AMHERST — Frederick W. Urtz received the 2016 Clinton Sheerr Award for Excellence in New Hampshire Architecture at the American Institute of Architects New Hampshire Chapter (AIANH) Awards ceremony Friday, Jan. 22, at LaBelle Winery in Amherst. 

For more than 35 years Urtz has led the design of notable projects from corner to corner of the state and beyond. His work is distinguished by his unique creativity, commitment to innovation, and passion for improving the lives of others. 

In 1982, Urtz joined Lavallee Brensinger Architects in Manchester and soon took on the position of president, dedicating himself to the firm's Education Design Group. He has led the way for school designs that promote collaborative learning and support both traditional and emerging educational models.

Urtz has led the programming and design of dozens of educational and civic projects, many of which have been recognized regionally and nationally for their programming and design excellence (including 11 AIA New Hampshire Design Awards).  He pushes himself and his co-workers to be creative and to design classrooms, gymnasiums, theaters, dormitories and lecture halls that are stimulating to the students and supportive of educators. 

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1/15/16: The Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center, together called Henderson-Hopkins, is the first new Baltimore public school built in more than 20 years. Envisioned to catalyze the revitalization of East Baltimore, the project integrates innovative educational facilities with community and recreational resources and reflects the neighborhood’s urban fabric. The project resonates as: "Architecture of its Place", "A Learning Laboratory", "Urban Regeneration", and receiving "Recognition".

  • Architect: Rogers Partners
  • Owner: East Baltimore Development, Inc.; Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Read more about this spectacular project at: and at



In December 2015, delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered in Paris, France with a singular goal: to reach a resolution on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in a global effort to curb the effects of climate change.  This massive meeting, otherwise known as the 21st Conference of Parties or COP21, culminated on December 12, 2015 with the approval of an agreement by all countries in attendance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit average global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures.

I realize this agreement is not perfect and critics on both sides of the issue have their disagreements with the outcome; regardless, this agreement marks a major milestone in global efforts to protect the planet we all call home.  One of the biggest takeaways for me is that, as a global citizen, I have to do my part to keep our planet healthy for future generations.

Fortunately, schools in the United States have been making great strides to reduce their carbon footprints well before the Paris Agreement.  In this issue of GreenNotes, you will learn about how two school districts are addressing energy conservation head-on, from using biodiesel and solar energy in New Jersey to opening the first net-zero energy school in Virginia.  You will also read about The Solar Foundation’s Solar Schools initiative and the National Solar Schools Consortium; one woman’s quest to share the benefits of white roofs for schools; and Energy Star’s Low Carbon IT Campaign, which is getting schools to reduce the energy consumed by their IT equipment (while saving money at the same time).

Reducing our energy use is not an easy task, yet it is the small steps we take that allow us to do our part in cutting carbon emissions.  In the end, the choices we make today will be inherited by the next generation.  As adults, we need to do all we can to support our young people and leave the world a better place.  I am reminded of the words spoken by Anna Bell Hines at the 2015 Green Schools National Conference:

“Simply put…the environment is the problem of my generation.  These problems are very much the burden for young people to bear.  It will be the scientists, the engineers, and the activists of my generation that will get us out of these difficult situations or else suffer the consequences for problems that we did not create.  It’s not fair but it’s the way it is.  This is why Green Schools are a necessity. Not an interesting footnote or hippie nonsense.  We need to be proactive by starting with young people.”

Let’s make 2016 a great year for Green Schools!



...."a reminder that empowering designers to consider values in their work while not new, is revolutionary, and has the potential to reclaim the rightful role architects, planners and developers once played as leaders in our communities."

TOM DALLESSIO AICP/PP - The Ford Foundation’s iconic New York City headquarters, designed in 1963 by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, destined for a $190 million renovation. The project which will take about two years, is intended to make their home a “public service facility” with an art gallery, visitor center, assembly space and offices for nonprofit organizations. The new space will be LEED Gold certified... The atrium design and garden terraces designed by Dan Kiley will remain,...but with a new landscape plan by Raymond this space as a place for lessons on sustainability and resiliency.

"By opening the building to the public as a civic space, Ford reminds us all that corporate facilities can and should be, as their website states, “a welcoming and inspiring hub for social good and the courageous people who devote their lives to achieving it.”

Architects, planners and designers everywhere will be watching the Ford Foundation renovations with hope....I expect the design solutions we witness in 2018 will start a discussion and even set the trend for mission-driven renovations for the next half-century.

Read More Detail by Clicking Here about the Ford Foundations Inspirational and Transformational Plan 



Volume 26/Spring 2017 

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Review all Articles & 59 Award Winners:




05.17.2017 - 05.20.2017
AIA-CAE Spring 2017 Conference


7:00 pm 07.08.2017 - 8:00 pm 07.12.2017
SCUP 52nd Annual Conference

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