Trends in Residential Design

Local CRAN Members Respond to Projections

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on June 16, 2016

“While it seems safe to assume that the design of U.S. homes will undergo fairly significant changes over the coming decade, it’s equally likely that these changes will be determined by fundamental economic and demographic developments….” writes Kermit Baker and Jennifer Riskus, the authors of  “The Coming Decade for Residential Design,” an article in AIA ARCHITECT looking at how home design will change in the near future. The article highlights the results of the AIA’s Home Design Trends Survey. COLUMNS wanted to see how the survey and the trends compared to the local residential architectural trends, so we turned to AIA Pittsburgh’s CRAN (Custom Residential Architects Network) and had some local members respond to the national information. Local architects Mary Cerrone,...

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An Ethical Client Relationship

A Guide for Working Together

By C. Herbert Wheeler, FAIA Posted on June 7, 2016

Originally printed in Columns magazine in October 1999, many of these points remain relevant today, nearly two decades later. But what is missing? How has the change in the profession, the change in practice, affected the architect-client relationship? What would you add? The heart and soul of an architect’s service to a client is the personal and ethical relationship from enthusiastic start of a project to its satisfactory completion. Taken for granted but poorly defined is the relationship of the architect and client. Both parties try to do their best. The relationship is not only long and contractual, but also far more complicated and involved than almost any other client-professional relationship. Clients have to learn “how to be a client”...

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Steps Towards Sustainability

Introducing the COTE Intensives

By Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty Posted on October 16, 2014

AIA Pittsburgh, with its Committee on the Environment (COTE), is presenting a new series entitled COTE Intensives. These lectures/workshops are designed to dive deeply into various sustainability topics of interest. We’ve listened as our members told us the sustainability topics that are of interest to them, focused our efforts, and are now able to present a program that delivers this content. You may be aware that the AIA Pittsburgh COTE delivered the AIA+2030 Series from May 2013 to April 2014. This content-rich series described how to demand, design, deliver, and operate energy efficient and net-zero buildings. The approach for every session has been to seek and deliver expert content, and then view the principles through the lens of case studies, occasional exercises,...

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The AIA Manifesto

It's more than three letters after your name

A new video that debuted at Grassroots 2013 explores what it means to be an architect.

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TAPping into Social Media in Architecture

An Interview Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD + C

By Patty Swisher Posted on March 19, 2013

I recently met Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD + C, at the Master Builders Association/AIA Lunch and Learn on Social Media and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get his take on social media in our industry. Brian, what is your title and role at Astorino? My title at Astorino is the Director of Digital Practice. I’m responsible for providing firm-wide leadership in defining BIM workflows that integrate across all areas of the firm’s design processes, while defining the future vision for digital design technologies within the organization. You recently gave a presentation on “Social Media in Architecture, Broadening the Perspective in Architecture Practice.” What was the focus of your presentation? My presentation was titled Social Media...

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From the Firms – February 28, 2013

After over two years of design and construction, a new clinic on the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center campus in Altoona, PA is in full operation. Designed and engineered by A|E Works, the new clinic provides rehabilitation therapy and care to Veterans. The team’s design for the new addition relocates and expands physical medicine rehabilitation services and the prosthetic department. One of the project’s main goals was also to make the clinic more accessible. James T. Marsili joined Allen & Shariff Engineering, LLC as a Senior Plumbing Designer. Heather Stapel, P.E., CEM, LEED AP BD+C has been hired as a Mechanical Engineer. The Construction Advancement Program of Western Pennsylvania (CAP) has named Thomas A. Landau Chairman of CAP. Landau...

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For the Joy of Architecture

A tribute to an amazing mentor

By Mark Dietrick, AIA, LEED AP Posted on November 1, 2012

Over the past several years, you undoubtedly have read (both here in Columns and in other industry journals) about the significant challenges facing the profession of architecture. The unprecedented economic downturn has had a devastating impact on our profession. Many are questioning our ongoing relevance causing much pessimism about our future. Many baby boomer architects are beginning to retire while a shrinking number of young professionals are seeking accreditation. Simultaneously the industry is becoming increasingly more complex, causing a significant need for the effective mentoring of young architects so that they will be able to step up and take on the many challenges.  To help meet the ever growing complexities of projects and the demand for more efficiency in project...

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From the Firms – October 31, 2012

Brian Skripac, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BC+C, Director of Digital Practice at Astorino, delivered a presentation entitled “Social Media in Architecture” at the 2012 Annual TAP Conference – the meeting of the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community – that explored social media as a transformative method of communication all too often dismissed by architects.  Skripac holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from The Ohio State University, and currently serves as a Leadership Team member for the AIA TAP Knowledge Community at the national level. Mascaro Construction Company, LP is the recipient of the 2012 American Business Ethics Award (ABEA) in the midsized company category. This national award from the Foundation for Financial Service Providers (FSP) recognizes companies...

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Observations… and A Few Suggestions

An inside look at the jurying process

By Anne J. Swager, Hon. AIA Posted on October 10, 2012

Many years ago, I was tortured for a number of months by an architect who insisted we had to standardize the graphic presentation of the notebooks that everyone submitted for design awards.  He was convinced and remained so, no matter what I said, that the jury members would be unduly influenced by a flashy graphic presentation.  I never saw any evidence of that then anymore than I see it now. I had another architect tell one of his employees that if I didn’t like a project I could influence the jury to not give an award.  Again not true.  Juries are extremely independent. While I am flattered that anyone would think I have that much power, even if that was...

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From the Firms – August 31, 2012

Astorino has added three more designs to its list of LEED® certified projects, bringing the firm’s number of LEED certified projects up to 21 (2 Platinum, 7 Gold, 10 Silver, and 2 Certified), totaling over 5 million sf and $1.65 billion in construction cost. Paramount Senior Living at Peters Township was awarded LEED Silver certification by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The three-story personal care home includes 96 living units, central and private dining rooms, a commercial kitchen, administrative offices, activity rooms, a dementia care unit and nurses’ stations.The project attained all pre-requisites and 55 points under the LEED-NC v2009 Rating System. The Palm Beach State College Technical Education Center in Belle Glade, FL has achieved a LEED Platinum...

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