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Architecture Billings Index in the negative for second consecutive month

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has reverted into negative territory for the last two months. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 49.6, up slightly from a mark of 48.8 in March. This score reflects a decrease in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings).  

The new projects inquiry index was 59.1, up from the reading of 57.9 the previous month.

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Most favorable business conditions in the South region

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The March ABI score was 49.6, up slightly from a mark of 48.8 in March, but still below the growth threshold of 50. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-21 06:12
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Photo: Greg Goebel via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Greg Goebel via Wikimedia Commons
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The March ABI score was 49.6, up slightly from a mark of 48.8 in March, but still below the growth threshold of 50. 

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Gehry unveils plan for renovation, expansion of Philadelphia Museum of Art [slideshow]

In a special exhibit to open this summer, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will display the comprehensive plan that Frank Gehry has created for the renovation and expansion of its home on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. 

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Gehry's final design reorganizes and expands the building, adding more than 169,000 sf of space, much of it below the iconic structure.

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Gehry's final design reorganizes and expands the building, adding more than 169,000 sf of space, much of it below the iconic structure.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-21 15:16
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Lenfest Hall, one of the museum's two principal public entrance spaces, will be
Lenfest Hall, one of the museum's two principal public entrance spaces, will be renovated as part of the project. Rendering: Gehry Partners
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Gehry's final design reorganizes and expands the building, adding more than 169,000 sf of space, much of it below the iconic structure.

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Senate kills bipartisan energy efficiency bill over Keystone pipeline amendment

Bipartisan legislation that focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters, ways to reduce home utility bills, and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings failed in the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

While the bill had broad support, the introduction of an amendment on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline poisoned the well.

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The legislation focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings.

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The legislation focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-05-22 09:17
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The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,179 mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter c
The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,179 mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline which begins in Hardisty, Alta., and travels south through to Steele City, Neb. Source: Keystone-XL.com
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The legislation focused on energy efficiency standards such as water heaters with smart meters and cheaper heating and cooling systems for office buildings.

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Energy Department analysis shows efficiency gains from ASHRAE 2013 energy standard

Preliminary analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shows that the ASHRAE/IES’s 2013 energy efficiency standard contains energy savings over the 2010 standard of 8.5% source energy and 7.6% site energy.

As a result, DOE could establish the 2013 standard as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes. Today, states must meet or exceed the 2010 ASHRAE standard—the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act.

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The positive results may lead to new standard for state commercial building energy codes

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Preliminary DOE analysis shows that the ASHRAE/IES’s 2013 energy efficiency standard contains energy savings over the 2010 standard of 8.5% source energy and 7.6% site energy.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-05-22 10:08
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UT Dallas 74,000-sf Student Services Building, the first academic structure in T
UT Dallas 74,000-sf Student Services Building, the first academic structure in Texas to be rated a LEED Platinum facility by the U.S. Photo: Stan9999 via Wikimedia Commons
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Preliminary DOE analysis shows that the ASHRAE/IES’s 2013 energy efficiency standard contains energy savings over the 2010 standard of 8.5% source energy and 7.6% site energy.

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America's oldest federal public housing development gets a facelift

The Architectural Team, a master planning and architectural design firm specializing in multifamily housing and sustainable design, has announced the completion of 129 residential units for Phase II of The Homes at Old Colony.

The oldest public housing project in the United States (built in 1940), South Boston's Old Colony had become a symbol of poor housing conditions, until the introduction of federal funds and an innovative master plan and green-building design approach began to breathe new life into the community. 

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First opened in 1940, South Boston's Old Colony housing project had become a symbol of poor housing conditions.

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First opened in 1940, South Boston's Old Colony housing project had become a symbol of poor housing conditions. Now the revamped neighborhood serves as a national model for sustainable, affordable multifamily design.

Publication Date: 
Tue, 2014-05-27 20:01
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The Building Team just completed Phase II of the project, which includes 129 new
The Building Team just completed Phase II of the project, which includes 129 new units with 40 to be added next year. Photo credit: Andy Ryan, courtesy of The Architectural Team.
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First opened in 1940, South Boston's Old Colony housing project had become a symbol of poor housing conditions. Now the revamped neighborhood serves as a national model for sustainable, affordable multifamily design.

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Must see: Check out this one-of-a-kind lobby covered with 2,150 pieces of reclaimed wood

The NewActon Nishi apartment complex, recently completed in Canberra, Australia, is already drawing attention as being a bit radical, Beautiful Decay reports.

