Thursday, December 22, 2005

Meet VectorWorks in the Golden State

Meet VectorWorks in the Golden State At the Northern California User Group Meeting

From Nemetschek:

"Come see the latest version of VectorWorks in action! And find out why renowned architects, prestigious landscape architects, award-winning entertainment designers and innovative product designers worldwide use VectorWorks.

What: Overview of the recently-released VectorWorks 12
When: Wednesday, January 11
6:30-7 pm reception
7 pm presentation

Where: AIA San Francisco
Hallidie Building, 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600

Come earlier to learn more about:

BIM in the Real World
Come to the AIA meeting on January 11, learn more about Building Information Modeling and its potential impact on your business, AND earn an AIA credit.

BIM, or building information modeling, software is the newest trend in computer-aided design. Many industry pundits have forecast that buildings will be built directly from the electronic models that BIM creates, or that architects will no longer create drawings but will instead "build buildings inside their computers." What is the role of drawings for the construction process? How can the "building information model" approach improve architectural productivity and "downstream" analysis of buildings? What aspects of BIM have been oversold?

Learn more about these issues and trends in architectural design software from Mr. Robert Anderson, a registered architect who is Vice President of Integrated Products at Nemetschek North America, makers of VectorWorks.

A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Plus, you’ll earn 1 AIA continuing education credit.

When: Wednesday, January 11, 5:30 pm
Where: AIA San Francisco, Hallidie Building,130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
Reception to follow presentation."

For more information: Please rsvp to either or both events by January 6th to Theresa Downs at or call 410-290-5114, ext. 728.

The Committee for Leadership Education

From National AIA:

"The Committee for Leadership Education’s (CLE) charter includes a fundamental role to foster and promote the importance of a diversity of leadership skills as a core value of the profession. A new knowledge community, the CLE is becoming a steward of research and resources architects need to become leaders in the profession, community and political realms. The advisory group is interested in creating and developing a leadership education for all members at all levels, local, state, regional and national. "

For more information: Contact Patty Lukas

2006 Poised to be the Best Year for Nonresidential Construction Since 2000

The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), a leading economic indicator of nonresidential construction activity, showed growth for the eleventh consecutive month in November, according to the monthly report from The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Due to the approximately six month lag time between billings for architectural services and construction activity, nonresidential construction activity is expected to be a strong economic sector in much of 2006.

“It is especially noteworthy that if architecture firms report even modest billings gains in December, 2005 will be the first year since 2000 that that gains were reported every month of the year,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We are expecting improved business conditions for construction firms that specialize in commercial/industrial, as well as institutional projects.”

The November ABI rating of 58.4 (any score above 50 indicates an increase) represents slightly higher growth than the 57.5 score in October (November 2004 ABI was 51.6, November 2003 ABI was 48.5).

For more information:

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A/E Financial Performance Shows Increase in Operating Profit

According to PSMJ Resources, Inc. A/E Financial Performance Shows Increase in Operating Profit, as of 2005:

• Operating profits (before incentive/bonuses and taxes) as a percentage of net revenues improved significantly by 27% above the 2004 results and achieved a 12.30% performance margin.
• The net multiplier improved to 2.97, reaching a new all-time high.
• Utilization (chargeability) remains constant at approximately 60%, down from a peak of 62.6%.
• The current ratio (including deferred taxes) is trending lower to 1.72, indicating that firms with improved profits are not making attempts at strengthening their balance sheets. Compared to other industries, these ratios remain very low.
• Accounts receivable and work-in-process measurements continue to reflect poor billing and collection techniques (68 and 26 days, respectively).

For more information:

Treasure Island Development Proposal

It's got high-rises, it's got organic gardens and it just might be a model for cities everywhere: Whether or not it ever gets built, the most intriguing development proposal in America right now involves our very own Treasure Island. By John King [links]- San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Free Online CES

AEC Daily has FREE, AIA Approved, Online Continuing Education Courses. AEC Daily provides access to educational resources, drag and drop compatible CAD details, building products information, industry news, discussion forums and much more. The services of AEC Daily are made available to architects, engineers, owners, interior designers and construction professionals at no charge

For more information:

Monday, December 12, 2005

RFQ: UCB Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The University of California, Berkeley, invites written statements of qualifications for architectural services for:

UCB Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Project No.12259A Est.Constr.
Cost: US$60-80,000,000
Project: a museum of 130-150,000 OGSF.
Architects not licensed in California are welcome.
Deadline: 4:30pm, Friday, 20 Jan 2006.

