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NFPA-13D: Residential Fire Sprinkler Systems

a Small Firm Forum

Thursday, June 2, 2016
Free AIA Members / $3 for Guests; BYO Lunch

1.5 CES LUs

SFF Host:  Andus Brandt, Architect

Presenter Dave Margolin joined Leigh Marymor Plumbing as an apprentice plumber in 1982.  Rising through the ranks, he has become a master craftsman in wet piping, including fire sprinklers and hydronics.  He supervises complex projects, including the recent gut and remodel of the fire and plumbing system in a condo at 333 Bush Street, San Francisco. Join Dave and the Small Firm Forum in a discussion surrounding NFPA-13D residential fire sprinkler systems.

The program will address the following questions:

  1.  What is the NFPA-13D fire sprinkler system and what are its major components?
  2.  What is involved in the pre-construction and permit phase of a 13D system?
  3.  What is a 13D “combined system”and how does it interrelate with the domestic plumbing system?
  4.  What are the common piping materials, their constraints and advantages.
  5.  What are the options for sprinkler head types?
  6.  What are the common considerations for head placement?
  7.  What tests and inspections are required, and when do they take place?

Learning Objectives:

  1.  Learn at least four key requirements of the fire sprinkler codes.
  1.  Identify which types of projects can utilize domestic water systems for fire sprinklers.
  1. Learn what to look for when selecting sprinkler heads and determine their location.
  1. Learn how to identify fire sprinkler design issues during the pre-construction phase of the work.

Architecture Billings Index Shows Continued Modest Growth

After beginning the year with a decline, the Architecture Billings Index has posted three consecutive months of increasing demand for design activity at architecture firms.  As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI score was 50.6, down from the mark of 51.9 in the previous month. This score still reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 56.9, down from a reading of 58.1 the previous month.

“Architects continue to report a wide range of business conditions, with unusually high variation in design activity across the major building categories,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “The strong growth in design contracts – the strongest score for this indicator since last summer — certainly suggests that firms will be reporting growth in billings over the next several months.”

Key April ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (52.2), Northeast (51.5), West (50.8), Midwest (50.8)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.7), commercial / industrial (52.0), mixed practice (50.0), institutional (49.0)
  • Project inquiries index: 56.9
  • Design contracts index: 54.3

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.
About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI.  These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on the AIA web site.

2016 Design Awards Jury Announced

AIA East Bay and Design Awards Chair Janet Tam, AIA, is pleased to announce the jury for the 2016 Exceptional Residential: Bay Area Design Awards.

Ray Calabro, FAIA
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Jennifer Devlin-Herbert, FAIA
San Francisco

Kulapat Yantrasast
wHY Architecture
Culver City

Mark your calendars and save the date!

Awards Jury and Presentation: Thursday, October 20, 2016
Submittal Deadline: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Awards Pre-submittal Meeting: Tuesday,August 23, 2016 (for those who have submittal questions)
Registration Opens: Monday, August 1, 2016

Please note, all submittals will be made via Dropbox. Please attend the pre-submittal meeting if you have not used Dropbox and have technical questions.

Tour of the Cal Aquatics Center

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
$10 AIA East Bay Members
Location: TBA
Limited to 15 people. AIA East Bay members only. Must bring a hard hat and wear closed-toe shoes.
Click here to register. 

ELS Architecture and Urban Design is designing the new home for the University of California, Berkeley’s Intercollegiate Aquatic Sports, a state-of-the-art aquatics facility aimed at providing additional training space for intercollegiate athletes. Currently, the university only has one aquatic venue, which student athletes share with recreational swimmers from the university and community. The new facility will be used solely by Cal’s intercollegiate aquatics teams for athletic training.

Consisting of three single-level buildings surrounded a 50M stretch pool, the new Aquatic Center features a two-centerline dive tower and adjacent 1M and 3M springboard dive platforms, a warm water spa for divers, locker rooms and a multi-purpose and special events room. The project is targeting LEED Silver. Construction is slated to be complete in August 2016.

Sustainable Design Excellence, a Monthly Program

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Early-bird registration (by Monday, June 6): Free AIA members & employees of chapter member firms / $10 Guests
Reg starting June 7: $10 AIA members & employees of chapter member firms; $15 Guests
At-the-door: $20 all
Click here to register.

