Posted by Tyson at 29 May 2015

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Work halted in April on Auckland interchange after batch plant mishap produced substandard mix; project will stay on track, say officials.
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Posted by Tyson at 28 May 2015

Category: Building

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Opponents expected to continue to push to block it in Congress and in courts.
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Posted by Tyson at 28 May 2015

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[All photos by BUILD LLC]

Today’s blog post isn’t directly about architecture, but it pertains to everything we value about good design and making things thoughtfully. Regardless of the end product, we believe that all good design stems from a similar process of thinking, designing and making.

We’re proud proponents of life balance, and that fitness is an important ingredient in our lifestyles. Many in our tribe have found fulfillment in cycling, and along with this interest comes an appreciation for the bicycle as its own object. Within the last several years, many of us have commissioned a custom, hand-built road bike from a local bike shop, R+E Cycles, just a few doors up from the BUILD World Headquarters.


On a recent purchase, the team at R+E allowed BUILD access to the shop to document the process of hand crafting a classic, steel frame road bike. As architects and builders committed to timeless, effective design, we grabbed the camera and jumped at the chance. The images in today’s post record many of the important steps of building this particular bike and others like it.


As with any well-designed object, a road bike is everything it needs to be and nothing more. With a steel frame design, a cyclist relies on approximately 20 pounds of carefully engineered steel, metals, and related parts for a wide range of physical tasks. Whether it’s speeding down a descent or crunching through a steep climb, the geometry of the frame is critical, each weld is relied upon, and every connection matters.


There’s an important reassurance in personally knowing the people who built the object literally supporting you as you’re flying down the road on two wheels. In an assembly line society of distant manufacturers and impersonal suppliers, it matters to us that talented individuals, who have spent the bulk of their lives in the bike business, thoughtfully designed and built the bike underneath us. It’s something we can relate to. That these individuals take pride in their product and stand behind their work is a rare and valuable quality.


Supporting local businesses and promoting the urban fabric around us is also an important aspect of having these bikes made. We’d much rather contribute to the livelihood of people in our own community than send our dollars outside of our own ecosystem. Supporting the local bike shop brings more people to the neighborhood, which supports the coffee shop, which keeps the sidewalks bustling, which keeps the pedals of our little neighborhood cranking. It’s all interconnected.


Last, but certainly not least, is the aspect of consistency. Running a small design-build firm, we rely on clients who understand the value of having a small team thoughtfully design a building to perform exceptionally well and stand the test of time. That’s an extraordinary amount of trust and we like to put our money where our mouth is. Whenever possible, we spend our time and money with the same mindset as expected of the people that rely on us.


A big thanks to the team over at R+E Cycles which includes Dan Towle, Scott Rock, Teresa McNutt, Dan P, John Lehman, Todd Bertram, Smiley, Beau Hart, Dana Kulp, and Logan Piepmeier. For a peek at their finished cycles click here.


Cheers from Team BUILD and Happy Cycling.

Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 27 May 2015

Category: Building

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A new mobile app allows users to see what letter grades local infrastructure received from the ASCE Report Card and share it with elected officials.
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Posted by Tyson at 27 May 2015

Category: Building

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NASA, with America Makes, puts up $ 2.25 million in prize money to inventors who can innovate 3D printing technology.
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Posted by Tyson at 25 May 2015

Category: Building

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A slideshow of the first leg of Aileen and Dan’s cross-country journey over America’s infrastructure.
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Posted by Tyson at 25 May 2015

Category: Construction

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Small construction businesses can often get 100% equipment financing, eliminating the down payment, and freeing up cash, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA). Most small businesses need equipment in order to operate and grow, and each business must decide on an acquisition strategy that is right for it. But, a majority of businesses turn … Continue reading 5 Ways Equipment Financing is Empowering Small Construction Businesses

The post 5 Ways Equipment Financing is Empowering Small Construction Businesses appeared first on Construction Informer Blog – Construction Blog with Information, News, and Commentary.

Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 24 May 2015

Category: Building

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As the journey begins Dan offer’s his initial thoughts on the state of the nation’s infrastructure.
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Posted by Tyson at 22 May 2015

Category: Architecture News

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OHSA Confined Spaces RuleA new rule from Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regulating how the construction industry operates in confined spaces will go into effect on August 3, 2015.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA says that confined spaces put workers at heightened risk for face life-threatening hazards including toxic substances, electrocutions, explosions, and asphyxiation. The agency describes confined spaces as areas “large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; have limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.” According to Michaels, the ever-changing nature of construction sites is cause for concern which the new rule will address.

Rule 29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA sets requirements for training, identification and assessment, hazard analysis, entering, working, exiting and rescue for confined spaces. A similar rule is already in place for general industry.

The post New OSHA Confined Spaces Rule Starts August 3 appeared first on ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights.

ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights

Posted by Tyson at 21 May 2015

Category: Uncategorized

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[All images by BUILD LLC]

If there is one consistency among modern architecture, it’s an abundance of nice, generous windows. Nothing says inspiring, healthy living to us like ample daylight, fresh air, and the occasional view. Designing the correct windows into the appropriate locations of a house or building requires a familiarity with current products, a good relationship with window suppliers, technical know-how, and, most importantly, clear communication between the architect and client. Key to bringing all of these factors together cohesively is an understanding of window terminology, and today’s post covers the basics. BUILD recently completed the Case Study House 2014, which provides some excellent built examples of window applications.

Windows applied to modern architecture tend to be larger, which directly results in window compositions that require a larger frame containing a number of separate glass panes. These panes can be a combination of both fixed and operable windows, and the diagram below illustrates the basic parts of this composition.


The CSH2014 example below uses Marlin clear anodized aluminum with three fixed lights below the transom, and a large fixed light and operable above. A custom window composition like this can be manufactured in a variety of different sizes and configurations.


Larger window compositions may require deeper mullions for increased lateral strength of the window assembly as indicated in the photo below. Here a thickened mullion gives additional support to window panes on each side. This mullion is notched at the interior sill condition.


Driven by a philosophy of modernism here at BUILD, we find that three simple window types accommodate most situations very successfully.

Picture windows are the most common type and accommodate fixed window panes that eliminate the sash and optimize daylight and view. Casement windows are an excellent fit for operable windows above the transom (or with sills set higher off the finished floor). They offer good ventilation without compromising much daylight or view. Awning windows are what we favor for operables located close to the floor and ceiling. They provide great venting, and if accidentally left open during rain, the configuration shields the interior from water (excluding, of course, the sometimes gravity-defying rain we see here in the Northwest).


Because construction drawings and shop drawings are two-dimensional, additional graphics will accompany operable windows on an architectural set. A common convention is the dashed line shown on the operable panels below. The point made by the dashed line indicates the hinged side of the operable window.


There are many additional types of operable windows, and we’ve highlighted a few below.



Some of the requisite qualities of good modern architecture involve attenuated materials, energy-efficiency, smooth function, low maintenance, and a cost-effective application. For these reasons we prefer aluminum windows on BUILD projects. Keep in mind, these are not the single-pane aluminum windows of the 1970’s. Modern aluminum windows are double and triple-pane with thermal breaks for energy efficiency. The mechanics on newer windows allow for smooth operation, and the anodized finish complements the clean aesthetics of modern design.


That said, there are several window materials out there, and we’ve listed a handful below with our thoughts on each.

Roughly twice the cost of aluminum and (much) higher maintenance. On the plus side, they’re very energy-efficient and visually warm.
Very attenuated and beautiful, but extremely expensive and very energy-inefficient.
Excellent energy-efficiency, but tends to look and feel like plastic (because it is).
Excellent energy-efficiency, cost-effective, and looks and feels better than vinyl. (We’re warming to them.)
A combination of materials to achieve one result outside and another inside. Offers the benefit of wood windows inside, but avoids the maintenance involved with exterior wood windows.

Operable windows are typically supplied with screens to keep the bugs out and whether you’re a fan of screens or not, it’s good to at least keep the screens in storage (they can be a pain to order later). With a modern window package, screens tend to be minimal and blend in nicely with the window frames. Screw-in tabs at each corner hold the screens tightly to the frames as shown in the photo below.


