Architect Chad Oppenheim on Getting Back in Touch With Nature

Cor, Miami, Florida. (Courtesy Oppenheim Architecture + Design)

Cor, Miami, Florida. (Courtesy Oppenheim Architecture + Design)

Asked about the pros and cons of practicing architecture in South Florida, Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture + Design principal and lead designer Chad Oppenheim said, “It’s always wonderful to design buildings in a beautiful environment such as Miami.”

More after the jump.

Facades+ makes its Miami debut this September

IwamotoScott crafted a digitally-fabricated aluminum skin for a Miami Design District parking garage. (Courtesy IwamotoScott)

IwamotoScott crafted a digitally-fabricated aluminum skin for a Miami Design District parking garage. (Courtesy IwamotoScott)

Miami is hot right now—and not just because it’s midsummer. The city, which is in the midst of a building boom, is of necessity a model of sustainable building practices and extreme-weather preparedness.

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Rising sea levels bring challenges, opportunities to South Florida

Miami's low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Miami’s low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

When it comes to the urban impacts of climate change, said FIU College of Architecture’s Marilys Nepomechie, Miami is “the canary in the coal mine.”

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Facades pro Michel Rojkind on value-added building envelopes

Rojkind Arquitectos and Zahner crafted a new stainless steel facade for Liverpool department store in Mexico City. (Jaime Navarro)

Rojkind Arquitectos’ Liverpool Insurgentes department store. (Jaime Navarro)

Known for their playful, cutting-edge facades, Rojkind Arquitectos are adept at transforming obstacles into opportunity.

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Witness Miami’s building boom at Facades+ this September

Downtown Miami is in the midst of a resurgence. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Downtown Miami is in the midst of a resurgence. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Miami is on the rise—literally. The local AEC industry is booming, with dozens upon dozens of projects, including 79 towers, currently under construction and 92 projects in pre-construction. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics [pdf], 105,600 Miami-area workers were employed in the construction trades as of April 2015, a 6.7 percent increase from the previous year.

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TEX-FAB explores new frontiers in high performance facade design

Plasticity Pavilion. (Courtesy Andrew Vrana)

Plasticity Pavilion. (Courtesy Andrew Vrana)

The motto of Houston architecture, civic art, and product design firm METALAB is “finding new and better ways to build things.” In addition to forming the core of his professional practice, this mission aptly describes principal Andrew Vrana’s work with the Texas digital design and production network TEX-FAB.

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Kirksey’s Julie Hendricks on closing the gap between designed, actual performance

Kirksey's Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. (Jilleann77 via Wikipedia)

Kirksey’s Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza. (Jilleann77 via Wikipedia)

As EcoServices team leader for Kirksey Architecture, Julie Hendricks spends her days thinking about how to build sustainably without busting a project’s budget.

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High performance facade design is on the rise in Houston, says Jorge Muñoz

HOK's Sysco headquarters building in Houston. (Hequals2henry / Wikimedia Commons)

HOK’s Sysco headquarters building in Houston. (Whisper To Me / Wikimedia Commons)

As founding principal of Muñoz Albin, Jorge Muñoz has a unique global perspective on high performance facade design. Based in Houston, the firm’s earliest projects were located overseas. “In the last 20 plus years, we have worked and continue to work on projects in Western Europe, where there is a tradition of more generous budgets on building envelopes as well as more flexible user and developer demands on efficiency,” said Muñoz.

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Sanjeev Tankha explains the intracacies of engineering facades for hot, humid Houston

Houston's sunny climate presents a special set of challenges to facade designers and fabricators. (Theodore Scott / Flickr)

Houston’s sunny climate presents a special set of challenges to facade designers and fabricators. (Theodore Scott / Flickr)

Thanks to the city’s humid subtropical climate, facade designers and fabricators face a special set of challenges in Houston. Unchecked, steady sunshine and high temperatures can permeate the building envelope, leading to a heavy reliance on mechanical cooling systems. Meanwhile, Houston’s Gulf Coast location makes it vulnerable to tropical storms.

Continue reading after the jump.

Gensler’s Kristopher Stuart on Houston’s Facades Scene

Facades+AM makes its Houston debut June 18. (Katie Haugland / Flickr)

Facades+AM makes its Houston debut June 18. (Katie Haugland / Flickr)

For Kristopher Stuart, design director and principal at Gensler, Houston‘s rapid evolution is exactly what makes practicing architecture there exciting. Read More

Save the Date! Facades+AM heads to Houston this June

Facades+AM is coming to Houston June 18. (Sarath Kutchi / Flickr)

Facades+AM is coming to Houston June 18. (Sarath Kuchi / Flickr)

They say “everything is bigger in Texas.” So it goes for Houston‘s skyline, the fourth largest in the United States. Big, too, are the names behind Space City’s most iconic skyscrapers. The city’s tallest, the 75-story JPMorgan Chasetower, was designed by I.M. Pei in 1981.

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Laurie Kerr: AEC industry key to achieving New York City’s emissions reduction goals

NYC AEC industry leaders will gather next week for Facades+ NYC. (5chw4r7z / Flickr)

NYC AEC industry leaders will gather next week for Facades+ NYC. (5chw4r7z / Flickr)

Eight years ago, in the face of rapidly rising carbon emissions, PlaNYCNew York City‘s sustainability and resilience blueprint—set a goal of reducing emissions 30 percent citywide by 2030 compared to a 2005 baseline. “Enormous progress has been made thus far: the growth has been stopped and emissions have substantially decreased—by 19 percent,” observed Laurie Kerr, Urban Green Council‘s Director of Policy. “But as impressive as that is, we need to do more, faster.” Read More

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