Archinect - News 2018-03-17T21:47:14-04:00 Lucas Museum of Narrative Art breaks ground in Los Angeles Alexander Walter 2018-03-14T15:37:00-04:00 >2018-03-15T14:03:51-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>After several years of planning and proposals in different cities, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, funded by the &ldquo;Star Wars&rdquo; filmmaker George Lucas, is breaking ground today on a new building here that its leaders predict will take about four years to complete. Designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, the museum will occupy a corner of Exposition Park, an urban hub near the University of Southern California that already contains three museums [...].</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.</figcaption></figure><p>After protective fencing went up <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">last month</a> at its <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Exposition Park</a> site in South Los Angeles, the $1-billion&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lucas Museum of Narrative Art</a>, designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAD Architects</a>, finally broke ground today.<br></p> While Trump confirms steel & aluminum tariffs, new report predicts loss of 28,000 construction jobs Alexander Walter 2018-03-08T19:48:00-05:00 >2018-03-08T19:51:40-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The US construction industry may lose more than 28,000 jobs if Donald Trump&rsquo;s plan to raise tariffs on imported steel and aluminium goes ahead, a pro-free trade think tank has warned. [...] While Trump claims tariffs would create jobs in America&rsquo;s steel and aluminium sectors, a Washington, DC, thinktank, Trade Partnership, warned that such a policy would &ldquo;reverberate throughout&rdquo; the economy, costing more jobs than it would gain as it pushed up the cost of the metals.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Unswayed by warnings from top economists, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">industry groups</a>, and members of his own party, Donald Trump today signed two tariff proclamations at the White House that will erect&nbsp;25% and 10% tariffs on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">steel</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">aluminum</a> imports respectively.&nbsp;</p> <p>While the administration claims that the import tariffs will protect the domestic iron and steel sectors and create thousands of jobs, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">a new report</a>&nbsp;calculates that this move would actually destroy 179,334 jobs in other sectors&mdash;including 28,313&nbsp;in construction&mdash;resulting in a net job loss of&nbsp;nearly 146,000 (not taking into account any potential trade retaliation against U.S. exports; only of the tariffs themselves). "More than five jobs would be lost for every one gained," the report estimates.</p> AIA leadership contend steel & aluminum tariffs will negatively impact architecture industry Hope Daley 2018-03-06T14:03:00-05:00 >2018-03-06T20:59:55-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">American Institute of Architects (AIA)</a> President Carl Elefante, FAIA, and EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, released the following statement today in response to the Administration&rsquo;s plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.<br></p> <p>"The Administration&rsquo;s announcement of new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports threatens to drastically increase the prices of many <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">building materials</a> specified by architects. These metal products are some of the largest material inputs in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">construction</a> of buildings. Structural metal beams, window frames, mechanical systems and exterior cladding are largely derived from these important metals.</p> <p>&ldquo;As creative problem solvers, architects rely on a variety of these materials to achieve functional and performance goals for their clients. Inflating the cost of materials will limit the range of options they can use while adhering to budgetary constraints for a building.</p> <p>&ldquo;By the same token, the Administration&rsquo;s proposed infrastructure fund...</p> Fifteen Hudson Yards designed by DS+R and Rockwell Group tops out with initial opening next spring Hope Daley 2018-02-27T16:21:00-05:00 >2018-03-01T12:41:25-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Fifteen Hudson Yards, designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Diller Scofidio + Renfro</a> in collaboration with&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rockwell Group</a>, has now <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">topped out</a> and stands over 900 feet tall.&nbsp;This is the first tower within the&nbsp;28-acre <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NYC</a> site with for-sale residencies. Sales for the 285 condominiums have now surpassed 50%, with the remaining spaces priced from&nbsp;$3.9&nbsp;million for a two-bedroom to $32&nbsp;million for&nbsp;duplex penthouse.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Fifteen Hudson Yards topping out. Image: Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group.</figcaption></figure><p>Hudson Yards is a new neighborhood on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Manhattan</a>'s West Side, which will include&nbsp;more than 100&nbsp;shops and restaurants, approximately 4,000 residences, 14-acres of&nbsp;public open space, and a new 750-seat public&nbsp;school.