While there is a seemingly infinite amount of window hardware on the market, there are two primary options to consider for operable aluminum windows. The roto-style hardware shown below has one primary advantage in that it keeps the window screen minimal. Because this handle mechanically pushes the operable window pane out, there is no reason to grasp the operable window itself, which eliminates the awkward “latch hatch” at the screen to access the window hardware. This feature doesn’t quite fit in the modernism vocabulary.


Another advantage with roto-style handles is the windows are locked tight to the frame, typically with a lever on each side of the jamb.


An alternative hardware option, when screens or roto-style hardware are not desired, is the lever-latch shown below. These levers are minimal in appearance and highly functional.


As mentioned in the materials section above, single-pane windows are a thing of the past. Modern window packages are double-pane at a minimum, and the air gap between the glass panels is typically filled with argon (or a similar gas) for increased performance. While increased energy-efficiency is important, there are a couple of important drawbacks to multiple panes of glass. With three or more panes, the weight increases significantly and a green/blue tint becomes noticeable in the glass. To meet or beat the energy code, we’ll often specify triple pane glazing below the transom, where the panels are smaller and the tint is less noticeable, and double pane where the glazing occurs at eye-level.


Etch-matte glazing is an important option to consider in the modern window package, as it allows light through the window, but blurs a clear view. This can be a useful strategy in areas like bedrooms, where natural light is important but privacy is desired. The example above uses clear glazing above the transom and etch-matte glazing below to help conceal a desk and offer additional privacy at a bedroom


Armed with the information above, you’re in good shape to discuss the window package on a modern home. There are many more terms and techniques pertaining to window packages, so feel free to add yours to the comments below.

Cheers from Team BUILD

Build Blog

Top tips for working in construction

The building contractor business is one of the most pulsating and challenging business ventures. It demands lot of investments in terms of your energy, capital and time that is the main reason why it is very essential that you are passionately interested in this business venture.

With each passing day this arena is facing lot many changes in the techniques, equipments and style of working. You can do yourself a huge favour by seeking the right qualifications in order to have in-depth knowledge about the different dimensions of the construction business. No doubt, the reality picture tends to be different but it is always worthwhile to be well versed with the theoretical aspects in order to focus on the challenges of the actual world of work.

It will also help you in becoming more receptive of the changes and better options. You will be able to embrace the novelty easily if you remain open to its challenging nature. For that you always need to be on your toes and make sure you are well aware of the changing trend. With this attitude you will never lag in the race of being a proverbial in the construction business and lead your company towards excellence and proficiency.

Make sure you have the right tools. It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools, but it's understandable if you can't get the job done because you haven't got the equipment you need. As an example, portable hyundai generators can provide you with power when out in the field

Hence, you should seek this business option only when you think and firmly believe that it is your area of expertise. This will help you in creating better perspective and clear the expectation zone! It is important to be interested and really like the construction work in order to reap better rewards!

Once, you have set your mind in your business endeavours you need to take the first step of launching the construction business. You can also affirm your intensions and visions by joining the trade union. This step can facilitate your functioning as a proficient business venture. Moreover, the formalities, legal procedures, financial liabilities can be sorted by seeking the right guidance and information.

Most importantly, the construction arena is sure to make you more aware and concerned about the safety needs of your workers and employees. Hence, you will be giving lot of importance to safety meetings. These meeting can be taken as the right opportunity to seek awareness about the location and enforcing required rules and regulations. This is why you should never avoid or delay the safety meetings and its significance in your business. The insightful observation when blended with experience can help you get prepared for emergencies also. This also pave the way for better adjustments when require.

It is clear that this business can be crude and demanding in many respects, yet it also creates a very profitable and satisfying venture. In order to get the maximum of your business set up you need to have proper vision and clear expectations. Your attitude and working style is going to determine your success and the heights of your profits. Therefore, it is time that you open yourself to the creative and profitable ideas to ensure that your construction business is a roaring success from now on!