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Code Mode | Code Flexibility (Alternative Code Approaches)

This is the first session in the 2024 Code Mode Series presented by AIA Seattle’s Code Committee.

Join us for an insightful seminar on the International Building Code and Fire Code, delving into innovative solutions for scenarios not explicitly covered by the codes or situations where strict compliance is challenging. Our experts will guide you through the avenues available, such as code modifications, alternative materials and methods, and the use of engineering reports or judgements.

In the second half of the seminar, we’ll shift our focus to real-world case studies, illustrating the practical application of these alternative approaches. The program will conclude with a dynamic panel featuring representatives from authorities having jurisdiction, including Bellevue and Seattle. Gain valuable insights into how different jurisdictions navigate and implement these provisions.

Join us online on March 19 and March 20, 2024 (12-2pm each day) for Code Mode | Code Flexibility (Alternative Code Approaches). Register below and look for information regarding online event access in your confirmation email.

Registration Deadline: Monday, March 18, 5:00pm PT.

This is a 2-day program. Participants must attend the live webinars both days in order to receive continuing education credit or a certificate of completion. No partial credit will be awarded. All registration and credit questions can be directed to Andrea Aguilera.


Tuesday, March 19, 2024 | 12:00 – 2:00pm PT | Zoom Webinar

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 | 12:00 – 2:00pm PT | Zoom Webinar

Click here for schedule

Click here for attendee resources




*All sessions and speakers are subject to change.


Includes continuing education credit (4 LU | HSW)

$104.00 $120.00 AIA Member/Corporate Allied Partner (CAP)/Allied Member
$104.00 $120. 00 Government
$52.00 $60.00 Associate Member
$204.00 $235.00  Non-Member
Free Student/Emeritus

Registration has closed

Want to learn more about the member ticket rate and other benefits associated with membership? Click here. Want to learn more about our program pricing and the other major education programs we offer? Click here.

Early Bird Deadline: Monday, March 4, 2024. After this time, the price increases 15%.
Registration Deadline: Monday, March 18, 5:00pm PT.

Reduced rate options are available. Please submit the Continuing Education Scholarship / Reduced Rate Request form via email by Monday, March 4, 5:00PM PT.


Moderator: Cat Heard AIA, NCARB, ICC Accessibility Inspector, MG2 | Cat is an architect with MG2 specializing in technical detailing, accessibility, and code review. She completed a research grant to study ‘Bias in the Building Codes’ in 2020 and continues to hone her research and code skills. Outside her day-to-day work, she volunteers as a licensing advisor, speaker, and committee member with NCARB and is passionate about helping candidates navigate the licensure process.”



Amedeo Gallucci, P.E, Bend Office Principal and Fire Protection Engineer, Jensen Hughes | Amedeo has nearly a decade of experience in outdoor fire management as well as fire and life safety regulations for the built environment. Amedeo is skilled in fire and life safety reviews, fire protection system design, fire resistive construction requirements, engineering judgements, hazardous material use and storage requirements, smoke control system design, computational fluid dynamics, process equipment and egress analysis. He also manages large hazardous materials inventory and projects that require additional support and documentation for clients R&D laboratories and semiconductor facilities. His technical expertise in multiple disciplines provides comprehensive design solutions that mitigate costs and provide a higher standard of safety.

Andy Lianto, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Jensen Hughes | Andy has over thirteen years of experience providing fire protection and life safety code consulting on complex engineering projects by identifying critical code issues and implementing innovative solutions. His experience also includes performance-based designs and modeling, smoke control system designs, project management and site inspections. His projects include commercial real estate, residential, aviation, transportation and industrial of both new and existing buildings.


Mark Chubb, Fire Protection Engineer | Mark Chubb is a former AIA Seattle Code Committee co-chair and current member the AIA Seattle board of directors. He formerly chaired the board of directors of the Institution of Fire Engineers and served as the Institution’s technical director. Over a career spanning more than 40 years, Mark as worked as both a consulting engineer and code official. He participated in the development of the International Codes as a staff member for one of the legacy model code groups. He also has extensive experience working with performance-based codes in Australia and New Zealand. Mark will address code flexibility from the perspective of code officials or authorities having jurisdiction.

