On behalf of the California Preservation Foundation’s Board of Trustees, we are pleased to inform you that the The Bel Vue was selected to receive a 2020 Preservation Design Award in the Rehabilitation category.  We congratulate you and the project team for your outstanding work and your dedication to historic preservation.  We received more than 50 nominations this year, a record for CPF and evidence of the many successful projects throughout the state.

The award will be presented at the California Preservation Awards, to be held online on October 21, 2020, as part of a month-long celebration with a focus on the eighteen winning projects. We are excited to announce a new format and scope for the awards, including a series of educational webinars, an online Preservation Expo, and a movie night to complement the formal awards ceremony. In the last six months, CPF’s online programming has attracted thousands of visitors from across the U.S. and fourteen countries. With that in mind, all of the California Preservation Awards programs will be open to the public via Zoom and Facebook LIVE, further expanding the audience for historic preservation and creating larger impacts in wider communities. 

The California Preservation Awards showcase the best in historic preservation, recognizing achievements in architecture, history, design, and engineering. The The Bel Vue is an excellent example of this, and we are thrilled to recognize your work. Please review and submit the important forms listed in the attached document so CPF can give you and your team the recognition you deserve during the awards presentation.

Your exemplary contribution to the preservation of California’s rich and diverse historic resources will be recognized during our festive events, on our website, and on our social media streams

We look forward to seeing you live online before an international audience on October 21st!  Congratulations!

A few words from Mike about that Civic Engagement bug …

Service to the Profession & Community Spotlight: Mike Malinowski, FAIA


The Chapter’s Civic Engagement Team (CET) are shining a spotlight, and building a repository of profiles, that celebrate the dedicated AIA Central Valley members who positively influence the profession and their communities through advocacy and volunteerism. Kudos to these individuals for creating “inspiration through action.” We hope they will inspire YOU to serve!

Do you know of an AIA member worthy of recognition? Please contact the CET via the Chapter office:


Applied Architecture Inc.

How does your career trajectory include service to society and the profession, and what sustains your continued engagement?

After 40 years of running what I consider a boutique architectural practice, it’s hard to remember how I first caught the “service to society” bug – but it’s definitely part of my DNA. I can’t imagine not having a half dozen or more ‘projects’ that stretch out to the boundaries of the profession, my community, my country, my planet. Current service includes AIA National Center for Leadership, Architecture 2030 (new edition of the Zero Code for California); the ICC IEBC Code Committee, the Streamline Institute non profit behind the PASS permit streamlining program (President and founder), AIA CA consulting focused on Climate Action through Code and Regulatory Change; major efforts include bringing the ZeroCode into Cal Green; expanding the California Existing Building Code to include all three compliance paths with huge embodied carbon savings; mentoring – and learning from – my staff, and … well, you get the idea 

Is there a specific time that you felt your contributions made an impact and/or when your skills as an architect made a difference?

Once the habit develops, architecture seems to extend to include all human issues, and all of architecture takes on a ‘service to society’ focus. The potential for one person to make a difference is enormous, opportunities are relentless, and the only persistent obstacle is the length of a day.

Was there a specific person who “nudged” you to become involved?

Once you get really engaged in leadership you find yourself immersed in a pool filled with inspirational, action oriented, supportive and dynamic people … and that leads to a nudge a minute at times!

Climate Action via Code Change

Typical building code development unfolds over a long time frame extending over years. WHile this deliberate process allows both for thorough vetting and keeping the pace of change manangeable for the very many stakeholders who work with the code, it’s doesn’t work well for response to acute problems. We will need to look at codes in a new way based on the climate emergency that is unfolding before our eyes.

“We’re in a Climate Damn Emergency” Gov Gavin Newsom

Notes from Carbon Positive 2020

Los Angeles March 2,3,4 2020 Michael F. Malinowski FAIA

Notes from the 2020 Carbon Positive Conference

The 2020 Carbon Positive Conference at the Intercontinental in downtown LA was well attended with hundreds of architects, activists, and experts from all over the world sharing insights, information and strategy. As Covid19 shifted handshakes to fist and elbow bumps, the urgency of climate action was palpable and constant. Over the three days, I found the speakers uniformly expert and compelling; the topics spanning the breadth and depth of the crisis ahead that calls us to action.

A sampling from my notes and scribbles:

“As an organization, we’ve pivoted and are addressing Climate Action as both a FOCUS and a FRAMEWORK to guide our efforts. We’re weaving this important issue into everything we do …” Debra Gerod FAIA AIACA President

The climate crisis is daunting, but it is also a call to action … a reminder of the fundamental duty of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. There is no greater threat, and therefore no greater opportunity to do what we do best …”


“Don’t ask what will happen. Be what happens” … quoting historian and activist Rebecca Solnit Jane Frederick, FAIA                                      AIA 2020 President

“The most powerful instrument for change on the planet … is the stroke of a designer’s pen”

Ed Mazria FAIA Founder Architecture 2030

“A 0.2% difference in the loan rate from one bank for a green construction loan was enough incentive to influence the carbon outcome and shift the marketplace”

(referencing the margin supported by the innovative and comprehensive EDGE software developed by IFC and used worldwide

Paeshant Kapoor IFC at the World Bank Group

Forest provide 73% of the mitigation from natural climate solutions.

