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Small Firm Forum: Working with an Engineer

Thursday, August 7, 2014
Open to all. Free for AIA Members, $3 Non Members; bring your lunch, drinks provided.

1.5 CES LUs

Working with a structural engineer early in a project brings many benefits to the architect, the client, and the contractor. This is especially true for residential additions and remodels. Learn some of the benefits and pit falls of the different approaches and why you should consider early involvement of a structural engineer. Nellie Ingraham will present several problematic projects with her solutions and show you why bringing in an engineer after all design work has been done might lead to a costly project that could have been much less expensive.

Speaker Bio:

Nellie Ingraham established Nellie Ingraham Structural Engineer in 2014 to provide excellent practical, creative and cost-effective engineering solutions to her clients on a more personal level.

Learning Objectives:

 1. Learn why involving a structural engineer from the beginning of a project is smart.

2. Discover how a preliminary schematic framing plan can support good architectural design.

3. Learn about creative lateral shear solutions.

4. Understand common structural implications of second story additions.

Pleasanton Program: The Secrets to Backups & Disaster Recovery for Architects

20140829_backupeb-title (2)-page-0Thursday, August 28, 2014
Location: Dahlin Group, 5865 Owens DrivePleasanton, CA 94588
All are welcome,  no cost to attend.
Bring your own lunch. Click here to RSVP



How confident are you RIGHT NOW that your business could be backed up and running fast in the event of a hard disk crash, virus infection, fire or other disaster? Research shows that 70% of small firms that experience a data loss go out of business in a year (Contingency Planning, Strategic Research Corp and DTI/PWC, 2004).

At this seminar, you will learn about the common causes of data loss, strategies to backup every type of data, how to evaluate online backup services, the latest backup hardware/software technologies, and more! Attendees will also receive a free ArcSource Disaster Planning Guide to get you started on a disaster recovery plan for your business.

The tide has shifted in business backups. Gone are the days of tape drives, confusing server-based software, uncertainty over what systems are backed up, and the lack of confidence in your ability to access your business’s critical information. There are new technologies that meet the needs of mobile users, multiple systems, on-site and office backups, and ease of use.

With over 15 years of experience designing backups for architects, ArcSource has a set of proven best-practices to deliver rock solid backups and peace of mind.

About the Presenter:

Dave Monk is the founder and CEO of ArcSource, a premier provider of IT consulting & support services to businesses in the Bay Area. With years of experience providing IT for architects, Dave also holds masters in architecture and structural engineering.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify the common causes of data loss

2. Strategies to backup every type of data, from mobile devices to workstations.

3. How to evaluate online backup services

4. The latest in backup hardware/software technologies

Design Tour: Zero Net Energy Center

Friday, August 15, 2014
Zero Net Energy Center (14600 Catalina Street, San Leandro)
Tickets: $5 for AIA Members and employees of chapter member firms / $10 for guests
All are welcome! Registration closes Thursday, August 14, 2014. Click here to register. Space is limited to 25.

1.5 CES LUs

A design tour will be led by Galen Grant, AIA, Principal at FCGA Architects, joined by Byron Benton, Training Director of the Alameda County Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, at the Zero Net Energy Center. The Center is a privately owned, commercial retrofit and remodel–the first of its kind–that is used for career training purposes in the electrical construction industry.

More About the Zero Net Energy Center:

The Zero Net Energy Center (ZNE Center) is the very first large-scale retrofit of an existing commercial building to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s definition of a “zero net energy” building, a building that produces as much energy as it consumes. The new home of the Electrical Apprenticeship and Training Program of IBEW Local 595 and the Northern California Chapter of NECA, the ZNE Center celebrated its grand opening with great fanfare on May 30, 2013. Governor Jerry Brown cut the ribbon and gave an inspiring keynote address. In his remarks, the Governor proclaimed, “We need THOUSANDS of these buildings and that’s why I signed an executive order requiring buildings in California to meet energy efficiency guidelines by 2030.”

Heralded as a “game changer” for energy conservation and renewable energy the ZNE Center actually exceeds the State’s 2030 guidelines a whopping 17 years in advance. Additionally, the ZNE Center exceeds Federal energy conservation goals as outlined in the Obama administration’s “Better Buildings Challenge.”

