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Welcome to the 2021 Central States Region  & AIA Kansas Annual Conference

AIA Kansas has designed a new conference format that provides virtual learning on important issues facing architecture today and in-person tours on exciting projects.

The new conference format offers a series of immersive digital experiences as well as a day of in-person tours. Each conference day will consist of two presentations on one theme central to the architectural profession for a total of 14 CES credits (4 HSW pending). 

Effective Aug. 1, conference attendees may register for each day separately.  On-demand access will be available to attendees for 30 days after each session date.


We hope you can join us!

Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support!
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Conference Registration Rates

AIA Members:

  • 1 Day of 2 Sessions: $55 (On-demand access for 30 days following each session date)

  • Day of Tours: $75 (One day of three tours and a networking luncheon)


  • 1 Day of 2 Sessions: $70 (On-demand access for 30 days following each session date)

  • Day of Tours: $95 (One day of three tours and a networking luncheon)

Schedule of Events

June 29, 2021
Net Zero

What's the Matter with Housing? Lessons in Resilience from the K-State Net Positive Studio

9:30 - 10:30 am CST

Michael Gibson, AIA

Assistant Professor
Kansas State University


Michael Gibson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at Kansas State University, teaching design studio, environmental systems, and research seminars. Michael earned his B.A. from Miami University and his M.Arch from Harvard University, and has professional experience in architectural offices in Boston and Baltimore.


1 LU/HSW Approved

The Net Positive Studio at K-State is a research, design, and building program that seeks to demonstrate the broad tenants of sustainability in its work on affordable, net-zero housing. Drawing from the studio's first three prototype homes, this presentation will discuss how these homes take an approach to design, construction, and building systems that current housing trends, while also outlining current issues in sustainability, affordability, and resilience that contribute to the current U.S. housing crisis.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify strategies for net-zero design that enhance resilience in housing.

  2. Explore how resilience supports housing affordability.

  3. Summarize prefab construction methods that reinforce high-performance, lean construction.

  4. Investigate advances in residential building systems that make net-zero housing broadly accessible.

Zero-Carbon Emissions and the Role of Architects

11:00 - 12:30 pm CST


Charles Eley, FAIA, PE, ASHRAE

Eley Consulting

San Francisco, CA

Charles Eley is an architect, mechanical engineer and author with 40 years' experience in energy-efficient and sustainable design. His latest book is Design Professionals Guide to Zero Net Energy Buildings (Island Press 2016). During his career, Mr. Eley has made significant contributions to the California energy standards, ASHRAE Standard 90.1, and energy codes in six other countries. 

1 LU Approved

The world is very close to exceeding the carbon budget established by climate scientists. Drastic cuts in emissions are needed to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Architects are key in addressing the problem.  As our buildings become more energy-efficient and self-powered and as the electric grid becomes cleaner, the challenges increase. The first few zero-carbon and zero-energy buildings pose few problems.  As renewable energy increases, especially solar, electric utilities will need to compensate at dusk by firing up quick-acting gas plants. Batteries and other short-term storage techniques will be needed to level out building demand and provide predictable and manageable loads to the grid. Finally, long-term storage (perhaps hydrogen) will be needed to address seasonal variations in renewable energy production.


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the difference between zero-net-energy and zero-net-carbon as design goals and have the ability to discuss these concepts with potential clients.

  2. Anticipate how a future clean electric grid will influence the design, engineering, and equipment choices of building construction and renovation.

  3. Understand the benefits and basic design principles of renewable energy systems and battery storage.

  4. Understand off-site renewable energy procurement options, like community solar, that may be used in lieu of on-site renewable energy.

July 27, 2021
Legislation and Codes

Buildings Are Infrastructure: AIA's Federal Advocacy Campaign

9:00-10:00 am CST

Kara Kempsi
Director of Federal Relations

AIA National

Kara Kempski is the Director of Federal Relations at the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She directs the organization’s lobbying efforts before Congress and the Administration. As part of that work, Kara leads the federal policy analysis on issues important to the profession of architecture. 

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Sarah Dodge
Sr. V.P. of Advocacy + Relationships
AIA National


Sarah Dodge is currently the Senior Vice-President of Advocacy + Relationships at the American Institute of Architects. The Advocacy + Relationships Department leads AIA’s member engagement programs to motivate and support the engagement of AIA members in legislative, regulatory, and political advocacy with the goal to advocate legislation and nurture relationships that benefit the practice of architecture.

