(Irvine, CA) February 13, 2017 — Rick D’Amato, Principal at LPA Inc., has been elected to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows as the fourth architect to be elevated from the integrated design firm. One of the highest individual achievements that the AIA recognizes, D’Amato joins the less than 3 percent of members to receive this honor.

Working with civic agencies and corporate users in California, D’Amato has devoted his career to furthering the positive effect sustainable design can have on the built environment. With more than 30 years of design experience, and 25 years at LPA, he has accumulated more than 40 AIA design awards and numerous other industry awards.

In his Fellowship nomination letter to the AIA, LPA President Dan Heinfeld states, “Rick’s award-winning work for these most public of projects provides important models of sustainability and how our public facilities can teach users and visitors alike about the importance of place.”

Heinfeld adds, “His rigor and personal commitment to providing the best our profession has to offer for these important institutional places are a powerful testimony to how design can change lives.”

One of D’Amato’s notable projects in his career is the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, California—the first LEED Platinum project in Orange County, California. This project incorporates a simple yet dynamic structural form that is passively heated and cooled, and is also one of the first net-zero projects. Aggressive sustainable design strategies are used as educational tools for the students who interact with the facility. The project earned awards from the AIA California Chapter and Orange County Chapter.

Additionally, D'Amato was integral in the design of the West Hollywood Automated Parking Garage—the first automated parking garage on the West Coast for a municipality. The fully-automated parking structure contains four bays for entry and exit as well as an outdoor community plaza area for community events. The structure provides a clean, environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional parking systems.

Along with his passion for sustainability and pragmatic sense of design, D’Amato has lectured on design-build practices and public library design, sustainable design and progressive office design throughout the country. He currently serves on the board of the AIA Long Beach, South Bay Chapter as well as the Long Beach Memorial Navy Heritage Association.

D’Amato will officially receive his new Fellowship distinction at the AIA’s National conference April 28 in Orlando, Florida.

Humbled by the honor, D’Amato says, “It is truly an honor to be elected to the AIA College of Fellows. This is an organization which I respect and admire and a profession with which I am very proud to be a part. This, however, is an honor that must be shared with the amazing and talented individuals I have worked with throughout the years at LPA. I am continually inspired by their dedication and passion to their work.”  

About LPA
Founded in 1965, LPA has more than 350 employees with offices in San Antonio and Irvine, Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose, California. The firm provides services in architecture, sustainability, planning, interior design, landscape architecture, engineering and graphics. With a proven commitment to integrated sustainable design, LPA designs facilities that span from K-12 schools, colleges and universities to corporate, health care and civic establishments. More than 700 major design awards attest to LPA’s commitment to design excellence. For more information, visit http://www.lpainc.com.

About the College of Fellows
The AIA College of Fellows seeks to stimulate a sharing of interests among Fellows, promote the purposes of the Institute, advance the profession of architecture, mentor young architects and be of ever-increasing service to society. The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. Elevation to Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual but also elevates before the public and the profession those architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

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