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The project's architect used repurposed timber and more than 2,000 steel rods to create the dramatic entryway. 

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The recently opened NewActon Nishi apartment complex in Canberra, Australia, features one of the more unique lobby spaces you'll see, with thousands of pieces of repurposed timber suspended from the walls and ceiling. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-28 11:08
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The lobby and staircase use thousands of lengths of repurposed timber. Photo cou
The lobby and staircase use thousands of lengths of repurposed timber. Photo: John Gollings, courtesy March Studio
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The recently opened NewActon Nishi apartment complex in Canberra, Australia, features one of the more unique lobby spaces you'll see, with thousands of pieces of repurposed timber suspended from the walls and ceiling. 

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Moshe Safdie's twin residential towers in Singapore will be connected by 'sky pool' 38 stories in the air [slideshow]

Moshe Safdie's latest project, a pair of 38-story luxury residential towers in Singapore, will be linked by three "sky garden" bridges, including a rooftop-level bridge with a lap pool running the length between the two structures.

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The towers are expected to go up on Singapore's Bishan district in 2015. 

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Moshe Safdie's latest project, a pair of 38-story luxury residential towers in Singapore, will be linked by three "sky garden" bridges, including a rooftop-level bridge with a lap pool running the length between the two structures. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-28 10:05
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Renderings: courtesy Safdie Architects
Renderings: courtesy Safdie Architects
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Moshe Safdie's latest project, a pair of 38-story luxury residential towers in Singapore, will be linked by three "sky garden" bridges, including a rooftop-level bridge with a lap pool running the length between the two structures. 

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KPF's dual towers in Turkey will incorporate motifs, symbols of Ottoman Empire

The architecture for the two-building headquarters of Ziraat Bank, Turkey’s largest and oldest financial institution, is inspired by the country’s cultural heritage.

The 40- and 46-story towers will incorporate motifs, geometrical patterns, and symbols of the Ottoman Empire, including the Turga, the seal of the Sultan. 

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The two-building headquarters for Turkey’s largest and oldest financial institution, Ziraat Bank, is inspired by the country’s cultural heritage. 

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The two-building headquarters for Turkey’s largest and oldest financial institution, Ziraat Bank, is inspired by the country’s cultural heritage. 

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-28 11:47
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All renderings: courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox
All renderings: courtesy Kohn Pedersen Fox
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The two-building headquarters for Turkey’s largest and oldest financial institution, Ziraat Bank, is inspired by the country’s cultural heritage. 

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B.R. Fries completes medical center focused on male health

As an ongoing healthcare construction resource to NYU Langone Medical,  B.R. Fries & Associates, LLC  provided services for the 13,000 square feet Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health in New York City.  Located at 555 Madison Ave. between 55th and 56th Street, the Center offers convenient and targeted outpatient services for sophisticated male consumers.
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The Center houses 17 exam rooms, 11 Consultation rooms plus a rehabilitation room

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Occupying the building’s entire second floor, the male-centric center is honeycombed with examination and consultation rooms, as well as areas for noninvasive testing.

Publication Date: 
Wed, 2014-05-28 10:49
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Photos courtesy of B.R. Fries.
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Occupying the building’s entire second floor, the male-centric center is honeycombed with examination and consultation rooms, as well as areas for noninvasive testing.

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Retail renovation trends: Omni-channel shopping, personalized experiences among top goals of new store designs

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In pursuit of enhanced customer experiences, retailers are using Big Data, interactive technology, and omni-channel shopping to transform their bricks and mortar locations.

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In pursuit of enhanced customer experiences, retailers are using Big Data, interactive technology, and omni-channel shopping to transform their bricks and mortar locations.

Publication Date: 
Thu, 2014-05-29 06:08
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Customers want continuity, so the look and feel of every channel, from mobile to
Customers want continuity, so the look and feel of every channel, from mobile to desktop to in-store, should be the same. For example, AMC Theatres recently began offering guests the opportunity to buy tickets online and reserve actual seats at the theatre before arriving. Photo: AMC at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio; Cptimes via Wikipedia
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In pursuit of enhanced customer experiences, retailers are using Big Data, interactive technology, and omni-channel shopping to transform their bricks and mortar locations.

Ongoing evolution in the retail industry—including near-global access to the Internet and speedy adoption rates of smartphones—is forcing retailers to create a brick-and-mortar shopping experience that rivals the convenience and immediacy of the Internet. As a result, hundreds of retailers in thousands of locations are committing capital to renovating stores for an enhanced overall customer experience.

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