144th Annual Meeting: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

Castillo at the Annual Meeting.

Sam Lahoz

It has been almost eight years since we opened the Center of Architecture. In that time, the Center has become an internationally-recognized resource for architecture and design. The Chapter has also grown to be a respected voice in local, national, and international conversations on design.

The growth of the Center, and with that the AIA New York Chapter, would not have been possible without the efforts of many dedicated leaders. Tonight, we are starting a new tradition: the Past Presidents Medal. As this is the first year, we have some catching up to do. [Medals have been made for all living past presidents of the AIA New York Chapter, Castillo gave medals to those in attendance. See full list here [pdf]] Thank you to each one of you for all that you’ve done for the Chapter. Giving you this medal is but a small token of our appreciation.

I also want to thank the Chapter and Center for Architecture Foundation staff for their dedication and hard work in making the Center so successful this year, especially AIANY Managing Director Cynthia Kracauer, AIA, LEED AP, and the Foundation’s Executive Director Jaime Endreny.

President’s Theme: Design for a Change
Each year the Chapter’s president identifies a theme that expands the goals of the Chapter and the Center. The 2011 theme — Design for A Change — focuses on how architects can lead the way into a more sustainable and responsible urban future. It is our responsibility to design with social, environmental, and economic impacts in mind. During my presidency the Chapter is presenting a number of programs that address this initiative. Teddy Cruz was here in May to discuss innovative housing models. We also co-organized the South-North Conference, part of our ongoing sustainable urbanization collaboration with the United Nations.

In addition, we are developing an exhibition entitled “Buildings=Energy,” which will educate the public and design professionals about measures that improve building performance and the environment. It will open this fall, during our new month-long design celebration, Archtober.

The Chapter continues to provide expert testimony and position statements on issues of importance to the profession at the New York City Council, City Planning Commission, Department of Buildings, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as at state agencies, public authorities, and elected officials. Recent topics have included the New York University Core Project, Moynihan Station Development, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Interior Landmarking, the city-wide Car Share and Key Terms Clarification Zoning Text Amendments, Riverside Center, and the Department of Buildings rules on the benchmarking of energy and water use of buildings and compliance with the New York City Energy Conservation Code.


144th Annual Meeting: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP (continued)

We are also committed to advocating for the future of the built environment and enabling the unique vision of the architect to shape the city at all levels of the process. Locally, we have advocated for increased representation of architects on community boards across the city. Today, we count 28 members city-wide. We continue to work diligently on reform of the buildings approval process, and have representatives on Deputy Mayor Goldsmith’s Buildings and Construction Industry Working Group, Green Buildings Task Force, Vision 2020 Waterfront Advisory Group, New York City Age-Friendly Commission, and the Department of Building’s Technical Code Committees, which will make recommendations on improving the NYC Construction Code.

We traveled to Washington, DC, and upstate to Albany with colleagues from across the state and nation to meet with members of the legislature on important issues, including the adoption of a federal transportation bill; the repeal of Form 1099 filing requirement (which Congress has passed); the opening of credit markets; and an increase on incentives for efficient building designs. In Albany we advocated for Non-Design Professional Ownership, adoption of a 10-year statute of repose, Qualifications-Based Selection for Professional Design Services, and the Good Samaritan Act. I am pleased to report that because of the efforts of AIA New York State and our work locally, the Non-Design Professional Ownership legislation has passed the New York State Senate and Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. We worked with components from across the nation to restore the 2011 Solar Decathlon to the National Mall after it was denied a place there by the Departments of the Interior and Energy.

We were selected by NYSERDA to organize a two-year program of energy code trainings around New York State. We are working with Urban Green to identify trainers this month, and the courses will soon be underway.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the Chapter’s advocacy initiatives, please be in touch with our Policy Director, Jay Bond.

