Register For The Historic Buildings in a Post Pandemic Era Webinar: Thursday, March 25th

March 3, 2021

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Registration is Open for the AIA New Jersey Design in a Post Pandemic Era Webinar Series

The AIA NJ Public Awareness Committee is continuing its successful series of free webinars for elected officials, municipal staff, developers, business owners, facility managers, operators, users, and architects to assist them in understanding operations and design changes that can be anticipated as a result of the pandemic. Each webinar will focus on a different building/ business type and feature a panel of AIA architects experienced in that sector. The series is developed and moderated by Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, CID, LEEP AP.

Registration is open for the following sessions: 

Historic Buildings in a Post Pandemic Era: Thursday, March 25th, 12-1:30 PM

Approved for 1.5 HSW AIA CEU

Course Description:

From the ashes of a near-apocalyptic year, silver linings are emerging, illuminating approaches to how communities may begin again to safely and sustainably interact within both our built and natural environments.  As we seek to refine and re-engage myriad programs and institutions that underpin our lives and define our neighborhoods, it can be stimulating to see how the confluence of history, science, technology, and innovation successfully managed pandemics and other public health concerns for many generations, well before the advent of vaccines.  Those early approaches – endemic to many heritage buildings – remain powerful examples that can instruct our approaches to today’s health concerns, providing useful guardrails and precedents.

Essentially, this is a process of rediscovery, embracing a central tenet of architects’ ancient art:

  • discerning human needs and desires – environmental, social, healthful, aspirational;
  • evaluating options; and
  • divining solutions that are at once responsive, durable, and inspired.

Preserving this foundational approach is an ideal form of advocacy for history to repeat itself.

As our physical environments once again become settings to nourish social relationships and provide gateways to the larger world around us, there is likely to be corresponding demand to demonstrate that they also are safe zones, unencumbered by threat of contagion.  Well-crafted heritage buildings, forged with the advancements of their day, are also steeped in tradition and empirical knowledge.  They possess inherent traits that often render them highly adaptable to modern needs, while addressing a more transcendent agenda, one that enhances emotional, psychological, and physical wellbeing.  The oil embargo of the 1970s changed our sensitivities, though, birthing a feverish rush to re-engineer our heritage – vanquishing (but not obliterating) many of the favorable features that we now need to re-engage.  This trend toward overlooking healthful, inherent attributes of historic buildings continues to this day.  Insofar as these features still remain, often largely intact and ready to be rediscovered and put back into service, can be a revelation for stewards of heritage properties, one that is both exhilarating and economical.


Creating healthy environments that nurture innovative programs in the wake of a pandemic is an exercise of four inter-related components:  1. Scientific, analyzing conditions on the basis of an expanding universe of knowledge and practice; 2. Architectonic, identifying and capitalizing on intrinsic benefits of early features that support modern goals; 3. Technological, incorporating refined approaches to mechanical systems, both passive and active; and 4. Sensory, supporting a universal approach to wellness that ensures a sense of security when people are invited back in, breaking down barriers between outside and inside, re-evaluating traditional ways of defining space and – above all – recognizing this as our signal moment to re-imagine how buildings can best serve to foster engagement and inclusion.


Case studies focus on holistic approaches to issues of space and wellbeing; blending physical with emotional; rediscovering and re-evaluating existing buildings’ inherent qualities and readily adaptable nature; safety and security; optimizing programmatic needs; expanding accessibility; defining internal connectivity, circulation & egress; providing spatial flexibility; adapting seating plans; evaluating occupancy and density; accommodating emerging live/work needs; systems adaptation and optimization; and refining means and methods of maintenance and operation.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Health: Upon completion, participants will be able to recognize the relationship between emotional, psychological, and physical well-being and the foundations of a holistic healthy building approach.
  2. Safety: Participants will be able to compare the benefits of systems and controls used to increase the health and safety of building occupants and how these systems may be integrated into their buildings.
  3. Welfare: Participants will be able to articulate approaches to refine, operate and manage healthy buildings as well as key healthy building strategies for historic buildings that enable equitable access, elevate the human experience, encourage social interaction, and benefit the environment. 
  4. Safety: Participants will be able to formulate an approach to auditing space usage, occupancy, density, accessibility, and circulation among other factors impacting re-occupancy for staff and users.
  5. Health: Identify existing architectonic features and systems and consider the roles these historic features can play in creating healthy indoor environments.


