May 29, 2014


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Chapter News

Contracts, Pre-Fabrication, Case Studies, Trends, and Collaboration at Design on the Delaware Oct. 29-Nov.1

Design on the Delaware is a collaborative conference examining the issues and opportunities of the built environment for design and building professionals in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Programs of particular interest to contractors, designers, developers and owners include:

Pre-Fabrication from Owner's Perspective: A. I. duPont Hospital for Children
Please join the AIA/GBCA Joint Committee and an expert panel of design and construction professionals as we explore the current state of pre-fabrication in our industry, as utilized on a complex hospital expansion at Nemours’ A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. Panelist will discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded by pre-fabrication from an owner’s point of view. This session is a collaborative session that will seek audience participation.

Residential Development Trends and Challenges
Members of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philadelphia Chapter who are some of the top developers will speak to the trends and challenges of residential development in the region. Learn what's hot and what's not, new ways to work with architects and designers, what buyers want and how to get financing.

Contracts-The Architect's and Owner's Perspectives
In the negotiation of an agreement with an Owner, there will be points of disagreement about the appropriate balance of risk and reward … sometimes resulting in take it or leave it postures. This seminar will provide a point counterpoint to the perspectives of the Owner and the Architect on the more important subjects of disagreement in an effort to understand when you should “take it” or “leave it”.

Stewardship of the North Broad Corridor: Past, Present and Future
This program will explore the past, present and proposed development activities along North Broad Corridor (from Spring Garden to Girard) from a variety of perspectives to understand the goals and rationales of the developers, the public institutions, the designers, and the politicians.

Architects, Landscape Architects, LEED Professionals, Planners and other building and design professionals can earn up to 25 professional continuing education hours. Learn more at

Earn up to 25 CES at Design on the Delaware October 29 - November 1

The 11th Annual conference will feature 36 programs, 11 tours, two general sessions, two evening parties, design charette and trade show October 29-November 1 at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel and the Center for Architecture.

Registration for 25 AIA credits is just $340 for AIA members if registered by midnight October 4. Registration options include one day, two day or individual programs at lower fees. Registration includes conference parties, general sessions, breakfast, lunch and trade show.  In addition to AIA credits, attendees can earn GBCI CM, AICP CM, LA CES and PDH continuing education credits. For more information and to register, visit

General Sessions Speakers are:

Thomas Christoffersen
Thomas Christoffersen, an architect and partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), has experience on every notable BIG project including the multi-award winning VM Houses, the Astana National Library and the 8 House, which was awarded the World Architecture Festival 2011 Award in the housing category and the 2012 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture. He most recently oversaw the detail design and construction of the 861,100 sf mixed-used West 57th building in Manhattan which aims for LEED Gold Certification.

Ken Greenberg

Ken Greenberg is an architect, urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto. Founding partner of Urban Strategies Inc., and now Principal of Greenberg Consultants, he has  worked in cities as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Catheleen McGuigan
Cathleen McGuigan is editor-in-chief of Architectural Record, the nation’s leading architecture publication for more than a century. McGuigan, who is the second woman to serve as editor-in-chief, was named to the post in 2011. Under her leadership, Record won the 2012 Grand Neal award, the top American Business Media award for overall excellence. 

Stacy Levy
Stacy Levy works collaboratively with architect, engineers and landscape architects on projects that show the presence of urban nature and clarify the patterns of natural processes at work on the site. She works with water of all sorts, from acid mine drainage, to rainwater, to urban streams and rivers. Her work registers the changes in nature over the course of a day, a season, or a several years. Often using industrial materials from surveying and construction trades, she creates ways of understanding the dynamic processes of nature. Many of her recent projects utilize stormwater runoff to make rainwater an asset to the site.

Selected Conference Programs & Tours:

Contracts-The Architect's and Owner's Perspectives
In the negotiation of an agreement with an Owner, there will be points of disagreement about the appropriate balance of risk and reward … sometimes resulting in take it or leave it postures. This seminar will provide a point counterpoint to the perspectives of the Owner and the Architect on the more important subjects of disagreement through two speakers who regularly negotiate such agreements on behalf of their respective clients, architects and owners, in an effort to understand when you should “take it” or “leave it”.

Transforming the Reading Viaduct
Philadelphia's abandoned Reading Railroad viaduct is being transformed into a unique, elevated linear park. This presentation explores the design approach, which involved extensive public outreach, and how the project could ultimately spark future community development.  

