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What Should I Do With My Old Windows?

Green Building Advisor - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:40
Subtitle: 
It’s often hard to decide whether to replace them, repair them, or leave them just the way they are
Images: 

If you’re trying to lower your energy bills, you have probably plugged many of your home’s air leaks and have added insulation to your attic floor. Now you may be wondering, “What should we do about our old windows?”

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Sometimes it makes sense to leave old windows exactly the way they are. Sometimes it makes sense to repair the windows’ weatherstripping and add storm windows. And sometimes it makes sense to replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows.

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Categories: Building Green

Ten Top Images on Archinect's "Concrete" Pinterest Board

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:38

In case you haven't checked out Archinect's Pinterest boards in a while, we have compiled ten recently pinned images from outstanding projects on various Archinect Firm and People profiles.

(Tip: use the handy FOLLOW feature to easily keep up-to-date with all your favorite Archinect profiles!)

Today's top images (in no particular order) are from the board Concrete.

Amangiri Resort + Spa in Canyon Point, UT by Marwan Al-Sayed Inc. Architecture + Design, Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy

OMS Stage in Winnipeg, Canada by 5468796 architecture

Xafix House in Aguascalientes, Mexico by Luis Morán in collaboration with Arkylab

House Boz in Gauteng, South Africa by Nico van der Meulen Architects

Grundfos Dormitory in Aarhus, Denmark by CEBRA & NIRAS

Belimbing Avenue in Singapore by HYLA Architects; Photo: Derek Swalwell

Office + House Luna in Buenos Aires, Argentina by Hitzig Militello arquitectos; Photo: Federico Kulekdjian

Fernandez Leal 62 in Mexico City by Raul Peña Arias; Photo: Alber...

Categories: Design Feeds

North Carolina Museum of Art Receives Grant for a High-Tech Education Center

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:29

The North Carolina Museum of Art on Tuesday received a $1.9 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation for art education research. The grant will establish a high-tech education center that will serve as a portal for accessing the museum’s collection, exhibitions and programs.



Categories: Design Feeds

Row over Olympic cauldron design settled out of court

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:15

The startling cauldron of copper petals that rose up to form a flaming flower at the climax of the ceremony had been hailed as one of the most original in the history of the Games, and another triumph for the highly regarded British designer Thomas Heatherwick. But two years on, Locog has acknowledged in a statement that New York-based practice Atopia came up with five design principles that would go on to become defining characteristics of the cauldron.



Categories: Design Feeds

Cape Town to House New Contemporary Art Museum

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:14

On Cape Town's waterfront at the southern tip of Africa, the world's biggest museum of contemporary art from across the continent is being carved from a conglomeration of concrete tubes nine storeys high. The $50 million (36.7 million euro) project to transform the grim functionality of 42 disused colonial grain silos into an ultramodern tribute to African creativity is driven by an international team of art experts and architects.



The project –  the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – will be designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick. "How do you turn 42 vertical concrete tubes into a place to experience contemporary culture?" the architect said. "We could either fight a building made of concrete tubes or enjoy it's tube-iness."

The museum will focus on works since 2000 and will be directed by Mark Coetzee.

Categories: Design Feeds

House in Macheon by studio_GAON

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:56

House in Macheon is in a quiet and simple neighborhood in Macheon, where is the south side of Hamyang, Kyeongnam. It’s an unusual place to watch Chun-wang mountaintop very clearly, as well as a street corner to go up to Jiri-mountain tracking course.

Jiri-mountain is called Mother Mountain for its gigantic dignity. Catching in glimpse, it looks easy to climb because it doesn’t look so tall, but actually it is deep and endless. The highest mountaintop is Chun-wang, which is 1,915 meter high.

There was a story that a Buddhist nun tried to build a temple in the site. In an instant that long shape would fit to a temple, but the depth looked too shallow for a temple.

Macheon town is famous for luxurious black stones named Macheon, which is hard to see these days. But we could find tidy Macheon stones rolling around in the site. Just like stars in a dark sky, there were silver dots scattered on the black stones. We imagined making the stylobate out of these stones.

