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Notice to the AIA East Bay Membership Regarding Sidney Sweeney Leaving the Chapter

October 26, 2018
Message from the President of the Board, Mark B. Steppan, AIA, CSI, NCARB

The Board of Directors of the East Bay Chapter of the AIA would like to inform the membership that as of September 21, 2018, Sidney Sweeney resigned as our Executive Director. She has moved on to other opportunities at this time in her and her family’s life, and we all wish her the best for the future. She expressed that her time working with the membership of the AIA East Bay was extremely rewarding and fulfilling and she appreciated everyone during her 15-year tenure as our director.

During her time at AIA East Bay Sidney helped lead our chapter and its membership unfailingly towards creating and maintaining an independent and successful chapter for all of us to benefit from. We will all miss her involvement with us, and her solid and clear backing of our chapter. Our Communications & Event Coordinator Shanel Scholz, who has been with the chapter for the last few years, is currently also handling administrative duties to keep the chapter running smoothly without a lapse in programming or basic day-to-day requirements.

An executive director search committee has been formed and is currently initiating this critical search and interview/selection process. While this process is unfolding, the chapter office itself will remain temporarily closed but the doors will be opened for all scheduled activities. We want to reinforce for all the membership that the Chapter is remaining fully active and engaged with you as best we can during this transition time.

There are a number of upcoming events that will still be happening as planned:

  • Design Awards – Tuesday, October 30
    Please join us to view and celebrate the many terrific projects that have been submitted this year.
  • ADA Day – Friday, November 9
    If you need to fulfill your accessibility training credits, please be sure to sign up for the last ADA day of 2018.
  • Member Appreciation Party & Annual Business Meeting –Thursday, December 13, location TBA

Should anyone have any questions, concerns, or simply ideas about how the chapter can improve moving forward please do not hesitate to send us an email at We look forward to a successful search and selection of our next Executive Director to lead us. As we conduct this search, we invite you to share your suggestions and thoughts on what’s most important to you. Your patience and support of this process and the transition of the chapter will be greatly appreciated by all of us involved in this effort.

July ArchNews 2018

July ArchNews is out now! Click the links below to read each article:

Project Profile: JumpstartMD Medical Clinic
Green: Help Your Consultants Help You
HKIT: 70 Years and Counting
8/4: Home Tours 2018
Codes: Learning from Accessible Play Areas
Member News 
Firm Profile: A2R Architects
Member Profile: Lan T. Ly’s Path to Architecture

American Institute of Architects Launches Film Challenge

The American Institute of Architects launches its fourth annual film challenge today as part of the AIA’s “Blueprint for Better” campaign, an initiative that highlights the collaborative work of architects and civic leaders to solve some of the biggest issues facing cities today.

AIA is launching its film challenge along with the premiere of its new film, “Caño Martin Peña: A Blueprint for Better,” which depicts the rebuilding efforts of an architect and community leader in Puerto Rico following last year’s devastating Hurricane Maria that left more than three million people without power.

Similar to AIA’s film, participants in the film challenge should produce, shoot and edit a three to five-minute documentary to tell a story about architects working with civic and community leaders to make a positive impact on their cities and towns.

“Architects are committed to solving some of the most pressing issues of our time. This challenge gives filmmakers the opportunity to showcase how civic leaders are looking to architects to solve critical problems.” said AIA EVP and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA. “AIA is thrilled to launch this installment of the film challenge. We hope it generates awareness around the talent and important work architects bring to our communities.”

Submissions for the film challenge—due by 11:59 p.m. PDT on Monday, Aug. 27—will be subject to two rounds of judging. The first round of winners will be selected by a panel of jurors from the media, architecture and film industries. A second round will be open for public voting to choose the “People’s Choice Winner.” Last year’s People’s Choice competition yielded more than 268,000 votes.

