Materiality and Green Architecture: The Effect of Building Materials on Sustainability and Design

The types of building materials you use on your home can greatly affect the sustainability and design for years to come. Here are some high-quality, green building materials to look into for your home.

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Solar Reflective Roofing Shingles

Having high-quality roofing shingles on your house is important to help your home stay protected longer.  There are many sustainable materials on the market for roofing shingles that you should consider for your home.

One type of sustainable roofing shingles is made up of solar reflective granules with a type of polymer modified asphalt, making your roof tough and long-lasting against the effects of harsh weather. This type of material reflects solar rays that may enter your home and heat up your house which raise your electric bill for A/C. By reflecting the solar rays, the color of your roofing shingles also lasts longer, maintaining the beauty of your home for many years.

The asphalt is strong enough to keep your roofing shingles in perfect condition even during storms with high winds and high volumes of rain. This type of product will have warranties on the roofing shingles, ensuring that they will last for usually at least 12 years and in up to 110 mph wind. Investing in high-quality roofing shingles is something that you are sure to benefit from.

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Strong, Sustainable Exterior Siding

When it comes to the exterior of your home, fiber cement siding is a great alternative compared to more traditional materials like vinyl and wood. This type of siding will ensure the sustainability of your home for longer, often with a warranty of up to 50 years. With great protection against the harsh elements of the weather, fiber cement siding does not warp or fade as quickly as other materials, keeping the design of your home looking its best.

This material comes in a variety of textures so you can customize your home with whatever color and finishing look that your desire.  Fiber cement siding protects your home from water, frost, and cold weather, keeping you warm and dry. Being a product that has the designation of National Green Building Standard, fiber cement siding is a building material to use when thinking about high-quality, green architecture.

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Eco-Friendly Interior Design Material

For the interior design of your home, consider using bamboo panels. Made from bamboo grass, these panels are sustainable and support green architecture. Bamboo panels can be used in many places of your home. From cabinets to tables, and even accent walls, bamboo is an innovative material that will also give your space a modern feel.

Great for designing, this material comes in a variety of designs and textures including chocolate bamboo, natural bamboo, carbonized bamboo, and bamboo veneer. Bamboo panels are very strong and dense, long lasting and may qualify you for eco-friendly construction credits.

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Reduce Your Heating Bill with Great Insulation

Insulated concrete blocks are a great material to consider that often outperforms other building materials for the exterior of your home.

This type of material is installed as one continuous system with no breaks in the wall, ensuring complete protection of your house from bugs and elements of the weather. Insulated concrete blocks keep your house warmer in cold weather and can greatly reduce your heating bill, which is also good for the environment.

The core is made up of concrete, making this wall material durable and strong.  These concrete blocks are easier and safer to install than other materials, taking out some of the risk of constructing the exterior of your home. With this type of material, you can also design the exterior and interior walls however you would like as insulated concrete blocks come in a variety of finishes.

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Materials for Green Architecture

These eco-friendly materials can have a large effect on the sustainability and design of your home. They can increase the lifespan of your home, saving you time and money and the long run. These materials also come in a variety of designs so you can build and design your home how you want, making it the beautiful place to live that you imagined.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

 


GREEN LINKS

    1. 13 Examples of Green Architecture
    2. Materiality and Green Architecture: The Effect of Building Materials on Sustainability and Design
    3. Green Glass at Corning Museum
    4. @babfari Recognized for Green Architecture and Design
    5. 10 Simple Steps To Living Green Tips
    6. Who or What is the US Green Building Council
    7. Why Is Green Design and Construction Important?
    8. High Performance Building Design
    9. Passive Temperature Control and Other Sustainable Design Elements to Consider
    10. You Know LEED, But Do You Know WELL?
    11. Creating High Performance Buildings through Integrative Design Process
    12. Awesome LEED Project in NJ ::: “CENTRA” by @KohnPedersenFox
    13. Contemporary Mediterranean Home With a “Breathing” Eco-Façade
    14. What is a High Performance School?
    15. Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 1 of 3)
    16. Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 2 of 3)
    17. Exclusive #EcoMonday Interview with Architect Bill Reed with host @FrankCunhaIII (Part 3 of 3)
    18. Team New Jersey To Make Precast Concrete Solar House Reality and @RutgersU and @NJIT Compete in 2012 Solar Decathlon
    19. The 2030 Challenge for Planning @Arch2030
    20. What is The 2030 Challenge? @Arch2030
    21. Sustainable Cities
    22. Cool Concrete Home in Jersey City

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,

    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    13 Examples of Green Architecture

    The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center

    The nickname for the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Environmental Center is the Grass Building, and it perfectly captures its spirit. It’s a structure so thoughtfully designed it’s almost as energy-efficient and low impact as the greenery that surrounds it.

    The Maryland building is part of an educational farm on the Potomac River Watershed that the Alice Ferguson Foundation used to teach people about the natural world. This new building—which became the 13th in the world to receive full Living Building Challenge certification in June 2017—is an educational facility designed to blur the lines between indoors and out, while still providing shelter as needed. “Part of the intent of the building is to be in the landscape and still have a bathroom to use,” says Scott Kelly, principal-in-charge at Re:Vision, a Philadelphia-based architecture and design studio.

    Further Reading:
    https://gbdmagazine.com/2017/grass-building
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/92581-the-morris–gwendolyn-cafritz-foundation-env
    https://living-future.org/lbc/case-studies/morris-gwendolyn-cafritz-foundation-environmental-center
    http://hughloftingtimberframe.com/gallery/commercial/cafritz-foundation-environmental-center
    http://www.cafritzfoundation.org/

    Brock Environmental Center

    Drawing thousands of students, the Brock Environmental Center is a regional hub for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, supporting its education and wetlands restoration initiatives. A connection to nature defines the building’s siting, which provides sweeping views of the marsh and also anticipates sea-level rise and storm surges with its raised design. Parts were sourced from salvage: Its maple floors once belonged to a local gymnasium while school bleachers, complete with graffiti, were used for interior wood trim. The center was recognized for its positive footprint: It has composting toilets, captures and treats rainfall for use as drinking water, and produces 80 percent more energy than it uses, selling the excess to the grid.

    Further Reading:
    http://www.cbf.org/about-cbf/locations/virginia/facilities/brock-environmental-center
    https://living-future.org/lbc/case-studies/the-chesapeake-bay-brock-environmental-center
    https://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/listing/chesapeake-bay-foundations-brock-environmental-center/979
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76311-brock-environmental-center

    Discovery Elementary School

    Students have three distinct, age-appropriate playgrounds—with natural elements such as rocks and fallen trees—at Arlington, Virginia’s Discovery Elementary School. The name honors astronaut John Glenn, who returned to space on the Discovery shuttle and once lived in the neighborhood. Exploration is a theme at the school, whose interior focuses on forests, oceans, atmosphere, and the solar system. The largest zero-energy school in the country, it offers “hands-on learning around energy efficiency and generation,” jurors noted. The school maximizes natural light and provides views to the outside in all classrooms.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/71481-discovery-elementary-school-
    https://www.aiadc.com/sites/default/files/031%20-%20DiscoveryElementarySchool.pdf
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Discovery+Elementary+School+AIA&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS-pnHo6LcAhUMON8KHSlUDlYQsAQIdA&biw=1583&bih=1187

    Bristol Community College

    A laboratory is an energy-intensive enterprise, with specialized lighting and ventilation needs. That’s why jurors praised the airy health and science building at Bristol Community College, in Fall River, Massachusetts, for its net-zero energy achievement, “a difficult feat,” they noted, “in a cold climate like New England’s.” The move saves $103,000 in annual operating costs and allows the college, which offers a suite of courses in sustainability and energy, to practice what it teaches. Part of a holistic campus redesign, the new building’s location increases the density—and thus walkability—of campus for students.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/71576-bristol-community-college-john-j-sbrega-heal
    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/bristol-community-college-john-j-sbrega-health-and-science-building
    http://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/bristol-community-college-john-j-sbrega-health-and-science-building_o

    Central Energy Facility

    Orange and red pipes flaunt their role in “heat recovery” at Stanford University’s Central Energy Facility. The center for powering the California campus—more than a thousand buildings—the facility was transformed from an aging gas-fired plant to one fueled mostly by an off-site solar farm, fulfilling a goal of carbon neutrality and reducing energy use by a third. With large health care and research buildings, the campus needs as much heating as cooling; now a unique recovery system taps heat created in cooling processes to supply 93 percent of the heating and hot water required for campus buildings. The plant reduces Stanford emissions by 68 percent and potable water usage by 18 percent, potentially saving millions of dollars and one of the state’s scarce resources.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/25976-stanford-university-central-energy-facility
    https://sustainable.stanford.edu/new-system
    https://www.archdaily.com/786168/stanford-university-central-energy-facility-zgf-architects
    https://www.zgf.com/project/stanford-university-central-energy-facility

    Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

    Like other buildings in Singapore, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital incorporates parks, green roofs, and vertical plantings throughout its campus. But the city-state’s hospitals haven’t traditionally offered direct access to fresh air, light, and outdoor views. This hospital marks a dramatic change, optimizing each for patients. About 70 percent of the facility is naturally ventilated and cooled by fans, cross-ventilation, and exterior shading, saving on precious water resources. The building uses 38 percent less energy than a typical hospital in the area.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76821-ng-teng-fong-general-hospital–jurong-commun
    http://www.hok.com/about/news/2017/07/25/ng_teng_fong_general_international_academy_for_design_and_health_awards
    https://www.archdaily.com/869556/aia-selects-top-10-most-sustainable-projects-of-2017/58f7c23ce58eceac31000615-aia-selects-top-10-most-sustainable-projects-of-2017-photo
    http://www.topicarchitecture.com/articles/154396-how-modern-hospitals-recognize-the-impact-o

    Eden Hall Farm, Chatham University

    After receiving the donation of 388-acre Eden Hall Farm, 20 miles north, Pittsburgh’s Chatham University created a satellite campus centered around a sustainable living experiment. The university views the landscape—an agricultural area adjacent to an urban center—as critical to supporting cities of the future. The original buildings are complemented by new facilities for 250 residential students (and eventually 1,200), including a dormitory, greenhouse, dining commons, and classrooms. Students get hands-on experience in renewable energy systems—the campus generates more than it uses—sustainable agriculture and aquaculture, waste treatment, and water management. Now home to the Falk School of Sustainability, the farm is producing the next generation of environmental stewards, who follow in the footsteps of alum Rachel Carson.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76481-chatham-university-eden-hall-campus
    http://www.chatham.edu/news/index.php/2018/01/chatham-views/from-eden-hall-pioneer-to-farm-manager
    https://www.archdaily.com/869556/aia-selects-top-10-most-sustainable-projects-of-2017
    https://falk.chatham.edu/masterplan.cfm

    Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

    At George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, located in the nation’s capital, design embodies well-being. Built around an atrium that admits light and air, the structure encourages physical activity with a staircase that spans its eight levels. A green roof reduces storm runoff; rainwater is collected and stored for plumbing, resulting in a 41 percent reduction in toilet fixtures’ water use. Limestone panels (left) were salvaged from the previous building on the site. Materials used throughout the building contain recycled content.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/71306-milken-institute-school-of-public-health
    https://publichealth.gwu.edu/content/milken-institute-school-public-health-wins-excellence-architecture-new-building-merit-award
    http://designawards.architects.org/projects/honor-awards-for-design-excellence/milken-institute-school-of-public-health-george-washington-university/

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Inouye Regional Center

    Located at the heart of Pearl Harbor, on Oahu’s Ford Island, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Inouye Regional Center repurposed two airplane hangars—which narrowly escaped destruction in the 1941 attack—linking them with a new steel and glass building (right). The research and office facility for 800 employees was raised to guard it from rising sea levels. Given the size of the hangars, daylight illuminated only a small fraction of the space, so specially crafted lanterns reflect sunlight further into their interiors. Necessity required invention: Due to anti-terrorism regulations, no operable windows were allowed in the space. Through a passive downdraft system that taps prevailing sea breezes, the building is completely naturally ventilated. The adjacent waterfront was returned to a more natural state with native vegetation.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76911-noaa-daniel-k-inouye-regional-center
    http://www.hpbmagazine.org/NOAA-Daniel-K-Inouye-Regional-Center-Honolulu-Hawaii/
    http://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/noaa-daniel-k-inouye-regional-center_o
    http://www.hok.com/design/type/government/national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration-noaa/

    R.W. Kern Center

    Serving as the gateway to Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts, the multipurpose R.W. Kern Center holds classrooms, offices, a café, and gallery space—and is the place where prospective students are introduced to campus. The school converted what was once an oval driveway into a wildflower meadow, now encouraging a pedestrian approach (seen above). The center is self-sustaining, generating its own energy through a rooftop solar array, harvesting its water from rainfall, and processing its own waste. Its gray water treatment system is in a pilot program for the state, and may pave the way for others.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76921-rw-kern-center
    https://architizer.com/projects/rw-kern-center
    https://www.hampshire.edu/discover-hampshire/rw-kern-center

    Manhattan 1/2/5 Garage & Salt Shed

    Two buildings belonging to New York City’s sanitation department redefine municipal architecture. Resembling a grain of salt, the cubist form of the Spring Street Salt Shed holds 5,000 tons for clearing icy streets. The Manhattan 1/2/5 Garage (background), whose floors are color-coded for each of the three districts, is home to 150 vehicles, wash and repair facilities, and space for 250 workers. The garage is wrapped in 2,600 aluminum “fins,” shading devices that pivot with the sun’s rays, reducing heat gain and glare through the glazed walls while still allowing views to the outside. Municipal steam heats and cools the building, so no fuels are burned. A 1.5-acre green roof reduces heat-island effect and filters rainwater. A condensate by-product of the steam is also captured, and, along with the rainwater, used for toilets and the truck wash. Combined with low-flow fixtures, the process reduced water consumption by 77 percent.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.dattner.com/portfolio/manhattan-districts-125-garage/
    https://www.ohny.org/site-programs/weekend/sites/dsny-manhattan-125-sanitation-garage-salt-shed
    https://www.aia.org/showcases/76671-manhattan-districts-125-garage–spring-stree
    http://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/manhattan-districts-1-2-5-garage-spring-street-salt-shed_o
    https://www.burns-group.com/project/manhattan-125-garage-and-spring-street-salt-shed/

    Starbucks Hillsboro, Oregon

    Starbucks has been a leader in the development and implementation of a scalable green building program for over a decade .Starbucks joined the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) in 2001 and collaborated with them to develop the LEED® for Retail program, an effort to adapt LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) to new construction and commercial interior strategies for retail businesses. In 2008,Starbucks challenged themselves to use LEED certification not just for flagship stores and larger buildings, but for all new, company-operated stores. Many people, even internally, were skeptical, especially with Starbucks growth across the globe. But by collaborating with USGBC and other like-minded organizations, we have been able to integrate green building design not only into new stores but also into our existing store portfolio. Starbucks has also succeeded in providing a practical certification option for retailers of all sizes.

    Further Reading:
    https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/environment/leed-certified-stores

    The Edge, Deloitte

    The Edge, located in Amsterdam, is a model of sustainability.is billed as the world’s most sustainable office building and has the certification to prove it. But, it’s more than that. The place is, well, fun. And interesting. And inviting. So much so that professionals are actually applying for employment with Deloitte Netherlands because they want to work in the building. That it has become a recruiting tool is a satisfying side effect of a project designed to both redefine efficiency and change the way people work. “We wanted to ensure that our building not only had the right sustainability credentials, but was also a real innovative and inspiring place for our employees,” says Deloitte Netherlands CEO Peter Bommel.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    High Performance Building Design

    Green-Building

    970 Denny, a residential high-rise under construction in South Lake Union, used early energy modeling to demonstrate that efficiency from the water source heat pump system would offset increased thermal loss from expansive glazing.

    The Federal EPA has implemented several strategies to enhance sustainability, including:

    • Conducting retro-commissioning and re-commissioning to improve energy performance
    • Using the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment and lighting
    • Assessing for compliance with ventilation and thermal comfort standards
    • Installing renewable energy systems
    • Replacing plumbing fixtures with higher efficiency models
    • Installing advanced energy and water meters
    • Reducing irrigated landscape areas
    • Retrofitting buildings and landscapes with low impact development features
    • Using integrated pest management techniques
    • Contracting green cleaning services
    • Purchasing environmentally preferable materials
    • Implementing materials reduction, reuse, recycling and composting programs

    Airtight construction controls the transfer of heat and moisture into and through the building envelope. Thermal bridge-free assemblies avoid the envelope penetrations that sap buildings of energy, comfort, and durability. Continuous insulation keeps heat where it’s wanted. Excellent windows and doors limit heat loss while capturing daylight and passive solar energy. Shading elements shield the building from passive solar gains when unwanted. And a constant supply of filtered fresh air comes in through a balanced heat recovery (or energy recovery) ventilation system that recaptures the thermal energy of exhaust air and keeps it inside the building. “Envelope-first” focus design consideration dramatically reduces the energy demand to heat and cool high-performance building. In fact, Passive House buildings routinely reduce heating and cooling energy by up to 90%.

    (Source: https://hammerandhand.com/field-notes/what-is-high-performance-building)

    Green-Building-WorldThe research will further build on the results of the Well Living Lab’s latest study findings, published in Building and Environment. The study found that temperature, noise, and lighting in open office environments affect employees’ ability to get work done. This was a proof-of concept study that demonstrated the strength of living lab methodology in measuring realistic occupant responses to select environmental changes in an open office. Specifically, it indicated that employees are most sensitive to thermal conditions, followed by work-related noise such as conversations and lack of natural light from windows when working in open office environments. These factors affected work environment satisfaction, productivity, and even carried over into the mood of employees and their sleep.

