President’s Letter: Gathering our nest. Gathering our community.

“What if a building were more like a nest? If it were, it would be made out of local abundant materials. It would be specific to its site and climate. It would use minimal energy but maintain comfort. It would last long enough and then would leave no trace. It would be just what it needed to be.” – Jeanne Gang

As we start the month of March and see that Spring will be upon us soon, we are reminded that Spring is about renewal. It is a time of new beginnings and emergence of new opportunities.

The AIA’s focus on climate action continues through the Strategic Plan. Our AIA Silicon Valley leadership attended AIA Grassroots 2021 virtually and had the opportunity to bring political action to our congressional representatives. The AIA is asking congress to make a commitment to invest $300 billion over the next 5 years in green building infrastructure to abide by the Zero Code in new construction and to maximize the use of existing buildings and materials for retrofits. Along with several other Chapter leaders in our jurisdiction, I met with the offices of Diane Feinstein, Jackie Speier, Zoe Lofgren, and Anna Eshoo to bring those goals to them.

The Scholarship committees in full swing and applications are now being accepted. The WIA hosted the February Chapter meeting which included an outreach to West Valley students in conjunction with the CC2C program that we’ve partnered in with Silicon Valley Leadership Group. At the meeting students were paired into smaller groups with general members and had the opportunity to ask questions they had about their education and future career. The chapter meeting also included the first “Those Who Inspire Us” presentation which was about Paul R. Williams, FAIA.

The planning for the Golf Tournament, our first “in-person” event since March of 2020, has kicked off. We are looking for volunteers to join in the planning and staffing of the event.

We are also in full swing planning an in-person AI.21 Conference for the fall of this year.

Due to popular demand for a virtual social event, the March Chapter meeting is going to host a Spring Social which will include a craft cocktail demonstration and networking with colleagues.

The Advocacy Committee lead by Jyothsna Giridhar, is working toward advocating Zero Code in local municipalities. The committee is looking for members who wish to join and take part in advocating this issue along with others that affect legislation and codes in our communities.

Do you remember TRACINGS? Tracings was our “paper” newsletter that was mailed out every month to our membership. Well, we are looking to revive the newsletter and we are seeking members who are interested in providing content and staffing.

Our AIA Silicon Valley community is available for every member and wants to know from you how we can improve the value you receive from the AIA. We are striving to find ways to engage every member. Let us know how we can be of service to you.

Please check in with our staff at [email protected] if you are interested in joining any of the committees mentioned or would like to provide any feedback to help us to better understand our membership needs.

Jennifer Kretschmer, AIA, NCARB, LEED Green Associate
Principal Architect, J Kretschmer Architect
2021 AIA Silicon Valley President

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