Traditional Building Conference

Previous Events: Washington DC 2011

Conference Schedule
Speaker Biographies

New York, October 21-22, 2011The Traditional Building Conference in Washington DC, Dec 1-2, 2011 featured an exceptional line up of speakers, all leaders in their field: stewards of federal institutional buildings; town planners; a Rome Prize winner; a contractor who showed us how to save money and preservation architects who showed us how to save energy and historic fabric at the same time.

One and all shared solutions for restoration, renovation and traditional building. Attendees got practical advice, both in the seminars and in the coffee breaks, as the event gave intimate access to the authors; experts; practitioners and suppliers assembled for two enlightening days. It was a good chance for architects, contractors, interior designers, building owners and facilities managers to refresh, refine and reaffirm their professionalism in a relaxed yet stimulating setting.

Fourteen sponsors offered information and solutions for traditional building, too. Their displays were right in the classroom, where they participated with their clients and prospects in the discussion as well as in the seminar’s Q & A. This is quite different from the typical “trade show” where exhibitors/sponsors are excluded from the education sessions. At the Traditional Building Conference Series, “Sustainable Building: Design, Craft and Tradition,” sponsors were integral to the education with access to all the attendees.

The Washington DC Traditional Building Conference kicked off Wednesday with a special pre conference workshop lead by James Malanaphy, AIA, and co produced by the AIA Historic Resources Committee. Using the historic Octagon House as a living laboratory, participants had an introduction to conducting an historic building assessment.

On Thursday and Friday, conference program highlights included, “Sustainability and it’s Roots in Humane Urbanism; Traditional Architecture” presented by Clem Labine Prize winner Ray Gindroz, FAIA, and Principal Emeritus of Urban Design Associates and “Forecasting Federal Preservation for the Next Decade,” moderated by H. Thomas McGrath, FAIA, FAPT, Superintendent, U.S. National Park Service, Historic Preservation Training Center.

The first ever Traditional Building Conference “Film Festival” entertained attendees during the cocktail hour Thursday evening with Robert Baird’s “ZCMI: A Legacy Cast in Iron,” and the National Civic Arts Society’s “Washington, The Classical City.” The film festival was followed by Mark Hewitt and Gordon Bock’s book talk, “The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions” (W.W. Norton, 2011).

The District Architecture Center, the headquarters of AIA Washington, DC, an adaptive reuse of the Odd Fellows Temple, was a perfect setting for the fourth Traditional Building Conference of the 2011 Series. Located in a lively, historic downtown neighborhood and close to Washington’s national monuments, attendees combined business with pleasure.

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