Submit to: Rob Gayle, AIA, Asst Vice Chancellor, Project Management
c/o Mr Richard Tellinghuisen
UCB Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
2625 Durant Ave, Berkeley CA 94720-2250 USA

For more information:

Assemblywoman Hancock will Host a Town Hall on Clean Money

From Assemblywoman Loni Hancock's Office:

"Tired of Politics As Usual?

There is a better way…

Assemblywoman Loni Hancock will host a town hall to discuss how to overhaul California’s elections. The only way to eliminate the corrupting influence of “special interest” money is a publicly financed election system. You are invited to a community forum to hear about the California Clean Money and Fair Elections Act of 2006.

Join Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, Election Reform Advocates, Labor Organizations and others in eliminating “special interest” money, raising the dialogue about real campaign finance reform and - more importantly - recreating our democracy.

Saturday, January 7, 2005
11 AM – 2 PM
Oakland City Hall, Council Chambers
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Between 14th and 15th St. at Clay St."

For more information: call (510) 559-1406.

Sierra Club's Sprawl Report

Sierra Club Report Names America's Best New Development

Much of the development in the United States today is sprawling, low density, car-dependent "bigbox" or "strip-mall" construction, which produces more and more traffic and harms our land, air, and water. The Sierra Club believes there is a better way to build, and in doing so, to produce healthy neighborhoods, and livable communities.

For more information: Building Better: A Guide to America's Best New Development Projects

New Concepts for Self Sustaining "SURGE" Hospitals

New Concepts for Self Sustaining "SURGE" Hospitals

A 90-Minute Audio Conference Scheduled for: December 20, 2005, 1:30-3:00 PM ET

A "SURGE" Hospital is designed to respond to SURGES of a large number of patients in the event of a natural or man made disaster. Such disasters could cause existing hospitals to become useless or inaccessible. A network of pre-designated self sustaining "SURGE" Hospitals would provide a backup alternative in emergencies to our nation's existing health care system.

In response to the events of Sept 11,2001, the Texas A&M University College of Architecture has been invited by the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Office of Homeland Security to develop an exploratory inquiry, research, ideas, and architectural concepts,- for self-sustaining "SURGE" Hospitals. 17 teams (involving a total of 26 architectural design students) have developed 17 different architectural solutions for "SURGE" Hospitals located all over the United States. We'll show how some of these design explorations involve quickly adapting an existing facility into a "SURGE" Hospital in a few hours.

For more information:

Friday, December 02, 2005

Most Likely to...

And the winner of the "Most Likely to Be First on their Block to Mail Christmas Cards" goes to....

Hilliard Architects of San Francisco.

I have a feeling past AIA East Bay intern Jodie Mendelson, Assoc. AIA, had something to do with this extremely prompt mailing.

It's a little Marcel Schurman card, quite nice. Fyi, Marcel Schurman is located in the East Bay chapter in Fairfield near the Jelly Belly Factory.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Interior Design Projects: Get 'em Published!

Design writer Joanne Furio is looking for interior design projects she can pitch to national shelter magazines. Projects can run the gamut, from the luxurious homes of powerful tycoons to the sleek cutting-edge apartments of urban hipsters-and everything in between.

There is no fee for this service-scouts get paid by magazines if the project is accepted, and also has a chance of writing the piece for an additional fee.

For more information: Contact Joanne Furio e-mail

California GreenStop Design Competition

The California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) and The Great Valley Center, with the support of the American Institute of Architects, California Council, and private organizations, are partnering in an open one-stage international competition to select a design, and thereby a design team, for a self-sustainable and "off the grid" roadside GreenStop © the word coined to designate a green roadside rest area. The Sponsors view this as a unique opportunity to create a "green" rest area that can serve as a model for current and future rest stops within the state system, with the ability to be customized so as to be regionally relevant for each location, and with interpretive opportunities to inform travelers of local history, cultures, and products.

For more information: go to