Posted by Tyson at 28 February 2015

Category: Building

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Cyber attack incidents often go unreported to protect business reputations, resulting in a dearth of data on the threat and rising risk. Officials are taking steps to require notification
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Posted by Tyson at 28 February 2015

Category: Building News

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For income producing commercial property, Capitalization (Cap) Rates determine property values, a function of the dollars generated by the property and thus the ROI. These cap rates are influenced by a ton of different factors including type of investment, location, potential for increasing cash flow. The lower the cap rate the more valuable the property.

To me, in certain ways, determining cap rates is an art form. At the end of the day, it’s what a purchaser will pay.

I attended the OAC this week in Dallas where some discussions hovered around influences on cap rates and where they might headed. While no one can say with certainty what cap rates will do, these were the constant themes I heard:

  • Although the 10-year treasuries are expected to rise later this year, the world sees the US as a safe haven for money and a hedge for inflation. This should add some pressure to keep cap rates lower, tightening the spread between real estate cap rate and the 10-year treasury bond rates.
  • While we think our 10-year bond rate is low at 2%, we are middle of the pack. Our rate is 6x higher than Germany’s. That is another reason to invest in the US.
  • There is not as much new product being generated in the retail sector as in years past. There are more equity dollars chasing a smaller supply of deals.
  • In most real estate markets, our fundamentals remain solid. 
  • There is greater investment interest in the secondary and tertiary markets than in years past. This is better for smaller cities and towns.

All positive for now, I will say…

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 27 February 2015

Category: Building

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For nearly four decades, John R. Lawson II has made a lasting impression on the mid-Atlantic construction community through his accomplishments at the helm of W.M. Jordan Co., his philanthropic efforts and his advocacy for educational development.
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Posted by Tyson at 25 February 2015

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Construction firms that regularly skirt labor law to gain unfair competitive advantages by misclassifying workers and hiring people who aren’t legally allowed to work in the U.S., are going to face closer scrutiny this year, according to a report published in the National Law Review. Southwest Under Labor Law Scrutiny The NLR reported “that some … Continue reading Labor Law Clamp Down Coming for Construction

The post Labor Law Clamp Down Coming for Construction appeared first on Construction Informer Blog – Blog with Construction News and Commentary.

Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 25 February 2015

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[All photos by BUILD LLC]

There have been some exceptional books floating around the BUILD World Headquarters, and it’s an excellent time to share a backlog of our favorites. Some of them have been used for specific research purposes, while others were pure design inspiration, but all of them have been incredibly useful. These are the books that stay open on our desks, with bindings broken and pages bookmarked for reference. In our world, books should be used, not merely displayed. If you know us, you know that we like to organize our thoughts into tidy categories, and our books are no exception. Some time has passed since our last review, so the stack is bigger than usual (and sub-categorized). Here’s the quick-hit on 17 titles placed into four classifications.

Contemporary Architecture and Interiors Yearbook 4 by Wim Pauwels, $ 140
Beta Plus

The vision of lifestyle advocated in this book may be unrealistically sparse, but the presentation of concept and detailing is informative, nonetheless. If you can resist being seduced by the dreamy images of the intensely minimal interiors, the book offers a wealth of ideas on cabinetry, materials, and furnishings. The book includes large scale floor plans of each of the projects.


Kerry Hill: Crafting Modernism by Oscar Riera Ojeda, $ 75
Thames & Hudson Ltd.

If you’re a disciple of the modern philosophy, this book belongs on your shelf (or better yet, open on your desk). Compiling over 30 years of work from Kerry Hill Architects, the book does an extraordinary job of capturing the warm, textured modernism the Australian firm has developed. The projects are big, bold examples of what is capable when clients give an architect the freedom to fully develop a design vision. The format is clean, featuring large photos, while also not shying away from white space on the page. The book includes small plans and sections, as well as concept sketches.


Louis Kahn: House of the Nation by Grischa Ruschendorf, $ 40
ORO Editions

More a guide to architectural photography than design itself (unless you’re noodling on the detailing of 150’ tall concrete walls), the book is an extraordinary example of what can be accomplished when a single structure becomes the focus of a master-photographer. Measuring 11.5” wide by 15.2” tall, the full spread images allow the viewer to engulf themselves in the architecture of the National Assembly building in Dhaka by Louis Kahn.


