Newsletter: November 2017

Category : Newsletters

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Time To Renew

Individual licenses to practice architecture in Louisiana run on the calendar year and will expire on December 31, 2017. A post-card reminder was mailed to you in late October and e-mail reminders have been sent to the address on file with the Board office. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to renew your license.

Print & Mail Form
  1. Click here for a pdf form that you can complete
  2. Print the completed form
  3. Mail to the board office along with your check (9625 Fenway Avenue, Suite B, Baton Rouge, LA 70809)
  4. Renewal forms mailed to the Board office must be postmarked by December 31, 2017 or late fees may be assessed

Ducote comes on board as LSBAE Deputy Director

Tyson Ducote has been named the new Deputy Director of LSBAE. This new position is part of the re-structing of LSBAE.

Tyson is a Louisiana native who found success as a sign maker, a wholesale and retail record seller and a physical media territory sales representative for a national account.

He has worked in state government since 2009, when he joined the staff of the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board (LAPELS) as a Board Investigator. In that role, he investigated alleged violations of the state engineering and land surveying laws and rules. In 2015 Tyson assumed the Director of Enforcement position at LAPELS, overseeing all activities of the enforcement staff, as well as helping to shape policy and rules that affected licensees of the Board.

Tyson’s only foray into the world of architecture was a drafting class he took in high school. Tyson holds a BA in Business Management from Southeastern Louisiana University.

President’s Report

By Ronald B. Blitch, FAIA, FACHA, NCARB, LSBAE President

2017 has been a very busy and momentous year for your LSBAE.
We began the year by remembering the late LSBAE Director, Mary “Teeny” Simmons. A celebration of life service was held in March and attended by members of Teeny’s family, her friends, and many architects and professionals whom she influenced over her 40 years of service to the state and nation. The Conference Room in the LSBAE office was named in Teeny’s honor (with her family in attendance), with a beautiful bronze plaque designed by Allen Bacque, AIA.

After 16 years of service, Ms. Mary Porche has announced her upcoming retirement and will shortly transition to part-time as we welcome our new Deputy Director – Tyson Ducote. We will be forever grateful to Mary for the tireless support she provided to Louisiana architects, Teeny and the Board during her time here. We will miss her cheery smile and positive attitude. Tyson began working with the Board in November and will assist our Executive Director in moving the Board into the future.

We are also searching for a new Licensing Advisor (posted on our website) to replace Jenny Chandela, who has moved out of state. The Licensing Advisor serves as the liaison between the Board and our four NAAB accredited schools of architecture to ensure that emerging professionals understand the path to a license and the assistance that the LSABE and NCARB can offer them as they progress through completion of the experience and examination process.

Regarding the future, the Board spent a full day developing an initial strategic plan to position the LSBAE to better serve its members and the profession. Mary deSousa of NCARB facilitated a Board discussion that allows us to determine a path forward to better support our licensees and emerging professionals. The strategic plan will begin to be implemented over the next year, and hopefully will further strengthen our Board as one of the best of our nation’s 54 member boards regulating the profession.
In July, we implemented a new firm registration rule to simplify the designation of firms and rules in the State. We are about to adopt a new Architecture and Education Research Fund by the end of the year. This fund has been designed to assist our NAAB accredited schools in the support and development of interns on the path to licensure.

It’s been a busy year for your Board, and an honor to serve with my fellow Board members. The Louisiana Board is one of the most engaged Boards throughout NCARB, with service on committees by almost all of our members, and leadership on the Region 3 Board and the NCARB Board.
I also have just completed a three year term as a Board member and Secretary of the NAAB and will begin serving again on accreditation teams of Architecture Schools around the country, which is an important and fulfilling task. This has been a very productive year for your LSBAE. Thank you all!

 

Executive Director’s Report

By Katherine E. Hillegas, Executive Director

It is hard to believe that I have been with the Board for a year already and what a busy year it has been! We have launched and implemented a new rule regarding registration of firms, which requires that all firms practicing in the state must be registered with the Board.

