February 2015

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AIA CRAN Chronicle

Letter from the CRAN Chair

By James A. Walbridge, AIA

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015. This is the third consecutive year publishing the CRAN Chronicle! I wanted everyone to know how hard the CRAN Communications Committee and the Chronicle Team have worked to develop, refine and maintain such a high caliber publication; all from a volunteer effort. We are very proud of their accomplishments.

CRAN is entering its fourth year as a full-fledged Knowledge Community of the American Institute of Architects and is in its 10th year of existence since its humble beginnings in 2005 as a group of Architects sitting at a table discussing how the residential practitioner could have more representation within the AIA and in the eyes of the general public. There have been extraordinary contributions, many battles won and lost, and a level of commitment rarely seen from the CRAN leadership and membership bringing us into 2015. Most importantly, the fundamental core values that were set forth many years ago remain true and strong anchoring CRAN’s Mission Statement:

“CRAN is an AIA Knowledge Community that represents architects who practice custom residential architecture. It provides support, advocacy and education for its members, while maintaining a neutral stance with regards to style.”

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In this issue

Project Profile

Stanwood Residence

By Larry Paschall, AIA

Kitchen After

Architect: Larry Paschall, AIA – HPD Architecture LLC  


What began as an ambitious renovation and addition to a 1961 residence morphed over time into working within the existing footprint to find the space needed to satisfy the program and not overbuild within the neighborhood.

The floor plan had the typical three bedroom, two bath, galley kitchen configuration of most homes built during that time. The original owner had made minor modifications over the 40 years they had lived there.

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From the Collective to the Collaborative: A Tale of Post-Recession Rebirth

By Bryan Anderson, AIA | SALA Architects

Like many of our clients, I was familiar with SALA long before I became a principal, associate, or even a student intern. Unlike most clients, I was in junior high when I was clipping my favorite images and collecting them in a three-ring binder. I wanted to design houses and where better to live my dream than at the firm regularly appearing in every pre-dwell home design magazine available to me?

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Bryan Anderson, AIA

Perspectives from a Solo Practitioner

Cary Westerbeck

By Cary Westerbeck | westerbeck|architecture llc

I remember the date. It was February 27, 2009 that my adventure began. My time with a well-established Seattle firm for which I’d been working almost five years, came to an abrupt halt. For the previous years all two-dozen staff had been working 32-hour weeks as our once large backlog of projects dwindled to almost nothing.

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Structuring a Small Residential Firm for Success

By Kevin Harris, FAIA | Kevin Harris, Architect, LLC

When starting my practice in 1982, I somewhat naively equated success with survival, and was convinced that producing good work in my community would just about guarantee both. Building a sound reputation in your community for quality design has played an important role however, additional items helped convert my mere survival into relative success.

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Kevin Harris, FAIA

21st Century Residential Architecture Business Models

Jared Banks, AIA

By Jared Banks, AIA | Shoegnome, LLC

I didn't have a plan when I quit my day job and turned my side business into my full time gig. An old classmate had coincidentally contacted me the week before I quit, providing me enough work for the next few months. But I had no idea how to find clients. So I reached out to a typical group of people who I knew needed help with residential design: other architects.

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Building Blocks Series: "Have You Talked with the Builder Today?"

By John Altobello (part 1 of 2) | John Altobello Architecture

A successful project is not just about the architect’s relationship with the homeowner and the need to come up with the design that best reflects the client’s goals. Another pivotal player in the mix is the builder. It will become apparent in the following interview with builder Stephen Payne why his participation in the workings of a vibrant team is critical to a project’s success.

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John Altobello

In the News

Join the CRANversation

If you haven’t been following along lately, you may have missed some of the recent attention grabbing articles calling into question the architect’s role in contemporary society.

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The Owner | Architect Contract: New CRAN TV Series Video Now Available

Before commencing work with your Architect, it’s important to establish a Contract. There is no one-size-fits-all contract, but there are several important bases to cover AND pitfalls to avoid. A good place to start is with an AIA Contract. It is always best to seek the guidance of an attorney to choose the best agreement and make edits. Make sure your contract covers the basics, your architect’s responsibilities, a project schedule, and a few more miscellaneous items.

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Upcoming Events

CRAN Events at the 2015 AIA National Convention

2015 AIA National Convention

EV210: Cocktails and Controversy: Custom Residential Architects Forum
May 14, 2015 \ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM \ Fee: $10

Join the AIA Custom Residential Architects' Network (CRAN) and our sponsor for a lively, interactive, and collaborative forum over cocktails. During this moderated exchange, we'll share insights and anecdotes regarding the challenges and triumphs faced by today's residential architects. CRAN provides support, advocacy, and education to everyone involved in custom residential design.

Register Now

EV214: Reception for SPP, CRAN, and Housing Knowledge Communities
May 14, 2015 \ 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM \ Fee: $0

Enjoy a relaxing evening with your peers in an intimate setting at a local venue. Join architects, leaders, small firm owners, and AIA members with diverse interests ranging from small projects to custom residential design to affordable housing. The informal reception will provide opportunities for networking and sharing of best practices.

