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Increased Construction Trends

After record rainfall here in the Midwest, it looks as if spring is finally on its way. And with summer just around the corner, that usually means construction projects going on everywhere you turn. But the increase is more than seasonal. The American Institute of Architects' (AIA) recently released Architecture Billings Index shows a steady upturn in design activity. While March's numbers were slightly lower than February's, AIA notes that all regions and building sectors are continuing to report positive business conditions.

One segment is showing continued strong growth. The recent 2013 World Green Building Trends SmartMarket Report by McGraw Hill Construction notes that green building is continuing to grow across the globe, with 28 percent of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and building consultants report that they are concentrating on green design, completing at least 60 percent of their projects as green. This is more than double from 2009, when only 13 percent were reporting at this level. Additionally, within the next three years, 51 percent of firms reported that they expect to be at high levels of green building.

This year's AIA National Convention in Denver will feature a continued dialogue within the architecture profession on the value of architecture and the role architects play as stewards of the built environment. If you're planning on heading to the show next month in Denver, be sure to check out the seminars of interest to Metal Architecture readers. Check back next month for a list of booths relating to metal architecture and design to visit while at the convention.

Also in this month's issue, we take a look at the role metal can play in theaters and auditoriums. Some may consider metal to be an unconventional product for these types of settings, but in its mesh form or as ceiling panels, it can provide acoustic control in addition to being a decorative feature. Click here to read more.

Additionally, be sure to check out the Building Profile, Center on Excellence. Senior Editor Mark Robins highlights the role metal plays at the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing (NCTM) in College Station, Texas, which is a first-in-class, flexible-by design, biological therapeutics research and development (R&D) facility. And finally, Associate Editor Patricia Brehm profiles Jaime Garcia, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, principal and director of design at RRMM Architects, Chesapeake, Va., in this month's Architect Profile.

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