BD+C editors reporting live from the AIA showfloor.
BD+C editors spent last week in sunny San Francisco for the annual AIA national convention. Here's a recap of our top stories from the show: 5 legal issues of building information modeling (BIM); USGBC announces LEED v3; Autodesk develops sustainable design guide; developments in vacuum-insulated glass; GBCI announces LEED AP changes
BIM use grows, questions persist
San Francisco—May 2, 2009—11:30am… BIM modeling continues to grow in popularity and is predicted to achieve total marketplace use in the next five years. Currently, 43% of architects say they’re heavy BIM users (heavy BIM use means more than 60% of work is done in BIM) and 54% expect to be heavy users within the next year, according to experts at the Saturday morning session The Top 5 Legal Issues of Building Information Modeling. Those five issues:
1. How does the architectural standard of care fit and evolve with the BIM model?
2. What are the best practices for BIM in contractual relationships?
3. Who owns or controls the BIM model?
4. Will state regulatory controls govern contributions to and use of the model?
5. In what ways have professional liability insurance addressed BIM?
AIA/COTE winners include BD+C Building Team Awards judge
San Francisco—May 1, 2009—6:30pm… The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) presented awards to the top 10 green projects for 2009, and one of the awards went to the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Ill., designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects. Carol Ross Barney served as a judge for BD+C’s 2009 Building Team Awards, which are featured in the May issue.
Check out all the AIA/COTE winners: http://www2.aiatopten.org/hpb/ 
USGBC announces LEED v3
San Francisco—May 1, 2009—2:00pm… The newest version of LEED launched April 27th, 2009. LEED v3 builds on the existing rating system, but provides a new structure for making sure the rating system incorporates new technology and addresses changing priorities. LEED v3 consists of three components:
1. LEED 2009: technical advancements to the LEED rating system’s credits and points.
2. LEED Online: an update that makes it faster and easier to use, with new help options.
3. New building certification model: an expanded certification infrastructure based on ISO standards, administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for improved capacity, speed, and performance.
Find more information at: www.usgbc.org/leedv3
GBCI announces LEED AP changes
San Francisco—May 1, 2009—1:30pm… LEEP AP credentialing has also been tweaked. GBCI is phasing in three fundamental changes throughout 2009:
1. Multiple levels of excellence that distinguishes practitioners with basic, advanced, and extraordinary levels of knowledge.
2. Eligibility requirements for all levels of the exam system.
3. Credentialing maintenance requirements that ensure LEED APs have the latest knowledge and understanding of green practices.
Find more information at: www.gbci.org
Right-sizing health care design
San Francisco—May 1, 2009—1:00pm... In-patient spaces in acute care hospitals have grown in size by 77% over the last 25 years. Patient room square footage is expanding faster than in operating rooms. Eighteen states have overbuilt hospitals so that by 2030, they'll have more beds than they need. California hasn’t built enough; the state will need 63,000 more in-patient beds by 2030—that means the Golden State has to build one 170-bed hospital every week for the next 25 years to meet demand. How do you right-size healthcare design? Check out the Kurt Salmon Associates study hospital facility growth: http://www.kurtsalmon.com/uploads/HERD_Publication.pdf
Autodesk releases sustainable design guide
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—8:00pm... San Rafael, Calif., software manufacturer Autodesk released a new sustainable design guide today at the AIA convention. The Guide to Sustainable Design for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction  is a free online resource that illustrates sustainable design principles, decisions and technologies for every phase of the building project lifecycle. The Guide helps owners, architects, engineers and contractors select their building paths and view the consequences of their design choices on the efficient use of water, energy, materials and land.
Metal wall panel does it all
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—4:31pm... Centria has launched its version of the insulated backup composite panel, called MetalWrap . The all-in-one panel technology eliminates the need for conventional batt or board insulation, exterior gypsum board, air barriers, varor retarders, and building wraps, and can be installed by a single contractor.
Coming in 2010: vacuum-insulated glass
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—4:05pm... A consortium of window manufacturers, including Guardian Industries and Jeld-Wen, is working to make vacuum-insulated glass (VIP) technology affordable by late 2010. If the group is successful, the construction industry will soon have glass offerings that can achieve R-10 or better, according to Scott Thomsen, chief technology officer and group VP with Guardian Industries.
Cutting-edge affordable housing
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—3:45pm... The emerging trends in affordable housing session focused more on the housing than on trends, but the winning projects pushed the boundaries in terms of design, space utilization, use, and community support. Check them out: http://www.huduser.org/research/2008_AIA_Brochure.pdf 
Worth noting: The concept of night lighting was mentioned several times. While lighting is used to increase security (a no brainer) is was also used architecturally to enhance the look and feel of a project. The way a project was lit made people want to stroll the neighborhood at night, take a walk around the block, enjoy being out and about—and feel safe while doing so.
AIA upgrades Contract Documents software, releases new construction manager documents
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—10:38am... The American Institute of Architects today announced the release of an updated version of AIA Contract Documents® software as well as new Construction Manager documents. Guided by extensive input from hundreds of Contractor, Owner, Architect and Attorney users of AIA Documents, the updated software features easier project and document management, flexible dialogs allowing for easier document completion, Microsoft Excel® capabilities in several G-Series forms and one-click custom template creation. For more: http://www.aia.org/contractdocs
California Academy of Sciences, Orchard Garden Hotel among San Francisco's 'greenest' buildings
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—10:07am... To celebrate San Francisco, the host city of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2009 Convention, and its commitment to sustainable design, the AIA has partnered with Mayor Gavin Newsom to select San Francisco’s “greenest” buildings. California Academy of Sciences and Orchard Garden Hotel are among the 10 projects selected.
For the full list, visit: http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB079710 
AIA launches 2030 commitment program to help design firms go carbon neutral
San Francisco—April 30, 2009—9:42am... The American Institute of Architects 2030 Commitment is a voluntary program for AIA member firms and other entities in the built environment that asks these organizations to make a pledge, develop multi-year action plans, and implement steps that can advance AIA’s goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030. Architects are confronting the fact the buildings are the largest single contributor to the production of greenhouse gases and almost half of the total annual production. For more: http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAB079545