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Shelter after the Disaster: The Alternative Housing Pilot Program

AIA Disaster Assistance Program

R. Kirk O’Brien, AIA, AIA Disaster Assistance Committee member and owner of Aedifice Architecture discusses his participation in FEMA´s Alternative Housing Pilot Program for Gulf Coast states, and the plans of the AIA's Disaster Assistance Program with David Downey CAE, Assoc. AIA, Managing Director, AIA Center for Communities by Design.

Running Time
R. Kirk O’Brien, AIA and David Downey, Assoc. AIA, CAE

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Speaker's Bios

R. Kirk O’Brien, AIA

Principal, Aedifice ideas > architecture

Disaster Assistance Committee
AIA San Diego
President Elect

Kirk is the owner of Aedifice Architectural Consultants in San Diego, California. A firm dedicated to environmentally conscious and sustainable building technology including, multi-family / In-fill residential, affordable and single family housing.

As Government Advocacy Commissioner for the AIA San Diego Chapter, he was appointed to serve as the AIA’s “Fire Response Leader” by the local AIA Chapter president in October 2003 immediately after the Cedar and Paradise fires that destroyed more than 2,500 homes in San Diego County. With a great deal of disaster response experience gained in the following months and the subsequent recovery programs provided by the San Diego chapter in the following year, Kirk was selected to participate in re-writing the California Council of the American Institute of Architects’ Disaster Response Manual. Kirk is also trained and certified in the State of California’s Office of Emergency Services Safety Assessment Program as a Disaster Services Worker/ Building Safety Evaluator.

David Downey, Assoc. AIA, CAE

Managing Director, AIA Center for Communities by Design

David Downey, Managing Director, AIA Center for Communities by Design, joined the AIA national staff in July 2004 charged with establishing the AIA Center for Communities by Design as the premier resource for architects and citizens interested in building healthy, sustainable, safe, and livable communities. Under his direction the Center develops resource tools and education programs, provides design assistance teams to local communities, and leads the AIA disaster response program nation wide. The Center for Communities by Design strives to become the most effective AIA volunteer program for members to develop and demonstrate civic engagement expertise, build their professional network, and contribute to their profession.

David has gained significant experience as primary AIA staff person responsible for maintaining and refining the national component’s disaster response program. David’s experience includes the AIA’s response to the 2005 Southeast Asia Tsunami, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and other response efforts for local flooding and tornados. The Center is currently implementing the AIA’s Disaster Assistance Comprehensive Response System which has been designed to prepare all its members for future disasters and position AIA architects as key resources in the recovery and rebuilding of communities following a disaster.

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