Register Now

Save the Date! 2015 CRAN Symposium

Mark your calendar for September 19-23, 2015 and join AIA CRAN in Minneapolis, MN.

Please look for more details to follow at a later date.

FREE Webinar: Using AIA Tools to Manage Legal Issues on Sustainable Projects

Sponsored by the AIA Small Project Practitioners (SPP) Knowledge Community and AIA Contract Documents
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET | Earn 1.0 AIA HSW LU

Through an exploration of the design-bid-build and construction management delivery models, participants in this course will understand the unique roles, responsibilities, risks and opportunities unique to sustainable design and construction projects and discover how to reduce, or better allocate, contractual risks using the AIA’s Sustainable Projects Contract Documents and the revised AIA Sustainability Guide.   

Learning Objectives:
Participants attending this webinar will:

  1. Examine how a clear understanding of each party’s unique roles and responsibilities will reduce project delays and misunderstandings; contribute to a successful sustainable project; and enhance the health and well-being of building occupants.
  2. Discover the unique contractual risks architects, owners and contractors face when designing, constructing, or operating sustainable projects.
  3. Identify the key contractual modifications that help alleviate the risks and challenges of Sustainable Design and Construction and understand the business and practice implications to be considered by owners, architects and contractors.
  4. Explore new sustainable concepts related to the Construction Management delivery model and how these concepts contrast with the typical design-bid-build delivery model.
AIA Continuing Education
Earn 1.0 AIA HSW LU

Register Now

FREE Webinar: Meeting Challenges & Overcoming Obstacles During CCA- Approaches Toward Best Practice

Sponsored by the AIA Construction Contract Administration (CCA) Knowledge Community
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET | Earn 1.0 AIA LUs | Learn more

An approach toward ideas for advancing the effectiveness and value of architectural service provided in the construction contract administration phase. Identifying some of the challenges encountered during this phase, ideas for establishing a methodology in anticipation, to avoid them and preparations made to surmount them.

Learning Objectives:
Participants attending this webinar will:

  1. Be able to evaluate and develop approaches toward preparedness and beneficial staff training.
  2. Discuss the benefits of CCA staff involvement in the project design and documentation process and potential toward proper interpretation of the contract documents.
  3. Understand the necessity, objectives and value of a clearly defined scope of services.
  4. Develop an understanding of the approaches toward controlling the CCA procedures and process.
AIA Continuing Education
Earn 1.0 AIA LUs

Register Now


Architectural Business Reources

This issue of the CRAN Chronicle is focused on the architectural business and the structure of various architectural firms. As a committee, we thought it would be beneficial to this issue to include a list of resources which focus on the business of architecture.

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Archived CRAN Webinar: Incorporating the Top Trends for Residential Landscape Design

In winter 2014, ASLA polled residential landscape architects about the estimated popularity of various design elements for 2014. During this presentation, Jennifer introduced the most popular design features sought out by homeowners and identified how architects can incorporate such features into their projects. Participants were introduced to various eco-friendly practices in landscape design, including permeable paving, drip irrigation and LED lighting - and understand when their use is appropriate.

In case you missed the live webinar, you can now access the YouTube video, PDF and Q&A documents.

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New! AIAU Courses for CRAN Members

AIAU logo

Take the latest courses in residential architecture on AIAU. New courses include the best of the fall CRAN Symposium, firm strategies for sustainability, netzero residential construction, and managing design-build projects.

You’ll learn from top instructors on your schedule, from anywhere in the world. Once you complete a course, we’ll automatically update your AIA transcript with your continuing education credits.

Check out these great courses:

CRAN Symposium 2014: Paradise Planned│Earns 1 LU / HSW / RIBA

CRAN Symposium 2014: Traditions of Home│Earns 1 LU / HSW / RIBA

CRAN Symposium 2014: The New Modern House│Earns 1.5 LUs / HSW / RIBA

CRAN Symposium 2014: The New Traditional House│Earns 1.5 LUs / HSW / RIBA

Profiting From Design Build for a Residential Practice│Earns 1.5 LUs / RIBA

Avoiding or Reducing Architect‒Contractor Conflicts in Small Projects│Earns 1.5 LUs / RIBA

Fundamentals of NetZero Residential Construction│Earns 1 LU / HSW/ RIBA

Small Firm Sustainable Strategies: Applying Sustainable Principles to Small Projects│Earns 1.50 LUs / HSW/GBCI / RIBA

Individual courses are $25 for AIA members and $40 for non-members. Buy four or more courses and save 15%, no promo code needed.

Check out more great courses on AIAU >

Did you know anyone can join AIA Custom Residential Architects Network for FREE? Sign-up on AIA KnowledgeNet and start a discussion in the AIA CRAN Discussion Forum.

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