    (Source: https://facilityexecutive.com/2018/03/indoor-environments-impact-on-wellness-to-be-studied)

    Further Reading:

    Goining-Green-QuestionWe would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    Mansueto Library by JAHN

    JAHN is an international architectural firm with over 75 years of experience that has achieved critical recognition and won numerous awards. JAHN’s ability to integrate design creativity and corporate professionalism makes it a leading firm in global design Innovation.

    The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library opened at the heart of the University of Chicago campus in 2011. It features a soaring elliptical glass dome capping a 180-seat Grand Reading Room, state-of-the-art conservation and digitization laboratories, and an underground high-density automated storage and retrieval system. The Mansueto Library speeds scholarly productivity by allowing for the retrieval of materials within an average time of 3 minutes through use of robotic cranes. Designed by renowned architect Helmut Jahn, the Mansueto Library has been recognized with a Distinguished Building Citation of Merit by the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter and a Patron of the Year Award by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

    Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-01Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-02Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-04aJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-05Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-01bJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-02aJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-01aJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-03Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-04Joe and Rika Mansueto Library-00-SketchesJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-00-SiteJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-00-ElevationJoe and Rika Mansueto Library-00-Cross-Section
    Location:
    University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
    Architect: JAHN
    Lead Designer: Helmut Jahn
    Area: 58,700 SF
    Project Year: 2011

    The site in the center of theUniversity of Chicago’s Campus is surrounded by a variety of different buildings. With a mixture of styles, ranging from the gothic quadrangle to the south, the Limestone Brutalism of Netsch’s Regenstein Library to the east, the Henry Moore monument and Legorreta’s colorful Student Housing to the north and a building to the west, which will be replaced by a new Science Building. There is not much to relate to.

    The problem was to store 3.5 million books with an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The expectations in the brief suggested to house those in a well-designed “Box” above grade. In an effort to infringe as little as possible with the open space, make the Reading Room and the Preservation Department the most pleasant space to be in and in line with our approach to challenge habitual conventions, we opted to put the books below grade, where their environment can be better controlled to achieve the desired constant temperature and humidity of 60 degrees, 30% RH – at less cost. The people-oriented spaces could thus be located at grade in a minimal elliptical glass dome, which fits the context, because it defies conventional relationships.

    Murphy Jahn think it has been embraced by the leadership of the University, because it represents the mission of theUniversity of Chicago  as catalyst for the advancement of knowledge. It is interesting that this happened at an Institution where the disciplines of Architecture and Engineering are not taught, but a spirit prevails to go beyond where others stop. Science, Physics, the liberal and applied Art start, when others think they are complete.

    Once a consensus on the design was reached, the normal process started to solve the problem: comfort and sustainability, light-control, structure, life-safety, operation and maintenance.

    The structural grid-shell of 120 x 240 feet and the insulated glazing represent a very minimal and intelligent system for mediating between the varying exterior conditions and the desired interior comfort.

    At the interior there is a seamless integration between lighting, air supply and furnishings, which were fabricated in solid European White Oak.

    More than anybody the users will benefit from an environment that is pleasant and conductive to study and research. This is not your classical Library, but points to the library of the future.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    Smart Cities

    Smart-City-in-a-BoxSmart cities use data and technology to create efficiencies, improve sustainability,
    create economic development, and enhance quality of life factors for people living and
    working in the city. It also means that the city has a smarter energy infrastructure.

    (Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_city)

    • Emerging trends such as automation, machine learning and the internet of things
      (IoT) are driving smart city adoption.
    • Smart transit companies are able to coordinate services and fulfill riders' needs in real time, improving efficiency and rider satisfaction. Ride-sharing and bike-sharing are also common services in a smart city.
    • Energy conservation and efficiency are major focuses of smart cities. Using smart sensors, smart streetlights dim when there aren't cars or pedestrians on
      the roadways. Smart grid technology can be used to improve operations, maintenance and planning, and to supply power on demand and monitor energy
      outages.
    • Using sensors to measure water parameters and guarantee the quality of
      drinking water at the front end of the system, with proper wastewater removal
      and drainage at the back end.
    • Smart city technology is increasingly being used to improve public safety, from
      monitoring areas of high crime to improving emergency preparedness with sensors. For example, smart sensors can be critical components of an early warning system before droughts, floods, landslides or hurricanes.
    • Smart buildings are also often part of a smart city project. Legacy infrastructure can be retrofitted and new buildings constructed with sensors to not only provide real-time space management and ensure public safety, but also to monitor the structural health of buildings.
      Singapore Financial District skyline at dusk.
    • Smart technology will help cities sustain growth and improve efficiency for citizen
      welfare and government efficiency in urban areas in the years to come.
      Water meters and manhole covers are just a couple of the other city components
      monitored by smart sensors. Free and/or publicly available Wi-Fi is another perk smart cities often include.
    • San Diego installed 3,200 smart sensors in early 2017 to optimize traffic and parking
      and enhance public safety, environmental awareness and overall livability for its
      residents. Solar-to-electric charging stations are available to empower electric vehicle use, and connected cameras help monitor traffic and pinpoint crime.
    • Often considered the gold standard of smart cities, the city-state of Singapore uses
      sensors and IoT-enabled cameras to monitor the cleanliness of public spaces, crowd
      density and the movement of locally registered vehicles. Its smart technologies help
      companies and residents monitor energy use, waste production and water use in real time. Singapore is also testing autonomous vehicles, including full-size robotic buses, as well as an elderly monitoring system to ensure the health and well-being of its senior citizens.
    • In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, smart city technology is used for traffic routing, parking, infrastructure planning and transportation. The city also uses telemedicine and smart healthcare, as well as smart buildings, smart utilities, smart education and smart tourism.
      Smart City Barcelona Spain
    • The Barcelona, Spain, smart transportation system and smart bus systems are complemented by smart bus stops that provide free Wi-Fi, USB charging stations and bus schedule updates for riders. A bike-sharing program and smart parking app that includes online payment options are also available. The city also uses sensors to monitor temperature, pollution and noise, as well as monitor humidity and rain levels.

    (Sources: https://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/definition/smart-city and https://www.engadget.com/2016/11/03/singapore-smart-nation-smart-city/)

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    The 7 Dimensions of Building Information Modeling

    It has increasingly become crystal clear that BIM represents the opening of the architectural design community and construction industry to interoperability. There is no doubt that it’s a long and tedious way to being fully developed, however, important steps have been made during the last decades and the future of construction looks brighter day by day.

    What is BIM?
    3D-House

    Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of creating information models containing both graphical and non-graphical information in a Common Data Environment (CDE) (a shared repository for digital project information). The information that is created becomes ever more detailed as a project progresses with the complete dataset then handed to a client at completion to use in the building’s In Use phase and potentially on into a decommissioning phase.

    When we talk about BIM maturity we are essentially talking about the supply chain’s ability to exchange information digitally. The maturity levels from Level 0, through Levels 1, 2, 3 and beyond are often visualized via the maturity ‘wedge’ diagram conceived by Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards. Our article on BIM Levels Explained is a good place to start if you’re looking for more information.

    BIM dimensions are different to BIM maturity levels. They refer to the particular way in which particular kinds of data are linked to an information model. By adding additional dimensions of data you can start to get a fuller understanding of your construction project – how it will be delivered, what it will cost and how it should be maintained etc. These dimensions – 4D, 5D and 6D BIM – can all feasibly (but not necessarily) occur within a BIM Level 2 workflow.

    In this blog post we explore what it means to add different dimensions of information to a BIM process and explore what this looks like in practice and what benefits might be expected.

    7D BIM

    3D (The Shared Information Model)

    3D BIM is perhaps the BIM we are most familiar with – the process of creating graphical and non-graphical information and sharing this information in a Common Data Environment (CDE).

    As the project lifecycle progresses this information becomes ever more rich in detail until the point at which the project data is handed over to a client at completion.
    4D (Construction sequencing)

    4D BIM adds an extra dimension of information to a project information model in the form of scheduling data. This data is added to components which will build in detail as the project progresses. This information can be used to obtain accurate programme information and visualisations showing how your project will develop sequentially.

    Time-related information for a particular element might include information on lead time, how long it takes to install/construct, the time needed to become operational/harden/cure, the sequence in which components should be installed, and dependencies on other areas of the project.

    With time information federated in the shared information model planners should be able to develop an accurate project programme. With the data linked to the graphical representation of components/systems it becomes easy to understand and query project information and it is also possible to show how construction will develop, sequentially, over time showing how a structure will visually appear at each stage.

