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Universities embrace creative finance strategies

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Public-private partnership is one funding model that has become popular in recent years, especially for student housing, mixed-use buildings, parking facilities, and retail—any project with a revenue stream.

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After Moody’s and other credit ratings agencies tightened their standards a few years ago, universities had to become much more disciplined about their financing mechanisms.
Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-05-13 10:15
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The University of Wisconsin–Madison teamed up with the Morgridge Institute for R
The University of Wisconsin–Madison teamed up with the Morgridge Institute for Research to build the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, a research lab that includes retail/restaurant space. Half of the lab space is privately owned. Photo: courtesy Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
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After Moody’s and other credit ratings agencies tightened their standards a few years ago, universities had to become much more disciplined about their financing mechanisms.

After Moody’s and other credit ratings agencies tightened their standards a few years ago, universities had to become much more disciplined about their financing mechanisms.

“Internally, we are paying a great deal of attention to cash on hand relative to debt to maintain our good ratings,” says Gonzaga University EVP Marty Martin. “It’s a constant reference point.” 

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Steven Holl's sculptural Institute for Contemporary Art set to break ground at VCU

Designed by Steven Holl, Virginia Commonwealth University's new Institute for Contemporary Art is set to break ground next month.

The 32,000-sf building will facilitate art, theater, music, dance, and film performances, in collaboration with the VCU School of Arts. 

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The facility will have two entrances—one facing the city of Richmond, Va., the other toward VCU's campus—to serve as a connection between "town and gown."

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The facility will have two entrances—one facing the city of Richmond, Va., the other toward VCU's campus—to serve as a connection between "town and gown."

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-05-13 11:23
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The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will begi
The Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University will begin construction next month, and is slated to open in 2016. All renderings and models: courtesy Steven Holl Architects
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The facility will have two entrances—one facing the city of Richmond, Va., the other toward VCU's campus—to serve as a connection between "town and gown."

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Prefab payback: Mortenson quantifies cost and schedule savings from prefabrication techniques

When Mortenson was charged with the 831,000-sf, 360-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project in Denver, we found that a traditional, on-site linear building approach would have resulted in a schedule that did not meet the customer's needs. 

To address the challenge, we leveraged prefabrication across all applicable components in the facility.

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Value-based cost-benefit analysis of prefab approaches on the firm's 360-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project shows significant savings for the Building Team. 

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Value-based cost-benefit analysis of prefab approaches on the firm's 360-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project shows significant savings for the Building Team. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-14 09:55
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The contractor implemented advanced prefabrication measures on the 360-bed Exemp
The contractor implemented advanced prefabrication measures on the 360-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project in Denver, including multi-trade racks for MEP infrastructure (pictured). Photo: courtesy Mortenson Construction
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Value-based cost-benefit analysis of prefab approaches on the firm's 360-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Heritage Project shows significant savings for the Building Team. 

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Must see: Vertical forest goes up in the heart of Milan

Designed by Boeri Studio and developed by Hines, a vertical forest in the heart of one of the Europe's most polluted cities will include two residential towers 110 meters and 76 meters high.

Altogether, 900 trees measuring between 3 meters and 6 meters have been planted, along with 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants on terraces up to the 27th floor.

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Some 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 floral plants have been planted on the terraces of Bosco Verticale, a new high-rise residential development in Milan.

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Some 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 floral plants have been planted on the terraces of Bosco Verticale, a new high-rise residential development in Milan.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-14 15:09
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Designed by Boeri Studio and developed by Hines, a vertical forest in Milan will
Designed by Boeri Studio and developed by Hines, a vertical forest in Milan will include two residential towers. Photos, renderings: courtesy Arup
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Some 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 floral plants have been planted on the terraces of Bosco Verticale, a new high-rise residential development in Milan.

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New study shows employees aren't happier working in green buildings

Think working in an environmentally green building leads to greater satisfaction in the workplace?
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Occupant satisfaction with LEED-certified office building environments appears to decline with time, according to UC Berkeley reseachers.

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People working in buildings certified under LEED’s green building standard appear no more satisfied with their workplace environments than those in conventional buildings, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Nottingham.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-14 15:30
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People working in buildings certified under LEED’s green building standard appear no more satisfied with their workplace environments than those in conventional buildings.
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People working in buildings certified under LEED’s green building standard appear no more satisfied with their workplace environments than those in conventional buildings, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Nottingham.

