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September 16, 2014

Four Holcim (US) Plants Receive EPA's ENERGY STAR® For Superior Energy Performance

BEDFORD, Mass., Sept. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Holcim (US) Inc. announced today that four of its plants earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) prestigious ENERGY STAR®.

This marks the third time Holcim's Midlothian plant in Midlothian, TX has received the award while the Devil's Slide plant in Morgan, UT has been honored for its seventh consecutive year. The Holly Hill plant in Holly Hill, SC and the Ste. Genevieve plant in Bloomsdale, MO are both receiving the award for the fifth time.


September 16, 2014

Zehnder America Introduces New US Made HRV/ERV Air Distribution Components

Zehnder America starts local sourcing initiative using American manufacturing for its new ComfoFlex ducting and register boxes. As the demand for Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) and Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) Comfosystems has increased significantly in the US market over the past few years, Zehnder will continue to look to locally source additional components in the coming years.

Greenland, NH (PRWEB) September 16, 2014 -- Zehnder America is locally sourcing in the United States both its new ComfoFlex ducting and register boxes as part of its comprehensive approach to providing both the HRV or ERV and properly matched air distribution components. When a Heat Recovery Ventilation or Energy Recovery Ventilation system is designed with properly matched system components, it will be quiet and often provide a smoother installation.

Much evidence points to a range of common issues in purchasing just a Heat Recovery Ventilator or Energy Recovery Ventilator unit without specified air distribution components. When unspecified ducting and air distribution components are pieced together, it's not uncommon for the efficiency of a HRV or ERV to go down significantly due to improper sizing or poor installation. This is the reason Zehnder highly recommends having a complete system designed and then after the system is installed, have it commissioned to ensure the system is working properly.

Importance of a ventilation strategy in a high-performance building: Today’s buildings have become increasingly tighter and more insulated due to building codes and energy efficiency awareness. Without proper ventilation, tight, energy-efficient construction risks mold, mildew and indoor air quality issues.

Zehnder’s breakthrough Heat Recovery Ventilator and Energy Recovery Ventilator solutions ensure increasingly energy-efficient homes have a continuous supply of fresh filtered air, a comfortable indoor environment and a reduction of heating and cooling loads in applicable climates. As a result, a comfortable and healthy indoor environment is achieved for the energy-efficient home year-round.


September 10, 2014

AIA, CSI and NIBS Publish Updated United States National CAD Standard®

NCS V6 Includes New BIM Module, Symbols, Site/Civil Language

Following a fifteen-month development process, the nation’s leading computer-aided design (CAD) standard has received an update. The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) today announced the release of the newest edition of the United States National CAD Standard® (NCS). As with Version 5, NCS Version 6 (V6) is delivered online at the NCS website.

The NCS helps architects, constructors and operators coordinate efforts by classifying electronic design data consistently and making information retrieval easier. It improves communication among owners and project teams; cuts or eliminates costs of developing and maintaining company-specific standards; and reduces the expense of transferring building data from design applications to facility management applications. More than 6,000 architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) firms have voluntarily adopted the NCS in their workplaces.

During each NCS revision cycle, participants propose, debate and ultimately vote upon additions and changes to the NCS to amend the current version of the standard. For this edition, NCS owners submitted an unprecedented 379 ballot items. The NCS Steering Committee, Project Committee and Task Teams, who are the ones responsible for vetting, reviewing and approving the submissions, play an integral role in the new edition’s development.

The new edition includes:

• New implementation guidelines on how to successfully implement the NCS for building information modeling (BIM) use. The “BIM Implementation” guidelines address relevant sections within the NCS that can be incorporated into the BIM workflow and current contracts referencing project delivery of construction information.

• An improved style format, which applies to the body of the standard to properly number chapter and subchapter headings.

• An enhanced and improved Symbols Library. All 1300+ NCS symbol CAD files were replaced and renamed using a unique 3-digit extension number and abbreviated name; converted to inches; and include new insertion points (with line type and pattern file type definitions where appropriate). Each individual symbol links to a corresponding. DWG, .LIN or .PAT drawing file. The library includes 72 new and 40 revised symbols, as well as two new Symbols Chapters.

• New “Survey/Mapping” Discipline Designators.

• New Major and Minor Groups definitions added for “Airports and Plumbing.”

• A revised “Module 1 – File Naming” section to better address Model Files and Sheet Files.

• A Revised “Module 4 – Drafting Conventions, 4.2 Drawing Standards” list of common scales to add “Site/Civil” scale descriptions.

• A Revised “Module 4 – Drafting Conventions, 4.3 Sheet Types” section, which includes a new “Floor Numbering” format.

• New and revised “Communications” terms and abbreviations.

• A Revised “Module 7 – Notations, 7.4 User’s Guide” text format for notes.

• A Revised “Plotting Guidelines” introduction.

The NCS coordinates the efforts of the entire design and construction team by providing a way to organize and present electronic building design information consistently. It streamlines communication across disciplines during project development and throughout the life of a facility. Use of the NCS can help reduce costs and produce greater efficiency in the design and construction process.

The standard is based on components from its partnering organizations: NIBS’s Foreword, Administration, Plotting Guidelines and new BIM Implementation modules; AIA’s CAD Layer Guidelines module; and CSI’s Uniform Drawing System modules. By combining these resources, the NCS prescribes CAD layer names; drawing set organization and drafting; notation; and NCS-BIM coordination and plotting conventions. With this edition, the NCS also provides needed direction on how to incorporate the NCS content within the BIM workflow.

Many public and private sector organizations either require or use the NCS, including the U.S. General Services Administration; U. S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Navy; U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Treasury – Internal Revenue Service; U.S. Department of State; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; state, municipal and local agencies and authorities; and large U.S. and foreign multinational corporations.

NCS users who have purchased the previous version of the NCS within the past six months are eligible for a discount on NCS V6. This discount is available for six months from the release date, and expires March 9, 2015.


September 10, 2014

Miller Ingenuity inspires manufacturing innovation with SageGlass dynamic glass

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Minnesota-based manufacturer Miller Ingenuity is using electronically-tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, to create a unique think-tank environment where employees and customers can drive new product innovation and problem solving.

The company, which manufactures products for the rail industry, recently opened its “Creation Station” – a 1,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art collaborative space where everyone in the company and community can brainstorm new ways of doing business. The Google-like campus within the factory is the first of its kind in Minnesota, as well as for the U.S. manufacturing industry.

A key design objective of the Creation Station was to create a relaxing, inspirational environment in which people could better conceptualize solutions that meet the current and emerging needs of the industry. The company believes that great ideas can spring from anyone in the company and community; not just the engineering department.

Consequently, the company enlisted its employees to lead the planning and design of the Creation Station. Providing abundant daylight, expansive outdoor views of nature, and “bringing the outdoors in” were critical to designing the right kind of creative space. To that end, the company installed a large, floor-to-ceiling wall of SageGlass, which maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling glare and heat gain. The glass can darken or clear manually or automatically to save energy and help keep building occupants continuously comfortable.

For the project, Miller Ingenuity selected SageGlass LightZone™, the world’s first dynamic glass window system that enables variable tint zones within a single pane of glass. SageGlass LightZone allows the company to change the tint in three discrete sections in one pane of SageGlass, and each section can be set to any available tint level. This variability provides for even greater flexibility in managing solar heat gain and glare. With multiple zones in a single window, factors such as the changing angles of the sun throughout the day and seasons can be better managed to optimize daylight and preserve the outdoor view.


September 10, 2014

Nemetschek Vectorworks Announces 2014 Vectorworks Design Scholarship Winners

University of Pennsylvania Student Takes Top Honors as Richard Diehl Award Recipient

Columbia, Md. (September 9, 2014)—Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., a provider of intuitive, powerful and practical 2D/3D and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software solutions, announces the first recipients of the Vectorworks Design Scholarship. Fifteen students from eight countries will receive $3,000 USD to support their studies in any design major at the accredited college or university of their choice, and their schools will each get Vectorworks software licenses and training. In addition, University of Pennsylvania landscape architecture student Diego Bermudez was selected as having the top overall entry, so in addition to earning a Vectorworks Design Scholarship, Bermudez received the Richard Diehl Award and an additional $7,000 USD.

