Home building permits jump by 55 percent in Sacramento By Hudson Sangree email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org Home building permits were up nearly 55 percent in the Sacramento area during the first two months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to a report by the California Homebuilding Foundation/Construction Industry Research Board. In January and February, there were 533 permits for single-family homes issued in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties, the housing industry group said late last week. That was up from 344 in January and February 2012, it said. The latest results mirror a statewide increase in building permits for single family homes. In Southern California’s Inland Empire, which experienced a boom and bust in residential construction similar to Sacramento’s, the number of permits pulled nearly doubled. Other areas of Southern California and the Bay Area also experienced dramatic increases in the rates of building permits issued. Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2013/04/29/2692501/home-building-permits-jump-by.html# storylink=cpy
Lawyer: 8 years; Doctor 10 years
Architect: 15.5 years … and counting … Why does it take so Long to hatch an Architect in the US (far longer than in other countries)
… and … what can be done about it.
Perhaps the ticket to sustainable change is not just a faster path, but an adjustment to focus on the core skills that are required to be licensed: those that Protect the Public Health Safety and Welfare.
It turns out that most of the public thinks Codes and Construction knowledge are the most valuable skills of an Architect. (AIA Research). Perhaps we need a shift toward that realm in the focus of Architectural education …
As it turns out, the odds are not so good for that student whose prime driver is to become the “Next Front Page Starchitect “…
CFY Development Inc
Galt Place infill mixed use affordable housing in Downtown Galt
Traditional Zoning is at odds with a vision for walkable, safe and vibrant urban communities:
Measuring the Real Energy Use of Buildings: A logical foundation for Innovation in Sustainable Design
Kudos to the Big Apple for doing what seems obviously in the best interests of the Public and Private Sectors: collecting Real World Data on Building energy use.
Container architecture is a trendy modality that is gaining traction. When driven to consider this motif strictly by ‘low budget’ the results can be disasterous. There are emerging examples of how this design specialty can add an edgy vibe in a low density environment, even in a ‘quasi urban’ setting.
Ideally, infill development has design details that contribute to a neighborhood’s economic vitality. Examples include high quality materials, permanent landscaping, creative and innovative use of light, color, and form; massing which is compatible with the existing streetscape, and thoughtful provisions for such mundance necessities as utilities, trash, security, and ‘eyes on the street’ at all hours.
Using Containers in architecture is a new and evolving motif that can in theory achieve desired goals, but the highest degree of design experience talent and resources are required to do so with this modality as compared to more conventional development. A well thought out design whether using containers or not adds stability, visual appeal, economic vitality and beauty in façade and landscape treatment.
Here is an example of a container ‘restaurant’ structure that is in downtown Carlsbad. In it’s context, I believe this has been a successful installation. Part of the story is that the container motif helped avoid any excavation on this former gas station occupied parcel with serious ground contamination that prevented excavation. Landscape consisted of stabilized decomposed granite and artificial turf, with wrought iron fencing. There are probably other examples of how this design challenge has been ‘pulled off ‘ – along with I’m afraid many examples of attempts which have been less than successful.
For an example of what would be a visual disaster in a similar urban location, here is a different example of a ‘container art gallery’. While this project has won design awards – it works only in its suburban setting as a temporary installation space. In an urban setting it would have been a visual disaster. The interiors are lovely – but this composition is not so friendly on the exterior. More here: http://aiasf.org/programs/competition/design-awards/2012/triskelion/
Another Land Park Transformation taking shape: From One story to Two. Sustainability includes making better use of small homes on small parcels to accommodate the needs of modern families. In the traditional close in neighborhoods of Sacramento like Land Park and East Sacramento, respecting the neighborhood includes respecting the traditional context.
Selecting the right colors can refresh the character of an existing building – a very small cost premium to get that ‘pop’ that can translate into higher rents and less vacancy. Design Matters!
Bob Chase AIA, incoming AIACV President, gathered the incoming board and others for a four hour Board Retreat on Friday the 18th . This was an intense and lively session laying out AIACV vision for creating value for its members in 2013 and beyond.
The meeting began with an update on the National AIA Repositioning initiative presented by Michael F. Malinowski AIA. Mike is one of three architects from California that serve on the National Board; and he is a member of AIA’s Repositioning Committee.
A major announcement is expected in March at the Grassroots Conference in Washington DC: A roadmap for action to address the opportunities and disconnects that have come to light in the year- long data gathering effort that touched over 30,000 architects, clients, and the public.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our project team, the Cap Lofts project is PERMIT READY. After nearly 15 years on the drawing board, activity on this site should begin within days. Hooray!
