Presenters & Programming 2019

View the Full 2019 Session Schedule Here

Presenters & Programming…

Session One: 9:15-10:45 AM 

A Conversation about Firm Culture: How to Attract and Retain Talented Emerging Professionals
1.5 LU Hours

Melanie Buzgan Dower, AIA, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative
Panelists: Amanda Markovic, AIA, GBBN; Eric Booth, AIA, Desmone; Ernest Bellamy, AE7; Alexis McCune, CMU

Course Description:
Attendees will follow the panel, and ask questions themselves, on the relevant topic of how to attract and retain talents in the field of Architecture.  The panel will focus on how to develop an attractive firm culture, and how to find a good match between a firm and potential employees.

Panelists will also touch on the profession at large, and the perception of our profession, for example as seen from the Princeton Review.  The goal is to broaden the conversation to how can we make Architecture a better work environment for everybody.

Attendees will be exposed to a variety of strategies developed by local and national firms.  At the end of the panel, attendees will have a better sense of how to develop a positive firm culture themselves, and what strategies they could use to fined the best candidate for them.

3D Visualization for Urban Design and Planning
1.5 LU Hours

Presenters: Stephen Quick, FAIA, CMU, Civic Design and Planning; Kristen Kurland, CMU

Course Description:
Carnegie Mellon’s Remaking Cities Institute in collaboration with Pittsburgh’s City Planning department has just completed a survey of over thirty 3D software programs now in the marketplace to identify those most-appropriate for use by city planning departments and design professionals across the country.  Attendees will learn about 3D software now available for in-office work and communication with the public and also the issues the research uncovered that make this difficult for all users.

The course will cover the research study’s 18-month development, its findings, and recommendations for using 3D modeling and virtual reality, including 3D’s shortfalls and why this software has not been robustly adopted across the planning and design industry.  Attendees will also learn about a new workflow that allows users to easily work across a variety of software types, platforms and formats to perform a multitude of 3D design and communications tasks.

Attendees will learn about the current state of 3D software, where this emerging technology needs to adapt to make it more user-friendly, and how to use current 2D and BIM software to prepare an integrated and real-time 3D presentation.

Designing for Community Context: Pittsburgh Case Studies in Gentrification and Vulnerability
1.5 LU Hours

Presenters: Rev. Paul Abernathy, Focus Pittsburgh; Councilwoman Deborah Gross, Pittsburgh City Council

Course Description:
This session will highlight two speakers each discussing different community issues and initiatives within our region.  First, from his service during the Iraq War, Rev. Paul Abernathy first learned about trauma.  In returning to the community in Pittsburgh, he saw a broader definition of trauma that required a broader effort at healing.  His talk out lines the systematic work to rebuild communities block by block with trauma informed community development.  A passionate speaker on the subject, Abernathy’s ideas are meant to spread beyond the local zip code and perhaps could offer assistance to areas affected by war, poverty, and oppression.

The second half of the session will focus on inclusionary zoning.  Councilwoman Deb Gross represents City Council District, which includes many of the Pittsburgh east-end neighborhoods experiencing significant increasing home values and rents due to gentrification.  In order to preserve affordable housing within the neighborhood of Lawrenceville, Councilwoman Gross has introduced legislation to council that would require new developments with 20 or more units to have at least 10% set aside for affordable housing.

Preview of Overhaul of Permitting System at PLI & Planning/Zoning
1.5 LU/HSW Hours

Moderator: John M. Schneider, P.E., The Gateway Engineers 
: David Green, Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections: Maura Kennedy, Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections; Michael O’Konski, Pittsburgh Department of City Planning

Course Description:
By the end of 2019, all permit and development actives regulated by the Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections (PLI) and the Department of City Planning will be available on one convenient online portal – OneStopPGH. This portal will serve as a transparent and streamlined system that will allow customers to more easily navigate the development process from Zoning pre-application review to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. The OneStopPGH will allow customers to apply, submit documentation, be notified of permit status changes, pay application and permit fees, issue permits, print permit related documents and request inspections – all online. PLI will also review permitting fee changes, including a new application fee, which will launch on May 1, 2019.

Session Two: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Managing for Success: Finance Cash Flow & Collection Tools
1.5 LU Hours

Moderator: Michael Cremonese, Burke Cromer Cremonese
Panelists: Alan Cuteri, AIA, Strada; John Cromer, Burke Cromer Cremonese

Course Description:
This course will focus on how good firm management is the stat of successful project endeavors.  Successful project endeavors often begin with sound firm finance practices.  Eliminating cash flow concerns allows architects to focus on project performance.  This course will explain the importance of cash flow and tools for collection of accounts receivables.

Stepping Up to Completing Larger Projects with BIM
1.5 LU Hours

Presenters: Brian Kish, AIA, AE7, and Drew Weinheimer, Hemisphere Architecture, LLC

Course Description:
Every architectural firm will face the challenge of completing a project that is larger than the firm has ever built before.  This course will offer practical tools on how to optimize Building Information Models (BIM) to address projects of increasing complexity of scale.