The Vectorworks Design Scholarship program salutes students across disciplines such as architecture, landscape design, lighting design and interior design who are determined to solve today’s most challenging design problems. In its first year, nearly one thousand students from 56 countries submitted entries, which were evaluated by a talented and global panel of architects, landscape architects, professors, lighting designers and media professionals. These are the students judges recognized as the 2014 Vectorworks Design Scholarship recipients:

• Markus Bobik, TU München, Germany, who uses the environment to create a protective shell around the soft core of an Alpine chalet

• Enoch (Wes) Calkin, University of Cincinnati, USA, for re-telling Broadway’s “Carrie” as a more intimate and intelligent tragedy

• Chen Yin Feng, Chongqing University, China, who transformed abandoned industrial infrastructure into an educational center and public space

• Judyta Cichocka, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland, for coming to grips with the latest ideology of architectural iconism

• Paul Dembeck, Beuth Hochschule Berlin, Germany, for a stage design that discreetly combines light and video to maintain focus on the artist

• Marcel Hauert, Berner Fachhochschule, Switzerland, for a macrocosmic vision for an urban public space

• Andrea Linney, University of Toronto, Canada, whose expansion of existing path systems transforms a large, cross-site, open-space

• Shao Xing Yu, Southeast University, China, who uses an open space to find a balance between tourists and residents

• Michael Signorile, Stevens Institute Of Technology, USA, who uses glass in winter garden hydroponics for his project

• Tina Simon, TU Dresden, Germany, for larger-than-life renderings of ornately designed gardens in an urban, Baroque neighborhood

• Daniel Sweeting, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, who critiques the tourist experience in London

• Alexander Davey Thomson, K.U. Leuven, Saint-Lucas Campus, Belgium for his architectural visions of an ecology-based urban future

• Lisa Vromman, KASK School of Arts Gent, Belgium, who explored a façade that communicates with the environment and encourages residents to comingle

• Wu Xin Jing, Shanghai Theatre Academy, China, who abandons traditional concert effects for dramatic lighting


September 04, 2014

Inside Marmomacc & Abitare il Tempo: Lithic Verticality

curated by Claudio Alessandri, Raffaello Galiotto, Vincenzo Pavan, Gianluca Gimini
Department of Architecture of Ferrara – CDL Industrial Product Design

This exhibition brings together a series of "architectural design" prototypes in stone selected from projects developed by students studying for a degree in Industrial Product Design at the University of Ferrara. The prototypes, the outcome of constant collaboration between the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara and many Italian stone industry companies, were developed during the 2013-­‐2014 academic year and will exhibited during the 49th Marmomacc Exhibition.

This year's course is dedicated to technical and formal study and design of stone elements that can be specifically assembled to become an integral part of the architectural design project with the aim of creating new forms for items such as structural and partition walls or as cladding for buildings and architectural spaces.

The "architectural objects" displayed during the exhibition saw students interpret the potential of different stone materials in the design and construction of modular products responding to the structural or decorative needs of architectural elements of various complexity-­‐which were then enhanced through processing, modelling and treatments matching formal concepts capable of providing added value to the architecture where they are installed.

Companies taking part in this educational project interacted with students in the design stage by guiding the choice of materials as well as in the prototyping stage through the exchange of information involving 3D design systems by connecting them to sophisticated stone modelling programs installed in modern stone processing machines.

Companies taking part:
Consorzio Marmisti Chiampo, Grassi Pietre, Lithos Design, Pibamarmi, Arredo di Pietra, Altair, software Evolve


September 04, 2014

Inside Marmomacc & Abitare il Tempo: STEREOTOMIC DESIGN

curated by Giuseppe Fallacara-DICAR Bari Polytechnic University

Talking about stereotomic design means embracing a theoretical/practical paradigmas a point of reference for architectural projects designed in accordance with the use of vaulted architectonic systems and/or elements having resistant forms comprising separate and dry-jointed units. This paradigm can be attributed to traditional building techniques, specifically in stone and wood, where the concept of bonding the parts making up a building is the distinctive feature of its character and architectural expressiveness. Stereotomy today is unfortunately absent from both building practice and education, appearing merely in as the object of partial and isolated research into the history of building. This event asks fundamental questions about the possibility of resuming this topic interrupted by research into construction using dimension stone following the broken links in stereotomic culture in order to regain its in-born creative thrust for contemporary architectural design. The topics discussed demonstrate the solute vitality of the stereotomic lesson projected, hopefully, into a new future.

The exhibition comprises three parts:

1. Lithic design_Visions (G. Fallacara, V. Minenna)
Company: PI.MAR s.r.l.
The set-up envisages the creation of a stone cube in Lecce Stone comprising very large blocks with a series of negatively sculptured human faces invite observers to look inside the stone in order to discover its specific application features. Inside the cube, through the holes drilled like eyes in the sculptures, observes will see a sequence of 3D Anaglyph images and videos. These images represent complex vaulted spaces made with stereotomic equipment using parametric modellers and CNC machine tools. These images will scroll to a sound track coming from inside the cube.

2. Structural Stone design (G. Fallacara, Marco Stigliano)
Company: Atelier de la Pierre d’Angle Picardie
The set-up envisages the creation of graphic plates and scale models (rapid rototype development) for experimental structures in dimension stone developed during a number of university "stages". Prototypes are tools for study and morphological-structural analysis designed to obtain more in-depth knowledge of stone material in relation to new construction languages. These prototypes are the result of a collaborative research project between the DICAR Department of Bari Polytechnic University and L’Atelier de la Pierre d’Angle Brignoles e Picardie.

3. Robostereotomic design (G. Fallacara, Brandon Clifford, Jelle Feringa)
Company: MGI Sicilmarmi, T&D Robotics
This set-up envisages the creation of a structure in Carrara white marble taking the shape of an overhead sail in accordance with hyperbolic paraboloid geometry. Parabolithic is a demo installation focusing on the formal potential of natural stone and machine tools which will be located in the Cultural Hall at Marmomacc 2014. Footprint: 4 x 6 m, h max 2.80 m. The sculpture is the result of a collaboration and research project between the DICAR Department at Bari Polytechnic University and two leaders in the stone industry: MGI Sicilmarmi and T&D Robotics.


September 02, 2014

Inside Marmomacc & Abitare il Tempo

curated by Massimiliano Caviasca

Stone Academy is the association bringing together universities, professions and institutions involved in training, research and academic-professional promotion activities in architecture based on the use of stone. During the 2014 edition of the Venice Architecture Biennial directed by Rem Koolhaas, the Stone Academy was recognized as an accredited structure for the "Biennial Session”.

The theme chosen by the curator of the Venice Biennial - "Fundamentals" – indicates the need to investigate a present-day architecture project by starting from its origins: theme converging distinctly with the topics proposed by the Stone Academy in order to promote project research through the use of the stone as a "founding" material in architecture.

There is an impressive calendar of appointments with dedicated workshops, visits and seminars in Venice Biennial venues, which opened its collaboration with the Stone Academy with the seminar titled "Internal & External - Stone design for living" on 19 and 20 June.

Currently, more than 20 Institutes and Universities are members and as of year the programme includes new activities in collaboration with the School of Architecture in Ljubljana.

Marmomacc in recent years has played an active and vital role in the promotion and dissemination of what universities are achieving in terms of teaching, research and experiments involving stone architecture, with a constantly expanding presence on the national and international scene.

During Marmomacc 2014, university representatives will attend the annual general meeting with the aim of defining the guidelines for 2015 in this field of teaching in architecture today enjoying broader interest and topicality.
Marmomacc will also host the following research and educational exhibitions:

• Stone Academy Workshop 2014 - Puglia, Stone Territories (Hall 1)
• Products developed during courses at universities taking part in the Stone Academy programme (between Halls 11-12)

Thanks to the efforts of Marmomacc, the International Master in "Architecture and Construction-Contemporary Design with Stone" at Milan Polytechnic University this year celebrates its seventh edition, consolidating its operational headquarters in the Verona area c/o the Arena Convention Centre, Veronafiere.

Thanks equally to the efforts of the Stone Academy, lastly, the workshops (organised during Marmomacc) and the Master courses in Contemporary Design with Natural Stone dedicated to the recovery of quarries, urban building and interior design, are accredited as professional courses with CFP approval by CNAPP.


August 28, 2014

Sno Gem Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation

As Sno Gem Inc. celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2014, it is an opportunity to reflect on its journey from start-up to the forefront of the snow retention industry. Like many businesses, Sno Gem was born out of necessity. The Smeja family had founded Metalmaster Sheet Metal Inc. in 1977, which was growing into one of the largest commercial sheet metal and roofing businesses in the industry. They came to realize there were few snow guard manufacturers to meet the increasing demand for snow retention products, and for integration into the roofs they were consistently installing. "The roofing business was growing and they were doing a large portion of the work in the Chicagoland area," says James T. Carpenter, Vice President of Operations at Sno Gem.


