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Why Architects Should Pay Big Attention to Tiny Houses

an AIA Codes Advocacy Webinar

Thursday, December 15, 2016
Free and open to all
Register here


Tiny houses are more than just houses built on trailers. Building codes and zoning ordinances are evolving to allow tiny houses in urban areas so it’s time we take a serious look at the potential of this housing type. We’ll define the three types of tiny houses and review the latest ICC building code proposals to address tiny houses. This will help AIA members focused on housing understand why and how they may provide services for owners interested in tiny houses.

About the Presenters:

Ryan Taylor, AIA – Founder, Ryan Taylor Architects | AIA C&S Committee Member

Ryan Taylor founded Ryan Taylor Architects LLC in 2002 to change the scale of his practice from commercial work to residential projects: renovations, additions and new construction. Ryan shares a combination of experience in commercial work, residential practice, building code development, legislative work, public speaking and community service with each project team and audience. He’s invested in growing his skill set to include HERS ratings and HVAC design to be ready for our evolving building codes and real estate market.

Robert E. Reed III, Assoc, AIA – Director, Res. & Community Sustainability Services, Southface

Robert is the Director of Residential & Community Sustainability Services at Southface Energy Institute, a non-profit at the forefront of sustainability-planning in the Southeast region advocating for sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities for more than 38 years. He co-led the community interaction and architectural guidelines process for the award-winning Chattahoochee hill Country Land Use Plan, recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Robert is Past-Chair of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission and is a four-time winner of the Atlanta urban Design Commission Award for homes and communities designed in historic neighborhoods.

Moderator: Paul Karrer – Manager, AIA Building Codes Policy | | (202) 626-2562

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will be able to…

1) Define the three types of tiny houses.
2) Explain why and how AIA members focused on housing may provider services for tiny houses.
3) Demonstrate the potential for tiny houses in development and increasing density of cities.
4) Identify building code issues related to tiny houses.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Call for Submissions to the 12th Biennial BDA Design Awards Program

12th Biennial BDA Design Awards Program 2016
Celebrating 24 Years of Design Excellence

Friday, January 27, 2017
Submissions Deadline: 5pm
Application Fee: $50

Project Information and Application Form:

Berkeley Design Advocates is pleased to announce its 12th Biennial Design Awards Program for acknowledgement of excellence in urban planning and architecture, innovative and creative design solutions, and preservation of historic structures and places in Berkeley. BDA is a membership organization of architects, landscape architects, planners, builders and design professionals established in 1973 to promote excellence in the built environment of Berkeley.

The BDA Design Awards jury will consider applications submitted from design professionals, owners, and builders for building projects,  renovation and restoration works, and urban design plans completed within the period from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016 in the City of Berkeley. Projects that exemplify the best in architecture, landscape architecture, preservation and planning will be selected by the jury for an award.

To submit a project to be considered for an award, please send your project information with an application fee of $50 (Fifty Dollars), including up to six jpg format digital images.

Submissions must be received no later than 5:00pm, January 27, 2017, at  Berkeley Design Advocates, P.O. Box 7233, Berkeley, CA 94707, or, in MS Word format for text. (The application fee provides a year’s membership to BDA. BDA Members will receive a membership renewal for 2016.)

Award recipients will be notified by March 2, 2017.  The Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 6:30-8PM in Berkeley at a venue to be announced.

Tall Wood: A Viable Option for Today’s Building Designers

a WoodWorks Event

Tuesday, December 8, 2016

AIA SF Hallidie Building
Cost: $40
Register here


As an 18-story mass timber student housing project nears completion in Canada, the design and approval communities in the United States are asking themselves if tall wood structures can or should be built domestically—and, if yes, how. The motivation for mainstream use of mass timber is extremely compelling, not just for designers and developers who want to advance modern construction, but for cities and states across the US that want to leverage wood’s benefits from sustainability and economic development perspectives. This workshop outlines potential code path options for design and approval teams considering mass timber projects that exceed the prescriptive limits of combustible construction. In particular, it will provide insight on methods for addressing two of the biggest hurdles in tall timber construction: structural and fire life safety provisions of the code.

2016 Member Appreciation Party & Annual Business Meeting

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

AIA East Bay Members and Employees of Chapter Member Firms: Free / Guests: $38
Location: Parliament, 811 Washington St., Oakland, CA
Click here to register.

