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Glenn Shrum of Flux Studio discusses what it means to work with light and how it comes together with architecture in this One-on-One interview.

The Architecture Billings Index saw a dip into negative terrain for the first time in five months in January, but inched back up in February with a small increase in demand for design services. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 50.3, up slightly from the mark of 49.6 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.5, up from a reading of 55.3 the previous month.

“March and April are traditionally the busiest months for architecture firms, so we should get a clearer reading of underlying momentum over the next couple of months,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Hopefully the relatively mild weather conditions recently in most parts of the country will help design and construction activity move ahead at a somewhat faster pace.”

Key February ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (51.1), West (49.9), Northeast (49.5), Midwest (49.3)

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (53.0), commercial / industrial (52.3), institutional (48.1), mixed practice (47.7)

• Project inquiries index: 59.5

• Design contracts index: 51.7

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.


About the AIA Architecture Billings Index

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI.  These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on the AIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

In the online BSEE program, you’ll get both online-classroom instruction and hands-on lab experience to help prepare you to excel as an electrical engineer. Courses include foundations in math, computer science, and physical sciences and cover a broad range of topics, such as:

  • Basic elements in analog circuit design
  • Fundamentals of circuit analysis—Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s law, superposition, etc.
  • International System of Units
  • Digital and logic circuit analysis and design in 6 main parts
  • Energy conversion and transport
  • Electromagnetic field theory
  • Passive microwave circuit analysis and design
  • Transmitting and receiving information without wires
  • Radar and RF signal propagation, transmission, and reception

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 4% job growth by 2022 for electrical and electronics engineers due to the engineer’s versatility in developing and applying emerging technologies. Because this program fills a market-driven educational need, earning your BSEE could give you a step up in starting a career in industries ranging from aerospace, telecommunications, and defense to automotive, medical, construction, chemical, and more.

Important Notes

  • As an engineering student, you will be participating in hands-on, at-home lab exercises, which require you to purchase additional course materials. The estimated total cost of these materials is approximately $12,000, and is NOT covered by our university undergraduate book grant.
  • The technology fee for engineering courses (ENGR and ELEN) is $100/course. Therefore, the estimated total technology fees for this program are $2,950, depending on the concentration you choose. (Note: technology fees are covered by grants for U.S. active-duty military service members, and for Guard and Reserve personnel when using military tuition assistance.)

Following a generally positive performance in 2015, the Architecture Billings Index has begun this year modestly dipping back into negative terrain. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.6, down slightly from the mark of 51.3 in the previous month. This score reflects a minor decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 55.3, down from a reading of 60.5 the previous month.

* Every January the AIA research department updates the seasonal factors used to calculate the ABI, resulting in a revision of recent ABI values.

“The fundamentals are mostly sound in the nonresidential design and construction market,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “January was a rocky month throughout the economy, with falling oil prices, international economic concerns, and with steep declines in stock market valuations in the U.S. and elsewhere. Some of the fallout of this uncertainty may have affected progress on design projects.”

Key January ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: West (50.8), Northeast (50.4), South (50.3), Midwest (48.9),

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (51.9), commercial / industrial (50.5), institutional (49.9), mixed practice (49.0)

• Project inquiries index: 55.3

• Design contracts index: 50.9

The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the recently released White Paper, Designing the Construction Future: Reviewing the Performance and Extending the Applications of the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index on the AIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit http://www.aia.org.

Safety regulations put into place following several deadly crane accidents in New York City in recent years failed to prevent a crawler crane collapse at 60 Hudson St. in lower Manhattan early on Feb. 5 during a snowfall. As the operator lowered the jib around 8:30 a.m., the descending jib and boom picked up speed, ultimately crashing to the ground and overturning the cab with its force. The accident killed a 38-year-old pedestrian, and injured three, two seriously.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who rushed to the scene, said that the crane was being secured due to high winds when the accident occurred.

“The Department of Buildings had been on site yesterday to approve next steps. DOB reviewed the work and approved it,” the mayor said, speaking to reporters near the crash site. “But no work was done this morning because the crew made the decision to bring the crane down to the secure position.” The crew was directing people away from the area when the accident occurred, he added.

No information was immediately available about the crane operator or how the operator may have lost control of the crane. He has been identified in media reports as Kevin Reilly, 56, of Port Jefferson, N.Y.

In response to the incident, 376 other crawler cranes and 43 larger tower cranes operating throughout the city will be secured in the interest of safety. The streets surrounding the crash site are likely to be closed for several days.

Galosso Trucking & Rigging was the company operating the crane at the time of the accident, said a buildings department spokesperson. The owner of the equipment, Bay Crane, made headlines last spring when a rigging strap on one of its cranes broke, sending a 4-ton heating and air-conditioning unit crashing to the ground and injuring 10 people. Bay Crane could not be reached for comment.

Mayor’s Accident Timeline
In a briefing, de Blasio said that “for this particular company” the safety precautions required lowering the crane to the secure position “if the winds were approaching 25 miles per hour, as lower than the typical standard for cranes – but for this company that was the standard.” He added that “in fact, they were in the process of securing the crane.”

After arriving at the jobsite at 7 a.m, de Blasio also noted that the crews “recognized the winds were in the 20 mile-an-hour plus range, and were proceeding to secure the crane – actually to bring it down to a safe and secure position when this incident occurred.”

