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Architecture Billings Index shows increase in design activity

On the heels of consecutive months of decreasing demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has returned to positive territory.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported that the May ABI score was 52.6, up sharply from a mark of 49.6 in April.  This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  The new projects inquiry index was 63.2, up from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

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The new projects inquiry index was 63.2, up from the reading of 59.1 the previous month.

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The American Institute of Architects reported that the May ABI score was 52.6, up sharply from a mark of 49.6 in April. This score reflects an increase in design activity.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 09:00
Article Image: 
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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The American Institute of Architects reported that the May ABI score was 52.6, up sharply from a mark of 49.6 in April. This score reflects an increase in design activity.

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Arup uses 3D printing to fabricate one-of-a-kind structural steel components

Using the latest 3D printing techniques, or more accurately, "additive manufacturing," the Arup team has produced a design method for critical structural steel elements for use in complex projects. 

The work signals a whole new direction for the use of additive manufacturing in the field of construction and engineering. The research also shows that additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce costs, cut waste and slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

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The firm's research shows that 3D printing has the potential to reduce costs, cut waste, and slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

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The firm's research shows that 3D printing has the potential to reduce costs, cut waste, and slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 08:29
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Using 3D printing, Arup engineers were able to design and fabricate this lightwe
Using 3D printing, Arup engineers were able to design and fabricate this lightweight, complex steel node more efficiently. Photos: David de Jong
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The firm's research shows that 3D printing has the potential to reduce costs, cut waste, and slash the carbon footprint of the construction sector.

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SOM's twisting tower wins design competition for Sweden's tallest skyscraper

The winner of Serneke's competition to design Sweden's tallest skyscraper has been announced. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill beat out four other finalists, including Zaha Hadid. 

The skyscraper, which will reach 230 meters and is named Polstjärnan, or "The Pole Star," is to be built in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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The 230-meter tower scheme beat out four other finalists, including Zaha Hadid.

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The skyscraper, which will reach 230 meters and is named Polstjärnan, or "The Pole Star," is to be built in Gothenburg, Sweden. 
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 11:46
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The tower, called Polstjärnan, or "The Pole Star," is to be built in Gothenburg,
The tower, called Polstjärnan, or "The Pole Star," is to be built in Gothenburg, Sweden. Renderings courtesy SOM
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The skyscraper, which will reach 230 meters and is named Polstjärnan, or "The Pole Star," is to be built in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

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Six World Cup stadiums have achieved LEED certification

In conjunction with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that six World Cup stadiums have achieved LEED certification, including South America’s largest stadium, Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Originally built and used for the 1950 FIFA World Cup, the LEED Silver Maracanã stadium is once again reprising its role by playing host for the final game of the 2014 World Cup.
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Brazil is among the top five countries worldwide with LEED-certified projects.

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In conjunction with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that six World Cup stadiums have achieved LEED certification, including South America’s largest stadium, Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 14:31
Article Image: 
Photo: Pedro Lopez via Wikimedia Commons
Maracanã stadium. Photo: Pedro Lopez via Wikimedia Commons
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In conjunction with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that six World Cup stadiums have achieved LEED certification, including South America’s largest stadium, Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.

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Design tips for Alzheimer care facilities

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A new white paper from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and Perkins Eastman details best design practices for Alzheimer care facilities.

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A new white paper from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and Perkins Eastman details best design practices for residential care settings for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 20:21
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Photo: Sarah Mechling/Perkins Eastman
Photo: Sarah Mechling/Perkins Eastman
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A new white paper from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America and Perkins Eastman details best design practices for residential care settings for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Perkins Eastman Research Collaborative and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) are pleased to announce the publication of the white paper, “Excellence in Design: Optimal Living Space for People With Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias,” an extensive report that details best design practices and other considerations concerning residential care settings for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease. 

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Study shows walkable urbanism has positive economic impact

A city's pedestrian-friendliness impacts its economy, according to a report done by Christopher Leinberger and Patrick Lynch of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business.  