Participants will have the chance to win a $5,000 grand prize that includes distribution of the film through a multitude of channels, including screenings at the Architecture and Design Film Festival on Oct. 16 in New York in addition to travel and accommodations. The “People’s Choice Winner” will receive a screening at the Chicago Ideas Festival. Other finalists will be awarded a $500 prize.

Complete details are available on AIA’s Film Challenge website. Films from previous film challenge finalists can be watched online.

Volunteer to Help with the 5th Annual Youth Architecture Camp!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – Saturday, June 23, 2018
Location: Cal Design Lab, (4th Floor of Small Tower) Wurster Hall

Click here to sign up.

The FIFTH annual architecture camp for underrepresented youth needs volunteers!

This program, co-hosted by AIA East Bay and Fam 1st, exposes 30 middle school students (12-15 years old) to architecture and design thinking as they assist Fam 1st with the development of their future Oakland-based Youth Center.

Volunteers are encouraged to take part in the camp from 9:00am-4:30pm, and engage with our campers for the whole day. If your time permits, we’d love for volunteers to come for multiple days, so that the campers see familiar faces. Full-day volunteers are appreciated, but if you can only donate half a day, that’s great too!

Parking is limited at the UC Berkeley campus, so there will be 3-4 passes available for those who need them. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to carpool.

We’re looking forward to another successful architecture youth camp!

Home Tours 2018

This is the Eighth Annual AIA East Bay Home Tours. Our popular program includes a cadre of knowledgeable docents from the A/E/C community who enjoy interacting with the informed tour attendees, many of whom have never missed a tour!

Saturday, August 4, 2018
Houses located in Piedmont, Berkeley, Albany and Lafayette. No shuttles!
Early bird tickets $40 through June 30th; $50 July 1-August 3rd
Click here to purchase tickets.
Online ticket sales will end at 7pm Friday, August 3. You can pick up your tickets at the chapter office on Friday until 3pm. You can also pick up your tickets on tour day at Bica Coffehouse (5701 College Ave, Oakland).


Buttrick Projects Architecture & Design
Remodel, completed 2018

A nearly whole-house remodel blends a prior modern kitchen renovation with the addition of a second-story master bedroom. The new master bedroom is surprising in its “tree house” feel, and the architects were masterful in their ability to provide light-filled interior spaces and new filtered views.







Chambers & Chambers Architects
New construction, completed 2017

A catastrophic fire destroyed a family’s second-generation house, but the family is delighted with the luminous new home and gardens that replaced it. Soaring vaulted ceilings, full-height windows, and calming, dove-colored walls combine, resulting in pure tranquility.






Charles Lee Architect
Remodel, completed 2018

A bland 1990s live-work condo has been transformed into a contemporary artist’s studio and residence, with an apparent simplicity and ease that belies the complexity of the mechanics required. Light-filled and spacious, while at the same time cozy and warm, this chic home epitomizes city living.



Remodel, completed 2018

A large, extended family, two big dogs, and a yearning for a master bath led to a whole-house remodel with a challenging series of zoning restrictions and programmatic requirements. The architects successfully solved the puzzles with an elegant technical solution and modern design approach.






Sidell Pakravan Architects
Remodel, completed 2017

This remodel modernizes the interior of a beautiful family home and introduces a new deck for outdoor enjoyment while maintaining the home’s original character. A new interior stair and access to gardens improve the house’s flow between floors and to the surrounding landscape.






Studio Bergtraun Architects
Remodel, completed 2017

Built in 1905 to house a lumber baron’s “horseless carriages,” this stunning 6,800 square-foot property was later owned by beloved Berkeley business owners, and then prominent modern artists. The current owners fell in love with the historic nature of the house, which they lovingly preserved where possible. The seamless combination of artist workspace, interior courtyard, and family home is a testament to a strong collaboration between the owners and architect.   (photo: Treve Johnson)



2018 Home Tours Architects
Buttrick  Projects Architecture & Design
Chambers & Chambers Architects
Charles Lee Architect
Sidell Pakravan Architects
Studio Bergtraun, AIA, Architects

Interested in Sponsoring or joining the Committee? Contact Sidney Sweeney.

