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An Official E-Newsletter of AIA Ohio – Summer 2013

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Mike Shuster, AIA

It’s Time

Actually it’s been time.

So here’s the question.  What are we missing?  What is the answer that we haveallbeen looking for to solve all our concerns with the world of architecture.  Is it the “Re-positioning” of our AIA?  That would assume that the AIA had a strong position or at least a position that we want to “re-position”.   I am not sure that we have had one for a while.   That is; a position that we all subscribe to.   But, at the very least, re-positioning is moving forward. 

But, for any of us to think for even one minute that this is the Holy Grail is extremely short sighted.  This move is a good one.  There is no question.  But, “Re-positioning” is intended to look at our professional organization. Its primary intent is not to look specifically at our practices.  It certainly is one of the goals of “Re-positioning”, but the real thinking for our profession starts with each of us, and our ideas, our passion and our energy. 

It is not up to the AIA to fix us.  The AIA is there to help us along our way, not to make us who we are. 

Yes, clearly “Re-positioning” of the Institute is good.  In fact, it is essential.  But for us to succeed, we must look to “re-position” our own practices.  

Do we need LEED and USGBC to tell us that sustainability is a basic requirement of good design?   No, it is fundamental. 

Do we need someone to tell us that we need to continue to learn new things to make us better practitioners?  No, it is our responsibility to think, to learn, and to improve. 

Do we need technology vendors to tell us that we need new computers and programs to stay in the now?  One would think that all you need to do is to stand on a street corner and watch the levels of technology being used that one would see that the world is highly technical.  And to our credit, we are the thinkers and doers that have made many new technical advances everyday items.


Personal Income and Small Business Tax Cuts Approved: Sales and CAT Tax hikedDavid Field 2012
Architecture Tax Removed from State Budget Bill 
David W. Field, CAE, Hon. AIA,
Executive Vice President


The Ohio General Assembly has rejected Governor Kasich’s proposed tax on architectural and most other services as a way to fund a wide-ranging tax overhaul aimed at making the state more attractive to business development.


Governor’s Proposal

Last February Kasich proposed to extend the sales tax to most services (as well as a 4/% severance tax on horizontal wells) in order to pay for a permanent 20% personal income tax cut over three years and areduction of the state sales tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent. He also proposed a deduction of 50 percent of the business income (capped at $375,000 annually) for small businesses that are categorized as “pass through entities” earning up to $750,000.  Also helping to pay for the tax reductions was an anticipated $2 million expected surplus in the state’s coffers on June 30th.


The governor said he wanted to move Ohio away from what he perceives as an overreliance on the income tax and a sales tax system that has fundamental inequities to a restructured tax system “that … relies less onincome and more on consumption and resource extraction.”


AIA-Ohio Launches Grassroots Lobbying

In response to the Governor’s proposal AIA Ohio launched a grass roots lobbying effort aimed at members of the House of Representatives. AIA Ohio asked legislators to reject the architectural tax that would place Ohio architects at a competitive disadvantage when Ohio architects are still suffering from the last recession. We pointed out the pyramiding of tax that would occur when the service tax on sub-contractors was added to the architect’s fee; the drastic effect the tax would have on Ohio’s border city firms; the cost of administering a new tax; and the fact that historically several states had enacted an architectural service tax only to quickly repeal them when these problems were revealed.

Read More……

Three Inspiring Keynotes Planned for the AIA OVR Convention in September

The planning committee for the AIA Ohio Valley Region Convention, taking place Sept. 19-21, in Louisville, KY, has been working hard to make sure that the convention schedule includes timely, relevant and inspiring sessions. Three keynote events are planned, and all three won’t disappoint.  

On Thursday, Sept. 19, the Design Awards Luncheon keynote speaker will be Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, of Se lldorf Architects in New York, NY. Ms. Selldorf is currently featured on the cover of Architectural Record Magazine.

Born and raised in Germany, Annabelle Selldorf received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute, and a Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. She established her own firm in 1988. Ms. Selldorf is a Fellow of The American Institute of Architects and President of the Board of Directors of the Architectural League of New York. She also serves on the board of The Chinati Foundation. She has acted as a consultant for organizations such as the Battery Park City Authority and has served as a visiting critic at various architecture schools. She is a licensed architect in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Rhode Island, Texas, and Utah.

