I need to admit; I go to AIA conventions as a “trip out” of the ordinary. The conventions of the past few years have been fairly “status quo,” that is, the seminars haven’t really challenged me.
I was only in San Francisco for 37 hours total during the convention (yes, it was a lot of effort as I have tons of other responsibilities this year). I need to say that the seminars I had the pleasure to attend were very informative. The underlying theme that I was struck with is the renewed passion at which all the speakers presented. My guess is if they were there speaking, they really wanted to be there.
It also seems that there have been significant advances in materials, recycling techniques, application of new technologies to buildings, building envelope analysis, etc. so that what I heard 2-3 years ago really has been reinvented or is completely new. It was quite eye opening.
It would seem that the green and sustainable movement is behind some of the materials and applications. It would also seem that what I call “the LEED effect” indeed has produced a new soapbox on which to stand when hawking a product; but truly I believe the impetus behind it all is
- the cost of doing business
- the cost of operating buildings.
If you stop and read or consider the 2030 challenge, or ponder what a 10-20% savings on office physical plant costs would really mean for how you run your business, and if you can carry that to your clients, there is some teeth to the road and it’s not gravel.
Based on my direct experiences, I am going to brave the AIA web site and download the sessions and/or see these programs again. I might even find some others and get the online streaming.
Session T40, Etiquette of Discussing Race and Culture in the Firm: this is not only about “diversity” but really speaks to how our firms and practices are made stronger.
Session F16, Using LEED to Maximize the Benefits: excellent panel preparation on how and what works in their respective industries; carpet, glass and new recycling techniques that weren’t available 2-3 years ago – the industry is really getting better!
Session F53, The Value of Exterior Insulation: excellent analysis of building envelope performance and links to online modeling software for building analysis. This one was really cool and I thought I was just going to grab another nap.
Any other suggestions or recommendations? After all, if we engage the content online, we can still get CEUs for it! Rock on!
—Lisa Stacholy, AIA