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ADA/MCE Day: March 31, 2017

MCE/ADA Day: Accessibility for California Architects

Friday, March 31, 2017
Cost: $110 AIA Members / $150 non-members.
Includes coffee and lunch.

Click here to register. 


This ADA/accessibility presentation on public accommodations pertinent to California architects provides the full five hours required by the CAB for licensure renewal. This month’s topic is barrier-free multifamily/residential design.

Presenter: Erick Mikiten, AIA and TBA

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming

Design Detail Disasters

a CSI East Bay & RCI Northern CA event. Co-sponsored by AIA East Bay

Friday, April 21, 2017
8:30am-4pm  doors open at 8am
1405 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Registration Fee (all proceeds to benefit CSI and RCI):
Early Bird Sign Up: $175
after 3/15/17: $200
after 4/15/17: $225
Students: $30

Complimentary breakfast, box lunch and afternoon snacks will be provided

Click here to register.


Morning Schedule and Program
8:00AM- 8:30AM Registration

8:30AM- 9:30AM Ann Coleman – Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Small Design Error Causes Big Disaster
Wood-framed medical office building case study of six-year old building with chronic water infiltration since construction. The roofing was identified as the original source and replaced. Six years of investigations and remedial repairs for additional leakage missed the small, but easily overlooked, design error that led to widespread wood deterioration. With the involvement of a proactive and highly motivated owner, the building was repaired and involved parties settled their differences within a year.

9:30AM- 10:30AM Paul Goetz – Aquatech Consultancy, Inc.
Moisture Management: It Should Be So Simple, So Why Is It So Hard?
Some construction mistakes take years to manifest, while others become apparent in a very short time. Water intrusion, in the form of liquid or vapor, is responsible for close to 70% of construction defect litigation. Why is it so hard to do it right the first time? Is there a common thread to the leak issue? Are the errors committed by the usual suspects? Who are the usual suspects? Paul will discuss three projects that soon after completion exhibited moisture problems. Two of the projects, a multi-unit vacation resort and a single family residence, ended up in litigation. The moisture problems in the third example, an apartment building, was addressed by the builder.

10:30AM- 10:55AM Morning Break

10:55AM- 11:55AM Gerson Bers – ABBAE
Public Enemy #1: Pre-formed Metal Form Edges For Elevated Wood Framed Pedestrian
For nearly 30 years, ABBAE’s forensic and design teams have identified and corrected damage to wood framed pedestrian deck structures caused by the use of the prefabricated concrete edge form generically known as “Con-Form”. “Con-Form” edges are a convenience for placing concrete at the edge of an elevated deck, but create havoc with waterproofing assemblies. This presentation describes what a “Con-Form” edge is, how it is typically used, damages resulting from improper waterproofing conditions created by “Con-Form” edges, and several approaches to correctly detailing exposed wood frame pedestrian deck edges.

Afternoon Schedule and Program
11:55AM- 12:35PM Lunch Break

12:35PM- 1:35PM Annie K. Lo, AIA, LEED AP – Walker Restoration Consultants
Plaza Appearance and Membrane Adherence
Annie Lo will provide an overview of a plaza project for a major housing complex in San Francisco, which is going through a second waterproofing remediation. Design concepts related to the landscaping layout, waterproofing system, expansion joints, and overall phasing from the original construction and first remediation will be evaluated and discussed with the audience. Walker’s repair concept and details will be shared for the current remediation, as well as approximations of construction costs that could have been avoided had the original design and previous remediation been approached differently. Challenges presented by the existing plaza deck configuration and unforeseen conditions during the construction will also be assessed as factors that impacted the design details and the remediation budget.

1:35PM- 2:35PM Joe Pinon – RDH Building Science, Inc.
Designing for Rain Exposure: Example Lab “Tested” Systems and Details that Failed
A structural engineer would never design a column or beam without first understanding the actual loads that the member will experience in-service. Unfortunately, building enclosures (e.g., facades, roofs, below-grade waterproofing, and windows) are too often selected from a catalog, website, or based on an ASTM test, without first understanding the actual loads the system or detail will experience in-service, or the differences between its in-service exposure and how it was tested. In this presentation, Joe Piñon will show examples of lab “tested” systems and details that failed in-service due to not accounting for the actual rain exposure and load in the design. Example failures include a rainscreen façade installed on an inclined wall, Code approved low-slope vented roofs and cement plaster exterior walls, custom window systems, and flashing details that create weak links in what might otherwise be a design that works.

