Apr 24, 2011

Bay Windows Turned into Garage Doors

Trying to add parking to your San Francisco real estate? Simple, turn those beautiful bay windows into retractable walls.
Corey and Ben McMills of McMills Construction had a problem.  Their investment property on Oak Street, near Ashbury and facing the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park, needed to have a garage built to enhance his tenant’s use of the building and maximize their rent.  Parking, as is true in much of San Francisco, is hard to find in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and is almost more valuable than living space.  They turned to Beausoleil Architects for help.

The project still needs a little finish carpentry and painting, but you can get the idea in the photos and video below.

Garage door closed                                             Garage door open

Apr 15, 2011

Detention Pond / Retention Pond

You like potato, I like potahto; you like tomato, I like tomahto. But oh, if it comes to detention and retention, let's not call the whole thing off.

A detention pond is a low lying area designed to temporarily hold a set amount of water while slowly draining to another location. They are more or less around for flood control when large amounts of rain could cause flash flooding if not dealt with properly. 
A retention pond is designed to hold a specific amount of water indefinitely.  Usually the pond is designed to have drainage leading to another location when the water level gets above the pond capacity, but still maintains a certain capacity.
How to remember which is which? A trick I use. If one gets detained, it is until they get bailed. If one is retained, who knows!
Extracted from this article. Happy Friday.

Apr 8, 2011

Hands-free sinks, Hindrance in Hospital Infection Control

A telling research on handsfree sinks by Johns Hopkins Hospital. This is the 2nd research I’ve encountered with negative results.
Thought you would find this interesting. “…(hands-free sinks) were more likely to be contaminated with one of the most common and hazardous bacteria in hospitals compared to old-style fixtures with separate handles for hot and cold water.”

For full article published by Johns Hopkins Medicine, click here.

7 Ways to save in Steel Construction

Did you know?

Steel construction represents 10% of the total project costs. Of that 10%, only 20-40% is the cost of the material itself. The other 60-80% goes to fabrication and erection. A few tips for your next building here.

1. Use Standard Lengths
2. Don't pay for primed or painted steel
3. Use BIM but only when everyone is on board
4. Make sure fabricators are certified
5. Know the details of what you are buying
6.Understand how to fire-proof steel cost-effectively
7. Don't be deceived by low-cost deals

Find the  full article here by Building and Construction Network.

Apr 7, 2011

Registration & Deadlines

Registration, one of the most important milestones for an architect, is not for everyone. While some architecture interns find alternative careers, many follow the traditional architecture path and pursue licensure. The Ohio Board of Examiners data suggests that in the past decade a median of 61% of new exam candidates during the same time became licensed.

The first national licensing exam for architects produced by NCARB came out in 1965. Since then several aspects of the registration process have been redefined - if not all. The Internship Development Program (IDP), the Architectural Registration Examination (ARE), and the NAAB accredited degree requirements have all changed since then. "Every time there is a major change, candidates are motivated to finish the exams and get licensed," says Amy Kobe Executive Director with the Ohio Architects Board.  The graph below (Figure 1) shows the numbers of newly licensed architects since 1984, which spiked around 1994 and 2009.
Figure 1
Figure 1 - Ohio Board of Examiners Registration Database 
In 1994, Ohio adopted IDP training as a registration requirement. The new  qualifications seemed cumbersome in comparison and motivated interns to become eligible ARE candidates sooner. They tested and did quite well. Over 200 architects registered in the state in '94. The curve spikes again in 2009. We suspect it was largely caused by the ARE 4.0, introduced nationwide as a seven-exam module in July 2008. The last date to test in the old ARE version was June 30th 2009. The deadline motives interns to complete all tests and slightly increased registration numbers once again. "It is amazing what a deadline will do," Kobe adds.
Currently, ARE candidates face another deadline: the 5-year rolling clock, a rule that would limit testing periods to only 5 years. If you had been taking any of the ARE before January 1st 2006, NCARB, you had until January 1st 2011 to pass them. If you have not started yet, you must complete all exams in a 5-year period, beginning on the date you take your first exam.
In 2010 alone, only 74 interns became licensed in the state of Ohio. However, as the rolling-clock rule expires, interns nationwide will be motivated to test. The clock is ticking now, no pun intended.