AIA East Bay Members, sponsors and welcome guests gather once again at Parliament in Old Oakland for our annual Member Appreciation Party and Annual Business Meeting. Last year’s party was so much fun that we decided to return to Parliament for another round. Enjoy beer, wine, cocktails and heavy hors d oeuvres in a celebration of our members and all the great things you’ve accomplished this year. Come enjoy our last event of the year!

ADA/MCE Day: January 6, 2017

MCE/ADA Day: Accessibility for California Architects

Friday, January 6, 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.

Presenter: Craig Williams, CASp.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming


Chapter Response to AIA National

AIA East Bay sent the following letter to AIA’s leadership in response to a poorly-timed
press release issued on behalf of the members of the AIA, many of whom took umbrage by its message.


November 16, 2016

American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20006-5292

Dear AIA National President Russell Davidson, President-Elect Thomas Vonier, and Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Ivy:

In this highly divisive election cycle and even more extraordinary post-election reaction, it is difficult to comprehend why Mr. Ivy issued the statement he did on behalf of AIA’s 89,000 members so soon after the election.

We acknowledge the apology, which, it must be said, came only after swift rebuke by AIA members.  On their behalf and specifically on the behalf of the AIA East Bay Chapter members who practice architecture with respect for people, inclusion and diversity; who lead efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change; and who have dedicated careers to creating beautiful, healthful and sustainable places that make positive differences in people’s lives, we ask that AIA National develop, articulate and memorialize clear protocols for future leaders so that this “mistake” does not happen again.  We feel this is a critical first step towards restoring trust in AIA National leadership.

We look forward to the AIA National listening sessions to affirm our collective values. In anticipation, the AIAEB chapter leadership will conduct our own chapter-wide listening sessions in January 2017 to prepare for our upcoming work with AIA National.


Susi Marzuola, AIA                Winston Win, AIA                  Sidney Sweeney
President                                 President-elect                        Executive Director

ArchNews November 2016

ArchNews November 2016 is out now!

This month’s issue includes:

Project Profile: M I Architects, Inc.
2016 Design Awards Winners
Emerging Professionals: NCARB Releases ARE 5.0 Study Resources
Codes: How to Design Outside the Code
Green: Tenant Star – The New Energy Star for Tenants
CoolTechStuff: Theodolite 5.0
Members in the News: Yun Moves to ELS
Firm Profile: RATCLIFF

Click here to download the PDF.

Firm Profile: RATCLIFF

RATCLIFF possesses a vibrant vision, a zest for innovation and a commipp8tment4pp8 6pg8 5pg8
to sustainability. With a legacy in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1906, the firm is a living, adapting organization, dedicated to evoking a world in healthy
balance with time, purpose and place.

RATCLIFF’s partners engage clients who share our values and serve as strategic partners in designing sustainable building solutions. Our primary practice areas of academic, healthcare and civic architecture present limitless opportunities for a sustainable architecture that is driven not only by formal questions of image, allusion and
program but by deeper issues of global

From this modest step and in keeping with its Core Purpose, Values and Mission, RATCLIFF remains committed to influencing change within the practice of architecture and in society so that people and nature thrive over the next hundred years and beyond.


CoolTechStuff: Theodolite 5.0


Larry Mortimer, AIA

Here’s an “augmented reality” app that’s been around since 2009. If you remember, I reviewed this app in the December 2010 issue of ArchNews (we didn’t call it “augmented reality” back then). It’s one of my favorite apps, and since I use all the time I thought we should take look at the latest version2pp6

What Does It Do: Theodolite is an app for iOS devices that overlays information such as date/time, azimuth, bearing, altitude, elevation angle, horizon angle and more on your device’s screen (it’s like a heads up display on a jet airplane). It also functions as a
compass, two-axis inclinometer, rangefinder, GPS, map, nav calculator, tracker and geo-tag photo/movie camera.

pp6System Requirements: An iPhone, camera equipped iPod, iPad or iPad mini running iOS 7.0 or later. iPads use the Theodolite HD version.

What does it cost: Theodolite and Theodolite HD are both $5.99.