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Construction progress at Hudson Yards, NYC. Image: Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group.</figcaption></figure><p>Developers Related Cos.&nbsp;and&nbsp;Oxford Properties Group plan to open the entire first phase next March, which includes&nbsp;the Public Square and Gardens, its centerpiece the Vessel,&nbsp;and The Shops &amp; Restaurants at Hudson Yards.&nbsp;<br></p> <p>W...</p> This AI-powered & LiDAR-equipped robot could soon help detect construction errors early Alexander Walter 2018-02-23T15:39:00-05:00 >2018-02-26T16:46:49-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Using lidar-equipped robots, Doxel scans construction sites every day to monitor how things are progressing, tracking what gets installed and whether it&rsquo;s the right thing at the right time in the right place. You&rsquo;d think that construction sites would be doing this by themselves anyway, but it turns out that they really don&rsquo;t, and in a recent pilot study on a medical office building, Doxel says it managed to increase labor productivity on the project by a staggering 38 percent.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"You could send in some humans with lidar backpacks, but that would be more&nbsp;expensive,"<em> IEEE Spectrum</em> explains. "The company is also using drones in a limited capacity right now, since they require human supervision, but it&rsquo;s easy to imagine how much more efficient this process could get as robotic autonomy improves."</p> MAD's Lucas Museum of Narrative Art prepares to break ground in Los Angeles Alexander Walter 2018-02-12T15:11:00-05:00 >2018-02-12T15:12:41-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>One year after Los Angeles unexpectedly won the right to host the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the spaceship-like project is now ready to push dirt in Exposition Park. Protective fencing now encircles the site of filmmaker George Lucas' $1-billion legacy project, which replaces two parking lots at the intersection of 39th Street and Vermont Avenue. The eventual four-story, 115-foot-tall building will feature[...] Lucas' 10,000-piece collection, a library, two theaters, classrooms, and offices.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image courtesy of Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.</figcaption></figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Exposition Park</a> in South Los Angeles has already a number of high-profile construction projects going on (new MLS soccer stadium and Coliseum makeover to host the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2028 Summer Olympics</a>) or <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">on the books</a>, and the $1-billion&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lucas Museum of Narrative Art</a>, designed by <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ma Yansong</a>'s <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MAD Architects</a>, appears to be breaking ground soon as well.</p> Jeddah Tower construction reaches 63rd floor Alexander Walter 2018-02-08T15:05:00-05:00 >2018-02-09T15:24:29-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Construction of the world's tallest skyscraper in Jeddah is going ahead, the head of the consortium behind the $1.5 billion project said, despite the detention of some businessmen backing the plan in Saudi Arabia's crackdown on corruption. [...] Construction has reached the 63rd floor and the superstructure - the concrete shell and the cladding - is to be completed next year, Jomah said, adding that delays in some areas were inevitable because of technical challenges.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>Progress on the soon-to-be tallest structure on earth has been troubled for a while, with the main contractor (and partial owner)&nbsp;Saudi Binladin Group going through a financial rough patch and, more recently, several project officials and royal family members being targeted by the country's anti-corruption crackdown.&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite the challenges, work is going ahead on the&nbsp;1,000 m/3,281 ft <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jeddah Tower</a> (formerly Kingdom Tower) designed by Chicago-based&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture</a>, and construction recently reached the 63rd floor.&nbsp;</p> Austin in favor of boycotting companies involved in Trump's border wall Alexander Walter 2018-02-05T12:35:00-05:00 >2018-02-05T12:40:47-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>In a 10-1 vote, the Austin City Council took the first step toward a boycott of any company that designs, builds or finances President Donald Trump&rsquo;s $25 billion proposed border wall between Texas and Mexico. [...] Four companies already have been tapped to design and build wall prototypes, including Texas-based Sterling Construction Company, Inc.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The Texas state capital is <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">just the latest</a> of several local and state governments having either passed or proposed legislation that would ban <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">companies</a> involved in designing, building, or financing <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump</a>'s proposed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">border wall</a> with Mexico from being considered for other public contracts.