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Built-in balcony: New skylight windows can fold out to create a patio

If you've ever wished for a balcony that would allow you to enjoy a beautiful day from your own home, it might be possible for you to add one.

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The skylights also incorporate energy efficiency measures.

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Roof window manufacturer Fakro offers a skylight window system that quickly converts into an open-air balcony.

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-06-10 14:26
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All photos courtesy of Inhabitat, Fakro.
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Roof window manufacturer Fakro offers a skylight window system that quickly converts into an open-air balcony.

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Oceanic oases: Two new luxury condominiums under construction in South Beach

Plaza Construction has started construction on two more ultra-luxury condominiums for The Related Group.
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Plaza has four projects, totaling $498 million in development costs, now under way for The Related Group.

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Slated for completion in 2015, both the seven-story, 275,141 square-foot One Ocean and six-story, 190,654 square-foot Marea will offer landscapes by Enzo Enea and interiors by Yabu Pushelberg.  

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-11 08:40
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The $88 million Marea condominiums, designed by The Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership. Renderings courtesy of Plaza Construction.
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Slated for completion in 2015, both the seven-story, 275,141 square foot One Ocean and six-story, 190,654 square foot Marea will offer landscapes by Enzo Enea and interiors by Yabu Pushelberg.  

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Esri’s interactive guide to 2014 World Cup Stadiums

If you love soccer and you love construction, you’re in for a treat.

California-based Esri, a supplier of Geographic Information System software, paired up with Business Insider and launched an interactive map that gives viewers a satellite perspective of Brazil’s many new stadiums.

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Esri's new interactive map will please construction-loving soccer enthusiasts.

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California-based Esri, a supplier of GIS software, created a nifty interactive map that gives viewers a satellite perspective of Brazil’s many new stadiums.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-11 08:30
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Screenshot from BusinessInsider.com
Screenshot from BusinessInsider.com
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California-based Esri, a supplier of GIS software, created a nifty interactive map that gives viewers a satellite perspective of Brazil’s many new stadiums.

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Koolhaas’ OMA teams with chemical company to study link between color and economy

By the year 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. In anticipation of this, Amsterdam-based AkzoNobel, a chemical company that specializes in decorative paint and coatings, recently announced its Human Cities initiative as a way to highlight their commitment in “improving, energizing and regenerating urban communities across the world.”

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The firms hope the research partnership will make a significant contribution to creating more ‘human’ urban environments.

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Dutch company AkzoNobel is partnering with Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA to study how the application of colorful paints and coatings can affect a city's economic development.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-11 08:37
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AkzoNobel's Human Cities initiative commits to improving, energizing and regener
AkzoNobel's Human Cities initiative
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Dutch company AkzoNobel is partnering with Rem Koolhaas' firm OMA to study how the application of colorful paints and coatings can affect a city's economic development.

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Hyper-speed rendering: How Gensler turns BIM models into beauty shots in seconds

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In search of a fast rendering solution, Gensler looked to the gaming and moviemaking industries for the next breakthrough tool: Octane Render.

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In search of a fast rendering solution, Gensler looked to the gaming and moviemaking industries for the next breakthrough tool: Octane Render.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-11 18:32
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Jevon Carrington and Leila Schey, both Architectural Designers in Gensler’s Wash
Jevon Carrington and Leila Schey, both Architectural Designers in Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office, collaborate on a project using Octane Render. The high-speed rendering program enables the firm’s designers to create photorealistic renderings and movies directly from a BIM model in minutes. The software is part of a new breed of ultra-high-speed rendering applications that utilize GPU-accelerated computing popularized by the gaming industry. PHOTO: GENSLER
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In search of a fast rendering solution, Gensler looked to the gaming and moviemaking industries for the next breakthrough tool: Octane Render.

Seven seconds. That is all it took for Gensler’s Mark Bassett to generate a geometrically accurate, photorealistic rendering from one of the firm’s Revit models. The colors popped. The lighting and shading were spot on. The materials, finishes, fixtures, and furnishings were precisely represented. There was no need for touch-ups using Photoshop, or tweaks in 3ds Max. Just a few clicks of the mouse and voilà!—a professional-level 3D rendering appeared on Bassett’s monitor. 