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'Virtually indestructible': Utah architect applies thin-shell dome concept for safer schools

In the wake of natural disasters and school shooting incidents, education professionals across the country are looking for innovative ways to better protect children while they learn. A new building approach from Salt Lake City, Utah-based Leland A. Gray Architects is designed to contribute to that goal.

The firm is adapting the concrete thinshell structural approach for K-12 schools in Utah, according to a report by KSL.

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At $94 a square foot and "virtually indestructible," some school districts in Utah are opting to build concrete dome schools in lieu of traditional structures. 

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At $94 a square foot and "virtually indestructible," some school districts in Utah are opting to build concrete dome schools in lieu of traditional structures. 

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-05-15 09:52
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Salt Lake City, Utah-based Leland A. Gray Architects is adapting the concrete th
Salt Lake City, Utah-based Leland A. Gray Architects is adapting the concrete thinshell structural approach for K-12 schools in Utah. The domed building, which the architect calls "virtually indestructible," uses an air-formed thin-shell concrete dome, along with a concrete stem wall.
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At $94 a square foot and "virtually indestructible," some school districts in Utah are opting to build concrete dome schools in lieu of traditional structures. 

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Biking to work up by 60 percent, according to Census Bureau report

Many U.S. cities are seeing an increase in bicycle commuters, according to new a U.S. Census Bureau report.

Nationwide, the number of people who traveled to work by bike increased roughly 60% during the last decade, from 488,000 in 2000 to 786,000 annually during the 2008-2012 period. This is the largest percentage increase of all commuting modes tracked by the 2000 Census and the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

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Portland, Ore., had the highest bicycle-commuting rate at 6.1%.

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Many U.S. cities are seeing an increase in bicycle commuters, according to new a U.S. Census Bureau report. While bicyclists still account for just 0.6% of all commuters, some of the nation's largest cities have more than doubled their rates since 2000.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-05-15 11:42
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Many U.S. cities are seeing an increase in bicycle commuters.
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Many U.S. cities are seeing an increase in bicycle commuters, according to new a U.S. Census Bureau report. While bicyclists still account for just 0.6% of all commuters, some of the nation's largest cities have more than doubled their rates since 2000.

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Toyo Ito leads petition to scrap Zaha Hadid's 2020 Olympic Stadium project

In a

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Ito and other Japanese architects cite excessive costs, massive size, and the project's potentially negative impact on surrounding public spaces as reasons for nixing Hadid's plan.  

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Ito and other Japanese architects cite excessive costs, massive size, and the project's potentially negative impact on surrounding public spaces as reasons for nixing Hadid's plan.  

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2014-05-16 11:15
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Rendering: Zaha Hadid Architects
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Ito and other Japanese architects cite excessive costs, massive size, and the project's potentially negative impact on surrounding public spaces as reasons for nixing Hadid's plan.  

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BoA, USGBC to offer $25,000 grants for green affordable housing projects

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced the opening of the application period for the expanded 2014 Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program.

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The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program will offer 14 grants to developers of affordable housing in North America.

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The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program will offer 14 grants to developers of affordable housing in North America who are committed to building sustainable communities through the LEED for Neighborhood Development program. 

Publication Date: 
Fri, 2014-05-16 15:00
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Photo: Brett VA via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Brett VA via Wikimedia Commons
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The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program will offer 14 grants to developers of affordable housing in North America who are committed to building sustainable communities through the LEED for Neighborhood Development program. 

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Calatrava wins court case concerning 'Calatrava bleeds you dry' website

Santiago Calatrava has won a victory over Esquerra Unida, a Spanish left-wing political party, in court, as a judge has ordered the party's Valencia branch to pay €30,000.

These damages are to be paid because of a website the party created, called "Calatravatelaclava," or "Calatrava bleeds you dry." The architect was asking for €600,000 in damages. 

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A judge has ordered the left-wing political party Esquerra Unida to pay €30,000 to Santiago Calatrava because of "insulting and degrading" website.

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A judge has ordered the left-wing political party Esquerra Unida to pay €30,000 to Santiago Calatrava because of "insulting and degrading" website.

Publication Date: 
Mon, 2014-05-19 14:37
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Photo: Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia by ToNToNi via Wikimedia Commons
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain. Photo: Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia by ToNToNi via Wikimedia Commons
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A judge has ordered the left-wing political party Esquerra Unida to pay €30,000 to Santiago Calatrava because of "insulting and degrading" website.

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