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Posts from the ‘Small Firm Forum’ Category

Going Electric: A Roundtable Discussion

A Small Firm Forum Program

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Noon-1:30pm

BYO Lunch (brown-bag lunch)
Free AIA Members / $3 Guests

1.5 CES LUs

Participants:       

  • Moderator: Mercedes Corbell, AIA, Architect
  • Dan Johnson, Sustainability Architect. Beyond Efficiency, Berkeley
  • Colin Swan, Skytech Solar
  • Larry Guistiono, CEO A1 Sun

Amid the urgency to reduce our culture’s carbon footprint that damages our planet’s atmosphere and contributes to rising sea level and dramatic climate events, architects have a unique opportunity to contribute to a solution. Building by building, we can shift away from natural gas* and toward electrically powered buildings. Our buildings can serve as “batteries” powered by the sun, for our cars. Imagine the transformation in our cities, towns and roads.

At the same time, architects have to deal with seemingly constant code and regulations changes, the challenges of delivering projects well, and for some, the added challenge of running a business. There’s never enough time in the day. We will provide information, inspiration and resources for further learning at this roundtable discussion among local experts.

*Natural Gas: burning natural gas releases gases into the air, mainly carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Additionally, the destructive side effects of natural gas occur before it even makes it to the pipes that carry it to users; it’s in the most commonly used and economical method of extracting natural gas, known as “fracking.”

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn about going electric and how it relates to California 2030, Architecture 2030 and carbon neutrality.
  2. Be able to list at least three reasons to go electric and how to get started.
  3. Learn about the associated costs (construction and soft costs) and which experts might be involved during design and construction.
  4. Identify the role of Solar PV (private and community) in going electric.

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.

Architect as Developer / Tapered Lofts

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Noon-1:30pm
BYO Lunch (brown-bag lunch)
Free AIA Members / $3 Guests

1.5 CES LUs

The discussion will describe the process of a development deal from the perspective of an architect as developer. It will review the aspects that are particular to this arrangement, including advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and constraints and financial and construction components.

The role of the architect developer is unique, and differs from that of an individual that is one or the other. It presents unique challenges. It has its specific advantages and disadvantages, including financial and artistic, risk, reward, and opportunity. Ultimately, the architect developer falls along a spectrum, with each leaning toward one end, in a distinctive composition of development and architecture that works best for that individual.

Project qualities will be examined through the lens of a current project that is currently under construction. The process to date will be the primary focus, and will include the narrative from initial conception through construction.

About the Presenter:

Lida Sarvi founded ROBABEH in 2013. Her work focuses on making the most of every opportunity – design can bring quality to any situation, no matter the scale or budget. She believes that design should be built and experienced. Lida’s interest in architecture began in Tehran where she was born. She studied design in Dubai and worked on several built projects.. Her desire to explore and expand brought her to San Francisco, where she completed her Master‘s studies in Architecture.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Be introduced to the concept of architect as developer and its advantages and disadvantages.
  2. Be able to identify the project opportunities and constraints that are presented by city requirements, marketability and design process.
  3. Identify the financial components of a real estate deal including investors, partnership, investment, sweat equity and financing.
  4. Become aware of the construction and cost concerns regarding contractors bid, the low-bid and operator value add.

New Products To Rev Up Your Engines

A Small Firm Forum Program

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Noon-1:30pm

Free AIA Members / $3 Guests
Brown-bag lunch (BYO lunch)

1 CES LU

Share finds from your own practice. There are some very exciting things out there. We all need to periodically recharge our practices with new products that address changing codes, new technology, and client needs. Learn about things that will make our lives easier, be better for the environment and add pizzazz to our designs.  We all need to have a wider selection of products to choose from when filling out the green checklists.

About the Host:

Linda Randolph, AIA is a residential architect in Fremont.  She is a long time member of AIA East Bay and a co-chair of the Small Firm Forum.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn about 120-line voltage, dimmable indoor and outdoor LED lighting systems with a 50,000 hour life.
  2. Be able to identify drains that comply with ADA standards and make roll-in showers easier to retrofit for aging-in-place projects.
  3. Learn at least two ways in which recycled plastic ocean debris is being used in construction.
  4. Learn about a fire-rated OSB sheathing that makes installation of fire-rated walls easier and less expensive.

