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Crazy commuting: British artist wants to construct 300-foot water slide on city street

Luke Jerram hopes, with the right funding, to build a 300-foot water slide in the heart of Bristol, England.

Considered an art installation, the slide is meant encourage people to think about how they use the city and what they want it to become in the future.

The slide would go up for one day–May 4, 2014–on Park Street, which has a steep incline. 

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If the project is successful, Jerram will distribute information allowing other cities to build similar slides.

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Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram hopes that the temporary installation, once funded, will encourage the public to think about "how we want to use the city, and what sort of future we want to see.”

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2014-03-28 14:02
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The 300-foot water slide will be open for one day, May 4, 2014, if the project is fully funded. Rendering: courtesy Luke Jerram
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Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram hopes that the temporary installation, once funded, will encourage the public to think about "how we want to use the city, and what sort of future we want to see.”

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7 ways to cut waste in BIM implementation

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Process mapping, split models, and streamlined coordination meetings are among the timesaving techniques AEC firms are employing to improve BIM/VDC workflows.

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Process mapping, split models, and streamlined coordination meetings are among the timesaving techniques AEC firms are employing to improve BIM/VDC workflows.

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2014-03-31 10:27
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Having the correct model views loaded and visibility settings adjusted prior to
Having the correct model views loaded and visibility settings adjusted prior to virtual coordination meetings can greatly improve the efficiency and productivity of BIM-driven Building Team meetings. Rendering: courtesy Populous
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Process mapping, split models, and streamlined coordination meetings are among the timesaving techniques AEC firms are employing to improve BIM/VDC workflows.

More than two decades into the building information modeling movement, AEC firms are still discovering ways to utilize BIM/VDC tools more effectively. One major current area of focus is how to cut waste in the BIM implementation process.

Inefficient virtual coordination meetings, cumbersome BIM files, and a “rush to model” mentality are just some of the profit-eating miscues that are commonplace in the AEC industry.   

We reached out to several BIM/VDC power users for their top tips for eliminating waste in BIM/VDC workflows. Here’s what they said:

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Extreme conversion: Soaring Canadian church transformed into contemporary library

Even before the St. Denys-du-Plateau Church was converted into a library, it was an unusual building. Designed by the late Jean-Marie Roy in 1964, the house of worship in Quebec had a unique and dynamic volume—the building evoked a huge tent inflated by the wind. 

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The library is named for a successful local children's author 

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Even before the St. Denys-du-Plateau Church was converted into a library, it was an unusual building, with a towering nave designed to mimic a huge tent inflated by the wind. 

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2014-03-31 11:00
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The St. Denys-du-Plateau Church has been transformed into the Monique-Corriveau Library. Photos courtesy of Stéphane Groleau, Dan Hanganu Architects.
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Even before the St. Denys-du-Plateau Church was converted into a library, it was an unusual building, with a towering nave designed to mimic a huge tent inflated by the wind. 

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Removable flood prevention system installed in one of New York City's largest office buildings

Directly following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Plaza Construction was asked to start working on the development of a flood prevention solution for 55 Water Street, one of New York City’s largest office structures with 54 stories and 3.8 million square feet located in the financial district.  Hurricane Sandy was the second-costliest storm in U.S.
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55 Water Street is a virtual city unto itself, with enough excess power to support tenants for multiple days 

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EKO Flood Protection created a flood prevention solution for one of New York City's largest office buildings, 55 Water Street, that can be put up in 8 hours by a crew of 30 people. 

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2014-03-31 16:00
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The flood protection system can be put up in 8 hours. Photo courtesy of Plaza Construction.
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EKO Flood Protection created a flood prevention solution for one of New York City's largest office buildings, 55 Water Street, that can be put up in 8 hours by a crew of 30 people. 

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Hawaiian performing arts center named nation's best new theater

Seabury Hall Creative Arts Center, a prep-school performing arts center on Maui in Hawaii, received the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's (USITT) highest architecture award—the Honor Award.

Three other venues—the SF Jazz Center, Bing Concert Hall, and Jerome Robbins Theater—received Merit Awards for 2014.

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The theater features barn doors that open onto a view of the Pacific Ocean.

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Seabury Hall Creative Arts Center, a prep-school performing arts center on Maui in Hawaii, received the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's (USITT) highest architecture award—the Honor Award. 
Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-04-01 10:59
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Seabury Hall Creative Arts Center received USITT's highest architecture award, the Honor Award. Photo courtesy of Flansburgh Architects and USITT.
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Seabury Hall Creative Arts Center, a prep-school performing arts center on Maui in Hawaii, received the United States Institute for Theatre Technology's (USITT) highest architecture award—the Honor Award. 

