Mixed Plate Hawaii, by Kaoru Lovett, Graham Hart, and Ronald Ribao has won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Look Up Film Challenge People’s Choice Award. As part of the AIA’s multi-year public awareness campaign, the Look Up Film Challenge People’s Choice Award allowed the public to vote for their favorite film that was selected by a jury comprised of architects and media professionals. The finalists eligible for the People’s Choice Award were announced last month at the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial.

“It’s easy to see why Mixed Plate Hawaii has captured the People’s Choice Award,” said 2015 AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA. “The film speaks to all generations, from every background. It’s inspiring and truly makes people want to look up and celebrate the beauty of life’s diversity.”

The film looks at how Hawaii’s diverse cultural heritage has proffered a diverse built environment over time, or, as Lovett says, “life in four dimensions.” Mixed Plate Hawaii was recognized with Third Prize for the overall Film Challenge and received special recognition in the Diversity & Inclusion category. Mixed Plate Hawaii along with all the videos selected by the jury can still be viewed at ilookup.org.

“When we made this film it was really just about the thoughts that were going through our heads, we are happy, honored, and relieved to find out that so many others feel the same way or appreciate what we have done,” said Graham Hart.

“Mixed Plate Hawaii wouldn’t have done so well had it not been for the influence of the larger community. To see the impact that the greater public can have on something that we worked on is truly humbling,” said Kaoru Lovett. “The entire experience has left us eager to further explore the relationship between cinema and architecture.”

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.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced the launch of nine new contract documents. These include a new owner/consultant agreement with two accompanying scope of service exhibits for land surveying and geotechnical engineering, as well as six new administrative forms for use on design-build projects.

“We are constantly collaborating with industry stakeholders and practitioners to identify growing contract needs,” said Kenneth Cobleigh, Managing Director & Counsel, AIA Contract Documents. “Our customers expressed a need for a standard form of agreement owners could use to engage necessary consultants and leverage their expertise; the new C103 document addresses that need. These additions also cap off our design-build family of documents, which are preferred by the industry at large for commercial design-build projects.”

The C103™–2015, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Consultant without a Predefined Scope of Consultant’s Services establishes expectations between an owner and consultant on a project. This agreement contains basic business terms related to copyrights and licenses, claims and disputes, termination or suspension, and compensation.

The accompanying scope of services exhibits include:

• C201™-2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Land Survey: This exhibit establishes the duties and responsibilities of a surveyor who is hired as a consultant by a property owner, and allows the parties to select between a boundary, topographic, or ALTA/ACSM survey.

• C202™-2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Geotechnical Engineering Services: This exhibit establishes the duties and responsibilities of a geotechnical engineer who is hired as a consultant by a property owner. It separates the geotechnical engineer’s services into four phases: explorations and testing, preparation of a geotechnical report, design services, and construction services.

Both documents are scope of services exhibits intended to be attached to AIA Document C103-2015. They may not be used as stand-alone agreements. The AIA worked with both land surveying and geotechnical engineering experts to define the parameters of these documents.

“We were pleased that the AIA sought our input on technical content during the development of C201™-2015, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Land Survey,” said Curt Sumner, LS, Executive Director of the National Society of Professional Surveyors. “We believe this document is an important addition to the AIA library of contract documents.”

The AIA has also added six new design-build forms to complete the Design-Build family of documents, which has quickly become one of the most popular document families in the AIA portfolio. The six new documents include:

• G741™-2015, Change Order for a Design-Build Project

• G742C™-2015, Application and Certificate for Payment for a Design-Build Project, Contractor Variation

• G742S™-2015, Application and Certificate for Payment for a Design-Build Project, Subcontractor Variation

• G743C™-2015, Continuation Sheet for a Design-Build Project, Contractor Variation

• G743S™-2015, Continuation Sheet for a Design-Build Project, Subcontractor Variation

• G745™-2015, Change Directive for a Design-Build Project

The new documents are currently available through the latest version of the AIA Contract Documents desktop software, as well as individually through AIA Documents-on-Demand® and AIA Documents-on-Demand® Plus.

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.

Some schools have banned junk food. Some have added longer gym classes, new nutrition classes, or even required standing desks. But childhood obesity rates are still about three times higher than they were in 1980. Now schools are adding another tool to the fight for fitter kids: Architecture.