Marte.Marte: Architecture 1996-2008 by MARTE., $ 70
Springer Verlag

This book is pure muse, but we love it anyway. While it might be possible to extract technical design ideas from the content, it serves a better purpose to excite the imagination. The book presents itself as a cryptic black box, and even the way it feels in the hand is foreign from any other book. Once opened, the images jump around, though there is an organization to the content, referred to as “acts.” Diagrammatic plans and elevations are sprinkled throughout.


Tropical Experience: Architecture + Design by Mark de Reus, $ 50
ORO Editions

We recently interviewed Hawaii architect Mark deReus for ARCADE Magazine (stay tuned for the article), and working through his book was an enjoyable part of the homework. Filled with sun-bathed images, the projects reveal an architectural language seldom encountered by most of us mainlanders. Most fascinating is a delicate kit-of-parts which incorporates lava stone, sleek glass walls, and thatched roofs in a modern elegance. Skimming through the book is like taking a mini-vacation. The book includes site plans and perspective renderings.


HOUSING (Single-family)
Houses of Maine: Elliot + Elliott Architecture by Matthew Elliott, $ 40
Princeton Architectural Press

Full of real houses for real people, the book is small enough that it tucks easily into a messenger bag. The featured projects seem to be important examples of how architecture evolves and refines over the lifetime of a modern design firm. Because of Maine’s temperate climate (the books on tropical design only go so far here in Seattle), many of the design strategies covered are applicable to the architectural thinking here in the Pacific Northwest. The images do a nice job highlighting techniques for glazing and material textures. Site plans, floor plans, and elevations for each of the 6 projects are included.


Midcentury Houses Today by Lorenzo Ottaviano, $ 65
Monticelli Press

A wonderful book that covers the preservation, modernization, and re-appropriation of Connecticut’s collection of mid-century-modern residences. Even though some are works from the likes of Marcel Breuer and Phillip Johnson, the images are relatable overall, and the designs seem within grasp. Because the houses represented are at least half a century old now, the photos give a rare look at the weathering and wear of these projects. There is also an important enrollment tool created around the qualities of simplicity, openness, and sensitivity to site. The book includes diagrammatic site and floor plans.


Our House in the City: New Urban Homes and Architecture
by Sofia Borges and Sven Ehnmann and Robert Klanten, $ 60

Gestalten Verlag

Architecture as entertainment might be the best way to describe this book which includes 37 striking projects from around the globe (but mainly Japan). The projects aren’t necessarily pragmatic, or even sensible, but they give the design senses a needed stir. The book includes plans, elevations, and the occasional perspective drawing.


Architecture Now! Houses. Vol. 3 by Philip Jodidio, $ 60

A piece of pure eye candy, this title contains everything from gritty, down-to-earth dwellings to ridiculously exotic private museum-residences. With the sheer diversity of work represented, there’s an abundance of design data to draw from and enough architectural exploration to lose oneself in the pages. It’s also a collection of work that contemporary architects should be familiar with. The book includes a range of drawing types to accompany the images.


Houses in Finland by Harri Hautajärvi, $ 65

While it covers 33 different projects, the book is small and easy to digest. Funkier than most stream-lined Scandinavian architectures, the projects tend to focus on some of the more unusual and lesser known examples of residential Finnish design. The applications are down to earth and the design ideas are plentiful. The book includes site plans and diagrammatic floor plans.


HOUSING (Multi-family)
Housing+ by Ulrike Wietzorrek, $ 90

This exquisite book should include a warning label on the cover that reads: “DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.” While the multi-family housing examples featured here are architecturally stimulating, they don’t relate to the financial equations of a developer-driven market. Of the 67 projects, the majority hail from Europe, with two outliers located in the U.S. So, fair warning to our fellow stateside architects, take this book with a grain of salt. That said, a trove of robust images, inspiring design, and meticulous drawings await the reader. The book includes site plans, diagrammatic floor plans, and elevations.


Collective Housing by Sandu Cultural Media, $ 50

Similar to the concern mentioned in the review above, of the 47 projects featured in this book, North America’s only entry is located in Mexico. The material includes all the right names and covers plenty of fresh design moves but, alas, the projects seem to operate in an exclusive economic environment. The book includes site plans, floor plans and elevations.


