Volume 12, No. 11 - November 27, 2018
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BLAST - News and Notes from AIA Northern Virginia

Little and Cooper Carry
The Charles Houston Teen Center, by Little and Cooper Carry (more info)
In This Issue

Tis the Season

ARE Prep Starts in January

A Shift in ABI Trends

Awards + Opportunities

Featured Project: The Charles Houston
    Teen Center


Visit the AIA Northern Virginia Website

Celebrate the Holidays with WIA, YAF & CRAN
Women in Architecture hosts their annual potluck dinner on December 3. Guests are encouraged to bring their families and to show their festive spirit by wearing holiday attire and accessories. All are welcome! [Details]

The Young Architects Forum hosts their party and final meeting of the year on December 6. Guests will help plan activities for 2019. Please bring your favorite dish to share. [Details]

The Capital Area CRAN Holiday Party will take place on December 6. Co-hosted with Home&Design Magazine, guests will enjoy hors d'oeuvres and holiday cheer courtesy of host Architectural Ceramics. [Details]

2019 ARE Prep Series Begins January 16

PELLA / KC CompanyOur ARE Prep Series Kick Off offers a free introduction to the ARE and a discussion session with staff from NCARB covering the overall process of licensure through the AXP and ARE. There will be time for questions, so this is an excellent opportunity to get all the information you need to plan for testing.

2019 ARE Prep Schedule:

    January 16 – ARE Prep Series Kick Off, 6:30-8:00p
    January 26 – Practice Management, 10:00a-3:00p
    February 23 – Project Management, 10:00a-4:00p
    March 23 – Programming + Analysis, 10:00a-3:00p
    April 20 – Project Planning + Design, 10:00a-4:00p
    May 11 – Project Development + Documentation, 10:00a-4:00p
    June 22 – Construction and Evaluation, 10:00a-3:00p

Please note this is a tentative schedule. We will open registration in December. As soon as new information or registration becomes available, it will be posted to aianova.org/are.php

November ABI Finds Southern Region Decline in Billings for the First Time since June 2012

 Architecture firm billings growth softened in October but remained positive for the thirteenth consecutive month, according to a report released from The American Institute of Architects (AIA). AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 50.4 compared to 51.1 in September. With continued strength in new project inquiries, billings are expected to remain steady into the coming months.

"The aftermath of this year's hurricanes and wildfires are the likely cause of the billings contraction we’re seeing in the South and West regions," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "These natural disasters have clouded the health of design and construction activity, making it difficult to separate a temporary setback from a general slowdown in design activity."

Key ABI highlights for October include:
  • Regional averages: Midwest (57.8), Northeast (51.8), South (48.4), West (46.9)
  • Sector index breakdown: mixed practice (52.7), multi-family residential (52.3), institutional (52.0), commercial/industrial (48.9)
  • Project inquiries index: 58.6
  • Design contracts index: 52.8
Additional information on AIA's ABI is available online.

AIA Membership Renewals due January 15

Renew your 2019 membership by December 31, 2018 and you could win an iPhone 8 Plus Special Edition, 12.9 inch iPad Pro, or a $200 Amazon gift certificate. It's fast and easy to renew your AIA membership online. [Learn More]

In addition, AIA is offering a special rate for new members who join before December 31. The 15 for 12 promotion gives new members the rest of this year free of charge and membership through 2019. New members also enjoy complementary A'19 conference registration. Recent graduates with a professional degree in architecture may be eligible for up to 18 months of free membership upon graduation. [Learn More]

Quick Notes...     

AIA Releases 13 New and Updated Contract Documents [info]...   AIA Northern Virginia...   has plenty of continuing education online to get you ready for year's end [info]...   The City of Alexandria...    proposes changes to height limits and front setbacks for single and two-family homes [info]...    Advanced Florida Building Code Credit...   required of architects licensed in Florida is available online from AIA Florida [info]...