&nbsp;</p> Calatrava's new Dallas bridge further troubled due to cable flaws Alexander Walter 2018-02-02T13:28:00-05:00 >2018-02-04T10:19:08-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The Margaret McDermott Bridge was supposed to be open to pedestrians and bicyclists by now, but the arches over the Trinity River remain closed partially over concerns about broken cables. The issue centers around problems with the cables -- and their resistance to heavy winds -- that connect the arch to the base of the Dallas bridge, which was designed by famed architect Santiago Calatrava and his firm.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The&nbsp;$113-million (partially)&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Calatrava</a>-designed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Margaret McDermott Bridge</a> carrying Interstate 30 is part of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dallas</a>' ambitious <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trinity River Project</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>"City officials are hoping to open the bridge to pedestrians and cyclists in March," <em>Dallas News </em>writes. Meanwhile the finger-pointing between TxDOT, city officials, and the architect is in full swing.</p> AIA Consensus Construction Forecast predicts accelerated growth through 2019 Alexander Walter 2018-01-29T14:28:00-05:00 >2018-01-29T14:29:08-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Construction spending for nonresidential buildings is projected to increase 4 percent this year and continue at that pace of growth through 2019. While the commercial construction sectors will generate much of the expected gains this year, by 2019 the industrial and institutional sectors will dominate the projected construction growth. [...] However, in the face of a supportive economy, construction spending on nonresidential buildings disappointed last year.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The American Institute of Architects has published its latest <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Consensus Construction Forecast</a>, and it's looking quite rosy. Despite labor shortages and rising material costs that continue to have an impact on the construction industry, the report &mdash; supported by the last few editions of the Institute's monthly <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Architecture Billings Index</a> &mdash;&nbsp;projects a 4% increase for nonresidential buildings this year and a continuation of this pace through 2019.&nbsp;</p> <p>Analyzing this economic optimism, the AIA points out five key factors:</p> <ol><li>Rebuilding and repairs from natural disasters</li><li>Tax reform implications for construction</li><li>Possibility of an infrastructure package</li><li>Strong consumer and business confidence levels</li><li>Leading economic indicators for the construction sector</li></ol><p>For the full report and an interactive version of the infographic above, head over to <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a>.<br></p> <p>Can these positive projections be felt in your firm or region as well? Let us know in the comment section below.</p> Collapse of UK's second largest construction firm, Carillion Hope Daley 2018-01-16T15:22:00-05:00 >2018-01-16T15:22:24-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>A major British construction company is going into liquidation after failing to secure a financial lifeline. Carillion (CIOIF), which employs 43,000 people around the world, said in a statement Monday that rescue talks with stakeholders including the British government had collapsed. "We have been unable to secure the funding to support our business plan, and it is therefore with the deepest regret that we have arrived at this decision," Carillion Chairman Philip Green said in the statement.</p></em><br /><br /><p>With thousands of workers in the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UK</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Canada</a>, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">construction</a> company also builds high speed rail <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">infrastructure</a>, is involved in power distribution projects, and performs road maintenance, hospital management and other government services.&nbsp;</p> <p>Carillion has hundreds of contracts with the UK government. It was reported to BBC that the government was working on a contingency plan since last year in preparation of Carillion's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">failure</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index, commented, "It has been more than surprising, possibly even negligent, that the U.K. government continued to dish out contracts to Carillion even though their future has looked uncertain for some time."&nbsp;<br></p> Harvard's new Behnisch-designed Science and Engineering Complex tops out Alexander Walter 2018-01-02T11:59:00-05:00 >2018-01-02T15:23:01-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harvard University</a> recently celebrated the topping out ceremony of its new John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Designed by&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Behnisch Architekten</a>'s Boston office, the 497,000-square-foot, six-story complex&nbsp;at Harvard&rsquo;s Allston campus will house teaching and research laboratories, classroom spaces, faculty and staff offices, and other amenity spaces.