January 2018 Newsletter

2018 President’s Letter

Is it me or does time go by faster the older we get? Ready or not, the New Year is upon us. Along with new challenges, 2018 promises new opportunities and new rewards. At AIA Birmingham, we are excited and optimistic about the upcoming year. If last year’s trend continues, we will see an even more robust building economy and increased billing. After years of stagnant growth, we welcome the upturn. With more work, all of us will be busier than ever.

As we focus on new projects, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, it’s important to not lose sight of the bigger picture. We must continue to support and advocate for our profession. Because our work is vital to the built environment, it’s important for decision makers to understand the value of architecture and design. As the saying goes, most decisions are made at the local level. With this in mind, AIA Birmingham will continue to meet with local leaders to promote the value of architects. I challenge all of our members to join us as we develop and foster relationships with city leaders. As we push to promote architecture to local governments, I ask members to look for ways they can advocate for the value of architecture in their community through joining design review boards, building committees, city councils, and any other positions where design decisions are made.

Looking to the future, AIA Birmingham, through our support of the Alabama Center for Architecture, promotes the value of architecture to kids and young adults through programs such as dreamArchitecture and N2Architecture. These programs have reached thousands of local students and will foster more students to pursue architecture majors and an appreciation in good design. Besides younger students, AIA Birmingham and the Alabama Center for Architecture continues to help college students through its scholarship awards program. As those of you who are involved with these programs know, it’s very rewarding to see how excited the students are to learn about architecture and design.

Along with local advocacy, we are very excited about our planned chapter meetings this year. We understand leaving the office is tough when you have a looming deadline. For this reason, we look to provide meetings with value and interest. Since most of our chapter meetings are sold out, make sure you are on the mailing list. If you don’t get notifications, please be sure to let us know.

Your membership in the AIA is very important and we are grateful for your continued support. Since our organization is strongest as a unified voice, we welcome your input and hope you will be an active participant in the chapter. Know we continually challenge ourselves to provide the greatest value for our members, and we strive to make each year better than the last.

I am excited for everything AIA Birmingham has planned this year and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the chapter as President. Let’s make it an awesome year!


Ross McCain, AIA
2018 AIA Birmingham President

Renew your 2018 AIA membership!

AIA Birmingham strives to provide the best possible experience for our members. As we look forward to 2018, we will continue to advocate for our profession and promote the value of architecture in the community.

With more than 330 members in our chapter, AIA Birmingham provides a great opportunity to develop contacts and advance the profession through continuing education and industry specific training.

We are stronger together, and AIA values your partnership. We hope you will join us again as a member of the AIA.

Five ways to renew today — Learn more at aia.org/renew.

  1. Online by electronic check
  2. Online by credit/debit card
  3. By phone
    Call (800) 242 3837, option 2 (within the U.S.) or 1+(202) 626 7300, option 2 (outside the U.S.)
  4. By mail
    Return your 2018 renewal invoice with payment to:
    The American Institute of Architects
    P.O. Box 64185
    Baltimore, MD 21264-4185
  5. Dues installment program
    Enroll beginning October 1 and no later than April 30, and pay your membership dues in up to six monthly installments. 2018 membership dues must be paid in full by June 30, 2018. 

Sponsors, it’s time to Renew for 2018!

Wow, what a great year we’ve had! Just a reminder that all chapter sponsorships expired at the end of December! Check out the 2018 sponsorship brochure here.

THANK YOU to all the sponsors who paid their 2018 sponsorships in November & December!


  • Alabama Power Company
  • AMA Lighting
  • Hohmann & Barnard
  • J.R. Prewitt & Associates
  • Sesco Lighting


  • Alabama Lighting Assoc.
  • Allsouth Appliance Group
  • Hoar Construction
  • MBA Engineers
  • Schoel Engineering


  • Camacho & Associates
  • ECS Southeast
  • Lighting Partnership
  • Office Environments
  • Parrot Structural
  • Sherwin Williams
  • ThyssenKrupp Elevators

If you renew your sponsorship and pay by January 31, we will give you $100 off your sponsorship (platinum, gold and silver levels only)! See the brochure or contact Rhea or Kathryn with questions.

