July 2016

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AIA CRAN Chronicle

Letter from the CRAN Chair

By Dawn Zuber, AIA

Your CRAN leadership team has been working hard to prepare this year’s symposium, and I hope you’ll consider attending. The event will take place at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, California, in the heart of Sonoma County—Wine Country—from September 18 - 22, 2016. Our event begins with a welcome reception hosted by the local AIA chapter, AIA Redwood Empire, on Sunday night, followed by a day and a half of education sessions. The CRAN home tour takes place on Tuesday from late morning through afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday morning continue a day and a half of education sessions.

Our CRAN home tour will feature contemporary and traditional houses by Wendy Evans Joseph, Obie Bowman, Ralf Konietzko, and Anderson Architecture. Wendy Evans Joseph presented her guest house and remodeled main residence in her talk at last year’s symposium in Minneapolis.

*Please note that the symposium has sold out but you may sign up to be on the wait list.

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In This Issue

Project Profiles

Algoma Cottage

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

The most common structures to be found in this area of northeast Wisconsin are modest, efficient, functional wood-frame vacations cabins dating from the 1940s and 50s which were built as spots of respite for weary city dwellers. This new, clearly contemporary house shares much in common with these earlier structures. While lifestyles and building technologies have evolved, the desire to escape the everyday and appreciate the beauty of nature remains as strong today as ever. The painted lap siding and gabled form of the house harken to the local vernacular while subtle moves such as tweaks to the geometry of the house’s volume...

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Algoma Cottage
Mark Schepker Photography

Ashbury Residence

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects

The head scratching question on this project came from the client at the initial meeting: what form does a house take that is both contemporary in spirit yet reflective of traditional Mediterranean design concepts?

Key to the design was the recognition that what has developed as a “Modern Mediterranean” style in this country is neither all that modern nor does it accurately reflect the diversity of building stock from this vast region; for the most part the term has come to describe an unrestrained pastiche of clichéd, predictable elements.

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Asbury Residence
Tony Soluri Photography


Architectural models for small firms

By Kevin Harris, FAIA

As architects, we are all familiar with the process and benefits of modeling our designs prior to construction. Models are an effective medium to study proposed creations and help communicate those concepts to our clients.

Constructing a model takes time however, it can give us an opportunity to take a break, reflect on new insights, and manipulate the parts until all seems right. Working with a model is a process that helps us elevate our plans from good to better.

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Kevin Harris, FAIA

The value in planning your financial future

By Ann Casso, Hon. AIA

Architects at all career stages need to assess their finances and plan accordingly

In order to be successful in your professional and personal life, you must understand how to manage money. Good financial management requires effective decision-making in order to accomplish the objectives of your firm and family; this includes raising and allocating funds, long-term budgeting, and allocation of short-term resources such as current liabilities.

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Ann Casso, Hon. AIA

No more starving artist

By Mark LePage, AIA

How to rewrite the story of our profession

With a twisted sense of pride, too many architects today accept the small firm stereotype of “starving artist”. Seeds planted in architecture school bloom into a full-on virus as professionals launch their own firms and find their way to small business. New firms are launched every day without proper planning, without an understanding of basic business fundamentals and often with an eager acceptance that life as an architect will be a difficult struggle.

I was born an entrepreneur. I learned from doing, working with my auto mechanic father as soon as I was old enough to lift a push broom. At the age of 13, I launched my own businesses detailing vehicles from the shop’s side lot and “flipping” American muscle cars, starting with my first purchase; a navy blue 1972 Camaro.

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Mark LePage, AIA

Social Business

How to find clients through social media

By Jeff Echols

If your firm uses social networking and digital marketing properly, there's work out there for the taking

During a conversation at a recent AIA Convention, right after my presentation on social media marketing, someone asked me if architects can actually find work through those channels.

This is a question I get a lot, not just from architects but all kinds of business owners: Can using social media actually bring more business through the door? The short answer is “yes.”

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Jeff Echols

Social media primer, pt. 1

By Lora Teagarden

The background & the why that drives you

I wrote in my mentorship series on the importance of my digital network in helping create relationships, continuing to learn, and finding mentors. I’m still learning and feeling my way through the different platforms, but thanks to a lot of articles read on the subject and friends who specialize in AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction) marketing, I continue to make progress. I thought I’d spend this blog post (and the next four to follow) giving some background on what I’ve learned these last two years in the digital / social media world and sharing some tips and tricks for the different platforms. This week’s social media primer: the background and the why that drives you.

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Lora Teagarden

Financial Resources

AIA Best Practices – financial management

What are AIA Best Practices?

AIA Best Practices are a collection of relevant, experience-based knowledge and expert advice on firm management, project delivery, contracts, and more, aligned with the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition. You’ll find:

  • essential knowledge based on deep experience
  • expert advice that is immediately usable
  • new content and recent updates to definitive articles

Best Practices are freely contributed articles written by practicing professionals, allied professionals, strategic partners, and industry consultants. The Best Practices are an opportunity for AIA members and other allied professionals to contribute to the advancement of the practice of architecture and the profession. Each article should be viewed as a living document, and new, relevant articles are actively desired.

See the chapter designated for Financial Management, which includes topics on accounting basics and developing budgets.

Historic tax credits can contribute to project financing

Contribution by Caitlin Kolb

Editorial Note: There are many types of historical buildings, including single family houses. There are tax credit programs available which can assist a client by providing an additional funding source. The following links provide additional information on these programs. These links address national tax credit programs, note that state funding may also be available.

Nolo.com provides a basic overview of the historic credit programs. The National Park Service administers the program at the federal level.

See the tax incentives
available for preserving historic properties.

Upcoming Events

Here + Now: 2016-2017 student design competition

A house for the 21st century

CRAN Knowledge Community is pleased to announce the HERE+NOW: A House for the 21st Century residential student design competition for the 2016-2017 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by AIA CRAN, this program is intended to provide architecture students, working individually or in teams, with a platform to explore residential architecture and residential architectural practice.

Learn More

Waitlist: Santa Rosa Symposium

9th Annual CRAN symposium

Please note that the symposium is sold out but you may sign up to be on the waitlist.

Please join the Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek in Santa Rosa, California, for our annual symposium, Wine & Design: Regionalism, Modernity, and the Residential Context, in the heart of Sonoma County—Wine Country—from September 18 - 22, 2016.

Learn More

Upcoming webinars

AIA Housing Awards and AIA / HUD Secretary’s Awards
August 1, 2016 | 1:00 - 2:00pm ET | Earn 1.0 HSW | Learn more | Register now
Sponsored by: AIA Housing Knowledge Community
Registration fees: Free

How to Become a Contributor to Your Local Media Outlets
September 7, 2016 | 12:00 - 1:00pm ET | Earn 1.0 LU | Learn more | Register now
Sponsored by: AIA Media Relations
Registration fees: Free


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Take the latest courses in residential architecture on AIAU. New courses include the best of the fall CRAN Symposium, firm strategies for sustainability, net zero 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:

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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