Michael F. Malinowski AIA
President, Applied Architecture Inc
Sacramento’s Globe Mill is Historic Adaptive Reuse that is Transit Oriented, Affordable and Green: a tough Downtown Development that has made a difference. Applied Architecture, Inc’s Michael F. Malinowski AIA takes a stand for Urban Infill in the November 2012 Business Journal.
This article hits straight on at the disconnect between education of Architects and the realities of the profession. I believe at the core of this problem is the fact that somewhere near 80 percent of the professors in architectural programs across the US are not licensed professionals.
Service to society and protection of the public health safety and welfare should come back into focus as the foundation for the profession. That, I believe, is the path toward being a trusted advisor to those who finance, develop and construct the built environment. Increasingly, the built environment is shaped without architects; and it shows.
Asking when I knew I wanted to be an architect is like asking when I first fell in love with my husband, or the exact instant I became a Christian. There was no moment of realization, only a soothing understanding that this should be my life’s work.
But six years after graduating from college, I’m struggling to plant architectural roots as strong as marriage and faith. My peers from the Class of 2006 are also struggling; we’re tired and overworked, our energy drained and passion diluted.
The evidence sits in my refrigerator: chevroned tall boys of Saison ale and a meticulous shortbread fruit tart, both crafted by former co-workers and classmates who initially pursued architecture only to search for fulfillment elsewhere. Photographers, typographers, bakers, bikers, and brewers are all disguised on LinkedIn and Facebook as design interns. There’s a renaissance happening among young architects — and it’s not in architecture.
This June I resigned from my job at a downtown Seattle firm to focus on architectural licensure and nonfiction writing. The decision took nine months to reach, but when I finally announced my resignation to peers and co-workers, the unanimous support I received was astounding. Though I knew I wasn’t alone in my disappointment with the profession, I wanted to know more about my peers’ personal experiences than 140 Twitter characters and regular happy hours allowed.
I had suspicions about why some of my fellow interns had recently abandoned the profession, and why many others were growing weary trying to stay in it. A gulf stretched between the projects of the office world and the projects of our college days. The legal responsibilities of a licensed architect are to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of a building’s occupants, but during our five years as students we were taught that architecture was more than this — we were responsible for creating spaces that provided for people’s physical and emotional well being. We were builders, artists, and humanitarians, entrusted with listening to, observing, and assimilating the culture around us into engaging, thriving, magical places.
Our self-chosen senior thesis topics, the culmination of our architectural educations, were small windows into our souls. Those projects may not have been designed with real-world constraints, but they symbolized an emotional connection to something — music, travel, cultural heritage, sustainability, humanitarianism — that we felt should be inherent in any project but was missing from the ones we now found ourselves working on into the bleak hours of the morning.
This gap between what we yearned for architecture to be and what it really was, I believed, was the seed of our disenchantment with the profession, and our impetus for leaving it.
Inspired by professional surveys regarding the future of architecture, I created my own survey and asked approximately 100 design interns to reflect on their senior thesis projects and subsequent professional experiences.
Over the next few weeks I received 35 responses from 2006/2007 graduates from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Manhattan, Honolulu, and Abu Dhabi. My theory was partially correct, but not in the way I expected: a lack of respect, for both design integrity and individual effort, was the biggest origin of disappointment. Like me, many were dismayed by a lackluster passion and conviction for good design, and perhaps even more so, the fragility of workplace humanity in the industry — both in the treatment of others and in how we ourselves were treated.
“In a way, when I left college, the one thing I never experienced before, nor did I anticipate, was such massive segregation and pigeonholing,” said one 2007 Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo graduate. “I never expected to be made to feel so useless and to question myself as much as I have, for what seems like no reason at all.”
“I feel underutilized, underpaid, underappreciated, undervalued, and invisible most of the time,” replied one co-worker. Three weeks later she left the profession.
A University of Idaho graduate lamented, “My experience over the last 2-3 years has really made me question this profession, and my role in it.” Later he admitted, “I need to ignite my passion for architecture again.”
Like architectural alumni before us, the Class of 2006 was introduced to a seemingly arbitrary world of unrealistic deadlines, exhausting work hours, and underwhelming pay after graduation. Our school years in studio prepared us for some late nights, and we expected to be at the bottom of the design ladder initially. But we found sunsets at the office implementing last-minute design changes were the rule rather than the exception, and the recession kept us at the bottom much longer than we hoped by preventing new graduates from taking our place. Even then, some experiences were extreme; for those who headed to the East Coast after graduation, working on high-profile, high-design projects meant working for free for months in the hopes they would eventually be hired as paid employees.
