Boundary-stretching architecture is helping the once oppressed city of Baku, Azerbaijan, reinvent itself. DIA Holding has several major building projects underway; in addition to the high-profile Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects, the company is responsible for the Flame Towers project, designed by HOK.
Stone masonry arches form part of numerous historic buildings -- religious edifices, bridges, walkways, and aqueducts. Although solid structures are involved, the environmental and historical conditions of the bearing load, use and accidental factors can cause their collapse, with the consequent loss of architectural heritage. Industrial engineer Dr. Leire Garmendia studied an innovative system for the rehabilitation of these masonry arches, which is minimally invasive and more manageable than current methods. Her European doctoral thesis, undertaken at the Tecnalia Construction Unit and presented at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), is entitled Rehabilitation of masonry arches by a compatible and minimally invasive strengthening system.
Defining what a real partnership is can be tricky. Join us as we analyze Michel Theriault's Outsourcing Partnerships to find out how it's done and what the benefits might be.
Many outsourcing deals are called "outsourcing partnerships," but is the partnership a reality or an illusion? The word partnership is used by both clients and service providers, so it’s easy to believe that these outsourcing deals are about partnership.
For several years universities in the United States have been looking into the feasibility of using asphalt pavement to collect solar energy, or, more correctly, to harvest the solar energy that asphalt pavement is already collecting. Researchers have found that the technology exists for harvesting this energy, and its implementation may not be that far off.
In recent years, CSI, or crime scene investigation, has become an increasingly popular term thanks to television. However, CSI takes place every day in the real world, in ways that you may not have previously considered. Forensic engineers assess damage to properties, determine the cause(s), and offer possible remediation. Situations in which structural CSI is required can include water infiltrating a structure; storms, fires, or explosions damaging a building; or a product defect or a material deficiency occurring.
Information on low-flow plumbing fixtures abounds, and low-flow and waterless urinals are now in widespread use. Flush volume for toilets has evolved to 1.6 gallons per flush, or less than half of the 1980s' standard of 3.5 gallons. The fact that low-flow fixtures can save money in utility costs is clear and easy to calculate with a review of a water bill and an estimate of each fixture’s cycles per month. An enticing payback period for a new fixture purchase can be calculated based on water use alone. However, some facility managers argue that the utility savings offered by these plumbing fixtures are not matched by the unforeseen maintenance and repair costs that they generate. The question of whether low-flow plumbing fixtures offer a good return on investment (ROI) arises.
More homeowners are choosing to build green, but how can homeowners can be assured of the quality of the final product? One of the best ways is to gain certification from a third-party rating system. Two of the most popular are LEED for Homes and the National Green Building Standard. Although largely similar, these two systems have some significant differences.
When finished, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will provide visitors with multi-faceted enjoyment. “The water features are intended to give an alternate experience to the art exhibits,” says Hugh Phillips, R.A., the project manager and a principal at Safdie Architects, the Museum’s architectural design firm. “We had the choice to keep the stream natural with its frequent low flow or to construct ponds and provide a larger body of water to make the water more significant.” Although both were good choices, given the natural beauty of this narrow valley about a mile northeast of downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, Safdie Architects elected to go with the larger water feature.
Improvements in horizontal well drilling and subsurface rock fracturing technologies have greatly enhanced natural gas production in North America over the past several years. These technologies have significantly increased our known natural gas reserves in shale plays across the U.S., the largest in many ways being the Marcellus Shale. Natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale formation throughout southern New York, northern and western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, western Maryland, and most of West Virginia can now be economically recovered and marketed. The Marcellus Shale formation serves as a good illustration for this industry boom. Jim Daley of Greenhorne & O’Mara Consulting Engineers helped Buildipedia.com investigate the basic engineering considerations of natural gas drilling and collection systems, along with the more traditional construction tasks required by this industry: surveys and stormwater management, as well as road, bridge, and pipeline construction.
The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has been hoping to build upon its 60 year plus history of creating industry standards and guidelines. In December 2008 it introduced GreenFormat, an online search tool that assists designers in finding green building products. GreenFormat ties in with CSI’s existing group of formats, all of which help organize and manage project information (UniFormat, MasterFormat, etc.). Information in GreenFormat is organized according to the already familiar MasterFormat divisions.
In November 2010, the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) LEED 2012 update opened for public comment. Through January 14, 2011, the USGBC will collect these comments, then review them, revise the LEED 2012 updates, and initiate a second round of public comments from July 1, 2011 through August 15, 2011. Balloting by USGBC members for LEED 2012 is scheduled for August 2012, with LEED 2012 set for release on November 7, 2012.
When describing the changes made to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) uses the word “harmonization.” According to Marie Coleman, a Communication Associate with the USGBC, this refers to the fact that all LEED commercial rating systems are now aligned on a 100 point scale.