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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
     Monthly Newsletter
July 2009
In This Issue


Topic of the Month:
Designing a College Campus

Architectural Firm of the Month: MDA Johnson Favaro

Helpful Links for Architects

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Dev Stone St. Johns NYC Welcome to the July issue of our newsletter, which we hope you will enjoy! We are always interested to hear about architects and their projects, so if you have something you would like to share, please contact us and tell us about it. Your project could be featured in one of our upcoming issues, which goes out to architects and building industry professionals across the country. And who are we? Our company mines and manufactures Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products. The stone has a consistent pale blue-gray hue that has been used in residential, institutional and commercial projects across the country. Click here to find out more.

Architectural Firm of the Month: MDA Johnson Favaro

JF_Chaffey_1 Located in Culver City, California, MDA Johnson Favaro was established in 1989 as a limited liability partnership and has successfully completed scores of plans and buildings for higher education, local governments, public agencies, private sector development companies and community organizations in Southern California.
Services include planning, programming, feasibility studies, facilities assessment, cost planning, conceptual design, building design, document production and construction administration.

The firm's philosophy is described as: Disciplined and effective outreach, an emphasis on visualization and clarity in presentation, proactive outreach with regulatory agencies, collaborative relationship with Project Management, rigorous cost and schedule control, in-house mastery of all technical disciplines, management of the Subconsultant Team, respect for the integrity of the environment as a whole, and simple, graceful, dignified and enduring architecture.

MDA Johnson Favaro has received five AIA Design Awards from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, one of the most competitive award programs in the country.
For more information:

Topic of the Month: Designing a College Campus
Jim Favaro, Principal Architect at MDA Johnson Favaro was kind enough to speak with us about the newly completed Inaugural Building at Chaffey College's Chino Campus in Southern California.

Favaro explains, "College Park is a Master Planned community that is 710 acres within which the 100-acre Chaffey College Campus sits. The campus itself is 100 acres and it will ultimately serve 15,000 students. It will be phased in over time and the main instruction building is the first building to be built on the campus." The new campus is being established in the city of Chino to respond to the demands of the growing population of this part of the San Gabriel Valley, one of the fastest growing communities in the United States.

According to the firm's web site, "The master plan consists of three main parts: 1) The Phase I Plan that will stipulate the buildings, landscape and open space, parking and infrastructure that will be constructed within the $44M afforded the College through the Proposition L Bond Measure passed in 2002; 2) the five-year plan that will layout those facilities to be constructed within the capital outlay plan submitted to the State Chancellor's Office and 3) the 30-year plan that will regulate the development of the College to its full 15,000 student capacity. They're at about 5,000 students now and are already in need of more buildings."

Phase one of the campus plan includes the construction of a Health Sciences Building, a Community Center, and Culinary Arts and Fashion Design Instructional Facilities.

When asked what kinds of things are necessary to take into consideration when designing an educational building, Favaro explains, "For us, we look at what we call both external and internal forces, most important was the creation of the sense of the college campus and how you shape the building from the outside and from the inside. It was to create as flexible a floor plan as possible to allow the college to adapt with time, also to make sure there is lots of natural daylight, accommodation for science labs, classrooms, offices, and a variety of program types."

"This is in the San Gabriel Valley which is a hot, dry place most of the year so an appropriate kind of architecture there would be thick walled, lightly colored material, and natural materials that are appropriate to the geography and climate of the region. We choose materials that also convey what most Americans understand to be the look of a college campus. There are three principle materials: brick, white plaster which is important when there's lots of sun because it reflects heat, and then there's a rough hewn natural buff colored stone. In addition to that, there are areas where there is wood paneling and black Spanish tile. On the floors there is some marble and a mixture of ceramic and porcelain tiles, as well as stone tiles."

The challenges of designing a college campus are many. "You have to consider really forming things, where the buildings go, and how you can figure open space, which is what most people understand a campus to be. It's the open space that is the most important thing before the configuration of the buildings. Then we have to accommodate the automobile which in suburban Southern California is critical. Parking is a big deal and it consumes a lot of space, so you have to pay attention to that so it doesn't wreck the quality of the campus itself. The other thing we must consider is outdoor recreation facilities such as hard courts, fields, parks, and a stadium. Those things require a lot of space, so you have to pay attention to them early in the process to make sure they're placed where they need to be placed and have proper access but don't disturb that organization at the heart of the campus itself. This site happened to be a green field site, so there was a lot of work that we had to attend to in order to prepare, such bringing utilities to the site and most importantly the distribution of storm water runoff from the site, which is a big deal in Southern California. We actually had to create a whole detention pond, basically a reservoir at the lower end of the site for storm water to sit so that it doesn't overload the system, it just sits there and they can control how it exits into the system. It is very complicated."

Favaro talked about the sustainability strategy, which he describes as being "a little bit different from the typical thing that's going on today, which I would describe as bells and whistles oriented approach. Ours is a more integrated approach. For example, investing in creating thick walls, areas that are three feet deep that actually insulate the building and shade the windows so the architecture is a sustainable strategy itself that will cut down on the cooling requirements of the building, as opposed to what might typically be a glass building that requires thermal storage systems. Reducing the need for cooling through the architecture itself is one thing you can learn from tradition. If you go into a traditional building in Southern California, it typically has thick walls, and it's usually cool in the summer months just because of the architecture."

In 1985 Jim received the Rome Prize in Architecture and was in residence at the American Academy in Rome. When asked if experiences such as these influence his personal sense of design, he responded, "I'm sure they do, but I couldn't really identify in any direct way. Both my partner and I are unique in our generation in that we do not automatically discount five-thousand years of architectural tradition that came before us. We are curious about every period of architecture and feel there are lessons to be learned and even things to emulate what most people would consider traditional or old fashioned architecture. We feel there are always positive things to be learned from looking at those things and I'm sure that makes its way into our work."

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community
The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit:

AIA's "Navigating the Economy" Website

The AIA has created a website called Navigating the Economy which offers helpful links to articles and resources for architects during these challenging economic times. Some of the resources listed include: Available Project Listings, Design Opportunities for the Federal Government, a Speaker's Registry, various podcasts and webcasts regarding the state of the economy, Tax Breaks for architects, and numerous articles with suggestions on how to not only survive, but build your business during an economic downturn. Please visit:

American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association representing   landscape architects. Beginning with 11 original members, ASLA has grown to more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 68 countries around the world. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. Visit:

Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit:


ArchitectTV offers video news and industry insights into market intelligence, business and technology solutions, and more for industry professionals looking to get the latest information from the experts at Architect magazine and Hanley Wood. View the latest videos from ArchitectTV by clicking here:

Architectural Record Continuing Education Center
Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit:

Architects: Questions About Stone Applications?

In our effort to create a newsletter that is of interest to you - architects, designers and other building industry professionals - we would like to know if you have any questions regarding any stone-related topics. If so, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with the answer in one of our newsletters.

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.

Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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