A 1950s-era elementary school in rural Buckingham, Virginia was redesigned to help kids lose weight. The architects worked directly with public health researchers to change a long list of details based on current research, from designing a kitchen with dedicated storage space for local, seasonal fruit, to placing healthy meals at kids’-eye level in the checkout line. In a teaching kitchen, third-graders can learn to make healthy meals from the foods they grow in the school garden.

“We all know statistics about the childhood obesity epidemic, and we all know that despite our best efforts working very intensely at the individual level—or even at the population level—we haven’t made as much of an inroad as we really want to,” says Matt Trowbridge, an associate professor at the University of Virginia, who helped create the design guidelines.

The design of a school itself might matter as much as something like a gym class. “The environments in which we live affect not just our behaviors, but our lifelong attitudes about things like healthy eating and active lifestyles,” he says. “It’s also clear that it’s so much better to help prevent children from becoming obese than to try to help adults lose weight. So that makes school environments incredibly important.”

Combing through all of the available studies on school design and healthy eating, they came up with a list of dozens of design strategies architects can use. At the Virginia elementary school, one of the keys was making the commercial kitchen visible from the dining room, so students could watch as their lunch is made. Nearby, the teaching kitchen gives them a kid-safe way to learn how to make their own food, and a food lab was designed for food-related science experiments.

Some of the design guidelines are more subtle, like placing salad bars near checkout stations, or deliberately adding space in a kitchen for preparing fresh food (and eliminating deep fryers). Beyond the healthy eating interventions, the school was also designed to keep kids more active, with features like inviting stairways, walking paths, and furniture that flexes as students sit, so they aren’t completely still.

Since the school was built in 2013, the architects have continued to use the healthy eating design guidelines in other school projects. The guidelines are also free for other designers to use. A redesign can have a major impact; Sorensen points out that most school buildings are at least 50 years old, with “kitchens and cafeterias that have hardly been touched since the idea of school lunch came about in the 1930s.”

“We can’t just change what’s on the menu and expect to see the changes we hope to find in children,” Sorensen says. The key, she says, is for architects to work with multi-disciplinary teams, since a single group or solution on its own likely can’t make enough of a change in health.

The school gardens also offer community space for growing food, so whole families can start eating healthier. “We are dealing with entire communities, rural-to-urban, that are struggling with healthy food access and food deserts,” says Dina Sorensen, project designer from VMDO, the architecture firm that redesigned the elementary school. “How can those communities impart the value and importance of healthy food at school in the context of their own need to re-build healthy food infrastructure?” The Buckingham project, she says, shows a school truly becoming a community asset and a teaching tool.

Since the school was built in 2013, the architects have continued to use the healthy eating design guidelines in other school projects. The guidelines are also free for other designers to use. A redesign can have a major impact; Sorensen points out that most school buildings are at least 50 years old, with “kitchens and cafeterias that have hardly been touched since the idea of school lunch came about in the 1930s.”

“We can’t just change what’s on the menu and expect to see the changes we hope to find in children,” Sorensen says. The key, she says, is for architects to work with multi-disciplinary teams, since a single group or solution on its own likely can’t make enough of a change in health.

It’s an idea that’s quickly spreading. The American Institute of Architects now has a “design and health” leadership group with a team of experts from a range of fields. And similar collaborations are starting to happen for other social issues.

“Architects are expert at designing buildings, not studying people and their behaviors or the impact architecture has on a whole spectrum of human and ecological systems,” says Sorensen. “But we can collaborate and cross-pollinate with those who do, and marvel at the results of a new architecture for the sustainable future.” –

Introduced in 2009, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Commitment Program, a voluntary initiative for architecture firms and other entities in the built environment to commit their practice to advancing the AIA’s goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030, has produced a report assessing their work.

“There is some very encouraging data in this report that shows how architects are making measurable progress towards reducing the carbon emissions in their design projects,” said AIA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ivy, FAIA.  “But one of the major findings from our research is that in order to maximize the energy efficiency of buildings and to realize our ultimate goal of carbon neutral buildings, energy modeling must become a standard part of the design practice.”