After reading my peers’ responses and examining my own feelings towards my recent departure, I found myself asking this question: in order to be considered successful — worthy even — in the eyes of the profession, must architecture’s roots be deeper than marriage and faith?
In a 2003 Seattle Post-Intelligencer piece about young architectural firms in Seattle, journalist and architect Sheri Olson observed, “Even in a profession that tends to eat its young — with soul-crushing internships and expensive licensing exams — we have far fewer than normal up-and-coming architects.”
This professional cannibalism is devastating, not only to our generation, but previous generations who experienced the same detrimental cycle — and who now either suffer from post-licensure amnesia, or simply have no desire or reason to look back at the mountain they climbed and question its steep ascent.
Olson’s second observation is just as acute today as it was 10 years ago; in addition to exam fees as burdensome as they were in 2003, study material is expensive and difficult to acquire if not provided by your employer. Though popular culture tends to erroneously portray typical architects as upper-middle-class, these expenses are difficult to accommodate for young interns on beginning salaries.
Many responders admitted that, compared to their mindset upon graduation, licensure isn’t a top priority anymore. While being a licensed architect is a prerequisite to owning your own practice, and can be an asset at small firms, there is little financial or professional incentive to become licensed while working at large firms, which often have well-developed processes in place that involve select licensed individuals signing drawings for the entire company.
It doesn’t help that the organization administering the licensure maze, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, is, according to one of my peers, “about as responsive as a corpse.” The proprietary software created specifically for the exams and distributed on the NCARB website is only usable on outdated computers (both my Mac laptop and Dell desktop computer are not compatible), and given that the exam is entirely digital, the expected four to six weeks gestation period for each exam’s results is agonizingly slow (thankfully, however, I received my first exam’s results in two weeks).
It would be easy to blame superiors and a faceless bureaucracy for our frustrations and subsequent flight, but we should share some of the blame.
The problem is exacerbated by a generational gap in communication and expectation, and in order for change to happen, we need to practice the same level of collaboration that we expect from our leaders. Our class entered the profession with high expectations for ourselves and our anticipated opportunities, and when they weren’t met, we felt slighted, swindled, snubbed. After experiencing a workplace form of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s Five Stages of Grief, we stopped caring and became indignant. This produced two scenarios: caring so little as to produce mediocre work, or caring so little as to abandon the profession entirely.
Those who vocalized their frustrations in an attempt to remain engaged either battled for success or let disappointment build until they reached a breaking point. At different times in my career, I have been an example of both the former and latter cases. And like us, future generations of young interns will suffer the same rollercoaster if ours does not attempt to close the gap.
A few weeks after architect Andrew Maynard’s ArchDaily article highlighting the profession’s dreadful work/life balance reputation and employee exploitation in architectural office culture began spreading like a welcome fungus across the Facebook pages of my peers, I found myself discussing the merits, rather than the pitfalls, of a design education with a 2005 University of Oregon graduate at a recent Bellevue College lecture. “I think what architecture school really did,” he reflected, “is teach me how to think.”
Those who have left the field have no regrets about initially pursuing an architectural education even after the recession forced many laid-off interns to consider a career change earlier than they may have initially considered. But in order to maintain the health of the profession, a fundamental change in how young interns are integrated into the design environment, and in how they apply their education, needs to occur.
This idea is nothing new. The early 2000’s saw a resurgence of interest in the issues and rights of architectural interns locally and nationally, but the conversation faded with the onset of the recession. Thankfully ,the analytical, observational and cultural skills imparted by our architectural education created a sharp, versatile, empathetic group of individuals that can change our communities — whether by buildings, beer, or baked goods. I hope my peers and I persevere through this renaissance with our architectural passion intact. Eventually it will be our turn to lead, mentor, and collaborate with young architects wading into the profession. And if we’ve missed our opportunity to create change from the bottom-up, we must challenge ourselves to glance back at those old and worn mountain trails, and to implement change from the top-down.
But there’s hope. Another trait my generation happens to share, for better or worse, is stubborn determination.
“For all my cynicism,” wrote that earlier 2007 Cal Poly grad, “I believe there is a good side to architecture.”
Caela J. McKeever is an architectural graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and recently completed the nonfiction certificate program at the University of Washington. After working on large East and West Coast retail projects for six years, she is currently pursuing architectural licensure and projects concerning architectural humanities, interior architecture, and design for children. She can be reached through email@example.com.
