Traditional Building Conference

Schedule: Traditional Building Conference Series WASHINGTON, DC

Special Pre-Conference Workshop: November 30:
The Octagon House

Traditional Building Conference: December 1-2:
The District Architecture Center

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

10:00 am - 4:00 pm: Pre-Conference Workshop:
Introduction to Historic Building Assessments -
Conducting an Historic Building Assessment with the AIA Historic Resources Committee
Speakers: James J. Malanaphy, AIA, Historical Architect, St. Paul, MN and editor, Preservation Architect, the newsletter of the AIA-HRC

Location: The Octagon House

  • Conduct an historic building assessment as developed by the National Park Service and AIA Historic Resources Committee;
  • Assemble an interdisciplinary team qualified to conduct an historic building assessment;
  • Use conditions assessment to plan for short-term repairs, code compliance with International Building Code, accessibility needs, and long-term maintenance of historic structures;
  • List key maintenance and rehabilitation efforts and describe repairs on an element by element basis that lead to long term sustainability of historic building fabric.

This hands-on investigation of location TBA takes participants to a building where they will analyze its site, structure, systems, and finishes. Recommendations for its future use, treatment, and interpretation will be developed that will enhance the long life and loose fit of historic structures. You learn by doing and recommendations will be shared with the building owner for the stewardship of the selected structure. NOTE: Morning coffee will be provided. Participants will meet at the selected location. This workshop is strictly limited to 30 participants.

NOTE: Participants will need to meet up at 1799 New York Ave. NW at 9:45 am on November 30. Farragut West is the metro stop.

Click here for more information about the Octagon House.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

8:00 am - 9:00 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 10:30 am: Sustainability and its Roots in Humane Urbanism; Traditional Architecture
Speaker: Ray Gindroz, FAIA, and Principal Emeritus, Urban Design Associates, Pittsburgh, PA

Our speaker brings a passion to design and build the next generation of beautiful and sustainable cities, neighborhoods, and buildings. By conducting careful research into the patterns that have evolved in a region over time, it is possible to create distinctive towns, buildings, and neighborhoods that enrich people’s lives. Examples of environmentally sensitive infrastructure and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods will be shared. After participants attend this session, they will have improved their skills to:

  • Design places of lasting value for clients and the people served by their buildings, sites, and neighborhoods;
  • Appraise and apply local traditions, cultural heritage, and architectural patterns to one’s work and practice;
  • Generalize about how historical design and settlement patterns inform sustainable development;
  • List ways in which putting people first in the design process leads to building better communities.


10:30 am - 11:00 am Break

11:00 pm - Noon: Expanding and Restoring the Nation’s Temple of Science: Sustainable Preservation at the National Academy of Sciences Building.
Speakers: Speakers: Baird Smith, FAIA, FAPT and Thomas Jester, AIA, LEED AP BD + C, Quinn Evans Architects

After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the historic significance of the National Academy of Sciences Building, and discuss historic preservation approaches taken to this office building/conference center.
  • Outline strategies for integrating sustainable design features into historic buildings sensitively to maintain the character of important features and spaces.
  • Explain how "captured space" was created at the NAS Building to reduce the overall building load and improve air circulation and flow in the building.
  • Describe the techniques used by conservators and craftsmen to conserve and restore the decorative finishes in the NAS Building.


Noon - 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm: The history and recent rehabilitation of the AIA DC Headquarters at the former Odd Fellows Temple

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: In the Footsteps of Vitruvius: Design and Construction Durability Lessons Learned from Hands-on Study in Rome
Speakers: Matthew Bronski, PE, Senior Project Manager; Simpson Gumpertz Heger, Boston, MA. and 2009/10 Rome Prize Winner

Construction that is highly durable over the very long-term (e.g., centuries) is inherently sustainable. Despite major emphasis on sustainability over the past decade, we are in the midst of a widespread crisis of rapid building enclosure failures, ranging from highly-publicized and almost immediate enclosure failures on prominent commissions by “Starchitects,” to rapid enclosure failures on non-descript builder houses on Any Street, USA. Where did we go wrong? What do we fail to understand about designing enclosures for durability? And what pertinent lessons, if any, can we derive from historic constructions that have proven to be durable for many centuries? Mr. Bronski’s lecture is based on his year of study in Rome as a Rome Prize Winner. This session will aid participants by helping them to:

  • Analyze how time-proven traditional construction details succeed technically and durably.
  • Apply traditional construction principles to better manage water on facades and windows thereby promoting durability of their materials.