The owner wanted to build a...

Categories: Design Feeds

Families Removed From 'Tower of David' Skyscraper Slum

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:43

Andreína Contreras, a 26-year-old mother of two, lived until this week in the “Tower of David,” in Caracas, Venezuela, which has been described as the world’s tallest slum, because it is situated in an abandoned skyscraper. She is among an estimated 1,150 families living in the tower who are to be removed and relocated permanently this week, seven years after the officially named Torre Confinanzas was first occupied as a result of Venezuela’s financial crisis...



Categories: Design Feeds

The Last Skid Row in America Faces Increasing Gentrification

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:39

As shocking as it is to look upon the rows and rows of makeshift encampments and thousands of roving, hopeless people, perhaps even more shocking is this: Los Angeles is the last major American city with a single district of anything approaching this magnitude of homelessness and extreme poverty [...]



Categories: Design Feeds

DIY: How to Make Horchata–A Delicious, Refreshing Summer Drink

Inhabitat - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:30

We’re still in the height of summer here in the northern hemisphere, and to stay hydrated, we’ve been indulging in everything from herbed waters and iced tea to granita and sorbets, but it’s always fun to try something new, right? If you’ve never had horchata, it’s certainly worth the bit of effort required to make it. Although a hot version of this drink is popular in autumn for El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) this gorgeous Mexican beverage is just as perfect for summer barbecues, beach lounging, and days spent reading in the sunshine.

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Categories: Building Green

Banking on the future

North Idaho Business Journal - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:19

COEUR d’ALENE – The parent company of Columbia State Bank announced Thursday it will merge Sandpoint-based Intermountain Community Bancorp into its operations.

Intermountain’s banking subsidiary, Panhandle State Bank, offers financial services in Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Sandpoint, Rathdrum, Kellogg, Bonners Ferry, Priest River and Ponderay.

The stock and cash transaction is valued at $121.5 million, or approximately $18.22 per share based on Columbia’s stock price Wednesday. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

The combined company will have approximately $8.2 billion in assets with more than 150 branches in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

“We have stated for many years that it has long been our strategy to become the premier Pacific Northwest regional community bank,” said Melanie J. Dressel, president and CEO of Columbia.

The parent company, Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System Inc., will now have a physical presence in Idaho.

“We have always felt that Idaho was an important part of that strategy and Intermountain, with their statewide presence, provides us with a substantial base to serve the Idaho market,” Dressel said in a news release.

Curt Hecker, president and CEO of Intermountain, will continue with Columbia to lead the Idaho expansion.

“We believe the united institution will provide a host of benefits to our shareholders, customers and employees,” Hecker said.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Intermountain shareholders are entitled to receive 0.6 shares of Columbia common stock and $2.29 in cash for each share of Intermountain stock.

On Wednesday, Intermountain reported net income of $1.3 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter which ended June 30.

That compares with $1 million, or 16 cents a share, for the first quarter of this year, and $1.5 million, or 23 cents a share, for the year-earlier quarter.

Intermountain Community Bank Washington, a division of Panhandle State Bank, operates branches in downtown Spokane and Spokane Valley.

Other divisions of Panhandle State Bank – Magic Valley Bank and Intermountain Community Bank – operate Idaho branches in Twin Falls, Gooding, Weiser, Payette, Nampa, Caldwell, Fruitland, as well as in Ontario, Ore.

In August 2011, Columbia announced it acquired all deposits and certain assets of Colfax-based Bank of Whitman. That acquisition gave Columbia eight branches in Eastern Washington, including two in Spokane.

Morning News Roundup: Shigeru Ban Selected to Design Japan’s Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport

Architect: Most Recent News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:11
0725-MR-airport-HERO Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban will design a Japanese airport, the Carolina Panthers provide a preview of their stadium renovations, and more news to start your weekend.