Jill H. Gotthelf, AIA;

Jill Gotthelf AIA FAPT RP, Principal, WSA|ModernRuins, sets a prodigious standard for the open exchange of ideas among peers, clients & constituents, resulting in projects, workshops, presentations & publications that embody the essence of sustainable preservation. She embraces a holistic view of sustainability, pushing beyond the limits of the traditional definition to establish a balance between economics, environment, social and cultural equity, authenticity, and education. Under her guidance as both Founding Member and Chair (2007-2013), the Association of Preservation Technology International’s Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation, has become a preeminent resource for collecting & disseminating cutting-edge philosophy, technology & tools for the preservation community. Her formidable achievements led to Jill’s elevation into APTI’s esteemed College of Fellows.  She currently serves on APTI’s Board of Directors, is Chair of the Advisory Board for the AIA Historic Resources Committee, and has recently been appointed to the Government Advocacy Committee of the AIA’s Board of Directors. 


Michael Mills, FAIA;

Michael J. Mills, FAIA, Partner, Mills + Schnoering Architects LLC, has devoted his career to the preservation and adaptive use design of some of the region’s most significant historic structures. He has served as Chair of the Advisory Group of the AIA Historic Resources Committee and is a past president of Preservation New Jersey. Michael is a national peer reviewer for the GSA Design Excellence Program, and a former member of the NJ Uniform Construction Code Advisory Board. He has lectured at Princeton University’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning, the Association for Preservation Technology’s (APT) international conference, and serves as Associate Graduate Faculty in the Rutgers University Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies program.  Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University and his Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.  He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.


Tom Newbold, PE, Allied AIA, LEED AP

Thomas Newbold PE LEED AP CFM CPMP is president of Landmark Facilities Group, Inc., an engineering firm specializing in the design of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems for architecturally significant cultural, commercial, & educational applications. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s of Business Administration and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Mechanical Engineering. His work has focused on unique engineered systems in buildings for over thirty years.  Tom is an active advocate of sustainable designs for museums, libraries, archives, and historic sites and is a frequent speaker on various HVAC sustainable design initiatives. He has been an active member of the Association for Preservation Technology for many years and participates in the Professional Engineering Technical Committee and the Technical Committee for Sustainable Preservation.  Tom is a WELL Accredited Professional, Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Building Commissioning Professional (BCxP) and a certified Green Building Engineer (GBE).  


and Walter Sedovic FAIA FAPT RP LEED,

Mr. Sedovic, Principal & CEO WSA|ModernRuins, has dedicated his career to sustainable preservation. His work and firm represent the vanguard of infusing heritage sites with green building approaches and ideologies while maintaining authenticity and a visceral connection to community and context. Each project incorporates strategies to enrich, inform and strengthen cultural ties and stewardship. The success of his firm’s approach is revealed in the consistent quality of its work, particularly at sites where projects are more comprehensive and complex. The firm’s numerous awards and media attention attest to the respect and interest of his peers and the general population.  Walter is a sought-after speaker internationally and was honored to serve as Guest Editor of the Association for Preservation Technology International’s Sustainable Preservation edition of the Bulletin.  Walter has been distinguished with elevation to the American Institute of Architects’ and the Association for Preservation Technology’s prestigious Colleges of Fellows.


Warehouse and Industrial Design in a Post Pandemic Era: Thursday, April 29th, 12-1:30PM


photo by KSS


Since joining KSS in 2015, Rocky has led teams delivering a wide range of industrial work, including air cargo facilities, distribution centers in dense urban settings as well as rural sites, speculative warehouses, and demanding build-to-suit projects. Prior to returning to the United States, Rocky lived and worked internationally for seven years, contributing to complex projects in the commercial, education, and residential sectors. Rocky’s passion, curiosity, and dedication extend past architecture into the industrial processes and integration that elevate places of and for industry. His versatility, technical skill, and design strength add immeasurable value to any project on which he collaborates. His strength in forging client relationships, his leadership and mentorship of younger staff, and his varied international experience make Rocky an exceptional architect and invaluable project team leader.

Click below to register! 

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