View this story online at: http://crosscut.com/2012/09/25/architecture/110494/architectural-jobs-interns-economy-recession-/
Using a Wood Podium can help a mixed use multifamily project meet both budget and environmental goals.
On behalf of Woodworks Michael F. Malinowski AIA has presented an analysis of his wood podium design for recently completed Galt Place around the country: Seattle, Portland, LA, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, Boston and more. Now the APA is releasing a Case Study report on this topic that features Applied Architecture’s Galt Place along with Oceano, a wood podium design by Architects Orange.
Applied Architecture Open House: October 26th! Part of the AIA Central Valley Architectural Fesitival
Come visit our studio open house as part of the October AIACV Architecture Festival.
In the quirky open, 20 foot high skylit interior under the glitter covered dome you will find an inside/out fish pond, color shifting LED floor lighting, bamboo planters made from construction debris , and an eclectic composition of art , Ikea cross mixed parts and pieces , exposed metal , concrete, steel and wood. Really
The developer of the Art focused “Capitol Lofts” are interested in finding out how to best connect with the art community in Sacramento. Take the survey here:
This innovative project will start construction in early 2013, funding is in place and plans are well underway.
Move in day for our east sacramento clients has come … they were so gracious as to host a party for the many who helped them get to success including subcontractors, their families, and friends and neighbors. Thanks right back to you, Ed and Kathleen!
It was heartwarming to a note of thanks addressed to the architect, interior designer, and contractor that included this line “You three – Mike, Pamela and Valentin –are the "godparents" of our new home. Blushing now ….
A light filled and spacious house on a 40 x 100 foot parcel; all done for a lot less than $200 psf including fees permits and landscape … including the latest green sustainable features such as non-vented roof of closed cell foam; instant hot water and central vacuum; bamboo and no voc carpeting; led lighting throughout. I call that a ‘hat trick’!
Webinar on line at Woodworks: the story of Galt and Applied Architecture’s Wood Podium based design there
Mike’s First Recorded Webinar – now on the Woodworks Site. The first presentation of this webinar had over 400 in the audience from all over the country.
Capitol Lofts Project Tax Credit finacing approved today! After more than a decade in the works, this adventure is finally going forward!
At 2pm this afternoon the Tax Credit Financing for the Capitol Lofts project was approved by the State Tax Credit Allocation Committee. Less than half the projects – all scoring ‘maximum points’ in the CTAC vetting process – were funded due to limited resources.
This site on R Street between 11th and 12th has been stalled on the ‘launch pad’ for development for nearly a decade an a half. As the previous development efforts had been stymied, in December of 2011, CFY Development Inc led by Cyrus Youssefi and his son Ali teamed with Michael F. Malinowski’s Applied Architecture Inc and attorney Pat Sabelhaus to take a fresh look at this landmark site. This is the same development team behind the award winning Globe Mills and Historic Hotel Stockton historic adaptive reuse projects.
The concept funded today includes 116 units of rental housing, which range from studio mezzanine lofts to three bedroom 2 bath family sized apartments; both affordable and market rate rents. There will also be over 14,000 sq ft of streetfront retail. The historic six story warehouse is brought back to life; supplemented with new construction on the adjacent ‘pit’ that combines two levels of parking with a multi story 60 ft high new building wrapped in brick.
An ‘art’ theme flows through the project that ties it to the emerging Arts District of the R Street corridor. At the heart of the project – where the National Register qualified historic building meets the new lofts – is a large terrace covered with a Japanese maple forest, illuminated at night with firefly lighting that will be quietly mesmerizing.
The design was presented to the public on June 11th to a very positive reception; a synopis of the presentation is on the CADA website.
Hello R Street Friends,
Today was a big day for R Street! CADA is excited to announce that earlier today the Capitol Lofts project (CADA Warehouse), located at 11th and R Streets, was award $18 Million in low-income housing tax credits. The federal tax credits will allow the Capitol Lofts to move forward and start construction within the next seven months. Yes, you read that correctly. The Capitol Lofts project is finally going to happen!
Next spring, CADA’s development partners, CFY Development and Holliday Development, will be begin constructing 116 mixed-income housing units and 13,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The construction will be completed in the spring of 2015. When finished, you will see a mixed-use, transited-oriented, brownfield, historic adaptive rehab, and infill development project that will continue the transformation of R Street’s Historic District that began with the streetscape project completed earlier this year.
