Despite the fact that most state licensing boards require registered architects to pursue continuing education, not all AEC professionals take full advantage of the educational opportunities available. Thatâ€™s a shame, says Mic Patterson, VP of Strategic Development for Enclos, given the value of the many workshops, seminar programs, and conferences aimed at practicing architects. The Facades+ conference series, co-sponsored by Enclos and AN, is one such offering. â€œThe intent was to start a dialog involving the building skin that bridged the various fragmented sectors of the building industry,â€ said Patterson. â€œWeâ€™ve been very successful in doing that. Now Iâ€™m interested in taking this dialog to other locations.â€ Accordingly, Facades+ will launch a new initiative next month: Facades+ AM, a half-day forum debuting in Seattle on November 11.
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Photoengraved concrete connects past and present in Montreal student housing.
Though the site on which KANVA‘s Edison Residence was recently constructed stood vacant for at least 50 years, its emptiness belied a more complicated history. Located on University Street just north of McGill University’s Milton gates, the student apartment building lies within one of Montreal‘s oldest neighborhoods. Photographs dating to the mid-19th century show a stone house on the lot, but by 1960 the building “had disappeared; it was erased,” said founding partner Rami Bebawi. Excavation revealed that the original house had burned to the ground. Prompted by the site’s history, as well as an interest in exploring cutting-edge concrete technology, the architects delivered a unique solution to the challenge of combining old and new: a photoengraved concrete facade featuring stills from Thomas Edison’s 1901 film of Montreal firefighters.
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Installation investigates the future of facade design and fabrication.
Unlike some student projects, AAC Textile-Block v2.0 was shaped by both practical and speculative concerns. In back-to-back courses at Pratt, undergraduates designed and fabricated a prototype section of a screen wall system made from autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC). Co-taught by Lawrence Blough and Ezra Ardolino, the design studio and prototyping seminar encouraged students to look beyond their computer screens to real-world constraints including block size and light and air circulation. “The idea was that we wanted to make something that has an application later on,” said Blough. “It was more than a run-of-the-mill digital fabrication project,” added Ardolino. “It was really a comprehensive fabrication project.” Read More
Frank Gehry‘s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Scott Johnson‘s Museum Tower in Dallas, and Rafael ViÃ±oly‘s Vrada Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas have at least one thing in common. All three provoked the ire of their neighbors when glare from their reflective facades raised sidewalk temperatures, blinded drivers, orâ€”as in the Museum Tower caseâ€”jeopardized the nearby Nasher Sculpture Centerâ€™s collections. Glare is increasingly a problem in facade design, says Curtainwall Design Consulting president Charles Clift, in part because of the tools contemporary architects have at their disposal. “The conclusion I came to is that the digital age of architecture has allowed designers to create anything they can imagine, but with that comes some unintended consequences.”
The members of Chicago‘s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) control nearly 80 percent of downtown Chicago’s rentable building area. That makes them critical to local energy efficiency initiatives that aim to reduce the nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy that is consumed by buildings. Read More
Manufacturing is returning to Buffalo, New York in a big way. In late September, SolarCity broke ground on a 1.2-million-square-foot solar panel manufacturing plant that will be the biggest facility of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. The company, which Elon Musk chairs, is investing $5 billion into the project thatÂ will rise on the site of a formerÂ Republic Steel factory. WhenÂ fully operational, the panels produced at the factory are expected to generateÂ one gigawatt of energy, that’s roughly enough power to power 145,000 homes.
Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his plan to reduceÂ New York Cityâ€™s greenhouse gas emissions by 80Â percent over 2005 levels byÂ 2050. Needless to say, that’s a pretty ambitious target, but this mayor seems to like ambitious targetsâ€”his plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade comes to mind. But back to his latest plan, the climate plan.
Todayâ€™s AEC professionals are moreÂ to reach for a computer mouse then they are a drafting pencil. Understanding and being able fully utilize cutting-edge digital design tools is essential to contemporary architectural practice, particularly the design of high-performance building skins. Attendees at next monthâ€™s Facades+ Dallas conference can choose among four hands-on tech workshops in a unique program designed to deliver in-depth exposure to platforms including Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Vasari, and Grasshopper.