The American Institute of Architects, California Council Announces the 2012 Achievement Awards

SACRAMENTO, CA (November 16, 2012) – A digital innovator who intersects the fields of architecture and technology, a structural engineer who brought seismic expertise to disaster zones in Haiti, Japan and countries beyond, and affordable housing developers whose projects integrate design excellence, affordability and sustainability are amongst the varied and prestigious recipients of this year’s American Institute of Architects, California Council (AIACC) Achievement Awards.

These annually given awards recognize special accomplishments by architects and others for contributions to the profession of architecture, the AIACC and/or the receipient’s communities.

To select this year’s awardees, the council convened an esteemed jury comprised of: Tim Duffy, AIA, John B. Luttrell, AIA, John F. Worthy, AIA, Gray Dougherty, AIA.

We are honored to recognize the following award recipients:

Research & Technology Honor Award
Awarded to individuals or groups who have advanced architectural technology through products or systems, or who have engaged in research that has made substantial contributions to furthering the practice of architecture.

Honoree: Kimon Onuma, FAIA, President and Founder Onuma, Inc.
A BIM technology leader, and practitioner of architecture and planning for more than two decades, Kimon Onuma is the originator of BIMStorm. His Achievement Award submittal addresses BIM’s failure to deliver data for life-cycle of facilities. Onuma proposes a solution specifically tailored to the largest higher education system in the world—California Community Colleges. It connects the dots between existing and proposed buildings as well as to other systems used in the life-cycle of facilities. And deve an infrastructure to manage and connect data for architecture, engineering, construction, owners and operators (AECOO) of facilities in a real-time mash-up. This network of information would enable many user levels to interact and make decision. The solution links Building Information Modeling (BIM), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and AECOO, making the innovation relevant beyond the California Community Colleges.

Jury Notes: “An amazing entry. His well-used awards platform creates programmatic and quantitative analysis on building, geology and operational pieces to a large client – the junior colleges – to make sense out of building to create opportunities for architecture. His solution gives owners essential information on their projects and provides architects with data that leads to design improvements.”

Allied Professions Honor Award
Awarded to individuals or groups whose work in association with architects has enhanced, supported and contributed to the practice of architecture and architectural design, including those in the fields of landscape architecture, engineering, visual arts and crafts, and the social sciences.

Honoree: H. Kit Miyamoto, Ph.D., S.E. President and CEO Miyamoto International
A first responder to disasters globally, Kit Miyamoto channeled his engineering expertise and awareness of human suffering from building failures into a non-profit vehicle for relief and better post-disaster construction. He has served as an expert consultant to the World Bank on the Seismic risk mitigation project for 2,000 schools in Istanbul, Turkey.  He worked with the government of Haiti, the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development and various NGOs to conduct seismic assessments of more than 430,000 earthquake-damaged structures in that country. He is also involved with post-disaster reconstruction in New Zealand and natural disaster risk reduction in Bangkok. A past director for the Structural Engineers Association of California, Dr. Miyamoto is an American Society of Civil Engineers (SCE) fellow.

Jury Notes: “He is a sensitive engineer not only socio-economically, but architecturally as well. His work in Japan and Haiti is impressive. He’s a structural engineer that is renowned for advancing seismic codes. He has preserved the architectural integrity of many projects.”

Honoree: Julie D. Taylor, Honorary AIA/Los Angeles, Principal, Taylor & Company Public Relations
Julie D. Taylor’s work extends beyond the support of individual architects to extensive contributions to the field as a whole. She is a “design evangelist” and has served the architecture, design, furnishings, and building industries relentlessly. In particular, she has supported the AIA/LA extensively and played an integral role in a professional outreach campaign to spearhead a public awareness of the benefits of hiring an AIA Architect.

As her nominator, Nikki Solomons, Honorary AIA California Council, Executive Director, AIA/LA states, “for an award meant to recognize an individual whose work in association with architects has enhanced, supported and contributed to the practice of architecture and architectural design,” no individual is more deserving than Julie.