How Does it Work: Theodolite overlays geographical, positional, date/time, and custom data directly on your iOS device’s screen. Screens can be saved for later reference and shared via text messages or email. In map view you can see your current position and with the optional outdoors maps, topo contours (feet or meters), roads, trails, and other landmarks are also shown. Custom “live” map markers continually update distance/head-ing relative to the current location. Theodolite also includes features such as reference angle mode,
a nav calculator, data logging, e-mail export, clipboard integration, percent grade display, compass readout, optical rangefinders, and colored lens filters (for night vision). The app can show location in military grid reference system (MGRS) coordinates, universal transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates, British/Irish National Grids, US National Grid, and six latitude/longitude formats.

Pros: It’s inexpensive, has a cool interface and is very easy to use.3pp6

Cons: It only runs on iOS devices, however Dioptra and Theodolite Droid are similar apps that run on Android devices.

Conclusion: You will be amazed at the amount of information you can easily document with this app. This is a mature, refined app
that’s been around a while. If you watched Apple’s last Special Event Keynote, you would have seen Theodolite used in the presentation.

4pp6More Information at:

Purchase at:

Green: Tenant Star – The New Energy Star for Tenants

November_DRAFT pg 1-6_Page_5_Image_0001

Judhajit Chakraborty. Assoc. AIA, LEED® AP WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff

In September I attended the VERGE Sustainability conference held at the Santa Clara Convention Center between September 19-22. The conference was largely attended by owners, real estate developers, GRESB, banks, renewable energy firms and utilities. There was a small group of “us” meaning people from the design and consultancy world. It was good to know that sustainability is the major driving force even behind banks making their decisions on loans and how sustainability of existing buildings are really the keystone for market transformation. And when it comes to existing buildings, tenants play a big role. And that’s why to promote energy efficiency in separate spaces leased by tenants, EPA is coming up with a new standard called the “Tenant Star.” When implemented, it will address the
following objectives:
1. Stimulate greater market adoption of energy efficiency technologies and practices specific to tenant spaces.
2. Provide a mechanism to recognize tenants that voluntarily pursue high levels of energy efficiency in their spaces.
3. Create opportunities for greater tenant-landlord engagement around energy efficiency.

The Need for Tenant Star
In April 2015, the Energy Investment Act became the first federal energy efficiency bill since 2007. This bill directed the Department of Energy (DoE) to publish a study on the feasibility of significantly improving energy efficiency of tenant spaces within a commercial building through design and construction and encouraging the owners and tenants to implement the measures. The study showed that greater levels of energy efficiency in tenant spaces is feasible through technologies that exist in the market today but the study also identified certain challenges for widespread adoption. The challenges being:
1. Timing and process of leasing; less opportunities for improvements
2. Lack of awareness of the financial benefits of energy efficiency
3. Most tenants are small, distinct and hard to reach.
4. Lack of data for tenant spaces to measure impact
5. Split incentive problem whereby the landlord may not be willing to invest in upgrades while the tenant reaps the financial benefit or vice versa.

One of the recommendations of the study for overcoming the challenges above is to create a federal tenant space recognition system much like what Energy Star did for whole commercial buildings. This type of recognition system will provide the market with greater insight to evaluate building performance and therefore will help owners and tenants to showcase the value of energy efficiency measures.
That’s how Tenant Star was born.
EPA has drafted a proposed structure and criterion for this new recognition and is open to comments till November 14, 2016. This is the link: resources/request_public_comment_epa_ energy_starrecognition_efficient_office_tenant_spaces.

Proposed Criteria for Tenant Star
The following are the five criterions a tenant must meet for achieving the Tenant Star recognition:
1: Estimate Energy Use – Estimation of total energy use of the space through energy model or technical analysis.
2: Meter- Installing appropriate metering enabling accurate monitoring and tracking of tenants contribution to the total building energy use.
3: Light Efficiently- Design lighting so that the lighting energy use for the tenant space is below a certain threshold or the lighting design should include LED technology.
4: Share Data- Tenant agrees to share energy data with the landlord.
5: Purchase Efficient Equipment- All eligible installed equipment will be/is Energy Star certified, including computers, laptops, printers, and kitchen appliances. This requirement also applies to Energy Star eligible HVAC and data center equipment if installed or replaced by the tenant.

The Tenant Star recognition draft has only office spaces as eligible spaces. Currently there is no validity stamp to the program which means there is no end-date specified once awarded. The recognition should be available for office tenants by the end of 2017 and standards for warehouses and retail spaces will follow soon after.