Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Design 101: Essential Knowledge for the Non-Architect/Engineer

George Mason University School of Public Policy

3351 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201


4:00 am - 6:00 am



Domain 1: Marketing Research

Domain 2: Marketing Planning

Domain 3: Client and Business Development

Domain 4: Proposals

Domain 5: Promotional Activity

This program will provide a high-level overview of the building design process from the perspective of an architect, structural engineer, and MEP engineer. Our esteemed panel of local architects and engineers will share the basics of architecture and engineering with the audience.

What You'll Learn

The program is geared towards members new to the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry, or for those in construction or other building roles who seek to understand the design process. This program will give attendees further context in their firm. Hand-outs will include a Design Terms to Know Guide. Topics covered in the 90-minute session may include:

  • Overview of the design process
  • Contract types
  • Legal and risk
  • Timeline of design
  • Overview of disciplines
  • Project team
  • Design elements and systems
  • Technology
  • Sustainability

Click here to see who is already registered.


Jen Bottomley, CPSM – Associate Vice President, HGA Architects


Pamela Sams, AIA, LEED AP BD+C – Associate and Southeast Design Realization Leader, Gensler

Larisa Ramich, PE, LEED AP BD+C – Project Director, Cardno

James White, PE, LEED AP – Associate and Senior Mechanical Engineer, GHT Limited

Additional Details

Registration beings at 8; program begins promptly at 8:30

Breakfast will be provided

Metro: Virginia Square/GMU (Orange, Silver)

Parking: Founders Hall parking garage and street parking

CEUs: 1.5

Questions: Alex Miller | amiller@studio39.com | 703.719.6500

What It Costs
  • Member: $50
  • Non-Member: $70
  • Board Member: $30
  • CPSM: $40
  • Student: $25

Event Speakers

Pamela Sams AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Associate and Southeast Design Realization Leader


Pamela is a SEDRL at the Washington, DC office of Gensler and the 2017 Chair for the AIA Building Performance Knowledge Community. She has been a senior project architect on design teams developing and building many innovative, large-scale, and complex projects in the U.S., Africa, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. She was a project leader on the western expansion to Dulles Airport; Oqyana-World First, a multi-use development located on built islands off of the coast of Dubai; and she recently completed the design for a new Major League Baseball stadium and a forensic laboratory. The range of project types has made Pam an expert generalist and she leverages her expertise in all aspects of research, project delivery, and team communication in pushing for beautiful, high-performing, sustainable buildings. She believes that the design process should incorporate data-driven decisions and that research and curiosity are the keys to a fulfilling career. Pam enjoys being outdoors hiking, gardening, and traveling to new places. She is active in her community and is an active member of NOVA Women in Architecture.

Larisa Ramich PE, LEED AP BD+C

Project Director


Larisa Ramich is a project director in the Structural Services Division of Cardno, a global engineering company with 6,000 employees, and has 25 years of experience providing structural engineering services. She collaborates with developers, architects and MEP engineers, and manages teams of project engineers and CAD personnel in the structural analysis and design process, the production of contract documents, and construction administration services. Larisa has managed a variety of projects including mixed-use, commercial office, multi-family residential, hospitality, healthcare, educational, and religious facilities. Her resume includes a two million-sf mixed-use complex at Tysons Corner Center featuring a 21-story office tower and 31-story residential tower atop a parking garage; Washington Gateway, a one million-sf mixed-use complex featuring two office towers (11 and 14 stories) and a 14-story residential tower with a structured plaza above three levels of below-grade parking; The Spectrum in Falls Church, a 570,000-sf mixed-use facility comprised of two seven-story towers atop a structured plaza and three levels of below-grade parking; and the Marriott Courtyard U.S. Capitol in DC, a 160,000-sf hotel. Larisa holds a B.A.E. from The Pennsylvania State University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia, Maryland and DC.

James White LEED AP, PE

Associate and Senior Mechanical Engineer


James White is an associate and senior mechanical engineer/project manager in the Building Systems Studio at GHT Limited Consulting Engineers, a leading provider of MEP design services in the DC area since 1965. He has more than 11 years of experience in mechanical systems design, MEP construction services, commissioning, and project management for a range of clients. He has designed, managed, and performed construction administration services, and commissioned mechanical systems for more than six million sf of office buildings (new construction and renovations), residential buildings, hotels, computer rooms/data centers, commercial food service/kitchens, and conferencing centers. James’ responsibilities have included project management, HVAC system load calculations, energy modeling, equipment selection, specification editing, site surveys, shop drawings review, and project commissioning. James completed a B.S. in mechanical engineering at Virginia Military Institute in 2005. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a Certified Commissioning Agent.