S|ARC alumnus Lance Davis named 2016 LEED Fellow

October 14th, 2016 Comments Off on S|ARC alumnus Lance Davis named 2016 LEED Fellow

Lance Davis, AIA, LEED program manager for Design Excellence Architecture+Sustainability, in front of the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. (photo via http://plus.usgbc.org/monumental-green/)

Lance Davis, AIA, LEED program manager for Design Excellence Architecture+Sustainability, in front of the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. (photo via http://plus.usgbc.org/monumental-green/)

Via GBCI press release

Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) recently announced its 2016 class of LEED Fellows, an annual recognition of outstanding LEED professionals. This year’s 24 LEED Fellows exemplify a diverse array of achievements and contributions to the green building community.

“LEED would not have grown from an idea to a movement that spans more than 160 countries without the leadership and innovative thinking of professionals like our 2016 LEED Fellows,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president, GBCI, and COO, U.S. Green Building Council. “This group’s work is a clear reminder of the significant progress we’ve made to create a sustainable built environment, and it is the ideas and contributions that these individuals make that will continue to advance our mission of a green building for all within this generation.”

2016 LEED Fellows:

  • Jim Chidester, senior mechanical engineer, Batson Inc.
  • Lance Davis, sustainability architect, U.S. General Services Administration (MSU S|ARC Class of 1995)
  • Aalok A. Deshmukh, general manager and head—energy efficiency, Schneider Electric India
  • Rebecca Dunn Bryant, principal, Watershed
  • Steven Guttmann, principal, Guttmann & Blaevoet
  • Anne Hicks Harney, sustainability director, Ayers Saint Gross
  • Elizabeth Heider, chief sustainability officer, Skanska USA Inc.
  • Susan Heinking, director of high performance, Pepper Construction Company
  • Julie Hendricks, vice president and director of EcoServices, Kirksey Architecture
  • R. Kirk Johnson, director of sustainable design, Corgan
  • Michael Kawecki, certification reviewer, GBCI
  • Juzer S. Kothari, managing director, Conserve Consultants Private Limited
  • Brian Lomel, principal, TLC Engineering for Architecture
  • Jorge Lopez de Obeso, chairman of the board, EA Energía y Arquitectura
  • Josée Lupien, president, Vertima—Green Building and Materials Experts
  • Tom Marseille, senior vice president and director of Sustainability, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • John Mlade, senior sustainability manager, YR&G
  • Diana Paez, green building & sustainable materials specialist, THREE Consultoria Medioambiental
  • Dana Robbins Schneider, managing director, JLL
  • David Rodriguez, firm principal, BCE
  • Megan Ritchie Saffitz, director of LEED support, GBCI
  • Susie Spivey-Tilson, senior program manager, CBRE
  • Wes Sullens, green building program manager, StopWaste
  • Shigeru Urashima, regional senior staff architect, Intel

The LEED Fellow program was established in 2011 to honor LEED professionals who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in key mastery elements of LEED certification and significant contributions in teaching, mentoring or research with other industry professionals. LEED Fellows also have a strong history of highly impactful commitment, service and advocacy for green building and sustainability.

LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have at least 10 years experience in the green building industry and hold a LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements. The evaluation process includes extensive portfolio review and is carried out by the LEED Fellow Evaluation Committee and supported by GBCI.

The recipients were honored at the 2016 USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, Calif. The nomination period for the 2017 LEED Fellows class will open in January 2017. For more information about the LEED Fellow program, visit usgbc.org/leed/credentials/leed-fellow.

School of Architecture Class of 2006 holds reunion

October 13th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture Class of 2006 holds reunion


photo via Sally Zahner

photo via Sally Zahner

photo via Sally Zahner

photo via Sally Zahner

The School of Architecture Class of 2006 held a reunion in Starkville the weekend of October 7-8. A total of 19 alumni plus their families attended from around the state and region and as far away as Panama and New York.

F.L. Crane Professor and Director Michael Berk kicked off the event on Friday in Giles Hall with an update on the progress and changes in the school over the past ten years.

The event continued with happy hour and dinner that night at Restaurant Tyler and a tailgate behind Giles before the MSU vs. Auburn game on Saturday.

“We had a wonderful time,” said alumna and coordinator Sally Zahner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C.

The class is currently gathering donations to put toward the school’s furniture project. They have raised $2,000 so far.

