Archive for August, 2011
Recent Downturn in Architecture Firm Billings Accelerates
July data reveals fourth monthly decline in ABI
By Jennifer Riskus
Even before the debt ceiling agreement, the historic downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, and the resulting wild stock market gyrations, the current down trend in billings at architecture firms had already started to accelerate. In July, the AIA Architecture Billings Index (ABI) declined for the fourth month in a row, falling to 45.1. What’s in store for the U.S. economy–and the architecture profession–in the upcoming months is still very unclear.
In a little bit of good news, inquiries for new design activity have continued to improve modestly in July, indicating that new projects are still under consideration. However, the value of new design contracts softened, so many of these inquiries are not translating into signed projects.
Business conditions are declining at firms in all regions of the country. The weakest score (44.9) was recorded for firms in the Midwest, which had previously reported seven months of growth in late 2010 through early 2011. Firms located in the West are in the midst of the most protracted downturn, now stretching to four years without an increase in billings.
I took these close up photos today of a powderpost beetle. I found this carcass in a small pile of frass (bug excrement) on a window sill. This is easily confirmed visually to be an adult ‘Anobiid’ species by reference to the University of Kentucky’s Dept of Entomology’s excellent Entfact 616 (on line). The bug almost certainly arrived as a larvae in the wood which is about five years old. The localized infestation is in a structural LVL – which fortunately is exposed and unfinished so it should be spot treatable as described by UKDE with low toxicity borate based ‘Timbor’. I have ordered a bag of TImbor on line for about ten dollars. Based on UKDE it should provide decades of protection against reinfestation and will knock down these little buggers as they emerge in their normal annual cycle. I will report back as I monitor this situation closely over the next year.
Using a Wood Podium in Mixed-use Design:
An Architectural Case Study
Michael F. Malinowski, AIA, Applied Architecture Inc.
Mixed use buildings in an urban setting often combine parking and retail uses on the ground level with residential uses above—and maximizing the amount of wood in these structures can provide substantial value for the community, environment and development team. This presentation will showcase an all-wood podium building recently completed as part of a successful redevelopment project in the Sacramento Valley. Topics will include opportunities and challenges associated with wood use in mid-rise design, including code analysis, occupancies, structural considerations, management of the design for longevity, and sustainability.
*Co-sponsored by AIA East Bay
AIA East Bay
1405 Clay Street
Orange County Airport
18700 MacArthur Blvd.
Westside Conference Center
6100 Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA
Time: On-site registration will open at 8:15 a.m. Workshops will begin at 8:45 a.m. and the program will conclude at 3:45 p.m.
Education Credits: The Wood Products Council is an AIA Approved Provider. Eligible attendees qualify for 5.5 AIA/CES LU credit.Engineers and non-member architects will receive a certificate of completion for 5.5 PDH credits.
Fee: $89 (includes lunch)