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Quarterly Bulletin - June 2012
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What's Happening

President's Message

Fariba Shantiyai, AIA, CCS, LEED AP

My sincere thanks goes out to our members who shared their opinions on the AIA institute elections, proposed amendments to the Bylaws, and new resolutions placed on the ballot for voting at the National Convention. As Alek Zarifian and I met the potential member delegates at the AIA Convention, we witnessed incredible camaraderie. We shared your comments, collaborated, and had a consensus prior to voting.  The elected officers are as follows:

Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Elected 2013 First Vice President and 2014 President

Donald C. Brown, FAIA, Elected 2013-2014 Vice President

Susan Chin, FAIA, Elected 2013-2014 Vice President

Richard DeYoung, AIA, Elected 2013-2014 Secretary

Additional information is available at:

Two amendments to the Bylaws were approved, and eleven resolutions were made. More detailed information is published on the AIA National Website, which you may find at the following link:

As for the AIAPF business, I have had the great privilege of working closely with our volunteer leadership in advocating for our profession and ensuring our voices are being heard.

Thanks to the volunteer committee members' hard work, we have been able to offer programs that are robust and diverse, with speakers that are locally and nationally recognized; and continuing education sessions that are informative and fun to attend.

The opportunities we have provided to network and socialize with friends and colleagues have been phenomenal. Our May social mixer at Ganahl Lumber hosted over 60 guests; it was an excellent event and 2 CES learning units were available later that same evening from two sponsored courses. Our May Chapter program at Parsons in Pasadena hosted 50 attendees, with a training session discussing the practice of architecture and successful interview techniques to win projects. The session also addressed the alternative career paths associated with our profession.

If you haven’t yet joined us in Chapter programs, we would like to hear from you. Your involvement and feedback is a key source for the improvement of our Chapter as we set up future programs. Please feel free to call or email Alek Zarifian (818) 601-9056 or myself (626) 864-4876 with your comments. You may also attend one of our monthly board meetings, which occur on the second Wednesday of every month. We look forward to your participation.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Look Both Ways:
SCAG Transportation Forum Recap

Joe Catalano, AIA

There is at least one backsliding planning pundit out there who, citing how “density everywhere” will be a disaster, makes a pitch that there’s still plenty of room to spread out. Perhaps a bright idea for a new self-contained city way out yonder, but, as we know by now, a pretty bad idea for solving Southern California’s growth problems.

In the Chapter’s April 25 program “Look Both Ways,” if there was any doubt about whether the problem exists, Dr. Julianna Delgado dispelled it with her presentation, and then Pam O’Connor, the current president of SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) discussed in some detail the long range planning process to reconfigure density around transportation networks. She was joined by Ms. Huasha Liu, SCAG’s Director of Land Use and Environmental Planning.

This reconfiguration will create “a lot of differentiation” and a range of choices in building forms, according to O’Conner. It is fundamental to greenhouse gas reductions mandated by SB 375, and to SCAG’s 2012-2035 Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS).

We found out a few things about what drives this process, the scale of the economies involved, and how it filters down to the “practical,” or design and municipal planning levels.

SCAG has responsibility for implementation of SB 375 in all of Southern California except for San Diego County. It is a “convener,” in O’Conner’s words, and provides technical assistance to the 191 municipalities within its six county jurisdiction.

The other half of the equation, along with the SCS, is the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). In other words integrating transportation and land use planning, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, requires both adjustments in land use and densities, and also improvements in regional transportation. This includes highway, mass transit and rail, and also electrification of freight movement and conversion of automobile-dominated streets to “multi-modal,” with public transit, bicycle and pedestrian use. The total projected expenditure for the RTP through 2035 is 1.05 trillion dollars.

While SCAG has the “big picture,” ultimately each municipality makes its own planning decisions in its General Plan (within the SCS/RTP guidelines), and this level is where architects can really influence change. There was interesting discussion between Ms. O’Conner and Liu, Dr. Delgado and the chapter members on this topic, talking about the various forms that housing can take, apart from the uniformity of the suburban subdivision model. (Think progressively, with differing family and property arrangements, varying degrees of density, and zero net energy.)

Through this type of integrated planning, SCAG and the State’s other metropolitan planning organizations are to meet targeted greenhouse gas reductions in 2020 and 2035.

