Do you like modern architecture? Is Frank Lloyd Wright someone you wish you could have met?
If so, then you’ll want to check out the new “Masters Gallery” of the North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH) group. With changes and additions announced this week, it’s Gallery is America’s largest open digital archive of Modernist houses, as well as the internationally known Modernist architects who designed them.
Currently, the Gallery showcases over 30 architects with extensive house histories and over 10,000 photos. The Gallery is extensive and searchable and includes, among many other notables, Frank Gehry and, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright.
To view the NCMH Masters Gallery, go to http://www.ncmodernist.org/ and click on “Masters Gallery” under the Archives listing. Be careful, though, because NCMH founder and director George Smart, you can spend many addictive hours looking around. Hey, at least this addiction doesn’t require a trip to the gym afterwords!
Photo courtesy WikiMedia Commons.
If you haven’t already, check out some of the blogs on my Blogroll. These are other construction law writers from around the United States. Even if they are not writing for your jurisdiction, most of the information is relevant to readers from any state- or indeed, for readers from many other countries.
In addition to the Blogroll, you can find a plethora of well-written, topical blogs in this year’s “Best Construction Blog” contest run by Construction Marketing Magazine, founded by Mark Buckshon. Mark’s company is also responsible for publication of the North Carolina Construction News, which is on my “to read” list and should be on yours.
And yes, if you think I have ulterior motives, I do. This blog is one of the contestants, so if you feel so inclined to vote, please consider including this blog among your votes. (In the alphabetized list, under “C”, “Construction Law in North Carolina,” which is the 14th from the top.
You can vote for multiple blogs, and I encourage you to do so as there are many good contenders this year. The contest is open until the end of the month. Happy reading & happy voting!
Photo (c) Theresa Thompson.
What are your top construction building projects in North Carolina? Do you have a “short list”? Author Ralitsa Golemanova of JW Surety Bonds does, and she has the reasoning behind them. Ralista’s Top 5, which all “present a different facet of exceptional modern design and construction” are presented below.
Her list, in no particular order, includes:
1. The North Carolina Museum of Art’s West Building Expansion
The 127,000 square-feet West Building Expansion of the North Carolina Museum of Arts won the 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Architecture. The Building is largely made of aluminum panels. One of its specificities is that it does not have any windows. Instead, visibility is ensured through 360 skylights that allow delicate natural light to enter the inner galleries.
2. The Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte
The skyscraper is 871 feet tall and was completed in 1992, is allegedly the tallest building between Atlanta and Philadelphia, and can be seen from 35 miles away.
3. The Bell Tower Development project at UNC-Chapel Hill
The huge $175 million Bell Tower Development includes a 710 car parking deck, a 25 thousand-ton chilled water plant, a new Genome Science Laboratory Building which will provide approximately 210,000 square feet of modern classrooms, laboratories and offices including nine wet labs, four bioinformatics labs, a 250 seat lecture hall, a 450 seat lecture hall, an 80 seat classroom, and four 30 seat seminar rooms.
4. The Biomanufacturing Research Institute & Technology Enterprise (BRITE) at NC Central
The BRITE construction was a $17.8 million endeavor, which is spread out over 59,900 square feet and complements the existing science buildings. The project includes a four-story 65,000 square foot building to provide hands-on learning experiences for biotechnology students.
5. The James B. Hunt, Jr. Library at NC State
Priced at $93.75 million, the 221,122 square feet library is designed with maximized light and views of nature in mind. With its LEED Silver certification, it provides natural heating and cooling, as well as usage of rainwater with the help of green roofs and rain gardens.
What about you? Do you have a list of favorites?? Share in the comment section of the blog.
Photos of Art Museum and Hunt Library both courtesty of Wikipedia via cc.
Wondering how to get your residential clients to pony up more money for green design? Check out today’s guest post by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley and Katherine Wood. They are writers for the Homeowners’ Insurance Blog, which serves as a resource center for insurance consumers and homebuyers across the country.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s new LEEDv4 standards present challenges for contractors, engineers, and architects – the restrictions in many cases are more stringent. There is, however an added bonus to remaining on the sustainable-building track: it’s more marketable than you think.