JANUARY SEMINAR – Designing With Wood – Up to 3 HSWs!

KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION – get 3 HSWs at the first of the year!!



Join AIA Birmingham for a BOUTIQUE seminar and expo exploring how to best design wood structures– multi-family, commercial and residential! These exhibitors are not ones architects usually get to mingle with, so don’t miss your chance to get down to the nuts & bolts (literally)! Put your hands and eyes on the hardware designed for wood. Bring your questions and ask the wood experts what you need to know for your next project.


Simpson Strong Tie (Title Sponsor)

Alabama Forestry Association (Lunch Sponsor)

Hoover Treated Wood
Huber Engineered Wood
Structural Wood Systems
WoodWorks – Wood Products Council

Click here for more information!
Click here to register!     

Design Awards 2018

We will follow the same schedule as last year for Design Awards, with our jury in early March in conjunction with AIA’s Grassroots Conference. Stay tuned for an email with the Call for Entries later this month! 

Government Affairs Update

  • AIA Advocacy Stance on the Tax Reform Legislation
    • On Friday night (12/15/17), the House and Senate Conference Committee released their version of the
      tax reform legislation. After combing through the massive bill, AIA National is encouraged by the changes
      made as the bill moved through the legislative process. This legislation moved through both chambers at
      lightning speed, but thanks to the rapid response of AIA’s members across the country we are pleased to
      say that we made significant progress for architects. Read more here.
  • AIA Birmingham 2017 Government Affairs Report & 2018 Initiatives
    • View 2017 progress and 2018 targets & initiatives at the local, state and national level.   

2017 Holiday Party

Way back on Nov. 30th, we had our annual holiday party! Special thanks to our party sponsor, Spire, and Cahaba Brewery for the libations!

View photos from the party here!     

Save the Dates for February!

Emerging Professionals

EP Quarterly Design Lecture Series Kicks Off- Get inspired!

Alabama Center for Architecture, 109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South
RSVP to save your seat – to kathryn@aiabham.org.

Exploring and understanding the similarities between the creative processes of music improvisation and design, and how they can be applied to our work as architects.

Career Center

Jobseekers – we have LOTS of 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.

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

3rd Annual Posters, Pints & Pies – Opening Reception! 

Thursday, January 25 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Alabama Center for Architecture, 109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South
$5 cash donation at the door

The Alabama Center for Architecture is hosting its third annual Posters, Pints and Pies, an art exhibit of private collection music show posters, with an opening reception on Thurs. January 25th from 7-9 pm. Hand-selected by local music-lovers, these show posters are curated from private collections and include Grateful Dead, Phish, Widespread Panic, Drive-By Truckers, Ben Harper, MOE, BB King, Galactic, Jefferson Airplane, The Black Keys, Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule, Bob Dylan, Lumineers, Keller Williams and so many more.

The delicious pizza is provided by Dave’s Pizza and beer and wine by Diplomat Deli! We will also be raffling off some marvelous prizes, including tickets to CukoRakko Music & Arts Festival‘s Spring festival!

The exhibit will be open to the public Tuesday-Friday from 10-3 until February 28th.

$5 cash donation at the door, which benefits educational programs for the Alabama Center for Architecture, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.

Thanks to The Beveled Edge, Dave’s Pizza, and Diplomat Deli for sponsoring this event!

Interested in submitting a poster for the exhibit? Fill out this form by January 12th: https://goo.gl/jZ2wPy  

Donate your LEGOs to the ACFA!

We need LEGOs! The Alabama Center for Architecture is hosting a LEGO exhibit in March. We need LEGOs and base plates too. The conference room will turn into a LEGO design build room for kids (and adults). The gallery space will exhibit buildings made from LEGOs.

Now we need projects on the gallery wall to exhibit. This is an opportunity to market your projects to a captive audience (literally).   We will send a call for project boards out SOON. This is another great opportunity for us to educate the public about the VALUE of hiring an architect. If you are interested in helping with this exhibit or if you have LEGO s you would like to donate email aiabirm@aiabham.org. Stay tuned for more info!!!

BRICK FAIR (LEGO conference) is February 3rd and 4th at the BJCC!  Click here for more info: https://www.brickfair.com/