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Free Online Resources for ‘Whole Building Design’

A website maintained by the nonprofit National Institute of Building Sciences offers numerous resources at no charge to advance sustainable design, including online continuing education courses approved by the American Institute of Architects. The mission of the Whole Building Design Guide (www.wbdg.org) is to create successful high-performance buildings through an integrated team approach during a project’s planning and programming phases.

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Lessons in Survival

by: Ed Soltero, AIA

Throughout the history of human civilization, water has been revered as a life-giving force. Unfortunately, some modern societies have exploited this essential natural resource to deleterious extents. In El Paso, however, there’s a beacon of hope for the education of future generations about water conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Carolyn Bowman Photography
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An Ordered Approach

by: Kevin W. Sloan, ASLA

Typical projects use spreadsheets for programming. The program for the new University of Texas at Dallas master plan, however, began with a conversation between Peter Walker, FASLA, and Margaret McDermott, a great patron of Dallas’ cultural milieu and widow of the late Texas Instrument co-founder Eugene McDermott. Walker recalls Mrs. McDermott saying, “Look, this is my husband’s and my life’s work. We want to leave this campus in as first class of an order as we can.”

Aerial Photography; Vince Yaeger; PWP Landscape Architecture
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New Accessibility Rules Become Law

by: Stephen Sharpe, Hon. TSA

On March 15, the long-awaited revisions to state accessibility standards become law. That date represents the culmination of efforts to synchronize overlapping federal and state guidelines that respond to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. As a result, Texas practitioners will no longer be required to cross-check two sets of regulations to ensure that their projects are conforming to the appropriate laws.

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2012 Texas AIA Fellows

by: TA Staff

Among the 105 AIA members elevated this year to the AIA College of Fellows, eight are members of the Texas Society of Architects. The 2012 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony during the AIA convention in May. The AIA fellowship program was developed to recognize architects who have made a significant contribution to society and the architecture profession on a national level.

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Evans Named AIA Young Architect

by: TA Staff

One Texan – James M. Evans, AIA, of Houston – is among the 13 recipients of the 2012 AIA Young Architects Award. Young Architects are defined by the AIA as professionals who have been licensed 10 years or fewer regardless of their age. The award honors individuals who have shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession early in their careers.

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AIA San Antonio Design Awards

After carefully evaluating 60 entries from 24 local architectural firms, jurors for AIA San Antonio’s 2011 Design Awards program announced their selections during ceremonies held on Nov. 4 at Pearl Stable. Attendees also celebrated the recipients of the chapter’s Studio Awards, its Twenty-Five Year Award, and its annual Mayor’s Choice Award honoring a publicly funded architectural project.

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AIA LRGV Studio Awards

by: TA Staff

Two awards were presented by AIA Lower Rio Grande Valley in the chapter’s 2011 Studio Awards program. Carolina Civarolo, AIA, of Boultinghouse Simpson Architects in McAllen, received the Spark Award for Digital Media for the proposed renovation and expansion of the University of Texas–Pan American’s College of Business Administration in Edinburg. Ortiz Architecture & Environment in Weslaco was recognized with a Design Award for an Unbuilt
Project for its Weslaco Family Care Center & Occupational Medicine Clinic.

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Texas Among Top 10 States for LEED

Texas ranks eighth among states in the U.S. for the per capita amount of commercial and institutional square footage certified by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system in 2011, according to figures released in January by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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Four Texas Teams Chosen as Semifinalists in Waller Creek Design Competition

Four Texas firms are among a nationwide total of nine that were chosen Jan. 30 as semifinalists for the Waller Creek Conservancy design competition, from a pool of 31 entries. The competition calls for a redesign of a 1.5-mile stretch of city parkland and urban space along Waller Creek in downtown Austin.

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Margaret Hunt Hill Opens to Traffic

by: Michael Malone, AIA

On March 29 the first cars rolled across the long-awaited Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas. Designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the bridge joins Reunion Tower and Pegasus as a standout on the icon-heavy Dallas skyline. It is named for the matriarch of the Hunt family which, through Hunt Petroleum, donated $12 million to the Trinity River Corridor Project in 2005.

Photos courtesy Craig D. Blackmon , FAIA; Michael Lyon
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Nine Historic Places Selected for Annual “Most Endangered” List

by: Texas Architect Staff

Preservation Texas, Inc., a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has released its ninth annual list of “Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places.” Of the nine sites listed, three are discussed below as having the potential for becoming important catalysts for economic development in their communities if they can be saved.