Buildings department personnel had inspected the crane early on Feb. 4, reviewed the work that was being done and approved it, de Blasio continued. The accident occurred, he said, “literally, as they were lowering the crane to secure it.”

Chinese construction companies see new opportunities in the European market, which is substantially different from Asia and Africa.

China joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this month. The move will open doors for the China Development Bank to co-finance construction projects and also give Chinese contractors access to the continent, analysts said.

EBRD membership would definitely help China assist Chinese companies in Europe, according to Graham D. Robinson, head of London based consulting firm, Global Construction Perspectives. “Some of China’s major investments are in strategic assets like nuclear plants, water and port projects. Such projects help in building influence,” he said.

It is not just about helping Chinese construction companies but also a means to find export markets for equipment, steel and cement companies in China, he said.

Buying companies

Chinese companies will try to buy up both small and big construction companies in Europe in order to acquire technical and management expertise and simultaneously establish their own base on the continent, Robinson said.

Past weeks has seen a Chinese company joining EDF of France to bid for construction of a $9.18-billion Hinkley Point nuclear project in southwestern England. However, there are reports that EDF may be delaying a final decision to participate in the venture owing to financial challenges.

The shipping and port giant, China Cosco Holdings Co., appears set to pick up majority 67% shares Greece’s main port of Piraeus, as it was the only bidder in the field in mid-January.

The company has offered $402 million for the shares, and promised to invest a similar amount for further infrastructure development to support the port. But the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which handles state asset sales, had asked for an improved cash offer.

China’s stupendous One Belt, One Road program, which aims to build connectivity infrastructure across at least 25 countries, has been welcomed by European leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who see it as an opportunity for construction companies in their respective countries besides getting their own infrastructure built at low costs.

Those who give high importance to China’s capability to spread its wings also think that Chinese companies would take on construction companies from North America, which are well entrenched in Europe.

Challenges for China

But the simple fact is that the One Belt, One Road program has not taken off in as big a way as China had expected. Chinese companies are still focusing on investing and bidding, but they have not done much by way of building connectivity infrastructure in Europe.

“OBOR is a political vision that still lacks projects,” said Joerg Wuttke, chairman of the EU Chamber in China. “Signed deals so far seem to be business as usual that can attribute to OBOR.”

But China will have to go through a steep learning graph before it can make itself felt in Europe, Robinson said. Some of China’s intrinsic advantages like low costs, and use of labor that are both cheap and speak the same language may not be applicable in Europe.

European laws

European labor laws will make it impossible for China’s construction companies to fly in Chinese labor in big numbers. They have used Chinese labor with their peculiar skills, and ability to grasp designs and instructions written in Chinese language while implementing projects in different parts of Africa and Asia. They will be forced to use local labor in Europe.

There are a range of environment, construction and safety standards that must be strictly followed in Europe, imposing added costs. Chinese companies did not face this in Africa and parts of Asia. Robinson said.

Though political leaders have welcomed China’s One Belt, One Road plan, most European governments have not yet decided the extent of Chinese involvement they want.

Though countries like U.K. and Greece are eager for Chinese investments in construction, some others like France are reluctant, saidMathieu Duchatel, Deputy Director of the Asia and China Program at the European Council of Foreign Relations.

“Europeans are discussing on whether the One Belt, One Road program would be a reality in Europe in a five-year time frame,” Duchatel said, adding “They are watching at the implementation in Pakistan, which is really the only country where major OBOR projects are coming up. There are some serious problems with the Pakistan program.”

China has committed itself to building a 2,400-km-long economic corridor connecting its border city of Kashgar to Gwadar port in Pakistan, as well as several energy projects, at a total cost of $46 billion. Construction has already begun.

But the project is facing political challenges. Some of Pakistan’s provinces complain that most of the benefits from the project go to only one Punjabi province, while the rest of the country gets short shrift. Besides, the corridor passes through some of the country’s terrorist strongholds.

“There are serious security issues. There is a question about whether the Baluchistan area of Pakistan will be safe for Chinese investors,” Duchatel said.

European analysts also doubt China’s ability to finance major projects in Europe when the Middle Kingdom faces an economic slowdown at home.

“The most urgent issue here is the financial volatility and economic weakness in various emerging market economies,” European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny recently told a conference in Budapest. “Recent developments in China since last year — the world’s largest economy in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity — are of particular concern.”

 

An HVAC Mechanical Engineer earns an average salary of $62,822 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience in this field. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are Design and Project Management.

Is HVAC Mechanical Engineer your job title? Get a personalized salary report!

Job Description for HVAC Mechanical Engineer:
HVAC mechanical engineers are involved in almost every phase of a project. They begin with customer consultations and preexisting condition assessments, then assisting with sales departments in choosing appropriate customer solutions. After that, they work with the design teams to create the custom concept and maintain contact with the installation teams for troubleshooting and system upkeep throughout the lifetime of the system. An HVAC mechanical engineer typically works during regular business hours, although they often need emergency on-call availability. Occasional travel is necessary. While much of their work is done in an office, HVAC mechanical engineering often requires field work and being on-site for inspections.

HVAC Mechanical Engineer Tasks

Develop proposals, estimates, and schedules for HVAC systems and bids.
Perform reviews to establish feasibility and quality of installation, space and maintenance needs.

Calculate heating and cooling needs and tolerances, designing controls, and maintenance protocols.

Design HVAC systems, including writing specifications.
Troubleshoot, analyze, and assess installations and designs to identify problems.

Read more and see pay scale chart.

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