    Working in this way is enormously helpful when it comes to planning work to ensure it is safely, logically and efficiently sequenced. Being able to prototype how assets come together before ground is broken on site allows for feedback at an early stage and avoids wasteful and costly on-site design co-ordination and rework. Showing how projects will be constructed visually is also handy when engaging with stakeholders, giving everyone a clear visual understanding of planned works and what the finished construction will look like with no surprises.

    Adding sequencing information can be extremely useful, not just in the design phase, but earlier too, allowing for the feasibility of schemes to be assessed from the off. At tender stage this kind of information can allow initial concepts to be explored and communicated to inspire confidence in the team’s ability to meet the brief.

    It’s important to note that working with 4D information doesn’t negate the need for planners who remain an integral part of the project team. Rather than creating programs as proposals develop, as is the case in traditional workflows, in a digital workflow planners can now influence and shape proposals from a much earlier stage in a project. Indeed, by being closer to the wider project team and providing feedback earlier in the process, there is the potential for planners to add significantly more value to a construction project.

    3D-Guggenheim-Model5D (Cost)

    Drawing on the components of the information model being able to extract accurate cost information is what’s at the heart of 5D BIM.

    Considerations might include capital costs (the costs of purchasing and installing a component), its associated running costs and the cost of renewal/replacement down the line. These calculations can be made on the basis of the data and associated information linked to particular components within the graphical model. This information allows cost managers to easily extrapolate the quantities of a given component on a project, applying rates to those quantities, thereby reaching an overall cost for the development.

    The benefits of a costing approach linked to a model include the ability to easily see costs in 3D form, get notifications when changes are made, and the automatic counting of components/systems attached to a project. However, it’s not just cost managers who stand to benefit from considering cost as part of your BIM process. Assuming the presence of 4D program data and a clear understanding of the value of a contract, you can easily track predicted and actual spend over the course of a project. This allows for regular cost reporting and budgeting to ensure efficiencies are realized and the project itself stays within budget tolerances.

    The accuracy of any cost calculations is, of course, reliant on the data produced by multiple teams and shared within the Common Data Environment. If that information is inaccurate, so too will be any calculations that rely upon it. In this respect using BIM to consider cost is no different to more traditional ways of working. It is for this reason that quantity surveyors and estimators still have an important role to play, not only in checking the accuracy of information but also in helping to interpret and fill information ‘gaps’. Many elements of a project will still be modelled in 2D or not at all. There’s also likely to be differences between models in how things are classified and the cost manager will need to clarify and understand the commonality between what at first feel like disparate things.

    An information model is likely to contain three types of quantity. Quantities based on actual model components (with visible details) which you can explore through the model are the most obvious. Quantities may also be derived from model components (such as moldings around windows) that aren’t always visible. The third kind of quantity is non-modeled quantities (these include temporary works, construction joints etc.). Unless the construction phase is modeled then the design model will show, graphically, design quantities but not the construction quantities. A cost manager is likely to be skilled in picking up the quantities that aren’t solely based on model components.

    One of the advantages of extrapolating cost from the information model is the fact that the data can be queried at any time during a project and the information that feeds cost reports is regularly updated. This ‘living’ cost plan helps teams design to budget and because cost managers are engaged from the start of a project this allows for faster, more accurate reporting of costs at the early stages of a project. Compare this to a traditional approach where a cost manager’s report may be updated a few times during the early stages of a project with completed designs only fully costed at the end of the project team’s design process.

    The cost manager may have to get used to working earlier and more iteratively than in a traditional process but has just as important a role to play in overall project delivery.

    3d-perspective-section-cardigan-street6D BIM (Project Lifecycle Information; Sustainability)

    The construction industry has traditionally been focussed on the upfront capital costs of construction. Shifting this focus to better understand the whole-life cost of assets, where most money is proportionately spent, should make for better decisions upfront in terms of both cost and sustainability. This is where 6D BIM comes in.

    Sometimes referred to as integrated BIM or iBIM, 6D BIM involves the inclusion of information to support facilities management and operation to drive better business outcomes. This data might include information on the manufacturer of a component, its installation date, required maintenance and details of how the item should be configured and operated for optimal performance, energy performance, along with lifespan and decommissioning data.

    Adding this kind of detail to your information model allows decisions to be made during the design process – a boiler with a lifespan of 5 years could be substituted with one expected to last 10, for example, if it makes economic or operational sense to do so. In effect, designers can explore a whole range of permutations across the lifecycle of a built assets and quickly get an understanding of impacts including costs. However, it is at handover, that this kind of information really adds value as it is passed on to the end-user.

    A model offers an easily-accessible and understood way of extrapolating information. Details that would have been hidden in paper files are now easily interrogated graphically. Where this approach really comes into its own is in allowing facilities managers to pre-plan maintenance activities potentially years in advance and develop spending profiles over the lifetime of a built asset, working out when repairs become uneconomical or existing systems inefficient. This planned and pro-active approach offers significant benefits over a more reactive one – not least in terms of costs.

    Ideally the information model should continue to develop during the In Use phase with updates on repairs and replacements added in. Better yet, a myriad of operational data and diagnostics can also be fed in to inform decision making still further.

    3D-Sydney-Opera-House7D (Operations and Facilities Management)

    Studies indicate that over 90% of total building lifecycle costs are related to facility maintenance and operations. Real estate and facility managers are increasingly showing interest in using BIM in facility management.

    Some of the highlights of effectiveness of utilizing BIM 7D include:

    • Preventative Maintenance Scheduling: BIM can be used to plan and track maintenance activities proactively and appropriately by using the information about the building structure and equipment used in the facility. This type of preventative maintenance activities will help improve building performance, reduce corrective maintenance and emergency maintenance repairs and increase productivity of maintenance staff.
    • Sustainability Analysis: BIM integrated with other analysis & evaluation tools are used to track building performance data, which can be compared with specified sustainable standards to identify the flaws in the building systems. Facility’s sustainability program can be improved to better match the sustainability goals.
    • Asset Management: Assets of a building consist of the physical building, its systems, equipment and surrounding environment. Asset management is essential in short-term and long-term planning for proper upkeep of building assets. The bi-directional Building Information Modeling (BIM) integration into asset management software can help in better visualization of assets and aid in the maintenance and operation of a facility.
    • Space Utilization Management: Facility professionals and department liaisons can utilize BIM to effectively manage, track and distribute appropriate spaces and related resources within a facility. BIM space management application turns out to be beneficial in planning renovation projects and future needs, allocating space for proper usage of each corner of the building and tracking the impact of proposed changes.
    • Disaster & Emergency Planning: BIM can provide critical building information to improve the efficiency of disaster response plans and minimize any risk. BIM can be integrated with building automation system (BAS) to display where the emergency is located within a building, to find possible routes to the affected area and to locate other dangerous areas within the building during such emergencies.

    Sources & References:
    https://www.autodesk.com/solutions/bim
    https://geniebelt.com/blog/bim-maturity-levels

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

     


    Passive Temperature Control and Other Sustainable Design Elements to Consider

    With a growing interest in green and sustainable home design, there have been a lot of changes in the way people design their homes. A green, sustainable home is made using different design elements and materials, which help to create a more energy-efficient home that minimizes the homeowner’s negative impact on the environment as much as possible.

    From the various sustainable design elements to the materials that help make it happen, there are countless ways for homeowners to create a green, sustainable design that is beautiful. Here is a list of some of the most popular sustainable elements and materials for homeowners to keep in mind when building or renovating their home.

    Temperature Control

    One of the major points of sustainable home design is concerned with temperature control. Everyone wants a home that stays cool during the warmer months and warm during the colder ones. Although the common method people turn to is air conditioning and heating, neither of these is very energy-efficient nor environmentally friendly. Instead, people are now turning to tried-and-tested sustainable alternatives to cooling and heating.

    ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) homes are one popular sustainable design element that homeowners are turning to for their homes. These ICF homes are made using an insulated concrete form, which fit together like puzzle pieces to form the shell of a new house, which is insulated inside and out. Due to the way the forms are put together—and are supported with extra concrete and rebar—there are very few cracks, which helps minimize the potential for air leaks, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the insulation overall.

    All of this combined means that homeowners who choose ICF homes will be able to save a lot of money on cooling and heating costs, and will not be releasing so many harmful greenhouse gases into the environment.

    Additionally, temperature control can see improvement through the sort of siding that homeowners select for their home. While traditional vinyl siding is most common, it is not the best option on the market in terms of protecting your home and helping with insulation needs. Other options, like fiber cement siding and steel log siding not only offer more durability, but they also will work better at helping to insulate a home. Due to the materials and how they are put in place, homeowners can rest assured that there will be very few air leaks, especially when combined with a well-insulated home.

