In This Issue                                                                                                                              Issue 2 Winter 2009
greenpin.gif (614 bytes)JRS Lifetime Achievement greenpin.gif (614 bytes)Re-Serve greenpin.gif (614 bytes)BIM

John R. Sorrenti
Bestowed with
Achievement Award

JRS in the News

Interior Design Magazine /Healthcare Giants                                                        JRS Architect, P.C. again ranks among nation's top interior design firms serving the healthcare industry.         November 2008

New York Real Estate Journal / Women in Real Estate               Kathy O'Malley of JRS Architect discusses her contributions in the Real Estate industry.                               November 25, 2008

New Jersey Banker Magazine  “Planet Citizenry Starts with Thoughtfulness".                        Winter 2009


 Projects of JRS

Overview of several current projects across industries:

Bethpage Federal Credit Union - New Branches - Roosevelt, NY and Westbury, NY    Retail/Financial

Cablevision - Infrastructure Upgrades

Great South Bay LLC - Healthcare

Damianos Realty Group Corporate

Neurological Associates  Healthcare

John R. Sorrenti, FAIA, founder and President of JRS Architect, P.C. was presented with the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Institute of Architects Long Island Chapter - its highest award.

The award, which honors an architectural firm or individual architect for outstanding achievement for over 20 years, was presented on November 5, 2008 to John Sorrenti at the chapter’s 44th Annual Archi Awards, held at the Chateau Briand in Carle Place, N.Y


“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Sorrenti said. “It is a testament to the fine work that we do here on Long Island – and elsewhere – and to the outstanding architecture that is being created by the many firms in our region.”

John Sorrenti is a nationally recognized industry leader. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and national chair of the Fellows Region Representatives, he is currently Vice Chair of the New York State Board of Architecture and also a Chair of the Committee on Professional Development of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is also Treasurer of NCARB’s Region Two.

John has been president of the Long Island Chapter and the New York

State AIA as well as Vice President of the National AIA. He also founded the Long Island East End Chapter of AIA in 1989; which today is the 115-member Peconic Chapter.

Sorrenti often is consulted by his peers on subjects that include building safety, ADA conformity, project delivery methods and technology solutions. In 1991, on behalf of the AIA, Sorrenti helped form the guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act and in 1993, assisted with the New York City ADA code.

For the past 10 years, Sorrenti has been a commissioner for the Town of North Hempstead Historic Preservation Commission.

The First National Bank of Long Island – New Branches - Bayville, NY and Massapequa, NY   Retail/Financial

Recycle + Conserve =   ReServe

Wachovia Securities – Corporate

In an industry that is continuously looking for ways to offer sustainable solutions to its clients, JRS Architect, P.C. feels that as a building design firm, it should set the example. In August 2008, JRS established a recycling/conservation committee in order to limit the waste that is typically generated within each of the three office locations as well as conserve energy, natural resources and consequently reduce overhead costs. 

As a result, the ReServe program was launched.  Michael A. Sciara, AIA from the Long Island office, Olivia Parker, Administrative Assistant from the New York City location and Nicole Jui, LEED AP, Junior Project Manager from the New Jersey office organized a contest to retrieve creative and practical solutions from the JRS Team.                                                                   

ReServe believed from its inception that in order for this campaign to be a success, it needed to engage the employees of the firm in its creation.  By having a vested interest in its efforts to reduce, recycle and conserve, a high participation rate in the program was documented.  The winning ideas were immediately implemented and acknowledgment prizes were awarded.

Since the program’s commencement, all three offices contribute to their community’s recycling programs.  Other initiatives performed include replacing the energy consuming incandescent lighting throughout the offices to energy efficient compact-fluorescent lamps; taking advantage of today’s technology by having more videoconference and WebEx meetings; carpooling to  other offices when feasible or taking mass transit. To reduce paper waste JRS Architect, P.Cposts employee manuals and minutes of office meetings online, reuses packing materials and office supplies, and prints double sided copies when at all possible.

JRS Architect, P.C. has also been returning carpet and fabric samples to manufacturers for their reuse/recycle programs.  In addition JRS has been donating those samples not included in reuse/recycle programs to New York Institute of Technology's Interior Design Department Sample Library for student's use and other organizations needing samples for their programs ie: Our Lady of Mercy Academy Art Dept and an Alzheimer’s Arts and Crafts program.

ReServe  momentum is building at JRS as the firm is committed to this effort and is researching the feasibility of implementing most of the 100 plus suggestions received. 

People of JRS

Congratulations to Jason DeGiovine, AIA, Nicholas Williamson and Eric Romanyszyn who  have earned LEED accreditation. This certification recognizes those who have completed the necessary training, education and testing to apply sustainable architecture standards to their designs.


We are proud to acknowledge and congratulate Michael Sciara on his AIA status. In addition, he has recently become the proud father of Brenden Mark Sciara.


Congratulations to Olivia Parker, Administrative Assistant, who has been elected Recording Secretary of the NY Chapter of Society for Design Administration for this year.


JRS Joins the BIM Revolution

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a transformational technology that uses real-time, three-dimensional modeling software to construct a building virtually before it is built actually.  Similar to the change about to occur in the broadcast industry, BIM represents the move from analog to digital design and construction.    Computer Aided Design (CAD) replaced hand drawing but did not substantially change the process or the way information was presented.  BIM is "High Definition" design that integrates and displays every aspect of a building.