The funds will be used to support the school’s need for chairs for seminar rooms, critique spaces and jury reviews in in the gallery or hallways.

“It is always amazing to see the successes and accomplishments of my former students,” said Berk. “The fact they chose to ‘reunite’ here, some traveling from other countries, speaks volumes to their continued passion and connection with our program. Furthermore,” he added, “their interest and willingness to make a financial commitment to our current students in the Giles Hall School of Architecture building in order to enhance our studio environment is very endearing.”

Anyone who would like to add to the Class of 2006’s gift can send a check directly to:
School of Architecture
Mississippi State University
Attention: Michael Berk
P.O. Box AQ
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Please make checks payable to: MSU School of Architecture Advancement fund, memo: Giles Studio Seating.

For more information about how to give to the School of Architecture, contact P.K. Thomas, director of development, at (662) 325-2542 or

CAAD takes part in 2016 Imagine the Possibilities career expo

October 12th, 2016 Comments Off on CAAD takes part in 2016 Imagine the Possibilities career expo

Students, staff and alumni from the Mississippi State College of Architecture, Art and Design participated in “Imagine the Possibilities,” a career expo. for Northeast Mississippi 8th graders sponsored by Create’s Toyota Wellspring Education Fund.

The event was held Oct. 4-6 at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo, and MSU participated in the Architecture and Construction Pathway.

MSU projects included:

  • Giant “Legos”
    Goal: To show the importance of teamwork and communication between architects and construction professionals
    Task: Students were given a variety of projects to build throughout the event with the giant blocks, including a tiny house with one entry and a window; a chair; an arch; and a bridge.
  • Giant Jenga
    A giant version of JENGA built by Building Construction Science students at Mississippi State University … because, why not?!
    “It’s the classic block-stacking, stack-crashing game of JENGA! How will you stack up against the law of gravity? Stack the wooden blocks in a sturdy tower, then take turns pulling out blocks one by one until the whole stack crashes down. Is your hand steady enough to pull out the last block before the tower collapses? If it is, you’ll win at JENGA!”
  • 3D Houses
    Students were given pieces of wood that fit together to form a 3d house. They had to work together to fit the puzzle together. Some students competed to see who could do the puzzle the fastest.
  • Kit of Parts
    Students were given a cardboard sheet with various shapes that popped out. They could then cut notches in the sheets to piece them together into whatever they imagined. Creations included power lines, bridges, Star Wars spaceships, catapults, and more!

MSU students also helped with Architecture South’s interior design booth, where students were challenged to piece together an interior space.

See more about the event and photos at designbuildimagine.wordpress.com or on social media with the hashtag #msitp16.

School of Architecture holds 2016 Advisory Board meeting

October 11th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture holds 2016 Advisory Board meeting

(Photos by Kelsey Brownlee)

The School of Architecture Advisory Board met on October 10 in Starkville.

The group heard a presentation from Executive Associate Vice President Julia Hodges, Ph.D, who served as the interim provost during the School’s NAAB Accreditation visit last February. Hodges provided the group with first-hand insight into the comments and exchange by the NAAB Visiting Team when they met with her and MSU President Mark Keenum, Ph.D.  

More about the recent accreditation can be found here.

The group also voted to adopt new by-laws and visited with students at the School of Architecture.

MSU Bachelor of Architecture program again earns national accreditation

October 3rd, 2016 Comments Off on MSU Bachelor of Architecture program again earns national accreditation

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s Bachelor of Architecture degree program has been granted an eight-year term of accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Based in Washington, D.C., the NAAB is the sole agency authorized to accredit professional degree programs in architecture offered by institutions with U.S. regional accreditation.

Scheduled for its next visit for continuing accreditation in 2024, the Bachelor of Architecture program offered by the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design’s School of Architecture has been continuously NAAB-accredited since its inception in 1973.

The School of Architecture also is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Courses are taught by a faculty of professionals engaged in practice, education and research. For more information, visit www.caad.msstate.edu/sarc/accreditation.

The School of Architecture in MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design offers the only curriculum in the state leading to a professional degree in architecture. The school offers an intense, carefully structured and wide array of courses that constitutes a solid foundation for architectural practice.

Of the multitudes of criteria that were evaluated, all conditions for NAAB Accreditation were met, including all student performance criteria, said Michael Berk, director for the School of Architecture and F.L. Crane Endowed Professor.

