April 2017 Newsletter

Happy Spring Architects,

We are promoting and marketing YOU, AIA members! Phase I was the Every Building has an ARCHITECT campaign. It has been very successful. Thank you for letting us know when a reporter does not recognize the architect on a project. Phase II is a Social Media campaign. We went thru the list of member firms, checked to see if you have a FB, Instagram, or Twitter account. AIA Birmingham likes or follows all the member firms that have social media. When you post something we will share it or like it. We need you to do the same for us; like us, follow us and share our posts. We are getting the word out about the value of an architect and want to show off your great projects. Once Phase II is well underway, Phase III will begin. For Phase III we will feature a member architect, cool facts, fun facts and a quote from you. This will be shared on FB and Instagram. We will start with the member firms that have social media. If you have any ideas that will help get the word out, please let us know.

Most of you are losing potential clients. HOW??? I can give you so many examples, but the best one is, I had a potential client call me looking for an architect who did institutional work. I referred him to the Find an Architect link http://architectfinder.aia.org/frmLandingPage.aspx He called me back to ask “Are these the only architects in the Birmingham area that do institutional work?” I could not believe that the majority of you are NOT LISTED on the link. How can I refer clients to you if you are not listed on the Find an Architect link?!?!?!!? Help me help YOU!!! Click on the above link and on the right there is a link to edit your profile. This is something you have to do, we cannot do it for you.

Help us promote YOU!!!!

Peace and AIA Love,

Rhea Williams, Executive Director AIA Birmingham, Alabama Center for Architecture

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! (We’ll share your projects!)


 AIA Birmingham FACEBOOK


 AIA Birmingham TWITTER


 AIA Birmingham INSTAGRAM (Brand new!) 

Alabama Center for Architecture FACEBOOK


Alabama Center for Architecture INSTAGRAM (Brand new!) 

2017 Sponsorships Still Available! Renew TODAY!

All chapter sponsorships expired at the end of December, so please renew today if you haven’t already! Check out the 2017 sponsorship brochure here.

THANK YOU to all our sponsors who PAID in MARCH 2017! (A full list of sponsors is listed on the right column of this page.)

Hohmann & Barnard

Robins & Morton

Bhate Geosciences


April Chapter Meeting – Powell Steam Plant Tour

Working through the Design Review Approval Process (1 LU)

Due to a conflict in scheduling, the Powell Steam Plant tour will be rescheduled for May or June. We are disappointed too, but we have top secret info you need to make your design review go smoother and faster!

Tuesday, April 18
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Alabama Center for Architecture (109 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd South, Birmingham AL 35233)
$15 members & sponsors | $30 nonmembers

Register here if paying with a credit card:
RSVP to kathryn@aiabham.org if paying with cash or check!

Seating is extremely limited, so reserve your seat today!

We will have a DESIGN REVIEW EXPERT sharing her tips for working through the Design Review approval process gleaned from her experience writing about biweekly meetings for the last four years. This presentation will explore how best to work through Birmingham’s Design Review approval process by learning the history of design review, Birmingham’s master signage plan and case studies

Rebecca Dobrinski has a passion for the past. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center, and is a freelance writer at WELD, where she has been covering Birmingham’s Design Review Committee meetings since 2013. She has a BA in History and Sociology from UAB, a Master’s in Historic Preservation from SCAD and a Master’s in Urban History from UAB.

Some of Dobrinski’s career highlights include:

  • Essay on “Why Birmingham?” published in the Etched in Collective History (Civil Rights Movement 50th Anniversary) exhibition catalog. Also served as editor of the publication.
  • Writer and columnist for publications including Zen Dixie, Weld, BurnAway, Magic City Post, The Terminal, and The Hockey Writers.
  • Volunteer Coordinator for the Birmingham Girls Club Conference in October 2013.
  • Volunteer Coordinator for the Y’All Connect social media and blogging conference, held annually in Birmingham in June.
  • Venue Planner for the 2014 TEDxBirmingham conference.
  • Grants & Proposals Manager as well as the My Museum magazine and curatorial publications editor at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
  • Additional experience in museum exhibit coordination, project management, scheduling, budgeting, and contracts.
  • Chair of Oak Hill Cemetery Auxiliary Board: coordinating volunteer events, planning the annual historic tour, and managing the new book club. Oak Hill Cemetery is on both the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the National Register of Historic Places.

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.

Sponsor Luncheon: YANMAR America
Presenting: Utilizing Natural Gas to Increase Sustainability (1 HSW)

Friday, April 21
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Alabama Center for Architecture (109 R. Arrington Jr Blvd South)
Free (lunch included)
RSVP required to kathryn@aiabham.org — Seating is limited!

Mix and mingle with one of our newest platinum sponsors, Yanmar America! The presentation will cover the benefits of natural gas as a fuel source specifically in relation to VRF and combined heat and power systems, which can be installed in many building applications to increase sustainability. 

Save the Date! Birmingham dreamArchitecture Ceremony

Thursday, May 4
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Saw Works Studio at ArchitectureWorks (130 19th Street South)

Come check out what kindergarten thru fifth graders designed for Draw Your Dream SPACE STATION. These kids always have the wildest designs, I can’t wait to see what they come up with for living in space.
RSVP to kathryn@aiabham.org if you’ll be attending!