CADA, CFY Development and Holliday Development, could not be happier to be in this position after so many years. We want to thank all of you that have supported and championed this project over the years. As many of you know, the journey to get to this point has been full of bumps and twists, but now we can finally see the end. We are very happy to share this news with you and hope you are too.
See you at the groundbreaking next year!
R Street Development Manager
Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA)
1522 14th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
More key steps forward for the R Street Art Lofts are falling into place !!!
116 living units (from studio mezzanine lofts to 3 bedroom 2 bath apartments) street front retail, art studios! Over 200,000 sq ft urban infill with both historic adaptive reuse and new construction!
- The State Historic Preservation Office recommends approval of National Register listing of the Historic six story warehouse ! This is a key step forward in the historic tax credit approval process – thanks to our historic consultant Paula Boghosian and SHPO for the quick step time!
- The State Tax Credit Allocation Committee has listed the project in the Funding Queue for Affordable Housing Tax Credits! A stellar performance by CFY’s Cyrus and Ali Youssefi working with attorney Pat Sabelhaus and the team!
Within weeks we expect the next major piece to this puzzle should be falling into place with issuance of the Housing Tax Credits! In the meantime, we are continuing our full court press forward on this adventure.
Recent research has found that the greenest building is an Existing Building – probably historic – saved, and retrofitted for energy efficiency. Using what we have is smarter and more sustainable than tearing down and building new. No surprise there – but surprised to see it the subject of an article in Building Magazine!
Curious? www.ez0.com. 18.5 acres, abuts Lake Spaulding campground and boat launch. 3 miles off I80 at 5200 ft elevation. Year round access, creek, rustic historic cabin, power and phone. On the historic Emigrant Trail. Merchantable Timber estimated at 400,000 board feet.
More renderings here:
We had a great turn out for the open house presentation of the R Street Art Loft project. Mike did the obligatory arm waving, never once losing his hat! Funding is inching ahead; the green light should be just a few weeks away.
Our studio as seen through the eyes of my friend, photographer Rich Baum.
Chuckanut Mountain Aerie: Applied Architecture New Home in Washington State up for a Marvin Window Award
Chuckanut Mountain Aerie
1228 Brighton Crest Drive, Bellingham WA
New home on a steep Puget Sound site, overlooking Chuckanut Bay and the San Juan Islands
Fierce, soaring eagles have an eye level view as they glide by this home for a newly retired couple. The welcoming, traditionally styled Craftsman home is a convergence of idea, vision, dream and touch. Expansive, ever-changing views of water, islands, distant mountains and sky provide an inspiring, yet sheltering nest for this adventurous couple to reflect on journeys they have take then together and those to come.
Why is this a great accomplishment
The house is the fulfillment of a dream nurtured over many years. Before it could be realized, there were children to educate and see launched, years of work to fulfill and finally, a house to be sold in a tough housing market. Then when it came to building, there were technical challenges to be solved: a steep site; designing to take maximum advantage of the spectacular views (but only on one side of the house); orienting for passive solar gain and photovoltaic panels; reserving an area for a geothermal heating system; an underground stream, unstable fill, limited access, very narrow buildable area. NO ROOM FOR ERROR.
What inspired you to create this design?
The spectacular site called for a sweeping deck from which approaching visitors experience an infinity pool-like vista of sky and water … and rooms that connect to that outdoor painting from every vantage point. Connecting inside to outside, with a traditional character that played well with adjoining homes was paramount.
How did Marvin products help realize the vision?
Beautiful, affordable, functional, and flexible, the Marvin line was the perfect answer for the most important element of the design on this site, maximizing the view. The windows provide the proscenium through which the mountains, islands, sea and sky of Puget Sound are displayed on an ever-changing canvas of light and movement. But like a finely produced play, the windows also operate efficiently and reliably to shut out ferocious winter winds and rain, helping to maintain the steady, cozy interior house temperatures that warm and comfort during cold and damp winter days. Just as reliably, they temper intense summer sun that would otherwise have the homeowners reaching for the blinds.
The owners have said, ‘We wanted the house to capture the majesty and inspiration of the sweeping views – but we also wanted it to be welcoming and comforting, whatever the season. We know we achieved this; visitors are struck silent by the views, but also feel so sheltered and comfortable that they are often reluctant to leave to visit local restaurants or other attractions. “Let’s just eat here,” is a typical reaction! The windows play the most important role in achieving this effect. They connect us with the view, but protect us from the wind and cold, or the intense summer sun. They function smoothly and reliably. They make our home the comfortable, beautiful place it is.”