According to the report, walkable communities have a higher GDP, greater wealth and higher percentages of college grads (see table below). Moreover, there is a “74 premium in rent per square foot in office buildings in walkable areas.”

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Walkable communities have a higher GDP, greater wealth, and higher percentages of college grads, according to a new study by George Washington University.

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Walkable communities have a higher GDP, greater wealth, and higher percentages of college grads, according to a new study by George Washington University.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-06-18 20:54
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With 89% of office and retail space in so-called "WalkUP" areas, New York ranks number two in GW's new study. Photo courtesy Adilla Menayang
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Walkable communities have a higher GDP, greater wealth, and higher percentages of college grads, according to a new study by George Washington University.

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NCARB study: Architects getting licensed at younger age

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has announced the publication of its statistical report on architectural licensing, NCARB By the Numbers.
 
In its third year of publication, this year’s NCARB by the Numbers offers a compelling perspective on individuals who are on the path to becoming licensed.
 
In addition to page-by-page graphics and descriptions of key findings, NCARB offers a deep dive that examines the demographics of those entering the profession, providing insight about the length of time i
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A new report from NCARB shows that the median age of people at initial licensure is at a 10 year low.

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A new report from NCARB shows that the median age of people at initial licensure is at a 10 year low.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-19 10:53
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Graphics courtesy of NCARB.
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A new report from NCARB shows that the median age of people at initial licensure is at a 10 year low.

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Singapore's 'Tree House' vertical gardens break Guinness World Record

As one of the most densely populated and urbanized nations in the world with little of its original vegetation left, it is fitting that Singapore would be the home to the world's largest vertical gardens.

The Tree House condominiums, built by CDL, is planned for completion in December 2017. The high-rise will have a vertical garden that is 24,638 sf in total and is expected to save more than $500,000 in energy and water costs annually.

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The greenest high-rise in Singapore's verdant Bukit Timah will open in December 2017.

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The high-rise development will have a 24,638-sf vertical garden, breaking a Guinness World Record.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-19 08:22
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Photos and renderings courtesy CDL
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The high-rise development will have a 24,638-sf vertical garden, breaking a Guinness World Record.

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ASHRAE publishes guideline on specifying Building Automation Systems

ASHRAE recently released Guideline 13-2014, Specifying Building Automation Systems. Performance monitoring guidance is a key feature of the document, and provides designers of building automation systems (BAS) with background information, recommendations for good practice, project considerations, and detailed discussion of options in the design of a BAS system.

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Performance monitoring guidance is a key feature of the document.

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Performance monitoring guidance is a key feature of the document. It provides designers of BAS systems with recommendations for good practice, project considerations, and detailed discussion of design options.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-19 12:02
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Diagram: KarenW via Wikipedia
Diagram: KarenW via Wikipedia
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Performance monitoring guidance is a key feature of the document. It provides designers of BAS systems with recommendations for good practice, project considerations, and detailed discussion of design options.

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Battle over low-cost, Chinese-made solar equipment could stunt solar power growth

The U.S. Department of Commerce tentatively agreed to assess tariffs of up to 35% on solar equipment, a move that could slow the rapid growth of the domestic solar power industry. SolarWorld, a German company with a U.S. base is in Oregon, requested the tariffs, claiming China unfairly subsidizes its solar manufacturers.

Solar panel installers, on the other hand, are opposed to tariffs. These companies have boomed as panel prices have fallen 70 percent since the start of 2010. Tariffs, they say, will make solar power less affordable.

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Proposed tariffs on PVs opposed by solar power installers

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The U.S. Department of Commerce tentatively agreed to assess tariffs of up to 35% on solar equipment, a move that could slow the rapid growth of the domestic solar power industry.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-06-19 12:06
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Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture via Wikimedia Commons
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The U.S. Department of Commerce tentatively agreed to assess tariffs of up to 35% on solar equipment, a move that could slow the rapid growth of the domestic solar power industry.

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