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Traditional Building Virtual Conference: June 7-11, 2021 Full Education Schedule

Our 2021 Virtual Conference is now available on-demand. Click here to register. 


Traditional Building Materials & Methods: Solutions for a Century of Challenges

Preserving Sustainability: Old Solutions to Big Problems

Speaker: Richard W. Off, AIA, APT; Senior Project Manager/Registered Architect, The Falcon Group, New York, NY

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

In an age where new forms, materials, and technologies promise supposedly better solutions, traditional planning and construction can continue to offer time tested ideas that can be used to resolve big contemporary problems. Pre-war cities often incorporated dense mixed-use neighborhoods, and well-connected infrastructure, and older buildings frequently embraced materials, constructions, and typologies which worked with their regional climate, promoting durability and longevity. All of these features can contribute to reducing one's carbon footprint and can even have public health benefits. Historic fabric still has lessons to teach at multiple scales. Addressing these daunting 21st century issues will require collaboration and synergy between grand urban gestures and aggregations of elegant small details.

This presentation seeks to further the link between the fields of preservation and sustainability by analyzing a series of fundamental “green” principles that characterize historic cities and buildings, exploring the application of these principles, and reviewing the challenges and limitations to applying them. These principles can be utilized not only when preserving existing urbanism and architecture, but also when performing retrofits, and building new spaces and infrastructure. As design professionals we do not operate in a vacuum, and physical and cultural context should not be ignored if lasting comprehensive solutions are to be achieved.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe how the character of many historic cities and buildings already embodies green design principles and how that character has generally evolved over time and adapted to different regions.
  • Explain how these historic green design principles can be applied to help solve the major 21st Century problems of sustainability, carbon output, and climate change.
  • Review the challenges and limitations involved in applying these historic green principles, including arguments for and against preservation, retrofit, vs. new construction.
  • Accept that addressing 21st century sustainability problems will require solutions at multiple scales and incorporate collaborations between them, including urban and architectural strategies in architectural practice.

Lowering the Carbon Footprint of Windows with Emerging Glazing Technology 

.5 of an AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: Kyle Sword, Business Development Manager; Pilkington, NA, Toledo, OH

Glass and window design can impact project embodied carbon as well as a building's operating energy. Many new technologies are available to significantly improve window energy efficiency. Understanding how these emerging technologies, such as Vacuum insulated glass (VIG), can impact projects will help develop new strategies for lowering the carbon impact through project design. These strategies work well in preservation, adaptive reuse, and new building design. Case studies of completed restoration projects can show how preservation practices can extend beyond historic buildings and provide low carbon solutions to help achieve the climate change targets for the entire built environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Evaluate key drivers for embodied and operating carbon in windows and explain the impact of emerging glazing technologies.
  • Compare emerging technologies such as Vacuum Insulated Glass (VIG) and thin triple IGU with other glass types and describe impact on historic preservation and new construction projects.

Healthy Environments for Re-Occupancy - H E R O™

Speakers: Jill Gotthelf, AIA; Water Sedovic, AIA, Modern Ruins; and Thomas Newbold, PE

1.5 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Creating healthy environments that nurture innovative programs in the wake of a pandemic is an exercise of four 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 foster engagement and inclusion.

Case studies will focus on holistic approaches to issues of space and well-being: 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 and 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

  • Recognize the relationship between emotional, psychological and physical well-being and the foundations of a holistic healthy building approach.
  • Articulate approaches to refine, operate and manage healthy buildings as well as key healthy building strategies for historic buildings.
  • 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.
  • Formulate an approach to auditing space usage, occupancy, density, accessibility and circulation among other factors impacting re-occupancy for staff and users.
  • Identify existing architectonic features and systems and consider the roles these historic features can play in creating healthy indoor environments.

Building Better with Traditional Materials - Exteriors

Speaker: Brent Hull, Hull Historical, Fort Worth, Texas

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Many traditional building materials still rely on craftspeople and artisans to fabricate them. Stone, brick, and functional wood moldings stand up to the elements and help buildings repel moisture. Often described as “high end” today, traditional materials are often selected by wealthy clients, but it is possible to build well with them for most projects. Join an experienced historic preservation artisan and traditional builder for a discussion about building materials that are survivors because they can be maintained.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine historic exterior building materials with an eye to preserving and reusing them.
  • Cite at least three building materials that are good choices for long-term durability.
  • Assess construction details that help buildings shed water.

Storm Windows: Mitigating Heat Loss and Sound Transmission

.5 Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: David Martin, President, Allied Window, Cincinnati, OH

Storm windows have been a traditional approach to protecting primary windows and improving the ability of buildings to hold heat since the 19th century in the United States. As noise levels have risen from traffic and people in dense urban environments, they have increasingly been used to aid noise reduction as well.