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1 LU Approved

This presentation will describe AIA's federal lobbying efforts on behalf of the profession with a particular focus on the ongoing negotiations over infrastructure. The course will provide an in-depth look at the policy considerations within the infrastructure debate. Participants will also gain a better understanding of how AIA members can engage in federal advocacy and how AIA determines which issues it will support.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how AIA vets federal policy issues to determine whether or not to engage.

  • Describe the multiple committees of jurisdiction and the legislative process that must occur for an infrastructure package to become law.

  • Articulate how the infrastructure campaign fits into AIA's larger climate action and equity goals.

  • Know how to get more involved in AIA's federal advocacy efforts.

Significant Changes to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC)

11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

Sponsored by:


Eirene Knott, MCP
Director of Code Services

BRR Architecture


Eirene Knott has over 30 years of experience in the code industry. Eirene has served most of those years in the public sector as a permit technician, inspector, plans examiner, and building official. She currently serves as the Director of Code Services for BRR Architecture.

1 LU/HSW Approved

Have you heard? The 2021 International Building Code (IBC) allows for mass timber construction. What does that look like and what are the code requirements for these new construction types? Did you know that the turning radius and clear floor space area are increasing with the 2021 IBC? See what else may impact your future projects under the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) as we review some of the significant changes to the latest version of the IBC.


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Apply the provisions for single-user toilet rooms versus separate sex facilities.

  2. Recognize the significant changes to the ICC A117.1 for wheelchair user maneuvering spaces.

  3. Summarize the major differences between the new construction types - IV-A, IV-B, and IV-C.

  4. Recognize additional significant changes to the IBC which may impact their client programs.

August 17, 2021

In-Person Event in Manhattan!


9:30 - 10: Arrival- Coffee bar and tour of  Manko showroom


Group 1:

9:45 - 11:15: Manko Window Systems tour

11:15-12:15:  NBAF Presentation/Tour 

12:15-1:15: Lunch 

1:30 - 3:30:  Stadium Tour 


Group 2:

10-11: NBAF Presentation/Virtual Tour 

11-12:30: Manko Window Systems  tour

12:30 - 1:15: Lunch 

1:30 - 3:30: Stadium Tour


Join us as Manko celebrates AIA Kansas' 100th year!

Thank you to Manko Window Systems in Manhattan, KS for sponsoring this day of tours!  Your support of AIA KS is greatly appreciated!

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National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF)

NBAF is a $1.25 billion science facility for large animal agricultural research, training, and diagnostics under construction in Manhattan, KS that will be owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  During this presentation, we’ll present NBAF’s mission and vision, review the development timeline, show photos and discuss facility features, and offer an update on our operational status and hiring to date.

1 LU Approved


Manko Window Systems, Inc.

Tour Manko's Manhattan glass and fabrication plant. The tour will go through how glass is cut, tempered, and fabricated into an insulated unit. During this process we will also show the different types of Low E glass along with the different types of spacer available for insulated units. The tour will also go through the different steps in fabrication of aluminum storefront doors, storefront, curtainwall, and architectural grade windows.

1 LU Approved


Bill Snyder Family Stadium-Southeast Endzone Expansion

Participants will tour the completed South End Zone expansion project that connects the Football Stadium and Bramlage Arena providing amenities to both Athletics facility needs.

2 LU Approved

August 24, 2021
Adaptive Reuse

Saving Superman: Adaptive Re-use for Providence’s skyline

9:00 - 10:00 am CST

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Liliane Wong,  AIA


Rhode Island School of Design


Liliane Wong, AIA is an architect and Professor and the Department Head for the Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Department of Interior Architecture (Int/AR) program, a program focused on Adaptive Reuse, where she was recently. Wong’s focus on architectural interventions to existing structures led her to co-found the Int|AR Journal on design interventions and adaptive reuse, which promotes creative and academic explorations of sustainable environments through
exemplary works of reuse. A long-time volunteer at soup kitchens, Wong emphasizes in herteaching the importance of public engagement in architecture and design.

Jonathan Bell, AIA

Architect & Professor

Rhode Island School of Design


Jonathan Bell, AIA is an architect and educator, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED-accredited professional. Bell is principal at Jonathan F. Bell Architect, a practice in Providence whose work ranges from single-family residential renovations to adaptive reuse projects for arts and not-for-profit groups to research-driven urban investigations. He was previously a co-founder and principal of DUAL LLC, also in Providence. Bell’s work has won numerous awards and
has been published, presented and exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.