Awards and Opportunities

Closes December 5AIA COTE Top Ten for Students Competition Registration
Due December 9Gensler Diversity Scholarship Submissions
Due January 2Virginia By Design Awards Call for Entries
Due January 16AIA Diversity Recognition Program Submissions
Due January 16Payette Sho-Ping Chin Memorial Academic Scholarship Applications
Due January 16Yann Weymouth Graduate Scholarship Applications
Due January 16Diversity Advancement Scholarship Applications
Due January 31Society for Industrial Archeology Call for Papers

Design News
Job Board

As a benefit to our members, we maintain a Job Board of local postings. Pay us a visit for postings from: Project 308 Design, PLLC; Maginniss + del Ninno Architects, PC; HLR Architects; Ritter Norton Architects; Stantec; John Milner Associates Preservation; MTFA Architecture; Karl Riedel Architecture, PC; Hord Coplan Macht; Page; Roche Bobois and George Mason University.

Featured Project

Charles Houston Teen Center
Little and Cooper Carry
Alexandria, Virginia

 The new Charles Houston Teen Center is the result of extensive collaboration between public and private interests in the City of Alexandria to transform an under-utilized, under-programmed room in the Charles Houston Recreation Center. City and community stakeholders – including the teenagers who form the core of the center – came together with a volunteer design and construction team led by Little, with Cooper Carry and DPR Construction as partners, to imagine and implement a new space. The goal was to create a Teen Center that was welcoming and colorful without being childish, and could be adapted for a variety of programs serving teens and their interests.

The budget for this project was incredibly limited. While approximately $72,000 in grants and private donations had been raised by the non-profit Charles Houston Advisory Council, this amount was intended to fund both renovations to the space and actual programs for the teenagers. With that in mind, the pro bono project team sought to minimize material and construction costs as much as possible so that funds could be preserved for programs, while still creating flexible, attractive, and useful space.

To that end, Little worked to find vendors and contractors willing to donate material and labor cost and worked closely with Rebuilding Together Alexandria – a major sponsor who donated material costs and volunteer labor as part of their ongoing mission to preserve affordable home-ownership, revitalize neighborhoods, and provide home repair services free of charge to those in need.

As part of this process, Little’s pro bono team led the following activities:
  • Coordination of volunteer design labor from the two architecture firms that collaborated to donate design.
  • Led Visioning for three different stakeholder groups.
  • Design and documentation of instruction work sets for two days of unskilled volunteer labor for Rebuilding Together Alexandria, encompassing seven tasks – including building custom benches – performed by 60 people.
  • Created and coordinated activities to involve teens in the design of the center, including a graffiti art class that made art pieces to hang in the center itself.
  • Coordinated different public and private organizations, including budget management of grants and other donated funds.
The project also served as a test process for extension of the City of Alexandria's PARKnership grant program, which had until this point, been dedicated largely to outdoor spaces.

The Teen Center opened to the public on November 17, 2017. To date, it has hosted multiple, well-attended events for teens, including slam poetry nights, music performances, video game competitions, and the city-wide Titan Takeover. Upcoming programs include financial wellness seminars, field trips, and music classes. Even on unprogrammed afternoons and evenings, the Teen Center is in constant use.

In the words of City of Alexandria Principal Planner Dana Wedeles: "Guys – I wish I had a photo of the Teen Center from last night. I was at Charles Houston at 8 PM and the place was PACKED. The stairs seating was full – game consoles in full swing. I just wanted to share how proud you should be of your work there!!! The kids clearly love it."

Photography © Anh Tran, Associate AIA



3 | Women in Architecture Holiday Party
     6:00p, Alexandria. [info]

5 | CRAN: BIMx - The Evolution of Deliverables
     Noon, McLean. [info]

6 | Young Architects Forum Party
     6:30p, Alexandria. [info]

6 | Capital Area CRAN Holiday Party
     6:00p, Chevy Chase. [info]

10 | AIA Northern Virginia Board Meeting
     4:30p, Alexandria. [info]

Upcoming Dates to Note:
  January 15 - AIA Memeberhsip Renewals Due
  January 23 - CRAN: Integrating Acoustics in Architecture
  January 29 - Committee Chairs Planning Meeting

AIA Northern Virginia Calendar  |  AIA|DC Calendar  |  AIA Potomac Valley Calendar  |  AIA Virginia Calendar  |  Branch Museum Calendar

For additional information on any of these events, please contact the Chapter House at (703) 549-9747 or aianova@aianova.org. The Chapter House is located at 1101 Duke Street, Alexandria 22314.