Lifetime achievement award

At the annual summer conference of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) on August 3, 2023, Thomas M. Schmelter, President of Home Designing Service, Ltd. in Windsor, CT was inducted into the AIBD College of Fellows. Induction to the College of Fellows is one of the highest honors bestowed by AIBD. It is tantamount to a lifetime achievement award, and Thomas was one of only two individuals from the entire worldwide organization to receive this prestigious honor.

Thomas has been President of Home Designing Service, Ltd. since 1980 and has always sought to stay up to date on national building standards and practices. Over the years, Thomas has grown Home Designing Service, Ltd. from a one-man operation to a large-scale design firm specializing in custom home design, renovation, and addition plans.

In May of 1994, Thomas received certification through the National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC) and subsequently served as an examiner and Board member from 1994 to 2021. This Accreditation Program certifies competency of professional building designers in ethics, procedures, architectural styling, structural engineering and construction principles, processes, materials and methods. As the examiner for the Northeastern United States, Thomas was instrumental in developing and revising the test given to examinees wishing to be certified. He often mentored potential examinees to help ensure their success.

He has displayed a love for the success of others, whether it has benefited him personally or not.

-Gianna Bradford, CPBD

While serving on the board for both AIBD and NCBDC, he played a meaningful role in merging the two organizations. Since 1950, AIBD has provided building designers with educational resources and has developed nationwide design standards and a code of ethics for the building design profession. Today, AIBD is an internationally recognized association with professional and associate members in 48 states, throughout Canada and in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Bahamas. AIBD is also meeting the challenge of the future by educating members about new and improved building materials and innovative technologies that will impact how we live in the future.

As President of AIBD, Connecticut Society, Tom was influential in teaching other designers on a wide range of topics at monthly seminars. Topics consisted of structural calculations, upcoming code changes, smart building design, thermal envelope, good business practices, etc. Even though the CT Society is no longer active, some of the former members still contact Thomas for advice from time to time, as do some local building officials. They recognize the depth of his understanding of the building code and will contact him to discuss or even clarify it.

Thomas looks forward to continuing to serve the design industry.