Category Archives: News

2014 Civic Design Awards

Entry Opens for 2014 Civic Design Awards

By | Awards Program, Council Events, News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Awards season is here. The AIA/WA Civic Design Awards is open for entry. The Intent to Enter Deadline is January 31, 2014.

About the Civic Design Awards

The Civic Design Awards celebrates the best architectural designs in full or partially public-funded projects. These projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance, and overall integration with the client and surrounding community.

How to Enter

Submit an Intent to Enter


  • Built submissions must have been completed after January 1st, 2009, using public funds for design and/or construction, and must be designed by members of chapters within the AIA Washington Council.
  • Unbuilt projects must be an actual commission for a client who intends to undertake the project. Personal studies, theoretical projects, and competitions that do not meet he eligibility requirements should not be
  • The size and location of a project will in no way limit its eligibility. Members may separately submit as many projects for consideration as they wish.
  • For projects in which an AIA member has joint ventured or associated with a design consultant, the member must be the Architect-of-Record. Where responsibility for a project is shared, all participants who substantially contributed to the work must be appropriately credited.
  • Projects must be submitted in the name of the firm that executed the commission. If that firm has dissolved or its name has been changed, an individual or successor firm may enter projects in the name of the firm in effect at the time the was executed.
  • Projects that have won AIA/WA Civic Design awards previously are not eligible. All other projects may be resubmitted if they fall within the eligibility timeline.

After completing an intent to enter form, you’ll be given instructions to upload your project.

We’ve also created Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Word template to help firms jumpstart their entry, as well as best practices that have helped prior recipients tie the various aspects of design together for the jury.

Competition Rules and Guidelines

Main 2014 Awards Page Download Entry Requirements (PDF)

HB 2132 Strips Copyright, Opens Liability for Architects

By | advocacy, Legislature, News | No Comments

Creating Stock Architecture Plans for Schools Also Increases Costs, Dangers of School Construction

HB 2132 was prefiled for introduction on the first day of the 2014 Legislative Session. This bill requires that all school designs become property of the state “and may be reproduced, modified, or used by the state or any school district in the state.” It also requires that all school architectural plans be filed with the State Superintendent of Public Instruction who will make them available for other districts. In short, architects lose their copyrights and it creates a pool of stock plans.

Download Full-Text of HB 2132 (PDF)

What’s the impact?

  • School designs are not context-neutral: different site conditions, soils, orientations, etc. will necessitate extensive modifications. School designs take into account local curriculum, site conditions, safety concerns like traffic, fall hazards, LEED performance requirements, and more.
  • Code reviews are not site context-neutral: plans that meet code at one site will not meet it at others and vice-versa.
  • Stock plans are also unresponsive to market conditions for struggling school districts. The price of steel may be prohibitively expensive in the near future while adaptive reuse of an existing school would be more appropriate (and suggested) had an architect been directly involved, instead of a stock plan.
  • Architects may be held liable for use of their stock plan on a site it was never designed for, in addition to losing copyright and losing business due to stock school plans.
  • Failure to consider these issues poses both safety concerns as well as substantially increased school construction costs to meet code.

In short, stock plans may create 1) unintended costs for cash-strapped school districts, 2) building durability and safety concerns for students, 3) liability issues for architects, and 4) damage Washington state architects’ businesses.

How You Can Help

Redesigning School Lunch - Design in Public

AIA Seattle: Redesign the School Lunch Experience

By | Component Events, News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Design in Public and AIA Seattle asked designers, educators, kids, parents—anyone interested in public education and children’s health—to come up with ideas to transform “school lunch” from an unhealthy institution into a catalyst for bettering public health and wellness. The entries are in! Come view all the ideas to transform school lunch at the gallery opening reception on Tuesday, January 14 from 5-7pm at AIA Seattle.

Winners will be announced at a free, public event on Tuesday, January 28 at the Microsoft Auditorium of the Central Seattle Public Library. Moderator, Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief of Metropolis Magazine, will be joined by a distinguished jury:

  • Lindsey Greto (Seattle Children’s Research Institute)
  • John Kandemir (Aramark Education)
  • Stephen Murakami (Tacoma School District)
  • Shannon Nichol (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd.)
  • Eric Tanaka (Tom Douglas Restaurants)
More info on Gallery Opening @ AIA Seattle

2001 Civic Design Awards Entry: Maple Valley Public Library

By | News | No Comments


Johnston Architects
James Cutler Architects


Art Grice


General Contractor: R. Miller Construction
Structural: Swenson Say Faget
Mechanical/Electrical: McGowan Broz
Civil: SvR Design Co
Landscape: Swift & Co
Interiors: NB Design

Project Narrative

Built in the midst of a rapidly developing suburban area, this 12,000 square-foot library is designed to serve the long term needs of the community while attempting to preserve the small 1-3/4 acre forest in which it is placed.

The book collection, lounges, children’s areas, offices and study are designed for maximum flexibility while attempting to visually connect the occupants with the living world around them.

The “U” shape shed roof was designed to minimize the visual impact of the building/forest side of the building while presenting a “crown” of wooden eaves to the busy arterial road to the south. This roof configuration also serves to gather all of the water to one central gravel pool. The edges of the pool are serrated in order to catch organic debris that will serve as nutrients for a “moss pool.” By visually displaying the amount of water displaced by the building and the life that it can foster, it is hoped that this wooden building will further connect its users to the place.

Federal Government Shutdown: What You Need to Know

By | advocacy, News | No Comments

by Andrew Goldberg
AIA National Managing Director, Government Relations & Outreach
(click here to view original article)

It’s been 17 years since the federal government last experienced a shutdown. As federal agencies begin the process of shutting their doors and furloughing non-essential personnel, there are lots of questions about how it will affect all Americans, especially those who work with (and for) the federal government. If your projects receive federal funding, will they have to stop? If you are a federal contractor, what should you be doing? Much remains unclear about what happens during shutdown, including the procedures that individuals and companies doing business with the government will face. In order to help AIA members through the confusion, the AIA has launched this page to provide up-to-date informat Read More

AIA National: July 2013 Architectural Billings Index

By | Economy, News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Firm Billings Up Nationwide, But Construction Sector Still Lags

Financing still cited as major reason for construction weakness

By Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, AIA Chief Economist 

Billings at U.S. architecture firms moved up again in July, the third straight monthly increase, and the eleventh time over the past 12 months that firms have reported revenue gains. The July reading was 52.7, improving on the June score of 51.6. The index for new project inquiries also accelerated in July, with a score of 66.4, signifying the strongest growth in new inquiries since late 2005.
Firms in all regions of the country reported billings gains in July. Firms in the Northeast and South indicated particularly strong growth, with ABI scores above 54. In the Midwest and West, firms reported more modest gains. Major construction sectors served by architecture firms also all showed gains for the month. Institutional firms, while reporting only modest gains in recent months, have now recorded 12 straight months of billings growth.

Construction not stepping up
Read More

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