February 19, 2010I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the AIA community. My name is Rob Schmitz and like many of you out there, I too have felt the pinch of these economic times. However, persistence and expansion of my skills to include expertise in sustainability has carried me through thus far. I have been involved with USGBC‐NJ for some time as the Chair of their Emerging Green Builders Committee.
Sustainability is one of AIA’s top priorities and climate change is everyone’s concern. On September 16th
& 17th at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ the AIA‐NJ East Coast Green Conference will seek to
benchmark how we are doing at meeting the Architecture 2030 goals and what still needs to be done.
Legislation, Codes/Metrics, Planning, Buildings, and Tectonic are among the tracks to be covered. In
conjunction with East Coast Green, we are proud to co‐host the AIA‐NJ annual Design Conference on
September 16th. Additionally, we are working in conjunction with USGBC‐NJ for them to provide a series
of LEED workshops Wednesday, September 15th at a discount rate to our members.
Some other ways the AIA is showing the public and professionals that the Architect is the go to person
for sustainable design is by its presence at The Izod Arena for the Nets Go Green night on March 26th
and April 9th of 2010. These are both carbon neutral NBA events. We will be have a table on the main
concourse and the members of AIA‐NJ are welcomed to participate and speak to the general public
about sustainability in the built environment, letting them know that the Architect is the lead
professional in this process of designing “green.” The message during the Nets Go Green events will be
that Architects have the most complete and relevant experience and knowledge to help attendees
reduce the amount of water, electricity, gas and carbon footprint in their buildings.
Education is a big part of growth and awareness. The COTE committee will be creating study groups
again to help Architects become Green Associates and LEED Accredited Professionals. I will be working
with the Education Committee as well to reinforce sustainable education to the university level with the
As Sustainability Champion for AIA‐NJ, I am working with a number of committees including COTE,
Education, and Public Awareness to provide educational opportunities to our members and also get the
word out to the public that AIA members are the experts in sustainable design they need and want
involved on any project. Please contact me at cote_mega@aia‐nj.org with the subject heading Sustainability Champion or the COTE Committee with ideas, suggestions, and interest in participating.
Architects are skilled professionals who listen to you, interpret your wishes, help realize your building dreams, and add value at every stage of a project.