In this issue:
· Robin Hood Foundation Reaches Thousands
· AIA-NJ 2008 Design Conference Highlights Emerging Trends
· Green Index Reports Increase in Green Building
· AIANY Launches e-Oculus Survey

Robin Hood Foundation Reaches Thousands

On October 24, architects Henry Myerberg, AIA, and Richard Lewis, AIA, gave an update of the Library Initiative in NYC public schools supported by The Robin Hood Foundation, this year’s recipient of the Center for Architecture Foundation Award. To date, 61 school libraries have been completely renovated or are currently in design phases. Under the theory that libraries take up, on average, 5% of the area of a school, but are used by 100% of the students, the new libraries have reached tens of thousands of NYC students, showcasing the potentially transformative power of high quality design. Both individual testimonials and more quantitative survey information support the educational benefits of the program. As important, it has given designers an opportunity to harness creative solutions for a positive social end. Scott Lauer, project director for The Robin Hood Foundation, introduced the program.

AIA-NJ 2008 Design Conference Highlights Emerging Trends
Attendees of the NJ Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA-NJ) annual 2008 Design Conference concluded that the last 10 years was a great period for architecture due to innovations in building components and systems and the digital revolution.

More than 400 architects attended, featuring Enrique Norten, Hon FAIA, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, FAIA, Rafael Pelli, AIA, and Robert Ivy, FAIA. The daylong event led off with an address by Ivy, whose topic, “Where in the World is Architecture: Observation of Design Trends,” dealt with global trends in architecture. He called upon architects to adapt regional and vernacular forms to contemporary needs; to rethink the functions of traditional structures, such as department stores and libraries; and to adapt traditional typologies to other uses. Such new approaches have the potential to reinvigorate our urban areas, and change the way people live, he said.

Green Index Reports Increase in Green Building
Autodesk, Inc. and the AIA have announced the results of the 2008 Autodesk/AIA Green Index, an annual survey that measures how AIA members are practicing sustainable design, as well as their opinions about the green building movement. This year’s index shows an increase in the implementation of sustainable design practices from architects and building owners. In addition, it shows that architects’ clients have experienced a doubling in the market-demand for green buildings over the past year and positive shifts in architects’ attitudes toward their ability to impact climate change.

A major finding of the 2008 Green Index was that 42% of architects report clients asking for green building services, and 47% of clients are implementing green building elements in their projects — a 15% increase from 2007. Client demand remains the leading driver for green building, with 66% of surveyed architects citing such demand as the primary influence on their green practice. Architects believe that the primary reasons their clients are asking for green buildings are reduced operating costs (60%), marketing (52%), and market demand (21%). The full report is available online.

AIANY Launches e-Oculus Survey
Please take the AIANY seven-question online survey to share your opinions about e-Oculus. As readers of this publication, your input is highly appreciated and will be greatly considered.