Living Small: Lecture & Exhibit Recap


The ACFA and AIA Birmingham hosted a meeting at Iron City Bham, featuring architect Garrett Reynolds, AIA, of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Seattle. Reynolds presented a lecture about the design of micro living spaces from his research in New York City, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Seoul, Seattle and Tokyo. His philosophy of DESIGN FOR JUST ENOUGH is one we can all take to heart. The idea of living small and spending your time EXPERIENCING life versus spending your time maintaining your “stuff” and buying more stuff is something we should all think about more often. Who needs more STUFF?!?! None of us.  This was one of our largest meetings ever, with 150 in attendance. SOLD OUT meetings two months in a row!

Click here to view photos of the lecture!


The ACFA hosted the LIVING SMALL: Exhibit Opening Reception on Thursday, March 9th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Guests enjoyed the Living Small exhibit exploring microliving in cities around the world and in Birmingham, and the small home designed by Jeffrey Dungan Architects and built by Clayton Homes was open for tours. This has been our most successful exhibit EVER with more than 30 people visiting the ACFA each day to view the exhibit and tour the tiny home. The goal of the ACFA is to host more exhibits and lectures that interest non architects. This exhibit hit the target. Let us know if you have ideas or see an exhibit that you think would be a good fit for the ACFA.

Click here to view photos of the exhibit opening!

Thanks to our partners, AIA Birmingham, Birmingham Association of REALTORS®, Inc. and Design Week Birmingham, Birmingham Home and Garden Magazine and to our sponsors Alagasco and Clayton Homes for making these events possible! All photos by Sherwood Cox Photography.

Emerging Professionals

Site Visit: Masonry Arts Tour

Thursday, April 20
4:30-5:30 p.m.
2105 3rd Ave N, Bessemer, AL 35020

RSVP to kathryn@aiabham.org if you can attend!

Recap: NCARB Visit

Last Tuesday, Marcy 28, AIA Birmingham hosted Jared Zurn, NCARB’s Director of Examination, for a presentation on the licensure process for architects. He covered topics such as the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), the Architectural Registration Exam (A.R.E.), and reciprocal licensure. Jared did an amazing job giving a summary of all the recent changes to the licensure process and imparting insight to our Emerging Professionals on how to best navigate this part of our careers.

If you have any questions about ARE, AXP, or licensure, please contact NCARB customer service at 202-879-0520. They are the experts and will be happy to help you in any way!

ARE 5.0 Study Materials

AIA Birmingham is pleased to announce that we now have Brightwood Architecture ARE 5.0 study materials for the following tests:

  • Practice Management
  • Project Management
  • Project Planning & Design
  • Project Development & Documentation

We require a $50 CASH deposit to reserve materials. The deposit is refundable for AIA members, and for nonmembers $25 of the deposit will be kept as a service fee.

Email kathryn@aiabham.org or call 205-322-4386 if you want to reserve 4.0 OR 5.0 study guides!

Enter the 10UP Competition

YAF of AIA Atlanta is teaming up with MA! Design is Human to host a competition to create an original temporary installation that will be displayed in some of Atlanta’s most sought-after urban spaces. The winning structure will be erected and available for the public to experience, both in person and through social media. The competition is open to designers of all disciplines and will be an exciting exhibit of emerging talent. Download the brief here. Click here for more info! 

ACFA + Vulcan Park & Museum Upcoming Events

Drink & Drop: Inaugural Egg Drop Competition

Thursday, April 6 (rain date April 13)
5:30-8:00 p.m.

$250 for a team of 5, $20 to attend
Includes 2 drink tickets Ghost Train Brewery

In conjunction with the 28th Annual Brent Newman Memorial Egg Drop, Vulcan® Park and Museum will host its inaugural Drink and Drop adult egg drop competition and cocktail reception. Science minded teams and individuals, over 21 that is, can try your hand at the classic elementary student competition by keeping an egg protected after dropping it from the top of Vulcan’s 124-foot pedestal. The goal: to keep your egg from landing sunny side up! Join us for this fun, inaugural event, including a cocktail reception on Vulcan’s Plaza.

Click here to sign up a team, buy tickets or sponsor the event! 

Vulcan’s Spring Walking Tours

First Avenue South/Rotary Trail: From 20th

Saturday, April 8 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

See the transformation of the “the cut” – from disinvestment to investment – with inside looks at adaptive reuses and new construction all along First Avenue South. The tour will begin at the new Rotary Trail’s Magic City sign on 20th Street and end at the Pepper Place Farmer’s Market just in time for lunch at Cantina, Red Cat or Chef Chris Hastings’ latest venture – Oven Bird.

Crestline Village: Walkable Town Center

Saturday, April 29 – 9 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

Crestline Village, long a part of the city of Mountain Brook and now functioning as its town center, was originally laid out as a separate town in the late 19th century. It’s grid of streets, many named after trees like other small towns, has evolved into a walkable place with residential streets adjacent. This tour will cover recent changes and additions, like the new City Hall facilities, and how new larger homes are replacing post-WWII cottages.

Members $10
Non-members $12
More details can be found at www.visitvulcan.com or by calling 205-933-1409.

2017 Brick in Architecture Awards NOW OPEN!

Call for Entries download 

Career Center

Jobseekers – we have TONS of new jobs listed on the website! Don’t miss AIA Birmingham’s Career Page for the latest local opportunities.

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.

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

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