IBEW-NECA chose a typical 1980’s energy hog to tackle. They assembled an inter-disciplinary team of experts early and created a collaborative dynamic that far exceeded the typical design and construction process. Utilizing new technologies and innovative building design and construction methods, the ZNE Center team achieved a dramatic and unprecedented 75% reduction in energy use when compared to similar existing commercial buildings in the country. Please join us and hear directly from the ZNE Center team and see this remarkable building for yourself!

Find even more information about the ZNE Center here.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, attendees will:


Member and Firm News

Arnerich says Thanks!
In the recent election for California State Assembly, candidate Newell Arnerich, AIA did not make it to one of the slots to go on to the November election. Newell says:

“My deepest appreciation of, and thanks, go to all of our supporters, volunteers, contributors, and particularly my family and my wife Janis of 40 wonderful years (and for the nearly 4,800 letters she wrote) and to my friend and Treasurer – Robert Storer, my fellow Councilmembers, Sheriff David Livingston, San Ramon Councilmembers, Congressman Jerry McNerney and many others. My sincere thanks go to all, but most importantly thank you for your friendship. I am deeply honored to have had so many people help over the last four intense months of this race.”


member and firm newsConner Promoted
Kava Massih Architects announces the promotion of J. Jarrell Conner, AIA to principal of the firm.



member and firm news 2Denny is promoted too!
Maria Denny, AIA was promoted to Deputy Program Manager at the Seville Group.



Steppan Competes
Mark Steppan, AIA, chair of the Professional Practice Forum, will be competing in the Golf Channel’s Amateur Tour National Championships in September. Good luck Mark!


Benson is now AIA
Robert S. Benson, AIA has received his licence. Hooray!

Member Profile: Cliff Moser, AIA

member profileCliff Moser, AIA, LEED is a Director for Facility Planning and Design, National Facility Services at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. Cliff oversees the Innovation, Architecture and Total Integrated Facility Management (TIFM) requirements for Kaiser Permanente’s 78 million square feet of facility space. Under his direction, KP looks to continue integrating the management of its myriad mix of different facility types (clinical, administration, and support) into a holistic digital oversight model. In this role, Cliff works directly with facility service delivery teams as well as planning and design, construction acquisition, and design consultants.

With over 30 years of design and construction experience, he has guided the design and building requirements of numerous healthcare projects as a member of such firms as Perkins + Will, RTKL, and Ewing Cole, and has practiced in Denver, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. He is also fluent in the latest technology requirements in the delivery of design and construction projects including Building Information Modeling (BIM), Point Clouds and Integrated Project Delivery. Cliff also has a Master’s of Science Degree in Quality Assurance and is a board member of the Design and Construction Division of The American Society for Quality (ASQ), where his focus has been on managing design quality through digital review and delivery methods.

Cliff shares his expertise in design and technology, including design solving techniques and the evolution of the disruptive architecture practice during many years of industry presentations and workshops, and through his articles and books. He is author of, Architecture 3.0: The Disruptive Design Practice Handbook and the Quality Management Chapters of both the 14th and 15th edition of the AIA’s Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice.

He also champions the new collaborative and integrated opportunities that are transforming the design and delivery of health care services through social media and stakeholder and member engagement, recognizing that the design and construction of a building is just the start of a key support mechanism that will create healthier environments and outcomes for everyone.

A long-time member of the American Institute of Architects, Cliff was most recently involved in the AIA National Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC). Cliff and his wife Liz live in Berkeley. They have four children, Axel, Anneke, Isabel, and Clayton.

Firm Profile: Norman D. Hooks/Architecture

Norman has more than twenty years of professional experience as a licensed architect.

firm profile 1

Prior to starting his own practice, he was responsible for the preparation of Design Development and Construction Documents for a variety of projects while working with some of the Bay Area’s leading architectural firms, including Michael Willis Associates, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, ELS Design Group, and Ratcliff Architects.

Norman D. Hooks/Architecture was founded in 1992 in Oakland, California as a Sole Proprietorship with professional outsource support for AutoCAD and Administrative Services as well as Engineering and other consultants, as required.

