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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.

Building new construction projects in densely populated urban areas can be challenging. Since most urban areas have been around for a long time, architects are faced with the challenge of how to best fit a new project into an area that has a long and storied history. While metal can be seen as a more modern material, it can be used in ways that allow a new building to connect with its surrounding community. See how architects are using metal in urban locations in this month's Special Feature.

When designing a project, architects are faced with many things they need to consider. From the layout of the building to the types of materials that are used, architects, designers and specifiers have a lot on their plates when working on new projects. In this month's Bonus Feature, Chuck Howard, PE, Metal Roof Consultants, Cary, N.C., reminds us that there's more to designing a metal roof system than just picking the right type of panel. Since a metal roof is a building component system, it is important to understand not just the individual parts, but how they work together.

This month we also take a look at the work of Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, principal at Marlon Blackwell Architects. Blackwell uses abstract buildings to interpret local forms and materials in a contemporary way. Click here to see some of his most iconic projects and read what he has to say about the place and accessibility of architecture.

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