We have also overhauled our forms for firm registration and individual renewals, as well as begun work on a strategic plan to bring focus to the work of the Board and guide us through the next several years. Moving forward, we will be looking to updating the website to make it more user-friendly for architects, students and licensure candidates.

We have undergone significant staff changes at LSBAE in the past year. In April, our Licensing Coordinator left us to pursue private consulting work and our long-time, incredibly talented and valued assistant, Mary Porche, has announced her retirement. Mary will be leaving the Board in January 2018. I can say with complete confidence that her tireless dedication to the Board and all architects in Louisiana has been greatly appreciated by all and she will be sorely missed. Mary has gone above and beyond to help me transition into this role and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to work with such a consummate professional.

I have taken this opportunity to restructure the staffing model here at the Board and am pleased to announce that in November we hired Tyson Ducote to serve as our Deputy Director. Tyson comes to LSBAE after 8 years with the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board, where he served as the Director of Enforcement. I am excited to have Tyson here and am looking forward to moving the work of the Board forward with him.

We are currently in renewal season for individual licenses. If you have not yet renewed your license, you can do so by visiting our website (www.lsbae.com), and logging into your account using your license number and the last four digits of your social security number as your password. You must have an active license in order to access this online service. A paper copy of the renewal form is also available on the website. Online renewals must be submitted by December 31, and paper renewals must be postmarked by December 31 in order to avoid delinquent fees. Please take a moment before the holidays to complete your renewal.

The Board continues to search for a State Licensing Advisor. More information about this position can be found on Page 8. The Licensing Advisor has a critical role in connecting the Board to firms, students and licensure candidates, and ensuring that all parties are aware of issues related to completing their way through the path to licensure. If you are interested, or know someone who is interested in this important position, please have them contact me at the Board office. Wishing you each a safe and happy holiday season!

Congratulations to our new licensees by examination

Bradley Michael Paczak New Orleans
Daniel David Shaffer Baton Rouge, LA
Paulo Purnell Perkins New Orleans, LA
Sally R. Prather St. Louis, MO
Richard Paul Hebert New Orleans, LA
Elizabeth Chen New Orleans, LA
Brennan Bailey Holder New Orleans, LA
Lauren Mackenzie Ricks Memphis, TN
John W. Kleinschmidt New Orleans, LA
Trent Husser New Orleans, LA
Henrik J. Carlsson New Orleans, LA
Marian E. Prado Brooklyn, NY
Lauren Elaine Hickman New Orleans, LA
Phillip Geiman New Orleans, LA
Haley R. Allen New Orleans, LA
H. W. Hugh Darville Fort Leonard Wood, MO
Lawrence Timothy Lupin New Orleans, LA
Noam Platt New Orleans, LA
Daniel Zegel Metairie, LA
Trevor J. Ducote Youngsville, LA
Heather Mary Little New Orleans, LA
Colm Michael Kennedy New Orleans, LA
Adrianne Gaudet New York, NY
Bryce J. Lambert Prairieville, LA
Michael J. Bourque Baton Rouge, LA
Vicenzo F. Alvero Bush, LA
Charles Delay Jones New Orleans, LA
D. Ravelle Reed II Lake Charles, LA
Joseph Trey Pamplin New Orleans, LA

 

Board Attorney’s Report

By Paul H. Spaht, LSBAE Board Attorney

Over the past several months we have experienced a flurry of inquiries related to different aspects of practicing architecture in Louisiana. I thought it might be helpful to provide a reminder to all licensed architects of these items.

Renewing timely – Practicing architecture on an expired license is a violation of the licensing law. Although this may be a busy time of the year, please remember to renew your architectural license before the deadline (December 31 for individuals).

The discipline for an individual practicing architecture with an expired license depends upon the length of time of the unauthorized practice. The stated fine for an individual practicing architecture for more than three but less than six months is $500, with the fine increasing for longer periods of unlawful practice. See the Board General Disciplinary Guidelines for more information (Rule § 1907, available on the board’s website).

