Going Green From The Ground Up – Texas Contractor

The green build wave is rising, and right now general contractors have the opportunity to ride its crest. It is fast becoming expected that professionals in the building trades are ready, willing and able to work green — and that means understanding the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Contractor’s LEEDing Role

In the chain of events that leads up to LEED certification, general contractors have a special “watchdog” role. It is the general contractor’s responsibility to keep accurate records on all materials used that are required to meet LEED standards. Consequently, it is imperative that not only the general contractor but also sub-contractors understand LEED certification, its requirements and its growing importance in winning bids.

Once the SSI guidelines are published in spring 2009, general contractors, landscape architects, developers, builders, and maintenance crews who are prepared to take advantage of them stand to see interest in obtaining their services rising.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Texas Contractor – Going Green From The Ground Up – 6/16/2008  Author of the SOURCE article is   Jo Ann Jarreau call  (713) 682–5299 

They build a suburb, then find the buses don’t fit – National – smh.com.au

Glenmore Park, opened in 1990, was designed without consideration for public transport, an urban planning expert says. The bus company serving the area says it is difficult to manoeuvre around, and residents say buses are infrequent and unreliable.

Bill Randolph, from the City Futures Research Centre, at the University of NSW, said Glenmore Park was a classic example of a 1990s design of cul-de-sacs and small, bending roads. “The key thing is, it was never designed forpublic transport … It was assumed everybody would just be driving cars.”

read more @ the SOURCE: smh.com.auThey build a suburb, then find the buses don’t fit – National 

Ecotowns: for and against – Times Online

The Times has published an insightful article about the ‘eco-towns’ proposed by the UK Government

Ten new clean, green ‘eco-towns’ will be built by 2020. And pigs might fly, say critics. They argue that the government is bulldozing through a programme that will create the slum estates of the future

This is how it will be. Across the fair face of Albion, to the ringing of bells and the soft murmur of doves, appears a leafy flush of eco-towns. They are sun-dappled utopias, urban dreamworlds in which no human need is unfulfilled. Wildlife romps through bird-loud glades. People work at home or in business parks to which they can stroll or cycle. Public transport is swift, efficient and free, so cars are not needed. Community sports hubs, leisure and cultural facilities are so abundant that nobody wants to leave the town anyway. Children walk safely to schools in which the most popular subject is environmentalism. There are superstores for convenience, and farmers’ markets for friends of the planet. Allotments, too, for those who want to grow their own. Energy is renewable, insulation total and the carbon footprint zero.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Ecotowns: for and against – .

Arup creates a gateway to Zaragoza Expo 2008

Two Arup buildings opened on June 13 forming central features for the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. The Bridge Pavilion, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Arup is a pedestrian bridge and also serves as the main entrance to the Expo site. The bridge also provides one of the event’s main exhibition spaces.

Before reaching the Bridge Pavilion visitors to Zaragoza Expo 2008 will encounter another Arup collaboration, the Digital Water Pavilion. Created by the architect Carlo Ratti, the pavilion provides breathtaking views over the Expo site.

For more information refer to ARUP News

SOURCE: ARUP

Foriegn firms aren’t just in India for the cash

The Times of India looks at foreign firms in India and talks about

Be it a slum redevelopment project in congested Mumbai or Kolkata’s new museum of modern art, the global imprint on the country’s fast-changing urban landscape is evident. Made in India but designed by a clutch of foreign architects looking to cash in on the country’s real estate boom.

This is true of many developing nations (UAE, China, India, Vietnam, Tanzania,) that when the first major projects such as airports, museums, galleries, opera houses are slated for design and then construction many foreign firms are issued the contracts. And as the article speaks about it has a lot to do with star marketing power but often it has more to do with the experience of designing and building large scale projects and finalising them within a short time frame(eg Olympic, Commonwelath Games Venues).

The author refers to RMJM, Foster and Partners, HOK, who all have experience in large scale projects but also have offices all around the world so they understand what it takes to open a new office in a developing nation and to make it work.

Having international firms design infrastructure, civic and residential projects is not all bad, the country benefits from projects being seen on the world scale an example is the Olympic Stadium (bird’s nest) in Beijing many people have known about this building years in advance of the Olympics. The main benefit to the developing country is that many of these large firms employ local workers and train them in the international standard of design, engineering and detailing which they can then take to a local firm or move on and open their own firm. This is true of many of the major cities in China where over the last 15 years foreign firms have opened offices and worked on large scale projects and local firms have learnt from their successes and failures (in design and business) and now compete quite successfully against foreign firms.

Most of all it is up to local firms, schools and governments to educate the current and future designers of India so that they can compete and win against foreign firms not just from North America and Europe developed Asian countries but their developing neighbors such as China.

SOURCE of Original Article: Times of India – Foreign hands building India – Author: Neelam Raaj

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