Southern Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base is trimming construction costs of a new child development center by nearly 4% by using a unique aerated plastic-riser foundation system. Graphic: Courtesy USAF Cobblestone Construction, Las Vegas, broke ground on the $7.2-million design-build project in August 2010 and later discovered that the six-acre site along the northwest edge of the base was contaminated with radon. The 26,000-sq-ft block building consequently required a gas ventilation system, which typically comprises a vapor barrier consisting of a membrane of washed rocks and liquid as well as perforated pipe and fans. Wright Engineers, Las Vegas, proposed a
The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center is calling on seismic engineers, government agencies and researchers to try out a “live” beta version of a web-based interactive tool that will allow them—free of charge—to search, extract and download recorded ground motions for the analysis and design of earthquake-resistant structures. Seismic engineers familiar with the tool are already lauding it, especially for use in performance-based earthquake engineering. Photo: Courtesy of Peer Web-based app lets engineers explore many seismic scenarios. The 2010 PEER Ground Motion Database allows users to select ground-motion records to match the seismic code’s response spectrum or a customized site-specific
Code crafters are lauding a significant process change in reference-standard development that provides markers for progress along the way, directional signals for reaching goals and validation of the standard’s potential impact on energy use and cost. The process, based on energy modeling and analysis, helped the developers of the 2010 edition of the commercial-building energy standard reach their goal of providing a standard that, if followed, could result in a whopping 30% reduction in both energy use and costs compared with use of the standard’s 2004 edition. Crafters of the next edition of the energy standard already are using the
Hoping for a bigger Super Bowl attendance at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the owner arranged for temporary sections to increase seating capacity. But some of those seats were not ready at game time. Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president, said the problem was officials “just ran out of time” to complete infrastructure such as railings and steps, and to tighten risers. The stadium owner says that the $1.3-billion stadium was designed to fully accommodate the additional seats. Seating Solutions, the Commack, N.Y.-based contractor charged with installing the temporary seats, had no comment.
Keith Howells, newly installed chairman of London-based global design firm Mott MacDonald Group, is optimistic that Dubai’s gradual emergence from its real estate slump will boost the firm’s fortunes this year. Mott’s recent award of a design contract on the $6-billion Dubai Pearl mixed-use project supports his view that the emirate’s construction market is climbing “off the floor.” Photo: Courtesy of Mott MacDonald Group Keith Howells takes over as chairman of Mott MacDonald Group just as the firm wins a design award on a $6-billion Dubai development. Mott’s work involves design of mechanical, electrical, public health, fire, communications and security
Structural engineers in earthquake zones, long struggling to push the needle forward on seismic design of tall buildings, are celebrating the availability of a new design methodology. They are hailing the tool, in the form of an 84-page guide for performance-based seismic design of high-rises, as a great step forward in developing better-performing buildings that are more economical and constructible. In addition, engineers expect the guide to take some of the agita Photo: Mark Defeo Guide will ease approvals, which were difficult and lengthy for One Rincon Hill (right) and two Infinity towers (left). Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design of
Frank Gehry’s first Florida building, a big bleached box in Miami Beach, looks more like a high-end department store than an eye-catching piece of “sculpitecture” by the architect of “swoopy.” But contained in the $160-million New World Symphony music academy and performance center—on schedule to open on Jan. 25 despite some last-minute hiccups—Gehry’s signature free-form rooms stand as tall as 80 ft, visible through a 180 x 80-ft picture window. Other than to say “we put all the juice inside,” the architect is mum on whether the music-box shape was selected for context, economy or constructibility. But Benton Delinger, director
The need to integrate resilience into building design has moved up the agenda this month among several federal authorities. On Dec. 1, President Obama declared December to be Critical Infrastructure Protection Month. The announce-ment was made as the Dept. of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Building Sciences hosted a summit in Washington, D.C., on high-performance, resilient buildings and related architecture. The summit included both public officials and private industry representatives as well as nine working group sessions. The results of the summit will be published in a report scheduled for release in January.
Architectural firm HKS Inc., Dallas, will join Germany-based Tilke Engineers and Architects in the design and construction of a $250-million Formula One racing complex in Austin, Texas. Tilke is leading the project; HKS will serve as the architect of record. The 3.4-mile track, with its 133 feet of elevation change and 20 turns, is slated to host the U.S. Grand Prix through at least 2021. Developers say work on the 900-acre complex is expected to start in December. The project includes a visitors’ driving/riding experience, a conference building, a motor sports club, go-kart track and a multipurpose fan area. HKS,