August 25, 2014

Leading Building Industry Groups Agree to Streamline Green Building Tool Coordination and Development

Move will coordinate Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code and LEED to offer comprehensive system of regulatory and voluntary leadership tools for jurisdictions.

Washington, D.C. — (Aug. 21, 2014) — The International Code Council (ICC), ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announce the signing of a memorandum to collaborate on the development of Standard 189.1, the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and the LEED green building program.

The unprecedented cooperation aims to create a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes and/or provide incentives for voluntary leadership programs such as LEED.

The agreement outlines the development, maintenance and implementation of new versions of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings and the IgCC, which will be combined into one regulatory tool. This agreement also endeavors to align the LEED program with the new code to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options for jurisdictions across the country.


August 25, 2014

PMPC: Weather Coated, Permanently Bonded, Semi-Flexible Vaporproofing/Waterproofing Membrane

Hampshire, IL – W. R. MEADOWS PREMOULDED MEMBRANE® VAPOR SEAL with PLASMATIC CORE® (PMPC) is a patented (#US 7,179,761) seven-ply, weather-coated, permanently bonded, semi-flexible vaporproofing/waterproofing membrane composed of an exclusive plasmatic core suspended mid-point between two layers of a homogeneous, bituminous material and then sealed under heat and pressure between liners of asphalt-impregnated felt and a glass-mat liner. An asphalt weather coat is applied to the glass-mat liner and covered with a polyethylene anti-stick sheet.

PMPC provides a positive, easy-to-install, economical, true vaporproofing and waterproofing system for horizontal applications. Properly applied, it stops moisture migration in footings, concrete floors, and structural slabs.

“PMPC is a patented 7-ply membrane designed for horizontal waterproofing and vaporproofing applications and is part of the complete W .R. Meadows building envelope product line. It exceeds industry standards for puncture resistance, tensile strength, and offers the lowest perm rating in the industry, less than 0.002 perms,” says Russ Snow, Building Science Specialist at W. R. MEADOWS.

“The durability and performance characteristics of PMPC, along with its ease of application, offers the industry a superior vapor barrier where prevention of moisture migration is critical.”


August 20, 2014

3 Tips For Cutting Water Use and Ensuring a Safe Water Supply

Water shortages are becoming a reality throughout the world, and that includes the United States. As reported in the National Journal, the demand for fresh water in the United States will exceed the supply by 2030, according to a 2012 State Department report. The Environmental Protection Agency already has noted that at least 36 states are faced with local or regional water shortages.

Here are some of the best ways to reduce water use and ensure a supply of clean water for your home.

Safe drinking water

You may say there are over 60,000 reasons to consider a water filtration system for your home. That’s the number of chemicals used in the United States today.

And what is more alarming is the fact that the 35-year-old Safe Drinking Water Act is far from current with its testing of these chemicals: only 91 are on its list of contaminants. Are we to assume that the other 59,909 are safe in the event they enter our drinking water? Hardly.

But the concern over contaminants is not solely at the water source. There are actually three sources of water contaminants: the water source, treatment facility and delivery system. Each has the potential to introduce your family to a host of unhealthy pollutants and impurities.

Whether you have a well of your own or are connected to a municipal water treatment facility there is concern. Municipal water treatment plants treat the water by injecting chlorine gas to disinfect the water. The idea is to shock the water so it will be safe upon reaching your faucet. But contaminants found in homes as a result of impurities introduced to the water through the delivery system now require added measures.

A home water testing kits can help you determine the condition of your water. There are over-the-counter retail options but for the best results use a comprehensive kit from a water filter company such as Aquasana. From the test results you will be able to select from a wide range of water filtration options, including whole water filtration systems that can include water softening, to simple point-of-use options.

It is important for homeowners to understand that water filters are not all the same, and that no one filter removes all of the home’s drinking water contaminants. Some filters are made to remove chlorine, while others may be designed to remove heavy metals. It's important to have your water tested to know what you want a filter to do for your family.

Comfort and convenience of hot water now!

One of the most common residential plumbing system problems is the wait for hot water. Each year the average home wastes thousand of gallons of water down the drain, waiting for hot water to reach the kitchen or bathroom faucets. Running water also wastes lots of energy used to heat and transport that water. It's a bad deal all around.

But there's a way to stop all that waste. And make the morning shower routine a pleasure.

By installing an ACT, Inc. D'MAND Kontrol® hot water distribution system in your home, you can greatly reduce the wait time for hot water and the water wasted down the drain.

Depending on your home plumbing layout, the ACT, Inc. D'MAND Kontrol® hot water distribution system will either be installed under the furthest fixture or at the end of the dedicated return line.

Water saving tips for your toilet

Older toilets could use up to 5 gallons a flush, and a more modern fixture might use 3.5 gpf. Since 1994, the federal government has mandated that manufacturers sell only toilets that meet a 1.6 gpf standard. But even those newer toilets waste water because they call on the same amount of water to flush away liquid and solid waste.

Fluidmaster’s Duo Flush ™ converter kit takes into account that about 80 percent of the flushes only need to dispose of liquid waste. So instead of flushing 1.6 gpf every flush, only 1.1 gallons or less are used for the majority of flushes. In this way, the potential water conservation is greater than even buying a whole new commode.


August 20, 2014

How to find green and energy efficient home appliances

Want Cheaper Energy Bills and a Greener Home? Here’s How to Buy Your Next Household Appliances

If you recycle, if you watch your water consumption, if you carry your own bag to the grocery store and you minimize your purchases of plastics, you’re putting in a lot of time and energy to watch your impact on the environment.

That’s why it should bother you when your appliances don’t live up to the standards you set.

The problem is, many people are ignorant to just how much energy their refrigerator uses, or what kind of environmental impact their water habits might have.

What are Green Appliances, and How Can You Find Them?

You’d be amazed at how many people ask some variation of that question, as if the answer is complex and mysterious. The truth is, it’s actually very simple to figure out which appliances are green and which ones are merely costing you green.

Before you buy your next appliances, keep the following in mind:

•The EnergyStar® Label. The Natural Resource Defense Council recommends seeking this label out because the appliances that bear this label don’t just meet the minimum requirements of energy efficiency by the government, they exceed them. EnergyStar® also hands out awards for high standards and performance for specific brands.

•Find the EnergyGuide Label. You know how bread comes with nutrition information on the label? Appliances actually have something similar. This label is perfect for comparing similar appliances head-to-head to see how they really stack up. Once you get used to reading these, picking the greener appliance is easy.

•Think “size-appropriate.” Does a college dorm room need an industrial-sized air conditioner? Does a two-person household require a refrigerator that resembles something a butcher would use? A little common sense goes a long way when it comes to energy usage.

Why are Green Appliances Important?

We’re aware of the fact that a phrase like “green appliances” makes it sound like you’re seeking out low-power thingamajigs that were built out of coconuts by the Professor from “Gilligan’s Island.” But it’s not like that.

In fact, if you do it right, your kitchen and household will be stealthily green—it will look like anyone else’s household, but with less energy costs and less impact on the environment. This is accomplished in two ways:

•Finding low-energy usage items. Or, more accurately, you’re merely seeking out lower-energy items. It’s not that these appliances are low energy; it’s that they don’t require extra energy. According to the NRDC, a refrigerator built today will use 75% less energy than one from decades ago—but the food inside is still kept chilled. More efficiency means less energy used. Less energy used means less money spent, and less of a consumption strain on the environment. Simple as that.

•Establishing conscientious consumption habits. You’re not just a customer; you’re a consumer. You’re going to use that dishwasher and that washing machine, so you’d better learn how to use it. If you scrape your plates before dishwashing, for example, and leave off the “rinse” cycle, you can save some 20 gallons per wash. That has nothing to do with the quality of the appliance and everything to do with your habits as a consumer.


August 19, 2014

Benjamin Moore & Co. to Expand Its Footprint on the West Coast and Globally with New Distribution Center in Oakland, California

The Newly Constructed State-Of-The-Art Facility Will Be Company’s First-Ever Silver LEED Certified Logistics Center

MONTVALE, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Benjamin Moore & Co., North America's favorite paint, color and coatings brand, announced its plans to open a new distribution center in Oakland, California to meet the needs of its growing business. Scheduled to open by early 2015, the Oakland facility will support the distribution of all Benjamin Moore & Co. products and eventually serve as the key distribution center for the company’s growing network of Asia Pacific retailers and distributors.

