Building Team Blog

The Building Team Blog serves as the primary platform for BD+C's editorial team to opine about all things related to the AEC market, from the latest design tools to green building trends. Building Team Bloggers include Robert Cassidy, Editorial Director ([email protected]), David Barista, Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]), and John Caulfield, Senior Editor ([email protected]).

Benjamin Kasdan, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB, Design Director/Senior Designer with KTGY Architecture + Planning, Irvine, Calif. (Class of 2015 40 Under 40 winner)

October 26, 2015 | David Barista
Are you an AEC superstar? The 2016 "40 Under 40" competition is now open for entries. Here are some helpful tips to remember when applying. 
Competency-based learning: A glimpse into the future of higher education?

Photo: Xbxg32000 via Wikimedia Commons

University Buildings | October 16, 2015 | David Barista
For better or worse, the higher education experience for many young Millennials and Gen Zers will not resemble the four-year, life-altering experience...
From Gehry to the High Line: What makes a project a game-changer?

El Peix sculpture in Barcelona, by Frank Gehry. Photo: Till Niermann via Wikimedia Commons

Architects | September 24, 2015 | David Barista
Each year, there are a handful of projects that significantly advance the AEC industry or a particular building type. Send us your game-changing proje...
Why AEC firms should be cultivating 'visible experts'

Photo: Cydcor via flickr creative commons

Architects | July 07, 2015 | David Barista
A new study pinpoints the true dollar value of having knowledge leaders and market shapers on your team.
Tactical urbanism: Why bigger isn’t always better in urban revitalization

Each September, as part of Park(ing) Day, citizens, artists, and activists in more than 160 cities collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into micro parks, gardens, and art exhibits. Photo:

Smart and Resilient Cities | May 27, 2015 | David Barista
A budding urban planning movement that is sprouting in cities across the globe proves that low-cost, small-scale, community-driven projects have the p...
Hackathons and RFCs: Why one developer killed the RFP

Image depicts design concepts from the hackathon winner, Pickard Chilton of New Haven, Conn. Photo courtesy Skanska

Building Owner | May 06, 2015 | David Barista
In lieu of an RFP process, Skanska Commercial Development hosted a three-week "hackathon" to find an architect for its 2&U tower in Seattle.
Chance encounters and the ‘action’ office: Do collisions spark innovation?

Google is among a handful of tech giants to unveil plans for “action” offices. Rendering courtesy Google, BIG, Thomas Heatherwick

Office Building Design | March 29, 2015 | David Barista
Google, Facebook, Samsung, and Tencent have all unveiled plans for “action” offices designed to get their people moving, interacting, huddling, collab...
The High Line effect: Placemaking as an economic development engine

Eight years into the transformation of an elevated section of New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line into a public park, the $273 million project is being hailed as a resounding win for the city. Photo: Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons

Cultural Facilities | March 02, 2015 | David Barista
As big money and eager tourists flock to Chelsea, cities across the globe are starting to take notice. Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul, Syd...
Photo: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons

The National Institute of Building Sciences estimates the retrofit market for small commercial buildings at $35.6 billion. Photo: Infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons

Office Building Design | January 28, 2015 | David Barista
The real opportunity for shrinking the nation’s energy footprint lies in the mundane world of small commercial buildings, writes BD+C's David Barista....

This past October, 78 young AEC professionals gathered in New York City for leadership development and networking during BD+C's Under 40 Leadership Summit.

Architects | January 21, 2015 | David Barista
Many AEC firms focus on training for the hard skills of the profession, not so much for business prowess, writes BD+C's David Barista.

Photo: Joe Mabel via Wikimedia Commons

Architects | December 22, 2014 | John Caulfield
Commercial and residential construction can be as different as night and day. But as one who covered the housing industry for nearly a decade, I firml...

American Standard's SaTo sanitary toilet pans (shown here installed in a latrine in Haiti) seal off pit latrines from flies to prevent the spread of pathogens.

Architects | December 08, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
When we see the incredible technology being produced by global plumbing manufacturers, it’s hard to conceive why no viable technical solution to the g...
Architects | November 17, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
It’s been almost two years since 20 first-graders were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but these incidents, both pl...

Photo: Nightscream via Wikimedia Commons

Healthcare Facilities | September 25, 2014 | John Caulfield
Precedents and patterns may not tell you all that much about future spending or demand.

Illustration: ratch0013 via

Architects | September 03, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
Architecture, engineering, and (presumably) construction firms will face difficulties with management succession, as tens of thousands of Baby Boomers...

Qianhai Development - Goettsch Partners, August 2014

Architects | August 29, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
U.S. architecture and engineering firms like Goettsch Partners have been enjoying full employment in China. But will there come a point when Chinese o...

Chart: \"Fear on Foot,\" Planning Magazine

Transportation & Parking Facilities | August 27, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
A report from Smart Growth America on pedestrian fatalities shows that cities in Florida and other parts of the Sunbelt are more deadly than others.

Photo: The Brookings Institution

Architects | July 20, 2014 | David Barista
Today, more than ever, tech districts are the key to economic growth for metro markets. A new report from the Brookings Institution calls tech hubs th...

Photo: siddman via Wikimedia Commons

Architects | June 08, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
Just for the sake of argument, let’s put aside the rhetoric about climate change—whether it’s actually happening, whether it’s a result of manmade act...

Photo: khunaspix via

Architects | April 25, 2014 | David Barista
The newest generation to enter the workforce is like no other that has come before it. This cohort is the first to grow up with the Internet, mobile t...

Tallinn, Estonia. Photo: Diego Delso, Wikimedia Commons, License CC-BY-SA 3.0

Architects | March 26, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
An interesting experiment is taking place in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, where, for the last year or so, its 430,000 residents have been able to...

Photo: Courtesy Walbridge and SmithGroupJJR

Architects | March 06, 2014 | David Barista
BD+C's 2014 Giants 300 survey form is now available. But completing the survey is just one way to participate in the July Giants issue. 

Photo: MSPACE Holdings via Wikinedia Commons

Architects | March 04, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
Before you get your shorts in a knot, I have nothing against science, technology, engineering, or even mathematics; to the contrary, I love all four “...
Architects | February 17, 2014 | David Barista
BD+C's Building Team Awards is the industry's only recognition program to honor projects that achieve excellence in both design/construction and colla...

Arup, Perkins+Will, and Sasaki Associates are among the firms to develop custom digital tools for polling building occupants and end users. Pictured: Sasaki's MyCampus interactive mapping program

Architects | February 14, 2014 | David Barista
The rise of mobile devices and social media, coupled with the use of advanced survey tools and interactive mapping apps, has created a powerful condui...
K-12 Schools | February 05, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
I've received several requests from BD+C readers who design and build K-12 schools about the 3-part series we ran in our January issue ("Can Design Pr...

The Conrad New York was recently created through adaptive reuse of an existing hotel. Architects: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, Monica Ponce de Leon Studio, and Deborah Berke Partners. Photo: Michael Moran.

Hotel Facilities | February 05, 2014 | Julie S. Higginbotham
If your company is involved in designing, building, or operating hotels or resorts, we'd love to hear your opinions as we plan coverage of this sector...
Architects | January 10, 2014 | Rob Cassidy
To tell the truth, I didn’t want to write about the terrible events of December 14, 2012, when 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Ho...
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