Jury Notes: “She does a great job in furthering the practice of architecture. Her work speaks to the public about what architects do and furthering their mission fits the award’s description exactly. There’s a need for more ‘Design Evangelists’ like Julie throughout the state and country.”

Community Housing Honor Assistance Award
Awarded to an individual or group that addresses the issue of housing the homeless, providing affordable low-cost housing, single resident occupancy hotels, or shelters for families and/or individuals.

Honoree: Community Corporation Santa Monica
Community Corporation Santa Monica serves as a prestigious example of high-level integration between the social good, design excellence and the implementation of sustainable development. The community-based non-profit has developed about 1,500 units in 90 properties across affluent Santa Monica since the organization was founded in 1982. Its projects, which provide stability and opportunities for the low-income peoples it serves, hold an astounding list of awards including the 44-unit Colorado Court which was the first USGBC LEED Gold certified multi-family housing project, a winner of the 2003 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards and is 100 percent energy neutral. The extensive list of organizations and publications that have awarded CCSM projects and programs include: American Institute of Architects National, the U.S. Department of State & U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Architect Magazine, AIACC and the Los Angeles Business Councils.

Jury Notes: “They have a long history of successfully developing affordable housing in the midst of a difficult political climate. Community Corporation Santa Monica does a good job of crating affordable housing that doesn’t look like affordable housing. They hae changed and defined community housing on the Westside of Los Angeles. The longevity of their work promotes and enhances the profession.

Honoree: Jeff Oberdorfer, FAIA / First Community Housing
First Community Housing’s (FCH) impressive record of architecturally significant, sustainable, affordable housing in the Silicon Valley began when Jeff Oberdofer, FAIA, joined the firm in 2000. Since then FCH’s work has been recognized through multiple local, state and national awards including an AIA/COTE 2009 Top Ten Green Projects and an American Institute of Architects National Housing Award in 2010. A leader in sustainable design, FCH has developed a database (GREENbase™) that compares the cost of sustainable elements and their counterparts.

Oberdofer oversees all aspects of FCH’s mission with a special focus on architectural design. In 2007, he was elevated to AIA Fellowship for his efforts in bringing quality architecture to underserved populations and was one of the first 15 architects in the US to be awarded the title of Certified Development Specialist (CDS) by the California Chapter of the AIA He was named “Environmentalist of the Year” by the League of Conservation Voters in 2005.

Jury Notes: “It’s not just Jeff’s commitment to affordable housing, but also in facilitating work that that promotes architecture in California and makes future growth and building possible. Exceptional job making possible a non-car future for FCH residents. A strong entry that goes beyond design and building, into the creation of new communities Jeff does a great job leading and implementing solutions in sustainable development.”

Client Achievement Honor Award
For clients who have worked with architects and other design professionals to make significant contributions to the promotion and creation of a better built environment.

Honoree: UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
Noted by Ann Killeen, NCARB, LEED AP, Senior Principal, Stantec as a “supportive and collaborative partner of the architectural community,” the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to bettering patient care and research excellence through design excellence. The UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital exemplifies the institution’s ability to commission and facilitate work that integrates sound urban planning principals, patient interests, new sustainable elements and design excellence. Anchoring a major San Francisco district, the facility is targeted LEED Gold.

The facility’s development is a model for the use Integrated Project Delivery. The institution launched a 12,000-square-foot center to house over 100 architects, engineers and contractors under one roof in order to further collaboration and reduce conflicts between building design systems.

Jury Notes:  “Though the project focuses on the contributions to the medical and science fields for San Francisco, it also stands out in demonstrating the use of BIM to come in on or under budget. Another great example of using IPD to do great things for the community. The entry’s supporting materials explains IPD and BIM in layman’s terms—a service to the general public and future clients.”

The AIACC congratulates the Urban Design Award winners on their impressive accomplishments.

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