That’s because green homes don’t just appeal to buyers with environmental concerns any more. Now smart budgeters seek them out as well. Why? While it’s true that sustainable construction can cost about 2% more than conventional methods, McGraw-Hill’s Smart Market Report says it typically increases a building’s overall value by an average of 7.5% and improves the return on investment by 6.6%.
In fact, 80% of Generation Y homebuyers said in 2012 that they prefer energy-efficient homes, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Buying both green and new not only can save your clients on utilities costs, it also can reduce their home insurance premiums.
Pitching the insurance angle
Rightly or wrongly, the insurance industry isn’t known for innovation. However, it is embracing sustainability. Why? Americans experienced $52.9 billion in insured property losses in 2012 – $30 billion more than the average annual losses from 2001 to 2011. For more than two decades, the home insurance industry has quietly monitored climate change and its impact on the weather, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Many providers now are committed to being more visibly sustainable in their own practices and extending their concerns to the business of insuring residential, commercial, industrial, and other buildings. Why? Because environmentally friendly construction, using updated materials and systems, typically proves to be more durable – and less likely to result in huge insurance claims. If you already participate in these green building practices, use them to your advantage by mentioning how much clients could save.
Some environmentally friendly features that can earn your clients savings:
- Buying new: Homebuyers typically can earn a home insurance discount (usually around 10%) when they buy a house built within the last 10 years. New homes normally prove more energy efficient as well.
- Sustainable roof: As much as 95% of wind and water related losses to the home involve roof damage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (iii). That’s a big deal when the average loss resulting from wind or water damage adds up to more than $6,000.
Homeowners insurance providers offer lower premiums to homes with roofs made of more durable, sustainable materials such as steel and aluminum. These roofs can save on energy efficiency, and they also can better withstand wind, rain, and hail. If your designs include these roofs you can use these expected insurance savings figures when marketing to your clients.
- Efficient plumbing and fixtures: About one quarter of home claims in the U.S. are caused by water damage, with the average claim exceeding $7,000. By designing updated, green friendly plumbing, you can save your clients a huge mess both physically and monetarily.
- Electrical system: Each year, 19,000 to 25,000 fires in the U.S. involve electrical wiring or lighting equipment, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Outdated electrical systems and wiring present significantly more fire risk. The average cost of a house fire claim is more than $33,000, so buyers could qualify for lower premiums when the home includes modern wiring and circuit-breakers. New systems also are more energy efficient so they can save the client more money in utilities.
- HVAC: Malfunctioning heating and cooling systems are the second-leading cause of house fires in the U.S. (after cooking). Newer, more efficient systems involve less risk and therefore can save your clients money in insurance premiums.
Twice the advantage
When practices you already use in your everyday work can provide you with an extra client selling point, why not take advantage? Use home insurance and utilities perks to help you sweeten the deal for your residential clients. If your work includes security systems, fire safety sprinklers, or smoke detectors, you also can alert them of additional home insurance discounts for those features. Now it can be satisfying both morally and monetarily to be environmentally friendly.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Share in the comment section, below.
Picture via Flickr/401k2013 thru CC license.
The newest version of the LEED ratings system, LEED v4, has officially been released. For a comparison of the major changes between LEED 2009 and LEEDv4, check out this downloadable form from the USGBC.
As the folks at Schinnerer’s pointed out, there is one major change that is fraught with peril for design professionals– the requirement for increased transparency concerning the composition and performance requirements of composition materials.
While design firms always had a level of responsibility for ongoing product research, the lack of standardized, affirmative industry data made it difficult for design firms and project owners to assess the impact of building materials on human health.As with many aspects of sustainability in design and construction, the danger to design firms is likely to come from self-inflicted perils. When a firm accepts responsibility to “ensure that a project meets its goals by using the best products that align with project requirements,” it is essentially giving the project owner a guarantee that is both beyond the firm’s control and uninsurable by any insurance carried by a firm.
What is an architect or engineer to do? NOT make guarantees. That’s the easiest way to avoid potential problems and lawsuits down the road.
Inform your client that any green design guarantees may cause an otherwise covered claim to be denied by your errors & omissions insurance carrier. Show them this post, or the Victor O. Schinnerer (CNA) blog article. Whatever you do, do not make guarantees related to green design.
Your turn. What has been your experience educating clients concerning green “guarantees” and the uninsurable nature of any such contract provisions? Share in the comments section.