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Top tile designs honored in Ceramics of Italy competition

The Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, an annual event open to architects and designers across North America, has concluded its 2014 competition.

The judges chose one winning firm for each category--Residential, Commercial, and Industrial--and two honorable mentions for each. Winners were awarded $4,000 and a trip to Cersaie, the annual tile exhibition held in Bologna, Italy.

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Entries are divided into three categories: Commercial, Institutional and Residential.

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Winners were awarded $4,000 and a trip to Cersaie, the annual tile exhibition held in Bologna, Italy. Projects were located all over North America, from Dallas to St. Thomas to Toronto.

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Thu, 2014-06-12 08:43
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Institutional Winning Project, MGA Partners. Photography: Halkin | Mason Photography
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Winners were awarded $4,000 and a trip to Cersaie, the annual tile exhibition held in Bologna, Italy. Projects were located all over North America, from Dallas to St. Thomas to Toronto.

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SmithGroup finishes 100th LEED-certified project

SmithGroupJJR, a long-time leader of sustainable design, has reached the 100 LEED project milestone.  
 
SmithGroupJJR recently achieved its 100th LEED certified project: the LEED-NC Platinum Oakland University Human Health Building, constructed in Rochester, Michigan. With the milestone, the 161-year-old architecture and engineering firm becomes one of just a handful of firms that has reached such heights in sustainable design.
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Another sustainability first for SmithGroupJJR was its design of the Christman Building, which became the world’s first project to garner quadruple LEED Platinum awards.

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With the construction of the LEED-NC Platinum Oakland University Human Health Building, constructed in Rochester, Michigan, SmithGroupJJR recently achieved its 100th LEED certified project.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-12 09:04
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SmithGroup's 100th project: the Human Health Building at Oakland University, Rochester, MI. Image courtesy of SmithGroup.
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With the construction of the LEED-NC Platinum Oakland University Human Health Building, constructed in Rochester, Michigan, SmithGroupJJR recently achieved its 100th LEED certified project.

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Austrian university develops 'inflatable' concrete dome method

Constructing a concrete dome is a costly process, but this may change soon. A team from the Vienna University of Technology has developed a method that allows concrete domes to form with the use of air and steel cables instead of expensive, timber supporting structures.

“[We have] developed a method that can cut costs to around 50 percent,” says Benjamin Kromoser, an instructor at the university’s Institute of Structural Engineering.

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A new method cuts concrete dome construction costs in half (or more).

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Constructing a concrete dome is a costly process, but this may change soon. A team from the Vienna University of Technology has developed a method that allows concrete domes to form with the use of air and steel cables instead of expensive, timber supporting structures.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-12 10:45
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All photos courtesy of the Vienna University of Technology.
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Constructing a concrete dome is a costly process, but this may change soon. A team from the Vienna University of Technology has developed a method that allows concrete domes to form with the use of air and steel cables instead of expensive, timber supporting structures.

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Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects' design selected for new UCSC facility

This week, the University of California Santa Cruz selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects to design its new Institute of the Arts and Sciences building, a 30,000-sf facility that will function for academic and museum purposes.

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The New York-based duo's design was inspired by the site's natural landcape.

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The planned site is a natural landscape among redwood trees with views over Monterey Bay, a site that the architects have called “one of the most beautiful they have ever worked on.”

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Thu, 2014-06-12 20:24
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All pictures, renderings and model courtesy of TWBTA
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The planned site is a natural landscape among redwood trees with views over Monterey Bay, a site that the architects have called “one of the most beautiful they have ever worked on.”

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ISO releases standards for comparing city services worldwide

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has created the first standards to compare services of the world’s cities. The standards provide a way to evaluate a city’s performance based on verified measures on many topics including education, public safety, water, and sanitation. Metrics include those related to air quality, green space, poverty, and health of the population.

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Measures gauge air quality, health, and other quality of life issues

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has created the first standards to compare services of the world’s cities.

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Thu, 2014-06-12 20:50
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Photo: E. Kvelland via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: E. Kvelland via Wikimedia Commons
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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has created the first standards to compare services of the world’s cities.

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