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CoolTechStuff: Seek thermal Compact

Larry Mortimer, AIA

A friend of mine was concerned about heat loss/gain in one room of his residence.  The room was cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  To help diagnose the problem he purchased a little device called the Seek thermal Compact that plugged into his smart phone to provide a thermal image of the room.

 

What Does It Do: The Seek thermal Compact is a thermal imaging camera that plugs into your smart phone or tablet to allow it to take thermal images or videos of anything including buildings and building systems.

System Requirements:  iOS or Android smart phone or tablet

What does it cost: $249 – $499 (depending on model)

How Does it Work: Simply plug the camera into your smart device to capture a thermal image or video that will show energy loss/gain caused by air leaks, missing or damaged insulation, inefficient HVAC systems, electrical faults, and more.  You can save, send, share, and store the thermal images or videos the same way you would any other image or video on your smart device.  This compact, pocket-size, portable device measures only 1 x 1.75 x 1” and weighs less than 0.5 ounces.  It runs on power from your smart device, does not require batteries or charging, and has low power consumption (up to 4 hours of battery operating time).  There are three models of the Seek Compact:  the Compact, the CompactXR and the CompactPro. The main differences are the size of the thermal sensor, field of view, frame rate and detection distance.  For design professionals the Compact or CompactXR would probably be sufficient.

Conclusion:  This looks like a useful device for quick, convenient on-demand thermal imaging with your smartphone or tablet.

More Info: http://www.thermal.com/compact-series.html

 

SunShares Makes NOW a Great Time to Add 100% Renewable Electricity

By: Cate Leger, Principal, Leger Wanaselja Architecture and Commissioner, Berkeley Energy Commission

Many cities in the Bay Area have partnered with SunShares this fall to use bulk buying power to reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) panels and electric vehicles to an all-time low.  The program also simplifies the PV panel purchasing process, offering a short list of pre-vetted installers and free local workshops to ask questions and learn about the process.  There are even resources to sign up for 100% renewable electricity for those that can’t install solar PV.  For residential architects this is a great opportunity to share with clients.

For homeowners, now is a great time to purchase PV or an electric car.  Purchasing PV panels is a good time to consider going all electric or at least shifting some loads from gas to electricity.  One of the barriers I hear again and again to installing solar PV panels in the Bay Area is that electric use is just too low to make a difference or to interest solar installers.  Adding an electric car will dramatically increase the electrical load.  Shifting to electric heating and appliances will add more and bring projects that much closer to 100% renewable energy.

PV installation and electric vehicles still qualify for a 30% federal tax credit, even in the current political climate.  In addition, some of the costs of going all electric such as  electrical service upgrades and electric car hookups can be covered by the 30% federal tax credit.  However, these tax credits are set to expire in a few years.  Taking advantage of SunShares now ensures participation in the federal tax credit program.

Even if purchasing PV panels is not possible, shifting to a 100% renewable electricity provider makes a difference now.

Learn about SunShares: http://www.bayareasunshares.org/

Sign up for a free workshop.  There are several in-person and web based workshops around the bay area: http://www.bayareasunshares.org/events

The deadline to sign up for SunShares is November 2017.

Micro-Retail and Principles for Instant Placemaking

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
5:30-7:30pm
Early Registration: Free AIA Members / $10 Guests.  After 9/24: $10 AIA Members / $15 Guests
Click here to register.

1.5 CES LUs

David Baker Architects and DDG are known for innovative city-making. Join us as principals David Baker, FAIA and Craig Hamburg discuss placemaking via micro-retail from conception to financing, design and realization.

Lean Journeys in Architecture

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
5:30-7:30pm
Cost: Free. Event sponsored by Haley Aldrich.
Click here to register.

Four architects talk about their journeys in Lean to increase value and reduce waste in their work. Lean Construction techniques and processes come from the manufacturing world where a step saved is a dollar earned. Production system based on Lean values efficiency and productivity.

When these principles and practices are applied to an iterative process such as designing a building, they impact the way architects work and add value in their work.  Working in Lean is often described as a journey rather than a state. Four architects describe their respective Lean journeys and how their work has been impacted.

The Speakers:

John Long, AIA – Perkins + Will

Marianne O’Brien,  FAIA – SmithGroup JJR

Stephen Kieran, FAIA – Kieran Timberlake

Paul Davison, RIBA – Mark Cavagnero Associates

Discover How IdeateApps Can Increase Your Revit Productivity and Efficiency

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
11:30am-1pm
Free and open to all. Lunch provided by Ideate.
Click here to register.

1.5 CES LUs

IdeateApps is a collection of eight tools that can dramatically increase your Revit productivity and efficiency. In this presentation, we will quickly summarize and show how each tool can streamline your Revit workflows, and increase your Revit productivity. Increasing your productivity has never been this much fun!

About the Presenter:

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist, Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience, and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria.

Learning Objectives:

From this presentation, attendees will…

  1. Learn about the eight tools to  increase Revit productivity
  2. Understand how these tools create efficiency
  3. Gain insight on how each tool can streamline Revit workflows
  4. Increase Revit productivity.

New Parking Policies and Housing Opportunities

A Small Firm Forum Program

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Noon-1:30pm
Free AIA members / $3 guests
Brown-bag lunch (BYO lunch)

1.5 CES

Throughout the East Bay, City Councils are approving sharp reductions to residential parking requirements, which advocates say make it less expensive to develop housing and transforms the urban realm to be more pedestrian oriented and walkable.  The changes reduce the amount of parking required for residential and commercial buildings throughout the area, with the largest reductions concentrated in areas closest to major transit hubs, such as downtown Oakland or at BART stations. In those areas, the new regulations reduce the required parking to zero and instead set a cap on the maximum amount of parking allowed. This session explores embracing new mobility, new parking regulations and the positive impacts they are having on market rate residential and affordable housing development opportunities in the East Bay.