3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Adaptive Reuse & Sustainable Design in a Historic Rehabilitation Tax-Credit Project
Speaker: David Bell, Principal, Washington, DC

This project is a multi-phase rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of an historic, Civil War-era naval hospital into a mixed-use community center, targeting LEED Silver. Challenges include incorporating a geo-exchange system and other mechanical and electrical modernization into a historic property while meeting requirements for historic rehabilitation tax credits. Life safety and accessibility improvements were done without exterior lifts utilizing the performance-based code compliance chapter of the International Building Code. Interior features such as original doors and open ornamental wood staircase were preserved. After attending this session participants will be able to:

  • Identify synergies and conflicts between LEED & Historic Preservation standards;
  • Apply performance based code compliance calculations;
  • List parameters around geo-exchange systems; and
  • Select modern systems that are compatible with historic structures

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Film Fest

The first ever Traditional Building Conference Film Festival will feature Robert Baird’s “ZCMI: A Legacy Cast in Iron” and the National Civic Arts Society’s film “Washington – The Classical City: A New Classical Vision for Our Nation’s Capital”. Robert Baird of Historical Arts and Casting, and Milton Grenfell of Grenfell Architecture, PLLC, will be on hand to introduce the two films. Short discussion, or Q & A to follow, time permitting.

  • “ZCMI: A Legacy Cast in Iron” tells the story behind the preservation the beautiful cast iron façade at Salt Lake City’s historic landmark, Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution. (25 minutes)
  • “Washington – The Classical City” explores the development and future of the humanist and classical architectural tradition in Washington, envisioned by our nation’s founding fathers. (23 minutes)

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Holiday Cocktail Reception

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm: Book Talk: The Vintage House and Signing
Speakers: Mark Hewitt, FAIA, architectural historian and preservation architect; and Gordon Bock, former editor of Old-House Journal, and contributing editor, Traditional Building.

Join Mark Hewitt and Gordon Bock as they discuss their new book, The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions (W.W. Norton, 2011). Hailed as a must-have primer for historic preservation, James H. Schwartz, Editor in Chief of Preservation wrote, “The Vintage House will convince any homeowner that treasured houses deserve thoughtful renovations. With a blend of inspiration and information, Hewitt and Bock make the case that quality design and a healthy respect for history yield brilliant results.”

  • From W.W. Norton - The authors’ expert perspective on dealing with historic buildings offers new ideas on design as well as problem-solving technologies, like compact water heaters. Also included is advice on meshing sustainable building practices, such as geothermal heating, with an already built house (the greenest house there is). Richly illustrated with color photos, plans, and drawings from nationally recognized architects, this book shares analysis and experience from two of the nation’s most respected old-house professionals.
  • Books will be available for purchase.

Friday, December 2, 2011

9:00 am – 10:30 am: Play By Play: Greening Your Rehabilitation Project
Speakers: Liz Petrella, LEED AP, Architectural Historian; and Audrey Tepper, Historical Architect, Technical Preservation Services, US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

  • Apply the principles of sustainability to historic building projects.
  • Identify areas where preservation and sustainability are easily combined and where current practices diverge.
  • Use the newly published, Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability and Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.
  • List ways to balance energy conservation, sustainable practices, and new technology with the preservation of old buildings

This presentation will break down the fundamental principles of a sustainable project and address historic buildings in the context of each of the following: optimize site potential; optimize energy use; protect and conserve water; optimize material and product selection; enhance indoor environmental quality; and optimize operational and maintenance practices. Participants will gain an understanding of how to sensitively rehabilitate an historic building for a sustainable future.

