Thursday, August 27, 2009

From AIACC -- Possible Proposal to Change Business Tax

To the AIACC Advocacy Advisory Committee,
I am writing to ask for your opinion on what could be a proposal to change business tax law and that could be considered by the California Legislature in late September.  The proposal is preliminary now – details are missing – and you may want to run this by your tax attorneys or accountants for their thoughts.
You may know that the Governor and legislative leaders appointed the Commission on the 21st Century Economy to study our tax system, and to recommend changes to modernize it and stabilize its revenue.  The Commission is working to make and present its recommendations very soon.  The Governor has announced his intention to call the Legislature into special session to vote on it.  It is quite possible the Commission will not be able to submit an unanimous report, or even a majority report – the Commission appears to divided.  This, of course, would affect the ability of the Legislature to approve any change.  Nevertheless, a proposal is on the table that would affect businesses – a Business Net Receipts Tax (BNRT).
The BNRT is a value-added tax that would apply to business activity, including services.  It is not a sales tax on services as it does not apply on a transaction basis.  Links to an overview of the BNRT and a limited analysis of it (answers to two specific questions) are below.
When considering the ramifications of a BNRT on your firm, please consider it as part of a larger package.  Right now, the items below are being considered as part of that package.
·         Eliminating or lowering the corporate tax
·         Eliminating or lowering the state portion of the sales tax
·         Lowering to state income tax to a flat rate, or to two rates
·         A carbon tax is also being considered
And please consider it in comparison to a sales tax on services, as some continue to call for that.
Here are the links to more information.
Preliminary Overview of BNRT
Limited Analysis of BNRT
Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.
Anything you can do to help us understand how this would impact your firm as a stand-alone proposal, as a part of package of changes, and as compared to a sales tax on services is greatly appreciated.
Mark Christian, Hon. AIACC
Director of Legislative Affairs
AIA California Council
Direct: 916-642-1708

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Integrated Project Delivery: ongoing efforts

John, in answer to your questions regarding current ongoing AIA/CC efforts with alternative project delivery methods and IPD:

1.  Ongoing Efforts:
a. The next IPD seminar coordinated by AIA/CC will be on September 17, 2009 at the Convention Center in San Diego. (I'm attaching the invite).  Register by CLICKING HERE.
"This event is structured for clients to get a better understanding of IPD - from the negotiating the contract, to building the team, to understanding the insurance issues, you'll want to attend to know what your client knows so you can assist them in navigating through this delivery method."

b.  At the most recent AIA Convention there was a highly informative powerpoint presentation on IPD:  CLICK HERE
2.  Content and status of current state legislative proposals:
a.  SB 667 (Midgen) - "Best Value Construction Contracting Pilot Program" - passed and in process
b.  SB 2551 (Furitani) - Design Assist Program" - Failed to Pass
c.  Community College Design Assist Legislation - currently being considered
d.  AIA/CC IPD Legislation - need more info on 2010 plans

3.  Additional resources:
a.  Integrated Project Delivery - for an overview and numerous resource guides:  CLICK HERE
b.  David S. Gehrig wrote an excellent white paper on alternative project delivery methods for public works projects in California, and I am attaching here, as well.
c.  AIA National Contract Documents that facilitate IPD:  CLICK HERE

4.  Recent News articles:
The American Institute of Architects and The AIA California Council Release New Resource Regarding Integrated Project Delivery
Thu May 7, 2009 1:05pm EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(Business Wire)--
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), in conjunction with The AIA California Council, (AIACC) has just released Experiences in Collaboration: On the Path to IPD, a new document in a series of resources focusing on Integrated Project Delivery. This document was developed from the working knowledge of more than 30 participants, including architects and engineers involved in the design and construction industry, who have actual experience using this delivery method. 

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is gaining momentum. A range of projects are in development or have been completed utilizing the principles of IPD. However, it is also clear that many professions are struggling to understand "how" to make it work; questioning "what is the value and impact" to business and professional practices? 

In lieu of exhaustive case studies, in 2008, The AIA California Council`s IPD committee organized an initiative to pull together practitioners involved in projects that were based on the IPD methodology or specific concepts of IPD. The basis of this initiative was focused on "anecdotal" lessons learned, as hard data was not yet available. 

The document presents the highlights from the symposium of industry leaders and captures the conversations discussed as a basis of applied principles to utilize when embarking upon an IPD project. 

