Posted by Tyson at 1 August 2015

Category: Building News

Tags: ,

ChicanesLast week, I drove through Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood on 39th Street, a route I’ve traveled many times before. I always knew it as straight as an arrow, but not any longer.

I later discovered that residents had asked the city to slow down traffic, and engineers responded with “chicanes.” These landscaped islands form a hopscotch pattern which moves drivers along a gradual “S” path, slowing them down. The center stripes are painted to match the gentle curves, all of which can have a calming effect on those passing through the neighborhood.

The goal here was to enhance pedestrian safety and improve neighborhood livability. When compared to speed bumps, chicanes are lower maintenance long term, and they sure do look nicer.

I think a sign I saw on this stretch of road that said it all: “Drive like your children live here.” Hopefully this pleasant stretch of road will encourage just this type of driving. Like many buildings these days being adaptively reused, to me, this is also an example of meeting current needs from an existing platform. 

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 30 July 2015

Category: Building

Tags: , , ,

Royal HaskoningDHV and Chairman Erik Oostwegel set sights to expand firm’s water engineering expertise at home to emerging economies and new design sectors worldwide.
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Posted by Tyson at 29 July 2015

Category: Building

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Richard Wankmuller shares outlook for Australian design firm Cardno’s future through latest results shortfall and market transition.
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Posted by Tyson at 29 July 2015

Category: Uncategorized

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This installment of The Modern List takes our modernist adventures to the southern hemisphere. Last month, BUILD’s summer intern, Peter Gray, spent some time in Melbourne, Australia, and gave us the run down on some of the head-turning modernism permeating this cosmopolitan city at all scales.

It’s easy to see why Melbourne is the epicenter of design culture on the Australian continent. The built environment is dense, exciting, and expressive, with a sharp focus on sustainable practices.

Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, Masson Road, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010 by NADAAA and John Wardle Architects
[Image Source: Modscape]

Library at The Dock, 107 Victoria Harbor Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008, +61 3 9658 9998
by Clare Design
[Image Source: Clare Design]

RMIT Design Hub, Building 100, Victoria St & Swanston St, Carlton VIC 3000, +61 3 9925 2260
by Sean Godsell Architects
[Image Source: RMIT Design Hub]

Upper House, 516-520 Swanson St, Carlton VIC 3053
by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
[Image Source: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects]

Melbourne Convention Center, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006, +61 3 9235 8000
by NH Architecture
[Image Source: Zinc FX]

The collection of museums in the city is vast and varied. And as we’ve come to expect of these cultural structures, the designs are responsive both to the art and the human experience.

Federation Square, Swanston St & Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 9655 1900
by Lab Architects
[Image Source: Melbourne Daily]

Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 8341 7777
by Denton Corker Marshall
[Image Source: Les Butcher]

Heide Museum of Modern Art, 7 Templestowe Rd, Victoria 2015, +61 3 9850 1500
by O’Connor and Houle Architecture + Environments
[Image Source: Envy Design]

The list of great cafes was a tough one to narrow down. Melbournians match Seattleites in their passion for coffee, and this is a just a taste of the numerous beautiful, unique spaces in which to drink it.

The Vertue, 8 Raffa Pl, Carlton VIC 3053, +61 3 8060 6987
[Image Source: Broadsheet]

Bancroft Brewers, 401A Glenhuntly Rd, Elsternwick VIC 3185, +61 3 9523 1198
[Image Source: Broadsheet]

Code Black Coffee, 15 Weston St, Brunswick VIC 3056, +61 3 9381 2330
[Image Source: The Urban List]

The good news for travelers to Melbourne is the city knows and loves its food. Just walk down Flinders Lane in the Central Business District, and the options are endless. A fair warning to those accustomed to fine dining in casual attire: some places enforce a strict dress code, so call ahead or come prepared.

Gazi, 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 9207 7444
[Image Source: A Food Fable]

Chin Chin, 125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 8663 2020
[Image Source: Sidewalk Hustle]

Cutler and Co., 55 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 4888, +61 3 9419 4888
[Image Source: Australian Good Food & Travel Guide]

Beyond the drinks, going out for a cocktail is an entire experience, and one which is done well in Melbourne. These are a few of the establishments which offer a good drink to enjoy in a beautifully designed space.

Lui Bar, 55, 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 9691 3888
[Image Source: Lui Bar]

Luxembourg Bar, 157 Fitzroy St, St. Kilda VIC 3182, +61 3 9525 4488
[Image Source: Luxembourg Bistro]

The Croft Institute, Croft Alley, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 9671 4399
[Image Source: Venue Bat]

Melbourne’s well-designed dessert destinations are more than prepared to satisfy the cravings for sweet treats and sweet design.