Smart Design for a ‘SMART Working’ Environment
GlaxoSmithKline implemented a new design guide for facilities worldwide called SMART Working, with the goals of achieving a business that is sustainable, collaborative, and responsive. GSK employees in Philadelphia now have a LEED Platinum workplace environment which responds to their needs and supports them. This case study will emphasize the collaboration between the owner and the designers and the strategies involved to achieve the goals of the SMART Working System.

Penn's Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center
Conceived as a seminal collaboration between two schools - The School of Engineering and Applied Science and The School of Arts and Sciences - The Singh Center for Nanotechnology creates a world class research facility bringing science and technology together in one place. This $91.5M project encompasses 80,000 GSF and is targeting LEED Silver Certification.

Re-imagining 8th and Berks - A Design Charrette
Asociación Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) for Eastern North Philadelphia was created to implement a long-lasting, sustainable, and comprehensive strategy to meet the challenges facing this community. Charrette participants will develop solutions for the redevelopment of a 1.8-acre, city-owned parcel at 8th and Berks

Member discount registration pricing available to APA, ASLA, GBCA, Engineers Club, Building Information Association, ULI, Associated Builders & Contractors and other design and building professions. Design on the Delaware is sponsored by: Microsol Resources, Architectural Glass Institute, O'Donnell & Naccarato, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Urban Engineers, Keast & Hood Co. and AKRF

For information, go to


Member News

KidZooU: SMP Architects designs new cultural and educational attraction

On April 13 the Philadelphia Zoo—America’s first zoo—opened KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo & Faris Family Education Center. The Zoo’s largest construction project to date, KidZooU is a year-round destination with a multitude of indoor and outdoor experiences for animals and guests alike. Designed to LEED Silver standards and scheduled to complete certification this year, it occupies a 2.5-acre site and repurposes the former Pachyderm House with interactive exhibits, conservation stations and robust programming aimed at teaching toddlers to tweens how to become stewards of wildlife and the environment.

The design and construction team included Bruce E. Brooks & Associates Consulting Engineers, CVM Engineers, Arora Engineers, Viridian Landscape Studio, Meliora Environmental Design, David Nelson & Associates, Becker & Frondorf and W.S. Cumby. 

BLT Architects Announces the Hiring of Five Staff Members

BLT Architects announced today the hiring of four design staff members and an administrative assistant.

“BLT Architects has enjoyed plenty of growth this year, requiring us to increase our staff to meet demand,” said Michael L. Prifti, FAIA, Managing Principal at BLTa. “We look forward to the contributions our talented new staff members will make to our team.”

The new staff members include:

Lois S.K. Suh, a resident of Philadelphia, is a 2013 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Science degree in architecture and a 2005 graduate of Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and architecture. She previously was a designer for Chan Mock Architects in Cambridge, Mass.

Ryan Sison is a 2013 graduate of Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture and is a resident of Philadelphia

Andrea Polaski is a 2013 graduate of Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in interior design and is a resident of Hillsborough, N.J.

Fay Leff, a resident of Philadelphia, is a 2013 graduate of Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in interior design and a Master of Science degree in interior architecture and design.

Ann Margaret Durfee was hired an administrative assistant. A resident of Philadelphia, she completed an interior design professional certificate program at Moore College of Art and Design.

Affiliate News

Norwood’s Industrial Group Breaks Ground on 677,000SF Warehouse Distribution Center in the Lehigh Valley

The Norwood Company has recently commenced construction on a 677,000 square foot warehouse distribution center in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII, a 40 acre site that was previously part of Bethlehem Steel’s main manufacturing plant. Serving as Construction Manager, Norwood is working collaboratively with developer Trammell Crow Company, investor Clarion Partners and designer KSS Architects. The new building, situated in a Local Economic Revitalization Zone (LERTA), will feature 32’ clear height, 190’ deep truck courts, ESFR sprinkler systems, ample parking and an excellent logistical location near the I-78 / Rt 412 interchange. Norwood’s Industrial Group has completed more than 20 million square feet of comparable warehouse/distribution facilities. Project completion is scheduled for Spring 2014.

The Harman Group's Director of Parking Design to be Panelist for ADA Webinar on Parking

Bill Kavanagh, AIA, NCARB, The Harman Group's Director of Parking Planning and Design is lending his expertise to a webinar panel discussion, "ADA and Parking" hosted by the International Parking Institute (IPI).  The panel will discuss the parking regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act, including political challenges in municipal parking, common mistakes that trigger non-compliance and recent changes that affect old and new spaces.