Plan stamping – The licensing law prohibits an architect from affixing his seal or stamp or permitting it to be affixed to any specification, drawing, or other related document which was not prepared either by him or under his responsible supervision. This means that you must personally control or have input into the preparation of the plans, specifications, drawings, reports or documents prior to their completion. If the plans are prepared outside the architect’s office, the architect shall maintain evidence of the architect’s responsible control by maintaining correspondence, time records, check prints, telephone logs, site visit logs, research, calculations, changes and written agreements with any persons preparing the documents outside of the architect’s offices accepting professional responsibility for the work.

Accurately describing you and your firm – The licensing law prohibits any person from using the title “architect,” or any term derived therefrom, unless such person shall have secured from the board an architectural license. This law is often invoked against non-architects who display or use a title, sign, advertisement, or other device to indicate that they practice or offers to practice architecture, or render architectural services. This law is often invoked against non-architects who seek to design buildings or otherwise practice architecture without possessing the necessary education, examination, or experience.

This law is also applicable to architects who seek to describe, sometimes excessively, their employees and their firm’s qualifications. Completion of a NAAB accredited degree in architecture does not grant one the ability to call themselves an “architect.” One must have completed the requisite education, experience and examination and obtained their license from the Board before being able to do that. The rules do have a provision allowing for individuals in the process of completing those requirements to be described as “Intern Architects.” Similarly, the experience of such persons may not be touted as “architectural experience.”

Civil or criminal suit versus board complaint – Not uncommonly, a complaint alleging misconduct by an architect is filed with the board and, simultaneously, a civil suit alleging that same conduct is filed in some court. At times, that same conduct may also generate a criminal proceeding. Thus, there may be two – and sometimes three – proceedings, all involving the same conduct. Under such circumstances, what should the board do?

The board recognizes that an immediate decision on its part is often desirable. However, there is concern that, at times, the filing of a complaint with the board may be primarily an attempt by a complainant to exert increased pressure upon an architect in a dispute which is primarily civil in nature. The board is also concerned that it may not be as well situated, trained, funded, or granted the legal authority to resolve the dispute as a court of law.

A court has the legal authority to render a significant monetary award to compensate an aggrieved plaintiff; the board has no such authority. A court has bailiffs, law clerks, stenographers, video and sound equipment, and sophisticated courtrooms to assist it in rendering decisions; the board has none of this. A court sits daily; the board meets quarterly. A court is composed of elected or appointed judges, often with many years of experience in judging credibility. Hence, unless an issue of public health, safety, or welfare is at stake, the general and long-standing policy of the board is to allow the civil and/or criminal proceeding to run its course before the board will render its decision.

Complainants are often unhappy with this policy, but the board believes that this policy is reasonable and fair.

 

OSFM Plan

Review Corner

By: Joe Delaune, Chief Architect

The Office of the State Fire Marshall typically receives over 17,000 plan review submittals per year – an average of over 300 submissions per week. This means our staff must review at least that many on a weekly basis. Our staff of review managers is currently down by 15%, while the number of submittals we received during the last quarter was up by 10.5%, and our average turnaround time is now DOWN 21%! We would have never been able to accomplish this without the assistance of our new database, OSFM-IMS.
The OSFM-IMS has truly revolutionized the way we review and manage projects. No longer are we mailing plans, processing payments, or transposing paper applications into an antiquated system. Instead, this time savings is well spent reviewing the plans and assisting our clients. Real time collaboration on projects between our staff managers and our clients, regardless of their location, is now possible. Assignment of projects to regional offices is performed instantly without having to mail large sets of plans.  We are light years ahead of where we were just two short years ago! We all understand that a faster turnaround means increased economic development in our state.

The submittals we receive range from a few relocated devices on existing fire protection systems to very large new construction projects. Fewer than 40% of these are submitted by Professionals of Record. The remaining submittals fall under the thresholds or outside of the scope of exemptions in the Architects Licensing Law R.S. 37:155. Submittal types include new construction and renovations, fire alarm systems, sprinkler systems, suppression systems, fuel storage tank installations, industrialized (modular) buildings, LDH licensed facility reviews, special locking systems, solid waste emergency response plans, and equivalency proposals. Architectural projects in certain parishes or municipalities are reviewed for LSUCC (building code) compliance as well. The list of these parishes or municipalities change, and can be found on our website: www.lasfm.org.
We are currently developing a module for the OSFM-IMS that will allow applicants to share their submittals directly with local permit offices, with LDH Health Standards for licensed facilities, or with other entities involved with the permitting process. This will be an option that, if selected, will share access to the drawings with the permit office and will provide instant notification of status changes. This module is now being tested and is scheduled to come on line early next year.