Mörk, 150 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 2051, +61 3 9328 1386
[Image Source: de-briefme]

Om Nom, 187 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 3 8080 8827
[Image Source: City of Melbourne]

Monsieur Truffe, 351 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC, +61 3 9380 4915
[Image Source: Adam Dimech]

Cheers from Peter and Team BUILD

Build Blog

Posted by Tyson at 27 July 2015

Category: Architecture News

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ModSpace Blog – Construction News, Updates & Insights

Posted by Tyson at 27 July 2015

Category: Building

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Weidlinger veteran helped build many of America’s most well-known structures
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Posted by Tyson at 26 July 2015

Category: Building

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DRIVE Act’s architects shift more aid to transit, offset partly by deep cuts to TIFIA funding.
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Posted by Tyson at 26 July 2015

Category: Building News

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Work togetherWe have a project that involves two engineering consultants of the same discipline. One of the engineering firms has an overlay for the larger project, but it was appropriate for us to hire another engineer for our portion.

At the start, it seemed it would be a rocky road. I suspect this was because the engineer for the entire project felt like we should have been doing business with their firm. A few days ago, I called this engineer and I told them the work would have been theirs, but prior to knowing them, we had already made a commitment to the second engineer.

After discussing a bit more, he told me the most important word he heard from our phone visit was “commitment.” He went on to say that in this industry, commitments have shaky legs at times. While he would have liked to do the work, he was more appreciative of us standing behind our word. I then told him we look forward to more projects.

A few days after we talked, the whole atmosphere changed.

We are no different than many, but it bears repeating: Remember your commitments, and honor them.

Planting Acorns

Posted by Tyson at 24 July 2015

Category: Building

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Six-year measure, which has only three years’ funding guaranteed, wins procedural vote after losing one a day earlier.
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Posted by Tyson at 24 July 2015

Category: Uncategorized

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[All photos by BUILD LLC]

We’ve been using certain products for the last couple of years that allow entire rooms to gather generous amounts of natural light throughout the seasons and when the weather turns favorable, these same systems allow indoor rooms to fully open up to the outdoors. It wouldn’t do these products justice to simply call them windows or glass doors. Rather, these are glass walls capable of opening up, or in some scenarios, nearly disappearing altogether. Here in the Pacific Northwest, operable glass walls make a significant lifestyle difference. The low angle of the sun, combined with the short days of winter and fall leaves most of us Seattleites yearning for more natural light. One of the first strategies against this dreary problem is designing floor to ceiling glazing into our projects. This ensures that the interiors are taking advantage of every bit of daylight they can, and reducing reliance on lighting. In the summer and spring, the temperate climate and lack of humidity makes walls nearly obsolete (save for keeping the bugs out). Designing transparent walls that can easily slide open creates a strong relationship between inside and outside, allows for exterior spaces to become outdoor rooms, and provides excellent natural cooling for the interiors. It’s a win-win scenario and today’s post takes a deep dive into these systems along with images from a couple recently completed projects.

Before we get to the pretty pictures, we should eat our spinach and cover some of the terminology behind operable glass walls. Architects and builders are, no doubt, familiar with terms like ‘OXO’ and ‘OXXO’ where the ‘O’ indicates a fixed panel and an ‘X’ indicates an operable panel. This nomenclature is handy when dealing with more complicated configurations like the OXO composition below (left) and the XXO composition below (right).


A good example of these sliding glass walls is the Case Study House 2014 (CSH2014). A La Cantina OXX system allows the dining room to open up to an adjacent deck from floor to ceiling. Each of these three panels is 9’-6” tall by 6’-7” wide and while they’re heavy, (it took eight people to lift each panel into place,) they allow for uninterrupted views and optimal natural light.


The frames are clear anodized aluminum with double pane Low-E glass panels. An attenuated matching track runs along the floor and ceiling to secure the operable panels and the door hardware is clean and minimal, blending with the surrounding modern lines. The clear opening of this system is approximately 13’-0”. A bug screen can be added to the interior of this composition with another +/-4″ of depth within the system.


A separate artist studio in back of the CSH2014 opens up to the yard via an OXXO aluminum system from Milgard. These panels are each 3’-4” wide by 6’-7” tall with a clear opening of approximately 6’-8” wide.



Accordion systems are also an excellent consideration for operable glass walls. The door panels aren’t as wide as the examples covered above, which adds more vertical mullions to the composition, but the tradeoff can be well worth it. Because the door panels fold and slide together, the panels take up less space in their open position, thereby allowing a larger opening as in the Desai Residence below.



This application uses a 5-panel bronze anodized aluminum panel accordion system by La Cantina where each panel is approximately 3’-3” wide by 8’-10” tall. The clear opening of this composition is approximately 16’-6” minus about 18” for the doors in their open configuration. Bug screens are possible with the accordion systems, although, depending on the clear opening, the length of bug screen (and depth of mechanics) can get a bit cumbersome.



Like the sliders, the accordion system offers a range of permeability. The end panel works just like a single passage door and they entire assembly can be folded up as much or as little as desired.








Last but not least, the Raumplus interior system offers big, sliding glass panels that divide spaces up, or in the case below, close off a laundry space adjacent a hallway. The 3 panels in this composition measure at 4’-0” wide by 8’-0” tall and are specified in the S3000 anodized silver with white diffused laminated glass.


We’re big fans of operable glass walls because of the lifestyle opportunities they offer and you’ll be seeing more of these systems in our current and future work. These systems allow for additional possibilities and applications with each new project so stay tuned for future evolutions.

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!