Masonry Design and Construction: Lessons Learned

Friday, March 30, 2018
Free and open A/E/C industry professionals.
Space is limited. Click here to register.


Join us for breakfast and masonry education as we review case studies and share many of the lessons learned throughout our years of west coast masonry design and construction.

This session uses a case study format to highlight ten commonly made masonry construction, detailing and design mistakes.  These mistakes can lead to on-going building performance issues throughout the course of the building’s life.  Topics include material understanding, moisture and movement issues, field testing, supervisory methods and constructability. This program is sponsored by the International Masonry Institute.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Gain an understanding of cavity wall components and construction codes.
  2. Gain an understanding of tolerances and inspection guidelines.
  3. Be able to identify at least three quality control mistakes.
  4. Learn at least four commonly made masonry construction mistakes.

AIA 2017 Documents: Owner-Architect Agreements & Sustainable Design and Construction

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Free AIA Members / $5 Nonmembers
Lunch Provided by Dealey Renton.
Click here to register.

AIA Documents B101, B103 and other key Owner–Architect Agreements were revised in 2017. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of the 2017 revisions to the Owner-Architect agreements; will be able to select appropriate contracts for their  projects;  and will evaluate the suitability of alternative contract terms.  Presenters will also discuss the new Sustainable Projects Exhibit and explore how it can be used to provide a positive impact on the health and safety of building occupants.

The newly released documents at the heart of the AIA Contract Documents program– the A201- related AIA Owner–Architect Agreements– are revised by the Documents Committee on a 10-year cycle. The Documents Committee strives to achieve balance in the contract language and to build consensus among the industry stakeholders.

This program will give attendees an insight into the AIA’s revision process, as well as a chance to learn about the revised Owner-Architect agreements.  Subject matter experts and practitioners will share their experiences with all participants as they examine the newly revised Owner-Architect agreements. The program will prepare participants to select appropriate AIA contracts for their particular project and practice, as well as to evaluate the suitability of alternative contract terms and language. Presenters will also discuss the new Sustainable Projects Exhibit and explore how it can provide a positive impact on the health and safety of building occupants.

About the Presenters:

Andrew D. Mendelson, FAIA, is Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Management Officer of Berkley Design Professional, a member of W.R. Berkley Corporation – a Fortune 500 insurance company.  Andy joined Berkley DP in July 2013 after a 36+ year career as a licensed architect and firm principal with a diverse background of practice, project, financial, operations and risk management experience particularly in the large A/E firm environment. He has held corporate leadership positions as CFO, Contracting Officer and Director of the Education market sector at OWP/P (Chicago) and prior to joining Berkley DP served as Director of Practice Management for CannonDesign.

David Ericksen currently serves as a Member of Severson & Werson’s Executive Committee after serving as President from 2009-2012. Since 1997, Mr. Ericksen has led the Firm’s Construction/Environmental Litigation and Transactional Practice, as well as focus on liability and insurance issues through insurers. For over twenty years, he has repeatedly and successfully represented design professionals in jury trial, bench trial, single arbitrator arbitration, and panel arbitration as well as mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in state and federal courts.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Evaluate the impact the changes to the 2017 AIA Owner-Architect agreements will have on practice and discuss the rationale driving the changes with key members of the Documents Committee.
  2. Discuss various AIA Owner- Architect agreements to confidently select appropriate AIA Documents based on project size and complexity.
  3. Examine the changes to AIA Owner-Architect agreements with respect to the overall format, including the new distinction between supplemental and additional services.
  4. Learn how the new Sustainable Projects Exhibit including the Architect’s sustainability services can be used to provide a positive outcome on the health, safety and welfare of building occupants.

Designing for Occupant Comfort: Acoustics and Energy Performance in Multi-Family and Mixed-Use Buildings

A Woodworks Program

Thursday, March 8, 2018
$30. Lunch provided by Woodworks.
Click here to register.


