April 2016 News


Happy Spring Architects,

It was so good to see old friends at the last three AIA chapter meetings. I have missed you!

And as much as some of you say you don’t really like hanging out with other architects, you looked really happy to see some of your old friends and colleagues at the meetings. It’s okay to like each other (and admit it) and have lunch with a room full of architects once a month (or more). I think you are a fun group of creative problem solving people who make the world a much better place to live, work and play.   Let’s keep having fun and seeing old friends the rest of the year. Another cool interesting meeting in April at Simpson Plaster to learn about a dying skill set and don’t miss the historic preservation tax credit exhibit at the Alabama Center for Architecture.

Let’s keep up this momentum and see if we can create a buzz about architects & architecture!

Peace & AIA Love,

Rhea Williams, Executive Director AIA Birmingham & ACFA

2016 Sponsorships

Thanks to all the sponsors who paid in March (below). A full list of sponsors can be found on the right side of the page.

Robert F Henry Tile

Park Lane Construction Inc.
Tucker Jones Engineers

Celebrate Saving Architecture Party! Exhibit Opening Reception



April Chapter Meeting – Plaster Masters – 1 HSW

Plaster MastersRSVP by April 15th to kathryn@aiabham.org

Cancellation policy: Must give 24 hours’ notice of cancellation. If you cancel less than 24 hours before or do not show up to the meeting without notice, you will be billed the cost of the meeting. 



We hosted the first historic tax credit exhibit reception in Montgomery March 17th. Montgomery is a different playground and they have their own schedule that is so unpredictable!   We succeeded in visiting our representatives and inviting them to our party. We had a good turnout and everyone looked to see if they had a project in their city or county and were disappointed if they did not. Next exhibit is in Birmingham, April 14th. See photos from the event here.

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit on the Move

Today, April 5th, the Alabama House of Representatives is scheduled to consider HB62. Please contact your House members at 334.242.7600 and encourage them to support HB62. The Alabama Education Association is working to kill the bill as they say it could reduce tax revenue flowing to the special education trust fund. To the contrary, the economic impact of $50 million in tax credits actually produces several hundred million dollars in economic impact from design and construction of historic projects. Please call 334.242.7600 today and leave a message for your House member to support HB62.

Senator Jabo Waggoner (R) of Birmingham has introduced SB230, the companion bill in the Alabama Senate. He has 32 of 35 senators as co-sponsors. Important to note that neither Senator Arthur Orr, Chairman of the Education Budget Committee, nor Senator Tripp Pittman, Chairman of the General Fund Budget Committee, are co-sponsoring the measure.

March Meeting Recap: Historic Preservation at the Federal Reserve

reserveOn March 15, 2016, AIA Birmingham and CSI Birmingham members met at the Federal Reserve Bank building to hear a presentation about historic rehabilitation tax credits. More than 100 people showed up to hear Jennifer Bailey and Cloe Mercer of the Alabama Historical Commission discuss federal and state tax credits. Hoar Construction led guests on a tour of the building. Thanks to Harbert Realty Services for partnering with us on this event! Click here for more photos of the event!

Emerging Professionals Section

Site Visit with ASCE: Forterra Structural & Specialty Products Plant

Forterra LogoThursday, April 21 | 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Forterra | 400 Industrial Park Drive, Pelham AL 35124
RSVP to Lea Huggins at

At this location Forterra primarily produces precast structural members including bridge members and other specialty products. One of the newest products they are producing is the NEXT Tee Beam which is used in fast-track bridge construction. They will have presentations on that product and others that they manufacture at the plant. It is possible that they will be producing the NEXT beams at the time of our visit, though that is not known.

Closed-toed shoes suitable for walking on variable surfaces & comfortable clothing suitable for a site/plant visit are recommended. RSVP to Lea Huggins at eleanor.huggins@amecfw.com ASAP if you are interested in attending! Only 15 slots are available for this tour.

NCARB to Launch Alternative Path to Licensure for Experienced Professionals

ncarb-logoStarting this summer, design professionals with more than five years of experience will be able to pursue licensure through NCARB’s new e-Portfolio option. – See more at: http://www.ncarb.org/News-and-Events/News/2016/Mar-ePortfolio.aspx#sthash.ZZjqq23M.dpuf.

ACE Meeting at the Alabama Center for Architecture!

Photo Mar 22, 6 46 11 PMOn Tuesday, March 22, AIA Birmingham and the ACFA hosted students and mentors from ACE Mentor of Alabama, a program that helps mentor high school students and inspires them to pursue careers in design and construction. More than 25 high school students from all around Birmingham attended the meeting, where Kathryn told them about the ACFA scholarship for collegiate architecture students. The students split into groups to start their final projects – design and construction of a working trebuchet! Thanks so much to ACE for allowing us to host. To get involved in ACE, email Cale Smith at acementoralabama@gmail.com. See photos from the event here.  

AIA National Corner

AIA National Convention – Register Today!!


National Architecture Week is April 10-16!

Here are ways you can get involved this year:

  • Share the latest #ilookup commercial on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Include messages about the important role architects play in shaping our communities. You can find the videohere.
  • Participate in a special #AIAChat on Twitter. The chat will take place on Wednesday, April 13 at 3PM EST. Doug Patt, founder of How to Architect, will lead a discussion about career paths for architects that decide to practice outside of the profession. Use #AIAChat on Twitter during the chat day and time to participate.
  • Share photos or videos of what architecture means to you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Use #ARCHWeek16 and #ilookup. Share your favorite architecture quotes, buildings, models, renders, sketches, and more. We will post many of your photos and videos on the AIA National social media accounts during the next several months.

Playhouzz 2016 Competition Collaboration

Houzz and AIA are launching a charitable playhouse design competition to showcase architecture and the value of design through the creative work of architecture professionals and students in the U.S. and Canada. AIA components whose members submits at least 20 entries will be eligible to receive a $5,000 grant to build the winning design. Learn more.

Awards Opportunities and Webinars

  • Academy of Architecture for Health U40 List: List of Healthcare Design’s Best Under 40. Submit an application by April 1.
  • 2016 Next Generation Scholarship: two intern architects selected to attend the 2016 Summer Leadership Summit. Submit an application by April 22.
  • Academy of Architecture for Health 2016 Call for Papers: Submit articles, innovative project case studies, completed research projects, and monographs in the field of healthcare design by May 31.
  • Call for Presentations is open for the Academy of Architecture Fall Conference in Hawaii. Submit your proposal by April 13.)

A full list of Knowledge Community events is always available at network.aia.org/RoundUp    

Career Center

Jobseekers – check out the AIA Career Center for all the hottest jobs and access to the Career Learning Center, which encourages an integrative career and professional development process that enhances your skill set. Also don’t miss AIA Birmingham’s Career Page for the latest local opportunities.

Employers – post your jobs on the AIA Birmingham website! FREE for local member firms. Email Rhea or Kathryn for more details.

Firm News: Ward Scott Architecture Promotions

white_logo2Ward Scott Architecture, a full service architectural firm located in Tuscaloosa is pleased to announce promotions for three leadership positions:

  • Kimberly Newton McMurray, AIA, named Principal;
  • Robert Lanoux, AIA, named Principal; and
  • Jordan Morris, AIA, promoted to Associate Principal.

View the full press release here!



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