The AIA has a long history of promoting this collaborative delivery model. In spring of 2007, The American Institute of Architects, California Council published Integrated Project Delivery: A Working Definition, describing IPD. Then, in fall 2007, in conjunction with The American Institute of Architects, National office, Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide was published. 

To download a free copy of Experiences in Collaboration or the other IPD resources listed above, visit or

The AIACC represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, The AIACC's mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIACC is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit

For more info contact:
AIA California Council
Lori Reed
Director, Marketing and Communications

Will Wright,  Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects / Los Angeles
3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213)639-0767 fax

ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.

Overview of State and Local Efforts to Date
July 14, 2009
Recent Project Delivery Initiatives at the California State Legislature
2006 Senate Bill No. 667 Migden: "Best Value Construction Contracting Pilot Program"
Applicable only to the University of California at San Francisco
Requires progress report in 2010.
Status: Passed and in process.
Synopsis:  Selection of builder based on best value rather than lowest bid. Best value is determined through evaluation of the best combination of price and qualifications. The selection process would evaluate the following qualifications:
- Financial condition
- Relevant experience
- Demonstrated management competency
- Labor compliance
- Safety record
- Subcontractors qualifications
The process awards points in each qualification category and adds them for a total point score. The committee divides the candidate's price proposal by the point score to get a final score.  The lowest final score wins (Lowest price divided by highest point score generates the lowest final score) . 
University of California
California Pipe Trades council
California State Association of Electrical Workers
Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California
Western States Council of Sheetmetal Workers
Rationale of support: 
Reduces adversarial relationship, after contract cost increases; increases incentive for builders to perform well (since they qualify for future projects based on performance history not just price)
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Contractors Association
Air Conditioning Sheet Metal Association
American Subcontractors Association of California
Associated General Contractors of California
California Chapter of the American Fence Contractors Association
California Chapters of the National Electrical Contractors.
Rational of  opposition:  
Temptation for owners to hire builders based on arbitrary criteria  and/or personal relationships
2008 Senate Bill No. 2551 Furutani: "Design Assist Program"
Applicable to California Community Colleges
Status: Failed to pass
Synopsis:  Provides alternative to both  design-bid-build and design-build, on the rationale that design assist projects
- Offer same benefits as design build process
- Allow and require more participation of the owner (college) in the design of the project than the design build process allows.
- Allow early involvement of the builder in the design process taking advantage of the builder's expertise in conceiving and developing the design resulting in cost and time savings
- Integrates current best construction practices (means, methods, technologies, etc) into the development of the design
- Allow the  owner to solicit  proposals based on previously developed set of project scope description, program, design and technical criteria, performance specifications (created by design professional with DSA experience). 
- Allow the  owner to  select the design assist entity (builder)  based on well described and published criteria that include qualifications and cost evaluated on the basis  whatever relative weight the owner decides.
- Allow criteria to include: proposals for cost savings, time savings, transitional pricing strategies, alternative construction staging strategies in addition to price, technical expertise, life cycle costs, skilled labor force availability and safety record.
- Allow the college to make the design-assist entity responsible for cost overruns during construction.

Los Angeles Community College District
San Jose Evergreen Community College District
Rationale of support:             
Reduces adversarial relationship, after contract cost increases; increases  potential for owner to achieve best value
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Construction Employers' Association
Professional Engineers in California Government
State Building Trades Council
Western Electrical Contractors Association
Rationale of  opposition:  
Temptation for owners to hire builders based on arbitrary criteria  and/or personal relationships
Future Project Delivery Initiatives at the California State Legislature
Community College Design Assist Legislation
The AIA Political Outreach Committee co-chair met with Larry Eisenberg Executive Director and Tom Hall Director of Facilities Planning and Development at LACCD on June 16 when Larry expressed his commitment to continue to pursue the design assist legislation, this time limiting it to a pilot project on the theory that the legislature will more willingly consider it if it's limited in scope. He has requested and we have consented to lend the support of the AIA LA Chapter in this effort. Also we have committed to assisting in gaining the support of the unions and the building industry, both of whom are critical in building a united front and both of whom must (given their superior financial and political strength) legitimately support concepts of alternative project delivery methods.  We have also offered to win the support of local public agencies such as the city and county of Los Angeles.  The AIA LA political outreach committee will reach out to:
- City of Los Angeles
- County of Los Angeles
- California League of Cities
- Los Angeles Chapter of  Associated General Contractors
- California Chapter of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
- Professional Engineers in California Government
- State Building Trades council
- Western Electrical Contractors Association
- Informally the political outreach committee will meet and discuss with local builders and municipal attorneys to gain perspective and build support.
AIA California Council  Sponsored Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Legislation
The AIACC looks to the year 2010 potentially as the year in which they will introduce legislation on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for public sector projects. They are in process on building consensus among partners (same as those identified above), building coalitions and determining the probability of success in achieving passage of a bill.  The AIA POC has committed to supporting the Council's efforts in whatever way we can, such as for example in gaining the support of local public agencies such as, again, the city and county of LA.
Other Actions in Process
Architect Led Design Build Project Delivery
At the  June 16 meeting with Larry Eisenberg and Tom Hall of LACCD they expressed an interest in promoting architect led design build project delivery, which would probably be possible under current design build legislation.  The obstacle here resides with liability, bonding and insurance.  At the invitation of Larry and Tom the LA POC committee co-chair will attend a meeting on July 30 at the District offices with some of the larger sureties and insurance brokers in town (AON, Kaercher Campbell, etc)  to discuss the insurance/bonding issues related to a design build project delivery method in which the architect is the lead member of the team.