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>From the architects: "Located across from Harvard Business School and adjacent to the emerging enterprise research campus, the building will be home to more than 900 undergraduates, more than 400 graduate students, over 450 researchers, and initially, as many as 80 faculty members. Additional teaching spaces, fabrication shops, core research facilities, and a loading dock will occupy two below-grade levels. All levels will be connected vertically by a central atrium space facing south toward the courtyard, which will deliver daylight to all floors and serve as the communicative heart of the complex."<br></p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p>"Integrated sus...</p> Sketching with Steel & Light: Oyler Wu in Taipei Anthony Morey 2017-12-27T15:00:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>When it comes to large-scale residential buildings, a complex set of economic, urban, and regulatory systems sometimes seem to have left little room for architectural exploration.&nbsp; Architects often struggle to find a point of entry for inserting their creative perspective in a way that would rethink or progress the typology.&nbsp; The resulting buildings typically reflect the reality of the efficiency-driven market - maximized footprint, relentless repetition, and lowest common denominator design appeal.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514" alt="Building in Context" title="Building in Context"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Oyler Wu Collaborative</figcaption></figure><p>Yet, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Oyler Wu</a> collaborative has built a library of success on finding the smallest of details, the nuances of nuance, and developing them into refined, varied manifestoes of architecture and design.&nbsp;<br></p> <figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514" alt="Building in Context" title="Building in Context"></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Oyler Wu Collaborative</figcaption></figure><p>When they were first approached by a prominent Taiwanese development company to work on the design of a brand new residential high rise, they expressed interest in finding an architectural approach that challenged these conventions. ...</p></figure> With more severe weather events on the horizon, it's time to elevate our homes Alexander Walter 2017-12-19T13:52:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>We can build homes to sit above flood waters so people can ride out the Harveys of the future, but it won&rsquo;t be easy or cheap. [...] More than a million people live in the 100- and 500-year flood zones across the Houston area, and hundreds of thousands more do in other U.S. cities, including Miami and New York. Harris County&rsquo;s move conforms with the advice of building engineers, climate experts, and the insurance industry.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Calatrava-designed Greek Orthodox church at World Trade Center site runs into funding issues, halts construction Alexander Walter 2017-12-18T15:33:00-05:00 >2017-12-18T15:35:30-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Construction at the site of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine at Ground Zero in New York City has been halted by the main construction company because the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has defaulted on payments, according to a letter sent by the company to its subcontractors working at the site.</p></em><br /><br /><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image: Greek Orthodox Church in America</figcaption></figure><p>The&nbsp;Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America acknowledged the payment issues and responded in a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">statement</a>: "In light of recent financial difficulties at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and in order to make certain that all operations and funds are being correctly managed, this difficult yet necessary step has been taken. The Archdiocese is confidently hopeful that construction will recommence in the very near future and has been assured by Skanska &mdash;the construction company responsible for building the church&mdash; that they are looking forward to the rescinding of this temporary suspension to continue working together in cooperation with the Archdiocese for the completion of the building project."</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Image: Greek Orthodox Church in America</figcaption></figure> From the Ashes, Detroit continues to rise. Anthony Morey 2017-12-18T11:30:00-05:00 >2017-12-18T16:02:24-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>An 800-foot-tall centerpiece is coming to Detroit's resurgent downtown as the city continues to build momentum about three years after exiting the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Detroit continues its steep climb back to normalcy and growth. As one of America's hardest-hit areas by the Great Recession, Detroit unemployment was running nearly three times as high as the national average in 2009 at a staggering 28 percent &mdash; and the city was bleeding population, losing inhabitants every year for the last six years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Through all this, Detroit has powered back and hinted its potential as a location of a modern-day <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">renaissance</a> allowing for unhindered creativity and possibilities. Returning to Detroit's legacy of a booming urban center, altogether, the projected projects of downtown look to bring up to 24,000+&nbsp; jobs to the region with companies such as Microsoft and Ally Financial looking to make a move to Downtown Detroit.