Thanks go to AIAPF Board member Eric Parlee and his committee for this excellent program. In addition to being informative about the regional planning and sustainability picture, it also discussed opportunities for design innovation. Further it suggests that architects can influence change by participating in their own community’s General Plan work, given their knowledge of local land use, building types and forms, preservation and sustainability.

Photographs courtesy of Joe Catalano.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Emerging Professionals Lecture Series Launch

Tony Hambarchian, Assoc. AIA

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter is encouraged by the continued growth of its Emerging Professionals Program over the course of this year.  The seminar series has evolved into a network of diverse professionals, each with their own expertise to share with the group. The educational series helps candidates prepare for the ARE 4.0 licensing exam and consists of bi-weekly seminars covering core sections of the exams, as well as peer study review sessions that narrow in on specific topics to accommodate each candidates testing schedule.  

We look forward to meeting you at our next Emerging Professionals event! Be sure to register for the remaining seminars including Structural Systems taught by Dilip Khatri and Building Systems taught by Barham Badiyi.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Citizen Architect Committee Update

Tony Hambarchian, Assoc. AIA

The Citizen Architects Committee of the AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter continues its collaboration with Pasadena Community Garden to transform the vacant lot at 721 S. Pasadena Ave. into an educational garden and resource center for the City of Pasadena.  Thus far, the two organizations have held a community wide design dialog at John Muir High School, conducted a site tour for the second round jury of the Prop 84 Grant Proposal, and continue to prepare for the Groundbreaking event on June 9th.

Over the course of this collaboration, Tony Hambarchian and Dina Tran actively participated in steering committee meetings with Pasadena Community Gardens, working alongside interdisciplinary colleagues including California native specialists and master gardeners to develop the design concept.

The design utilizes a nature walk that circulates its users through a series of program elements and garden spaces throughout the site. This project will serve as a prototypical garden that may serve as the catalyst for other gardens throughout the City of Pasadena. 

We encourage you to attend this event in support of the Citizen Architect Committee. We are excited to share our progress with Architects and Design Professionals to further develop the project as we continue to move forward! If you would like to become involved with Citizen Architects on this project, contact Tony Hambarchian.

Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Dell’Aquilla.

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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In Our Community

DesignBuild – How Do We Survive?

Amy Hellmund, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

I attended a Design Build (DB) seminar last year at the AIA Academy for Architecture for Justice Conference in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, the room was packed. Design Build is how most RFQ’s (Request For Quotations) are being structured now, and it is a contract type we all need to address in order to find ways to succeed.

Project teams for different federal projects all discussed Design-Build and how beneficial the process was.  The teams consisted of the owner, the owner’s representative, the contractor and the architect.  It became immediately clear that the architect was a minority stakeholder when compared to the other project representatives. By being present with our clients (contractors) and our client’s clients (owners) the discussion was not as open and honest as it should have been with regards to its impact on our business. Only one architect in the entire panel was willing to state that this is an unsustainable way of conducting business and that we, the architects, will end up going out of business. With all the stakeholders in the room, no one wanted to rock the boat and criticize the process.

Design-Build is an unsustainable business model for the design service community. The cost of participation is too high, with no avenue to recoup the cost of the proposal work.  Too much is needed in the proposal stage in order for the Contractor to validate their numbers for architects to limit our risk.  There is too much risk without enough reward.

Historically, as design professionals we have been the owner’s advocate for quality of design and material. With DB these roles shift to second priority, since designers are responsible to the Contractor.  This communication is aggravated by aggressive schedules that do not allow for a 100% coordinated design, and the financial risk of such comes back to the design professional, not the contractor.

Owners love DB since they perceive that they are getting better value with more innovative design at less cost. When asked about their opinion of the impact of DB on the design profession, they stated that it was not their concern, often repeating: “Well, you'll have to figure a way to make it work for your business."  They are right.  
Our industry has marketed BIM to Owners as an easy aspect to the design process, and not something that is difficult or costs extra time or money to create. This is why they often request it.
The most knowledgeable speaker was Craig Unger, now with DBIA.  He had good ideas about how to use DB successfully.  He is a proponent of stipends, and for adding the GMP (Gross Maximum Price) to the RFP (Request for Proposal).  This way all teams know up front what the final number is that all teams are working with and can build in as many "enhancements" as they can while still meeting the program.