Her 50 person firm designs both public and private spaces including residential buildings, museums, libraries and art galleries. To view her firm’s featured projects, click here.

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, will be the Friday morning keynote. Blackwell practices architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Working outside the architectural mainstream, his architecture is based in design strategies that celebrate vernaculars, that draw upon them, and that seek to transgress conventional boundaries for architecture.  Work produced in his professional office, Marlon Blackwell Architect, has received national and international recognition, numerous AIA design awards and significant publication in books, architectural journals and magazines including Architectural Record. The significance of his contributions to design is evidenced by the publication of a monograph of his work entitled “An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell” published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005. Marlon was selected by The International Design Magazine, in 2006, as one of the ID Forty: Undersung Heroes and as an “Emerging Voice” in 1998 by the Architectural League of New York. To view featured projects, click here.

Friday afternoon, convention attendees will have the privilege of hearing from principals at VJAA, recipient of the 2012 AIA Firm of the Year Award. VJAA is a collaborative design studio with a commitment to design excellence and producing architecture that engages social, cultural, and environmental issues in a knowing and creative way. Through a research-based process that continually reconsiders the fundamentals of building design, program, site, materials, and structure, our practice is committed to design excellence and innovative thinking on every project, regardless of budget, scope, or complexity. Sustainability and material craft are woven through the culture of the office and are central to its core values.

Jennifer Yoos, FAIA.
Vincent James, FAIA

Vincent James, FAIA and Jennifer Yoos, FAIA will present VJAA: Material/Immaterial as the Friday af ternoon closing keynote session. Vincent James is a founding principal of VJAA, whose career includes extensive teaching experience in both design and professional practice. Jennifer Yoos has practiced architecture both independently and with firms in Minneapolis and London. She has practiced with VJAA since 1997 and has collaborated on the design of all of the firm’s award-winning work since joining the fir


News from the Ohio Architects Board for Ohio Architects and Exam Candidates


Registered Architects are reminded that 2013 is a license renewal year. Renewal notices will be mailed around November 1. If you have moved or changed jobs, now is a good time to update your contact information with the Ohio Architects Board. Use the Board’s Change of Address form.

In order to renew, all Architects are required to complete 12 hours of Continuing Education. All hours must be Health, Safety and Welfare. For details, please visit the Board’s website at

In late August, NCARB will launch a new service for Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) candidates called My Examination. In addition to being able to schedule appointments, candidates will have easy access to score reports, exam history, rolling clock dates, authorization to test information, and more.

The “Fact Sheet” includes an overview of My Examination’s exciting new benefits, plus everything you need to know about blackout dates, the rolling clock, exam eligibility, and more.

The “Tip Sheet” is essential reading for ARE candidates. The document highlights key changes coming to the ARE process, along with steps you can take to prepare for the blackout and establishing an NCARB Record.

The upcoming launch of My Examination has raised several questions about changes to the exam process. The “My Examination FAQs” sets the record straight and busts a few myths about what these changes mean for candidates.


Jud Kline

Working With an Architect Program and Workshop

By Judson A. Kline, FAIA
AIA Ohio Immediate Past President


Advocacy and architectural services can be a catalyst for civic engagement and community enhancement. They can also be a source for collaboration and cooperation for community organizations and academic institutions. To this end, AIA Cleveland in association with the Neighborhood Housing Service of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) of The Kent State University College of Architecture and Environmental Design has planned a public education series to assist Cleveland-area home owners’ in an education and design program to provide insight into the design and building process in making improvements to homes purchased out of foreclosure. Along with the educational component, a one-on-one workshop will be included for the participating homeowners to have a consult with a volunteer from AIA Cleveland to offer design suggestions and recommendations for their implementation.

The program, which has taken inspiration from a similar program produced by the Chicago AIA, is entitled “Working with an Architect”. The workshop, scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 2013 from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm at the CUDC, will enable attendees to gain a better understanding of what to expect during design and construction, the value of an architect in improving the outcome for projects and how to find the right architect.   Participants will hear from design professionals about navigating zoning and permit regulations, and budgets, consideration for sustainable building and payback periods for green items, defining what can be achieved as goals for home improvement, finding out what resources are available to you, and understanding the steps involved in design and construction.

