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Kirk O'Brien, AIA, CalEMA

Professional Experience:

Kirk O'Brien has been a licensed Architect since 1987 and a long-time member in the American Institute of Architects, and very active in local chapter leadership. He has been in private practice for twenty four years as Principal of Aedifice Ideas>Architecture in San Diego.

Mr. O'Brien focuses primarily on Institutional/ Educational, Commercial, and Multi- and Single Family Residential work. With an interest in architectural history, he also worked part time as adjunct professor at both the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and The New School of Architecture in San Diego, California.

As a design architect, he has designed most every building type and tenant improvement, and has drafted and overseen production of construction documents for hundreds of projects.  As construction manager, has not only worked on his own firms projects, but consulted with other architectural firms and construction companies to assure adherence to design intent and facilitate construction phase continuity.

Mr. Obrien has substantial experience as an architectural forensic witness, and he routinely consults as a peer/plan review specialist, assisting in waterproofing quality assurance and providing construction phase inspections and window testing.

With a great deal of disaster response experience gained in the 2003 and 2007 San Diego County Wildfires crafting the subsequent recovery programs provided by the San Diego chapter in the following years, selected to participate in the re-writing of the American Institute of Architects California Council Disaster Response Manual, was then appointed for a three-year term on the AIA National Disaster Assistance Committee, which was in the process of developing a national response program for local and regional components of the AIA.

Trained and Certified in the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) “Safety Assessment Program” as a Disaster Services Worker/ Building Safety Evaluator.  Deployed by the State of California to El Centro in 2010 after the Easter Earthquake to assess building and other facility damage

Licenses / Certifications:

  • State of California, Licensed Architect
  • Certification - State of California Emergency Management Agency's Safety Assessment Program, Disaster Service Worker/Building Safety Evaluator


  • University of Idaho
    • Bachelor of Architecture

Associations / Organizations:

  • American Institute of Architects
    • AIA National Disaster Assistance Committee - Appointed Member
    • San Diego Chapter Past President
    • San Diego Chapter Architects Government Advocacy Committee - Member
  • City of San Diego
    • San Diego City Council Land Use and Housing Subcomimittee "Technical Advisory Committee" - Appointed Member / Chairman
    • City of San Diego Land Development Code Monitoring Team - Appointed Member
    • Mayor's Naval Training Center Citizen's Implementation Advisory Committee - Appointed Member
    • City of San Diego North Bay Redevelopment Project Area Committee - Appointed Member

Areas of Expertise:

  • Architecture
  • Building Envelope
  • CalEMA
  • Waterproofing Site Inspections
  • Plan Reviews
  • Building Safety Evaluation

Recent Articles:

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