Mayors, Philanthropies Team Up for Energy Efficiency Blitz

National, News, Sustainability
Thursday, January 30, 2014
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Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

Chicago is one of 10 cities targeted by philanthropies for energy efficiency savings. (josh*m via flickr)

A team of mayors and nonprofit foundations said Wednesday that they’ll spend enough retrofitting major U.S. cities to save more than $1 billion per year in energy costs. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation pledged $3 million each year for three years to provide technical advisers for 10 cities across the country: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. Read More

Former DOT Secretary Ray LaHood Assumes New Roles

ray-lahood-opt

Obama’s former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has accepted two new jobs since resigning his post last July. First, he has joined a bipartisan group focused on improving national transportation policy. LaHood will be co-chair of Building America’s Future along with Former New York Mayor Bloomberg (I) and former Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell (D). “I am delighted to join Building America’s Future as a co-chair and am excited to work together with some of the nation’s most innovative public leaders,” LaHood said in a statement. Also this month, LaHood announced he will be joining law firm DLA Piper as a senior consultant, according to StreetsBlog. A spokesperson said he will hold a strictly advisory role at the mega-firm and will not become a lobbyist.

Senators, Congresswoman Back National Park Status for Chicago’s Pullman Neighborhood

THE 12000 BLOCK OF SOUTH CHAMPLAIN AVENUE AND THE 11200 BLOCK OF SOUTH FORESTVILLE AVENUE FEATURE SOME OF PULLMAN'S HISTORIC HOMES AND HOTELS. (HPF / ROBERT SHYMANSKI)

THE 12000 BLOCK OF SOUTH CHAMPLAIN AVENUE AND THE 11200 BLOCK OF SOUTH FORESTVILLE AVENUE FEATURE SOME OF PULLMAN’S HISTORIC HOMES AND HOTELS. (HPF / ROBERT SHYMANSKI)

Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, and Congresswoman Robin Kelly today announced their intention to introduce legislation that would make the Pullman Historic District Chicago’s first national park.

Since last year, a movement to designate the South Side Pullman neighborhood a national park has gained momentum. Its historic building stock—full of Romanesque and Victorian Queen Anne style buildings by architect Solon Spencer Beman and landscape architect Nathan F. Barrett — was lauded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architecture Billings Index Dips for Second Month. Is the Recovery Slowing?

National
Thursday, January 23, 2014
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

Following a period of extended growth, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI), which is compiled by the AIA, declined for the second straight month, down to 48.5 in December from 49.8 in November (any score below 50 indicates a decline). The news is not entirely bleak, however, as new project inquiries rose to 59.2 up from 57.8.

Continue reading after the jump.

AN Launches Newsletter on Building Facade Technology

National, Newsletter
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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(BRAD FEINKNOPF/FEINKNOPF / MONTAGE BY AN)

(BRAD FEINKNOPF/FEINKNOPF / MONTAGE BY AN)

To compliment our acclaimed national education conference, Facades+, The Architect’s Newspaper has launched a brand new editorial series to bring readers the most innovative building envelopes on some of the world’s most important, newly completed buildings, and the products and processes behind them. Publishing every Wednesday morning, the Facades+ Newsletter provides in-depth coverage of the newest innovations in building skins, from glass and metal to tile, wood, and composites.

Sign up to have each week’s installment delivered directly to your inbox.

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Colorful Carbon Footprint Maps Illustrates Energy Usage Trends

New!_Carbon_Footprint_Maps_CoolClimate_Network_-_2014-01-16_03.40.47

Source: UC Berkeley CoolClimate Network, Average Annual Household Carbon Footprint (2013)

University of California, Berkeley has released a new set of interactive maps illustrating national energy usage.  The visually striking if troubling images reveal a stark urban/suburban divide regarding carbon footprint, with the latter contributing far more in emissions than their city-dwelling counterparts.

Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Sorkin Proposal Sites Obama Presidential Library in Chicago’s Woodlawn Neighborhood

(michael sorkin studio)

(michael sorkin studio)

After President Barack Obama leaves office, he’s expected to announce the location of a Presidential Library in his name. Its location has been a topic of debate for some time already, years ahead of Obama’s return to civilian life in 2017. His birthplace, Hawaii, has made a push, as has New York’s Columbia University, where Obama got his undergraduate degree in political science.

Chicago, the President’s adopted hometown, is a natural frontrunner in the preemptive race, as it’s where Obama made most of his political ties and first launched his career in public service.

Continue reading after the jump.

November Billings Reveal a Drop in Design Services for the Second Month in a Row

Architecture, National
Friday, December 20, 2013
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BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

BILLINGS (BLUE) AND INQUIRIES (RED) FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS. (THE ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER)

All good things must come to an end. Following a robust six months, the demand for design services has simmered down.  In November, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) slid from 51.6 in October to 49.8 (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). This the second month in a row that the ABI has experienced a small dip.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architecture Firm Offers One Luxury Buyer a Custom Backyard Stadium

Architecture, National
Monday, December 16, 2013
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(Courtesy Populous)

Populous designs a scaled multisport field for your backyard. (Courtesy Populous)

Searching for the perfect holiday gift? If AN’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide choices are not exquisite enough for your recipient’s taste, sport architecture firm Populous has just the right $30 million option.

The Kansas City-based company, whose commissions include Yankee Stadium in New York City and London’s Olympic Stadium, will give one big spender their own custom backyard stadium this holiday season. The offer was created for Robb Report’s Ultimate Gift List this year, a list of luxury presents for the world’s wealthiest, said Ballpark Digest. After at least 12 months of design and construction, the personal field will be equipped with the electronic displays and the technology to host and play nearly any sport.

Continue reading after the jump.

Product> 2013 Architect’s Holiday Gift Guide

National, Newsletter, Product
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

(Snowflake photos by Alexey Kljatov / Flickr; Montage by AN)

As architects, we know you’re overworked and probably underpaid, and we’re guessing you haven’t had time to draft your holiday wish list quite yet. But don’t despair. AN has compiled a list of high-design, unique gift ideas for you and your colleagues, friends, and family members with good taste, most of which are also attainable for budget-conscious buyers.

Continue reading after the jump.

Kickstarter> Spacemaker VR: Virtual Reality for Architects

National, Technology
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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MILES KEMP, THE CREATOR OF SPACEMAKER VR, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

SPACEMAKER VR’S FOUNDER, MILES KEMP, HAS A BACKGROUND IN ARCHITECTURE AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIGITAL PHYSICAL)

Miles Kemp, the brains behind a new virtual-reality visualization software for architects, has been around architects and builders for as long as he can remember. The son of a contractor, Kemp took his first job with an architect at the age of 14. By age 21, he was on a team at SOM. Kemp eventually made his way to SCI-Arc, where he completed an M.Arch2 in 2006 with a thesis on robotics. Since then, Kemp, the founder and president of Variate Labs, has worked on over 100 interactive media projects. “I’ve always been into this idea of user-experience design, of being able to create almost like a conversation between people and the built environment,” Kemp said.

Read More

Video> Ray LaHood Says Congress is Scared to Make Infrastructure Investments

City Terrain, National
Monday, December 9, 2013
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After the fatal MetroNorth crash in New York City last week, former Obama administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed that Washington is “afraid” to invest in transportation infrastructure improvement. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, LaHood said the recent train tragedy was only another example of the problems lurking in America’s infrastructure and that the $48 billion set for transportation use by the economic recovery plan was “not enough money,” something Congressional members later acknowledged. Only in states where the people have voted for infrastructure referendums is progress occurring. He called for nationwide leadership to follow suit.

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