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News - 03.07.24
Woelfling John H New NEWS

John Woelfling elevated to the AIA College of Fellows

In recognition of outstanding accomplishments and architectural excellence, annually the American Institute of Architects (AIA) appoints distinguished members to join the College of Fellows. Only 3% of AIA members attained this distinction.

Dattner Architects is delighted to announce that Principal John Woelfling FAIA has been chosen to join this year’s cohort of AIA Fellows! Out of 96 candidates who were elevated by AIA National, John is one of the 10 members from the AIA New York chapter. John was recognized for his remarkable contributions to the advancement of the architectural profession through his commitment to innovative sustainable design and his continued advocacy for affordable housing.

John’s leadership in large-scale affordable housing has become a national model for addressing the housing crisis through sustainable, community-responsive design. With a commitment to sustainable practices, he has overseen the development of over twenty 100% affordable buildings, comprising more than 3,300 apartments. Notably, he has pioneered the integration of Passive House principles into multi-family affordable housing design, resulting in four of the largest Passive House mixed-use buildings in the United States, totaling 961 affordable apartments, with hundreds more now in design. These projects exemplify his dedication to environmental justice, resident health, and affordability. Moreover, each of these buildings marked the respective clients’ first Passive House project, showcasing John’s innovative approach to sustainable architecture.

“The honor of having arrived at the professional milestone of joining the College of Fellows has clarified for me that a significant part of attaining this honor has been the journey. The self-reflecting process of preparing my application to the AIA N   required that I assess the arc of my career and my impact on the profession.  Some of it rewarding, some of it less so, but always an investment in something that was more than just a “job”. The worsening climate crisis and our City’s, State’s and Country’s affordable housing crisis call for architects to be civically engaged to guide public policy as well as designing environmentally responsible buildings.  My application for Fellowship intertwined three themes that embody the Dattner Architects ethos and summarize my work: Affordable Housing, Leadership through Advocacy, and Innovative Sustainable Design. Architecture is an incredibly rewarding profession that requires patience and collaboration.  The body of work that led to my elevation to the AIA College of Fellows resulted from both my personal and my colleagues’ dedication to civic and essential architecture.” – John Woelfling, FAIA

John has presented his experience successfully applying passive house principles to mid- and high-rise multifamily developments to a variety of audiences across North America including different organizations, professionals, students, and communities. He has led discussions at different events including the AIA National Conference, USGBC’s Greenbuild Conference, and was the keynote speaker at the PHIUS National Conference in Chicago. He was also named as one of Crain’s Notable Leaders in Sustainability last year.

As a board member of the NYS Association for Affordable Housing and of his local community board in Brooklyn, NY, John advocates for community based affordable housing and sustainable design approaches. His “open source” approach to knowledge sharing serves as an inclusive approach to environmental design and sets a national model for integrating affordable housing with sustainable design.

Under John’s leadership, the firm’s affordable housing work integrates sustainable design standards to achieve buildings with superior indoor air quality and energy performance that address environmental inequities and result in positive impacts on communities.

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