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    ArchitectureWeek Notes No. 517
    Dear ArchitectureWeek Readers,

    ArchitectureWeek No. 517 is now available on the Web, with these new design and building features, and more. This Notes edition is sponsored by Alcoa:

    Acorn Media

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    At the eight-story School of Nursing and Student Community Center in Houston, Texas, designed by BNIM, multifaceted skylights bring modulated daylight into a series of atriums. Photo: Farshid Assassi

    by Brian Libby

    To become one of the first two buildings to receive full recognition under the Living Building Challenge, the Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, New York, had to meet a stringent set of criteria, including generating all its energy from renewable resources, and capturing and treating all water used onsite.

    For BNIM, the architecture firm that designed the building, this recognition of extremely sustainable design was one more notch in a long track record of environmentally sensitive architecture.

    The Kansas City, Missouri-based firm has received the AIA Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects for 2011. The award is the highest honor the AIA bestows on an architecture firm. BNIM cofounder Bob Berkebile sees the firm's selection as a clear statement encouraging green building design as a tool in the battle against climate change.

    "I think the reason we got this award is the AIA had to pick someone to acknowledge that this is the future," he ventures.

    A pioneering advocate in the green field, Berkebile sees the chance to improve upon the possibly dire ecological outcomes forecast for the next century as a quintessential challenge and reward of being an architect. He was the founding chairman of the first AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) in 1990 and a founding board member of the U.S. Green Building Council a few years later. BNIM also helped develop the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system through several pilot projects.

    BNIM practices what it preaches; rigorous sustainability is intrinsic to its work. The Omega Center project and nine others designed by BNIM have earned LEED Platinum certification, and another nine have received other LEED ratings. The many awards received by the firm include five Top Ten Green Project nods from AIA/COTE.

    "I can honestly say that no firm has done as much to place the profession on its current trajectory towards a truly sustainable future as BNIM," wrote Richard Fedrizzi, CEO and president of the USGBC, in a letter recommending the firm for this award.   >>>



    Architecture and planning firm MVRDV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has revealed its winning design for the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China. Inspired by speech bubbles from comics, the design features a series of eight balloon-shaped volumes linked together. Image: MVRDV

    People and Places
    by Nancy Novitski

    MVRDV in Hangzhou, ChinaRafael Viñoly Architects in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaBIG in Tirana, AlbaniaHOK in La Jolla, CaliforniaThe Jerde Partnership in Hashimoto, JapanShepley Bulfinch in St. Paul, MinnesotaFernando Romero in Mexico City, Mexico

    Hangzhou — 2011.0505
    Architecture and planning firm MVRDV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, has revealed its winning design for the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China. Inspired by speech bubbles from comics, the design features a series of eight balloon-shaped volumes linked to create an internally complex 30,000-square-meter (320,000-square-foot) museum.

    In the preliminary design, the monochromatic white concrete facade enables the curved volumes to actually function like 3D speech bubbles when text is projected onto them. Services such as the lobby, three cinemas, and comic book library each occupy separate volumes. Where two such bulbous forms touch, a large opening allows access and views between them. The eight volumes are interconnected to allow for a circular tour of the entire program, with routing that permits short or long visits. The permanent collection is presented in a chronological spiral, while the temporary exhibition hall is designed for flexibility.

    Several features are planned to improve the building's energy efficiency, such as ground-source heat exchange, natural ventilation, and adiabatic cooling. The structural concept by Arup creates an aerodynamic design for even wind pressure and reduced need for air conditioning.   >>>


    Clerestories and skylights were added to the CNT building to increase daylight penetration and to facilitate natural ventilation. Photo: © Center for Neighborhood Technology

    Center for Neighborhood Technology
    by Jean Carroon

    The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, Illinois, moved into a former textile factory in 1987 and began its second renovation in 2000 to accommodate greater space needs. Designed by architect Jonathan Boyer (now a principal at Farr Associates), the new office space offers an exemplary model of sustainable adaptive reuse that takes advantage of environmentally responsible products and technologies not available in the 1980s.

    The original decision to relocate to Chicago's northeastern side was to enhance public transportation options for employees and visitors. The Center's web site notes that people can easily come and go, do errands, or eat lunch by walking or using public transportation. The commitment to urban sustainability and environmental education has attracted hundreds of visitors, and tours are held almost daily to enlighten the community on ecological design.

    Site and Water

    A light-colored roof was installed to reduce the absorption of the sun's heat and reduce the interior air temperature during warm months. The adjacent lot is planted as a sliver park using native, drought-tolerant vegetation to provide a cool oasis for the neighborhood and trees that shade the building to further lower the air-conditioning requirements. Rainwater percolates through the garden and pervious parking lot to replenish aquifers. Low-flow fixtures inside the building have reduced potable water consumption by 30 percent.   >>>

    BIM Handbook, Second Edition

    The BIM Handbook, Second Edition, provides an in-depth understanding of BIM technologies, the business and organizational issues associated with BIM implementation, and the profound advantages that effective use of BIM can provide to all members of a project team.


    Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh

    Request for Proposals for Architectural/Engineering Professional Services - RFP#600-12-11

    Interested parties may obtain a copy of the RFP from:
    Will McDanel
    Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh
    Procurement Department
    2nd Floor, Suite 200
    100 Ross Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    412-456-5116 Opt 1

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     Tools and Downloads

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    Update to AutoCAD Web and Mobile Access
    Autodesk recently released an update to AutoCAD WS, which enables users to view, edit, and share their AutoCAD designs and DWG files through web browsers and mobile devices. The AutoCAD WS 1.1 plugin and mobile app are currently available for free (subject to terms and conditions):  
    Improve Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings
    A free guide from Clean Air-Cool Planet details ways to improve the energy efficiency of historic homes, museums, and other buildings without detracting from their historic value: "Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Historic Preservation: A Guide for Historic District Commissions."

    Autodesk Introduces New Academic Certification - Autodesk Press Release, 2011.0512

    Reprogram Your Mouse Buttons - Cadalyst, 2011.0512

    Dassault to Distribute Gehry Technologies' Digital Project - Dassault Press Release, 2011.0512

    RenderStream Announces Teraflop Servers and Workstations for OpenCL - RenderStream Press Release, 2011.0511

    Keep Ahead of the Learning Curve, Part 2 - Cadalyst, 2011.0511



    Product News - Conditioned Airspace HVAC Framing from Boise Cascade

    Boise Cascade announces the availability of Conditioned Airspace HVAC framing, in which a single duct line can be efficiently run through second-floor joists to feed both the first and second floors of a home. Available with FSC Chain-of-Custody certification.


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    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Roman brick, Tuscan farm wall, with openings (WA-167)


    Architecture Quiz this week's new question...

    Maya Lin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thom Mayne, and Louis Kahn are each credited with two of the following quotes. Please identify which quotes go with which architect:

    A. Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.
    B. All my work is much more peaceful than I am.
    C. My buildings don't speak in words but by means of their own spaciousness.
    D. Descriptions of my work depress me. They make me feel pinned down.
    E. A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
    F. I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That's art to me.
    G. A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.
    H. Design is not making beauty; beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love.

    Architecture Answer for last week's quiz...

    What term is used to describe the following condition? As the temperature drops, the air can no longer hold moisture as water vapor, and vapor condenses.



    Classic Home 069Bogner House by Walter F. Bogner
    "Its construction is a balloon frame on an unusually wide module (39.5") with vertical siding and steel casement windows. One exception is a thick stone wall which intersects the eastern side of the house, defining interior and exterior spaces while simultaneously marking the entry and connecting the house with the landscape. "

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