Architecture in Northern Landscapes by Todd Saunders, $ 70

Todd Saunders’ book is important in that it documents a modern way of thinking about design in northern landscapes, but also sheds light on the diversity of environments within this geographical category. Dozens of striking projects range in location from the lush forests of British Columbia, and the unforgiving tundra of Newfoundland, to the dramatic fjords of Norway. The projects present a compelling case for a simple, rugged architecture that still pushes the modern agenda. The book includes diagrammatic plans and sections as well as the occasional process sketch.


Northern Delights: Scandinavian Homes, Interiors and Design by Emma Fexeus and S. Ehmann, $ 60
Gestalten Verlag

While the projects in the book are architecturally compelling, we tend to use the content more as a resource for furnishings and feel. The book does about as good of a job as one could expect with the lived-in image without losing the curation. At the same time, there is an admirable effort toward the weathered and used. Classic Danish furniture is covered, as well as a push for many new pieces by the current generation of Scandinavian designers. Best of all, it’s a client-friendly book that easily enrolls people in the warm modernism we like to foster.


Simply Scandinavian by Sarah Norman$ 30
Ryland Peters & Small

While it’s a fluffy book, the images are a healthy dose of hygge. While some of the images step alarmingly close to country cottage, there are just enough hints of modernism to keep our interest. What the book does extremely well is demonstrate the furnished Scandinavian lifestyle. With tables set, vases flowered, and the occasional tchotchke out on display, the book illustrates a level of reality that we respect. It’s also full of just good, plain Scandinavian design items for the home.


Sourcebook of Scandinavian Furniture: Designs for the 21st Century by Judith Gura, $ 60
W. W. Norton & Company

This book is just as the title suggests and it’s a requirement for any office promoting design work with Scandinavian sensibilities. With ten straight-forward categories, the material covers everything from the Poul Kjaerholm PK-22 Chair to Alvar Aalto’s Tea Trolley. The book includes a disk with an image file for each of the pieces.


The Best American Infographics 2014 by Gareth Cook, $ 20
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

This annual edition will provide page after page of pure bliss for the infographic nerd, giving the reader a binge-worthy buffet of the most provocative and influential informational graphic languages from the past year. The material ranges from the serious (mapping the death toll of Mt. Everest) to the satirical (diagramming the evolution of Justin Bieber). Filled cover to cover with intelligent and beautiful orchestras of images, this book belongs in the collection of anyone design-minded. But also anyone with a coffee table.


A QUICK NOTE: We adamantly support local bookshops and are loyal supporters of urbanism and community. We encourage you to vote with your money and support exceptional book stores like Peter Miller Architectural & Design Books and Supplies in Seattle, Powell’s City of Books in Portland, William Stout Architectural Books in San Francisco, Hennessey+Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore in Los Angeles, and many more around the country that foster culture and community.

A QUICK DISCLAIMER: We don’t read all of these books from cover to cover, as we’re busy designing and building things most days. Our reviews are based on a variety of aspects such as how we use the books in our office and how often they end up open on our desks (as opposed to passively sitting on the bookshelf). The reviews are often based on skimming the books or mining them for specific information. We’re not professional writers or book reviewers; we’re just architects that can’t stop talking about architecture. Got a book suggestion or want to be involved in the play by play? Connect with us on Twitter and Instagram.

Cheers from Team BUILD

Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 24 February 2015

Category: Building

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Academic was engineering dean at Cornell, president of WPI and led the American Society for Engineering Education
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Posted by Tyson at 24 February 2015

Category: Architects

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Free Construction eBookSpecial Announcement from the Construction Marketing Association: Register to attend Construction Americas 2015 Expo, March 26-27 in Miami, and receive a free eBook version of our popular Tools of the Trade: Modern Marketing for Construction Brands ($ 79 Value)!

To learn more about Construction Americas 2015 Exposition, and how to get the Free eBook, read more.

About Construction Americas 2015

Construction Americas 2015 Exposition will give attendees a broad look into new construction technologies and best practices, located in one of the most exciting construction markets, Miami. Construction Americas will share cutting edge perspectives from construction industry leaders, brands, academia, and editors from leading construction publications—each sharing their views and insights into construction trends, technologies and best practices.