2:35PM- 3:00PM Afternoon Break
3:00PM- 4:00PM Jeff Chen, AIA, LEED AP, Phillip Kelleher, AIA, Erica Reynolds –
Avoiding Weak Design: The Architect’s Responsibility
In 1987, Rosenberg McGinnis was retained by Milton Meyer & Co. to investigate on-going leaks at Five Fremont Center. The leaks had been investigated and repaired a number of times since 1983, less than a year after construction began. The report prepared by Rosenberg McGinnis documents their independent observations and recommendations. What started out as a simple observation of water leakage turned into a litigation case spanning a length of ten years. This presentation will uncover the architect’s responsibility to avoid weak points in the original design in order to elude unneeded headache after the project is over.

About the Presenters:

Ann Coleman, Associate Principal and Unit Manager, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Ann Coleman is a building enclosure consultant for new and distressed enclosure systems—for laboratories, hospital buildings, museums, and office buildings. Ms. Coleman applies her project experience and professional interests to technical presentations and publications including topics related to common causes of construction defects, building reuse, historic and new cast stone, concrete floor slab moisture issues, fenestration, waterproofing, and construction detailing.

Paul Goetz, President, Aquatech Consultancy, Inc.
Paul Goetz has over 35 years of practical and diverse waterproofing and construction experience in the areas of project management, contracting, specification preparation, estimating, and forensic consulting. For ten years, he was the president of one of the Bay Area’s largest waterproofing, industrial seamless-flooring, and specialty roofing companies. He is recognized by his peers, developers, and architects as an authority on waterproof design, material selection and detailing.

Gerson Bers, Principal, ABBAE
Gerson Bers is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park where he received a B.S. in Physical Sciences. Mr. Bers is a LEED Accredited Professional and is a DOE certified WUFI ORNL instructor in hydrothermal analyses. He has more than 30 years of building technology consulting experience with special emphasis on design of new and remedial building enclosure system design as well as investigating and resolving moisture infiltration issues for occupied facilities. Mr. Bers is responsible for planning and executing forensic investigations and assists in preparing and reviewing findings reports and remedial repair construction documents and cost estimates. Mr. Bers has provided both expert and percipient testimony for construction defect litigation from both plaintiff and defendant perspectives.

Annie K. Lo, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Restoration, Walker Restoration Consultants
Annie Lo is the Director of Restoration in San Francisco and Northern California for Walker Restoration Consultants (WRC). Together with Walker Parking Consultants founded in 1965, WRC has 18 offices and provides building envelope, waterproofing, restoration, and structural engineering services throughout the U.S. As a licensed Architect with a degree from Columbia University and a background in historic preservation, Annie has presented technical topics at AIA, RCI, APT, ABAA, and CPF.

Joe Pinon, Principal and Senior Building Science Specialist, RDH Building Science, Inc.
Joe Piñon, M.S., P.E. (CA) has extensive experience in design, analysis, rehabilitation, commissioning, architectural plan peer review, and construction contract administration for a variety of building enclosure systems and components used in commercial, residential and institutional construction across the United States. Joe has broad knowledge of industry building science best practices, as well as national, state, and local building codes on the performance standards relating to energy efficiency, and moisture control. Joe is an engaging and skilled speaker, having presented many of his published works at conferences and client training sessions throughout the country.

Erica Reynolds, PE – McGinnis/Chen
Erica Reynolds, P.E. has 5 years of experience in Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, Construction Administration and Project Management on a variety of structures. Along with technical experience, Erica has an extensive educational background with Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Structural Engineering. She is experienced in the production of Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, product and code research, and Construction Administration. She conducts field surveying and inspections.

Phillip Kelleher, AIA– McGinnis/Chen
Phillip Kelleher has 10 years of architectural industry experience including 7 years of building envelope experience with MCA. He has extensive knowledge in all aspects of job production including architectural design, waterproofing design, construction documents, and construction contract administration. He conducts and manages field investigation, testing and inspections. He is currently managing our services for new construction projects in the SF Mission Bay, multi-building high-tech campuses in the Silicon Valley and various urban in-fill residential high-rises in the SOMA district. Along with technical experience, Phillip has an extensive educational background with Master Degrees in both architecture and structural engineering.

Jeff Chen, AIA, LEED AP– McGinnis/Chen
With experience accumulated over 34 years of professional practice specific to a wide range of exterior building envelope projects with MCA, Jeff Chen brings a high level of technical and design expertise. He is a recognized specialist consultant in building envelope design and peer review for new construction, and an experienced architect in problem solving and remedial design for existing problematic buildings. Jeff Chen’s expertise in solving waterproofing problems in the building envelope includes below-grade waterproofing, plaza and deck waterproofing, windows and skylight assemblies, curtain walls, EIFS, masonry wall, rain screen assemblies, and occupied and unoccupied roofs.

Learning Objectives:


The Concept of Co-Housing for Aging-In-Place

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Free and open to all.
Location: Swan’s Market Co-Housing Community Room (2nd Floor), 930 Clay St., Oakland


North America’s 50th Co-housing Community is preserved in the 1917 Swan’s Market building in the historic Old Oakland neighborhood of Downtown Oakland. Swan’s Market is a mixed-use building comprised of restaurants, retail, offices, services, housing, and co-housing. Come see and hear about the concept of co-housing and its applicability as a model for aging-in-place.

