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AIA East Bay Pokémon Go Contest

Pokemon-TribuneEnter for the chance to win a $25 Amazon, Google Play, or iTunes gift card
Let Pokémon Go be your local tour guide! As you discover new places and spaces on your adventures, use the camera to take pictures of Pokémon with some of your favorite buildings.
How to enter:
  1. Screenshot a Pokémon in front of your favorite building or architectural landmark (no private residences). Use the app’s camera tool!
  2. Write a short caption (~25 words) about what makes the building stand out to you. Include the general location of the building.
  3. Email your screenshot, description, and name to by August 1st. (No more than 5 entries per person).
An East Bay and a global winner will be announced on August 4th. All submissions will be featured on and AIA mobile!

SWATT | MIERS ARCHITECTS proudly announces the addition of new Principals to their firm


Pictured here with partners, George Miers, AIA (front left) and Robert Swatt, FAIA (front right), they are Phoebe Wong-Oliveros, AIA; Michael Gale, AIA; Ivan Olds; Julie Liberman, AIA; and Miya Muraki (back row from left to right). Congratulations to our talented, indispensable leaders.

RATCLIFF Promotes Gary Jereczek, AIA to Principal and Heidi Bilodeau to Associate Principal


Gary Jereczek, AIA

@2007 John Swanda Swanda & Schindler Photography 109 Geary St. 3rd floor San Francisco CA 94108

Heidi Bilodeau









RATCLIFF announces two senior staff promotions: Gary Jereczek, AIA, to principal of the firm and Heidi Bilodeau to associate principal. “Gary and Heidi are consummate professionals and tireless in their pursuit of excellence in every aspect of our practice,” said Dan Wetherell, president. “They are strong leaders and Ratcliff is proud to have them represent our firm to our clients and colleagues.” The awardwinning firm ( based in Emeryville, CA provides architecture, interior design and planning services to healthcare, academic and civic clients throughout the Western United States.

Jereczek, promoted from associate principal, leads award-winning projects for healthcare giants including Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., NorthBay Healthcare Group, Dignity Health and Stanford Hospital and Clinics. Recent work includes two new facilities in San Jose: Valley Health Center for the County of Santa Clara and the new student health center for San Jose State University. Gary is a graduate of UC Berkeley with Master and Bachelor degrees in Architecture. He has served on the Board of the AIA East Bay Chapter and community boards and committees.

Bilodeau, promoted from senior associate, is Ratcliff’s director of marketing and leads the development and execution of strategic marketing and business development initiatives, oversees marketing research and champions the company’s brand management. She is a graduate of UCLA with a Bachelor degree in Anthropology (Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society) and is a member of the Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

Architecture Billings Index Remains on Solid Footing

Highest levels of demand at residential firms in over two years 

Buoyed by increasing levels of demand across all project types, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was positive in June for the fifth consecutive month.  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 June ABI score was 52.6, down from the mark of 53.1 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 58.6, down from a reading of 60.1 the previous month.

“Demand for residential projects has surged this year, greatly exceeding the pace set in 2015. This suggests strong future growth for housing in the coming year,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “While we expect to see momentum continue for the overall design and construction industry in the months ahead, the fact that the value of design contracts dipped into negative territory in June for the first time in more than two years is something of a concern.”

Key June ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: South (55.5), West (54.1), Northeast (51.8), Midwest (48.2)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (57.9), institutional (52.7), mixed practice (51.0), commercial / industrial (50.3)
  • Project inquiries index: 58.6
  • Design contracts index: 49.7

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.

CoolTechStuff: Sun Seeker


Larry Mortimer, AIA


If you recall, our CoolTech article two months ago was about AR (augmented reality). Well here’s an app you can use right now that uses AR to help you view solar exposure at any time, date, or place in the world.

What Does It Do: Sun Seeker shows the solar path, its hour intervals, its equinox, winter and summer solstice paths, rise and set times, twilight times, and more. It provides a flat compass view, an AR (augmented reality) view, and a map view showing solar direction for each daylight hour. A screen widget also shows today’s solar data and position on arc.

System Requirements: Any iOS or Android device.Capture

What does it cost: $7.49 (Android) $9.99 (iOS)

4How Does it Work: It uses your mobile device’s GPS, magnetometer and gyroscope to find the correct solar position and path for your current location.

• Flat compass view shows current solar position, azimuth, elevation, and shadow ratio.
• AR view shows the sun’s current position/path superimposed on your camera view.
• Map view showing solar direction arrows and elevations for each hour of the day.2
• You can choose any date/time.
• You can choose any location on earth.
• Equinox, summer and winter solstice paths can be shown in both flat compass and AR views.