1 LU Approved

Saving Superman is an endeavor to preserve the Industrial Trust Building, known in Providence as the Superman Building. Placed on the National Trust’s list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2019, RISD’s Department of Interior Architecture joined forces with Providence Preservation Society to explore the reuse of the Superman Building in the final semester of the MA in Adaptive Reuse Program.

Equipped with data, historical context, opinions, ideas, and optimism, seven students engaged in immersive research and met with city planners, development consultants, local business stakeholders, and technical experts to design speculations for one of Providence’s—and Rhode Island’s—most urgent architectural, economic development, and public image issues.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Become familiar with conceptual adaptive re-use strategies for office building typologies in a post-pandemic environment, including a case study historic office skyscraper reprogrammed for housing, community development and urban agriculture uses.

  2. Understand the innovative building technologies used in an historic 1928 skyscraper structure as case study for office building reuse considerations with systems.

  3. Understand the significance of the National Trust for Historic Places, the Providence Preservation Society’s “Most Endangered Places” designation, and how these relate to local preservation organization advocacy and partnerships.

  4. Understand the framework for contemporary, historic and future socio-economic context for revitalization in a mid-sized historic downtown and how this may apply to smaller and larger communities.

RE[IN]NOVATION: A Case Study of Sustainability and Historic Preservation in the 2021 AIA COTE Top 10

11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

Channing Swanson, AIA

Partner, Des Moines, IA
Neumann Monson Architects


Channing Swanson, AIA, is a Partner at Neumann Monson Architects in Des Moines, IA. Over the past 10 years, he has articulated a vision for the firm based on the perspective of challenging preconceptions and expectations while elegantly fostering client and community visions.


1 LU/HSW Approved

This course will focus on the 2021 AIA COTE Top 10 awarded project Market One. The Market One project is a 120-year old manufacturing building originally designed to manufacture threshing machines that has recently been converted into a high-performance, sustainable, multi-tenant office building in Des Moines, Iowa. Market One was designed to achieve NetZero energy usage via a combination of high-performance, fluid-based HVAC systems, and renewable energy sources.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Gain an understanding of how State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit funding vehicles were incorporated into this sustainable adaptive reuse project. 

  2. Gain an understanding of variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems and the positive impact of utilizing these types of systems in historic preservation and/or adaptive reuse projects. 

  3. Gain an understanding of how renewable energy sources were evaluated and incorporated into this project in an urban setting. 

  4. Gain an understanding of a design approach for this project that fully incorporates sustainability without violating the principles of the historic preservation tax credit programs.

Sept. 14, 2021
Future Disrupters

“The impact of ongoing Technology Evolution on Design and the Design Process”


9:00 - 10:00 am CST

Peter O'Connor, RCDD


Hoefer Welker


Peter O’Connor is a Principal at Hoefer Welker. Peter is based in Chicago, IL, and leads the firm’s clinical technology design and consulting services. Peter is a RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) with over 30-years’ experience in the healthcare design and construction industry. He has led innovative technology design engagements with leading healthcare providers throughout the U.S.


1 LU Approved

This course explores how modern technologies such as Digital Media, Digital Front Door, Building Automation, PoE Lighting, Clinical Technology, and others have evolved and expanded their impacts on user experience as well other building systems. A single system can span contractor and owner responsibilities and multiple design disciplines. This course will compare how this evolution does not often correlate to current design and specification approaches and offer a more holistic approach that maximizes interoperability and the overall experience.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand how technologies used in modern buildings have evolved to transcend traditional boundaries.

  2. Understand expectations of technology interoperability with various examples and applications.

  3. Identify how a traditional design approach may not result in a holistic solutions that are not interoperable.

  4. Learn how to proactively change your approach to technology design and how a modern approach to the incorporation of technology enhances the overall experience of a built environment. Sample tools and approaches will be discussed.

Architectural Design, Computation, and Industry 4.0

10:30 - 11:30 am CST

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Paola Sanguinetti

Design School at Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Paola has two decades of teaching experience in the area of computational design. Her passion is mentoring students and supporting the participation of underrepresented groups in her area of expertise: design computation and building simulation. In addition, her courses promote student investigation of sustainable strategies in architecture. 

1 LU Approved

Overview of recent trends in automation and manufacturing impacting design and construction, including DFMA and Digital Twin.

At the end of this program, participants will:

  1. Understand how BIM can be integrated with Design for panelized, passive-house rated residential construction.

  2. Be introduced to the workflow of a local prefabricated construction company working in, works orders and other documentation for offsite residential construction.

  3. Be introduced to a series of workflows to automated the generation of Shop Drawings

  4. Lean the concept of platforms and digital twin as applied to architectural design will be shared. A case study will be presented of how a design studio at the University of Kansas, explored these concepts to develop initial platform for automating design projects.

