Committee Corner: What’s Coming this Summer

From advocacy with local government to planning continuing education series and even axe-throwing, here is what the AIA Pittsburgh committees have been working on the last few months and what to keep an eye out for coming up! Interested in any of the topics or activities below? Get involved – committees are open for additional members! Send an email to info@aiapgh.org and ask to be connected with any of our committees. Advocacy Committee Chair: John Ryan The Advocacy Committee is in conversation about opportunities for City Council and/or County Council outreach and reviewing approaches to affordable housing. Committee members will meet with Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak on June 14th and PLI Director Sarah Kinter and David Green on June 30th, along...

Read More

Committee Corner: Learn What AIA Committees are Working On

From advocacy with local government and decision-makers to healthcare design, continuing education and sustainability, AIA Pittsburgh’s nine committees are where the action happens!  Here is an update on what our committees have been working on the last few months and what to keep an eye out for coming up. Get involved – committees are open for additional members! Advocacy Committee Chair: John Ryan Advocacy Committee members met with PLI Director Sarah Kinter and David Green on March 25, and with Deputy Mayor Jake Pawlak on March 31.  The committee provided recommendation to the Mayor’s office for an architect member for the Affordable Housing Implementation and Housing Committee, but so far this has not been acted on. The Mayor’s office is also looking to...

Read More

Restructuring and Staff Changes at AIA National to further Key Objectives

The following message, shared earlier with the AIA board and national staff, is being sent on behalf of AIA’s EVP/CEO Lakisha Woods, CAE.  Over the last few months, I’ve learned much as I’ve listened to a wide range of constituencies, including, our members, volunteer leaders at all levels, strategic partners, and staff. One thing is clear- even though the past few years have not been easy, they have changed this organization for the better. In fact, much of what I heard over the last several months confirmed my initial impression as I sought the job of EVP/CEO: AIA is on the right path. We are on the right path to do even more to help our members thrive in challenging...

Read More

Economic Update on the AEC Sector in Southwestern PA

Last week Jeff Burd, publisher of BreakingGround magazine, shared his views on the local economy with the AIA-MBA Joint Committee. Following are highlights from that talk as well as key slides from his explanation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the sector in the next one to two years. Entering 2022, conditions for the regional construction industry were set for a boom of mega projects and a strong market for all sectors, with the exception of the K-12/public building sector. A robust recovery from the pandemic slowdown was underway, public health conditions were improving enough to see normalization of economic activity, CARES Act/ARP/PPP boosted consumer and business balance sheets, and the drivers of the regional economy were poised...

Read More

New Scholarship for Pittsburgh’s Minority Architects

By Robert Tuñón, AIA, NOMA, EcoDistricts AP Posted on October 22, 2021

Prospective minority architects are disproportionately deterred from starting or completing the path to becoming an architect, in large part due to how financially prohibitive it can be to pursue a career in Architecture. In 2020, we held a series of conversations with members and leaders from NOMA Pittsburgh, AIA Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Architecture Foundation to brainstorm possible ways to reduce the profession’s financial barriers and support the growth of a more inclusive and representative Pittsburgh Architecture community. As a result of these discussions, we formed the Minority Architects of Pittsburgh Scholarship (MAPS). This week, we launched the inaugural MAPS application with a submission deadline of Nov. 17, 2021. MAPS is specifically for minority architects, architecture students, and high school...

Read More

Call for Nominations: AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors

Nominations due Thursday, October 7th, 5:00pm. The AIA Pittsburgh Governance Committee is compiling a list of nominated and solicited names for the following positions for the 2022 AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors. (3-4) Directors (3-year term, 2022-2024, renewable once) (1-2) Associate AIA Directors (1-year term, 2022, renewable once) Board membership requires time and commitment. It also provides an opportunity to help shape your Chapter as we continue to grow and evolve. Board membership offers leadership opportunities, strategic thinking and creative problem solving skill development, as well as learning how the local chapter connects to state and national issues that architects can affect. Responsibilities and expectations of Board members can be found below. Anyone can apply, though we are particularly seeking...

Read More

County Approves more Inclusive Plumbing Code

By Jessie Catenacci-Morgan, AIA Posted on September 2, 2021

On September 1st 2021, the Allegheny County Board of Health voted to approve changes to the plumbing code that are a welcome shift toward inclusivity and greater access to restrooms for people of all genders, especially our Trans, Intersex, and Nonbinary community, as well as people with disabilities and their caregivers. AIA Pittsburgh’s Equity Diversity & Inclusion Community and Advocacy Committee have been following this issue, with members of both committees attending virtual hearings. The approved revisions pertain to Article XV: Plumbing and Building Drainage, including the footnotes to Table AC-403.1 Minimum Number of Required Plumbing Fixtures, and Section 403.1.2 Family or assisted-use toilet and bath fixtures. For many building types, the ACHD requires more fixtures than the 2015 IPC,...

Read More

Design Matters; You Matter

Blueprint for Better: Pittsburgh amplifies the value of architecture

By Amanda Markovic, AIA Posted on March 5, 2020

The built environment is not neutral. It either enables progress or obstructs it; contributes to wellbeing or disturbs it. Our region is experiencing the most development it has seen in decades with buildings that will be around for the next 40 to 120 years. Because development impacts people in our community today and for years to come, there is an urgency to be thoughtful and informed about what we are cementing into new places and spaces. And yet, we as a society and a region do not talk about how buildings impact human wellbeing. Blueprint for Better: Pittsburgh (B4B) was developed to change that, and we are looking for more people (i.e. architects, designers of all kinds, neuroscientists, sociologists, EDAC...

Read More

Grassroots 2020: The Big Takeaways

Grassroots 2020: The Big Takeaways

By Michelle Fanzo Posted on February 28, 2020

Every year AIA holds a national gathering for Chapter and Component leaders – the Grassroots Leadership Conference. This year, four AIA Pittsburgh members and one staff attended the event, held February 18-20 in New Orleans. This year’s agenda emphasized an increased commitment to sustainability, equity and civic leadership. Asserting a leadership role President-Elect, Peter Exley, FAIA acknowledged the implications of being in New Orleans, a city that became synonymous with a new normal of more extreme and more frequent storms driven by climate changes. “This is our leadership moment, and it comes with the most important deadline of our careers.” Exley highlighted four ways architects can lead: Mitigating GHG sources and owning the footprint buildings have in cities/ regions Adapting...

Read More

In Memoriam: Elmer Burger, AIA

Surrounded by family, friends, and faith, Elmer Burger, AIA passed away on Sunday, December 22, 2019. Elmer attended Carnegie Mellon University and received his BFA and BArch from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was employed by several architecture firms in Boston, Washington D.C., and Pittsburgh during his career. He retired as the University Architect/Planner of Point Park University in 2018. Elmer served as President of AIA Pennsylvania in 2008, was previously on the AIA Pittsburgh Board of Directors, was an active member of the Master Builders Association, and was often invited to be a guest critique at Carnegie Mellon University. His notable works include the Camp Kon-O-Kwee dining hall, PNC First Side, UPMC Hospital Palermo, the Masonic Temple...

Read More