The webinar is moderated by Doug Holmes, the creator and editor of the CPARK-L parking listserv, a parking information source and clearinghouse for campus and municipal parking officials.  The panelists include Mr. Kavanagh, a licensed architect with more than fifteen years of experience in the design of parking garages and mixed use buildings; Linda Kauffman, former executive director of the Allentown Parking Authority and past chair of the IPI Board of Directors; and Teresa Trussell, Parking Operations Supervisor for Ohio University.

The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, August 21st at 2pm EDT.  For more registration information visit  Information is listed on the Professional Development tab under Webinars.

Wohlsen Construction Honored with Nine Awards

Wohlsen Construction Company received nine awards from the Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) at the association’s Annual Excellence in Construction Awards Gala.

The Ben Franklin Skilled Nursing renovation project at Masonic Village at Elizabethtown located in Elizabethtown, Pa., won the Project of the Year Award. The project was designed by RLPS Architects Ltd., Lancaster, Pa.

Wohlsen received Green Building recognition by winning the first place Excellence Award in the Green GC Sustainable category for the Hamilton Health Center project located in Harrisburg, Pa. Advanced Building Design located in Johnstown, Pa., served as the design professional.

Winning First Place Awards of Excellence in Construction were the following:
• Ben Franklin Skilled Nursing Renovations located on the campus of Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, located in Elizabethtown, Pa. The project was designed by RLPS Architects Ltd., Lancaster, Pa.
• Unionville High School Additions and Renovations, located in Kennett Square, Pa. The project was designed by MM Architects, Inc. located in Lancaster, Pa.
• Gettysburg Energy and Nutrient Recovery Facility, located in York Springs, Pa, and constructed for EnergyWorks BioPower, LLC. Lewis & Associates Architects of Lancaster, Pa., served as the design professional.
• Jennersville Regional Hospital Patient Rooms, located in West Grove, Pa. Hart Freeland Roberts Inc. of Brentwood, TN served as the design professional.

Earning Awards of Merit were the following:
• Garrett Community Center located on the campus of Tel Hai Retirement Community in Honey Brook, Pa. The project was designed by RLPS Architects Ltd., Lancaster, Pa.
• Health and Wellness Center at Pleasant View Retirement Community in Manheim, Pa. RLPS Architects Ltd., Lancaster, Pa. served as the design professional.
• Hamilton Health Center Medical and Dental Clinic located in Harrisburg, Pa. Advanced Building Design located in Johnstown, Pa., served as the design professional.

Upcoming Events

AIA Philadelphia Holiday Party
Thu, 12/04/2014 - 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Center For Architecture, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia
AIA Philadelphia
Yes, Registration is required

Please join AIA Philadelphia in celebrating the holidays at the Chapter's annual members-only holiday party, sponsored by The Harman Group and MacIntosh Engineering. Catch up with your colleagues, meet new friends, and enjoy good food and drink at the Center for Architecture!

Please note: This event is open to AIA Philadelphia members only.

And don't forget to visit the AIA Bookstore this year featuring Philadelphia themed custom products available only at our store.  And all members receive  a 20% discount on all items.

Stories from an Architect: Nicole Dress, AIA
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Center for Architecture
Associate Committee
No, Registration is not required

The AIA Philadelphia Associate Committee welcomes Nicole Dress, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Principal at BLT Architects, to share her career, work, and advice for emerging architecture professionals.  

Ms. Dress has been with BLTa for seven years and has two decades of design and construction experience. She is specifically skilled at project management and delivering on the client’s primary objectives. As Project Manager at BLTa, Ms. Dress is currently leading projects at: 3601 Market Street; One Theater Square in Newark; Ponderosa Village at the University of Nevada, Reno; and the renovation of Burrowes Building at The Pennsylvania State University. She was the Project Manager for the Revel project in Atlantic City; a $2.4billion construction project that required Ms. Dress to orchestrate the in-house team, as well as, the efforts of 65 consultant firms over six years.
In addition, Ms. Dress has been instrumental in the firms’ young professional development program, earning the IDP Outstanding Firm Award 2014-2017; the first firm in Philadelphia to do so. She is President of the Alpha Rho Chi Foundation, which provides scholarships, underwrites professional programs and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal program. Locally, she is a co-founder of the Women in Architecture Philadelphia Committee and served on the AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors from 2012-2014. She resides in Wynnewood with her architect husband and two children.