Welcome Reception and Speakers

Construction Americas 2015 will open with a welcome reception hosted by DIY Network’s very own Chris Grundy, host of popular shows Cool Tools and Blog Cabin.

The event will continue on March 27 beginning with a complimentary breakfast, followed by three, think-tank panel discussions: CEO Panel (Breakfast Keynote), Technology Panel (11-12), and a  construction Editor Panel (2-3).


Construction products and services from across the world, along with regional services will exhibit  throughout the conference in the expansive U.S. Century Bank Arena. Following is a partial list of a exhibitors that is growing every day.

Dodge Analytics Bosch Autodesk
CAT- Kelly Tractor Crane Inspection & Certification Bureau (CICB) Florida Concrete Unlimited (FCU)
Liebherr Crane Ironwear HoistCam
Skanska Jonas Construction Software MSA: The Safety Company
Construction Monitor ALPI/Brookside Veneers Prestressed Concrete Institute
Nielson Hoover Group Optimum Safety Management Suretegrity
Digital Drafting Systems Florida Concrete & Products Association Manhattan Construction
Link Construction Facchina Construction FIU – OHL School of Construction


How to Get Tools of the Trade eBook for Free

To get Tools of the Trade: Modern Marketing for Construction Brands ($ 79 Value) for free, follow these steps:

Step 1: Register to Attend Construction Americas 2015

Costs and Registration for Construction Americas 2015:

  • Single Registration: $ 50 (Click Here to Register)
  • Registration for Groups of Two or More: $ 40 each (Click Here to Register)
  • Student Registration (Available to Current Students w/Valid Student ID): Free with advance registration (Click Here for Student Registration)

Step 2: Provide Proof of Registration to CMA

After registering to attend Construction Americas 2015, screenshot the registration page or email confirmation. Next, go the Tools of the Trade eBook registration page (Link Announced Soon). and upload the screenshot image and you will receive a link to the eBook PDF.

Step 3: Enjoy Your Free eBook ($ 79 Value)

Join the avid readers of the latest advice for construction marketers.  This book has been used as part of the Construction Marketing Association’s Certified Construction Marketing Professional (CCMP) curriculum, and has helped countless professionals to better their marketing, and improve sales.

Here’s a preview:

Construction Marketing Blog

Posted by Tyson at 22 February 2015

Category: Construction

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The age of content marketing is in full swing and it increasingly relies on stories. Good stories. But, good story telling is not something that businesses selling to other businesses do well. That’s partly because marketing is often too closely tied to the story telling process. Marketing is enthusiastic about…marketing. And it’s very easy for marketing to … Continue reading The Story Behind Story Telling for Construction

The post The Story Behind Story Telling for Construction appeared first on Construction Informer Blog – Blog with Construction News and Commentary.

Construction Informer Blog

Posted by Tyson at 22 February 2015

Category: Building

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With its truncated concrete core standing idle for several years, work on one of London’s tallest buildings is set to be revived following the acquisition of the project, formerly known as the Pinnacle, in a deal announced on February 20.
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Posted by Tyson at 21 February 2015

Category: Building News

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bham sign

I’m fortunate to be a part of a solid initiative called Design Alabama. Every year we participate in a Mayors’ Summit, working with five different cities on their most challenging design problems. We just completed our 2015 Summit.

A few interesting nuggets I learned about Millennials trends (people born 1979 to 1996)

  • 31% of Millennials prefer a “core city” and have a stronger inclination toward urban living.
  • 66% say they seek walkable places and town centers, and 33% are willing to pay a premium to be able to walk to shops and amenities.
  • 50% are willing to give up living space in order to live in a walkable neighborhood.

Millennials value diverse neighborhoods, proximity to jobs and fun, with more emphasis on connectedness and life/work balance than their predecessors.

  • 26% do not have a driver’s license, which I found most interesting. The miles driven by ages 16-34 have dropped 40% per capita in the last 10 years.
  • Bicycle trips in the age group rose 24% in ten years and walking is up 16%.
  • 45% report making a conscious effort to replace driving with alternative forms of transportation.

The past is not always a predictor of the future, and trends are just trends. We only know how things pan out by looking in the rearview mirror. That said, we have a diverse group of projects under contract, and I can definitely see some of these trends with our urban projects.

Planting Acorns

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!