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  •  Residential No. 130
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    ArchWeek Residential No. 132
    Dear Designers, Builders, and Dwellers,

    Housing numbers are down:

    The AIA has announced their annual national design award winners, which seem to include just one residential project, among the museums, theaters, and office complexes...

    U.S. Home Prices Slump Again, Hitting New Lows - New York Times, 2011.0125

    U.S. Home Prices Slide into 'Double Dip' - Los Angeles Times, 2011.0126

    Housing numbers are up!

    New-Home Sales Rise Sharply in December - NAHB, 2011.0126

    It's a bit of a sad farce for such a potentially productive industry.

    Focusing on the usual horserace of percentage points and fractions up and down - as most media and pundits continue to do, aided and abetted by the PR push from hungry national trade associations — for a U.S. housing market running along at around 1/3 of its long-term levels — is like putting a filter on your sound system so any sad music is filtered out, making the leftover crackle and hiss of background noise your main entertainment.

    With an estimated eight million U.S. homes in or approaching foreclosure, we can expect much of the machinery of production housing to lie idle for the foreseeable future.

    There's still an economy. There are still clients for good projects, and buyers for good properties - at least if the prices are great.

    But we're not going to make out on volume for years to come. Let's take these slow times to watch, learn, retool, re-educate, upgrade, and focus where we can deliver housing design and construction that counts, even at relatively low volumes - that has a real competitive advantage - because it is flat out better. Better located, better made, better looking, better to operate, better for the environment, better for communities.

    It's going to be slow. We can still make it worthwhile.

    Discuss online

    Residential Design and Building News

    Home Builders Saw Weak Sales in 2010 - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0127

    U.K. House Prices Fall 2.2 Percent in January - Reuters, 2011.0127

    Canadian House Prices Fall for Third Straight Month - Financial Post, 2011.0126

    2011 Housing Market Will Be Pancake Flat - CNN, 2011.0126

    In a 'Shed,' Seeds of a Scottish Farm - New York Times, 2011.0126

    Canada Home Prices Drop a Third Month in November - Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 2011.0126

    A Reservist in a New War, Against Foreclosure - New York Times, 2011.0126

    Why Are Home Prices Still Falling? - Time, 2011.0125

    Generation Y Wants Housing Las Vegas Has in Short Supply - Las Vegas Sun, 2011.0125

    Flat-Pack Home 'Answer to Shortage' - Press Association, 2011.0125

    Norfolk Couple Restores Apartment Building to Home - Virginian-Pilot, 2011.0125

    US Home Building Stuck Near 50 Year Lows - AFP, 2011.0125

    Mortgage Fees on the Rise Again - MarketWatch, 2011.0125

    Construction, Permits Rise Off Bottom but Still Below Peak - San Diego Union-Tribune, 2011.0124

    How 'Distressed' Home Sales Are Fuzzing the Numbers - CNBC, 2011.0124

    Selling a Luxury 'Turn-Key' Home in Cheshire - Mail Online, 2011.0124

    Home Designer's Creativity Has Roots in World of Rock - San Francisco Chronicle, 2011.0123

    With Martha Stewart's Help, 'Green' Home is a Joy for the Eyes and the Wallet - Washington Post, 2011.0122

    Shanghai Looks to Tax to Cool Housing Prices - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0122

    A Jigsaw Puzzle That Sleeps 4 - New York Times, 2011.0122

    Modern Among the McMansions - Real Estate Journal, 2011.0121

    International Builders Show Concept House Is LEED Platinum-Certified - Washington Post, 2011.0121

    Home-Mortgage Rates Steady - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0121

    Food Appeal for Sri Lankan Flood Victims - New York Times, 2011.0120

    'Floating Above the City' - Chicago Tribune, 2011.0120

    U.S. Home Sales, Leading Indicators Index Show Expansion Gaining Momentum - Bloomberg, 2011.0120

    Existing-Home Sales Jump 12% - MarketWatch, 2011.0120

    Love Affair with Fireplace Cools with Health Concerns - Seattle Times, 2011.0120

    Former Beer Warehouses Returning to Residential - New York Times, 2011.0120

    A Small, Cozy Studio to Call Her Own - New York Times, 2011.0120


    Weeks of extremely heavy rains have led to massive flooding across eastern Australia in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. This NASA satellite photo from January 9, 2011 shows flooding of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton, Queensland, a city of about 75,000 residents.

    Design for Flooding - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0119

    Floods are the most frequent natural disaster in the United States. One in three federal disaster declarations is related to flooding, many as a result of hurricanes affecting heavily populated U.S. coastlines. >>>

    Smarter Planning and Increased Transit makes us "Grow Wealthier" - FavStocks, 2011.0119


    Postcard from Passive House Portland - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0119

    There were 345 attendees (including me) at the North American Passive House Conference in Portland, Oregon, held from November 4 to 7, 2010. Twenty-six sessions focused on all aspects of the Passive House building energy-efficiency certification system, ranging from detailed conceptual overviews led by Passivhaus cofounder Dr. Wolfgang Feist to technical sessions about specific aspects of certification in our region. >>>

    Home Building Remains Very Depressed - MarketWatch, 2011.0119

    Size Matters - Pacific Northwest Inlander, 2011.0119

    U.S. Housing Starts Drop 4.3% in December - MarketWatch, 2011.0119

    Hibernia Bank in New Orleans Building May Be Converted - New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2011.0118

    Builders May Need to Learn New Way to Pitch Projects to Financiers - Wall Street Journal, 2011.0112

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    Making the Switch - AutoCAD to Revit, Part 2 - Cadalyst, 2011.0120

    Beyond BIM - It's Not the End of the Road! - AECbytes, 2011.0120

    gbXML - an Open Green Building Schema - Green Building Pro, 2011.0120

    progeCAD Presents iCADMac - progeSOFT Press Release, 2011.0119

    Oce Launches TDS750 Large-Format Printer - Oce Press Release, 2011.0118

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    Which 19th-century movement was led by William Morris and was influenced by the earlier Gothic Revival movement?

    Architecture Answer - for last issue's quiz...

    During which of the following time periods was Romanesque architecture flourishing in Europe: 6th to 9th centuries, 9th to 12th centuries, or 12th to 15th centuries?

    Classic Home 014Gambrel-roof bungalow by George W. Repp


    Contents, RSS, and Surface of the Week

    Unpainted clapboard with evident repairs, double-hung windows, American colonial house (WA-024)


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