During the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) annual National Convention June 10–12 in Miami, the institute made several announcements. 

Interim executive vice president and CEO named

Beginning July 19, Paul W. Welch Jr., Hon. AIA, currently the executive vice president of the AIA California Council (AIACC), will serve as the interim executive vice president and CEO of the national AIA, recently vacated by Chris McEntee. While the AIA conducts a national search to fill the position, Welch will assume its full legal and fiduciary responsibilities, which include managing the national Component staff, annual operating budget, and AIA programs, and overseeing the institute's day-to-day operations. Welch will support the new integrated media partnership with Hanley Wood and will manage implementation of key association technology initiatives. Welch has been active in the AIACC since joining in February 1981 and has served on numerous national committees and task forces on issues ranging from licensing law, membership, government affairs, and the Component Partnerships Committee. From 1978 to 1981 he served as the California State Board of Architectural Examiners' executive officer.

While Welch fulfills his new assignment, the AIACC's executive committee has appointed Nicki Dennis Stephens, Hon. AIACC, to serve as interim AIACC executive vice president. 

2010 Young Architects Forum/Committee on Design Ideas Competition winners

The AIA's Young Architects Forum (YAF) and Committee on Design (COD) announced the top three winners in the first annual YAF/COD Ideas Competition, which asked entrants to explore the issue of temporary disaster relief housing that could transition to permanent functions. Site adaptability was a key component of the competition, but entrants were given a specific site on which to demonstrate their concepts: Houston's Astrodome and its parking lots.

The winning disaster-relief design concepts are:

FREE (first place tie) by Gene Kaufman Architect—Lightweight, prefabricated modules that pack down to 8-feet-by-16-feet for transportation and expand by 250 percent on site. Modules can be assembled by untrained labor, adapt to varying terrain and climates, and integrate renewable energy systems to provide power and water collection to provide potable and graywater sources.

Woven Shelter (first place tie) by Jiyoun Kim—A sequence of doughnut-like membranes that users can fill with cheap, local resources (such as sand) that are then woven into strands to become a self-supporting structure. Long-term users can pack mud or aggregate material over the membrane structures.

The Community Unit (third place) by Eric Polite—A system of portable units composed of recycled plastic polymers and metal alloys prefabricated off-site and delivered by truck. Units stack vertically and can be arranged with others to form small communities.

Energy-use and project-modeling reporting tool

A new Excel-based tool developed by the AIA will generate reports on buildings' predicted energy use and project modeling, helping AIA member firms meet their 2030 commitment goals and providing a year-to-year look at firms' work. Intended for use on all member projects, not just those pursuing green building certification, the tool offers ease of use for firms of all sizes and was developed to track a variety of large and small building projects.

Users simply enter project use type, gross square footage, answer two yes/no questions, and input the project's predicted energy use intensity (EUI). For modeled projects, the tool automatically calculates the national average site EUI for the selected project type and the project's percent reduction of EUI toward meeting the firm's 2030 goal for the current year. For non-modeled projects, users input the design standard or code and the tool calculates the project's contribution toward the firm's 2030 commitment. The spreadsheet tool then generates three graphs that aggregate each project entered in it, representing the percentage of gross square footage (GSF) of active projects that meet the current reduction goal, the percentage of GSF being modeled, and the percentage of GSF for which the firm will gather actual energy performance.