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Brian Nicholson, senior landscape product specialist at global design and BIM software developer Vectorworks, Inc., has passed the Sustainable SITES Initiative accredited professional exam. Nicholson is among the first group of SITES Accredited Professionals (APs) to pass the exam and receive the resulting designation. First announced at the October 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, the SITES AP exam uses the expertise of leading practitioners to assess a candidate’s competency in sustainable landscape design and development. For landscape professionals who successfully pass the exam, this new designation allows them to exhibit their knowledge and commitment to the profession, promote the value of landscape architecture and educate the public about how SITES can play a role in a more sustainable and healthy environment. The Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) is the first program of its kind to offer a systematic, comprehensive rating system designed to define thoughtful land development and management. SITES aligns land development and management with innovative design—defining what a sustainable site is and, ultimately, elevating the value of landscapes in the built environment. Land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy functioning landscapes. The four overarching goals of the SITES rating system are to create regenerative systems and foster resiliency; ensure future source supply and mitigate climate change; transform the market through design, development and maintenance practices; and enhance human wellbeing and strengthen the community. “It’s an honor to be in the first cohort of landscape professionals to earn this important and distinguished credential,” said Nicholson. “Being a newly minted SITES AP, I’m looking forward to developing tools and workflows within Vectorworks to help streamline SITES documentation on projects for landscape architects.” In addition to earning the SITES AP designation, Nicholson is a professional landscape architect, maintaining licenses in multiple jurisdictions and is an accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP) and LEED accredited professional. He also serves as the ASLA Colorado chapter president, where he develops value-added programs for members and advocates for the chapter at the national level. Since their release, Vectorworks product specialists have worked with users to recognize and facilitate design workflows that adhere to the design and performance standards set forth in LEED and SITES. With Nicholson becoming an accredited professional for both rating systems, those using Vectorworks® Landmark software for their own site design projects will continue to see more SITES supported features and workflows to ensure their project documents meet or exceed these standards. For more information about Sustainable AP, visit http://www.sustainablesites.org/sites-ap.
The crux of global design and BIM software developer Vectorworks, Inc.’s philosophy has always involved leveraging input and implementing product feedback from practicing architects, landscape designers, landscape architects and lighting designers, among other design professionals. To further this commitment, three new industry experts will be joining Vectorworks’ ever-growing product marketing team: Luc Lefebvre, senior architect product specialist, Jim Woodward, senior entertainment product specialist and Brian Nicholson, senior landscape product specialist. Led by Jeremy Powell, senior marketing director at Vectorworks, the broad team of industry experts acts as advocates for customers and the industry relating to the marketing and development of products. They provide one-on-one demonstrations of product capabilities, participate in professional association committees and visit firms in the field as a means to generate current insights for industry-specific tool development, as well as act as fountains of industry knowledge for other internal teams. Regarding the new additions, Powell said, “We are elated to welcome Luc, Jim and Brian to the Vectorworks family. With their diverse backgrounds and histories of excellence and service to the advancement of design within the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries, I’m sure they’ll make an immediate impact as champions of our software. And, as recently practicing designers, they’ll bring additional perspective to our team to ensure our products speak to the needs of designers.” Delve deeper into these new industry experts’ skills, backgrounds and career plans. Luc Lefebvre, OAQ, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Architect Product Specialist at Vectorworks Coming from a family of builders, Lefebvre knew he wanted to study architecture from adolescence. He kick-started his journey at Montreal University, where he received his undergraduate degree in architecture. Since then, he’s enjoyed more than 20 successful years in the business. Most recently, he served as project manager and BIM manager at King + King Architects in Syracuse, NY, where he focused on designing educational facilities and acted as a BIM consultant for both internal employees and other firms. Some of his past projects include Le Moyne College Master Plan and Madden School of Business, SUNY Cortland DeGroat Hall and SUNY Morrisville Mohawk Hall. In his office, Lefebrve was responsible for streamlining building information modeling processes and played an integral part in King + King Architects’ company-wide transition to BIM using Vectorworks Architect. This, in part, was his motivation to work for Vectorworks, as he enjoyed moving his firm from 2D to a 3D BIM workflow. Regarding