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NEW MUSEUM CELEBRATES THE AMERICAN FLEET

New York's new Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum Visitors Center, by the architecture firm Suk Design Group LLP was constructed in a brief nine months. Despite the challenges of building on the waterfront, it was completed this summer just in time to celebrate the Tall Ships 2000 visit to the northeastern seaboard.

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COMMERCIAL HIGH-PERFORMANCE BUILDINGS

If you wanted to target a single building type in the United States to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable design and construction, commercial buildings would be a good (if not the best) place to start. Commercial buildings today have become the preeminent workplace, and their load on our energy consumption is substantial. There is a growing interest today on the part of building owners, facilities managers, architects, engineers, and others in the construction industry to design and construct commercial structures to get the most out of the least.

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THE ADA AT TEN: IS IT WORKING?

Timidity and a lack of enforcement strategy are the reasons the Americans with Disabilities Act is not being enforced, according to a new study. Released by the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that makes policy recommendations to the White House and Congress, the study notes that government agencies charged with enforcing the ADA have been "overly cautious, reactive, and lacking any coherent and unifying national strategy."

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NEW APPROACHES TO LABORATORY DESIGN

The dark, smelly laboratories where scientists worked in isolation behind closed doors will soon be relegated to horror movies as science centers build increasingly elaborate facilities to compete for top researchers and grant money.

An important design factor realized in 21st century labs is their open, inviting feel with work stations lit by natural light beaming through large windows. Another component is the absence of permanent walls, recognizing that scientific work is done in teams.

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CASHING IN ON ENERGY-SENSITIVE DESIGN

Imagine a future in which architects and builders do well by doing good. When they devote time to carefully integrating all the energy-related systems in a building; when the resulting efficiency dramatically decreases our dependence on imported oil; and when the triumphant designers are gratefully rewarded with significantly higher design fees.

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MAYBECK RETURNS TO OREGON

Did you ever fantasize about doing an apprenticeship under one of the great master architects? Working with direct guidance from Frank Lloyd Wright or H. H. Richardson? Now that fantasy has become more realizable: the revered California architect Bernard Maybeck has recently returned to life and, surprisingly, returned to Oregon.

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RITZY PRESERVATION SAVES PHILADELPHIA LANDMARK

About 97 years ago, the Girard Trust Bank commissioned the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White to construct a monumental new facility in Philadelphia near the City Hall. Bank president Effingham Morris wanted to make a dramatic statement forecasting a change in Philadelphia's center of business by having the bank modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.

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SAITAMA SUPER ARENA: THREE BUILDINGS IN ONE

Depending on when you go there, the new sports and cultural facility for the Saitama Prefecture, Japan, is a 30,000-seat soccer stadium, a 20,000-seat basketball arena, or a 5,000-seat concert hall. The technology that makes these transformations possible is a unique system for moving a very large block of 9,200 seats, with related walls, floors, and spectator amenities. The block is 135 feet (41.5 meters) high and weighs 15,000 tons. In only 20 minutes it can move the 230 feet (70 meters) between the arena and stadium configurations.

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Children's Research INSTITUTE IN FLORIDA

Designing a laboratory for children's medical research requires a sensitive juxtaposition of hard science with compassionate health care. In the new Children's Research Institute at the University of South Florida, the architecture firm Flad & Associates has succeeded in merging those two dissimilar ideas.

This $12 million facility provides 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art biomedical research laboratories for studying endocrinology, molecular genetics, molecular cardiology, immunology, allergy/ immunology, cardiac transplant, and pediatric diabetes.

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RAILWAY STATION TOWERS OVER NAGOYA, JAPAN

Official opening ceremonies were held in January for JR Central Towers & Station, a new 4,800,000 gross square foot (446,000 square meter) mixed-use complex, the largest building in Japan. This distinguishes the city of Nagoya as the foremost center of transportation, commerce, and hospitality in central Japan.

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