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    CUSANO ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER

    Located at Philadelphia's Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, the most urban refuge in the United States, the Cusano Environmental Education Center was designed to promote sustainable energy use, resource efficiency, and water conservation. The architecture firm of Susan Maxman & Partners wanted the building itself to clearly communicate these principles. The design does this through daylighting, geothermal heating, use of salvaged and recycled materials, rainwater harvesting, and other means. Next week Philadelphia writer Diane Fiske will take us on a tour of the building and its sustainable design characteristics.

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    AGENTS OF ARCHITECTURAL CHANGE

    Architecture students are told to consider issues of energy, environment, and occupant health as they learn to design. Yet the profession lacks a widespread tradition of evaluating buildings. Medical students don’t learn solely through textbooks: they’re required to study and evaluate actual human bodies. Why expect less from architecture students? Next week architecture professor Alison Kwok will describe the "Agents of Change" and "Vital Signs" curricular reform efforts, which give students the tools to investigate the built environment.

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    NEW CAD ON THE BLOCK

    Just a year ago, Revit Technology appeared on the computer-aided design scene with the ambition of supplanting older systems with its new parametric building modeler. Through its aggressive plan to release a new version every three months, the company has drawn the attention of American architects. One firm that has been studying its feasibility is The Hillier Group. Next week Elizabeth Bollinger will describe the software and explain how Hillier architects are using it.

     
     
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