We will be graciously hosted by residents Michael Coleman, AIA and Sandra Coleman, Hon. AIA, and guest speaker, Raines Cohen who is the Northern California Regional Organizer with Co-housing California.


Our March meeting will be a special meeting location and field tour. Enter Swan’s Market Co-Housing at: 930 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607 or 538 9th St. Oakland

Enter through courtyard at either address on Clay Street or 9th Street and proceed to co-housing community room, 2nd level. See red star on map for entry point. We hope to have people to direct you once in the courtyard. The location is easily accessible from the 12th St. downtown Oakland BART station.




Leveraging Revit To Make Presentations & Models Attractive

A Revit User Group

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Free and open to all. Lunch provided by Ideate.

1.5 CES LUs

This presentation will show some of the ways in which you can use Revit to create attractive presentation drawings in both rendered and non-rendered views. We will look at how to apply a museum board and basswood look to a rendered view, create sketchy-line views, add background images to views, and have an in-depth look at materials & assets and why they are critical for Revit drawings and presentations.

About the Presenter:

Sash Kazeminejad, AIA, LEED AP, ACI, BCI – AEC Senior Application Specialist
Sash is a registered Architect and LEED Accredited Professional who holds a Master of Architecture from Montana State University. Sash’s experience includes project management, BIM management, and design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and solutions for AECO firms.

Ever-Changing Healthcare in an Ever-Changing Market

an AEBL program; co-sponsored by AIA East Bay

Tuesday, March 21, 2017
$30 AIA and AEBL Members/$50 Non-members; includes lunch
Click here to register

1.5 CES LUs

Many companies are being faced with yearly changes to their healthcare benefit plans, which directly affects their profitability. This creates a large number in the expense column that management, human resources, and benefits managers are constantly trying to minimize, while maximizing quality benefits. Firms are caught between passing costs on to employees and trying to absorb the increasing premiums, making the decisions about health benefits ever more important in relation to total compensation and its effect on recruiting and retention.

Join AEBL, the AIA East Bay, and a panel of industry experts during this dynamic lunchtime session as we discuss the ever-changing healthcare market. Find out what others in the A/E/C are doing to stay on top of this frustratingly fluctuating trend.

We will also take a look at what the future might hold…if our new president will repeal, replace, or amend the Affordable Care Act, and how that will affect healthcare benefits for companies and employees.


CoolTechStuff: Rocket Book

Larry Mortimer, AIA


What Does It Do: Rocketbook is a notebook with the same feel and function of a paper notebook but it’s erasable and (with the Rocketbook App) has the ability to easily convpenpadert the content to a digital format. The notebook comes in two versions, the Wave and the Everlast with the difference being how they erase. The Wave comes in a standard (8.5” x 9.5”)
and executive size (6” x 8.9”), while the Everlast comes in a letter (8.5” x 11”) and executive size (6” x 8”).

System Requirements: The Rocketbook App with any iOS or Android device and any Pilot FriXion pen, marker or highlighter.

What does it cost: Wave $27, Everlast $34, Pilot FriXion erasable gel pen $10 (pack of 7).
How Does it Work: Both the Wave and Everlast notebooks look and feel like paper notebooks with a dot grid and a durable polyethylene binding. To use, simply write or sketch on each page and when finished, use the Rocketbook App to scan (in PNG or PDF format) and erase the page to use it again. At the bottom of each page there are seven symbols that identify where the app will send the digital image. Simply check the desired box and the app will send the image to the desired destination (including Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Box, Slack or an email address). Also, multiple pages can be bundled into one document.

After you’ve scanned the images you can erase the notebook and start fresh. To erase the Wave place it in a microwave oven, follow the instructions, and the whole notebook will be erased. With the Everlast each page is erased individually by wiping clean with a damp towel.

Pros: Feels like paper and writes like paper. Scanning with the app is fast and simple.openbook

Cons: It only works with the Pilot FriXion pens, markers or highlighters. The App does not offer optical character recognition or scans in landscape mode. The microwave erasure procedures are a bit fussy, and there is some concern about how many you can do before too much residue builds up (not a concern with the Everlast). Everlast is not available until May 2017.

Conclusion: This is a great concept for getting those sketches and notes into a digital format and being able to use the notebook over and over again.

Links for more Information and to Purchase:

The Rocketbook




Information Modeling’s Role in Sustainable Design Decisions

Friday, March 17, 2017
Lunch provided by Vectorworks, Inc.
Please RSVP by 10am March 16 to

1.5 CES LUs

Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Site Information Modeling (SIM) applications provide us with the necessary tools to carry out well-designed and well-planned projects that save both time and money. These same BIM and SIM tools can also be used to help make informed decisions and create responsible, sustainable designs. This presentation will look at case studies of both architecture and landscape architecture projects that utilized intelligent BIM objects and tools to achieve low-impact, sustainable designs.