The newly constructed Goodman Logistics Center in Oakland provides 374,725 square feet of Class A industrial warehouse space and is the largest freestanding industrial facility built in the Greater Oakland area in the past two decades. The new facility is to be leased to Benjamin Moore & Co. by Goodman Birtcher North America on behalf of the owner, Goodman North American Partnership, and is the first-ever Silver LEED certified site for Benjamin Moore & Co.

Benjamin Moore & Co. also has plans to expand operations in the Southeast later this year and Mid-Atlantic regions in 2015.


August 14, 2014

GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution Wins Silver Stevie® Award in 2014 International Business Awards

Winners to Be Celebrated at Gala Banquet on October 10 in Paris, France

BUDAPEST, August 14, 2014 – GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud was named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the Best New Product or Service of the Year - Software - Cloud Application/Service category in the 11th Annual International Business Awards.

The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small - are eligible to submit nominations. The 2014 IBAs received entries from more than 60 nations and territories.

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at a gala awards banquet at the Westin Paris – Vendôme Hotel in Paris, France on 10 October.

More than 3,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Website of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. BIMcloud won in the Best New Product or Service of the Year – Software category for Cloud Application/Service.

GRAPHISOFT’s BIMcloud Solution goes far beyond basic cloud services offerings available on the market today. Thanks to its unique set of features, it is the only cloud solution that offers a true model-based BIM collaboration environment for companies and projects of any size. With the help of its mobile integration through the cloud, all stakeholders of the design-build process can actively participate in the collaborative work. Its private cloud setup option enables companies working on projects with extended security requirements to keep their data on premise and entirely under control, offering the benefits and flexibility of the cloud to all AEC projects without exception.

“We are pleased and proud to be recognized by the International Business Awards for our efforts on behalf of architects, engineers, and contractors around the world,” said Viktor Varkonyi, CEO of GRAPHISOFT.

Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from May through early August.


August 08, 2014

Recycling turns water bottles into mosaic floor tiles

A Brazilian startup launched recycled PET tiles for environment friendly construction. The Rivesti Ecological Tiles help cut building costs by generating savings in labor and material.

In 2010, the people at Plaslatina set themselves the challenge of producing a completely sustainable, ecologically correct product made entirely from recycled material. After years of research and development, together with a 2.5 million dollar investment, they created Rivesti ( and have brought the environmentally friendly mosaic tiles to the market.

Produced from a mixture of recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate or PET (85%) and recycled mineral additives (15%), Rivesti tiles are 100% recycled and recyclable. The manufacturing process is also sustainable: it consumes less energy, emits no pollutants and generates no waste. Each square meter of Rivesti mosaic tiles prevents the release of 3kg of CO2 into the atmosphere and removes 66 PET bottles from the environment.

Their business plan projection is that in five years the company will be recycling 6.6 million post-consumer PET bottles per month, which would mean 300 tons of PET being removed from the environment every month. Such figures could make Rivesti attractive as a strategic option for packaging companies seeking environmentally sound solutions to the waste they create.

The tiles also have protective properties. They provide a perfect seal (0% water absorption) for surfaces where they are fitted, and are made with additives that combat the action of UV rays and chemical agents.

Because Rivesti mosaic tiles are up to 66% lighter than conventional ones, CO2 emissions during transport are also reduced. According to Rafael Sorano, who created the eco tiles, "sustainability is the mission of our company”.

Practicality is another concept that applies to Rivesti. The mosaic tile sheets are easy to install and are made in such a way that ensures perfect alignment. Visual uniformity is achieved using the tiles’ unique built-in lateral locators, exclusively developed by the company. “The locators in every tile sheet prevent misalignment, which happens so often when using conventional mosaic tiles”, says Mr. Sorano. This is why working with Rivesti mosaic tiles is up to 6 times faster than with traditional ones, which means savings in labor. The tile sheet has also been designed so that the amount of mortar and grout used to fit them can be reduced by up to 60%.

In fact, Rivesti’s efficient design ensures the individual tile pieces will not detach from the surfaces where they are installed. This is a welcome solution to the usual problem with mosaic tiles, which tend to come loose after a while, leaving gaps.

Another advantage is that Rivesti tiles can be applied to masonry or drywall in both indoor and outdoor areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms, facades or even swimming pools.

The Rivesti tiles are available in 33 vibrant colors. It is also possible to reproduce any Pantone color upon request.


August 07, 2014

Marmomacc 2014: Natural Stone Exhibition Already Sold Out

Verona, 6 August 2014–More than 1,400 confirmed exhibitors from 56 countries-­-with new entries from Malta, Mexico, Thailand, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. The entire exhibition centre is consequently already fully booked, with 75,000 square metres net of business spaces and areas reserved for special shows with than two months to the 49th edition, Marmomacc 2014 is already warming up its engines.

The most important international event in the natural stone industry, scheduled at Verona fiere next 24-­-27September,is poised to become for four days the world meeting point for all operators in the natural stone sector(

This industry in Italy alone boasts 3,340 companies, 33,700 employees and turnover of 3.9 billion euros in 2013 (source: Confindustria Marmomacchine) and is represented at Marmomacc in the most complete way: from unhewn blocks to processed materials, machinery and equipments for marble and granite through to training courses and teaching tools for architects.

This year, more over, ties with the world of design are even closer. Infact, the show is scheduled for the first time together with Abitare Il Tempo (, the exhibition devoted to the contract, interior decoration and furnishing/furniture sector that complements and extends Marmomacc's own offering.

As for every edition, there is a very strong focus on international demand as a crucial aspect for promoting processed marble and Made in Italy technology-­-that in 2013 exported 71.5% of production with a positive balance of trade of 2.4 billion euros. The top ten markets of interest high lighted by Italian exhibitors at Marmomacc confirm the United States in first place, followed by Russia, China, Italy, Brazil, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India and Turkey. This is why Verona fiere, through its network of foreign delegates and in collaboration with Confindustria Marmomacchine and ICE-­-Italian Agency for International Promotion and Internationalisation of Italian Companies, has worked to attract qualified and selected stone industry and contract buyers to Marmomacc with the aim of involving them in training programs, B2B appointments with exhibitors and meetings with international groups.


August 06, 2014

Schindler Elevator Brings State-of-the-Art Mobility to 4 World Trade Center

MORRISTOWN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schindler Elevator Corporation has provided state-of-the-art elevator technology at 4 World Trade Center including 37 custom high-performance Schindler 7000 elevators (34 passenger cars with Schindler’s industry-leading PORT Technology destination-dispatch system, and three high-rise service cars). Schindler also provided two custom hydraulic elevators, two geared service elevators, and six Schindler 9300 escalators to transport passengers to two separate retail areas serving the building.

The 977 foot tower developed by Silverstein Properties, Inc. boasts 2.4 million square feet of leasable office and retail space throughout 72 floors and has become a symbol of urban renewal in Downtown Manhattan since opening in November 2013. The LEED® Gold certified building is also one of New York’s most sustainable and commuter friendly with access to the new WTC Transportation Hub connecting to the new PATH terminal, 11 NYC Transit subway lines and the new Fulton Street Transit Center, the World Financial Center and ferry terminal.

Tenants and visitors to 4 World Trade Center will also find a first-class mobility experience within the building. Schindler partnered with Silverstein Properties and architect Maki and Associates to provide custom glass PORT Technology terminals that seamlessly integrate with the minimalist design of the building and facilitate movement of tenants and guests throughout the building. In addition, Schindler 7000 high-rise elevators are some of the fastest in the world reaching top speeds of up to 1,800 feet per minute with ease and comfort.


August 06, 2014

The Richard MacDonald Gallery – The Art of Human Movement in Performance

Once in a while a customer shares a story with us of how they used our products that really stops us in our tracks. No pun intended.

Such an application was brought to our attention recently by the fine folks at The Art of Richard MacDonald Gallery. Many of you have perhaps seen this gallery, as it is rather unique both in traffic and in location. The gallery, which is “presented by Cirque du Soleil®”, is located within the theatre entrance to the “O” Theatre at the world famous Bellagio®, Las Vegas.

“O” is the headline act at Bellagio and is one of the hottest tickets in Vegas, and has been for many years. The theatre seats thousands and, since the show presents 10 times per week, well this alone makes the gallery very well visited. However, it is also open for general viewing during daytime hours and may be found toward the rear of the Bellagio gaming floor.

The gallery space is absolutely stunning, as it must be, to dutifully present the work of such a master, surely one of the most talented sculptors of our era. For that reason, we at AS Hanging Display Systems are most proud to find we play a small part in that presentation.