10:30 am - 11:00 am Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm: Forecasting Federal Preservation for the Next Decade

Moderator: H. Thomas McGrath, FAIA, FAPT, Superintendent, NPS Historic Preservation Training Center, Frederick, MD and Chair, AIA-HRC
Panelists: Brian Goeken, US Department of the Interior, National Park Service Technical Preservation Services, Washington, DC; Yolanda Bouchee, U.S. EPA Green Historic Preservation Specialist, Brownfields and Tribal Project Coordinator; Nancy E. Boone, Federal Preservation Officer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Beth L. Savage Director, Center for Historic Buildings, GSA,

  • Discuss programs and regulations regarding historic preservation for selected Federal agencies.
  • List concerns and opportunities for the care and preservation of historic resources that these government leaders foresee
  • Evaluate the preservation needs of mid-twentieth century structures?
  • Explain public policies that will shape the preservation of historic buildings

Join a team of leading Federal Agency preservation professionals for a discussion about where they see the direction that historic preservation will take in the coming decade. What is on the horizon for preservation projects, regulations, funding, and initiatives at the Federal, state and local levels of government? Will maintenance of historic structures see a renewed or diminished focus? What do they see as opportunities and problems for the preservation industry? What challenges are before us in the conservation of 20th century structures in this new century? How will increased energy costs affect Federal historic preservation funded projects? Our panel will provoke a lively discussion with our audience. Participants will be able to:

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Natural Stone and Terra Cotta: Blending Traditional Building with High Performance Installation Practices

Speakers: Bruce Knaphus – Founder KEPCO+, specializing in architectural Cladding renovation, panelization and installation; and Roger Jackson, AIA, Prinicpal, FFKR Architects, Salt Lake City, UT.

  • Use laser surveys for planning restoration work on historic building with clad stone façades.
  • Describe installation of stone and terra cotta cladding.
  • Cite code requirements for seismic loads, wind loads, story drifty and thermal movement of stone clad facades.
  • Explain lessons learned from case studies from historic buildings.

For centuries, the structural bones and the exterior expression of a building were created simultaneously – with dimensional cubic stone. However, with the relatively young architecture of the 20th century, marked by such buildings as the Flat Iron Building in NYC (1906) and even the Old Post Office Pavilion (1899) in Washington DC, structural steel has provided the structural base, and cubic stone has been attached to the exterior as a façade. Almost a century later, both time and study has taught us lessons in durability, sustainability and rehabilitation of stone façades. This study will discuss the technological advances in modern façades, stone and terra cotta installation techniques, benefits of panelization, and environmental issues.

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Break

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Cost Analysis for Sustainable Preservation
Speaker: Thomas R. Whitmore, LEED, AP. AVS, Project Executive, The Christman Company, Washington, DC

  • Evaluate and measure different types of costs when applying sustainable building practices to historic structures.
  • List how cost factors can result in cost savings as a result of synergies that emerge between the goals of sustainability and historic preservation.
  • Integrate cost measurement tools into the early design process for sustainable preservation projects.
  • Describe the convergence between the environmental movement and historic preservation and how it supports true sustainable building practice.

Modern sustainability has been adopted into mainstream design and construction over the last 15 years via the LEED rating system. Previously efforts to balance energy efficiency and historic preservation were undertaken in piecemeal ways since the publication of “Silent Spring” in 1962 and the first “oil crisis” of 1973. Likewise, modern historic preservation has been evolved into mainstream construction practice in the US since the 1966 passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. In the intervening 50 years the two movements have coexisted, but only in the last five years have they converged in a significant way. In the past 50 years we have developed cost data and tools for measuring costs for both types of projects; now we need to integrate the two sets of data in order to further promote both sustainability and historic preservation. Join a seasoned construction manager for his experience “on the ground” in this important effort to rehabilitate America’s architectural heritage in a more holistic fashion while keeping an eye on the bottom line.


4:30 pm: Wrap Up and Evaluations.



Schedule subject to change

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