The firm provides architectural services for residential, commercial and municipal clients in the following primary Practice Areas:

Renovation and Adaptive-Reuse, with an emphasis on Historic Preservation and the remediation of the deferred maintenance issues often associated with older buildings. Some examples include: An extensive renovation of a house designed in the English Tudor, Half-Timber style and built in 1938. ( Photograph by the Owner, Mr. George Burtt ) The restoration and conversion of a former Convent into offices for a coalition of neighborhood-serving non-profit organizations. The building is an example of Italianate architecture and was built in 1876. The conversion of a former 1950′s vintage United States Post Office into a restaurant. ( Photograph by Norman Hooks, AIA )

firm profile 2

New Construction and Tenant Improvements, include providing Design Development and Construction Documents Services for the “core and shell” of a new restaurant and providing Tenant Improvement Services for the building’s interior. ( Photograph by Norman Hooks, AIA )

Projects for municipal clients, include Community Outreach and Conceptual Design Services for: The Renovation of more than 35 Playgrounds for small children and; The Lake Merritt Park Master Plan.

In association with Philip Banta, AIA of Banta Design, one of the projects the firm is currently co- developing is an urban design concept, called the West Oakland Walk that will leverage central city assets into a 4.5 mile loop for walking, biking, etc. The concept, which essentially connects the SP Train Station in West Oakland to Lake Merritt in the downtown area, was developed from our pro-bono work for Raimondi Park, which resulted in major sports field renovations. The West Oakland Walk has received the enthusiastic support of various neighborhood and business associations, as well as city officials and the Planning Department; and has been included as part of the recently developed West Oakland Specific Plan.

firm profile 3

Norman earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Hampton University, in Hampton, Virginia and went on to graduate studies in Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley; College of Environmental Design.

In the area of civic involvement, Norman served a 7.5-year term as a Board Member and Vice-Chairman of the City of Oakland’s Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board and also served a 2-year term on the Oakland Mayor’s Land-Use and Planning Task Force.

CoolTechStuff: CONCEPT

By Larry Mortimer, AIA

concept app

What Does It Do: This app helps the architect identify possible structural systems in wood, concrete and steel in the early stages of a design.
System Requirements: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Optimized for iPhone 5.
What Does It Cost: It’s free.
How Does It Work: The app has two sections: the gallery and the calculator. The gallery has multiple images showing examples of beams, decking, as well as trusses in wood, steel, and concrete. The calculator section allows you to select a roof or floor system in wood, steel or concrete, and enter the span information to give you estimated sizes for the system.


concept 3concept 2Pros: Easy to use, and it’s free.
Cons: It’s only available for iOS devices.
Conclusion: This app is great for initial design thinking. This app was designed by Fast + Epp, structural engineers, to help architects identify possible structural systems early in the design phase of a project. Think of this as a tool to quickly help you get in the structural ballpark to give you estimated sizes for the system.

More Information At:
Download At:

The Road to ARE 5.0

By Derrick Porter, Assoc. AIA

an Emerging Professionals column

The Architect Registration Examination ARE undergoes a metamorphosis of sorts every few years. Those currently in school, or who have not begun their testing, may see the following as a reference for what to expect when ARE 5.0 becomes available. For those, like myself, currently working on their testing under the current ARE 4.0 sections, this will give you a game plan to follow in order to make the transition seamless.

Before I get into the particulars, here’s a little history as to why ARE 5.0 is coming into existence and the steps up to this point to put it together. It began in September of 2013 when over 40 architects gathered in Portland, Oregon to become the Test Specification Task Force. They were tasked with developing the new content areas and assessment objectives for the new divisions. They worked to determine the knowledge and skills that would be measured in each division along with the development of the transition plan for candidates in the process of taking the ARE. Through the continuing effort of the Research and Development Subcommittee and the Graphics Grading Subcommittee, NCARB has developed a testing structure that coincides with changing technology and a different approach to the exam. Not only have they developed new sections but, to the happiness of future exam takers, have eliminated the archaic CAD graphics portion. Instead they have integrated graphic testing alongside multiple choice and are taking a look at using case studies.


Now let’s get into the particulars. The new sections are as follows: Practice Management, Project Management, Programming & Analysis, Project Planning & Design, Project Development & Documentation, and Construction & Evaluation. Understandably the naming of the sections tends to make them blur together. It is not nearly as straight forward as Building Systems or Site Planning & Design but what is key to understand is they blend a number of aspects of what we are used to in order to better evaluate the candidate in a more cohesive manner. On the NCARB website you can take a look at the 15-page Test Specification to get a better understanding of what these sections contain. What I am providing is more of a road map of what to take now, so you either don’t have to worry about their meaning, or only need to dive into a few of them if that time does come.