The Changing Rules for Accessory Dwelling Units

Thursday, June 1, 2017
Noon-1:30pm

Free AIA members / $3 Guests
Brown bag lunch (BYO Lunch)

1.5 CES LUs

SFF Host: Andus H. Brandt, Architect

This will be a round-table discussion on the changing rules regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, the official term for “Granny-Flats” and “In-Law Units.” Many architects in the area now have varying experiences, both good and bad, around these new rules. It’s time we share our newfound wisdom with each other!

Our discussion on “Accessory Dwelling Units in the East Bay” will roughly cover issues in eight categories:
1) Off- Street Parking

2) Public Transportation

3) Conversion of Existing Buildings

4) Setbacks

5) Floor Area

6) Roof and Wall Heights

7) “Efficiency Unit” requirements for small spaces

8) Other

The last category is a catch-all for issues the participants want to bring to the table. Much of the discussion will be about the parameters set by local planning departments, but this is not the only tack.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn the range of local requirements for ADUs.
  2. Gain a perspective of unexpected challenges other architects have faced in building ADUs.
  3. Develop a broader knowledge of successful ADU solutions.
  4. Learn about pending ADU requirement changes.

 

Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and Water Conservation Executive Order Update

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Noon-1:30pm
Free AIA Members / $3 Guests

1.5 CES LUs

The Updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance and most recent Water Conservation executive order is being implemented by every community in California and affects big and small building projects with new and renovated landscapes. Peter Wolfe, Allied Member and landscape architect, will review the updated MWELO and Recent Water Conservation Executive Order and how it effects the work of architects, designers, and their client’s projects.

Topics include:

  1. Is the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) applicable to my project?
  2. How does the updated WELO affect my project?
  3. Some important terminology: MAWA, ETWU, ETF, Landscape Area as defined by the model ordinance, plant factor, WUCOLS, hydrozones.
  4. What’s in a “Landscape Documentation Package” and when is it required?
  5. Are there any MWELO site planning considerations?
  6. Are there any costs issues affecting project proposals and project implementation?
  7. What are post construction requirements of MWELO?
  8. What’s the most recent Drought State of Emergency Executive Order and how does it affect water use and conservation in the State?

About the Speaker

Peter Wolfe, Allied Member and Landscape Architect began his career over 30 years ago, after travels throughout the world. He is a Bay-friendly qualified designer and rater. His current practice focuses on place-making and sustainable environments for private, public and institutional clients throughout the Bay Area.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program participants will be able to…

  1. Identify when the Updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) is applicable to a project.
  2. Learn what a Landscape Documentation Package is. What’s in it and when is it required?
  3. Identify what the post construction requirements of MWELO are.
  4. Learn at least three site planning considerations required to accommodate MWELO.

MacArthur Annex / Shipping Container Architecture

This tour is sold out, please email events@aiaeb.org to be added to the waitlist.

A Small Firm Forum Tour

Thursday, April 6, 2017
12-1:30pm
Location: 644 40th Street, Oakland

Free and open to all.

1.5 CES LUs

This month, we will tour the MacArthur Annex Project and discuss how shipping containers operate as a building material. The project tour will focus on the various challenges encountered with the use of containers from design, to permitting, to construction.

The project is mixed use, and acts as an open architectural framework for a local community of creative entrepreneurs and makers. The occupants range from artists and craftsmen to professionals and small businesses. Included in the mix are a local coffee shop and a new beer garden.

The conception of the project began with the notion of using the shipping container as the basic module for development. This is in part because shipping containers are ubiquitous in the Bay Area, and Oakland in particular due to proximity to the port. The studio has a history of working with conditions and materials that have gone neglected or been discarded. The containers presented a perfect opportunity.

About the Presenter:

Matt Baran, AIA founded Baran Studio Architecture in 2010 at the peak of the Great Recession. Prior to that, he worked on concepts for architectural robots that shifted their form and location to adapt to various contexts which became the beginning of Baran Studio. Currently the studio extends those efforts, working closely with staff and clients to further explore architecture that is closely adapted to various contexts.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1. Learn conceptual design opportunities in using shipping containers as a building material.
  2. Be able to identify the programmatic opportunities and constraints unique to shipping container construction.
  3. Identify the planning, zoning and building code issues associated with the use of shipping containers as building material.
  4. Be introduced to the construction and cost concerns regarding the use of shipping containers.