“What I am most pleased about is how we excelled with distinction in the two extreme aspects of architectural education—abstract and conceptual design, and communication and thinking skills—as well as technical skills of both assembly and documentation and comprehensive integrative design,” Berk said.

“This is a truly remarkable achievement for our university, and I am very proud of our architecture program and the hard work of our faculty and staff,” Berk added.

The School of Architecture boasts a No. 25 ranking among “America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools” for 2016 by the Design Futures Council’s “DesignIntelligence” publication.

MSU is home to the only architecture program in the nation that requires two semester-long collaborative studios for all architecture and building construction science students, including a design/build studio in the second year.

The School of Architecture also offers a unique practice-oriented program for all fifth-year students that takes place in an off-campus, urban setting.

Additionally, the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum’s SuperUse Pavilion, a part of the museum’s rain garden program that has benefitted from the efforts of more than 100 Mississippi State undergraduate and graduate-level students, is part of an exhibition opening this month at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. Titled “By the People: Designing a Better America,” the exhibition features 60 design projects from every region of the U.S.

Mississippi Museum of Art video features architecture alumni Mark and Madison Talley

September 26th, 2016 Comments Off on Mississippi Museum of Art video features architecture alumni Mark and Madison Talley

Mark (2010) and Madison Talley (2011), owners of TALLstudio Architecture PLLC in Ocean Springs, were recently featured in a video by the Mississippi Museum of Art.

The interview is part of the “When Modern was Contemporary” exhibit.

School of Architecture hosts TIMBR Symposium

September 18th, 2016 Comments Off on School of Architecture hosts TIMBR Symposium

(photos by Claire Sims and Ashtyn Bryant)

Contributed to by Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s School of Architecture recently hosted a Timber Innovations for Mississippi Buildings Reimagined (TIMBR) Symposium on the Starkville campus.

Funded in part by a $10,000 Community Partnership Grant from internationally recognized nonprofit Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), the event brought together architects, engineers, students, educators, researchers, timberland owners and forest product professionals, among others.

MSU Assistant Professor of Architecture Jacob A. “Jake” Gines said this first-of-its-kind event focused on mass-timber innovations and their potential application in the construction industry for Mississippi and the Southern region of the U.S.

“Mississippi contains approximately 19.8 million acres of forested land, which accounts for 64 percent of the state’s total area,” he said. “The value of timber harvested in Mississippi has averaged in excess of $1 billion per year over the past 20 years and accounts for over 70,000 jobs in the state.”

Gines said funding also was provided by a $12,000 grant from the Mississippi Forestry Foundation and other industry partners. This fall, the grant is enabling fourth-year undergraduate architecture students’ participation in a wood-based design studio.

Focusing on recent innovations in wood products and construction methods, the studio will culminate with a design competition in which students will craft plans for a mid-rise wood structure that could serve as a showcase for wood building design in Mississippi and an office space for the Mississippi Forestry Association. For more, visit http://tinyurl.com/MSUArchTIMBRstudio.

MSU architecture alumnus, wife fund student research work in Australia

August 15th, 2016 Comments Off on MSU architecture alumnus, wife fund student research work in Australia

When one door closed for Zachary Henry, four more opened.

Henry, a fourth-year MSU architecture student from Knoxville, Tenn., was disappointed when his proposal for a travel scholarship to Australia didn’t come out on top.

However, when his boss, School of Architecture alumnus Briar Jones heard about Henry’s plan, he and his wife, Michelle, decided to fund his travels and research themselves.

“I was impressed with how much thought he put into applying for the Aydelott Travel Award and was disappointed for him when he didn’t win,” the principal at Thomas Shelton Jones and Associates in Starkville said, describing his intern as “full of energy.”

“Architecture is best experienced firsthand,” he added. “Great students read and learn what they need to see. Then they figure out how to go and experience the space and place and material tactility firsthand.”

After the shock of the Jones’ generosity wore off, Henry quickly got to work planning his trip with the help of Professor Emeritus Michael Fazio and Assistant Professors Emily McGlohn and Andrew Tripp.

The first leg of his trip included an interview with award winning Australian architect Glenn Murcutt at his home in Mosman, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.

“I’ve never met someone so passionate and humble about what they do,” said Henry, who said the 80-year-old Murcutt designs buildings that function as machines, unlike any other architect practicing today.