Recognizing that most people have never worked with an architect, attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up and participate in a free, 20-minute one-on-one consultation with an architect to discuss their specific, individual projects. For this part of the event, owners have been encouraged to bring photos, plans, or drawings (where available) of their homes.

AIA Cleveland enlisted member architects to participate as consultants for the program and provide the one-on-one design service. Led by Jud Kline through his newly created CIVITAD Services, LLC, the WWA Team includes: John Workley and Dave Robar of Vocon, Amanda Romeo and Brian Casto of Herschman Architects, Chris Tadych with Christopher @ Architects, Luke Visnic of Bialosky Partners, Ryan McNutt with CC Hodgson Architectural Group and Adam Bettcher of Westlake Reed Leskowsky. The program has been approved by CES for continuing education credit to provide HSW Learning Units to all of the design consultants who are volunteering their time for the program. The collateral benefit to the consultation program for the participating architects is the potential to proceed with a fee contract where a project evolves from the workshop.

Media coverage to publicize the event will enable AIA, the workshop and the architects to gain recognition in the area for providing creative intervention and leadership through design. Through the development and implementation of programs such as the “Working With an Architect Workshop”, the AIA and its members can be seen as a value adding asset to our communities and serve as a catalyst for civic initiative. 

AIA Ohio Schools of Architecture Competition Charrette

(Architectural Congress of Ohio Pavilion – Cincinnati)

Steve Shinn, AIA


This spring, AIA Ohio sponsored the first Schools of Architecture Competition Charrette. The goals included:

  • increasing interaction between the 4 schools of architecture and the profession by engaging students, professors and professionals in the charrette and jury process and
  • increasing interaction between the students of local school programs by promoting team submissions that foster collaboration.


The competition was for an “Architectural Congress of Ohio Pavilion” in Cincinnati for inter-institutional collaboration between the State’s schools of architecture, its professional design organizations, and the spaces they collectively influence. The site was in close proximity to the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning with a 15,000 sf program with work space, resource space and exhibition space.


The competition resulted in 70 students participating on 31 teams representing the four schools of architecture. At each school, professors and local members of the AIA selected a first place winner and five finalists to compete at the state level. The AIA Ohio Jury reviewed 20 submissions and selected First, Second and Third Place winners and two Honorable Mentions. On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank the professors and professionals who volunteered their time and congratulate the winning students and schools.


Click here to view a list of winners



Safety inspection procedures for activities relating to physical hazards of jobsite operations apply to all activities where personnel may be exposed to safety hazards. Jobsite Safety Inspections will be used as a mechanism to gauge the effectiveness of the companies Health and Safety Program.


It is the responsibility of the Safety Manager or Supervisor to conduct the inspections. All hazards shall be identified and abated immediately upon discovery or appropriate steps shall be taken to eliminate employee exposure until abatement can occur. It is the responsibility of the person conducting the inspection to ensure abatement has occurred. Safety inspections shall be conducted daily, at random, and after an accident. Jobsite safety inspections shall be done using a Safety Inspection Checklist, which outlines specific items that should be evaluated.


Safety inspections will give the Safety Manager or Supervisor the opportunity to evaluate the work environment and specifically look at the safety of the workers.


Safety inspections are designed to evaluate the following:

  • Site communication
  • Housekeeping and sanitation
  • Fire prevention
  • Electrical installations
  • Hand and Power tools
  • Ladders
  • Scaffolding
  • Hoists and cranes
  • Motor vehicles
  • Handling and storage of materials
  • Flammable gases and liquids.


All topics will not be applicable at all jobsites or facilities.


All completed Safety Inspection Checklists shall be forwarded to the Safety Coordinator. The Safety Coordinator shall initially train those conducting the inspections and retrain them when there are significant changes made or when observations reveal that there are inadequacies in knowledge.


Personnel have the right and are encouraged to identify any potential hazards to their supervisors as they occur or are discovered. If personnel observe unsafe work practices, they should remove themselves from the immediate area and take steps to inform supervisors or other personnel. All questions should be directed towards the Safety Coordinator, Safety Manager, or Supervisor.


AIA Ohio
A Society of the American Institute of Architects
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