Sustainability

    Next Steps in the Fight Against Climate Change

    The last word on the climate crisis goes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Every six to seven years, the group releases an Assessment Report coalescing the latest research. Its findings, the IPCC explains, “provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.” The IPCC released its Sixth Assessment Report earlier this year, and the findings were alarming to say… Read More »Next Steps in the Fight Against Climate Change

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      Increasing Resilience is a Key Priority for Civil Contractors and Engineers

      Dodge Construction Network’s latest Civil Quarterly study highlights concerns of civil engineers and contractors regarding resiliency improvement of U.S. infrastructure The latest edition of The Civil Quarterly (TCQ) from Dodge Construction Network reveals that increasing resilience of U.S. infrastructure is a priority across the industry. The findings show 82% of civil contractors and 92% of civil engineers affirmed that they have worked on projects that prioritize resilience. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes significant funding for bolstering the resilience of… Read More »Increasing Resilience is a Key Priority for Civil Contractors and Engineers

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        ‘Reinventing the Storm Drain’

        As a result of the climate crisis, droughts and floods are increasing dramatically in both frequency and intensity. A recent monograph of work by Denver-based landscape and planning firm Wenk Associates doubles as a manual for ecologically responsible on-site water management. Working Water: Reinventing the Storm Drain (ORO Editions, $40) , as its title suggests, demonstrates efficient methods for managing urban water resources, using Wenk Associates projects as case studies. According to a review in ArchDaily by Lori Catalano &… Read More »‘Reinventing the Storm Drain’

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          San Francisco Is Rethinking Inclusionary Zoning

          With residential development stalling and demand for affordable housing still unmet, San Francisco is reevaluating its decades-old inclusionary zoning policy. So far this year San Francisco has had 1,161 units completed, putting the city on pace to see fewer than 3,000 new homes. Compare that to 2021 when 4,649 units came online. Meanwhile, there are 4,100 units under construction, compared to the high of 10,000 units that were being built in 2016 or 2017, J.K. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle Inclusionary… Read More »San Francisco Is Rethinking Inclusionary Zoning

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            AIA Shows Commitment to Equality

            The American Institute of Architects made history in June with the election of Kimberly Dowdell, FAIA, as 2024 president-elect. The architect, who is marketing principal in HOK’s Chicago office, will be the first black woman to lead the organization since its founding in 1857, Engineering News-Record reports. In her campaign for election, Dowdell proposed an “alphabet platform” consisting of advocacy for architects in practice, belonging, climate action and designing the future.  AIA hired its first black CEO, Lakisha Woods, late… Read More »AIA Shows Commitment to Equality

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              A New Biden Administration Initiative Will Update Building Codes for Climate Resilience and Energy Efficiency

              As hurricane season commences, the Biden administration has announced a campaign to promote more resilient construction. The National Initiative to Advance Building Codes is designed to help buildings withstand damage caused by natural disasters including wildfires, tornadoes, and floods. The codes ensure, for example, that roofs can withstand hurricane-force winds, that construction materials are resistant to flood damage and that insulation helps reduce heating and cooling costs, officials said. The effort will begin with federal buildings. The newer codes, AP… Read More »A New Biden Administration Initiative Will Update Building Codes for Climate Resilience and Energy Efficiency

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                Regulatory Update Could Mean a Raise for Construction Labor

                A proposed change to the Department of Labor’s formula for surveying earnings could lead to major wage gains for construction labor. The department uses surveys to determine the prevailing wages in different areas of the country through the 90-year-old Davis-Bacon Act. The act sets wage standards for workers on construction projects backed with federal dollars. The last major change to the rules occurred during the Reagan administration. The department has received some 37,000 comments on the potential update, and Law360… Read More »Regulatory Update Could Mean a Raise for Construction Labor

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                  The Real Estate Industry Begins to Grapple With Climate Change

                  Waterfronts in Florida. Woodlands in California. Anywhere, really, in Arizona. The real estate industry is finally coming to terms with the increased frequency and intensity of flooding, wildfires, drought, and other climactic effects of the climate crisis. Why? In part, the New York Times reports, because the insurance industry has recognized the high costs of frequent rebuilding in disaster-prone areas, raising prices “significantly over the last 18 months.” Real estate industry groups such as the Pension Real Estate Association and… Read More »The Real Estate Industry Begins to Grapple With Climate Change

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                    American Institute of Architects Celebrates Earth Day by Unveiling Green Refresh of Its D.C. HQ

                    The American Institute of Architect’s massive Brutalist national headquarters in Washington, D.C., designed by The Architects Collaborative and completed in 1973, is a relic of another era. To mark Earth Day this year, the association has unveiled plans for a major, and majorly sustainable, building renovation. Architects EHDD, in collaboration with Hood Design Studio, Hartman-Cox Architects, Point Energy Innovations, and Turner Construction, are targeting LEED Platinum with new double-pane windows, roofing, and energy, lighting, and HVAC systems. The interiors are… Read More »American Institute of Architects Celebrates Earth Day by Unveiling Green Refresh of Its D.C. HQ

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                      GSA Tackles Embodied Carbon with New Asphalt and Concrete Material Standards

                      The U.S. General Services Administration is one of the nation’s biggest landlords. As part of its sweeping mandate, the agency maintains thousands of government properties and constructs federal court houses, office buildings, border stations, and other structures nationwide. So when GSA adopts new construction standards — usually after exhaustive study and participation by the private sector — the building industry as a whole takes notice. In March, GSA announced new standards for asphalt and concrete used in construction. Why target… Read More »GSA Tackles Embodied Carbon with New Asphalt and Concrete Material Standards

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