Please join us to hear her story and congratulate her on her recent promotion to Principal at BLT Architects!

2 Day SketchUp Workshop
Wed, 12/10/2014 - 9:00am - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 4:00pm
1015 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Yes, Registration is required
self report

Become a SketchUp expert in just 2 days of training. The first day begins with the basics and sets you up for success to model quickly and effectively. The second day goes through CAD to SketchUp workflows as well as techniques for creating presentations and photorealistic renderings using a plugin called Podium.

2014 Procrastinators Pro Con
Thu, 12/11/2014 - 8:15am - 5:00pm
$65 AIA members/ $120 non-members
430 West Germantown Pike, East Norriton, PA
AIA Philadelphia
Yes, Registration is required

Earn up to 7 AIA/CES Learning Units (5 HSW) at the 2014 Procrastinators Pro Con at Associated Builders and Contractors.

Courses scheduled:

New AIA Program Management & Sustainable Practices Documents presented by Rich Davies, Esq. of Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle & Lombardo. Rich always presents a high quality engagin program. This is modified version of the highly rated program he presented at the 2014 Design on the Delaware conference.

Design Solutions for Multi- Family Projects presented by Pella Windows and Doors this program will review the materials, product types, and design options commonly used in multi-family projects and the design considerations for the use of window and doors in different opening types in multi-family buildings, including punched openings, large combinations, entrances, storefront, and curtain wall application

Architectural Applications for 3D Laser Scanning presented DJS Associates. Detailed measurements and photographic documentation of existing conditions are crucial elements of the design process. Benefits of 3D scanning include: reduction in field data collection time, rapid data collection of large areas with tremendous accuracy, and reduction of costly return visits to site.

Flying Solo: Start Feathering Your Own Nest originally designed for and presented at the 2013 Design on the Delaware conference, the presenter K. Blose, Esq., Principal at AEdvise and program content received the highest ratings possible from course attendees. Karen is the former General Counsel and Principal, HillierARCHITECTURE & RTKL Associates Inc.

Quality Daylighting and LEED v.4  Mary Alcaraz, PE, CEM, LC, LEED® AP – BD+C of AKF Group and Shannon Kaplan, PE, LC, LEED® AP – BD+C of In Posse will review the changes to the daylighting credit in LEED v4, discuss how designs can comply with the requirements, and provide case study examples of quality daylight design.

Triple Glazing Setting a New Standard in Energy Efficiency presented by David Altenhofen, AIA of The Facade Group this program presents a case study at University of the Sciences with a rigorous envelope performance target and desire for maximum glazing. Increased upfront costs for high efficiency glazing were offset by savings in mechanical equipment and long term operational costs.

December ARE Study Session
Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:30pm - 8:30pm
United States
No, Registration is not required

The December ARE Study Session will focus on the Programming, Planning and Practice (PPP) Vignette and the multiple choice portion of the Site Planning (SP) exam. Attendees studying the vignette are encouraged to send their practice attempts to the email below for review with the group. 

Schedule – Dec. 16th, 2014:

6:30-7:10 PM Programming, Planning, and Process (PPP) vignette

7:20-8:00 PM Site Planning (SP) multiple choice

If you would like to join us online, please RSVP to for the login info. RSVPs are encouraged if you are attending in person, but walk-ins are always welcome. If you have any questions, please use the email above. 

ARE Study Sessions are held the third Tuesday of the month. Each month the group focuses on a specific section or sections. The program is presented and led by AIA Philadelphia's Young Architects Forum. 

On the Boards - Call for Interested Firms
Thu, 01/01/2015 (All day) - Sun, 02/01/2015 (All day)
Various Firm Offices
AIA Philadelphia Design Committee
Yes, Registration is required
Joshua Otto

The AIA Philadelphia Design Committee is seeking Member Firms that are interested in participating in the "On the Boards" program.

"On the Boards" is a quarterly program allowing local firms to open their doors and present their work to peers, friends and the public. Ideally, these presentations are held in the firm's office, but may also be scheduled at the Center for Architecture.  Firms of all sizes and portfolio types to encouraged to participate.

Interested firms may contact Design Committee Co-Chair Joshua Otto, AIA (otto@ottoarchitects) for details..

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