Tiny Prefab Housing by Avava Systems

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Noon-1:30pm
Free AIA Members / $3 Guests
Brown Bag Lunch (BYO Lunch)
Location: AIA East Bay, 1405 Clay St., Oakland

1.5 CES LUs

SFF Host:  Maggie Maiers, AIA

Join us for a presentation from Patricia Carpentieri, AIA of Avava Systems, a prefabricated housing company in Berkeley.  She will discuss housing needs from a planning perspective and how prefab buildings can be part of the solution. Avava Systems provides high quality, sustainable homes that are assembled on site in 4-6 weeks, for a fixed price.  This requires some unique departures from conventional ideas of construction. 

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this presentation, attendees will…

  1. Be able to identify at least three new innovations to traditional building materials.
  2. Be able to state three areas of conservation that prefabricated housing can offer.
  3. Be able to state a pro and con of prefabrication regarding design and construction.
  4. Be able to state a pro and con of prefabrication regarding energy efficiency.

What You Need to Know about Wood Flooring

A Small Firm Forum Field Trip

Thursday, February 2, 2017 
Noon-1:30pm
Location: Amber Flooring Showroom, 5652 San Pablo Ave, Emeryville
Free AIA Members / $3 Guests
Lunch provided by Amber Flooring; RSVP required, click here to register.

1.5 CES LUs         

Join the Small Firm Forum for a presentation at Amber Flooring Showroom. Learn about engineered floor types, sizes installation, sustainable hardwood floor species, grades, finishing installation, proper substrates, substrates, delivery and environmental concerns about VOC and ventilation.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program participants will…

  1. Be knowledgeable of wood flooring products, the pros and cons of solid wood flooring and engineered wood flooring
  2. Be knowledgeable of the installation methods required for the installation of wood flooring over various sub-floors (plywood, concrete, etc.)
  3. Have an understanding of the appropriate flooring material for historic applications
  4. Have an understanding of “green” flooring options.

Annual Show and Tell: Small Firm Forum

Thursday, January 5, 2017
Noon-1:30pm
Free AIA members / $3 Guests
Brown bag lunch (BYO lunch)

1.5 CES LUs

This month two of our own will share their work with us:

Matt Baran founded Baran Studio Architecture in 2010 at the peak of the Great Recession.  Prior to that, he had spent 15 years working for various architecture firms, including KMD and the Jerde Partnership. In his spare time he worked on concepts for architectural robots that shifted their form and location to adapt to various contexts.  This work won him an AIA award in 2006, and a scholarship to UC Berkeley to complete a master’s thesis on adaptable robotic architecture.

Upon graduation, he began to teach at UC Berkeley and the Academy of Art, further continuing the exploration of his initial findings in several undergraduate and graduate studios. He found his first opportunity to put his ideas to the test when he purchased a property near the 580 freeway in West Oakland. He worked on the construction of a dwelling that employed the adaptive theories he had been exploring academically. Additional projects followed, and this allowed him continue his explorations in built form.

Currently Matt continues his efforts, working closely with staff and clients to further explore architecture that is closely adapted to its context. This means designing a project through extensive analysis and research into deeper frameworks that include the physical and phenomenal environment, history, culture, and belief. His work and notions of architecture continue to adapt.

 

Rebecca Schnier of Rebecca Schnier Architecture decided in high school that architecture was her calling. She was passionate about functional design and detail. Early influences included growing up in a George Rockrise house and a trip to Japan in 1970, where she was exposed to that country’s traditional architecture.

In her pre-college years Rebecca was enamored with ballet. Hours of crowded dance classes heightened her exteroceptive awareness of space, how bodies move and adjust in relationship to surroundings. Attention to balance, proportion, and hierarchy later translated into her built work.

Rebecca sought out a well-rounded liberal arts education, away from the Bay Area where she grew up. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College (located in the middle of nowhere) and then a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University (located in the middle of everything). At Columbia her studio critics included Kenneth Frampton, Steven Holl, and Robert A. M. Stern. Rebecca spent ten years working in New York, Zurich and Paris. She designed residential penthouses and worked for Mitchell Giurgola Architects – and then decided it was time to return home to the Bay Area. She has had her own local firm for over 20 years. In her work she strives for an architecture that is thoughtful, purposeful and artistic. She specializes in contemporary, organic design with an eye towards timeless elegance and historic building traditions. She currently serves on the board of the Treasure Island Museum and is a former long-time board member of San Francisco Heritage, the City’s primary architectural preservation organization.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this program, attendees will…

  1.  Gain insight into the variety of service niches other small firms are exploiting.
  1.  Learn how other small firms juggle design, client needs and business realities.
  1.  Gain insight into the important relationship between inner drive and rewarding work.
  1.  Gain a useful perspective that ties one’s own challenges to those others face and master.