As a simulation of architecture, the information contained in the model is “intelligent”.  For example, a door is a digital object that’s “aware” of its unique characteristics as well as its spatial and temporal relationships with other objects.  This and any other building component can be viewed, analyzed, and manipulated in a variety of ways until the perfect design solution is found.

Although BIM is young in its development and its full potential has yet to be realized, JRS Architect, P.C. has joined a vanguard of pioneering firms beginning to implement this groundbreaking methodology on select projects.                             

JRS has also launched an educational program to introduce BIM concepts to clients, vendors, real estate professionals, or anyone else interested in seeing how architecture will be practiced in the next 5 to 10 years.  (Learn how to arrange for a BIM demonstration at the conclusion of this article.)    

The Beginning

JRS began its evolution to BIM in 2006 by adopting Revit Architecture software as the key platform supporting its BIM project delivery approach.  JRS designers started exploring Revit experimentally by creating study models for portions of actual projects then transferring these to AutoCAD for the usual way of producing construction documents.

Results from these early trial runs included the elimination of many repetitive tasks, the ability to quickly make changes to major design elements, and the easy coordination of documents.  Encouraged with these findings and with the enthusiastic support of the design team, JRS committed to a formal Revit/BIM training in 2008.  The week-long intensive training session conducted by a technical education company was attended by professional staff from the three JRS offices and resulted in the certification of all participants.

JRS delivered its first complete project utilizing BIM in 2008.  The requirement was an interior renovation for a financial industry client and was handled from schematics and construction documents through to the actual construction with BIM methodology.  The project was an unqualified success and JRS has recently commenced its second BIM assignment with another client that will involve the roll out of many new locations.

The Benefits of BIM

As one of a relative handful of architectural firms across the country offering clients the choice of BIM, JRS recognizes the need to educate building owners, tenants, and the public in general to the realistic benefits made possible with this technology.    

To kick off the campaign, W. C. Jack Miller, JRS’ V.P. of Business Development, and Steve Stobbe, Project Manager, collaborated to produce a 30-minute computerized tutorial that takes an audience through the core elements of BIM in a visually dynamic way.                       

Starting with an introductory overview, the program addresses key BIM value drivers then moves on to a presentation that demonstrates the power of BIM in manipulating various components of a virtual structure.  A summary of BIM investments vs. benefits, relating to the design industry and to clients, rounds out the program.  Audience interaction is encouraged and early presentations have produced lively Q & A sessions.

As the JRS team continues working with BIM a number of advantages to digitally managing the design process are becoming apparent.  These include:

  • Greater Client Involvement in Decision Making - It’s often difficult for non-technical clients to visualize and interpret 2-D drawings.  A 3-D view lets an owner take a virtual tour of a building with 360-degree rotating views; this in turn clarifies design intent and allows for informed on-the-fly changes.  The client can be more proactive, decisions will come earlier, and change orders can be greatly reduced or eliminated.   

  • Catching Costly Errors Before Construction – Traditionally, construction document coordination has been a painstaking process of comparing several 2-D views of the project to make sure that they represented it consistently and to make sure that the elements of the building didn’t conflict with each other.  Given the considerable number of parts that make up a building, this process has a large potential for error.  Mistakes in design are easy to make and difficult to correct later on.  These can be duplicated items such as beams and columns in the same space, ductwork running into structural members, or errors in floor planning.  At its basic level BIM will automatically locate and report any mistakes made during the modeling process, saving both time and money.

  • Higher Quality, Data Rich Design – As a powerful graphic and data tool BIM allows for more complexity in design than ordinary drawing can achieve.  Unlike 2-D drawings the optimized BIM version dramatically increases the quality of design which also includes designing for budget, energy efficiency, and maintenance considerations.  BIM versions can contain detailed object information including model, serial numbers, warranties, price points, delivery schedules and more.  This layering of information into the design is essentially limited only by the imagination of the architect and building owner. 

  • BIM for Green Design – As adoption of sustainable design standards continues to grow BIM will facilitate the streamlining of building-performance simulations especially with regard to energy analysis.  Until now, setting up and maintaining an energy model for a building was a time consuming and expensive proposition.  With BIM the virtual building can be studied for weather and usage patterns, heating and cooling loads, and general energy consumption.  For clients looking to incorporate some level of sustainability in their projects, BIM will make this an approachable, cost effective reality.  As green building characteristics are built into the building model elements from the beginning, LEED and other sustainability ratings can be evaluated early in the design process.

  • Enhanced Collaboration - From the conceptual phase to construction documents and schedules, BIM technology gives  architects, interior designers, engineers, contractors and clients a clear running vision of their projects.  Information is up-to-date and accessible to all the teams in an integrated digital framework.  Progress can be monitored without having to travel to the actual site. 

These are just a few of the benefits being realized now with BIM, and since the technology is still being shaped, further streamlining and  optimizing of the building process can be anticipated.

Seeing Is Understanding


If the preceding has sparked your interest in BIM and you’d like to take the next step and experience this approach in action, JRS will be delighted to arrange to share its computer tutorial in your office or in one of its locations.  To schedule a session for a group or even one or two people simply contact Jack Miller in the Princeton office at 609-688-9100 Ext. 204.    


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