Dear Designers, Builders, and Dwellers,
The good news of a nice blip downward in the unemployment rate is balanced, for those of us in design and building, by the news of continued reductions in construction spending. The single-family market still looks more like a double-dip sacking than any kind of forward market movement.
Rank on rank of additional foreclosed houses are waiting on the sidelines. And meanwhile, the federal team - whose new buyer credit helped housing last year - seems to have left the economic stadium altogether, enmeshed in partisan games of a different league.
For those of us in design and building, prospering in an era of continuing scarcity, with less cushion for false moves, calls for better strategic thinking. As we look toward that farther horizon, we recently came across a thoughtful and important study by Dowell Myers and SungHo Ryu at USC.
This paper from 2007 was not written about the short-term housing price bubble that was bursting right about then. It's about a much bigger, deeper, longer-lasting demographic effect:
Aging Baby Boomers and the Generational Housing Bubble:
Foresight and Mitigation of an Epic Transition
Dowell Myers and SungHo Ryu
Journal of the American Planning Association
"The baby boom generation was born over a period of 18 years,
and once its sell-off commences, it could dominate the housing
market for up to two decades. Planners could lessen the negative
consequences of the deflating generational housing bubble by
anticipating these long-term trends and initiating pre-emptive
programs to retain elderly homeowners, attract young home
buyers, and closely monitor additions to the housing inventory
to forestall overbuilding.
"Planners must adjust their thinking for a new era that reverses
many longstanding assumptions. Though planners in many urban
areas have been struggling against gentrification, they may
now need to stave off urban decline. Whereas decline once
occurred in the central city, it may now be concentrated in
suburbs with surpluses of large-lot single-family housing.
Whereas residential development once focused on single-family
homes, many states may swing toward denser developments
clustered near amenities."
We're not sure about the specific relationship between the bursting of the short-term price bubble, and the deflation of the long-term baby-boom housing-demand bubble.
But we suspect that the two will be merged into one. It seems fairly likely that the slow recovery of the single-family housing market from the short-term price bubble will blend into the falloff of the longer-term demand bubble.
At the same time, the desires and needs of an aging U.S. population will be shifting toward living closer in, closer to services, and closer together, yet still with pleasing surroundings.
With all that in mind, we're especially pleased to share our coverage of the multifamily projects in the 2011 cycle of the AIA housing awards.
And don't worry - if you've had about all the strategic thinking you can
take for a while, the next ArchitectureWeek will be all about eight new
outstanding single-family beauties.
AIA HOUSING AWARDS: MULTIFAMILY
The condominium building at 1111 East Pike Street in
Seattle offers a lively contribution to an urban
environment. Located in a dense, walkable,
transit-served neighborhood that was formerly Seattle's
"auto row," the six-story building features panelized
siding in four colors inspired by classic cars of the
1950s. With condo owners given a choice of color for the
unit exteriors, those four colors combine to form a
variegated patchwork. >>>
Residential Design and Building News
Beazer Homes Buying Phoenix REO for Rental Conversion - HousingWire, 2011.0404
Rate of Las Vegas Homes Bought with Mortgage Hits 17-Year Low - Las Vegas Sun, 2011.0404
'Dual System': Minorities Lose Financial Ground, Critics Say - USA Today, 2011.0404
BofA Was Pressed by SEC for Disclosures on Reserves for Mortgage Buybacks - Bloomberg, 2011.0404
Builders, Fire Officials Spar over Sprinkler Rule - Miami Herald, 2011.0403
Economy Based on Real Estate Is Bust - Seattle Times, 2011.0402
Design Well within Reach - New York Times, 2011.0402
Can China Turn Affordable Housing into an Attractive Investment Proposition? - China Economic Review, 2011.0401
Why New Homes Don't Sell - MarketWatch, 2011.0401
Housing Will Remain a Government Program - International Business Times, 2011.0401
Why Buy? You Can Spend Tons Renting - New York Times, 2011.0401
Salford Housing Competition Images Unveiled - BD (UK), 2011.0401
Houses at Sagaponac: Reviving Field of Progressive Homes - Sag Harbor Express, 2011.0401
Shakira Helps Rebuild Haiti School - New York Times, 2011.0331
AIA Housing Awards: Multifamily - ArchitectureWeek, 2011.0330
Christchurch Will Be 'World's Most Quake-Safe City' - New Zealand Herald, 2011.0329
Are Heritage Buildings Earthquake-Proof? - Inquirer, 2011.0328
'Megamansion' Upsets LA Neighborhood - Columbia Daily Tribune, 2011.0326
Fire Resistance Claims Are False, Warns Wrightstyle - Building Products Magazine, 2011.0322
Russian Company Acquires Georgia-Based Tolleson Lumber - Maze Lumber, 2011.0315
It's fast, easy, private, and secure.
Tools and Downloads
Decentralized Ecological Wastewater Treatment
A free white paper is available from Worrell Water Technologies
on "Creating a Sustainable Water Infrastructure for the 21st
Century." The paper recommends a transition to a decentralized,
ecological water-treatment system, using constructed wetlands
and other technologies to reduce downstream water treatment
loads, offset potential water load growth, and create a
sustainable, renewable water resource cycle.
Vectorworks Architect 2011
With Vectorworks(R) Architect 2011 software, you can create
building information models without giving up the ease of design
you're used to. Whether looking to streamline costs, analyze
materials, increase energy efficiency, or just create
world-class designs, you can enjoy the capabilities of BIM with
great documentation and intelligent tools.
Vectorworks Architect 2011: Product Review - AECbytes, 2011.0331
Message to the Project Management Software Industry: You Need to Learn ESPERANTO - AECbytes, 2011.0329
Just How 3D Are We? Part 3 - Cadalyst, 2011.0323
AutoCAD 2012: Who Says 2D Is Dead? - Cadalyst, 2011.0322
Autodesk Unveils 2012 Design Product Suite - TenLinks, 2011.0322
Intel Announces New Processor with Built-in Graphics Capabilities - Solidworks Legion (blog), 2011.0319
Bonzai3d 2.4 Released - AutoDesSys Press Release, 2011.0319
Bentley Launches New Licensing Model - Cadalyst, 2011.0319
"Yes, yes more AW!" — VR, Seattle, Washington
What residential style of architecture was initially made
popular by English architect Richard Norman Shaw and ultimately
carried to maturity by McKim, Mead, and White?
Imagine you are renovating a building and your structural engineer wants to add new elements to deal with the possibility of drift. He says that, among other things, drift can cause nonstructural damage to piping and finishes. Drift refers to which of the following:
A. Movement or sliding of the building at the framing-to-foundation connection.
B. Horizontal deflection, or displacement of one floor level in relation to the floor levels above or below.
C. A condition sometimes encountered at oceanfront properties where soft sandy soils can become saturated and cause abrupt and uneven settling.
Classic Home 015 — Western bungalow by George W. Repp
"This plan, being rectangular in shape with one bearing partition through the middle, is very simple in construction, so that the house can be built for less than a smaller one that has a number of angles and breaks in its outline."
Five years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Chilean Lakeside, by Paul Harris
Deep and Merely Tinted Greens, by Michael Cockram
Ten years ago in ArchitectureWeek:
Interior Design - Identity in Lebanon, by Victor A. Khoueiry
Bernard Maybeck: Visionary Architect, by Sally Byrne Woodbridge
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with best wishes,
Editor in Chief
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