Walker Donuji, Market Leader / Senior Consultant, Jensen Hughes | Walker has over two decades of first-hand experience ensuring fire safety compliance in transportation, civic/government, assembly, commercial real estate, residential, medical and research buildings. His current responsibilities include project management and quality review, fire protection and life safety consultation, building/fire code interpretation and development, smoke control system consulting, and performance-based design strategies




Ardel Jala, P.E,  Building Official, Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections | Ardel is Building Official for Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.  She is responsible for code development, technical policy and enforcement of Seattle Construction Codes. Ardel actively participates in the state and national code development process with the WA Association of Building Officials Technical Code Development Committee.  She also serves on the BOMA Technical Code Committee and as an alternate to the NFPA 909 Standard Committee.  Prior to joining the city, Ardel worked as a structural engineer for 15 years designing seismic upgrades for a variety of historic building projects in Seattle. Ardel enjoys dining out and traveling with family, being prep cook for her husband’s cooking and planning the next family adventure.

Chris Seaman, PE, Commercial Building Review Supervisor, City of Tacoma | Chris is a licensed professional engineer endorsed in fire protection and currently serves as the acting building official for the City of Tacoma. Prior to Chris’s current role, he accumulated 9 years of experience in plan review, having worked for both Seattle Fire and Tacoma Fire. Before transitioning to the regulatory side of the industry, Chris held the position of project manager for a fire sprinkler contractor.



Crystal Kolke, CBO, Kolke Consulting Group, Inc. | Crystal Kolke is the President of Kolke Consulting Group, and she is a Certified Building Official and Plans Examiner through ICC. Crystal graduated from UW in architecture, worked for several structural engineering firms in Seattle, then started her own consulting firm 30 years ago. She utilizes her expertise in fire- and life-safety, structural, accessibility, and energy codes to support local jurisdictions as a contract building official and plans examiner. Crystal aids architects by drafting code analyses to help them tackle complex code issues. She also assists other building officials with her technical experience in making code interpretations and considering alternate means and methods proposals. Currently, Crystal is the contract building official for the City of Newcastle, a position she has held for 15 years. When Crystal does not have her nose in a code book, you can find her cooking, hiking, wine tasting, or working remotely in her travel trailer.

Ryan Burgess, Fire Marshal, Shoreline Fire Department | Ryan Burgess is currently the Fire Marshal for the Shoreline Fire Department. He previously served as a deputy Fire Marshal for three years and spent an additional three years as a line firefighter. Ryan commenced his career in the fire service in 2007 as a volunteer firefighter with the Arlington Fire Department, where he devoted almost seven years. In his pursuit of a full-time role in the fire service, Ryan secured a position at the Boeing Fire Department, accumulating almost two years of experience before being hired at Shoreline Fire. Born and raised in Kirkland, he currently resides on the outskirts of the city of Everett with his wife and two boys.

Nate Tilson, CBO, Building Supervisor, City of Bellevue | Nate Tilson is a building plan review supervisor at the City of Bellevue. In his eight years with the City, he has worked on the development of city codes, code training for staff, code interpretation and drafting city policies. He is an active member of the Training committee for MyBuildingPermit.com. which provides training on construction codes. In his time off, he enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and greyhound.



*All sessions and speakers are subject to changes.


  • Identify alternative code approach mechanisms (code modifications, engineering judgments, etc.) available within the Building and Fire Codes, including state and  local amendments.
  • Recall the tools available and assess whether an alternate approach may be appropriate.
  • Apply alternative code approach options for various project types and applications.
  • Initiate discussion of potential alternative approaches with authorities having jurisdiction and engage with code consultants or engineering specialists.


WoodWorks – Wood Products Council | Hargis EngineersJensen Hughes

 Pella Windows & Doors of Western Washington


Special thanks to the Code Committee for planning this session!

Ana Parke, AIA
Leonard Ruff, AIA

Program, Registration, or Credit Questions?
Contact Andrea Aguilera, Senior Programs Coordinator at AIA Seattle

Sponsorship Questions?
Contact Zee Mars, Development Manager at AIA Seattle


March 19 @ 12:00 pm
March 20 @ 2:00 pm
Free – $204
Class Credit


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938