Mark Wishnie, Nature Conservancy

‘Using timber actually incentivizes forest stewardship. For every tree cut in north America, three trees are planted” Referencing the carbon sequestration benefits of Mass Timber

Jennifer Cover Woodworks

“Growing up, who would have thought we’d be attending a conference about saving the world”

Ned Cramer Architect Magazine

“Natural Gas is the number one driver of climate change.”

methane is 84 times more potent than CO2 for climate degradation, and gas leaks from the distribution system are endemic, averaging one leak per mile in Boston for example

Panama Barthomay, Building Decarbonization Coalition

“.. the way we now typically design large buildings, they become uninhabitable when disconnected from fossil fuels” … “most building that will be here in 2050 are here right now”… “lets do what MASS Design does in Africa right here: love the buildings we have”

Carl Elefante FAIA Quinn Evans

“We need new disruptors … Business as usual is killing us …

It’s both system change and personal change. We must all rebel. Being professional does not mean being indifferent…

2030 is the new 2050 …

COV19 shows what an emergency response looks like …

We are in the midst of a mass extinction of our own making”

Farhana Yamin Track 0

Remove Less    reuse buildings must be prioritized over demolition fix broken things, buildings, places to keep embodied carbon investments intact

My takeaway outline of Climate Action for this architect

Remove Less    reuse buildings must be prioritized over demolition fix broken things, buildings, places to keep embodied carbon investments intact

Move Less develop further the many robust tools we have to allow virtual meetings, to avoid the carbon costs of flying and transit

Use Less increase efficiency of our building and fabrication process to eliminate waste)

Emit Less learn to make the smart carbon choices; research and apply the growing body of tools and resources that can support daily climate action in practice


I decided to make my ‘airport to downtown’ connection ‘low carbon’ … and found the biggest challenge was simple wayfinding (thank goodness for cellphone google). Once I figured out which bus would get me to the subway, I was kind of shocked that I was the only passenger on a huge cranky old hauler that got me to the Red Line. From there it was easy.

Conclusion: no extra time, and savings in carbon and cash … and another move toward a personal ‘new normal’ of everyday climate action.

MF Malinowski FAIA  March 6 2020

A Beast is Gone

Once this was a start of the art, whiz bang amazing piece of hardware, aquired for thousands of dollars, helping create a great many cool visuals and copies … but gradually it lost it’s luster, until finally it was just a giant beast, weighing hundreds of pounds, awaiting some new fate or adventure.  Today – thanks to craigs list- the beast found a new place to lurk.  I helped it along … grunting along with the new

owner to push it up a ramp onto a trailer.  Bye bye beast!

Kudos from a customer: warms the heart

Hi Mike,

…. I was very pleased to work with Joe Montalvo and his team of tradesmen.  I credit him with the way costs were contained; they ended  up being very close to the estimates and allowances we assembled last July.  There were surprises and complications along the way of course, but we worked together to solve problems.  There is one more inspection and Joe won’t call for it until fans are installed in the crawlspace as specified.  The cost of the project came out to be very close to your estimate of nearly a year ago, when initial discussions were leading up to actual drawings and specifications.


The remodel has improved the look of the house immensely.  The reconfigured interior space is great, and we really like the Velux skylights you recommended.  I will soon have new furniture and then the space can begin to feel like home again.  The patio is especially terrific.  Reorienting it along the long axis of the house, under the new trusses has made a huge difference in function and appearance. 


Many thanks for getting us to this point.  The house is a better fit now, and we should have many good years to enjoy it.



July 26th San Jose: Join me for conversation and Libations

AIA Members (and potential AIA members) + Conversations + Libations Mike Malinowski AIA , California Region AIA National Board Member Is pleased to extend an Open Invitation Let’s chat about the Future of the AIA, Architects, and Architecture (aka Repositioning) 5pm to 7pm Friday July 26th LosGatos Brewery First couple pitchers / appetizers my treat 163 W Santa Clara St San Jose, CA RSVP appreciated – but not required

Container Architecture in an Urban setting

Container architecture is a trendy modality that is gaining traction.  When driven to consider this motif strictly by ‘low budget’ the results can be disasterous.  There are emerging examples of how this design specialty can add an edgy vibe in a low density environment, even in a ‘quasi urban’ setting.   


Ideally, infill development has design details that contribute to a neighborhood’s economic vitality. Examples include high quality materials, permanent landscaping, creative and innovative use of light, color, and form; massing which is compatible with the existing streetscape, and thoughtful provisions for such mundance necessities as utilities, trash, security, and ‘eyes on the street’ at all hours. 


Using Containers in architecture is a new and evolving motif that can in theory achieve desired goals, but the highest degree of design experience talent and resources are required to do so with this modality as compared to more conventional development. A well thought out design whether using containers or not adds stability, visual appeal, economic vitality and beauty in façade and landscape treatment.  

Here is an example of a container ‘restaurant’ structure that is in downtown Carlsbad.  In it’s context, I believe this has been a successful installation.  Part of the story is that the container motif helped avoid any excavation on this former gas station occupied parcel with serious ground contamination that prevented excavation.  Landscape consisted of stabilized decomposed granite and artificial turf, with wrought iron fencing.  There are probably other examples of how this design challenge has been ‘pulled off ‘ – along with I’m afraid many examples of attempts which have been less than successful. 


For an example of what would be a visual disaster in a similar urban location, here is a different example of a ‘container art gallery’.  While this project has won design awards – it works only in its suburban setting as a temporary installation space.  In an urban setting it would have been a visual disaster.  The interiors are lovely – but this composition is not so friendly on the exterior.  More here:

Posted via email from Applied Architecture StudioNews