Henry said Murcutt doesn’t design for the money because he wants to create great architecture for people of any income and background to enjoy and live in.

“He breaks even on most of his work and lives in the most humble dwelling,” he said. “How incredible is that?”

Murcutt, who also teaches architecture at the University of New South Wales, paid a visit to Mississippi State University in 1998 and had nothing but high regards for MSU when he met with Henry.

“He told me, ‘You are getting a fantastic education, Zachary.’ I knew that,” he said, “but being reassured by the winner of a Pritzker Architecture Prize and Alvar Aalto Medal was just icing on the cake.”

The MSU student learned that Murcutt teaches in a similar method to his own professors – not using computers until the third-year of study and requiring lots of drawing and research before beginning to design.

The rest of Henry’s trip was dedicated to studying four Murcutt-designed buildings he had previously chosen as key to his research thesis – “Ecological functionalism in the work of Glenn Murcutt and how his buildings respond to the environment as a working machine.”

All located in New South Wales, Australia, the buildings ranged from small private residences to a large public building:

  • The Carter House, Kangaloon
  • The Magney House, Bingie Bingie
  • The Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Riversdale
  • The Fredericks-White House, Jamberoo

Henry collected data – using data loggers, multi-meters and laser devices – on how each of the four buildings responds to the physical and built environment.

He was really able to connect with the education center building, as he stayed there on the 2,700 acre property for three days collecting the data.

“It was interesting but also extremely scary; I was by myself in middle of the dense Australian rainforest with kangaroos, wombats and who knows what else!”

Now that he is back, he will compare and contrast the results and put his data into 3D modeling software to study the buildings in artificial environments.

“I’m excited to see where it goes,” he said, adding that he is not really sure what results he will get.

Henry has big plans for his research, including an Honors College Oxbridge Tutorial, presenting at conferences, a published paper, and eventually graduate school.

His end goal is to write a book and include the more than 500 Murcutt projects currently not catalogued for the library in New South Wales “so everyone can experience and learn about his work.”

Read more in the MSU “Our People” feature.

Where are they now: KeAirra Williams

July 29th, 2016 Comments Off on Where are they now: KeAirra Williams

KeAirra Williams, S|ARC Class of 2015, was recently featured in the Memphis Business Journal, People on the Move:

  • via bizjournal.com/memphis

    via bizjournal.com/memphis

    KeAirra Williams

  • Current employer: Renaissance Group: architecture • engineering • planning • interiors
  • Current title/position: Intern Architect
  • Duties/responsibilities: KeAirra Williams joined Renaissance Group Inc. as an intern architect. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. As an intern architect, she assists in Schematic Design phases with digital massing model studies and Photoshop sketch editing.

CAAD hosts design summer camp in downtown Jackson

July 28th, 2016 Comments Off on CAAD hosts design summer camp in downtown Jackson

(Video by Kamau Bostic)

(above photos by Lori Neuenfeldt)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design recently hosted a design camp for students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi.

Held June 20–24, the five-day summer experience in Jackson had a goal of helping students in the Greater Jackson community develop their interests in architecture, art, community development, design, engineering, planning, social justice and related professional fields.

Students gained knowledge of design tools and media through individual and group workshops focused on design, sketching, photography, graphic design, model building, sculpture and construction, among other skills. Collaboration, leadership and communication skills were developed, which will help students increase their self-confidence in these areas, leaders said.

Faculty of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design—as well as those from the university’s College of Business—led students in collaborative and creative activities focused on design education. MSU alumni are led discussions on design-related career opportunities and provided information about their educational and professional experiences.

CAAD Associate Dean and Professor Greg Hall said the camp was designed to help expose students to the wide variety and scope of educational and career opportunities in design fields ranging from architecture to graphic design and interior design to fashion, as well as related fields such as engineering and construction.

“One of our primary goals is to help students form educational and professional goals that they can continue to develop during their high school education, regardless of their eventual career choice,” Hall said.

In addition to being funded in part by a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, this year’s camp is supported by MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, its School of Architecture and Department of Art, the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and Office of the Registrar.

Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art instructor and gallery director, and architect Emily Roush-Elliott of the university’s Carl Small Town Center, served as camp co-directors.

The college plans to host sessions for teachers this fall and expects to expand the camp into other areas in the future.

For additional camp information, contact Hall at 662-325-2509 or ghall@caad.msstate.edu.

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