Stephen Colbert Interviews Elon Musk! (Video)

Inhabitat - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 09:05

Last night, Stephen Colbert interviewed Elon Musk for The Colbert Report. As you can imagine, Colbert wheedled out some exclusives from the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and described his ideal version of the future that he’d like Musk to make happen. Funnily enough, it sounded a lot like Nicola Tesla’s vision. More fascinating and hilarious details after the jump!

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Categories: Building Green

What to Do When Prospects Ask for a Cost Breakdown

Architect: Most Recent News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:38
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with a request.

What to Do When Prospects Ask for a Cost Breakdown

Architect: Most Recent News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:38
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with a request.

Google Streetview Cars Track Down Stray Methane Emissions that Contribute to Climate Change

Inhabitat - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:21

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Google has added another item to its lengthy list of services, and this one is something you really wouldn’t expect. Google’s Street View cars that map roads across the world are also being used to sniff out natural gas leaks that are surprisingly common in major cities across the U.S. The Huffington Post reports that Google’s cars were outfitted with air monitors and used to take millions of readings on the streets of Boston, New York and Indianapolis over the past two years as part of a program by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) aimed at reducing stray methane emissions that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

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Categories: Building Green

Hotels: Record High Occupancy Rate for Week Ending July 19th

Calculated Risk - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:10
From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 19 July
In year-over-year measurements, the industry’s occupancy rate rose 2.9 percent to 77.1 percent. Average daily rate increased 4.1 percent to finish the week at US$117.57. Revenue per available room for the week was up 7.1 percent to finish at US$90.68.
emphasis added
Note: ADR: Average Daily Rate, RevPAR: Revenue per Available Room.

This is the highest occupancy rate for any week since at least January 2000.  The previous high was 77.0% in late July 2000.

And from HotelNewNow.com: June US hotel occupancy best of this century
Just how good is the current state of demand? Take a bite of this juicy nugget: June occupancy of 71.7% is the highest of any June this century.

The above factoid was culled by Jan Freitag, senior VP of global development for STR and our resident hotel data aficionado. Jan’s also a master of context, explaining this milestone another way: The average occupancy for U.S. hotels is now higher than the previous peak recorded in June 2007 (71.1%).

To understand how we got here, you need look no further than economics 101. For much of the past few years, the relationship between supply and demand has been, well, just great.

As of June, demand growth (12-month moving average) was up 3.2%, according to STR data. Supply growth? Only 0.8%.

In other words, supply growth still has had no impact, as Freitag points out.
...
June ADR (12-month moving average) was $112, up 3.9%. The result is revenue per available room of $71, which represents growth of 6.4%.

Both those ADR and RevPAR numbers represent all-time highs for the U.S. hotel industry.
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate for the last 15 years using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy Rate Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2014, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 - the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels.  Purple is for 2000.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate is solidly above the median for 2000-2007, and is at the same level as in 2000. 

Right now it looks like 2014 will be the best year since 2000 for hotels.   A very strong year ...

Data Source: Smith Travel Research, Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com

Archinect test drives FiftyThree's Pencil and Paper app for iPad

Archinect - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:57

Ever since I spotted FiftyThree's beautifully designed iPad pen, aptly called “Pencil”, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one (like literally).

Made by the creators of the award-winning “Paper” drawing and sketching app for the iPad, Pencil is promised to be “the most natural and expressive tool for getting ideas on Paper.” Archinect reached out to FiftyThree, and a few days later, we received a Pencil in the mail – pretty packaging and all – for a test drive.

The first impression is thoroughly impressive: my Pencil's body is milled from a solid piece of premium-grade walnut (there's also a "Graphite" model sporting a handsome seamless brushed aluminum body) with an eraser tip on one end and a tapered rubber-coated tip on the other end. No cheap plastic here, no buttons to push, no distracting LED diodes flashing. Inspired by the iconic form and dimensions of the carpenter pencil, the design and engineering team of Pencil really set out to turn a cutting-edge high-tech device into a ...

Categories: Design Feeds

Growth Rate for Remodeling Projects Likely to Slow into Early 2015

Architect: Most Recent News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:49
A recent report, released by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, predicts a decelerated pace of growth for remodeling activity heading into next year.

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by Dr. Radut