So you may be asking yourself, should I wait for ARE 5.0 or continue/begin ARE 4.0”? To answer this you have to ask yourself a few questions. Has your rolling clock begun, i.e. if it has, how much time do you have left before tests begin to drop off? What divisions in 4.0 have you already passed? And finally, if you are eligible to begin testing under 4.0, are you willing to wait for 5.0 to launch? First off, if you answered the third question as ‘Yes,’ I highly encourage you to get started in 4.0 and the following will explain why. ARE 4.0 will continue to be available after 5.0 launches in late 2016. In addition, 4.0 will continue to be offered until 18 months after 5.0 inception and be retired in June 2018. That means even if you have not begun 4.0 you technically have almost four years to finish it and enjoy the massive amount of study tools already available to you. Now in 2016 when 5.0 begins, candidates who have begun 4.0 can begin to transition to 5.0 if the 18 months are not enough time to finish. This is where the transition plan mentioned before comes in handy. The ARE 5.0 Credit Model is a matrix that identifies the relationships between the seven divisions of 4.0 and the six divisions of 5.0. Essentially it breaks down what to pass in order to receive credit for a 5.0 exam. This is where being strategic can make the transition as streamlined as possible. NCARB has a three- step approach to successfully transition which I will describe here for you. First, take Construction Documents & Services (CDS), this will knock out Construction & Evaluation, and it is also a key component in four out of the six ARE 5.0 sections. Next, take Programming, Planning, and Practice (PPP) combined with CDS this will take care of two more sections, Practice Management and Project Management. Then take Site Planning & Design (SPD) combined with PPP you will finish Programming & Analysis. If you are able to finish these three 4.0 sections, you only would have three sections of 5.0 to complete to get your license.

As you can see, the transition to ARE 5.0 can be accomplished but it has to be handled on a case by case basis. As I mentioned, I highly encourage candidates for licensure to begin 4.0 and not wait. Don’t delay your goal of becoming licensed. And for those who will become candidates between now and 2016, do what is comfortable for you. There are a lot of resources currently available for ARE 4.0 sections, including our Prep Seminars that are offered at AIA East Bay. Study materials for 5.0 will become available eventually, but why wait?

2014 Home Tours

2014 AIA East Bay Home Tours
Saturday, August 9, 2014

Click here to purchase tickets.
$50 in advance
$60 Tour Day, if available
Tour Day ticket headquarters: Bica Coffeehouse, 5701 College Ave, Rockridge

AIA East Bay announces the return of its popular Home Tours. This year’s tour is Saturday, August 9, 2014. Our “mostly self-guided” tour celebrates design excellence, inspiring and educating the public about the impact of architects and architecture on East Bay living.

2014 Sponsors:

Premier Sponsor
The Grubb Company

Media Sponsor
Diablo Magazine

Industry Sponsors
American Soil & StoneAssocBSlogoOnGreen
lutron logomoen_300x100

2014 Homes:


Craftsman Addition
Eisenmann Architecture


Midcentury Modern
Koch Architects


Contemporary Cabin
John Quiter, AIA


Gallery House
Regan Bice Architects


LEED Ranch
Michelle Kaufmann Studio


View House
WA Design


Featuring Houses By:

Eisenmann Architecture
Michelle Kaufmann Studio
Koch Architects
John Quiter, AIA
Regan Bice Architects
WA Design

The AIA East Bay Home Tours feature a diverse selection of contemporary homes designed by the Bay Area’s leading architects, ranging from finely-detailed in-law units to exuberant historic renovations to stunning modern masterpieces.

The AIA East Bay Home Tours is the best way for our community to learn how an architect transforms a house into a home.

Questions? Please contact Sidney Sweeney, executive director at 510/464-3600 or

Starting a New Firm

an Emerging Professionals Forum

Monday, July 21, 2014
Free and open to all.

Light reception will be provided.

Join us this coming Monday July 21st for our monthly Emerging Professionals meeting. We will have a number of guest speakers to give us some insight into ‘Starting you own firm’. This will be a great chance to see what you can look forward to and to receive some valuable suggestions if and when you want to take that leap into starting a firm.

Featured speakers:
Kerstin Fischer, AIA, Fischer Architecture
Todd Jersey, AIA, Todd Jersey Architecture

Dong Kim, AIA, Byrens Kim Design Works

George Schevon, AIA, Studio 4 Architecture