County of Los Angeles Architect Selection Process
The LA AIA Practice Committee has engaged the offices of local county supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas in revising and improving the methods by which architects are selected for county projects.  This committee has been working closely with Dan Rosenberg of Ridley Thomas' office on the effort. They have in part modeled their effort on practices adopted by New York City. It is worth noting that the county has jumped on the design-build band wagon also and apparently plans to engage in design build with  most of their future projects of any substance, thus rendering more or less moot the traditional architect selection process. The AIA's goals should include  demonstration  to the county that methods of project delivery other than design-bid-build and design-build are available to them.
New York City Excellence in Design and Construction Program
LA AIA Political Outreach Committee intends to host the head of the City of New York's Excellence in Design and Construction Program in order to learn more about how that city engages and supports high quality architects and builders.


Friday, August 21, 2009

ARAA Energy and Workforce Updates

Provided by the GREEN LA Coalition:

1)   Click here to find a brief update on ARRA applications, opportunities and workshops in the LA area, as well as on-line resources. 
2)   Click here to find a guide to grants for green jobs projects, for community based organizations.  
Please note that some of the grant deadlines have passed, but many are still available.  We welcome any additional information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I forwarded the info to Charity.
Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA/LA 
Associate Director
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles
 | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

On Aug 18, 2009, at 4:09 PM, Will Wright wrote:

Yes, I'd love to have it on our website.  I've already added it to Facebook, too.
Will Wright,  Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects / Los Angeles
3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213)639-0767 fax

ü Please consider the environment before printing this email.

On Aug 18, 2009, at 4:06 PM, Carlo Caccavale wrote:

Are we posting this on our web site, besides advertising it in the newsletter?
I think we should...
Carlo Caccavale, Hon. AIA/LA 
Associate Director
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles
 | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

On Aug 18, 2009, at 2:28 PM, Will Wright wrote:

AIA Los Angeles presents...
DESIGN DIALOGUES #3: Reinventing Contexts
Thursday, August 27 (6:00-8:00pm)
HMC Architects
633 W. 5th Street, Third Floor
Los Angeles, CA  90071
Limited Capacity.  RSVP to
DESIGN DIALOGUES #3: Reinventing Contexts
Three Design Principals will present a project that is un-built or "on the boards" that significantly impacts an existing context.
What role does context play in today's urban environment? How do the inherent material or immaterial opportunities and constraints inform a new future?
This is the third in a series of continuing dialogues intended to provide more discourse within our local architectural community. Design Dialogues will feature brief project presentations of un-built or on the boards work by HMC Architects, wHY Architecture and XTEN Architecture. Afterwards, they will participate in a moderated discussion relative to the theme above, and take questions from the audience. The event is open to the public free of charge.
Light Refreshments will be served. Limited Capacity. RSVP is required for attendance.   
Design Leaders: 
Michael Tome, AIAHMC Architects
Yo-Ichiro Hakomori, AIAwHY Architecture
Austin Kelly, AIAXTEN Architecture
Sam Lubell, California Editor - The Architects Newspaper
Thursday, August 27 (6:00-8:00pm)
HMC Architects
633 W. 5th Street, Third Floor
Los Angeles, CA  90071
No Host Parking Available.   AIA/LA recommends to ride Metro.

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