1.5 CES LUs

Only 10 projects are selected each year for the Cote top 10 Awards. 2016 jurors Anne Fougeron, FAIA and Larry Strain, FAIA discuss the methods for selecting these exceptional designs. A wine and cheese reception follows the discussion.

Learning Objectives:


RFQ: Aeronautics and Workforce Development Building Project


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Solano Community College District (District) is soliciting a Statement of Qualifications/Proposal (SOQP) for the Aeronautics and Workforce Development Building Project for the Fairfield Campus, located at Nut Tree Road, Vacaville, CA. SOQ’s will be received up to, but no later than, 2:00 PM, Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Interested firms are required to submit the completed SOQ in a sealed envelope identified as “SOQ #16-018 SOLANO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT- AERONAUTICS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BUILDING PROJECT” with the Respondent’s name and address clearly indicated.

All Statement of Qualifications will be submitted to:
Solano Community College District
Attn: Laura Scott, Bond Purchaser
4000 Suisun Valley Road
Building 600 (Denis Honeychurch Board Room 626)
Fairfield, CA 94534

There will be a Mandatory Pre-Proposal Conference on, May 17, 2016 at 10:00AM at Building 600 (Denis Honeychurch Board Room 626), 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield, CA 94534.
Information specific to this solicitation as well as general project information, including reference documents listed in the SOQP, will be made available on the District’s website at:

Technical questions must be submitted, in writing by no later than 2:00 p.m. on, May 24, 2016 to Kitchell CEM, Attn.: Pam Kinzie, Program Manager via e-mail at Addenda will be posted on the District’s website at: All proposals received will require acknowledgement of receipt of any issued addenda to be considered responsive and responsible.

Member Profile: Ruth Vallejos, AIA

ruthI’m a new-old member: I dropped out of the I AIA for a few years during the recession. Also, I have major issues with AIA National, but isn’t that a prerequisite for joining AIA East Bay?

Anyway, I started down the path to architecture making mud villages in my back yard. Also, my parents did a major renovation project every year. Structure, site-work, finishes, equipment, you name it, we did it. This is too far back? OK, I started and finished my BARCH degree at the University of Oregon, enjoying the broad spectrum of classes there, especially architecture history, cultural landscapes, dance, sociology and – of course – design studio.

I graduated in ’83, at the height of a really bad recession in the Pacific NW. I had the choice of moving to Boston or San Francisco. I had family down here, so that was easy. I discovered later that two days before my arrival, HOK and SOM each laid off 60 people. In the Sunday classifieds on the day I arrived there was an ad for a position with a small firm in Marin County. I took Monday off from the job hunt, and arrived at that office on Tuesday with my crisp new resume in hand. They took the 100+ resumes they got the day before and pushed them to the side and I got the job of “Beginning Designer.” Times being what they were, I accepted the position.

After doing custom residential for five years, I moved to the East Bay and started my long association with both Muller & Caulfield Architects and the AIA East Bay. I see those years as a huge expansion of my knowledge base: at work we took on a variety of project types – housing for special needs groups, industrial projects, transportation projects, elementary schools and colleges and historic renovation. At the AIA I took every class I could: practice management, project management, specification writing, etc. And I did my turn on the Board and as President of the chapter. Exhausting but rewarding.

All that time, I was also learning to love Oakland. When I first started, it was the first big city I walked through on a regular basis. So many empty storefronts, so many empty streets – it was pretty lonely andfrightening. Now, it’s an exciting time to be in Oakland – we are hip. No, really, Oakland is hip. From the restaurants, to the Warriors and the First Friday Art walk: this is no longer the town that empties out at 5pm when all the State employees go home. When I work on the weekends, I can’t find a place to park! 25 years after starting with Muller & Caulfield Architects, here I am at MWA Architects (formerly Michael Willis & Associates Architects) in Old Oakland. Our branch of the firm specializes in interiors and “special projects” (such as the renovation and seismic upgrade of part of the Oakland Airport, Terminal 1). And now, I’m called “Senior Architect.”

Firm Profile: SKL Associates, Inc.