The key findings from a new report, 2030 Commitment 2013 Progress Report, include:

• 401 design projects are meeting the 60% carbon reduction target – a 200% increase from 2012

• 2,464 projects have been accounted for in this report – a 150% increase form 2012

• 1.6 billion gross square feet (GSF) represented in this data – a 9% increase from 2012

• 66% of total GSF using energy modeling to predict operational energy consumption – a 14% increase form 2012

• 19% average firm reduction in Lighting Power Density for interior projects – a increase of 2% from 2012

• 34% average Predicted Energy Use Intensity reduction reported by firms – a decrease of 3% from 2012

• 7% of total GSF meeting the current 60% carbon reduction target – a decrease of 7% from 2012

• 99 firms submitted reports – a 10% decrease from 2012

The decrease in firms reporting data is mainly attributed to the time and effort involved in tracking and entering project data.  To address that situation, the AIA has partnered with the Department of Energy to create the 2030 Design Data Exchange to provide a more user friendly interface and allow firms to anonymously research how their projects are predicted to perform compared to similar projects in the AIA 2030 Commitment portfolio.  This new reporting tool will be made available in late December 2014 or early January 2015.

Preview of the functionality of the 2030 Design Data Exchange, click here for video.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

 

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On the heels of recording its strongest pace of growth since 2007, there continues to be an increasing level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). 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 August ABI score was 53.0, down from a mark of 55.8 in July. This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.6, following a very strong mark of 66.0 the previous month.

The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in August was 56.9.

“One of the key triggers for accelerating growth at architecture firms is that long-stalled construction projects are starting to come back to life in many areas across the country,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Long awaited access to credit from lending institutions and an increasing comfort level in the overall economy has helped revitalize the commercial real estate sector in recent months. Additionally, though, a crucial component to a broader industry-wide recovery is the emerging demand for new projects such as education facilities, government buildings and, in some cases, hospitals.”

Key August ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: Northeast (58.1) , South (55.1), West (52.5), Midwest (51.0)

• Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (58.1), mixed practice (57.1), institutional (54.0), commercial / industrial (50.4)

• Project inquiries index: 62.6

• Design contracts index: 56.9

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, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work 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 well being.  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.

 

 
 

 

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For the third consecutive year, Gensler holds its position as the biggest architecture firm as judged by revenue from architectural design work last year. In 2013 Gensler reported just over $883 million, up $76 million from the previous year, as noted by RECORD’s sister publication Engineering News-Record. (Combined total architectural revenue from the Top 300 firms increased from $10.01 billion to $11.20 billion.)

With more than 40 offices worldwide – including growing construction markets in China and Indonesia – it’s no surprise that almost a quarter of Gensler’s net revenue came from international sources. Gensler CEO Andy Cohen cited the firm’s ability to consistently provide design solutions to clients who operate in an “increasingly interconnected and global world.” Recent projects include a new hotel and transit center at Denver International Airport (slated for completion in 2015) and the Abu Dhabi Financial Centre on Al Maryah Island (currently under construction).

Second and third place firms, CH2M HILL and AECOM Technology Corp., switched places from last year’s rankings. Another two of the top 10 firms, both of which work primarily in architecture, made recent acquisitions of other firms. In March, Perkins+Will (ranked #5) announced it would acquire the The Freelon Group of Durham, North Carolina, and its 40 employees. In December, HOK (ranked #8) announced it would acquire the Shanghai and New York City offices of hospitality and interiors-specialized BBG-BBGM. While HOK is an architecture and engineering firm, it also shares BBG-BBGM’s focus on interior design. The Washington, D.C., offices of BBG-BBGM will continue as BBGM.

Success stories include Kansas City-based Populous. In 2014 alone the firm saw the successful opening of its Fabergé egg-inspired stadium in Sochi, Russia, and its World Cup Arena das Dunas stadium in Natal, Brazil. The firm also announced it would design the Atlanta Braves’ new stadium and a downtown Miami soccer stadium. Populous’ revenue leaped from almost $84 million in 2012 to $111 million in 2013. Also experiencing a large increase in revenue, and jumping from #66 to #36, was Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz. The firm’s revenue nearly doubled from $31 million to just short of $55 million.

While no firms sank significantly in the rankings, HKS Inc. did fall three positions, likely due to its extensive work in healthcare architecture. Healthcare construction spending has slowed in recent years thanks to pessimism on the part of health care providers in regards to future growth.