Meanwhile, we are organizing numerous programs with a focus on policy outreach. We hosted David Bragdon, head of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, and Chris Ward, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Our sixth annual Fit City conference was just a few weeks ago. Promoting health through design has been a real focus for us, and this year our cooperative effort with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has expanded to a national scale. We hosted two Fit Nation conferences — one in DC, and one in New Orleans, and we’ll hold a national training session when the Big Sibs conference meets here in October. Also. this fall we will organize programs as part of the national Sustainability 2030 by Design initiative.

Inaugural Speech: 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

2011 AIANY President Margaret O. Castillo, AIA, LEED AP, receiving the gavel from 2010 AIANY President Anthony Schirripa, FAIA, IIDA.

Sam Lahoz

President’s Theme: Design for a Change
In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half the world’s population lived in cities. That percentage will continue to grow, and by 2030 it is estimated that 60% of us will inhabit urban environments. Never has it been more important for architects, engineers, landscape architects, and urban planners to collaborate and address the issues of urban infrastructure and the built environment. Whether cities are in the industrialized world or in developing nations, it is critical that we look at our natural resources and the built environment in terms of economic, environmental, and social health. For these reasons, I have established the 2011 theme “Design for a Change.”

We’ll be exploring many facets of sustainable urbanization next year. We will continue our collaboration with UN Habitat and the UN Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, and bring global representatives to New York to share best practices and innovative ideas.

In the spring, we are mounting an exhibition entitled “Jugaad Urbanism,” which will highlight resourceful strategies for Indian cities. Set in the radically uneven urban landscapes of Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, India, “Jugaad Urbanism” will explore how the energy of citizens “making-do” is translated by architects, urban planners, and governmental entities into efficient and inventive strategies for sustainable urban growth.


(continued) Inaugural Speech: 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

Waterfront Initiative
As architects, our goal is to create a better place to live. Over the summer, the design communities of two “water cities,” New York and Amsterdam, will take on the challenge by addressing how we live on the water and how waterfront cities can think more comprehensively about quality of life issues. Together the Center for Architecture and ARCAM (the Amsterdam Achitectuur Centrum) will create an exhibition and cultural exchange, providing a glimpse into the future of what a sustainable, livable waterfront city might look like. We see major opportunities for Chapter committees and individual members to bring their expertise to this developing initiative.

Buildings = Energy

In October 2011, the year’s theme will culminate with a major exhibition, “Buildings = Energy.” Using full-scale installations, models, and interactive diagrams, “Buildings = Energy” will educate the public and design professionals about measures undertaken by architects, engineers, elected officials, and civic activists that aim to improve building performance and the environment. These include: energy code compliance, embodied energy analysis in resource selection, the benchmarking of buildings, use of renewable energy systems, methods of energy harvesting, and lifecycle cost and operations management. Through the presentation of these topics the exhibition will inform the public about critical choices made during the building process and provide a means and motivation for architects to design for a change.

2011 Inaugural Fund
All of these initiatives are possible because of contributions to the Inaugural Fund. In prior years the Inaugural Fund has supported major exhibitions such as “Going Public” in 2006 and “Architecture Inside/Out” in 2007; additional theme-related programs like last year’s Design Literacy for All conference; and unique projects like the Liquid Wall curtain wall prototype. We could never achieve the work we do at the Center without the generous support of the Inaugural Fund sponsors.

To date for 2011 we would like to acknowledge: Lead Sponsors: Arup and Buro Happold; Sponsor: Mechoshade; Supporters: Acheson Doyle Partners Architects, P.C.; the DeLaCour Family Foundation; KPF; and Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.; Friends: Brenda Levin; Capsys Corp.; Community Environmental Center, Inc.; Helpern Architects; Hugo S. Subotovsky A.I.A. Architects LLC; P.W. Grosser Consulting, Inc.; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; and Viridian Energy & Environmental, LLC.

We thank everyone who has contributed in the past and we continue to seek funding for these great projects. Contact Jen Apple for more information.