About the Presenter:

Steve Line is a Director at VIA Architecture in Oakland.  He is interested in the applicability of transit-oriented development (TOD) principles for aligning urban development with housing affordability and more sustainable and livable cities.

Learning Objectives

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn how changing parking regulations effect urban residential projects in the East Bay.
  2. Understand the principals of right sized parking and our ability to build more affordable housing.
  3. Understanding how new technology (e.g. smart parking) is creating new development opportunities.
  4. Become knowledgeable on what resources and strategies are available for developing innovative alternatives for on-site parking.

Firm Tour: Pyatok

An Emerging Professionals event

Thursday, August 24, 2017
6pm
Location: 1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 200, Oakland
Free and open to all. Space is limited; register to events@aiaeb.org.

The AIA East Bay Emerging Professionals are pleased to announce a Firm Tour of Pyatok. There will be a brief presentation by Pyatok staff, a tour of their office space and then ample time for networking. Light refreshments will be provided.

Pyatok’s mission reveals the originating purpose of our work: to provide the highest quality design and technical assistance in a world of shrinking resources to people across a wide spectrum of incomes, socio-cultural backgrounds, and ages. Originally focused solely on helping lower income communities determine their own sustainable housing solutions unique to their cultural and social origins, PYATOK’s commitment has now also extended to people who have the financial ability to comfortably obtain their own housing on the open market, and to students in higher education who need decent and affordable housing.

STEP Into the Sun: Solar Training for Design Professionals Webinar

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
2-3:30pm EDT
$30 professionals / $20 students
Click here to register.

The U.S. solar energy market is booming and demand for solar is at an all-time high. As more individuals decide to go solar, a new national solar training course is helping designers grab their market share of this new technology and add solar expertise to their list of qualifications. Design professionals play a crucial role in the decision since they are in the unique position of educating building owners, appraisers and code officials as part of every project. In partnership with AIA and ASHRAE, the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) and the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) are offering solar training for design professionals in 22 metropolitan areas across the United States. LU/HSW are provided.

The training is specially designed to educate architects and engineers on how to incorporate solar photovoltaics (PV) into their design plans, how to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by offering solar PV to the clients, how to speak with clients about the benefits of solar PV, and where to find information on the financial incentives available for solar PV.

Solar PV systems provide many benefits. Solar can increase property value and significantly reduce a building’s operating costs over its lifetime.

Learning Objectives: 

At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to…

  1. Act in a leadership capacity to increase solar PV deployment in your community and in your practice.
  2. Understand the basic technical information and code considerations on solar photovoltaics (PV).
  3. Distinguish among and understand the appropriate application for different types of solar energy systems.
  4. Make an actionable connection between the role of solar deployment and zero energy buildings and Architecture 2030 goal.

2017 Grant for Housing Innovation: Affordability by Design

The AIA East Bay confers grants to address contemporary challenges by promoting design innovations that are relevant and transferable. These funds may be used for research, prototypes, projects, exhibits or programs. Funds may be used for innovations that are already underway or as seed money to support new work. Because one of the goals of the grant program is to share innovative approaches, the development of a best practice or other method of teaching the application is necessary. The topic for 2017 is Affordability by Design.

There is a maximum limit of $1,750 per grant in 2017, however, some grants awarded may be less than the amount requested. Grants for normal worktime compensation, operating overhead, travel or meal reimbursements will not be funded. Proposals with funds and/or the participants’ time as a matching contribution will be favorably considered.

Applicant must be a current AIA East Bay member and must be the principal contact.

Evaluation Criteria:

Special attention will be paid to:

Purpose: Is the purpose of your proposal to consider Affordability by Design in an innovative way? Will products succeed in teaching others about best practices at the completion of the program?

Budget and schedule: Are these realistic for the project? Are their matching funds? Will the project realistically see completion with the proposed schedule and funding?

Key participants: Are key participants’ skills and the number of participants sufficient to complete the project successfully?

Innovation: Is your proposal for a “breakthrough” approach or idea? Has this been done before? Can the results be easily transferred?

Deadlines and Notification Schedule

Applications for the second grant session must be received no later than December 31, 2017. The AIA East Bay Board of Directors will review all applications in January; applicants will be notified of their decision by February 1, 2018.

Final products, which may be reports, exhibit boards prototypes, and/or events will be due by December 15, 2018.

Application

Please submit all materials as one PDF no larger than 4 MB, five pages maximum, including the following information:

  1. Proposal Summary
    1. Title of program
    2. Applicant name, address, phone number and email
    3. Concise abstract (150 words or less)
  2. Proposal
    1. Purpose and description
    2. Graphics (if applicable)
    3. Budget—income and expenses, in-kind support, matching funds, etc.
    4. Grant requested
    5. Schedule: please include how much time is anticipated to be spent by each participant, as well as a calendar schedule.
    6. Key project participants: name, project responsibility, email address.
    7. Brief description of team’s relevant skills, expertise, etc.

Submission

Please email application packets to info@aiaeb.org by December 31, 2017

Questions: Please submit any questions in writing to info@aiaeb.org  not later than November 15, 2017.  Written responses to questions will be posted not later than November 20, 2017.

Member News – August 2017

Exhibition: Reading Materials, Assemblages by Laura Hartman, AIA

Save the date!
Reception: September 9, 5-7pm
Exhibition Run: September 7 – November 4

 

Introducing Mervin & McNair Architects

As Patrick Mervin and Alissa McNair, AIA begin their 14th year working together, they are pleased to announce that Patrick Mervin + Associates has become Mervin & McNair Architects.

Their office will have a new name and a new look, but will continue to provide the same professional, high quality architectural services that our clients and consultants have come to expect.