Stephanie Vierra of Vierra Design and Education Services spoke on “Natural Stone: A Natural Design Choice.”

NEW YORK, NY - Veronafiere - the trade fair company that owns and manages Marmomacc, a leading international stone exhibition that is held annually in Verona, Italy - collaborated with MAPEI, a leading manufacturer of maintenance and installation products, to host a two-day seminar program that allowed architects to earn LU credits towards their accreditation for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The event was held on November 6 and 7, 2008 in Manhattan.

The architects participating in the program were alumni of previous educational trips, which are sponsored annually by Veronafiere and coincide with Marmomacc each year.

Craig Copeland, AIA, Senior Associate of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in New York, NY, gave a tour of The Visionaire, a luxury residential high-rise in Manhattan that is targeted for LEED-Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The event in New York City began on the afternoon of November 6 at the Guggenheim Museum, where MAPEI welcomed guests for a reception and a continuing education seminar that involved details about the recent restoration of the museum’s exterior. Amanda Thomas Trienens of Integrated Conservation Resources (ICR) - the architectural conservator firm that led the renovation work - gave a detailed explanation of how ICR developed innovative solutions for restoring the Guggenheim exterior surfaces, including identifications of “trouble” zones and repairing, filling, patching and recoating problems. Following the seminar, the participants toured the museum.

The next day, 10 of the Verona event “alumni” participated in a five-hour continuing education program that took place at the Harvard Club of New York, which included seminars on a range of topics that pertain to stone and architecture. Among those on the agenda were: “Natural Stone: A Natural Design Choice,” which was presented by Stephanie Vierra of Vierra Design and Education Services, as well as “General Surface Preparation,” “From ANSI to ISO: Improvements in Performance Evaluation,” and “The Challenges of Installing Large-Format Tile and Stone,” which were all given by Don Miller of MAPEI.

Additionally, a presentation entitled “Enriching Sustainable Architecture with Stone - A Recent Case Study: The Visionaire, New York City,” was led by Craig Copeland, AIA, Senior Associate of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in New York, NY. This session consisted of an on-site visit to the Visionaire, a luxury residential high-rise in Manhattan that was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and is targeted for LEED-Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and was the recent recipient of the 2008 EPA New York City Green Building Competition Grand Prize. During the guided tour, Copeland explained that the building’s exterior stone base and interior stone lobby are considered to be environmental friendly and contributed to the overall green design of the building.

Copeland explained that the Virginia Mist granite used for the building’s exterior base is considered to be environmental friendly and contributed to the overall green design of the building.

“From the beginning, we talked about enhancing a sustainable project with stone,” said Copeland. “The two fundamental reasons why we chose stone were because it has been around a long time and for its beauty.”

Speaking on the specific stones used, the architect explained that Virginia Mist granite, which was used for the exterior base, is considered green because it is a natural material that was quarried within 500 miles of the project site.

The tour presented architects with the opportunity to gain insight into the steps taken during the design process to produce a LEED-certified building as well as observing the final result.

The two-day seminar program concluded with the group gathering for dinner at the historic Bull & Bear in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Overall, the program not only offered educational information, but it also provided a forum for an exchange of ideas between design professionals - offering them an opportunity to learn from each other.

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