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Planned global commerce center breaks ground near Phoenix

PhoenixMart is a 585-acre master-planned community in Scottsdale, Ariz., that includes a 1.7-million-sf products center and four million sf of support facilities. 

When completed, the main commerce structure will be one of the largest single-level trade centers in the U.S.

The community will showcase manufacturers and distributors in such categories as home and hotel, industrial, automotive, electronics and accessories, food and beverage, office, recreation, fashion, and variety.

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When completed, PhoenixMart will be one of the largest single-level trade centers in the U.S. 

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When completed, PhoenixMart will be one of the largest single-level trade centers in the U.S. 

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-04-01 11:32
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Renderings: courtesy H&S International
Renderings: courtesy H&S International
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When completed, PhoenixMart will be one of the largest single-level trade centers in the U.S. 

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New Autodesk software allows visualization of more realistic bridge concepts

Autodesk has announced the Autodesk 2015 software portfolio of design, engineering, and construction solutions to help drive a global transformation to Building Information Modeling (BIM).  The 2015 Suites for buildings, civil infrastructure, and oil & gas projects offer hundreds of improvements and new capabilities for Autodesk Building Design Suite, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite  and Autodesk Plant Design Suite.
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This update to Autodesk BIM 360 improves integration with the cloud

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The Autodesk InfraWorks 360 family of offerings now includes enhanced roads and highways capabilities, better representations of graphical information, and fixed-length pipe modeling capability.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-04-02 09:54
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The 2015 Suites for buildings, civil infrastructure, and oil & gas projects offer hundreds of improvements and new capabilities. Photos courtesy of Autodesk.
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The Autodesk InfraWorks 360 family of offerings now includes enhanced roads and highways capabilities, better representations of graphical information, and fixed-length pipe modeling capability.

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Check out the stunning research facility just named 2014 Lab of the Year [slideshow]

One of the nation’s newest and most premier energy research facilities has been named R&D Magazine’s 2014 Laboratory of the Year.

Designed and built by SmithGroupJJR and JE Dunn Construction, the $135 million Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Its one-of-a-kind design will assist NREL, and its partners, to shape the energy systems of the future.

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NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility takes top honors in R&D Magazine's 48th annual lab design awards. 

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NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility takes top honors in R&D Magazine's 48th annual lab design awards. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-04-02 10:51
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ESIF merges three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workpla
ESIF merges three very specialized components: an ultra-energy efficient workplace that consumes 74% less energy than the national average for office buildings, one of the world’s most energy efficient high performance computing data centers, and sophisticated high-bay laboratory spaces with outdoor test areas. All photos: Bill Timmerman; courtesy SmithGroupJJR. Floor plan: SmithGroupJJR
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NREL's Energy Systems Integration Facility takes top honors in R&D Magazine's 48th annual lab design awards. 

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8 tips for avoiding thermal bridges in window applications

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Aligning thermal breaks and applying air barriers are among the top design and installation tricks recommended by building enclosure experts.

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Aligning thermal breaks and applying air barriers are among the top design and installation tricks recommended by building enclosure experts.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-04-02 11:53
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The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Old Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C
The rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Old Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C., has turned the national award-winning building into a vibrant cultural center. With updated windows, doors, trim repair, and new air, vapor, and thermal barriers, the LEED Silver building’s measured energy use index savings is an impressive 67%. Photo: Hoachlander Davis Photography; courtesy Bell Architects
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Aligning thermal breaks and applying air barriers are among the top design and installation tricks recommended by building enclosure experts.

Thermal bridging has a huge effect on energy efficiency in windows. Designers typically try to specify thermally broken or thermally improved window frames, only to be forced by budget constraints to settle for standard frames.

The determination of the age and make of a window should provide some idea as to whether the frame has a thermal break, says George M. Blackburn III, AIA, NCARB, who chairs the Dallas Building Enclosure Council and serves on the national board of the Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council.

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The new model of healthcare facility management

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A growing number of healthcare organizations are moving to an integrated real estate model in an effort to better manage costs, respond to regulatory requirements, and support changes in patient care delivery.

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A growing number of healthcare organizations are moving to an integrated real estate model in an effort to better manage costs, respond to regulatory requirements, and support changes in patient care delivery.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-04-02 12:13
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Photo: courtesy CBRE Healthcare
Photo: courtesy CBRE Healthcare
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A growing number of healthcare organizations are moving to an integrated real estate model in an effort to better manage costs, respond to regulatory requirements, and support changes in patient care delivery.

As healthcare organizations seek solutions to the challenges presented by today’s evolving marketplace, it’s clear that the cost and performance of their facilities will have a significant impact. 

Whether it’s the need to drive cost reduction, respond to regulatory requirements or support changes in patient care delivery models, the effectiveness of an organization’s facilities management program plays a critical role in their ability to provide high-quality, cost-effective patient care.

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