A Positive Outlook

By Marcy Marro, Editor

 

With a new president about to take office, 2017 is full of both uncertainty and predictions of a strong year.  And as we head into a new year, it's time to look toward the future with the help of industry experts, who weigh in on what they predict 2017 will bring.

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A Time to Reflect

By Marcy Marro, Editor

 

Thanksgiving is upon us, and before we know it we will be leaving 2016 behind and heading into the new year.  As we head full force into the holiday season, let's take the time to look back and reflect on 2016.

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Market Growth

Has your architecture or design firm completely recovered from the Great Recession? Are you back on track and doing the same or more business than before the economy tanked? I know when I look around the two communities near where I live and where I work in the Chicagoland area, there is more new construction going on than there has been in years. New strip malls and restaurants are popping up in areas that have had stalled growth over the years. I, for one, take all of the recent development as a good sign that the economy has finally gotten to a point of growth.

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Buildings and Health Impacts

When designing a new building for a client, do you consider the health impact of the building? According to a new study released last month, nearly three quarters of architects say the health impacts of buildings are influencing their design decisions. This finding matches a strong market demand by building owners, who two-thirds of those surveyed reported that health considerations affect how they design and construct buildings.

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Emerging Technologies

With Pokémon Go being one of the biggest stories of the summer, it's no surprise more and more people are talking about the rise of augmented reality and virtual reality. And, as  I was putting the final touches on this month's Special Feature, "Bringing Buildings to Life," which discusses the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies in the architecture field, I kept coming across more articles that reiterate how the advances of this technology benefits the architectural and construction industries.

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Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Last night, a major political party broke the glass ceiling by nominating a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as its nominee for president of the United States. Politics aside, it's a historical  moment. Does this mean that we're about to have the first female president? We'll have to wait until November to see for sure. But what it does mean, is that no matter what, the possibility of having a female president just became a whole lot more likely. Whether it's starting next year, four years from now, eight or even longer, it means that the country is now at a point where a woman can run for the highest political office.

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Raising the Bar

Each year, the judges for the Metal Architecture Design Awards take note of the caliber of the projects submitted.  This year, one of the judges acknowledged that we had received an impressive collection of projects, including two that had received national honor awards already.

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Raising the Bar

Each year, the judges for the Metal Architecture Design Awards take note of the caliber of the projects submitted. This year, one of the judges acknowledged that we had received an impressive collection of projects, including two that had received national honor awards already.

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A Myriad of Options

Walking around the American Institute of Architects' National Convention in Philadelphia last month proved one thing. There is definitely no shortage of building materials to choose from and no shortage of architects interested in learning more about them. The show floor was full of companies displaying current and new products, as well as sharing their product expertise with architects and designers.

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Design Challenges

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and the sounds of construction are all around us. As  we head into the start of summer, there are many things to look forward to. An increase in sunlight brings warmer weather, graduation and wedding season. Many vacations will be taken over the next few months. However, an increase in temperatures also means an increase in construction-both new building construction and road repair-especially in urban areas.

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Purposeful Products

Products are the basis for every project an architect completes. From the steel used to  frame a building to the lights and flooring, products are an essential component of the building and construction process.

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Annual Forecasts

Around the beginning of each year, many businesses, groups and associations publish reports and predictions for what the upcoming year will hold. Recently, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released its semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast. The survey of the nation's leading construction forecasters projects that after construction spending greatly exceeded expectations last year in the nonresidential market, construction spending will increase just more than 8 percent this year, with 2017's projection adding an extra 6.7 percent gain. Reportedly, there is still significant demand for hotels, office space, manufacturing facilities, and amusement and recreation spaces.

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