Learning Objectives

  • List ways in which storm windows improve energy performance for historic and new buildings.
  • Mitigate noise thorough the use of storm window installations for improved occupant comfort.

Frank L. Wright and the Architects of Steinway Hall

Speaker: Stuart Cohen FAIA, Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker, Architects, LLC; Evanston, Illinois

1 AIA Learning Unit

For about ten years, at the beginning of his career, Frank Lloyd Wright shared office space with his close friends, Dwight Perkins, Robert Spencer, and Myron Hunt. They worked together in the attic loft of Steinway Hall an office building and piano showroom designed by Perkins in Chicago. They worked on one another's projects and collaborated on the development of ideas that changed residential architecture at the beginning of the 20th century. We will consider their relationship to one another, some of the projects they designed while in Steinway Hall, and the "creative collaborative circle' they formed.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the impact of Wright, Perkins, Spencer, and Hunt on architectural design in the early 20th century.
  • Compare and contrast their collaborations with your own professional collaborations.
  • Trace key elements of design that Wright learned from the other architects that appear in later Wright-designed buildings.
  • Shed the limitations of “the cult of individual genius” to further collaboration in the practice of architecture.

Stone Façade Restoration: Challenges and Best Practices

1 AIA Health/Safety Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: Constance Lai, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C; Manager, Historic Preservation Services, Grunley Construction, Rockville, MD

The restoration of a stone façade, whether it is a marble monument or a limestone-clad office building, is not a straightforward scope that easily fits into the typical design and construction process. Simply put, it is not a discipline or process that is “set in stone.” Not only are restoration techniques constantly evolving, which is challenging to describe in architectural specifications, but the assessment and documentation of potential repairs is not fully possible until temporary access like scaffolding is erected, and that presents more challenges during construction for the budget and schedule. This presentation will provide an overview of basic cleaning and restoration techniques; how these techniques have evolved over the past decade due to new technologies and scientific research; and potential solutions to better integrate façade restoration scopes into the design and construction process.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the basic cleaning and restoration techniques for stone structures.
  • Summarize how the restoration of a stone façade can be better integrated into the design and construction process.
  • Describe new technologies and new scientific research in stone preservation and how these new developments have influenced the discipline.
  • List recent developments in the evolution of means and methods of stone restoration techniques.

Global Perspectives/Local Practices: Sustainability and Historic Preservation

Speaker: Carl Elefante, FAIA; Principal Emeritus, Quinn Evans Architects, Washington, DC; 2019 Clem Labine Award Winner and past president of the American Institute of Architects.

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

The world is at work to address climate change, reduction of fossil-based fuels, energy conservation and many other important strategies to protect human health and the environment. Technologies are being developed at a rapid pace to address alarming concerns. Recent articles, books and editorials point to a growing tension between such efforts and historic preservation. Historic preservation should be implicit in effective solutions to the critical problems that we face. So why is the practice of historic preservation being cast as a problem? 

In the race to solve the problems, are we forgetting good science and sound building practices and creating new problems that will exacerbate the challenges rather than solve them? Some would say yes, and some would say no. Join an architect who has been at the forefront of balancing historic preservation and sustainable building strategies for his candid thoughts on addressing the tensions, respecting good scientific practice and creating policies to enable architects and builders to work effectively in their locales.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize global efforts to align the scientific basis of good architectural practice, sound historic preservation practice with the scientific community working in energy and the environment.
  • Identify and follow national and international groups such as Historic Scotland and US ICOMOS that are working on effective strategies for balancing environmental and cultural protection.
  • Anticipate perceived and actual tensions when they arise in planning projects or making presentations before review boards or code enforcement officials.
  • Consider the embodied carbon and energy in historic buildings and how the reuse of buildings protects that resource for all.

How to Design a Home Workspace for Optimal Creativity and Wellbeing, According to Science

Speaker: Donald M. Rattner, Principal, Donald M. Rattner Architect

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

As a result of the Covid pandemic, home workspaces that foster creativity and wellness have become very important to people. Fortunately, we now possess a wealth of scientific data showing how the physical environment can be shaped to boost insight thinking and enhance mental and physical wellbeing. Incorporating these findings into your projects will provide competitive advantage to both your clients and yourselves.

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of design psychology and how to leverage it to promote occupant creativity and wellness. Topics include color, lighting, sound, furnishings, artwork, materials, plantscaping, and programming.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define creativity, innovation, evidence-based design, and other key concepts associated with creative and healthy environments.
  • Understand the influence of environmental and evolutionary psychology on human responses to built space.
  • Identify best practices with regard to lighting, sound, artwork, furnishings, color, materials, and space programming for environments that boost creative performance and wellbeing.
  • Apply the principles of biophilic design to your projects.

