President's Corner

September 13, 2010

I hope you all had time to enjoy the long labor day weekend. School is back in session and AIA-NJ’s Design Day and East Coast Green conference are happening this week. This conference is a timely assessment of where we are at with meeting the first goal of the Architecture 2030 Challenge, reducing emissions in new construction by 60% in 2010. AIA-NJ has taken a leadership role in this national conversation by convening this conference and once again placing architects at the center of the dialog on sustainability. Combined with our annual Design Day, tracks touching on planning, buildings, legislation, tectonics, and codes offer a comprehensive insight in to the integration in to all facets of design as well as the business opportunities and challengers meeting the Architecture 2030 goals present. No where in the region has such a content rich, comprehensive conference been assembled to discuss, vet, and look to improve upon our ability to reach the 2030 goals with an eye to ensuring design is not sacrificed and the architect’s role prominent. Even if just for a day, consider joining us if you have not already, so as not to miss Ed Mazria, creator of the Architecture 2030 Challenge, and Robert Kennedy Jr. discuss current and future solutions, trends, and actions. The AIA-NJ Committee on the Environment, chaired by Verity Frizzell, with assistance from the East Coast Green Conference committee, including Kim Vierheilig (education chair), Jack Purvis (expo chair), Dave Del Vecchio (sponsorship chair), Bruce Turner (public relations), Kim Bunn (website), and all the staff at PSI including Laura Slomka, Joanne Lombardi, Patricia Brewer, and our Executive Director Joe Simonetta are to be commended for pulling this unique and timely conference together. I must also thank our 40+ exhibitors and sponsors, including our Platinum sponsor, Verizon, and Gold and Silver sponsors for helping make this event possible. Please take the time at the conference to visit with our exhibitors as they are sure to have relevant and useful products and information to help you meet the 2030 goals.

Many of our members, and non-members, have been working through tough economic times for the last year plus. In times such as these, expanding your potential scope of services, particularly in to cutting edge and new markets, is a solid business plan to potentially improve your bottom line and help ensure a stable future. This conference will offer many educational seminars and a glimpse of where the focus of design and construction will be for the coming decade at least. I have not seen or heard of a project that does not include some form of consideration to energy efficiency and/or comprehensive green building requirements. Are you prepared for this market or are you missing the boat? There is still time to register for the conference and be a part of the next decade of design, sustainably. For those seeking CEUs, AIA, USGBC, and ASID continuing education is being offered in one place at East Coast Green. AIA-NJ made sure that this conference would provide easy, on-stop, CEU opportunities for our members. We know your time is precious, but maintaining your credentials and expanding your business opportunities are also critical.

On other business:

Codes- AIA-NJ has actively participated in the development of the International Green Code through the ICC process. Our representative, Tony Catana, will be presenting at East Coast Green on the development of this sub-code, its status, and its implications for design and building in the near future. I firmly believe it is just a matter of a couple years before sustainability is codified and LEED™ Silver level design is the basic requirement here in New Jersey and the region. Other States such as California have already adopted similar performance based codes with their Title 24. Look for more information from AIA-NJ on this developing sub-code and feel free to contact us for more information or visit the ICC website directly to review the published draft available now.

Economy- As mentioned in my previous installment, recognizing the economic times we are all working through, AIA-NJ is preparing to launch a new feature of our website entitled ‘Members in Transition’. The professional practice committee is spearheading this development with motivated assistance from the Newark & Suburban section of AIA-NJ. Schedule to be presented to the Board this week for consideration and comment, I am hopeful this resource center will be available to members by the end of October. For more information, or to get involved, please contact Chris Ling, Chair of the professional practice committee.

Legislation- Governor Christie has appointed new chairs of the DEP & BPU during his tenure. He continues to strive to balance our State budget for the long term while creating a business friendly climate. With the focus on economic development and job creation, New Jersey stands poised to become a national leader in manufacturing as well as installation of renewable energy systems such as solar and wind. The legislation in New Jersey that created the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) has been a driving factor in creating a relatively stable market for solar especially in the State. Incentives from the BPU have aligned with legislation to further promote and encourage the development of strong energy efficiency and renewable energy markets. The State energy master plan and green house gas reduction goals further this commitment by setting measurable energy efficiency targets and carbon reduction goals and metrics, of which renewable energy plays a vital role. The RPS, related incentives, energy master plan & green house goals, and sizable renewable energy & energy efficiency markets all predate Christie however. Under the pressing economic times we find ourselves in, the legistation, goals, and metrics put in to place which have created new, sustainable multi-billion dollar markets in New Jersey are under review by DEP, BPU, and the Governor’s office. Stake holder meetings have been scheduled to review the sustainable policies of the State in the coming weeks. AIA-NJ will be there to help maintain and encourage a sustainable balance between the economy, the environment, and the people. I strongly encourage you to become familiar with the State energy master plan and green house gas reduction goals in the coming weeks and support APAC as we look to take an active role in maintaining and establishing good policies for a healthy and sustainable New Jersey. For more information on the upcoming hearings you can visit the BPU or Governor’s website.

Thank you all for your continued support of AIA-NJ as we continue to support our members and promotes the public’s understanding of Architecture through advocacy, education and service.


Jason Kliwinski, AIA, LEED AP
Director of Sustainable Design

Trenton, NJ/ Media, PA/ Columbia, MD
T 609.695.7400 F 609.394.2274

AIA-NJ President 2010
AIA National Northeast Regional COTE Chair

Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Design,
New Jersey Institute of Technology, School of Architecture

USGBC-NJ Co-Founder
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News at Spiezle
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