"Spiezle has a long history of professional, community and technical accomplishments," said Jack Purvis, the 2013 president of AIA-NJ. "While its leadership has recently changed, the firm's passionate practice of architecture and its support of its employee-owners and the community have continued, earning it recognition as the 2012 AIA-NJ Firm of the Year."
Spiezle, which was founded nearly 60 years ago, has grown to a 50-person firm that specializes in sectors including primary, secondary and higher education; municipal and government; corporate; and senior living. According to the firm, in addition to great design, its success can be attributed to its transition to a 100 percent employee-owned entity, which has created a culture of empowerment and ownership among team members.
In addition to Spiezle's business endeavors, the firm was recognized for its support of AIA. The firm continues to fund the membership of all of its licensed architects and subsidize those of associate architects, encouraging professional and leadership development. Spiezle also provides flexibility for its employees to be active in the AIA, with such activities including leadership and committee chair positions at the state and local chapter levels, in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Additionally, Spiezle is an active AIA Education Provider, preparing classes for in-house and external attendees to earn AIA continuing education credits.
Building on its commitment to those in the architectural and design professions, the firm also has an active summer internship program with area universities.
On a technical level, the firm recently received the 2012 Historic Preservation Award from the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders for the adaptive reuse of the Farmer's Trust Co. bank building and its rebirth as the Culinary Arts Center for Burlington County College, located in Mount Holly, N.J.
Spiezle is also a leader in sustainable design and has fully integrated it into the practice of the firm. Spiezle's work in sustainability includes projects that have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the second highest designation issued by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable design; net-zero energy projects, which refers to buildings with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions; energy master planning projects; and the design of more than 40 megawatts of solar photovoltaics.
At the community level, Spiezle is a long-time contributor to the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., as well as many local chapters of national charities, not-for-profit groups affiliated with colleges and universities and primary and secondary school club activities. Its employees are active volunteers in their local communities with many serving on charitable and municipal boards and committees.
Other service award winners who were honored at the AIA-NJ gala, included Stephen J. Carlidge, AIA, of Ocean Grove, N.J., who was honored with the "Distinguished Service Award"; Rick Tokarski, AIA, of Brick Township, N.J., who was honored with the "Architect of the Year Award"; April Horvath, AIA, of Ocean Grove, N.J., who was honored with the "Young Architect of the Year Award"; Sarah Wolosin, associate AIA, of Trenton, N.J., who was honored as "Intern Architect of the Year"; and Chanta Jackson, of Long Branch, N.J., who was honored as "Resident of the Year."
About AIA and AIA New Jersey
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the professional organization that helps architects serve the public's needs and builds awareness of the role of architects and architecture in American society. The organization, which was founded in 1857, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., its 300 plus local chapters represent 86,000 licensed architects and associated professionals. AIA New Jersey, based in Trenton, is the local chapter of AIA. In 2000, it celebrated its 100th anniversary. AIA New Jersey has about 2,000 members in six regional sections. For more information, please visit www.aia-nj.org.