    Weatherproofing

    Another common element found in sustainable home design includes weatherproofing the home. Weatherproofing helps to ensure further that there are no air leaks in the home, regardless of how well insulated it may be. Furthermore, as the term implies, weatherproofing helps to ensure that the home’s structure is well-protected from potential harm that can from the elements. All-in-all, weatherproofing will help ensure a home can hold up against different types of weather and help save the homeowner energy, money, and resources by covering up any air leaks that may still be present even with insulation.

    The best way to weatherproof a home is to invest in and install a high-quality house wrap. House wrap is the layer of material that separates a home’s siding from its overall structure. It uses a perforated polyolefin membrane material, which is wrapped tightly around the entire structure and secured with capped fasteners. Because of the material, house wrap is extremely strong and durable, which helps to ensure it will stay in place and last for a long time.

    Additionally, a good house wrap will prevent any air infiltration and easily allow moisture to escape, rather than staying trapped and creating a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

    Durable Exterior Siding

    A third major element of sustainable home design is a good, durable exterior siding. Although vinyl siding is the most known type of exterior home siding, it is not necessarily the most sustainable option available. Similarly, siding options like traditional log siding are also not sustainable nor eco-friendly. Instead, homeowners looking for better, greener siding options that can further increase their home’s sustainability.

    One of the most popular sustainable siding options around includes fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is a kind of siding resembles the classic wood or vinyl siding, but is made of a much more durable mix of wood pulp and cement. This makes it an option that can stay looking new for years, without warping, fading, or any damage from weather and insects. Because of this durability, homeowners do not have to worry about having to replace pieces over time due to damage, which allows them to save money over time. Additionally, fiber cement siding is a low maintenance option that will add yet another layer of protection to any home, on top of things like house wrap and ICF homes.

    Creating a green, sustainable home is not difficult, but it does take a certain level of dedication. Besides choosing the right energy-efficient appliances, homeowners need to ensure that the home’s overall structure is made using sustainable elements and products.

    From being aware of temperature control and weatherproofing to finding the perfect exterior siding, there are countless ways to start making a sustainable home. Even if some of these elements go visually unseen, the differences will be seen and felt in the comfort level of the home and the utility bills.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

     

     

     


    You Know LEED, But Do You Know WELL?

    Greetings,

    The following is a quick recap of the LEED rating system; below is information about the WELL rating information.

    What is LEED?

    LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

    • 2.2 million + square feet is LEED certified every day with more than 92,000 projects using LEED.
    • Flexible. LEED works for all building types anywhere. LEED is in over 165 countries and territories.
    • Sustainable. LEED buildings save energy, water, resources, generate less waste and support human health.
    • ValueLEED buildings attract tenants, cost less to operate and boost employee productivity and retention.

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    WHAT IS WELL?

    The WELL Building Standard® is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.

    WELL is managed and administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment.

    WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness of its occupants. WELL Certified™ spaces and WELL Compliant™ core and shell developments can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, and sleep patterns.

    The WELL Building Standard® is third-party certified by the Green Business Certification Incorporation (GBCI), which administers the LEED certification program and the LEED professional credentialing program.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Reginald Thomas

    New York, New Jersey Reginald L. Thomas, AIA has garnered over twenty years’ experience working with a diverse group of distinguished architectural/design firms in New York City.  Reginald L. Thomas Architect LLC specializes in historically based, high-end, residential projects. Recently, he has added commercial and institutional work to the firm’s diverse clientele. His work has been featured in several prestigious publications, notably The New York Times and Architectural Digest.

    Web | Blog | Facebook | LinkedIn | Houzz

    ILMA INTERVIEW

    When and why did you decide to become an Architect? 

    • I’ve wanted to be an architect since I was 10 years old. During a weekend visit to the local art store to purchase paints, a how to book on architectural rendering caught my eye.   I remember thinking that the floor plans seemed magical.
    • We can thank Mike Brady, of the then popular Sitcom, the Brady Bunch, for that.  My first introduction to renderings and models came from watching the episodes after school and I was hooked.
    • Growing up in New York City, however, I visited the Museum of Natural History and MOMA regularly.  I was fascinated by the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History and the artwork at the MOMA and so at first, I dreamt of being an artist and being able to create this kind of beauty.

    What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?    

    • I grew up in the South Bronx, so the first challenge was of course, money.  I fretted about how I was going to pay for college or even how I was going to apply to college.  It was stressful to think that I would have to help my siblings after college and therefore not be able to realize my own dreams.

    Any memorable clients or project highlights?   

    • I’ve had the pleasure of working with corporate giants, entertainment and sports celebrities as well as hard working people who are interested in living in beautiful spaces. All are special to me.  Each project has its own individual story However, I have had clients that allowed me to design and build every inch of their space including the furniture. That’s amazing in today’s climate.

    How does your family support what you do?    

    • College was a priority in my household as both my parents attended college.  My dad for his Associates Degree and my mother for her Master’s in Education.  , Although I did not have money I had an abundance of support for what I wanted to accomplish and an expectation that I get there.

    How do Architects measure success?   

    • I believe versatility is a skill we all value as designers. We build projects that are beautiful as well as functional. Being able to create an aesthetically pleasing space to satisfy each of my client’s specific   taste and at the same time ensuring that it functions is its own reward.

    What matters most to you in design?

    What do you hope to achieve over the next 2 years? 5 years?

    • To grow my business using all of the experience I’ve garnered over the last 30 years in multiple jurisdictions.
    • Like most artists, I also wish to push the barriers of my creativity while remaining true to the traditional and timeless nature of my designs.

    Who is your favorite Architect? Why?    

    • Paul Rudolph for salesmanship, talent, and cultural navigation skills which were beyond belief
    • Frank Lloyd for his skill, as well as his ability to convince his clients to be daring and tenacious.
    • Julia Morgan for her dedication and ability when she was the only one, and her clients who recognized and rewarded her abilities.

    Do you have a coach or mentor?

    What is your favorite historic and modern (contemporary) project? Why?

    • The Great Pyramids of Giza. They are pure form, functional and beautiful.  It was once written by an early 19th century explorer who catalogued the proclivity for ornamentation throughout the known world that what we are able to see of Egyptian Architecture now is this architecture represents the last 2500 of this work in decline, what left of this 5000 year old architectural culture.
    • If that be the case, then how much more glorious the architectural vocabulary of this civilization must be. The elements of order including the concept of hyper style halls must be astounding. These are the elements that make an edifice “timeless.”
    • Notre Dame du Haut: The building teaches the intangibles of architecture as art. How does one use light as a design element?  Most people will never even notice how the intangible shapes made by light in their space let alone the effects on their psychological health.
    • The Mildred B Cooper Memorial Chapel: The boundaries that identify characteristics of nature and the difference from manmade structures are so blurred I this building that it is magical. I think in this design he did make his mentor proud. It is truly great work.

    Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades? 

    • I think we are finally reaching the point where we are accepting the fact that we are part of a global community.  That means a true understanding, in real time, of the relationship and importance of urban design, architecture and interior design etc. to the human conditions.
    • Our use of technology will continue to grow at a rapid pace and architects will be required to leverage their expertise to benefit the world community especially in the areas of sustainability, and resilience.
    • I am most excited by the possibility of the profession as the lead, taking on the real-estate profession as developers

    What type of technology do you see in the design and construction industries?

    • The digital drafting board and smart drafting solutions. The stylus is back, Instant 3d models and the expansion of BIM as a tool.
    • Wireless outlets
    • ASCII, GPS, LiDAR technology continue to advance. Assisting historic preservation giving a vision of what was formally unseen thereby assisting design and limiting errors.
    • 3d modeling, as a tool, will advance to the point that we will grow more independent of contractors and furniture designers

    Who / what has been your greatest influence in design?  

    • The reading of a Pattern Language. The book continues to teach me to think in layers until I get to the optimum solution.
    • Jean Michele Frank: The comprehensive business model that he practiced was one to be envied and to be emulated.
    • My mentors Max Bond and Richard Dozier.
    • New York City designers that I’ve work for like Peter Marino and Juan Montoya

    Which building or project type would you like to work on that you haven’t been part of yet?   

    • A Place of worship on an island site

    How do you hope to inspire / mentor the next generation of Architects?   

    • I hope to inspire the next generation through visibility. African-American descent represents a very small part of the architectural demographics.
    • I hope to write treatise and guides thereby leaving a guide to others to build on.
    • My suggestion always is to be assiduous; to be relentless, recognizing that  this is a lifelong area of study, one that requires . “long distance runners.”

    What advice would you give aspiring architects (K-12)? College students? Graduates?

    • The best advice for K-12 is to engage with architects when they come in to your schools on career days.  It is important as this stage to really get a clear understanding of what an architect does and the value of architects’ play in their daily lives.
    • College students: Provide information and honest dialogue on expectations after graduation; how to set reasonable and attainable goals, and lastly the many ways to measure success.
    • Financial guidance on how to plan for a secure retirement.
    • Explain what it means to own one’s own firm.

    What does Architecture mean to you? 