The presenters have experience designing and building projects with millions of square feet of construction.  They will discuss case studies from extra-large projects currently under construction to illustrate issues that arise as projects grow in scale.

The session will address what designers should do to prepare for a large project and strategies for keeping the project organized when design development is underway.  Attendees will learn about detailed examples and recommendations for team management, hardware, incorporating existing office standards, model breakdown, communicating with a geographically dispersed team, automation, and model maintenance.

Smart Building Technology
1.5 LU/HSW Hours

Presenters: Teghpal Sandhu, M.D., Live Building Systems

Course Description:
Live Building Systems is the first cloud based, cross-platform technology to track utility consumption and building efficiency.  Teghpal Sandhu will cover various ways to incorporate building technology into the design and construction phases, as well as ways to retrofit existing construction.

Additionally, this course will review methods to monitor water, electric, and fuel consumption and the frequency of the data that can be achieved; operational and health benefits that end users receive from smart building technology, and how to effectively engage the operators of the building.

Working Across Differences: Building Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
1.5 LU Hours

Presenters: Ivette Mongalo-Winston, MonWin Consulting; Seth Hufford, The People Group; Gerrod Winston, Winston Design + Development & NOMA Pittsburgh; Alicia Volcy, LEED AP BD+C, IKM Architects & NOMA Pittsburgh

Course Description:
The profession of architecture and the world around it are both changing at a rapid pace.  In order to reach AIA’s vision, we must center diversity and inclusion in our everyday actions, conversations, designs, and client engagements.  To find common connections, we need to have common language.  At this interactive session, you will have an opportunity to learn from others and leave with specific ways to improve your capacity for integrating diversity and inclusion into your work.  We will touch on the issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity – terms often used interchangeably, yet each with specific connotations and implications.  We will work with attendees through a discussion and exercise crafted to understand the role of our profession within the broader city context, and how we can each be visionary both in words and actions as we move our practices forward.

Session Three: 2:15-3:15 PM

Sight/Sound/Touch: Multi-Sensory Experiential Design Essentials
1 LU/HSW Hour

Presenters: F. Jeffrey Murray, FAIA, Cannon Design; Matthew Oeler, Oeler Industries; Miranda Hall, Cannon Design

Course Description:
Over the past several years architectural design has taken a profound shift, from designing objects to designing experiences. This shift is the result of several influences, including the rise of UX [user experience], HCI [Human Computer Interaction], new approaches to device, product and software design, new digital technologies, biophilia, evidence based design, and design for wellbeing.

This program explores human centered, experiential design from a multi-sensory perspective, with a focus on design for the senses of sight, sound and touch, and how they can be brought together to provide enriched built environments. Three panelists, an architect, and environmental graphic designer, and an acoustics expert each explore a range of issues, ideas and technologies that impact multi-sensory experiential design.

Pittsburgh: New Urban Mobility Initiatives and Vision
1 LU/HSW Hour

Presenters: Karina Ricks, Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure; Scott Bricker, Bike Pittsburgh

Course Description:
Healthy urban areas offer real values: choice, freedom, and opportunity. These values are especially relevant to the diverse ways people travel and connect with each other in Pittsburgh – to the places we live, work, and visit. Karina Ricks will introduce participants to the City of Pittsburgh’s new Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) including their goals and overall vision of new mobility options in a diverse transportation network. Along with Scott Bricker of Bike Pittsburgh, both will present the integrated ways Pittsburgh (and other urban areas) are providing safe, equitable, non-vehicle travel. Participants will be introduced to recent city planning initiatives for biking, Complete Streets, Pittsburgh’s Bicycle Parking Ordinance, Bike Share, and other infrastructure and planning. Architects will learn ways they can envision and accommodate new urban mobility in the places they design.

Protect and Defend Your Services, Documents and Other Legal Rights
1 LU Hour

Presenters: Michael Cremonese, Burke Cromer Cremonese; Paula Selvaggio, Oswald Companies; Nicole Mangino, AXA XL

Course Description:
This course will cover a broad range of legal issues and will report on new risks, survey recent trends, and explain legal protections and defenses for the architect.  More specifically, the course will focus on explaining how the law offers protections for architects and how those protections are often unwittingly contracted away.  The course is intended to explain to participants how they can 1) protect and defend their rights with contracts; 2) protect and defend against theft of services and misuse of documents: and 3) protect and defend against claims.

Carrick Library Case Study:  Lessons Learned
1 LU/HSW Hour

Presenters: Laura Nettleton, Thoughtful Balance; Craig Stevenson, Auros Group; Beth Eckenrode, Auros Group

Course Description:
Carrick Library is the first library in Pittsburgh pursuing and on track for Passive House certification.  Carrick Library is a new construction project built into the side of a hill replacing an inadequate existing library.  The old building was retaining the earth from the hillside, so the new building had to be constructed inside the old one before demolishing the original one.  Consequently, the wall section had to be insulated, waterproofed, and stabilized from inside the old building.  There were no common methods of construction for many of the details required to construct the library inside of the existing building.