About the Presenter:
David DenglerAs a Regional Account Manager, David Dengler promotes the Vectorworks brand through consultative sales, marketing, promotion, education, and outreach across California. He also conducts CEU presentations and enables educational institutions to bring the Vectorworks platform into their classrooms. David is well suited for the task because he possesses extensive CAD software experience, including first-hand knowledge of Vectorworks software and its rendering capabilities. He has used Vectorworks professionally since 1996. Before joining Vectorworks Inc. in 2013, David was a designer with Adler Display. Prior to that, he founded his own company and developed apps for iPhone/iPad. He has worked as a project designer/manager with various architectural firms in California for over 15 years where he completed both residential and commercial projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand BIM and SIM workflows.
  • Learn how designers can benefit from using a BIM application.
  • Discover what tools are available to make sustainable design decisions.
  • See how designers are achieving success with intelligent tools and applications.

Member Profile: Rex Crabb, Assoc. AIA


Rex Crabb, Assoc. AIA

Rex Crabb is a recent graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s M.Arch program who now works at Woods Bagot. His experiences so far have led him to seek to bridge the worlds of architecture as art and construction. After Rex graduated from Reed College in 2012 with a B.A. in Chinese Literature, he worked at Hammer and Hand, Inc., a high-end residential passive house contractor based in Portland and Seattle. At first he worked in the field reclaiming and recycling demolished materials. Then he worked in the contractor’s office, helping to manage the documentation of projects and request bids from subcontractors.

From 2013-2016, Rex attended the M.Arch program at Berkeley, with projects that combined conceptual speculation and intensive use of digital fabrication. In one project for a sustainable, low-carbon lamppost intended for rural communities in India, he developed a system of 3D printed joints for bending-active lattice bamboo structures that would support a solar panel and an LED light.

During a summer internship with McCall Design Group in San Francisco, Rex and his partners Kasra Yazdanbakhsh and Mariela Levy designed a chicken coop for the non-profit community resilience organization, the Sweetwater Foundation in Chicago. After graduating from Berkeley, Rex has launched his professional career at Woods Bagot. As his experience as a Graduate Student Instructor inspired him to continue teaching, he now works as an instructor at Berkeley as well.

Letter to the Editor

Re: North Carolina’s LGBT law

I’m reaching out for some advice and to see if maybe anyone might want to get involved.

Ever since North Carolina passed their House Bill 2 aka “the potty bill,” I’ve had reservations about specifying architectural materials or furniture originating in North Carolina. House Bill 2 not only rolled back protections passed by the city of Charlotte to extend civil rights to LGBT citizens, but went further to nullify previously existing civil rights for all LGBT people throughout the state.

Many of my clients have corporate or institutional policies that prohibit discrimination of any type and require respect for all people. A sentiment echoed by Drake Design Associates’ own policies. Many of our industry peers & associates are members of the LGBT community. Yet a lot of our contract furniture and architectural finish materials are made in North Carolina, a state that now has a policy of discrimination as a result of House Bill 2.

So, here lies the difficulty with specifying and purchasing products from North Carolina.

To be fair I don’t want to paint all North Carolina-based manufacturers and suppliers with the same broad brush that would lump them in with their own state legislatures’ institutionalizing blatant discrimination. By way of example, Brian Moynihan the CEO of Bank of America headquartered in North Carolina, has been leading the fight to repeal House Bill 2. As a public company with a market cap of $235.5 billion, Bank of America is not intimidated from speaking out against discrimination and for basic civil rights.

Conversely, when asking a North Carolina furniture manufacturer last week for their policy regarding House Bill 2 prior to specification, a reply was sent back from the CEO that as a public company they can’t make political statements. He went further to state that as a company they do not discriminate and sup-port personal “choice.” The CEO, through his local rep, also offered to discuss the concern over House Bill 2 by phone.

By way of this letter, is anyone willing to join me in this phone conversation to respectfully discuss our concern with House Bill 2 and why it’s so important that all members of our design community, from manufacturer to specifier, stand up for civil rights and non-discrimination? If so, please email me at


Janet Drake, Assoc. AIA

Members in the News


Tahoe Cabin Featured

Studio Bergtraun’s newly completed Tahoe Cabin has been chosen as ‘House of the Month” for January 2017 by Architectural Record, the oldest, most prestigious architectural magazine in the nation. The January issue is out now; Click here for the full story on Architectural Record’s website.

Additionally, Studio Bergtraun has been awarded the Tahoe Quarterly Home Award, a very nice recognition from the Tahoe community.