The gallery designer found a strong motivation to deploy a gallery hanging system within this space. Of course, because this is a gallery where art and displays are constantly changing, a hanging system is justified. There is no need to pound nails into the wall to relocate art and change a display. However, these are not average walls surfaces. The gallery wall surfaces are finished with perfectly polished Venetian plaster. How appropriate! Since walls finished in this manner can never be “repaired” if damaged, gallery management made the decision to protect them by installing a fully functional art hanging system.

While we are not so presumptuous as to compare our hanging display system to the art of Richard MacDonald, we can make one comparison. While Mr. MacDonald’s pieces have the power to command attention, our systems have the exact opposite ability. A well-designed art hanging system recedes into the background, commanding little attention, if any. We think, this too, is an art of a different sort. You could think of it as the art of hanging art.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to personally visit this gallery, as well as see “O”. While I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and had my breath taken away numerous times during the performance, I must honestly admit that the gallery exhibit is what completely captured my attention and moved me in ways I’d never experienced through art. The flow, movement, grace, and stunning expression captured in these pieces have stirred an appreciation for art, and the brilliant talent, I’d never before known.

As the gallery recently celebrated the first twenty-five years of the art of Richard MacDonald, we thank Mr. MacDonald for his inspiration, join in the celebration of his success, and urge his future exploration into those captured moments of emotion within the human form.


July 31, 2014

Durarail Railing Systems for Your One-Stop Decking Shop

Durarail Rounds Out its Selection of Railing Solutions by Adding a Cable Railing System for Your One-Stop Decking Shop

Surrey, BC- July 30, 2014 - Durarail gives you a one-stop decking shop. When combined with Duradek's proven waterproofing solutions, your decking project has just one contractor and just one invoice...but no limit to your options.

Durarail's selection now includes the unique, contemporary Cable Railing System that combines minimum view obstruction with maximum style.

Stainless Steel fasteners cleverly hidden within the posts and 3 different sizes of stainless steel cables are as durable as the powder-coated aluminum posts and top rails. A great low-maintenance railing solution.

The advantage of Durarail™ is its simplicity. Everything snaps on or fits together with minimum on-site work and few exposed fasteners.

Visit the new Excell Railing Systems website at


July 31, 2014

New and Improved Expansion Joint Design

Redesigned with a purpose. The new and improved 1 and 2 inch NBR and NBF model interior seismic expansion joint cover systems have been redesigned with a convenient, time-saving bevel edge. The new design allows the construction crew to easily install the expansion joint cover without digging out left over concrete in the block out channel.

The floor-floor and floor-wall interior seismic expansion joint cover systems continues to offer an aesthetically pleasing “no bump” system, are compliant with ADA guidelines and stays operational during seismic movement.

For more information or to download guide specifications, BIM and other valuable content please visit


July 30, 2014

Window Films Deliver an Extra Layer of Efficiency

To manage solar heat gain through windows, window film offers an ideal solution for architects, building project managers, and business and homeowners who seek to make buildings and homes visually appealing, environmentally friendly and cost efficient.

Eastman Chemical Company’s IQue Window Films, manufactured by the Solutia Inc. subsidiary is capable of rejecting up to 60 percent of the solar energy while allowing natural daylight to be transmitted through glass windows.

Benefit of IQue window film include:

• Retain the transparency of natural glass while offering superior energy saving capabilities.

•The crystal-clear film also blocks up to 96 percent of infrared light without compromising visibility while still allowing as much as 58% of daylight to pass through, thus resulting in a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.44.

• Achieves the lowest ever visible light reflectivity of 7 percent, retaining the transparency of natural glass.

Additional background on the technology:

An award-winning technology, voted one of the Top 100 Inventions of the Millennium by Popular Science Magazine, IQue Generation II film has the ability to reject up to 60 percent of solar energy.

The materials used in the sputtering process include a range of precious metals like Indium (In), Titanium (Ti), Silver (Ag), etc. These precious metals are deposited onto a transparent thin film, resulting in a high performance solar control film that achieves a solar heat gain coefficient (SGHC) of 0.44 while allowing as much as 58 percent of daylight through the glass windows.


July 28, 2014

Timber Frame Systems Built Home Slated for UK Zero Carbon Eco Town

Timber frame houses built from insulated panels constructed off site and craned into place will form the backbone of the UK's first zero carbon eco town, North West Bicester.

Lead developer A2Dominion, and main housing contractor Willmott Dixon selected the Sigma II system from Stewart Milne Timber Systems for the pioneering development.

The company will provide highly-sustainable timber frame houses as part of the UK's only eco town still to adhere to the previous Labour government's original Eco Town Policy Planning Statement designed to achieve high standards of environmental sustainability.

The initial phase of the scheme will provide 393 homes, which meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. Each home will have a true zero carbon rating, with heat and hot water being generated on-site by a highly efficient, gas-fired combined heat and power plant.

The development will also feature the UKs largest domestic solar panel array, with 17,500m2 mounted across the rooftops of all homes to generate electricity. This includes freestanding photovoltaic (PV) panels, overlaid PV panels and inset PV tiles.

The homes at NW Bicester are designed to be 'future proofed' against climate change and rising temperatures. Some homes also have future-adaptable roofs, which can be transformed with ease into increased working or living space to improve the life cycle of the buildings and reduce travel requirements.

Aiding the energy efficiency is the type of wall being used to construct the homes, the 195 C-Stud. The system delivers a U-value of 0.15W/m2K through the external walls, and 0.13W/m2K through the roof. The external walls will also have a PSi value of 0.04W/m2K, which is achieved through the unique C-Stud, ensuring minimal member cross section between the external and internal sections of the panel. The project's airtightness will be 3m3/hm2 @ 50pa, which will be tested after the erection of the timber frame and before the handover of each plot. Airtightness in the external walls is achieved within the panel itself, rather than at a site fit level, allowing a higher quality of finish.

The party walls and roof will be site insulated and made airtight with membranes. This, along with pre-assembled roof modules and insulated floor cassette edges, means a pair of semi-detached homes can be weathertight, airtight, secure and fully insulated within 72 hours, providing a safe and efficient means to complete the homes on site.


July 24, 2014

Marmomacc 2014: Winnners of The Degree Thesis Award

July 2014--The winners have been announced of the third edition of the"Landscape, Architecture and Stone Design" Degree Thesis Award conceived and organized by Verona fiere in collaboration with the Order of Architects of the Province of Verona.

Coordinated by architects Vincenzo Pavan and Laura DeStefano and promoted within the cultural program of the 49th Marmomacc (24-­-27 September 2014), the Award aims to encourage interest and awareness among future professionals-­-architects, engineers and designers-­- of stone materials by stimulating knowledge, research and applications in culturally and technically advanced architecture, landscape and design projects.

The competition attracted entries from 63 groups of recent graduates attending Faculties o fArchitecture, Engineering, Design or equivalent Professional training Institutes offering three or five year degree courses, was divided into two sections covering the main areas involving stone.

a) Landscape and architecture. This includes the subject area of research, design and construction of public and private buildings, urban spaces, reconstruction of the landscape and the architectural environmental recovery of quarries, recovery and restoration of historic legacies.

b) Design. This includes objects in everyday use, interior and exterior furnishings, product innovations achieved by processing stone materials.

The winners were selected by jury of prominent professionals and institutional figures:

Luisa Bocchietto-­-Biella, Icsid Board/International Council of Societies of Industrial Design

Klaus Theo Brenner-­-Berlin ,Potsdam School of Architecture (FHP)

Victor López Cotelo-­-TU Munich Vincenzo Pavan-­-Representative of Marmomacc, Verona Nicola Brunelli-­-Vice President Verona Order of Architects

Landscape and Architecture category:
1st PRIZE -­-Brunella Popolizio, Rome TreUniversity, Faculty of Architecture, academic year 2012-­-2013 Title of Thesis: MATERA: THE CAVE PARK Recovery of the ancient route of the Appian Way and promotion of the agricultural vocation of the area. Design for an olive press and market in the area of a former stone quarry.

Motivation of the Jury: The quality of this project immediately stands out thanks to its attentive insertion into the landscape, the integration of functional and architectural aspects and the structural order organizing construction, light and dimensions with such great success; and, lastly, for the materials where stone is in the forefront, by linking the vertical cut in the quarry with the horizontal plane of the constructions. The proposal for developing a business linked with local traditions for the benefit of the area is praise worthy.

2nd PRIZE -­-Simone Barbi, University of Florence, Faculty of Architecture, academic year 2012-­-2013 Title of Thesis: STONE SILENCES Proposed project for the Monastery of Sant'Antimo

Motivation of the Jury: This design project stands out thanks to its respectful harmony with the context strongly characterized by the Abbey of Sant'Antimo. The simple shapes, the particular use of natural light and the identification of evocative views help emphasize the contemplative monastic settings. Stone, often in alternation with concrete and wood, helps high light the close relationship between design and history.