    • Architecture is life.  It is the culmination of the aspirations of the human condition at different time periods.
    • Architecture means being conscious of the places and spaces we occupy as humans.  It’s being in the unique position of being able to effect change in the communities welive in a way that is unique to no other profession

    What is your design process? 

    • Client interview: Do more listening than writing.
    • Who or what community am I designing for.
    • Identify client particulars not just in program but culturally. How does the client perceive and use space. What is the corporate or family dynamic?
    • Where am I being asked to design?
    • What are the constraints of the site or space?
    • How do I make it function perfectly and at the same time be beautiful?

    If you could not be an Architect, what would you be?  

    • Apart from very early on when I wanted to be an artist I have never given thought to being anything else, however, if you were to ask my father, a surgeon would have been his preference.

    What is your dream project?  

    • One that encompasses urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture as sculpture, interior design and furniture design; the complete package in the vernacular of the local culture.

    What advice do you have for future Executive leaders?  

    • Seek out and work with like-minded people who share your vision and whom you can trust to honestly evaluate, and counsel you.  Also, do not be afraid to delegate or share responsibility giving you the time and space you need as the leader to imagine and create.

    What are three key challenges you face as a leader in business today and one trend you see in your industry?    

    • The challenge of finding curious and willing junior staff who are willing to put in the long hours needed to really learn the ins and outs of the profession.
    • Loyalty
    • Finding staff that is willing to learn how to build, even, by drawing the components rather than by cutting and pasting.
    • My hope is that with the advances in Wacom Tablet technology we will have monitors as drafting boards and stylus as pencils causing the young architect to unconsciously pay more attention to what and how the building is being created.

    What one thing must an executive leader be able to do to be successful in the next 3 years?

    • The executive leader must to be able to leverage the power of the internet and especially social media

    What are some executive insights you have gained since you have been sitting in the executive leadership seat – or what is one surprise you have encountered as the world of business continues to morph as we speak?    

    • I have been surprised at how much television, social media and the internet have impacted the decisions we now make as leaders.

    Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful?   

    • Improving and adapting are keys to longevity and to success.   Be relentless in your desire to grow and learn recognizing that learning is a lifelong pursuit.

    For more exclusive ILMA interviews click here.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Caterina Roiatti of @TRAstudio

    Who is Caterina Roiatti?

    Caterina Roiatti received her Doctor in Architecture Degree from the IUAV Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia in Italy, she is a Fulbright Scholar and received in 1985 her Master in Architecture from Harvard, where she attended both the GSD, and the Harvard Business School. Prior to founding, in 1995, TRA studio together with her Partner Robert Traboscia, she worked in the modernist offices of Peter Forbes and Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, gained large scale experience at Kohn Pedersen Fox and worked on interiors and identity projects at Vignelli Associates.

    She began her own practice in 1995 following a five year association with Mathias Thoerner Design where she was the project architect for several flagship stores worldwide and the coordinator for the branding programs. Having worked in fashion, she understands how, like couture, a well designed interior can empower and improve the user’s self-esteem. TRA studio Architecture pllc, founded in 1995, is the New York based firm led by Caterina Roiatti, AIA, an architect originally from Venice, and Robert Traboscia, an environmental designer and an artist.

    For more information: Web Site  ; Facebook Page ; Instagram ; Twitter ; LinkedIn

    ILMA INTERVIEW

    When and why did you decide to become an Architect? 

    My whole family were architects, as hard as the profession looked, they all loved it.  

    What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?

    This profession presents a new challenge every day, but you get more confident with experience, in the beginning, it is much more difficult to believe that you will find the solution for the project you are working on. Architecture requires endurance, when you are young it is easier to panic.

    Any memorable clients or project highlights? 

    Always the first “big”, (or bigger), client: the New York Academy of Arts, after eighteen years they are still our Client!

    How does your family support what you do? 

    I work with my family, my husband is my partner.

    How do Architects measure success?

    Surviving first, followed by feeling in control, followed by having fun working.

    What matters most to you in design? 

    Longevity of our projects, timeless design.

    What do you hope to achieve over the next 2 years? 5 years? 

    I always think I will design a skyscraper, but really all projects are a challenge, so they are all good.

    Who is your favorite Architect? Why? 

    I like to look at Herzog de Meuron projects, they approach restoration and adaptive reuse with the same surprising solutions they employ when designing new buildings, yet they remain respectful of the context and historic structures. To me preservation/adaptive reuse is not a specialty, it is simply another aspect of design.

    Do you have a coach or mentor?

    I think you have to mentor yourself first, but my partner is really my most important mentor.

    What is your favorite historic and modern (contemporary) project? Why? 

    The last project we are working on, favorites come and go, depending on what I am preoccupied with at the moment.

    Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades? 

    My partner and I often marvel at the fact that architects are more and more needed, technology, sustainability, safety requirements, regulations make the profession more complex, which in turn gives responsibility but also control to architects. Other professions are becoming kind of obsolete, everybody can to a certain extent be their own photographer or graphic designer.

    What type of technology do you see in the design and construction industries? 

    We cannot design anything without 3D modeling, I think programs like Revit will be the norm soon for all disciplines.

    Who / what has been your greatest influence in design? 

    The eye of my partner Robert Traboscia, nothing goes out without his approval! In general, I am very curious and I look for new information and inspiration everywhere.

    Which building or project type would you like to work on that you haven’t been part of yet? 

    All, we do everything and get into all challenges. It is amazing how quickly you can become an expert in a new building type, but you always need great consultants. 

    How do you hope to inspire / mentor the next generation of Architects? 

    I would tell them that it can be exciting every day, not many professions can offer that, but if you want to make any real money you have to try to be part of the development process and invest in your own projects. Right now we are trying to get our first development project going, it is very exciting.

    What advice would you give aspiring architects?

    Study all subjects, you will need to know a little of everything.

    What does Architecture mean to you? Lifestyle What is your design process? If you could not be an Architect, what would you be? What is your dream project? The next  What advice do you have for a future Executive leader? 

    Executive thinking

    What are three key challenges you face as a leader in business today and one trend you see in your industry? 

    The first challenge is always to keep the studio financially healthy, we owe it our staff, the second is to recognize bad clients and the most important never do excellent work, not work you might not want to show! 

    What one thing must an executive leader be able to do to be successful in the next 3 years? 

    It takes longer than that to be successful 

    What are some executive insights you have gained since you have been sitting in the executive leadership seat – or what is one surprise you have encountered as the world of business continues to morph as we speak? 

    We are still a small studio, although we have been in business many years, we do learn every day, may be the most important lesson we learned is always strive for more control, not less. More involvement in your projects makes you more essential and, frankly, creates more opportunities for financial reward.

    Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful? 

    Are we that old that people see us as successful just because we have been around a long time? I always think someday we will grow up and truly finally be…

    For more exclusive ILMA interviews click here.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook


    Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with @Collier1960 Collier Ward

    Collier Ward is a registered Architect, an aspiring novel and short story writer, an acknowledged construction industry influencer, and a follower of Jesus, who thrives on communication and community.

    “One of my long-term career goals is to see more books, movies, and television shows about architects and architecture. For years I have said “Architecture Holds a Thousand Stories” and it remains an untapped source for dramatic content. If you are in charge of story development in the entertainment industry I would be glad to discuss the comedy and drama embedded in my profession. If you have interest in any of these subjects, I’d be pleased to connect with you.” -Collier Ward

    Connect with Collier Ward on LinkedIn or  Twitter.

    ILMA INTERVIEW

    When and why did you decide to become an Architect?

    As a child, I’m not even sure how old I was, I saw my older brother drawing a floor plan. I didn’t understand the series of rectangles and asked him what it was. He informed me that it was our house. To me, a house was depicted by the archetypal image of a simple box with a door, a sloped roof, and a chimney with a swirl of smoke. I told him it was an awful drawing. He explained that it was what we’d see from above if we took the roof off and looked in from above. Then I saw it! The bedrooms, the kitchen, the carport were just as they should be. Although I considered art teacher, artist, cartoonist, and ad man as possible careers, this childhood revelation of architecture proved to be my origin story.

    What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?

    Other than a few financial struggles and loan debts (which don’t even compare to today’s students’) my schooling and internship were fairly typical. From the first day I walked on campus (Auburn University, 1979) to the day I became registered in North Carolina was just under a decade.

    Any memorable clients or project highlights?

    As an intern, I worked on the College of Architecture building at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The design architect was Gwathmey Siegel (I worked for the local firm that produced the Construction Documents.) I had the pleasure of detailing the three monumental stairs in the main gallery, based on concepts by Charles Gwathmy. Since then I’ve worked with many Architects who climbed those stairs and pulled all-nighters in those studios.

    How does your family support what you do?

    My wife and I were married in my third year of school. If there were awards for architects’ spouses Celese would have several by now. She has supported, humored, and encouraged me to this day.