In addition, we will explore the challenges of transitions from the under slab air barrier to the peel and stick parries of the wall plane.  Additional lessons are from bidding the work to a contractor unfamiliar with Passive House and key measures required to ensure the project’s success.  The presentation will share operating performance results for energy consumption and indoor air quality metrics for the first six months of operations along with the construction budget for the project.  The team will also discuss how Passive House has shaped the way they think about the design process.

Session Four: 3:45-4:45 PM

Healthy Materials and Local Sourcing for Green Building
1 LU/HSW Hour

Moderator: Marc Mondor, AIA, evolveEA
Panelists: Benson Gabler, International Living Future Institute; Adam Kenney, Bridgeway Capital; Nicolas Volpe, Temper & Grit

Course Description:
As green building frameworks and certifications continue to increase the requirements of manufacturers to produce non-toxic and sustainable materials for construction, it can be difficult for architects and project teams to keep up to date on acceptable and optimal materials options.  It can be even more difficult to fulfill this alongside a desire to source materials locally and support regional businesses, o to meet the aesthetic preferences of their clients.

In Pittsburgh, the partnership between the International Living Future Institute and the Monmade collaborative of regionally produced items supports all of the above.  This session will start with an overview of Monmade and the work it is doing in the region to encourage the growth of craft manufacturing..  The speakers will then review the Declare platform through the lens of a craft business to understand the unique challenges, the business impacts, and the fulfill materials requirements in multiple green building design frameworks.

Design Build Project Panel: The June 2018 FMI Combined Market Study -AND- Design – Build Project Delivery in the Local Vertical Market
1 LU Hour

Facilitator: Micah Sales, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.
Panelists: Justin Hough, PJ Dick; Jeff Light, DLA+; Tom Salopek, Mascaro Costruction; James Dudt, Karpinski Engineering: Gretchen Kurzawa, Bostwick Design; Richard Thomas, DBIA National; Gene Boyer, HB Development; Michael Arnold, Reynolds

Course Description:
This course will include a presentation from DBIA National on the June 2018 FMI report indicating that by 2021, an expected 44% (cost basis equaling about $32 billion) of construction projects in public and private sectors in the United States will utilize design-build delivery methods.

Use of design-build project delivery, especially in this region where it has been less prevalent, will require “buy-in” of owners and developers. Therefore, as a second part of this course, presenters from DBIA Alleghenies Chapter, Master Builders Association of Western PA and AIA Pittsburgh, through presentation and a panel discussion on local vertical design-build projects, hope to provide both owners and practitioners’ insight on the use of design-build options. We hope to promote more interest in obtaining the proper training, education, and knowledge to make this a more viable project delivery option in western PA.

Evaluating Building Envelope Assemblies for GWP – Not Materials
1 LU/HSW Hour

Presenters: J. Gary Gardner, AIA, CPHD, LEED AP BD+C

Course Description:
There have been speakers at conferences recounting the environmental evils of polyurethane and other “plastic” insulations: endocrine disrupters, petroleum based, not recyclable and so on. Plastic bottles and plastic bags are shown in PowerPoints floating in ocean bays as evidence of the environmental damage done. Other highly regarded Passive House experts have stated that they decline to use one type of foam plastic insulation in favor of another because of their Global Warming Potentials.  But there is a great difference between plastics used for one-time use products such as bags, and, plastics designed for durability and performance.

Designers have developed opinions based on either incorrect or inappropriate information. Different insulations have been tested by chemists for their performance resulting in apples to apples comparability. Research has been performed by distinguished building scientists to understand the performance of different insulations. Studies of R-value degradation, impact of moisture on R-value and air infiltration allowed by different insulations reveal results that are contrary to some commonly held opinions.

There is a place for many different insulations in different projects. We cannot afford to make decisions without complete, accurate information.  The purpose of this talk is not to make a case for any one type of insulation. It is to advocate for uniform analysis of competing insulations by a third party that has no stake in the outcome. That way, we will be able to make more informed decisions about what products to use based on accurate testing performed without bias.

Women In Design: More than a “Special Feature”
1 LU Hour

Presenters: Terrie Brightman, RLA, ASLA, Strada; Sarah Rafson, Point Line Projects; Emily Pierson-Brown, Assoc. AIA, LEED, Perkins Eastman; Alicia Volcy, LEED AP BD+C, NOMA Pittsburgh & IKM

Course Description:
Who we see matters.  Coverage of the design and construction fields continues to represent women and minorities as a ‘special feature’- on the sidelines of mainstream communications.  Lecture series and keynote speakers are still more white and more male than the majority of students and young practitioners entering the design professions.  While many firms have been doing their part to tackle issues of equity head-on to increase retention of women and ensure proper representation of genders throughout all levels of the organization, these efforts have not yet achieved a critical mass in the public appearance of these disciplines.

This session will present and address ways all designers can work to increase the presence of marginalized voices in the industry through both traditional and non traditional media  How can gatekeepers and superiors of all backgrounds support their colleagues while not relegating them to a special category?  This panel of designers, organizers, and advocates will deliver short presentations offering strategies they have encountered, followed by a Q&A.