On another note, life safety and fire protection systems are an integral and critical part of any building. Our review process allows for approval of buildings prior to submittal of these systems, however final acceptance or occupancy is not allowed without them. Please take a moment to review the Shop Drawing Review Stamp process outlined in Interpretive Memo 2013-02 found on our website. With the implementation of the OSFM-IMS, an additional online electronic stamping process option has also been provided. Please also take a moment to watch this short video on our website that explains the process here: http://www.lasfm.org/ims_video.html.

Please note that the fire protection system contractor will need your Logon ID in order to share access to the drawings for you to review. Also, never share your PIN with anyone other than your engineer consultants when applicable. This PIN serves as the stamp of approval and signature of the Professional of Record for the scope of work.

We will soon be opening a new regional office in Thibodaux, however it may be a little while until our new review manager gets up to speed before we advertise and open it to the public. This will be our 9th regional office in the state. If the need arises, everyone should be able to reach a regional office in about an hour or less.

On behalf of the entire staff here, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support and partnership with this office. It is truly a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with you and serve you! Please keep your suggestions coming. Some may be readily achievable, while others may be more complex or not even possible, however each and every one of them are very much appreciated and strongly considered.

 

LSBAE Seeks State Licensing Advisor

The Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners is seeking an individual to volunteer his or her time and talents to serve Louisiana’s architectural profession as the State Licensing Advisor. This state program is part of a national program of NCARB and AIA.

The State Licensing Advisor is appointed by the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners, from nominations and applications received from individuals or AIA components, for a term established by the Board. The State Licensing Advisor is provided an allowance to cover expenses such as postage, social media, telephone, clerical and travel.

RESPONSIBILITIES and DUTIES
  • Be familiar with state registration requirements and examination application procedures.
  • Maintain a thorough understanding of licensure requirements, objectives and resources, including changes to AXP and ARE.
  • Attend LSBAE meetings to report on licensure activities.
  • Prepare articles on AXP and ARE for AIA/LA and LSBAE newsletters.
  • Communicate and collaborate with professional support networks (NCARB, AIAS chapters, local and national AIA components, YAF and NAC) to strengthen awareness of the required components of licensure and its importance among licensure candidates
  • Facilitate annual meeting among LA AXP educator coordinators, member Board liaison, AIAS chapter presidents, and AIALA associate board member.
  • Communicate and collaborate with faculty from the four NAAB accredited schools of architecture in LA.
  • Make at least one presentation annually at each school of architecture within the state utilizing the educator coordinator, student coordinator and LSBAE Board member in the presentation, if appropriate.
  • Assist state and local AIA components and intern groups in developing activities directed towards an individual’s completion of the Architectural Experience Program.
  • Promote LA AXP activities at the National, Regional and State level.
  • Develop and make AXP presentations at architectural firms that explain AXP guidelines and the benefits gained by a firm’s active participation.
    Attend and represent Louisiana at the annual NCARB Licensing Advisors Summit
  • Organize and plan a Louisiana Licensure Forum that is co-funded by LSBAE and AIA Louisiana. Typically, these have taken place once every other year in January/ February timeframe.
QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants and nominees must be a licensed architect who has completed IDP/AXP. The successful applicant or nominee must have a demonstrated commitment to interns, and a record of active involvement in professional activities at the local and/or state level. Preference will be given to candidates with an architectural education background.

Interested parties should contact Kathy Hillegas at khillegas@lsbae.com or 225-925-4802.