    Who is your favorite Architect? Why?

    As a student, I had two architects (one past, one current) that inspired and influenced me most; both for their writings as well as their designs. I think it’s interesting that both Alvar Aalto and Robert Venturi practiced with their wives.

    What is your favorite modern (contemporary) project? Why?

    Having grown up in St. Louis, MO, the Gateway Arch (as much sculpture as a building) has always been a favorite landmark for me. It was a source of pride – we took visitors up when they came to town. It was also a link to my fascination with Finnish architecture.

    Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades?

    Our profession has transformed very little over the past three decades. Groups within the profession push for change (improved education, environmental sustainability, employment diversity, etc,) but to the rank and file architect (and the clients we serve) I’m not sure much has changed. Nevertheless, I have hope for future.

    What does Architecture mean to you?

    “True Architecture exists only where man stands in the center, his comedy and tragedy both,” said Alvar Aalto. When all is said and done, architecture is the stage upon which we live the stories of our lives.

    If you could not be an Architect, what would you be?

    This is my favorite question. I will always be an architect, but I hope to reach more people with my other passion – writing. For years I have said, “Architecture holds a thousand stories.” Our profession is a closed book to most people. I believe well-written stories will reveal to the population at large what Architects can do. Every other profession has its TV shows, books, and movies; why not Architecture?

    What is your dream project?

    Per my previous answer, I would like to be the story consultant for a movie or TV series that accurately portrays what architects do – and can do – for our society. I want a wide audience to know the joy and drama that is embedded in every work of architecture.

    Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful?

    As cliché as it sounds, hard work is essential. But not hard work and long hours for the sake of fulfilling a stereotype; hard work toward a personal goal. I quote Daniel Burnham; “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work…”

    For more exclusive ILMA interviews click here.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

     


    Creating High Performance Buildings through Integrative Design Process

    The “High Performance by Integrative Design” film by RMI includes examples of how design teams collaborate in new ways to integrate high-performance design elements, such as daylighting, energy efficiency and renewable energy, for optimal performance. Viewers experience charrette discussions and see the design process unfold on projects such as the Empire State Building retrofit, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Phipps Conservancy in Pittsburgh, the Desert Living Center in Las Vegas, Willow School in New Jersey and Chicago Botanic Gardens.

    Typical Design & Construction Process

    Conventional planning, design, building, and operations processes often fail to recognize that buildings are part of larger, complex systems. As a result, solving for one problem may create other problems elsewhere in the system.1

    Integrative Design & Construction Process

    Collaboration leads to innovation

    An integrated design process (IDP) involves a holistic approach to high performance building design and construction. It relies upon every member of the project team sharing a vision of sustainability, and working collaboratively to implement sustainability goals. This process enables the team to optimize systems, reduce operating and maintenance costs and minimize the need for incremental capital. IDP has been shown to produce more significant results than investing in capital equipment upgrades at later stages.2


    As discussed in a previous post, the integrated process requires more time and collaboration during the early conceptual and design phases than conventional practices. Time must be spent building the team, setting goals, and doing analysis before any decisions are made or implemented. This upfront investment of time, however, reduces the time it takes to produce construction documents. Because the goals have been thoroughly explored and woven throughout the process, projects can be executed more thoughtfully, take advantage of building system synergies, and better meet the needs of their occupants or communities, and ultimately save money, too.3


    Considerations and Advantages of an Integrative Design Process:

    • ID&CP processes and strategies can be implemented to varying degrees depending upon the complexity of a project and an owner’s project goals.
    • A project team must be carefully assembled very early on in the process to ensure success.
    • All key participants must subscribe to the collaborative effort of establishment clear goals.
    • All project stakeholders must be involved and remain involved in the project, and must communicate openly and frequently.
    • Key participants must employ appropriate technology to foster collaborative design and construction.

    Similar to the Construction Management at Risk approach to project delivery, the owner can benefit from the following IPD advantages:

    • Owner receives early cost estimating input, sometimes as early as conceptual design.
    • The owner can take advantage of special services such as:
      • Feasibility studies
      • Value engineering
      • Life cycle costs
      • Identification of long-lead items and their pre-purchase
    • Significant time can be saved because the design effort is emphasized and completed earlier in the process, and because construction can begin before the design is fully complete.
    • Architectural and engineering fees can be reduced by the early involvement of the specialty contractors.
    • Construction costs are minimized by incorporating constructability reviews into the process, and by the designers incorporating materials, methods, and systems that the team knows are more cost effective.
    • Operating costs can be reduced by providing opportunities to greatly affect long-term energy and resource use through design.
    • Capital costs can be reduced, thanks to clearer and better coordinated construction documents, which should minimize the incidence of change orders that impact both cost and time.
    • Misunderstanding between the parties is minimized when the IPD Team works together during the planning stages of the project.
    • The owner’s risk is minimized as the IPD Team approach tends to focus on early identification of potential conflicts and issues through the utilization of modeling tools. This early identification results in timely problem solving and resolution of issues through the use of models, as opposed to problem solving in the field and constructed environments.


    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

    Gift Ideas from ILMA


    What Can Architects Do To Design Safer Classrooms For Our Children? Part 3 Actions We Can Take To Promote Safe And Successful Schools

     ILMA Classroom 05.png

    Photo Source: S&S Worldwide

    Policies and funding that support comprehensive school safety and mental health efforts are critical to ensuring universal and long-term sustainability. However, school leaders can work toward more effective approaches now by taking the following actions:

    1. Work with School Leadership to promote, develop and establish a “Safety Team” that includes key personnel: principals, teachers, school-employed mental health professionals, instruction/curriculum professionals, school resource/safety officer, and a staff member skilled in data collection and analysis.
    2. Work with the school’s “Safety Team” assess and identify needs, strengths, and gaps in existing services and supports (e.g., availability of school and community resources, unmet student mental health needs) that address the physical and psychological safety of the school community.
    3. Assist with the evaluation of the safety of the school building and school grounds by examining the physical security features of the campus.
    4. Safety Team should review how current resources are being applied.
    5. Are school employed mental health professionals providing training to teachers and support staff regarding resiliency and risk factors?
    6. Do mental health staff participate in grade-level team meetings and provide ideas on how to effectively meet students’ needs?
    7. Is there redundancy in service delivery?
    8. Are multiple overlapping initiatives occurring in different parts of the school or being applied to different sets of students?
    9. Safety Team should implement an integrated approach that connects behavioral and mental health services and academic instruction and learning (e.g., are mental health interventions being integrated into an effective discipline or classroom management plan?).
    10. Safety Team should provide adequate time for staff planning and problem solving via regular team meetings and professional learning communities. Identify existing and potential community partners, develop memoranda of understanding to clarify roles and responsibilities, and assign appropriate school staff to guide these partnerships, such as school-employed mental health professionals and principals.
    11. Safety Team should provide professional development for school staff and community partners addressing school climate and safety, positive behavior, and crisis prevention, preparedness, and response.
    12. Safety Team should engage students and families as partners in developing and implementing policies and practices that create and maintain a safe school environment.
    13. As Architects we can assist the “Safety Team” by utilizing strategies developed by Crime prevention through environmental design(CPTED), a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts. Generally speaking, most implementations of CPTED occur solely within the urbanized, built environment. Specifically altering the physical design of the communities in which humans reside and congregate in order to deter criminal activity is the main goal of CPTED. CPTED principles of design affect elements of the built environment ranging from the small-scale (such as the strategic use of shrubbery and other vegetation) to the overarching, including building form of an entire urban neighborhood and the amount of opportunity for “eyes on the street”.

    ILMA Classroom 06.png
    Image Source: School Security – Threat and Vulnerability Assessments

    Sources:

    The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

    The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) School Violence Prevention

    The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Framework For Safe Schools

    ILMA Classroom 10.pngILMA Classroom 09.pngILMA Classroom 08ILMA Classroom 07

    Look out for our next post about “What Architects Can Do to Design Safer Classrooms for Our Children.”

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Our Exclusive ILMA Interview with Daniel D’Agostino, AIA of Plan Architecture

    Who is Daniel D’Agostino, AIA?

    Dan D’Agostino is an architect with over 15 years of experience as an architectural designer and project manager.  

    Mr. D’Agostino has extensive experience working on projects of varying scales.  His portfolio of work ranges from new and renovations to single-family dwellings  to high-rise mixed-use buildings in dense urban areas.  Mr. D’Agostino’s work has been recognized for achievement on multiple levels.  Winning an AIA Gold Medal for a mixed-use structure designed for Lower Manhattan, recurring appearances on NBC’s George to the Rescue and achieving the coveted “Best Of” award on Houzz.

    Daniel received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT where he continues to serve as a visiting critic.  He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the Little Falls Planning and Zoning Board and Little Falls Economic Development Committee.  He is a licensed Architect practicing in Northern New Jersey.  In his free time he enjoys being the best father and husband he can be, golfing and playing music.