Occupant comfort may not be an expressed design objective in the California Building Code, but it’s crucial to the success of a project. This workshop will provide practical information for designing wood-frame multi-family and mixed-use buildings to avoid common comfort-related pitfalls. Discussion will cover design, detailing and installation of high-performing, acoustically-rated assemblies, building envelope and energy efficiency requirements per Title 24, and methods for going beyond energy codes—such as implementation of Passive House techniques. Attendees can expect to gain a better understanding of the most common occupant complaints, and how to avoid them through proper building design.

About the Presenters:

Randy D. Waldeck, PE, CSDA Design Group is an expert in architectural, environmental, aviation, and mechanical equipment noise and vibration control, and a leading authority on the mitigation of aircraft noise intrusion into residential structures. An acoustical consultant for over 16 years, he has consulted on more than 500 projects nationwide, including transportation projects, medical facilities, industrial use facilities, federal buildings, educational facilities, offices, condominiums, single-family homes, mixed-use projects, hotels and resorts, and restaurants.

Colin Shane, P.E., M.Eng., P.Eng.RDH Building Science Inc. is a Principal at the San Francisco Bay Area office of RDH Building Science Inc., an engineering consulting firm dedicated to building science and building enclosure engineering. Colin’s experience includes design of all components of the building enclosure, including walls, glazing systems, balconies and roofs in climate zones across North America.

Eric Catania, M.Eng., BEMP, CPHD, RDH Building Science Inc. As an Energy Analyst at RDH Building Science, Eric Catania’s primary responsibilities include building energy modeling, Passive House consulting, building science research, and sustainability-related work. He has more than 10 years of energy modeling experience, on projects that include hospitals, offices, laboratories, residential buildings, and recreational facilities.


2017 Design Awards Reception and Presentation

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Gensler Oakland, 2101 Webster St #2000, Oakland, CA 94612
$35 AIA Members, $45 Non-members
Purchase Tickets Here
Please note, winning firms will not be notified in advance of the reception.

***New for 2017! A people’s choice award as selected by reception attendees.


  • Projects must be designed and submitted by an architect.
  • Projects must have been completed after January 1, 2010.
  • AIA East Bay members may submit projects from anywhere.
  • Non-member architects may submit projects located in the chapter’s four counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Solano.

Project Types

Projects of all types will be viewed, including, but not limited to:

  • Commercial, office, and mixed-use
  • Industrial, laboratories, and hospitals
  • Transportation and parking structures
  • Places of worship
  • Libraries, schools, and other institutions
  • Historic preservation, adaptive reuse, renovation and restoration
  • Single & multi-residential, dormitories, affordable & temporary housing

The 2017 Design Awards jurors:

Karen Fiene, FAIA, LEED AP
Mills College
Oakland, California










Craig Steely, AIA
Craig Steely Architecture
San Francisco, California









Marc L’Italien, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C
San Francisco, California






Ideate, Inc

Dealey Renton & Associates

Dolan’s Lumber



Pacific Coast Building Products

2015 East Bay Design Award Winner: East Oakland Sports, ELS Architecture and Urban Design
Photo Credit: David Wakely Photography

Mobilizing for Fire Relief: Happy Hour Fundraiser

Thursday, October 26, 2017
Federation Brewing, 420 3rd St A, Oakland
Click here to RSVP.

YPT SF Bay joins forces with the San Francisco Bay Area Section Institute of Transportation Engineers, Bay Area Young Architects ( and AIA East Bay Emerging Professionals ( to host a fundraiser for fire relief. Federation Brewing will donate $1 from every pint sold to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund ( This happy hour is hosted by YPT SF Bay.

Drinks won’t be on them this time– they’re donating their happy hour pot to the Resilience Fund– but we hope you come out and drink up for a good cause! The need is great, and we know the transportation community can come together to help those who lost so much in the fires.

Can’t make the HH? Feel free to donate directly to the Sonoma County Resilience Fund (