Photos courtesy Preservation Texas; Magnolia Hotel by Matthew Chase
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Conference Emphasizes Practice in the Hinterlands

by: Stephen Sharpe, Hon. AIA

For two days in February, a group of designers gathered in Midland to consider the challenges of producing top-flight architecture in a place far removed from the state’s larger urban areas. The event, dubbed “Architecture in the Hinterlands,” included an address by acclaimed Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons that featured his work in remote Nova Scotia.

Thomas McConnell
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AIA Houston Design Awards

AIA Houston’s 2012 design awards competition resulted in recognition for 21 projects in eight categories out of a total of 127 entries. Eligibility was limited to projects completed within the last five years and located within the Houston metropolitan area or designed by an architect working in the Houston metropolitan area.

Houston Ballet photo by Nic Lehoux; Brockman Hall Photo by Peter Aaron /OTTO; Roy Kelly Garage photo By Dror Baldinger , AIA
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Recollections of a Lifelong Ham

by: Dave Braden, FAIA

In 1949, when I went to work in the high-profile office of George Dahl, I met Harold (Hagie) Jones. We were both draftsmen working at adjacent tables on the back row, the only degreed architects in a room of 60 architectural draftsmen and a handful of engineers. Hagie was a graduate of Texas A&M and I had my Bachelor of Architecture from UT. While we had our differences, we shared some similarities.

Courtesy David Braden, FAIA
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Clean Line Energy Partners

by: Noelle Heinze

Designed by Kirksey Architecture, Clean Line Energy Partners in downtown Houston is a 6,700-sf space housing an electricity transmission company that develops electrical transmission lines connecting wind farms to urban areas. Several factors guided the design, including a limited budget of $350,000. The client desired a sustainable, historic headquarters building with a design that would reflect the company’s fresh, hip brand.

Aker/Zvonkovic Photography
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Propaganda Hair Group

Dick Clark Architecture designed Propaganda Hair Group’s leased, 1,700-sf shell space within the Gables 5th Street Commons building in downtown Austin. The client requested a loft-like space with an open plan, minimal furnishings, and wood and concrete textures. The design focuses on ways to differentiate program areas within a single space, while offering an open atmosphere.

Paul Bardagjy
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Two Texas Design Firms among Four Waller Creek Competition Finalists

Two Texas design firms are among four design teams that have been chosen as finalists in an international competition to revitalize Austin’s downtown Waller Creek. More than 30 teams entered the competition late last year, and nine semifinalists were chosen in January.

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EPA’s Annual Energy Star Buildings List Includes Three Texas Cities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its annual listing of U.S. metropolitan areas featuring the most Energy Star certified buildings for 2011, and three Texas cities — Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston — have made the list. Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.

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AIA Convention and Design Expo, May 17-19, Washington, D.C.

The American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Convention Guide and Daily Schedule are now available online.

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The Big Idea

by: Stephen Sharpe, Hon. AIA

After almost 12 years at the helm of Texas Architect, I see even more clearly the truth in Burnham’s oftquoted assertion. Having worked so long with architects on articles about topics important to them, I understand the power of the big idea. That’s what drives the project, the impetus that transforms the concept into physical reality. Big ideas, I’ve learned, are essential to the architect.

Patrick Wong
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To Your Good Health

by: Larry Paul Fuller

In this edition about design for healthcare and wellness, we look at good buildings of both types. But the role of architects in public health goes far beyond their work on the hospitals, clinics, and fitness facilities routinely associated with these two categories. The broader purview includes their role in shaping more livable, sustainable, and healthy communities — the premise being that there is a direct correlation between the design of a community and the health of its people.

Photos by Michael Moran
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Registration Opens Mid July for Texas Architects Convention

by: TA Staff

Online registration opens mid July for the Texas Society of Architects Convention and Design Expo, October 18-20, in Austin. This year, the convention’s theme is “Influence.”

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Texas Firms among AIA COTE Award Winners

On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA–COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlights community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners.

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Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America

by: John V. Nyfeler, FAIA

Architects are faced with the reality that we are an Aging Society.  Among the challenges of this future is the preference of people to “age in place,” living at home, in the same neighborhood. Our suitable homes today will not accommodate our needs as we age.

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