    About Daniel’s firm:

    planarchitecturellc is a full-service design firm which specializes in producing innovative client-driven program-based architectural design and budget appropriate problem solving. 

    Founded by Daniel D’Agostino, AIA, planarchitecture’s mission is to arrive at client and site specific architectural solutions to unique client demands.  The firm produces work for public, commercial and residential clients. 

    You can find Daniel Online by clicking on the following links:

    ILMA INTERVIEW

    When and why did you decide to become an Architect?     

    I found drawing to be a great pastime as a kid.  I also enjoyed building with my father.  Inspired by curiosity, I always wanted to find ways to make things better.  Design happens to be a way of making things better.  Architecture seemed like a natural fit for me. 

    What were some of the challenges of achieving your dream?     

    Becoming an architect in general is a challenging process.  While I’m patient with people, I’m not always so patient when it comes to progress.  I like to see things getting done, movement and motion.  Five years of schooling, 3 years of internship, 7 months of licensing, in the middle of a recession was challenging.

    Any memorable clients or project highlights?  

    Each project has a stand out moment.  The best moments occur when we are a part of the building process and able to walk a project with a client and discuss additional opportunities.   

    How does your family support what you do?   

    I am lucky to have a very supportive family.  Architecture is a big part of our lives.  We just had the amazing opportunity to design and build our own home so design is very much a part of our daily conversation.  Prior to that, we would travel to see buildings, stop on a walk to discuss a building material.  Dining experiences are typically accompanied by a short analysis of how things might have been better.

    How do Architects measure success?     

    I think Architects are an odd bunch if I may say so myself.   As such, it’s hard to generalize.  For me, if I’m happy – I am successful.  Some of the things that make me happy related to the profession are having the time to do something creative or inventive.  Having a staff meeting where everything gels.  Client meetings that end in laughter, hugs and an optimistic plan for advancing a project.  Discussion with a contractor where we walk away saying – this is going to be amazing!

    What matters most to you in design?      

    Function, daylight and views.  Each of our projects start and end with how the plan works, how we experience daylight and what we see both internally and externally along a view corridor.

    What do you hope to achieve over the next 2 years? 5 years?  

    I enjoy single family design and construction.  Over the last two or three years, we have designed a number of medium density residential developments.  I discovered that we were able to bring a neat little twist to this market that isn’t commonly found in these developments.  Our attention to detail and space making is needed in these larger projects.  I hope that in 5 years, we are doing a lot more of this.   

    Who is your favorite Architect? Why?     

    It’s a toss up – Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn

    As an architect, saying you like FLW is like saying you like the Beatles.  I mean, the Beatles are mainstream, have a ton of hits, and reinvented themselves multiple times over the years.  FLW did the same thing.  His work is accessible and always delivers.  If you dig deep and learn about why his buildings look the way they do (sustainability, economics, desire to build cheaply, wartime rationing, etc.) they are amazing.  

    Louis Kahn, on the other hand, not so mainstream and certainly not so accessible.  His buildings manage to be incredibly complex yet simple.  Having traveled the world looking at architecture, the Salk Institute was my greatest experience.  When you walk that plaza, it’s an actual experience.    

    Do you have a coach or mentor?     

    Not really.  I’m a pretty good listener and observer.  If you keep your antennas up, you are going to learn a lot.

    What is your favorite historic and modern (contemporary) project? Why?  

    The Pantheon in Rome is my favorite historic work.  It is structurally significant.  The sun is used as a light fixture in the building charting messages.  It’s all encompassing.  The Salk Institute is my favorite contemporary project due to its connection to site.  A strong axis of symmetry and orientation with the horizon.  It’s breathtaking.

    Where do you see the profession going over the next few decades?  

    I see the profession going more toward design-build.  There’s a lot of waste in the profession.  It’s impossible to get every single detail included in a set of plans if you are trying to adhere to an architectural budget and short timeline.  In New Jersey, the cost of land and taxes are so high, there is hardly ever an opportunity to draw every single detail and review it with your client.  The industry has therefore come to accept (through demanding) a set of plans for base building, and finer elements being decided by the builder.  As this process has evolved, we have come to see many features lost because original design intent isn’t considered.  It will also help to minimize the number of projects that come in “over budget”.

    What type of technology do you see in the design and construction industries?  

    I think modular still has a chance.  When I was leaving college, modular was the new thing because it was faster and cheaper.  Over time, it turned out, modular wasn’t exactly faster, or cheaper.  We should pay attention to modular building with an emphasis on trying to work aesthetic into it.

    Who / what has been your greatest influence in design?      

    Walt Disney.  We need to make sure our buildings work functionally but we also want to be entertained while being part of an experience.  Disney was great at this.

    Which building or project type would you like to work on that you haven’t been part of yet?    

    I’d like to do a New York City high rise on the West Side.  Growing up in Hudson County, New Jersey, the New York skyline was a big part of my childhood.  I drive down a street and see projects I designed going up or completed and you feel a sense of pride and permanence.  I’d like to have that feeling looking at the skyline.

    How do you hope to inspire / mentor the next generation of Architects?   

    Our office consists of 10 people, 9 of which are designers.  I constantly put forward that our job is to help our clients and serve them.  Listen to them and find the best way to deliver that which they are requesting.

    What advice would you give aspiring architects (K-12)? College students? Graduates?  

    I started working as a Sophomore in High School at an architecture firm.  I would recommend it.  It gives you an opportunity through college to understand “how” you might use what you are learning.  I would recommend college students get involved in outreach.  Get involved in your local community and start planting seeds for future networking opportunities.  Can you join the planning board? Is there a historical society you can join? 

    For Graduates, it’s going to sound funny but go work at a restaurant as a server.  You are going to learn how to interact with people, understand how a person asks for something they need either verbally or with body language.  You’ll learn how people feel comfortable by studying where they ask to sit, the way they face, how they talk to one another.  You’ll learn about working in a tight space in the Kitchen and the importance of efficiency and flow. 

    I was lucky – I learned how to speak Spanish working a restaurant while working with the Kitchen staff.  This has proven to be invaluable as the two predominate languages spoken on a job site are Spanish and English.  I am able to converse in both languages.  While sad, it’s worth noting that when I graduated from college, I made more money as a weekend waiter than I did as a full time draftsman.  It helps to have money.

    What does Architecture mean to you?     

    Simple, a place to be comfortably protected from natural elements.

    What is your design process?     

    My design process starts with the site.  From there, I sit with my clients and I start designing with them.  I’m not the type that comes to my single family residential clients with plans for how they should live.  With my larger development work, we analyze the site to maximize efficiency and density.

     If you could not be an Architect, what would you be?     

    I couldn’t imagine myself being anything else.

    What is your dream project?     

    I’d love to work on a stage set.  Loose some of the parameters of gravity, building code, weather resistance to create an environment.

    What advice do you have for a future Executive leader?     

    Surround yourself with great people in all aspects of your life and consistently invest in yourself.

    What are three key challenges you face as a leader in business today and one trend you see in your industry?     

    As a business leader, I find staffing challenging because we are a service industry – not just design and construction so personnel is the most important.  You can get anyone that meet’s your qualifications.  You can also get anyone with a good personality.  Getting them both isn’t always the easiest.  When you do you, do everything you can to keep them.  Balancing the administrative elements of the business while maintaining your service qualities is a challenge.  I was only able to find success here after hiring administrative personnel.  When I started the business five years ago at 29, fresh out of a recession, no portfolio of work and competing against other architects more than double my age was a challenge.  We’ve now developed an impressive resume to support my interview process, however being the “young” architect seems to rear its head.  I try to convince people, it’s not the number of years you’ve been doing it, rather the number of years you’ve been doing it right.  The trend now is the integration of internet design.

    What one thing must an executive leader be able to do to be successful in the next 3 years? 

    Develop patience and resilience which has no regard for timeline.  Patience, as I stated earlier, wasn’t one of my virtues.  Everything takes time.  Resilience is important because the highs are way up there and the lows – we don’t talk about them.

    What are some executive insights you have gained since you have been sitting in the executive leadership seat – or what is one surprise you have encountered as the world of business continues to morph as we speak?     

    As the world of business continues to morph, our industry has stayed the same in principal.  We have to be flexible in how we deliver information.  A BIM model isn’t always the answer, sometimes a sketch to be texted out in 20 minutes is more important.  We also have to remember, architecture is a business.  The more successful firms know this.

    Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful?           

    Surround yourself with great people.  It starts with family and follows through staff, clients, contractors.  Work as hard as possible.  While it’s important to get your sleep and rest, you still have to write that extra email or do that extra sketch.  Go that extra mile, especially when it may not be needed or no one may be watching.

    For more exclusive ILMA interviews click here.

    We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

    Sincerely,
    FRANK CUNHA III
    I Love My Architect – Facebook

    Gift Ideas from ILMA