Conclusion: This is an easy to use tool for determiningsolar exposures anywhere at any time on any date. Best of all it’s inexpensive and works on a device you most likely already carry with you.

More Information at:
Purchase at:


Path to Licensure Workshop

How to get licensed in California

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Cost: Free AIA East Bay Members and Employees of Chapter Member Firms / $5 non-members. Pizza and beverages will be provided.
Click here to register.

This workshop is for those looking to get licensed in California who have not yet submitted paperwork to NCARB and/or CAB. This workshop will provide attendees with an understanding of the NCARB requirements for the AXP (formerly known as the IDP, Intern Development Program) and the ARE. At the end of this workshop attendees will have completed all the paperwork required by the CAB to apply for testing.

It is important for all those interested in getting licensed to file their paperwork well before October 1st as the ARE format will be changing. Anyone filing on October 1st or later will automatically be required to take the exam in the new format.


The Informed Decision: Choosing by Advantages, an Overview and Workshop

LCI Northern California Community of Practice presents

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
LCI/AIA Members: $55.00 / Guests: $75.00 / Public Sector Owners, Non-Profit Owners Representatives: Free / Academic: $30
Click here to register.

Please join us as we review the Choosing By Advantages decision making system. This system has continuously proved to be the most exceptional tool in helping project teams make complex, informed, and transparent decisions that inevitably lead to better overall project outcomes.

This a great opportunity for owners, builders, and designers to participate in a training that will help each make better decisions on all scales as individuals, companies, and project teams. You will come away from the event with a rubric and strategies useful in making sound, informed, relevant, and transparent decisions effectively.


Ron Migliori is the Executive Vice President of Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers. He is currently the president of DBIA Western Pacific region. From large healthcare projects, to complex aviation projects, to extensive department of corrections work, he has functioned as a lean leader and lean consultant on innumerable project teams both internally and externally over the past decade. He has served as a project executive within the industry for well over 30 years and uses his extensive knowledge in building construction and lean practices to cultivate successful projects and project teams

Uchenna Okoye functions as a Project Manager at Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers. He is currently Chair of the Education and Training Committee at LCI Northern California Community of Practice. He has spent his entire 12 year career working as a project manager and as BIM champion on IPD and Lean projects and project teams in the San Francisco Bay area, the Las Vegas area, and the Greater Boston area. He brings his eclectic knowledge, enthusiasm, and extensive lean knowledge to aid in the success of projects and project teams and continues to pioneer the growth of lean practices nationwide.

Appetizers and refreshments will be served.

The Myth of our Code and the “One-Earthquake Building” Webinar

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Free lunchtime webinar
Click here to RSVP


Most of the general public and even many of us in the A/E world, subscribe to a huge misconception about the intent of our building codes.  Because of this, the performance of a “code-compliant” building often falls drastically short of the expectations of society and businesses that trust us to deliver.  The good news is that this conundrum is rather easily overcome.  In this webinar, we will discuss how forethought and relatively small investments into your building at the beginning of the design stage (or ownership stage) can add significant value to the property, reduce future repair costs, allow rapid re-occupancy that limits operations downtime, and save lives.

This webinar is presented by Josh Reynolds, S.E. Senior Associate with Miyamoto International, Inc. and Richard Chen, Principal at Miyamoto International, Inc.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn about the misconception about the intent of our building codes.
  2. Learn how to overcome the conundrum of the “code-compliant” building that isn’t up to societal standards.
  3. Learn about the forethought and small investments made during the design stage that can add value and reduce costs.
  4. Learn about significant opportunities to allow for rapid re-occcupancy, saving lives and limiting operations downtime when an earthquake strikes.


Idaho Architectural Firm for Sale

This is a highly successful regional architectural firm beginning in the mid 1990s and now offering a full spectrum of services for the Intermountain West region of the United States. The business has been continually ranked in the top five in industrial, commercial and residential growth. The company developed specific expertise to include space planning, accessibility upgrades (Title 10), reroofing, elevator upgrades, paving and project planning including budget estimations and scheduling. The company clients range from state government projects to large industrial development. The company’s strong reputation and excellence for quality work have provided design services for over 600 projects for various state agencies (Department of Labor, Corrections, Transportation and school districts) as well commercial projects.

Architects KM-page-001

ArchNews July 2016

ArchNews July 2016 is out now!

This month’s issue includes:

Project Profile: Tolbert Design Architects
Design Awards
Emerging Professionals: Understanding the ARE 5.0 Divisions: Practice Management vs. Project Management
Codes: The View From Here
Green: Of LEED and Landlord/Tenants
CoolTechStuff: Scala
Members in the News: New Director for ELS
Firm Profile: AJS Architecture / Planning

Click here to download the PDF.