&nbsp;</p> TWA Hotel behind Saarinen's iconic JFK terminal tops out Alexander Walter 2017-12-15T18:13:00-05:00 >2017-12-15T18:16:13-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>That didn&rsquo;t take long: Just about a year after celebrating the groundbreaking of the TWA Hotel, the developer behind the project, MCR, has announced that it&rsquo;s topped out. The hotel will complement&mdash;and connect to&mdash;Eero Saarinen&rsquo;s iconic 1962 TWA Flight Center. The whole shebang is on track to open in early 2019 as the TWA Hotel.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Drone Supervisors Anthony Morey 2017-11-28T14:41:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Following their research into the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Droneport</a>&mdash;a project that explores the potential of an &lsquo;infrastructural leap&rsquo; using cutting edge technology to surmount the challenges of the future&mdash;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Foster + Partners</a> is now working with Be Tomorrow UK, the UK arm of a leading autonomous drone software developer, to develop a drone-based solution to accurately detect clashes and potential snagging issues on construction sites.<br></p> <p>The project aims to create a reliable and cost-effective system that can map construction sites and help compare the as-built environment with the proposed design on a continuous basis, thereby eliminating potentially expensive construction errors and delays. Such a service will offer significant benefits to the construction industry, helping lower overall project costs and risk, while increasing quality and client confidence, for a relatively small investment. </p> <p>Be Tomorrow has worked on a wide array of drone related research and implementations, from the medical world to the e...</p> Do robots get a lunch break? Anthony Morey 2017-11-13T12:18:00-05:00 >2017-11-13T13:27:38-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The construction sector is going to look very different in a decade or two &ndash; and so is its workforce. Are we going to be ready for it? Or will we fall behind?</p></em><br /><br /><p>What will the future of construction sites be?&nbsp;What will they look like and who will be wearing the hard hats. Does technology need a hard hat? With the industry shifting with <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">3D printing</a>, robotics, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">artificial intelligence</a> and increased productivity, how then will the construction industry at large change?&nbsp;</p> <p>For more, listen to a podcast on the shifts in the construction industry.&nbsp;</p> <p><br></p> Construction starts for Zaha Hadid Architects' Bora Residential Tower in Mexico City Justine Testado 2017-11-09T14:25:00-05:00 >2017-11-09T14:25:51-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Construction is underway for the upcoming Bora Residential Tower, which is set to be the tallest building of its kind in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mexico City</a>. Client Nemesis Capital commissioned <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zaha Hadid Architects</a> to design the tower back in 2015.</p> <p>Located in the growing Santa Fe business district near the 28-hectare La Mexicana park, the 50-floor tower will include 220 apartment units of various sizes for families, professionals, and retirees. Each apartment is designed to allow natural light and ventilation, ensure privacy, and offer panoramic views. Units are also surrounded by balconies so that residents can enjoy the local temperate climate.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Lobby of the Bora Residential Tower in Mexico City by Zaha Hadid Architects. Rendering: LabTop.</figcaption></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Bora Residential Tower in Mexico City by Zaha Hadid Architects. Rendering: LabTop.</figcaption></figure><p>The tower tapers at its base and features &ldquo;swirling&rdquo; canopies under which recreational and leisure activities can take place. ZHA optimized flexibility and ductility in their design, to be...</p> How a 1980s flood regulation protected many newer homes in Houston during Hurricane Harvey Alexander Walter 2017-11-08T14:13:00-05:00 >2017-11-08T14:14:22-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>No other major metropolitan area in the U.S. has grown faster than Houston over the last decade, with a significant portion of new construction occurring in areas that the federal government considers prone to flooding. But much of that new real estate in those zones did just fine, a Times analysis has found.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The City of Houston, notorious for&nbsp;its relative lack of zoning codes, did in fact take future flooding into account and mandated that new homes were to be built at least 12 inches above flood levels predicted by the federal government. "The 1985 regulation and others that followed," the <em>LA Times</em> writes, "proved widely effective in their biggest test to date &mdash; the record-setting rains of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harvey</a>."</p> Facing backlash, companies building Trump's wall prototype seek protections Mackenzie Goldberg 2017-11-06T20:02:00-05:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>The prototypes for&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Donald Trump</a>&rsquo;s proposed <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">border wall</a> with Mexico have been completed, and the six participating companies, whose names have been publicly released, are beginning to face some serious pushback.