July 23, 2014

Fairview Ridges Hospital maximizes natural light and energy efficiency with SageGlass dynamic glass

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, Minn., is using electronically tintable SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, to optimize natural light and create a stunning visual impact as part of a major expansion project.

Architects at BWBR designed a two-story atrium with SageGlass to serve as a new sunlit lobby and gathering space at the hospital. But the all-glass enclosure with south, west and east-facing walls presented a serious sun control and energy usage problem in terms of glare and solar heat gain.

BWBR ran numerous heat gain and cost analysis calculations using various glazing, sun shades, blinds, louvers and other controls. They found that they would not only be expensive, but would negate the benefits of glass, such as passive solar heating, natural lighting and preserving the outdoor views. “To have this beautiful all-glass enclosure and have the shades pulled down half the year would negate the aesthetics, warmth and comfort of this marquee facility,” Rehkamp said.

Cleanliness and maintenance was another reason for choosing SageGlass, said Brian Knapp, vice president of operations at Fairview Ridges Hospital. “We need to maintain a clean environment in the hospital. It quickly became apparent that cleaning expansive 30-foot-high walls of mechanical shades would simply be impractical, not to mention expensive to maintain,” he said. “After running the cost analyses, we determined that electrochromic glass would be a cost-effective solution.”

SageGlass is advanced dynamic glass that maximizes daylight and outdoor views in buildings while controlling glare and heat gain. It will create a more comfortable indoor environment for hospital staff and visitors, particularly those working at the reception desk who would otherwise be subject to the sun’s glare.

SageGlass changes tint automatically throughout the day based on light sensors and the sun’s movement. The three-sided SageGlass curtain wall is divided into six zones – four on the south wall and one on each of the east and west walls. The system also includes a manual tinting control to provide flexibility to the owner.


July 21, 2014

Craig P. Williams Selected Winner of Marmomacc Continuing Education Contest

Veronafiere, host and organizer of Marmomacc, has selected Craig P. Williams, a Principal of David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. of Washington, DC, as the winner of the continuing education contest hosted by AEC Daily. He will receive a free trip to Verona, Italy to attend "Designing with Natural Stone", Marmomacc's week-long continuing education program for architects.

Mr. Williams has been practicing architecture for thirty-five years. He joined the firm directly from the University of Maryland, School of Architecture, and has spent his entire career there with his partners, associates, and collaborators. As the firm’s work grew in size and complexity, so did Mr. Williams’s projects. In the beginning, there were many townhouse renovations and adaptive reuse of historic structures, followed by both commercial and residential developer work. Ultimately, he has served as project manager on many of the firm’s most complex projects, including sports venues, large master plans, mixed use projects and performing arts venues, including the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, one of the Building Stone Institute’s 2014 Trucker Design Award winners for the use of natural stone.

“For most of my career I have been fortunate to have clients that desired well-crafted and timeless design, and who understood the benefits of materials that would stand the test of time, such as natural stone.” In his designs for and specifications of natural stone, he has been fortunate to visit showrooms, warehouses, fabrication plants, and quarries through the US, as well as others in Europe, but attending Marmomacc and the Stone Academy, will take it to a much higher level. “This unprecedented opportunity to see so much stone material and visit so many facilities is a real treat. I am most appreciative of Marmomacc/Veronafiere and AEC Daily for this outstanding opportunity to further my in-depth knowledge and understanding of stone and its uses. I will treasure this for the remainder of my career.”

“Designing with Natural Stone” offers a unique combination of classroom lectures, guided architectural tours, and field trips to local quarries, as well as to natural stone processing facilities. This comprehensive approach enables architects to better understand stone’s full life-cycle -- including how marble is quarried, cut, processed, finished, selected for specific jobs and installed, all using the latest technologies and products.

Veronafiere is a trade fair host and organizer based in Verona, Italy.


July 17, 2014


The Design and Technology exhibition organized by Veronafiere aims to highlight the technological excellence, processing capacity of the Italian natural stone industry.

As the heir to ancient marble working tradition, Italy still ranks as a major home to extraordinary potential capable of merging design, technology and processing skills.
New computer-controlled engineering systems and digital design today define a new frontier for this ancient material, thereby opening up new ways for designing and working natural stone. Knowledge and awareness of the material and production processes, informed use and efforts to reduce waste and energy consumption are some of the essential aspects of future stone design projects seen in terms of creative process promoting stone through a modern image.

The event will tackle several specific technical and processing aspects (5-axis bridge saws with tool, diamond disc, lathe, robot, water jet, etc.) through a preview display of 8 macro and 6 micro experimental works specifically developed by designer and curator Raffaello Galiotto for leading Italian companies in the sector.

These works will be developed thanks to cooperation between companies involving various specializations: machinery builders, marble processing and raw material supply; this will consequently embrace the entire production chain in the stone industry.

Processed items typifying the endless creative variations that stone can offer and the sophisticated capabilities of today's machines will be displayed over a route highlighting the execution process and the complexity of each work in Hall 1.


July 16, 2014

How to Create an Organized Bulletin Board

Fitness clubs, libraries, civic centers, and church centers all have one thing in common: the need to address multiple special interest groups. Typically this is accomplished via a notifications center or message board. The most standard approach for posting notifications in these areas is on a bulletin board.

Bulletin Board Snafus

You know what these message boards end up looking like, right? Too many sheets of paper, placed in random arrangement, not much rhyme or reason to the approach – just get the message up there. It doesn’t result in a professional presentation, nor are messages capable of drawing the attention they deserve. And let’s face it, a missed message (and missed turnout) is a bummer!

Why do you think that a photo of a bulletin board, say in an office products catalog, is never shown as if it were in use? The photos always represent a new, pristine – aka uncluttered – bulletin board, right? You get the visual, I’m sure.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Now anyone can present messages in a clean, orderly manner – and make sure that the target audience always know exactly where to find them.

Bulletin Board Displays Done Right!

AS Hanging Display Systems provides a structured bulletin board … the Boardless® Bulletin Board.

With rows and columns of pockets, messages can be controlled, clearly defined for each interest group, and readily updated or changed without affecting the other groups’ notifications.

Simply allocate a pocket, or row or column of pockets, to a group, and they will quickly learn where to find the information most important to them. The rows-and-columns design structures information in a tidy and professional manner. Yet it’s easy to use.

Simply insert flyers or photos, up to 8.5″ x 11″ in size, into clear acrylic pockets via top openings. Changes are fast and require no tools. And with no push-pins or staples, this bulletin board is kid-safe.

Your pocket display bulletin board will never look unkept and will actually draw the attention of your intended audience.

Each bulletin board kit includes two silver satin Wall Tracks, 8.5″ x 11″ portrait orientation pockets, 10′ stainless cables, all mounting hardware and a cable cutter. Choose from 13 standard kits with 3 – 24 pockets, or call for custom configurations. Options include number of tracks, track colors, piers, pocket size and orientation.

With customizable bulletin board displays, why would you ever use typical cork board or magnetic bulletin boards again?

Are you tired of your message being missed or not receiving the attention it deserves? Where will the Boardless Bulletin Board deliver your next message?

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how our products can be beneficial in your project, please contact our Customer Support at, or give us a call at 866 935-6949 (toll free) or at our local number 450 619-7999.


July 15, 2014


The UIA prizes honour professionals whose merits, talents or actions have made an international impact in specific sectors of architectural practice. The jury for the 2014 UIA prizes was comprised of the UIA Bureau members and met in Melbourne, Australia, on 5 May 2014. The winners will be presented with their awards on 6 August, in Durban (South Africa) during the next UIA congress.

British architect, historian and critic Joseph Rykwert is the recipient of the Jean Tschumi Prize, awarded for education, criticism and the architectural history. An honourable mention was awarded to the Australian couple Haig Beck & Jackie Cooper for their internationally renowned publishing and criticism.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government received the Sir Robert Matthew prize for the Yeongdeungpo Dosshouse Town housing renovation pilot project. This award recognizes quality facilities created for communities and their development.

The Fondation architectes de l’Urgence and Arquitectos sin Fronteras (Spain) share the Vassilis Sgoutas Prize, which recognises architecture that serves the poorest populations and promotes inventive solutions to the problems of poverty and indigence.

