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March 25th, 2014_The Change Initiative

The Change Initiative- LEED Platinum Story, from concept to delivery 

The Change Initiative's flagship showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road is one of the most sustainable building in the world. The LEED CI Platinum certification was awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2013 having achieved a colossal 107 points out of a maximum of 110 on the LEED green building sustainability guidelines, the highest ever for the said rating system.

In this 1 hour interactive sessions, participants will workshop the 7 principles of green building design under LEED CI; Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority. We will then discuss the challenges and opportunities that completing the certification presented. Lastly, participants will participate in a led building tour to explore the green building solutions that support the certification.

Learning Objectives:

1) Become familiar with the definition of Sustainability in a general context and how it relates to green building certifications
2)  Gain an understanding of the 7 credit categories under LEED for Commercial Interiors v2009 
3) Explore the opportunities and challenges that came along with achieving the highest ever LEED CI rating
4) Learn about the practical application of LEED design principles in the UAE including building solutions and technology

When+ Where: March 25th, 2014 7-8 p.m. ( people can gather earlier at the Cafe)

The Change Initiative Address:

Al Barsha 1 (Inbetween Ibis Hotel & Hacker Kitchen/Wish Lounge building)

From Abu Dhabi, Take Exit 36 / From Dubai Take the Mall of The Emirates exit into Al Barsha towards Sharaf DG Metro station. 



March 12, 2014 Riyadh Event: Archimedia

A Practical Guide to Incorporating Technology into your Next Project

When + Where:

March 12, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

Archimedia Riyadh Showroom

211 Prince Mohammed Ibn Abdulaziz (Tahleya) St., Deghaither center, Store 4

Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

This event is registered for 2 AIA Learning Units


Technology is everywhere—be prepared to meet your clients’ growing needs and demands! Participants will be able to identify areas where technology impacts design and discuss such key areas such as value to the client, benefits of properly planned for and installed components, key elements, budgeting, best practices, and common misconceptions. Attendees will leave with an in-depth knowledge of the types of technologies that can be installed into residential projects and the proper infrastructure that is needed to support these complex systems, as well as being able to incorporate essential timelines needed for engaging an electronic systems professional in the design and build process.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify five areas of home technology to include infrastructure, media systems, distributed music, lighting control, and integration
  • Within each module:
  1. Recognize the value
  2. Define key benefits
  3. Identify glossary of key elements
  4. Create checklist of best practices
  5. Establish and dispel common misconceptions
  • Establish budgeting techniques
  • Recognize the essential timeline for engaging an electronic systems professional in the design and build process


9-12 March The Big 5 Saudi - Jeddah

big 5 saudi

  • ·         Name of Exhibition – The Big 5 Saudi
  • ·         Dates – 9 - 12 March 2014
  • ·         Timings – 4 – 10pm
  • ·         Venue -  Jeddah Centre for Forum and events
  • ·         Ticket Price – FREE online registration, visit
  • ·         Organizer by: M.I.C.E Arabia, Co-organised by: dmg events (Both names must be included)
  • ·         Contact Number - +971 4 438 0355 
  • ·         Email:
  • ·         Profile –

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's largest gathering for construction products and services returns from 9 - 12 March 2014. The Big 5 Saudi has doubled in size and attracted 10,006 visitors from 54 countries, a 10 % increasing from 2013.

Some of the popular features returning in 2014 include the sell-out Concrete Repair Workshop, with already world-renowned experts, and the LEED Workshops on sustainable building concepts. Also returning is the Concrete Zone, which last year showcased over 60 international and Gulf exhibitors vast range of products from construction chemicals to block-making machinery.

New to The Big 5 Saudi will be the dedicated PMV Zone dedicated to plant, machinery and vehicles. This will include a wide spectrum of products from earth-moving equipment, truck mixers, tower cranes and lifting equipment.

The Big 5 Saudi has been running the prestigious Platinum Club. This invite-only group brings together key contractors from around the globe.

For more information, please visit


25 Feb: Continuing Education Seminar



Event Date: February 25th, 2014

Time: 7 p.m.



The seminar will analyze how key risks in traditional “build-only” construction projects are dealt with under one of the more commonly-used standard forms in the Middle East, the FIDIC Red Book, and will then go on to compare how each of these risks is dealt with in the AIA 102/201 form of building contract.

The key areas and risks that the seminar will seek to address include termination, payment, delay, variations, design risk, site conditions, taking-over, force majeure and insurance. The seminar will also cover the dispute resolution clause the bond/guarantee package.

The seminar will also discuss market practice in the Middle East and suggest areas in both contracts where the parties will seek to make amendments to the standard form.

The Poltrona Frau Design Center- Abu Dhabi Address: Al khalidiya area, Corniche road, Al Sahel tower (same building as Al Hilal bank) on the ground floor.

Presented by:

Norton Rose Fulbright (Middle East) LLP

David Johnston | Associate

Solicitor, qualified in Scotland


Paret Elevated to FAIA

Doha – January 31  – The 2014 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) elevated Thierry Paret to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession.

Thierry Paret will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the 2014 National AIA Convention and Design Exposition in Chicago.

The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.  Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

2014 Fellows

Out of a total AIA membership of over 83,000, there are fewer than 3,100 distinguished with the honor of fellowship and honorary fellowship. The elevation to fellowship is conferred on architects with at least 10 years of membership in the AIA in one or more of the following nomination categories:

1. Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession

2. Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training and practice

3. Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA and other related professional organizations

4. Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment

5. Made the profession of ever-increasing service to society


Thierry Paret is an American architect who was both the founder and first President of the AIA Middle East Chapter from 2010 to 2012. He currently is the Treasurer and Director of the AIA International Region, the body responsible for the American Institute of Architects International affairs.  He has over 23 years of architectural experience with 10 of those spent in Europe and the Middle East. Thierry has served on AIA National’s Membership Committee (2012 -2013) and previously served on AIA National’s Community Committee.

Thierry received his Bachelor of Architecture from the renowned Pratt Institute in New York City. He is a registered architect in the States of New York, Nevada and the Republic of Ireland. He has extensive international experience and is well known in the Middle East. He has designed and worked on high profile projects in New York, Ireland, Abu Dhabi and Dubai prior to moving to Qatar. He has worked with AIA Award winning New York firms Wank Adams Slavin, Ralph Applebaum Associates and HDR. His work includes a broad range of public, private and corporate projects such as National Health Laboratories New York headquarters, the Jurassic Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, offices for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Whilst living in Ireland he led the design on projects for Genzyme, Johnson & Johnson, University County Cork, PM Group, Enable Ireland and Amgen’s European Headquarters. Thierry has also worked on large educational, corporate headquarters and high end residential master plan projects in the UAE.  He currently is a Design Advisor for the government of Qatar working on a wide range of initiatives and policies effecting projects throughout the country.