&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the bidding process began, companies vying for the construction contract have received nonstop calls and criticism, been the site of protests,&nbsp;have received countless death threats, and according to one company, have even had their tractors stolen. Accused of betraying their own community,&nbsp;Hispanic-owned construction firms participating in the bidding process have faced the most backlash.</p> <p>Security work along the border has always been contentious and companies that have worked on the border fence as well as related roads and lighting have always experienced various levels of harassment. However, things are more charged nowadays.</p> <p>Beyond public criticism, companies competing to bid Trump's wall are facing legislative opposition on both the local and state level. Berkeley...</p> New York Wheel faces enormous challenges to become viable Alexander Walter 2017-11-01T13:27:00-04:00 >2017-11-01T13:30:58-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Work has ground to a halt at the New York Wheel, a massive attraction that developers say will help turn the St. George Ferry Terminal into a bustling tourist destination. The latest projections put the wheel&rsquo;s price tag at $590 million, more than twice initial estimates. The developers concede there have been setbacks, but they say they are still on firm financial footing and expect the project to succeed.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Building an audience from scratch for a new, expensive attraction on Staten Island's North Shore where visitors are also willing to spend $35 per ride to recover the half-billion-plus-dollar investment will be a steep challenge, <em>Crain's</em> reports: "To break even, the wheel likely needs to attract closer to 3 million visitors annually at $35 per head, judging from the developers' previous comments and information from Hunden Stratetgic Partners."</p> French architects are increasingly ditching concrete and embracing timber Alexander Walter 2017-10-31T14:26:00-04:00 >2017-10-31T14:28:08-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Spurred by concerns over climate change and the negative impacts of concrete manufacturing, architects and developers in France are increasingly turning to wood for their office towers and apartment complexes. Concrete was praised through much of the 20th century for its flexibility, functionality, and relative affordability. [...] Today, however, wood is lauded for its smaller environmental footprint and the speed with which buildings can be assembled.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Trump border wall prototypes completed, prepare for sledgehammer testing Alexander Walter 2017-10-30T14:23:00-04:00 >2018-02-14T13:17:28-05:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>[...] prototypes for President Donald Trump&rsquo;s proposed border wall with Mexico have been completed and will be subjected to punishment to test their mettle &mdash; by workers wielding sledgehammers, torches, pickaxes and battery-operated tools. The testing lasting up to two months could lead to officials concluding that elements of several designs should be merged to create effective walls [...]. That raises the possibility of no winner or winners.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The six companies that were <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">awarded contracts</a> to build prototypes of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Trump's border wall</a> with Mexico earlier this year have completed their full-scale models on a site near San Diego and will see their creations undergo rigorous testing for nonclimbability, nonunderdiggability, and resistance to tools like&nbsp;sledgehammers and pickaxes (no word on battering rams or poisoned arrows).</p> <p>While funding for the lofty idea of equipping all 1,954 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border with 30-foot-tall fortifications is still up in the air, the contractors erecting the selected prototypes were awarded&nbsp;between $300,000 and $500,000 for each model.</p> <p>Here are a few of the prototype designs &mdash; some cast in concrete and some built of other materials to allow border patrol agents to peek through the wall into Mexico and prevent passersby on the northern side from <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">being hit on the head by large sacks of drugs</a> that reportedly keep flying over the wall.</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p></figure><p><em>All images via&nbsp;U.S. Customs and Border Protection.</em></p>... Kengo Kuma visits his ship-like V&A Dundee museum as exterior nears completion Alexander Walter 2017-10-18T16:09:00-04:00 >2017-10-18T17:13:06-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Ten years after a Dundee V&amp;A museum was first considered, the finishing touches are being applied to the exterior of the &pound;80.1m building ahead of its opening next summer. [...] No amount of artist's impressions and computer-generated fly-throughs could have prepared the city for the true size and scale of the imposing design of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who will inspect the building on Wednesday.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Kengo Kuma</a> was in Scotland today to inspect construction progress on the impressive V&amp;A Museum of Design Dundee he designed. <br></p> <p><br></p> <p>Video via V&amp;A Dundee on YouTube<br></p> <p>He seemed very pleased, stating: "As an architect, seeing a completed building can be stressful, as some times the quality isn&rsquo;t satisfactory. But in this case the quality, and the attention to detail has given me great satisfaction to see. I was so impressed when I saw how the building works together with the River Tay. Some museums are just boxes &ndash; this isn&rsquo;t just a box, it is linked to nature."