SKL Associates, Inc. based in Walnut Creek has been providing architectural services for clients
throughout California. SKL was set up in 1988 by architect Sharad Lal, AIA, who has extensive
architecture and urban planning experience. The firm’s philosophy is based on applying the knowledge and skills of an architect in a collaborative manner. The firm aims to provide context-based designs that are unique and developed by engaging a dialogue with our clients, the community and other

firm SKL has completed diverse project types including hospitality, mixeduse, retail, light industrial, senior housing and residential. Geographically our projects are spread from Crescent City in the north to Carlsbad in the south. A Hyatt Place hotel has just broken ground in Santa Barbara after seven years of Santa Barbara County approvals. One interesting project the firm is currently working on is a traditional hindu temple in Contra Costa County. Temple architecture in India is based the ancient principles of Vastu and designed by specialized architect-craftsmen known as Stapathy. Vastu principles are used for site planning, building placement and orientation, as well as aesthetic proportions for sizing of elements and spaces . The firms involvement will meld a five thousand year old temple design tradition, with current building practices in California, including the process of obtaining entitlements for a complex and rarely seen design form and expression in North America.

Wfirm 3e approach every project with an open mind and encourage others on the team to do the same. At every stage we are responsive to our clients program requirements and budget. In addition, a lot of attention goes into creating buildings that have a fresh, timeless aesthetic appeal. We team up with experienced engineering consultants and help select the right general contractor to ensure that the construction process unfolds in a satisfactory manner.

firm 2Early in the design decision-making process, we present our clients with sustainable strategies and guidance, such that the appropriate building systems are selected. Implementing these measures have helped clients realize significant operational savings in energy bills and increased comfort level of the users.

SKL focus on delivering our services so that complex process of design through construction seem less onerous to our clients, whether they are experienced or first-time developers.

Members in the News

Lowney Architecture “heads in the right direction”
Plans to redevelop portions of the Pruneyard Shopping Center could be coming before the Campbell
Planning Commission in the coming months. Lowney Architecture took design plans to the commission
March 22 and received recommendations from the city’s architectural adviser. According to Daniel Fama, the city’s associate planner, the firm’s recommendations were generally agreed upon by the site and architectural committee. “We’re heading in the right direction,” said Ken Lowney, AIA, founder and principal of Lowney Architecture. “We’re hoping to see approvals in the summertime,” Lowney said.


L- Ben Levi, Young Ko, Patricia Alarcon, Luis Ramirez & Kevin Thornton, AIA

ratcliff 2

L-R Neelanjana Sen, Assoc. AIA & Michelle Nip

Ratcliff Promotions
Ratcliff announces the promotion of Patricia Alarcon, Young Ko, Ben Levi, Luis Ramirez and Kevin Thornton, AIA to senior associate of the firm and of Michelle Nip and Neelanjana Sen, Assoc. AIA to associate.



Hi Sidney,
I wanted to follow up and let you know that I passed my SP&D exam! This was my first ARE exam and I know the ARE Bootcamp was a huge part of me passing my test. I just got the monthly AIA East Bay newsletter earlier today and I saw the note about the next Bootcamp class starting up next month.
Looking forward to this next round of ARE bootcamp!
Jeremy C. Hoffman, Assoc. AIA

CoolTechStuff: OLO

pg. 6 mortimer

LarryMortimer, AIA


Here’s an interesting idea for a new product. It’s a portable 3D printer that uses your smartphone to create a physical model and it only costs $99.

What Does It Do: OLO is a stereolithography printer that uses light from your smartphone instead of a laser to harden liquid resin into a 3D model.

System Requirements: Almost any iOS, Android or Windows smartphone.

What does it cost: $99 – cheap!

tech2How Does it Work: OLO consists of a tank to hold resins, a motor operated build platform, and a holder for your smartphone. The resins harden one layer at a time on the build platform when exposed to the white light from your smartphone. The build platform moves after each layer to accommodate the next layer until the complete object is printed. OLO uses cloud-based software to control your smartphone while printing. Prints can be made from a scanned model or one created in a modeling program such as Sketchup.

Pros: OLO is inexpensive, simple, quiet and extremely portable. It weighs just over a pound and runs on 4 AA batteries that will last for over 100 prints. Resins come in many colors including those that result in hard, flexible, translucent and even castable models.

Cons: OLO does not have a very large build area (only 400 cubic centimeters) and it only runs on batteries (there is no power adapter). It’s not clear if OLO will only use a proprietary resin or if the pricing will be competitive with other third party resins. Resin printers are messy. However the biggest drawback is it’s not shipping yet.

Conclusion: At this size OLO will only satisfy limited applications. It’s a great concept, but since it’s still a Kickstarter project there’s no guarantee it will ever make it to market.

More Information at: http://www.olo3d.nettech4