Four honourable mentions were awarded to: Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi for a prototype school designed for waterfront cities in Africa; the Norwegian team TYIN
Tegnestue Architects, made up of of Yashar Hanstad and Andreas Grøntvedt Gjertsen, who identify themselves as "architects of necessity"; South African architect Carin Smuts, who designs sustainable equipment for marginal communities in the townships; and Australian architect Anna Rubbo, who founded Global Studio in 2005.


July 15, 2014

Abitare IL Tempo 2014 Made in Italy Production in the Forefront of Two Exhibition Areas Dedicated to Contract

July 2014 - Spotlight on the specific character of production for the contract sector: the major supplies sector will be among the protagonists of the exhibition dedicated to interior design and furnishing solutions scheduled at Veronafiere 24-27 September 2014 in conjunction with Marmomacc. The aim is to highlight the features and potential of a globally expanding market.

While the US contract sector is the most important in the world and contractors (as well as American architecture firms) are increasingly involved in international projects, a common denominator in these projects is the use of quality décor - and it is in this context that Italy can become a leader be grasping the chance to export its products into the four corners of the world. Over the past three years, in fact, 58% of American contract companies have worked on projects in the Middle East, 47% in Central America and Latin America and 82% in Asia. Excellence of materials and products is essential not only from an aesthetic point of view but also as regards the overall result of projects. For this reason, Abitare il Tempo has decided to focus on the contract sector by setting up a business exhibition area dedicated to this segment as well as organising shows, meetings and occasions for debate.


July 14, 2014

The Little Book of Waterstop

The ultimate engineering and contracting reference manual concerning waterstops — iPad Edition is FREE

Concrete is everywhere: Buildings, fountains, parking decks, locks and dams, roads and bridges, and myriad other constructions. Because of its long lifespan, high workability, and near-worldwide availability, concrete is the preferred building material for large structures, especially those subject to hydraulic pressure.

Not all concrete structures require protection from the ingress of water or other fluids, but those that do require a properly installed waterstop in and along their concrete joints. The concrete joint is the most likely point of leakage and waterstops are uniquely designed to prevent this.

This book’s sole purpose is to educate the reader on all facets of waterstop. Please download your free copy today


July 14, 2014


The theme of 2014 World Architecture Day, October 6, will be “Healthy Cities, Happy Cities.” The UIA invites its members to organise special activities linked to the event,
which will celebrate the role architects and architecture play in the vitality of the urban setting and in the well-being of its inhabitants.

How can architects design and construct “healthy” spaces, facilities, housing and urban landscapes which foster happiness, health and quality of life for city-dwellers?
By what means are architects able to bring life to cities, to infuse them with energy, to insure their viability, to anticipate and heal disorders, to forestall disintegration and to accompany their harmonious development?

Responsible architectural design has spotlighted the role of the architect an obligation to design a sustainable environment by means of an ethical professional practice in the areas of energy, implementation and materials.

This year’s theme for 2014 World Architecture Day was conceived by the UIA to illustrate the expansion of such practices and their impact on the urban space as well as on the entire city. The theme also is one facet of the UIA’s global commitment to international institutions who defend safeguarding the planet, the quality of the air, the water, the soil and all the elements contributing to the health of human settlements.


July 11, 2014

Atlas Wall CI Debuted New Products And New Website At AIA Expo

ATLANTA — The AIA Convention 2014 in Chicago was noted as the most informative and enjoyable convention to date and Atlas Wall CI was there to confirm. The wall insulation division of Atlas Roofing Corp. introduced a company website redesign, as well as the launch of two new products: Infinish ES and Infinish ES2.

Show-goers experienced the new Atlas website on an oversized interactive monitor. Thanks to well-developed logic, a smooth, crisp layout, and simple navigation, is one complete company site, while at the same time a comprehensive web presence for each of its six divisions. The destination of each visit is determined by a single click on the home page.

The new Infinish ES and Infinish ES2 are intended for use as an interior insulating finish on interior walls only, or interior ceilings only, without requiring a code approved thermal barrier (approval per NFPA 286) in certain building types. This interior wall insulation is recommended for use in both commercial and residential applications due to the Class A Fire Rating.

Among other Atlas representatives in presence, Alec Minné, Director of Marketing for the Wall CI Board Division, provided technical information, application examples, and product details to show attendees. The booth also displayed life-size wall structures to showcase the entire line of Wall CI products, which also includes EnergyShield®, Rboard®, EnergyShield® PRO, and EnergyShield® PRO 2.

The Atlas Wall CI booth drove in traffic with prize giveaways as well. A random drawing
of the attendees' business cards was done on Thursday and Friday of the show. Terence Moeller, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Architecture at Wight & Company
and Alan Itzkowitz, CSI, SCIP, AIA, ALA, CCS, LEED AP, Owner of ABI Specifications Consulting, both won a set of Bose® Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones.


July 10, 2014

Nemetschek Joins buildingSMART International’s Strategic Advisory Council for Better Interoperability

Munich, July 09, 2014 – Nemetschek AG (ISIN 0006452907) announced today that, together with Autodesk, Trimble and HOK, it has joined buildingSMART International’s start-up Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) as a founding member to foster better interoperability between stakeholders in the built environment industries.

The aim of the buildingSMART International-initiated Strategic Advisory Council is to gather a group of senior representatives from the world’s leading international businesses operating in or serving the built environment. The intent is to merge the commercial experience of major industry stakeholders with buildingSMART's vision of a universal collaboration format for building models; enabling the efficient and quality exchange of information between the various software solutions.

Viktor Varkonyi, Member of the Executive Board of Nemetschek AG, said “The Nemetschek Group welcomes this strategic initiative. Nemetschek and buildingSMART share the goal of ensuring that open standards, such as IFC and BCF, become the undisputable standard for model-based collaboration in the AEC industry. Ultimately, we want to ensure that end-users can build their collaborative workflows based on the highest possible quality neutral data exchange. The guarantee for our success lies in the fact that all the Nemetschek Group Companies as well as Autodesk and Trimble are committed to this very same goal.”

In addition to the data format standards, an equally important component of success is to further develop the market engagement for the deployment of such open standards. A closely-related, major role of SAC will be to advise buildingSMART International in its market evangelization activities. Nemetschek welcomes the immediate priority of buildingSMART to extend SAC membership to consultants, contractors, product manufacturers, operators and owners representing all major verticals of the AEC industry.

For further information about Nemetschek, please contact:


July 10, 2014

Nemetschek Vectorworks and Asite Partner to Support Improved Coordination of BIM-Based Workflows

Cloud-Based Platform Enables Architects to Securely Review, Store and Share Knowledge with AEC Supply Chain Collaborators

Columbia, Md. (July 10, 2014) – Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., a provider of intuitive, powerful and practical 2D/3D and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software solutions, and Asite™, a software developer of cloud-based collaboration tools, have established a partnership that promotes the automation of workflows throughout a building’s lifecycle. Users of Vectorworks® Architect software can now connect commercial information with their building information models, enhance coordination processes and maintain a clear audit trail on updates to their design through Asite’s Adoddle collaboration platform. In addition, they can selectively and securely share their designs and individual BIM worksheets with various project collaborators using their authoring tool of choice through an IFC or COBie output and a cloud-based model for the project. Asite is a global platform with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Hong Kong.

“Nemetschek Vectorworks is committed to promoting open BIM workflows, so we’re excited to bring Asite’s capabilities to our users, giving them the best way to coordinate the processes associated with design review, construction management and facilities management,” said Jeremy Powell, director of product marketing at Nemetschek Vectorworks. “Such coordination through Asite’s industry-leading cloud platform takes geography out of the equation for designers who work with various project consultants, facilities managers and building operators. It also reinforces our commitment to improving communication and project coordination among design and BIM collaboration platforms, as well as our support for IFC interoperability.”

In addition, Adoddle cBIM™, Asite’s collaborative BIM application, is now accessible to Vectorworks software users, thereby connecting model data with commercial management systems through one centralized and federated system, also known as a Common Data Environment. Such interoperability not only reduces errors and the risk of on-site problems with early design review and tracking, but it also brings visibility and control to shared information models.

“If we want to achieve BIM workflows, we need collaborative yet structured input through collaborative BIM,” said Nathan Doughty, chief operating officer at Asite. “We are therefore excited to be partnering with Nemetschek Vectorworks to connect their BIM authoring tool to our collaborative BIM platform through Open BIM.”

“Using Asite, we are able to share our Vectorworks models [via IFC] and other data with the rest of the project team,” said Neil Marshall, director at The Design Büro, a medium-sized architectural practice operating in England. “What I particularly like about the Common Data Environment is the trust you can place in it as a single source of information. The whole team benefits from a reduction in wasted communication.” Marshall devotes a lot of time to the rapid adoption of BIM because the UK government’s BIM mandate stipulates that all centrally procured projects must be designed using BIM workflows by 2016.