2011 Outlook: Energy

As many of you know, AIA has launched a national campaign for carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030. In NYC, we have begun and will continue to advocate for higher standards of energy efficiency. We won a NYSERDA grant to develop a curriculum on the 2010 Energy Conservation Code of New York State with the Urban Green Council, and conduct 80 course sessions over a 30-month period. These training sessions will take place at the Center and other locations around the city and state, and we look forward to partnering with other local AIA chapters to offer this important curriculum.

2011 AIANY Board
I would like to recognize the 2011 AIANY Chapter Board. I am excited to work with all you. I would especially like to acknowledge 2011 President-elect, Joe Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP.

I’m also looking forward to working with our committees. Our highly engaged program committees are poised to hold more programs than ever before in 2011, continuing an upward trajectory in the number, breadth, and depth of the Chapter’s programming.

The Architect’s Fast Track Leadership series will continue in the New Year with sessions on human resources, understanding clients, business development, and architectural law. New Practices will send an exhibition of its 2010 winners to São Paulo, and the Committee on the Environment is planning to adapt the AIA+2030 Professional Series, offering a 10-session course on designing for super-efficiency. We are excited to welcome the Design for Aging Committee to our ranks, and look forward to more programs joining the excellent roster already being presented by Architectural Dialogues, Architecture for Education, Architecture for Justice, Architecture for Hospitality, Banking and Finance, Building Codes, Building Enclosure Council, Cultural Facilities, Health Facilities, Historic Buildings, Housing, Interiors, Marketing and PR, Public Architecture, Technology, Transportation and Infrastructure, Women in Architecture, and the committees we’ve already mentioned. Also, I look forward to Oculus Committee-organized book talks in the New Year. Committee members, I’m looking forward to working with all of you.

2011 Overview
In the upcoming year, I’m looking forward to a resurgent economy, a stronger and greener Chapter recognized for its intellectual, practical, and imaginative leaders. Together we will set an example for cities across the state, country, and world. I look forward to working with all of you toward these goals.

Sustainability and Historic Preservation Come Together

Event: Save History, Save the Earth: Commonalities and Conflicts between Preservation and Sustainability
Location: Center for Architecture, 04.15.09
Speakers: Chris Benedict — Professor, Pratt Institute Graduate Center for Planning & the Environment; Fiona Cousins, LEED AP — Principal, ARUP; Scott Demel, LEED AP — Associate, Rogers Marvel Architects; Ned Kaufman — Co-founder & Co-director, Place Matters
Moderator: Erica Amravi — Preservation Consultant
Organizers: AIA Historic Buildings Committee, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

McCarren Park Pool, in its current state.

Courtesy Google Earth.

Historic preservation advocates and sustainability practitioners are natural collaborators, and the conservation of our natural resources as well as the conservation of our historic structures are mutually inclusive. Two architects, a researcher, and an engineer discussed the common ground and differing perspectives.

The reuse and renovation of an existing building is inherently more sustainable than new construction because of the building’s embodied energy. It takes 65 years for even a new “green” building to recover the energy wasted in the demolition of an existing structure. Sustainability expert Fiona Cousins, LEED AP, principal at Arup, encouraged designers to carefully weigh a building’s lifespan before making the decision to either demolish or renovate it.

Author, heritage conservation specialist, and co-founder of Place Matters, Ned Kaufman argued that buildings play a large role in a community’s historic and cultural identity, and that we must consider the protection of both this and our natural environments equally. The McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn was provided as one such example — built in 1936 and closed to the public in 1984, it was sized to provide summer recreation for up to 6,000 bathers. Scott Demel, LEED AP, of Rogers Marvel Architects is leading the pool’s renovation into a year-round community center. He expects the project will receive LEED Silver certification.

Architect Chris Benedict provided several examples of tenement buildings in the East Village that had been rehabilitated to decrease energy expenditure. By installing tight air barriers and appropriate insulation, as well as calibrating water management systems, she proved that a century-old structure can be as efficient as a new building and will often yield the lowest energy bills.

“There’s a need for development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the past,” Kaufman asserts. Benedict agrees: “There are lessons to be learned from these pre-fossil-fuel buildings — lessons that can inform our decisions in today’s changing world.”