From the Firms – June 4, 2021

By Posted on June 3, 2021

Member & Partner Updates


AE Works Appoints Vice President of Operations

AE Works, a Pittsburgh headquartered building design and consulting firm, is excited to announce the appointment of Sara Lappano, PE to the role of Vice President of Operations. This new leadership role was announced following AE Works making the 2020 Architecture 300, the list of the largest Architecture firms in the country. A known industry leader for Low-Carbon/Net Zero Energy Buildings and Campus Infrastructure and named to Consulting Specifying Engineer’s notable “40 under 40” list, Lappano has led on critical and high profile projects throughout the country. Her work that spans numerous Living Building Challenge, LEED, and Net Zero Energy buildings, as well as campus and city-scale decarbonization strategies has included notable projects such as Princeton University’s Low Carbon Geoexchange Central Plant, George Mason University’s Horizon Hall, and the Living Building Challenge Certified Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center.

As Vice President of Operations, Sara will bring her collaborative approach to make a positive impact throughout AE Works from culture to projects and beyond. Focused on sustainable growth and operations, this role will lead on development of operational strategy to enable delivery of exceptional service to clients and leveraging the firm’s diverse service offering to make building projects a better value.

With expertise in a variety of market sectors spanning higher education, science and technology, multi-family residential, and commercial office projects, Lappano has immersed herself in solving complex building problems with a holistic approach to design. Prior to joining AE Works, Sara served as the Managing Principal of the Washington, DC office of Integral Group, an international engineering and sustainability consulting firm and as a Principal with SmithGroup, a national architectural engineering firm. A registered professional engineer and LEED Accredited professional, Sara is a graduate of Penn State University’s elite Architectural Engineering program.

“We are excited to welcome Sara to AE Works! Her proven leadership, subject matter expertise of high performance building projects, and holistic approach will support AE Works in our continued growth and meeting the needs of our clients,” shares Michael Cherock, PE, President and CEO of AE Works.


Rothschild Doyno Collaborative announces Jeff Kalina as Associate Principal

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative is proud to announce that Jeff Kalina has become an Associate Principal at the architecture and urban design firm. Jeff is committed to the realization of meaningful design as a leader in our construction documentation and construction administration. Whether it is working with contractors to problem solve in the field or mentoring staff in the technical aspects of the design documentation, Jeff brings a collaborative spirit and a depth of knowledge to each project.

With nearly three decades in the architectural field, Jeff utilizes a team approach and a strong background in drafting and CAD to partner seamlessly with clients and collaborators and realize meaningful design outcomes. Jeff enjoys his time “down in the weeds” of a project. His grasp of detail allows him to communicate a project’s goals from the design development phase through completion. In addition to his project work, Jeff is a leader for the firm’s IT systems and software management, overseeing office-wide computing systems and coordinating with software vendors.

His interest in technology, drafting, and construction laid the foundation for the firm’s construction document standards and construction administration practices. Jeff is dedicated to elevating others through his generous side-by-side mentorship of staff and his willingness to lend a helping hand. His positivity and leadership have made him an invaluable member of the firm. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Point Park University and an Associate Degree from Pittsburgh Technical Institute.


Garfield-based mossArchitects Promotes Designer to Associate

mossArchitects, one of the premier collaborative architecture and interior design firms in Pittsburgh, announces the promotion of Designer, Anna Foster, to Associate. Anna brings extensive design and leadership experience to her new role.

Over the past seven years with mossArchitects, Anna has shown leadership through her design process and imagination, seeking out unique and beautiful design solutions for a wide variety of projects. Anna’s work exemplifies the high standards of architectural design, creativity, and client service that have become hallmarks of the work of mossArchitects. Anna’s role has been key to the success of projects such as Mindful Brewing, Union Standard, Godfrey Landing Residence, Grandview Residence, newly transformed Pusadee’s Garden Restaurant, and recent award-winning Edge Wood House.


Strada Architecture Elevates Eric Phillips, AIA, to Associate

Eric is a proactive problem solver and clear communicator. He has been instrumental in shaping the Strada Culture. An active external ambassador for Strada and champion of the profession through his work with AIA and other organizations, Strada salutes Eric for his outstanding contributions to the built environment!


New Hire at Allen & Shariff Engineering

Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC is pleased to announce that Shane Brant, CPD has joined the Pittsburgh Office, as a Plumbing Designer.


Podcast Alert – Perkins Eastman launches “Shaping Dementia Environments”

The experience of living in dementia-care environments hasn’t evolved in 30 years; Jennifer Sodo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Max Winters, RA, two architects with Perkins Eastman’s Senior Living practice area, believe it’s time for change. In their new podcast, “Shaping Dementia Environments,” Sodo and Winters examine fresh thinking around this growing issue in an effort to inform and advocate for innovation in the industry. Interviews with operators, policy shapers, and designers from across disciplines and around the world, including explore dementia care environments from multiple perspectives. Each episode in the 12-part series elaborates on a single pattern of innovation in dementia environments—some focusing on physical spaces, others highlighting care philosophies and procedures.

The podcast was inspired by Sodo and Winters’ Perkins Eastman-sponsored fellowship to the Netherlands to visit and study Hogewey, the internationally acclaimed dementia village. Following their journey, Sodo and Winters compiled their research and findings into the white paper ”Missing Main Street,” in which they identify 11 patterns that will inform design and operation of future dementia-care environments in the United States. These patterns are organized within three main themes: fullness of self; the design of places and spaces; and the necessity of authentic living. Sodo and Winters argue that these themes illustrate the tactics and interventions employed by innovative dementia communities and should be modeled with much greater frequency than exists today.

“We often assume that older adults living with dementia cannot experience home in the same way as everyone else and do not have anything to offer as members of a community,” observes Winters. Sodo adds, “Disruptive operators, advocates, and designers are challenging that notion and call for us to do better at empowering people with cognitive impairment. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, the conversations we’ve had point to a wide array of viewpoints and strategies that can create opportunities for meaningful change in our society.”

New episodes of “Shaping Dementia Environments” podcast will be released weekly on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other platforms. Listen to the first episode, which explores attitudes surrounding risk, here.

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