Two projects that also demonstrate an open IFC workflow between Asite and Vectorworks were created during the Build London Live 2012 and Build Qatar Live 2012 Open BIM design competitions. Asite and AEC3 organized these events in conjunction with buildingSMART International. The two projects demonstrated how the use of different BIM-based tools could effectively communicate digital interoperability and support open, collaborative workflows through the application of the IFC file format. The international, Vectorworks-based design team for the events received awards for “Best Use of BIM for Design, Drama and Excitement” and “Best Use of BIM for Technical Assessment.”


July 09, 2014

Metl-Span® Develops a Company Health Product Declaration

Metl-Span® is participating in the voluntary program, Health Product Declaration Collaborative, to provide accurate information to design professionals about the content of products.

The goal of the HPD Collaborative is to standardize the method in which building product manufacturers report contents, emissions, chemical hazards and the health effects of their products. According to the HPD Collaborative, the program “objectively defines the critical information needed to support accurate supply chain disclosure by manufacturers and suppliers, and informed decisions by building designers, specifiers, owners and users.”
There is a global move toward complete transparency and openness from the product supply chain,” says Doug Pickens, vice president of marketing at Metl-Span. “Design professionals, architects, specifiers, builders as well as end users need and want to know what chemical exposure is associated with material choices. It’s a necessary step toward providing the best and healthiest building products.”

Completed HPDs provide manufacturer and product information, details of product testing and compliance and products ingredients, such as hazardous chemicals. HPDs can easily be updated as products evolve and improve, providing the most up to date information to consumers.


July 04, 2014

ABC Green Home 2.0 ready to break ground

The ABC Green Home 2.0 is smart and sustainable. It demonstrates that a solar-powered, sustainable home can be built using available and recycled materials, such as Emser tile; countertops from Eco by Cosentino; smart technology like WiFi enabled thermostats from Honeywell and remote access door handles and locks from Schlage; energy efficient appliances like Goodman HVAC, hot water heating by AO Smith and hot water on-demand pumps from ACT Inc., at a cost that is competitive with conventional housing.

Implementing numerous green building practices, the ABC Green Home 2.0 will continue its high-performance themes brought to life by the original project and maintain the principles of being affordable, buildable and third-party certifiable.


July 04, 2014

Tiny house trend leads to tiny kitchen appliances

As the trend of smaller living spaces has taken hold, full-size appliances just don't fit in.

GE plans to build a line of micro kitchen appliances, offering a full suite of small gizmos suitable for small homes.

Whether people are simplifying, downsizing or getting on board with the the less-is-more movement, millions of Americans from Millennials to Boomers are seeking smaller living quarters. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the urban population in the U.S. grew 12 percent from 2000 to 2010, totaling 81 percent of the population.

As cities grapple with housing shortages, the trend toward smaller living spaces is already a reality. Shrinking living spaces necessitate products and services that simplify, optimize and economize. GE Appliances’ new micro-kitchen concepts keep consumers living large in a drastically smaller footprint.

Why smaller?

Many factors are playing a role in the trend toward smaller dwellings. As the cost per square foot of real estate in metro markets increases, some people are choosing smaller dwellings out of necessity. In the U.S., there are 32 million one-person households as of 2012 and that number is expected to grow.2 Also contributing are demographic shifts, such as the aging of the U.S. population; downsizing Baby Boomers; the changing employment picture for Gen Y; younger people delaying home purchases preferring to rent; and trends toward simplification and a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

GE’s unique position in the appliance industry—the first manufacturer to have its own microfactory production facility located in Louisville, Ky., called FirstBuild—will enable the company to quickly prototype, make and sell small batches of the micro kitchens in late 2014.

While the FirstBuild co-creation community will be collectively creating the first designs, Lenzi’s industrial designers have also been imagining concepts delivering the power of full-sized appliances in a pint-sized package.

One concept, dubbed the monoblock, is an integrated unit with cooking, cleaning and refrigeration in a single standalone enclosure that would become a seamless part of the cabinetry. As designed, the consumer or builder could preconfigure their choices and have the custom-fabricated unit delivered to the home or job site.

The second concept is based on a counter-top-high, 24-inch-wide modular platform. This drawer-based system allows the consumer to choose the modules they want to have in their living space. All traditional kitchen appliances, including a microwave oven, conventional oven, convertible refrigerator and freezer, and dishwasher are drawer-based. An induction or radiant glass cooktop, downdraft ventilation system, and kitchen sink with disposal complete the full kitchen experience. The micro-kitchen drawers feature panelized construction providing a nearly unlimited choice of cabinet materials and finishes, so the décor possibilities are endless.


July 03, 2014

2014 Brick in Architecture Awards Honor Outstanding Design

RESTON, Va., July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Brick Industry Association (BIA) has honored the best in brick design across North America. Selected by an independent panel of judges, the 2014 Brick in Architecture Awards spiked this year with more than 150 entries. Established in 1989, the 40 winners in this 25th anniversary year span 22 states and Canada.

The 2014 judges include Beth Greenberg, Dattner Architects; Evan Gunn, The Clark Enersen Partners; Charles Hilton, Charles Hilton Architects; Imran Kifayat, The Preston Partnership; Marlan Laurenzi, Franck + Lohsen Architects; Jeffrey Lee, Clark Nexen / Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee; Dominic LoGalbo, Harding Partners; Jon Moore, Moore2Design, LLC; Hamid Noughani, Assemblage Architects; Paul Urbanek, SmithGroupJJR; Tim Wise, American Structurepoint and Al York, McKinney York Architects.

All of the winners will be featured in the December issue of Brick in Architecture, which will be an insert in Architect Magazine.


July 02, 2014

Atlas Roofing Contractor Program Gets A Makeover And New Name

ATLANTA — Atlas Roofing has long offered a free account-based marketing program for roofing contractors, known as Atlas Signature Select®. With the recent re-design and functionality upgrades to its corporate website, the Signature Select® contractor user interface's look and feel got a re-vamping of its own. Now renamed Atlas Pro, the features, benefits, selling tools and rewards that contractors love are still just a click away.

A free Atlas Pro account doubles as login credentials for the Atlas ProAPP™ for iPad, a contractor-centric approach to project management, estimating software, unique selling tools, and more for the contractor on the go. Atlas ProAPP™ and the web based Atlas Pro account also allow contractors to register warranties, track storms, and order marketing materials shipped to their doorstep.

Additionally, Atlas Pro membership provides the option to have the innovative Shingle Visualizer installed on the contractor's own website. This allows for a more personal approach with their customers, without third party distractions. Contractors registered with Atlas Pro are also eligible for exclusive rewards, including unlimited cash earnings when using the full Atlas system of products on the roof.

To sign up for a free account and take advantage of the full offerings from Atlas, or just to see the changes that have been made to the new website


July 02, 2014

MARMOMACC & DESIGN - LIVING STONE, the excellence of Made in Italy and the great Iberian architects

An exhibition of experimentation and creativity organized by Veronafiere to promote and enhance the creative capacity of Italian companies in the natural stone sector, as well as to improve awareness of the use of stone materials among architects and designers.

The event includes a theme-based exhibition of installations or micro-architecture projects designed by architects belonging to the prestigious Iberian "school" for leading Italian companies, which in will arrange displays in Hall 1 - entirely dedicated to the cultural events hosted by Marmomacc.

The installations, developed thanks to collaboration projects between architects and companies, will be inspired by the theme "homes with patios", i.e. a reflection on Mediterranean and Atlantic stone houses as a typology having roots in local cultures in various areas.

The general layout of the project comprises four "batches" of 60 sq.m. flanked by a patio area of about 30 sq.m., arranged around a central garden area.

These homes-patios will be designed to reveal new qualities and potential for stone materials and highlight the processing skills of the companies taking part, as well as serving as a hospitality point welcoming visitors and clients.

The invited architects and companies taking part are:
Manuel Aires Mateus with Grassi Pietre
Josep Miàs with Travertino Sant’Andrea
Eduardo Souto De Moura with Piba Marmi
Benedetta Tagliabue with Decormarmi

The exhibition is the heart of the event's cultural focus and seeks to integrate architecture and design experiences through the work of internationally renowned figures capable of interpreting stone in a creative way as well as to encourage experiments taking this material towards new frontiers.

The involvement of well-known European designers also meets the intention of combining the extraordinary professional skills and know-how of Italian companies with the most important contemporary trends in European architecture and design, wherein the Iberian area is one of the most advanced representatives.