News briefs

November 01, 2005 |
  • AIA reports largest increase since 1998 in September index. Billings at U.S. architecture firms made their largest monthly gain since 1998 in September, generating a score of 60.5 on the The American Institute of Architects' Architecture Billings Index (ABI). Any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings. The ABI ranked the industry at 55.9 in August. The survey is composed of the results of a monthly questionnaire of U.S. architecture firms asking about billings and other business conditions. Most firms also reported inflation concerns due to increases in construction commodities and materials shortages.

  • Study questions existence of toxic mold syndrome. Mold and dampness can cause coughing and wheezing, but there is little evidence to support the existence of the so-called toxic mold syndrome, according to researchers at the Oregon Health Sciences University, in Portland. Their researchers said the symptoms are likely caused by other ailments.

  • California officials say older buildings should be retrofitted for quakes. Thousands of older concrete buildings across California represent the state's largest remaining risk of serious damage in the event of a major earthquake, seismic safety officials said last month. At most risk are structures constructed between 1930 and 1970 that consist of large, open lower stories supported by unreinforced masonry walls or poorly reinforced concrete pillars, such as department stores, schools, parking structures, and office buildings. Many building owners say the retrofits would put them out of business.

  • Gadgets, parachutes offer tall building escape routes. Since 9/11, business executives, architects, engineers, and safety experts have worked to find safer ways to evacuate skyscrapers, focusing mostly on improving stairwells and elevators. But on the fringes of this effort is a raft of what are called "last resort" devices, like the Executive Chute (a parachute), intended for people who might otherwise be trapped by blocked stairwells or inoperable elevators.

For more: www.BDCnetwork.com.

 

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