 

Disciplinary Actions Taken by the LSBAE Board

One important function of the Board is to investigate alleged violations of the statutes and rules which regulate the practice of architecture in Louisiana. Substantiated violations result in disciplinary or enforcement action being taken either through a Consent Order or by Board Order following a formal hearing. Below are summaries of the disciplinary actions taken by the Board since the previous issue of the newsletter.

Practice with an Expired License

James R. Aultman, An Architectural Corporation, a professional architectural corporation (AC 0374), was subject to disciplinary action by the Board for practicing and offering to practice architecture in Louisiana with an expired license in violation of La. R.S. 37:153(A)(3) and 37:154(A). The firm’s license was in an expired status from July 1, 2009 through June 1, 2017 and during this time period the firm practiced and offered to practice architecture in Louisiana by admittedly offering to provide architectural services in Louisiana and providing architectural services on approximately 43 projects in Louisiana. The firm has entered into a Consent Order with the Board, wherein it agreed to pay a fine; to pay administrative costs; and to the printing of a summary of this matter by name in this publication.
Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture, L.L.C., a professional architectural corporation (LL 0229), was subject to disciplinary action by the Board for practicing and offering to practice architecture in Louisiana with an expired license in violation of La. R.S. 37:153(A)(3) and 37:154(A). The firm’s license was in an expired status from July 1, 2016 through April 13, 2017 and during this time period the firm practiced and offered to practice architecture in Louisiana by admittedly offering to provide architectural services in Louisiana and providing architectural services on two projects in Louisiana. The firm has entered into a Consent Order with the Board, wherein it agreed to pay a fine; to pay administrative costs; and to the printing of a summary of this matter by name in this publication.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been taken to ensure that the aforementioned information is correct, however it should not be relied upon without verification from the Board office. Please note that the names of companies and individuals listed could be similar to other parties who have not had enforcement actions taken against them.

 

Architect Selection Board 101

How it’s chosen, districts, members and meetings

The Louisiana Architects Selection Board was established to select firms most qualified to perform services for the State of Louisiana. The board is composed of eight members; five regular members, one elected from each of five districts as outlined below. The election is conducted by the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners under rules and regulations established in the Architects Licensing Law and Rules. Architects serving on the Board are residents of Louisiana and of the district from which they seek election.

Additional members of the selection board include the head of the particular agency or his/her representative for which a project is under consideration. That individual is restricted to matters/issues that directly affect the project of his/her agenda. Also serving on the Selection Board is assistant director of facility planning and control.

Board members are responsible for reviewing each application submitted for state projects, with regards to the information provided on the applications. Members are asked to make their selections on criteria established in the statute and reflected by the questions on the application.  The ASB receives applications about one week prior to the ASB meeting and are expected to vote for 3 firms with their first place vote receiving 3 points, their second place vote receiving 2 points and their third place vote receiving 1 point.  Votes are tabulated and there is a final ballot between the top 2 firms with the most points.

ASB meetings are held in Baton Rouge in the Claiborne Building. This is considered a public meeting where votes are read aloud to the public.
For purposes of selecting members of the Architect Selection Board, the state has been divided into five districts as outlined below:

District 1: Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard.

District 2: Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Terrebonne, and Washington.

District 3: Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, St. Helena, St. Martin, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

District 4: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Grant, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Mary, Vermilion, and Vernon.

District 5: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, DeSoto, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Tensas, Union, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.

2017-2018 Architect Selection Board Members

DISTRICT 1: Ronnie P. Babin
1225 3rd Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
rpbabin@wdgnola.com

DISTRICT 2: Harry J. Holloway, Jr.
315 East Second Street
Thibodaux, LA 70301
skipper@ghaarchitects.com

DISTRICT 3: Eric L. Parnell
1737 Chevelle Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
eric@archboutant.com

DISTRICT 4: David P. Beverly
233 Doucette Road, Suite A-2
Lafayette, LA 70503
david@dbarchitectureofacadiana.com

DISTRICT 5: Edwin W. Elberson
5925 Line Avenue, Suite 3
Shreveport, LA 71106
ed@somdal.com

 

NCARB launches new AXP Portfolio Program for experienced designers

The road to licensure can be long—and sometimes filled with detours. NCARB has created a new opportunity for unlicensed individuals with at least two years of eligible experience that is older than five years to satisfy the AXP requirements by completing an online portfolio.

The Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™) Portfolio allows unlicensed individuals to document experience that falls outside of the reporting requirement by uploading work examples that satisfy the program’s 96 tasks. Applicants who complete the AXP Portfolio must still complete their jurisdiction’s education and examination requirements to earn a license.

By completing an online portfolio, experienced designers can use examples of work to satisfy the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™). Through this option, licensure candidates can demonstrate their competency in the AXP’s 96 tasks by uploading exhibits—documents, PDFs, images, or other files—of work for approval by your supervisor. Learn more about completing the AXP Portfolio

This method is designed for individuals in the AEC field—such as designers and project managers—who may have put their licensure goals on hold due to career, personal, or economic reasons. To qualify for the AXP Portfolio, a candidate must:

  • Have an active NCARB Record
  • Not be licensed to practice architecture in the United States
    or Canada
  • Have a current supervisor who is a licensed architect and is
    willing to attest to your knowledge and experience
  • Have at least two years of relevant AXP experience from
    over five years ago (including at least one year of
    experience that qualifies for experience setting A)
  • Be unable to finish documenting the AXP through hourly
    experience reports

For more information about this option contact NCARB at 202-879-0520.

 

ARE 4.0 retires June 30, 2018!

Here’s help to complete it

Have you been working to complete the ARE in ways that advance your goals? Here are five key steps to finish the ARE.

COMMIT: Commit to finishing in ARE 4.0 or finishing your strategic testing divisions. In either case, with less than 7 months to take ARE 4.0, you need to increase your ability to pass any remaining 4.0 divisions.

Maximize Your Opportunity: Create a plan that allows you to maximize your retest opportunities. Remember, if you do not pass a division, you’ll have to wait at least 60 days before you can retest. Also, you can only attempt any one division three times within a 12-month period. Since you only have 7 months of testing left until June 30, 2018, you only have three remaining attempts at any ARE 4.0 division before it retires. Schedule tests early enough to allow for retests if you need them.

Plan To Finish Your 4.0 Divisions Early: June 2018 is likely going to be hectic—don’t wait until the last possible moment to take your remaining ARE 4.0 division(s). History tells us June is a high-volume testing month across many professions. This means test center space may be hard to come by during opportune times. Avoid the added stress of squeezing in a late exam appointment by planning to finish your 4.0 divisions early.

Stick To It: Even the best plan may experience a challenge along the way. When challenges arise that may impact your ability to stay on track—keep moving forward. With the hard June 30, 2018, deadline for ARE 4.0 retirement, staying on track is more of a priority than ever.

Stay Connected: We’re here to help you understand the ARE. Be sure to use the ARE 4.0 Google+ Community to get questions answered about exam content. Check out the NCARB YouTube channel to watch videos about the exam. Read our exam-related blog articles to get insights into the ARE.
Lastly, you can always contact us if you have any additional questions about your NCARB Record or other ARE-related questions.

Helpful transition blogs

Plan your transistion to ARE 5.0
See how ARE 4.0 divisions will transfer to the new exam and create your personalized testing strategy with the Transistion Calculator. http://arecalc.ncarb.org/

Check out the new ARE 5.0 pass rates
Take a look at how other candidates performed on each ARE 5.0 division, or browse by architecture school.
https://www.ncarb.org/blog/check-out-the-new-are-50-pass-rates

 

LSBAE State Board of Architectural Examiners

Ronald B. Blitch
FAIA, FACHA, NCARB
President
New Orleans, LA

Robert McKinney
AIA, NCARB
Secretary
Lafayette, LA

Allen Bacque′
AIA, NCARB
Lafayette, LA
J. David Brinson
AIA, NCARB
Baton Rouge, LA

John Cardone, Jr.
Lake Charles, LA

Richard J. LeBlanc
AIA. NCARB
Shreveport, LA

Knox H. Tumlin
AIA, NCARB, CSI
New Orleans, LA