his shift in careers, Lefebrve said, “I felt like I had just scratched the surface of Vectorworks’ capabilities, and I needed to know more about the software. I wanted to help other people experience that same excitement from learning how to do BIM projects with Vectorworks.” In his new position, he plans to narrow in on the BIM process, as he’s an ardent believer in Vectorworks software as the all-in-one design tool because it eliminates the need for further applications in the total design of a project. To explore Lefebrve’s BIM know-how, register for his upcoming webinar, “The Why and How of BIM Implementation,” on February 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Jim Woodward, Senior Entertainment Specialist at Vectorworks Woodward is another long-time Vectorworks supporter. With more than 35 years of experience in the entertainment design industry, Woodward began touring cross country as a lighting technician as a teenager and never looked back. He later opened his own design company in Boston, ExhibitLogic, with his wife, Shirley Woodward, where they tackled 3D visualization, rendering and modeling for a wide variety of industries, such as concerts, theatrical events, film, television, corporate events, trade shows, museums, architectural firms and retail stores. From spearheading concert-like booth and exhibit designs for the NAB Show, the Comdex convention and the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) to touring with artists like Aerosmith, Neil Diamond and Yes, he’s had an illustrious career that has taken him around the world. Furthermore, he has guest lectured at places such as Boston University and Symphony Hall in Boston, as well as worked on productions such as “The Proposal” and “Ted 2.” While Woodward’s day-to-day was never the same in his career, there was one common thread: a passion for technology. He started out using Vectorworks Spotlight early on in its existence and immediately came to realize it as the go-to design software for entertainment design. As he dove deeper and deeper into the program, he discovered his passion for pushing the technology’s limits and became widely known in the entertainment industry as a Vectorworks expert. Eventually, he began regularly providing training and consulting services with the software. “After I gave my first Vectorworks demo, I was on cloud nine,” said Woodward. “All these years, I’d been under the stage, behind the stage, pretty much anywhere but on center stage. It was my first time in the spotlight, and from there, the rest was history.” With his Vectorworks skills so advanced at this point, it was only logical that this was his next career move. In his new role, he intends to be a liaison to help communicate industry trends back to the team at Vectorworks, as well as help intermediate designers take their drawing skills to the next level. To see Woodward in action, register for the upcoming webinar he’s hosting, “Adapting New Technologies to your Production Design Workflow,” on February 28 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Brian Nicholson, ASLA, PLA, GRP, LEED AP, Senior Landscape Specialist at Vectorworks Growing up in the mountains in southern Colorado, Nicholson was ingrained with an appreciation for nature and the outdoors early in his childhood. Thus, he received an undergraduate degree in landscape horticulture with a concentration in design/construction from Colorado State University. This degree, along with multiple summers of construction experience, prepared him to own and operate an award-winning residential design/build firm in Denver. He later earned a master of landscape architecture at the University of Colorado Denver and began practicing urban design and landscape architecture internationally. After laying the groundwork for his career in landscape architecture, Nicholson quickly discovered his inclination for sustainability. His passion for eco-friendly design shines through in projects from his past 18-plus years of experience in horticulture, landscape architecture and construction administration for firms like studioINSITE, RNL and Wenk Associates. Nicholson has applied his sustainable expertise to a variety of projects, including international community master plans, institutional campuses, municipal buildings, streetscapes and residential homes. For one of his most notable projects, he worked as the lead landscape designer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Research Support Facility, which was designed to be net-zero energy and achieved LEED platinum certification and sustainable SITES gold certification. He also handled the site construction administration for additional projects across 35 acres on NREL’s campus. Currently, Nicholson maintains multiple landscape architect licenses and is an accredited green roof professional and LEED accredited professional. He also serves as the ASLA Colorado chapter president where he develops value-added programs for members and advocates for the chapter at the national level. Regarding his career move, Nicholson said, “Technology is my passion, whether it’s design software or products incorporated in my designs. I’m constantly looking at tools on the leading edge of sustainability, like Vectorworks, so I’ve had my eye on the company for a while.” As a result, when the job opened up, Nicholson said it was a perfect fit for where he wanted to take his career. Nicholson is very experienced with Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp and the Adobe suite from prior roles, and he’s eager to dive into Landmark. His long-term goals are to expand the adoption of Landmark within the landscape architecture, design and urban planning industry.