</p> <figure><p><a href=";w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=";w=514"></a></p><figcaption>Closeup of the exterior walls. Image via V&amp;A Dundee on Facebook.</figcaption></figure><p>The project is making significant strides, having just completed the exterior walls with its 2,500 cast stone panels that wrap the volume like planks on a sailing ship. Construction crews also recently dismantled the temporary cofferdam that separated the structure from the River Tay.</p> <p>The building is scheduled to open in 2018.<br></p> Beijing bans winter construction to reduce air pollution Alexander Walter 2017-09-19T14:00:00-04:00 >2017-09-19T14:00:56-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>Beijing will suspend construction of major public projects in the city this winter in an effort to improve the capital&rsquo;s notorious air quality, official media said on Sunday, citing the municipal commission of housing and urban-rural development. All construction of road and water projects, as well as demolition of housing, will be banned from Nov. 15 to March 15 within the city&rsquo;s six major districts and surrounding suburbs, said the Xinhua report.</p></em><br /><br /><p>"China is in the fourth year of a 'war on pollution,'" <em>Reuters </em>reports, "designed to reverse the damage done by decades of untrammelled economic growth and allay concerns that hazardous smog and widespread water and soil contamination are causing hundreds of thousands of early deaths every year."</p> Hurricane Irma causes three construction cranes to collapse in South Florida Alexander Walter 2017-09-11T14:45:00-04:00 >2017-09-11T14:51:53-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><em><p>The wildly swinging booms of three cranes at under-construction residential buildings in South Florida bent and collapsed in Hurricane Irma&rsquo;s heavy winds Sunday. [...] The cranes are a symbol of the luxury real estate development that drives South Florida&rsquo;s economy, attracting millions of dollars in foreign investment, even as home prices soar out of reach for locals. The construction industry has fought against stricter regulation of the towering cranes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While the whole extent of destruction that <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hurricane Irma</a> caused throughout Florida, Georgia, and various islands of the northern Caribbean in the past few days is still not entirely clear, the strength of the storm can be adumbrated by the three construction cranes that collapsed in the greater Miami area yesterday.</p> <p><br></p> Glasgow School of Art unveils prototype of Mackintosh Library bay based on the original 1910 design Justine Testado 2017-09-08T18:09:00-04:00 >2017-09-08T18:09:56-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p>Today, the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Glasgow School of Art</a>&nbsp;unveiled a full-size prototype of a section of the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mackintosh Library</a> bay that is based on the original 1910 design, marking another step forward for the building's restoration after the devastating <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2014 fire</a>. Following two years of meticulous research and six months in the making, the prototype was presented in the workshops of specialist carpenters Laurence McIntosh and has been used for multiple design tests.&nbsp;</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Mackintosh Library in 2014 (pre-fire). Photo &copy; McAteer Photo.</figcaption></figure><p>&ldquo;For those of you who remember the library as it was in 2014 the biggest change you will notice is the color. This is how we believe is how the library would have looked in 1910,&rdquo; said&nbsp;Professor Tom Inns, Director of The Glasgow School of Art, in a statement. Columns and shelves that survived the fire revealed that much of the library was constructed with American Tulip wood, he added.&nbsp;The Tulipwood for the Library is currently being sourced in the U.S. and will then be manufacture...</p> See how Joseph Choma built the “Chakrasana” arch using his fiberglass folding technique Justine Testado 2017-09-05T14:23:00-04:00 >2017-09-05T14:23:25-04:00 <img src="" border="0" /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Design Topology Lab</a> founder Joseph Choma continues to put his <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">fiberglass hand-folding technique</a> to the test in a new larger scale structure called &ldquo;Chakrasana&rdquo;, which is currently on display at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Clemson University</a>, where Choma is an architecture professor.</p> <p>Weighing in at only 400 pounds, the accordion arch pavilion was designed, fabricated by hand, and installed by Choma and a team of four people within 30 days. Design Topology Lab further explains their fabrication process below:</p> <figure><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src=""></a></p><figcaption>Photo: Joseph Choma.</figcaption></figure><p>&ldquo;Similar to paper folding, the process begins with a crease pattern composed of mountain and valley folds. Two 54 yard long rolls of 33.3" fiberglass cloth were stitched together using a full flat felled seam to create one continuous 32' 10" x 21' 9" sheet, with zero material waste. All the edges were precisely sewn to prevent sharp, rough or frayed edges. Using a painter's masking tape, a crease pattern was drawn on the fabric surface. The intricate pattern was composed of a total of 87...</p>