The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Idaho Chapter presents its Honor Awards every other year for professional architectural projects worthy of recognition. Last fall, 10 awards were handed out from 33 entries. In our photo gallery, above, we are featuring some of the award-winning residential projects.
Two of the 2016 awards were for the Best Use of Idaho Wood, in partnership with the Idaho Forest Products Commission.
Jeremy and Lynn Jeffers’ indoor-outdoor patio project was one of those winners, as seen in the accompanying story. (Projects are submitted anonymously and judged by three out-of-state AIA members.)
The Jeffers’ beautiful project is indicative of one of today’s trends toward more versatile living spaces. RCH Construction was the project contractor.
Other trends include mudrooms, home offices and in-law apartments, Jeffers said. There is also a movement toward more sustainability and reuse, as well as increased urban popularity and high-density residential.
“The world is changing quickly with how wood is being used (in) architectural design,” said Idaho Forest Products Commission Director Betty Munis. “From skyscrapers and innovative new building products to carbon storage and renewability, wood has become the go-to resource for architects.”
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization of architects that promotes the education of architecture to both the public and the industry, while also being involved with lobbying, codes, building safety and continuing education. The Idaho Chapter was founded in 1951 and represents more than 300 licensed architects and associated professionals. If you are considering consulting with an architect for your next project, the organization can help by giving you a list of questions to ask your architect.
“We don’t claim to know all the answers, but we know all the resources to get the answers,” said AIA Idaho Chapter President John Day of Slichter Ugrin Architecture. “If you’re doing anything that’s one-off or different, or if you want to get funky out there and do something crazy, you need a good roadmap to build it. That’s what an architect is going to provide you. He’s going to provide you guidance along the way, an intermediary between the person that’s going to construct it and yourself so you’re not fighting a battle or dealing with contractors involving change orders or monetary situations. We know what relative costs are and what should be a change order and what should not and what should have been included in the bid.”
“If you can picture it, there’s probably someone out there who can make it happen,” said Jeffers, president-elect of AIA Idaho.
Dusty Parnell is a freelance print, radio and print journalist who has been working in the Treasure Valley for more than 30 years.
Why knot? If you were a wood, what kind of wood would you be?
As long as we’re talking about the use of wood, we thought we would ask a fun question. (With apologies to Barbara Walters and Katharine Hepburn.)
Cedar — “I remember stepping out of the ranch house with a cup of coffee, especially after a rainstorm or in the fall grouse hunting; the smell of the cedar — very special.” — Jeremy Jeffers, AIA Idaho president-elect
Oil-rubbed quarter-sawn oak — “It’s a touch-me wood. It has a warm glow. It’s the wood that Frank Lloyd Wright used.” — Lynn Jeffers, Jeffers Architectural Consulting
Walnut — “It’s super unique, the grain pattern is awesome, and it’s amazingly durable. It’s striking.” — Noah Richter, RCH Construction
Oak — “I’ve always been a fan of oak. I like its strength and visually how it looks with the grain. It’s just a classic wood material.” — Jeremy Parrish, Structural Edge Engineering
Alder — “It’s a nice wood that can be stressed up to be very clear, and it’s a very nice grain. But it can also be knotty, and we’ve all got that in us.” — Troy Stone, Wood Windows Inc.
Some kind of hardwood — “Because it’s used more in detail as opposed to Douglas fir or some kind of larch or something that’s just going to be a stud or something and go unrecognized.” — John Day, AIA Idaho president, Slichter Ugrin Architecture
▪ The national chapter of the American Institute of Architects at aia.org has many resources to help you work with an architect, plus see the two PDFs attached below for help navigating any questions that you might have about working with architects. (This information comes from AIA.)