to explain the Resilient Pittsburgh initiative, share insights into the practice of urban resilience, and discuss the implications for southwestern Pennsylvania’s built and natural environments, as well as describe lessons being applied through the development of the City’s first Resilience Strategy. Since selection, the City has led the effort to develop its first Resilience Assessment through extensive community engagement, and as of March 2017, the City’s first Resilience Strategy, OnePGH, will be completed, and Grant will be joining us again to share the results. As Pittsburgh pivots towards implementation of the strategy, architecture and community design have an integral role in the resilience-building efforts of the City and the region.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Resilient PGH

Past the Green Wall: Google Pittsburgh’s Biophilic Workplace LearnDesignBuild

Presented by: Pete Jefferson, Forte Building Science; Connor Glass, Perkins Eastman; and Kate Malmgren, Google

The status quo in workplace design leaves most occupants disconnected from nature. An early movement towards biophilic design is happening, but many early adopters have not gone much further than a signature “green wall” in their incorporation of biophilia. Google’s Real Estate & Workplace Services (REWS) Team is challenged to create amazing work environments that inspire and energize Googlers to be at their best every day. In support of this mission, the REWS team created Google’s Biophilic Design Framework. This new framework was piloted in Google’s new “Bakery Square 2.0” expansion in Pittsburgh, which is targeting certification under LEED v4 ID+C. This session will also detail how and why ethnography, workplace strategy, and workshops were leveraged to understand the organization’s culture and workspace needs. The presenters will illustrate some of the findings and how analytics were performed to support the design strategies. The presenters will demonstrate examples of biophilic elements that were incorporated into a design that went far beyond “the green wall.” A discussion of “what’s next” will describe how feedback and post-occupancy evaluations will affect the use and fine tuning of the space.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh Past the Green Wall

Oops! Ughh! — The Intersection of Ethics and Claims Practice

Presented by: Michael Cremonese, Esq., Burke Cromer Cremonese; Robert Gavin, Oswald Companies; and Paula Selvaggio, Oswald Companies

This course will provide insight into how AIA’s Code of Ethics may intersect with legal claims. Sometimes the Code of Ethics will protect architects from liability, while at other times it may require action that could expose architects to liability. The presenters will cite case law examples of ethical lapses that led to legal liability and discuss strategies for minimizing risks when exposure results from adherence to the Code of Ethics. The knowledge gained through this presentation will aid in ethical project execution and the protection of professionals and the public on construction projects.

3 Crossings Development: Transformative Design in Pittsburgh’s Iconic Strip District


Facilitated by: Joseph Chaffin, AIA, Michael Baker International
Presented by: Richard Bamburak, AIA, WTW Architects; Ben Kelley, Oxford Development Company; and representatives from both the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning and Strip District Neighbors

This panel discussion of collaborative participants will explore the challenges and opportunities of thoughtful urban development through the revitalization of existing brownfield sites and connectivity with the riverfront, while accommodating commercial leasing considerations in an urban context. 3 Crossings is a 20-acre mixed-use development situated along Smallman and Railroad Streets, bound by 25th and 29th Streets in the vibrant and revitalized Strip District neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The development integrates the neighborhood’s historic and authentic past as a market district with the desired lifestyle of today’s employee, resident, and visitor. 3 Crossings will reconnect the neighborhood to a revitalized riverfront with up to 375,000 SF of office space, 300 residential units, 1,200 parking spaces, a multimodal transportation facility, and riverfront trail. The presentation and discussion will focus on the team’s community engagement and design approach behind its vision to create a vibrant and active interpretation of the Strip District that pays homage to the neighborhood’s industrial heritage, while balancing design with public policies, economic realities, sustainability, and challenging site conditions.

GBCI Download: Build Pittsburgh 3 Crossings Development