The AIA is an advocate for stipends. It is to our benefit when we notify the AIA when stipends are not offered in the proposal phase of a DB project.  It is encouraging that the AIA has a knowledge community specifically for the Design Build, that is also addressing other project delivery methods.  But the AIA is primarily a volunteer organization and it can only do what we are willing to do.  Design-Build will not change on its own.  As a profession, it is up to us to find a system that work for our profession as a whole. This delivery method is not going away!

For more information:

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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SCAG Compass Blueprint Award Given to
Glendale Safe and Healthy Streets Plan:
Projects in Process

Elise Kalfayan,

For its approach to serving the needs of all transportation users, Glendale’s Safe and Healthy Streets Plan received the Southern California Association of Governments’ 2012 Compass Blueprint Award for Excellence in Mobility, Livability, Prosperity & Sustainability. AIAPF’s recent speaker, SCAG President Pam O’Conner, was on hand to congratulate Glendale officials and city staff receiving the award in April.

Glendale, the LA County Department of Public Health, and the LA County Bicycle Coalition obtained community input and support, and drew on evidence-based research, to develop the plan, funded by a County Policies for Livable, Active Communities and Environments grant. Adopted unanimously by the City Council in April 2011, it includes significant transportation infrastructure changes and future development.

Glendale Greenway
The plan connects civic, educational, recreational and commercial destinations in Glendale.  Since the grant required a physical demonstration, Glendale designed The Riverdale-Maple Glendale Greenway, a 3.5 mile corridor in the south part of the city with pedestrian and bicycle enhancements (the city is now updating its Bicycle Master Plan). The corridor connects three parks, and features 124 new trees, repaired and widened sidewalks, wayfinding signage, and bike lanes. While none of the changes are completely new to Glendale, this is the first time the city has created a corridor friendly to all road users.

Under construction near the greenway’s western end are two large multiunit developments, one of them the mixed-use Glendale Triangle (stalled by financial turmoil in 2008 and finally beginning demolition). Also nearby will be one of two equestrian, pedestrian, and bicycling bridges spanning the LA River, this one leading to Griffith Park. The other bridge will connect trails along the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk and is adjacent to an equestrian neighborhood. Glendale just approved Measure R funding for both bridges.

Street Enhancements
The Safe and Healthy Streets Plan proposes bicycle and walking route additions and improvements, including zebra-striped crosswalks, curb extensions, roundabouts, and road diets. It also recommends a Complete Streets policy of designing streets and networks to accommodate all users and all modes of transportation. (The California Complete Streets Act of 2008 requires cities to adopt this policy when there is a substantive revision of the Circulation Element of the General Plan.)

Walk Bike Glendale and the Honolulu Road Diet
Glendale now hosts a new chapter of the LA County Bicycle Coalition: Walk Bike Glendale. The group strongly supports a street enhancement test case recently proposed by Glendale: the Honolulu Road Diet in Montrose. Some local residents and businesses oppose the proposal, skeptical about street changes affecting traffic speeds.

Road diets are street reconfigurations that reduce vehicle lanes while giving more space to pedestrians and bicyclists. Typically, a second lane is removed in each direction while a center lane is added for left turns. Fewer car lanes make it safer for pedestrians to cross streets. A middle left-turn lane creates better access to driveways and more separation of traffic. The rate of accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists, and vehicular accidents, have fallen after road diets were introduced in study areas around the country. Safety improved, more people were out walking or bicycling, and vehicle traffic was “calmed.”

Street-facing businesses should benefit from road diets as streets become community spaces instead of throughways. Walk Bike Glendale is hoping to persuade neighbors and businesses that the road diet will be a positive change.

Active Transportation and Future Development
As other projects specified in the plan come forward, Glendale’s streetscape will be evolving toward active transportation, inter-city connections, and sensitivity to first mile/last mile considerations for residents and businesses. Stay tuned.