Plaza Central: Social Integration and Setting

2021 Palladio Winner Residential Multi-Unit

Speaker: Robert Orr, FAIA, Robert Orr & Associates, LLC, New Haven CT

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Las Catalinas, is a car-free, walkable beach town on the Pacific Coast of northwest Costa Rica in the Guanacasta Province. The Town was established by Charles Brewer in 2006. Douglas Duany created a masterplan for a town designed to foster social integration; the town is designed to encourage people to get to know each other. Human connection is fostered through winding, pedestrian-only “skinny” streets, public plazas, social gathering spots like roof top cafes, and an eclectic mix of apartments, open-air homes, and retail shops. The town has a cadre of skilled artisans, so buildings feature locally produced tiles, wood and stone carvings, metalwork, plaster and more. Unique designs reflect the craftspeople and individual owners.

This session will demonstrate the design intent of a multi-unit residence on the Plaza Central, the welcoming point where people access the town after leaving their cars in an adjacent parking area. Each elevation of Plaza Central is designed to engage its respective context with the goal of creating more public domain for interaction. Individual units reflect local craftspeople and the personal taste of respective owners rather than a standard design replicated for each unit.

Learning Objectives:

  • Interpret context to include all four sides of a building to increase interaction with the setting and between those who use the building.
  • Explain strategies to create a safe welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike.
  • Consider how to design architecture to meet intangible goals for increased human connection set forth by a Town Master Plan.
  • Collaborate with skilled artisans to craft unique designs in a multi-family residence for personalization of private spaces.

Cabinetry for the Post Pandemic Home

Presenter: Brian Stowell, President and CEO, Crown Point Cabinetry

This course has been submitted for credit review to the AIA

After having spent more than a year at home, many families are reevaluating their rooms to better accommodate earning, learning and recreation in the home. Balancing space and function are important for fostering family harmony in the home too. Cabinetry can offer some solutions to shared/personal workspaces; learning environments for more than one child, and improved designs for gaming and home theaters. This session will demonstrate some creative solutions for kitchens, bedrooms, home offices, and living rooms.

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider privacy, internet access, and functionality for adults and children in the post pandemic home.
  • Describe simple design choices for cabinetry that can provide great functional flexibility and promote well-being for multiple users.

Terra Cotta Tile: Color Selection and Matching

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

Speaker: Alicia Cordle, Ceramic Engineer, Ludowici, New Lexington, OH

Whether matching tiles for a historic preservation project or building anew with a specific color in mind, terra cotta tile can be produced in a number of custom colors. This webinar will address new roofs, new roofs designed to replicate all or part of an original roof or matching small areas of roofs for selective replacement. Special attention will be given to matching for historic preservation projects.

Learning Objectives

  • Consider the importance of color, particularly on historic preservation projects.
  • Discuss expectations with clients about post-replacement appearance, particularly for historic and new traditional roofs.
  • Communicate with ceramic engineers to arrive at the appropriate colors to insure a good match.
  • Develop a process for review and approval of mockups onsite before a final order is made, particularly for historic properties in historic districts and campus settings.

Beauty and Sustainability: Custom Wood Garage Door Solutions

Speaker: Joe Nardiello, Territory Manager, Cambek Designer Doors

1 AIA Health/Safety/Welfare Learning Unit

This course will cover the use of custom wood doors for large exterior openings found on garages, car barns, pool houses, and other auxiliary spaces. Wood doors allow for broad design flexibility and function but present unique considerations for longevity, installation, and safe operation for the end user.

Learning Objectives

  • Operating Method: Consider the factors for deciding on vertical and horizontal openings for wood garage doors.
  • Design & Engineering: Design wood doors based on operation, opening size and clearances, numbers of slabs or section, and hardware requirements to meet both aesthetics and safe, long-term use.
  • Strength & Longevity: Choose the right wood species, frame components and joinery for a stable, secure door with the right finishes and recommend a maintenance schedule to ensure a long life for a custom wood door.
  • Installation & Safe Operation: Prepare openings for successful installations and customize operations for various tracks to ensure safe and controlled operation.

Bronze, Cast Iron, and Cast Aluminum: Properties, Preservation and Performance

Speaker: Robert Baird; Panelists: Chad Thorell and David Teague, Historical Arts and Casting, West Jordan, Utah

This course has been submitted for review to the American Institute of Architects for credit review.

This course will explore the properties, benefits and advantages of architectural cast metals including Cast Iron, Bronze and Cast Aluminum. Manufacturing technology, the sources of deterioration; maintenance, conservation and restoration methods will be covered referencing completed projects and practical applications. 

Learning Objectives

  • Compare and contrast the properties of cast iron, bronze and cast aluminum and the benefits and advantages of each material. ​
  • Discuss the manufacturing technology behind producing architectural cast metal products along with the appropriate finishes for each. ​
  • Explain the problems caused by electrolytic action on metals and recommend corrective action. ​
  • List maintenance, conservation, and repair techniques to keep cast metal ornament in service on historic buildings.​