Sept. 28, 2021
Professional Practice

Emergent Issues in Practice: Three New Perspectives on the Economics of Practice


9 - 10:30 am CST

Phil Bernstein, FAIA, NOMA, LEED® AP

Associate Dean & Professor Adjunct

Yale School of Architecture

Phil Bernstein is an architect, technologist and educator who is Associate Dean and Professor Adjunct at the Yale School of Architecture, where he received his B.A (honors) and M.Arch and has taught since 1988. He was formerly a Vice President at Autodesk where he was responsible for setting the company’s future vision and strategy for BIM technology as well as cultivating and sustaining the firm's relationships with strategic industry leaders and associations.  Prior to Autodesk, Phil was a principal at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects where he managed many of the firm’s most complex commissions.

Mark Rukamathu, AIA, NCARB

Director of Special Projects

Boston Architectural College

Mark Rukamathu is an architect and educator, serving as Faculty and Director of Special Projects at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). He coordinates the school’s professional practice curriculum and teaches courses on topics of practice and fabrication both onsite and online. As the BAC’s architecture licensing advisor, he assists students in starting an early path toward successful licensure and oversees the school’s Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) program.



Dominique Davison AIA, LEED AP, NCARB

Founding Principal
DRAW Architecture + Urban Design

CEO, PlanIT Impact

Dominique Davison founded DRAW Architecture + Urban Design in 2005 with the desire to explore the intersection between research, resourcefulness, and simple, clean forms. Her award-winning practice is a recognized leader in sustainability and was named Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter in 2014. 

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1.5 LU Approved

Architects today face a bewildering array of questions and challenges as they position their practices for a post-pandemic future, ranging across social, technical, and social issues. Practice operations, deployment of technology, and the implications of social equity in design all combine to create a unique set of circumstances and opportunities for the future. Three architects will address different dimensions of these questions and propose strategies for how architecture can respond.

At the end of this program, participants will:

  1. Understand the economic conditions driving pricing pressures on projects and how they may evolve over the coming year to anticipate construction market implications for construction costs.

  2. Evaluate the possibilities of new, non-centralized ledger-based technologies on the economics of exchange, with particular emphasis on the potential impacts of cryptocurrency on the value propositions of architecture and construction.

  3. Explore and analyze the significance of forced labor and slavery in the building design supply chain, and investigate how architects can mitigate labor abuse from their role as agents of design.

  4. Examine the implication of these issues on the education, licensure, and practice of architects.

Building and Running a Successful Hybrid Practice

11:00 am - 12:00 pm CST


Evelyn Lee, FAIA
Senior Experience Designer

Practice of Architecture


Evelyn Lee, FAIA, is the first ever Senior Experience Designer at Slack Technologies, Founder of the Practice of Architecture, and Co-Host on the Podcast, Practice Disrupted. Lee seamlessly integrates her business and architecture background with a qualitative and quantitative focus to build better experiences for organization's employees, clients, and guests.

1 LU Approved

In the blink of an eye, the way firms worked changed overnight. Now there’s no snapping back, and people’s expectations around how and where they work have changed. Many firms are just beginning to navigate and understand what they need to create a successful practice that allows their employees the flexibility they desire while remaining productive and profitable.

This course highlights operations, processes, policies, and tools to help individuals become better advocates for a more flexible workplace and help firm leaders understand the areas in their businesses that they need to adapt to build and run a successful hybrid practice.

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the importance of creating a values-based culture that fosters engagement and productivity, even when people are not in the office.

  2. Create operations and structures that allow individuals to get work done no matter where they are, hold meaningful meetings, and enable self-management.

  3. Explore new ways of working, team building, and innovating with a distributed workforce to make a hybrid practice work.

  4. Recognize the common problems and stumbling blocks of hybrid practice and how to anticipate and avoid potential difficulties.

Credit earned on completion of this program will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members.


Certificates of Completion are available upon request. Contact

AXP & AIA Continuing Education

Interns may earn Supplemental Experience hours by completing approved AIA Continuing Education programs – one AIA CEU/LU is equal to one AXP experience hour. When submitting to NCARB, Learning Units (LUs) must be documented on the intern’s AIA transcript.  Find more information here.


Continuing Education:

By attending the AIA Kansas Conference, AIA members will have the opportunity to earn up to 14 AIA CES credits including several HSW credits. AIA Kansas is an AIA CES Approved Provider (#A086) with The American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System.

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