Elise Kalfayan is a writer, editor, publishing consultant, and advocate for active transportation options in Southern California. She was a regular feature contributor to a design/build trade journal and has worked on editorial projects with architects, developers, and contractors. She is the owner/editor/publisher of Glendale community news blog

To discuss this article, visit the AIAPF forums.
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Upcoming Events

June First Friday Forum:
Implementing a Successful Path Forward

[click image for larger version]
[print-ready PDF]

Friday, June 1, 2012
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Program
Brookside Country Club

Event Sponsor:

Register at


Educational Program - ADA Sessions 2, 3, & 7

[print-ready PDF]

The objective of this training session will be to review key access compliance subjects and become familiar with each one of the following:

Session 2:  Exterior Spaces – Part 1; 1.0 AIA/CES and CAB Credits
•    Access to Public Right of Ways
•    Exterior Path Between Buildings
•    Accessible Parking
•    Multi-Story Parking Structures

Session 3: Exterior Spaces – Part 2; 1.0 AIA/CES and CAB Credits
•    Ramps and Stairs
•    Using Truncated Domes Correctly
•    Vertical Clearances

Session 7: Theaters and Auditoriums – Part 2; 1.0 AIA/CES and CAB Credits
•    Accessible Seating
•    Assistive Listening Systems
•    Access to Stages, Platforms, Arena Floors and Locker/Dressing Areas
•    Semi-ambulant Seating
•    Ticket Booths and Other Support Areas

Thursday, June 7, 2012
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Brookside Country Club

Register at


2012 Emerging Professional Program
ARE 4.0 Educational Series Seminar:
General Structures

[print-ready PDF]

The AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter is now offering an educational series to help candidates prepare for the ARE 4.0 licensing exam, given by the California Architects Board. The program consists of bi-weekly seminars covering core sections of the exams, as well as peer study review sessions. The seminars will be led by professionals and educators to give a comprehensive overview of the materials covered in each section of the exam.

This seminar will be on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm at fsy Arhictects' office.

Register at


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Our Generous Sponsors

In Kind Donations

In Kind Printing


Silver Sponsors

SY Lee


Monthly Program Sponsors

Pasadena European Kitchen

Ganahl Lumber


First Friday Forum Sponsors
Sub-Zero Wolf
Julie Arcelay
Jason Wetherby


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What's Happening

In Our Community

Upcoming Events




  • 6/1
    June FFF - Implementing a Successful Recovery Path Forward
  • 6/2 ARE 4.0 Lecture Series - General Structures
  • 6/7
    Educational Program- ADA Session 2
  • 6/9
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 6/9
    Advisory Committee Meeting
  • 6/2 ARE 4.0 Lecture Series - Lateral Structures
  • 6/12
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 6/13
    Board Meeting
  • 6/13
    Citizen Architect Meeting
  • 6/20
    Fellowship Committee Meeting
  • 6/23
    ARE 4.0 Lecture Series - Building Planning
  • 6/27
    Chapter Program - Perspectives: Women in Architecture


  • 7/4
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 7/6
    July FFF
  • 7/10
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 7/11
    Board Meeting
  • 7/14
    Citizen Architect Meeting
  • 7/14
    ARE 4.0 Lecture Series - Materials & Methods
  • 7/18
    Fellowship Committee Meeting
  • 7/20
    AIACC Board Meeting
  • 7/21
    ARE 4.0 Lecture Series - MEP
  • 7/25
    Educational Program - ADA Session 3
  • 7/28
    Showcase the Architect


  • 8/1-4
    CACE Annual Meeting
  • 8/1
    EXCOM Meeting
  • 8/2
    Get on the Bus
  • 8/3
    August FFF
  • 8/11
    Advisory Committee Meeting
  • 8/14
    Fellowship Committee & Candidates Meeting
  • 8/22
    Affiliate Trade Group Luncheon
  • 8/22
    Chapter Program


AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
555 S. Oak Knoll Ave.
Pasadena, CA  91101
T. 626.796.7601
F. 626.796.1352

Connect With Us

YOU are our most valuable resource! Put your good ideas, knowledge, and energy to work where it can really do some good for the Chapter. Join a Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Committee or volunteer to help with one of the exciting 2012 events or programs. Contact the Chapter Office to get involved.

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Copyright © 2012 American Institute of Architects Pasadena & Foothill Chapter. All rights reserved.

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