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In an article from the New York Times by Anna Holmes, the meaning of diversity highlighted a disconnection. It takes more than a simple box-ticking to tackle this issue. Important questions need to be asked that could help any industry: “(The African-American director Ava) DuVernay, who made ‘‘Selma,’’ pointed out that of the 100 top-grossing films last year, only two were directed by women. She urged constant vigilance and proactive searching within the industry: ‘‘We have to ask our agents about that script by the woman screenwriter. We have to ask, ‘Hey, are there any women agents here that I could talk to?’ We have to ask our lawyers about women...
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Update #4 from the field in China [Paul Okamoto squeezes in one last sketch from the roof terrace on the morning of our departure from Xizhou] We bid farewell to the Linden Centre on Saturday as we made our way towards the very much non-fictional town of Shangri-La. The lengthiness of the six hour bus ride was tempered by the sweeping views outside our windows for the majority of our journey north. [quick snap from one of our scenic pit stops] As our bus inched closer to Shangri-La's elevation of 9,860 feet, the architecture of the buildings quickly moved away from the vernacular found near Dali and more towards...
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Update 3 below: ------------- Friday was a big day for our 21 person delegation as we trekked to Dali University for introductions, presentations, and discussion with the staff and students of its architecture department. The architecture department at the university is fairly young - currently in its fourth year of a five year degree program - and the faculty warmly welcomed opportunities for engagement with our group. [taking in the views from the beautifully sited campus] Several delegation members gave brief presentations: Nathaniel Belcher, Kathy Dixon, Casius Pealer, and Prescott Muir introduced the architectural curriculum...
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Update no. 2 from the road below ------------------ By horse cart, by boat, by bumpy bus ride: Thursday offered up a wealth of transportation options to our many destinations, starting with a tour of Xizhou Village and ending with lakeside dining in Shuang Lang. [construction in progress at the Linden Centre's second site- soon to be a destination hotel with 16 suites] In the morning, Brian Linden of the Linden Centre showed us the sights around the center, including stops to the friendly local antique shop, the village mosque, and one of the Linden Centre's ongoing projects - restoring a second courtyard house....
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Greetings from Yunnan! Our delegation of 21 have already experienced so much during our first three days here, including an extremely early morning flight from Beijing to Lijiang, discussing program activities and goals during a five hour layover in Kunming, marveling over the picturesque views from the Zen Garden Hotel in Lijiang, and exploring the bustling tourist hub that is Old Town Lijiang. [recreated ceiling at the Confucian temple in Shaxi Village] On Wednesday, a bumpy bus ride through snaking steep roads took us from Lijiang to Shaxi Village, a town of 25,000 that is currently being restored in conjunction with ETH...
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Over the next two weeks, delegates of the Housing Knowledge Community trip will be sending correspondence so we can follow them on their trip. Simon Ha, one of the delegates who arrived early in China, sent some early photos and an article he found. All, I found this article in the Chinese paper yesterday and wanted to share with the group. This article “The new type of urbanization is in the details” states by 2020, an additional 100 million people in China will become urban dwellers and cautions the government and the development communities to pay attention to infrastructure and sustainability. ...
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In a few days, t he AIA Housing Knowledge Community delegation will travel within China from to investigate the potential of establishing an ongoing educational and professional exchange with the Yunnan Sustainability Network, Dali University’s new school of architecture and the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability. This is an important opportunity to be part of designing the Housing KC’s engagement in sustainability initiatives in the region and to learn about traditional and contemporary housing in Yunnan. Participants will be participating in analyzing options for engagement, writing a trip report and/or providing technical assistance...
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If you're excited about building your very own home, then you've probably been taking notes from every house that you've walked into. From cabinets that you like in a friend's home to flooring designs in model homes that are unique, every design aspect suddenly becomes important. While you always have to make sure you like the design of your home, everything can become overwhelming if you think about it at once. By utilizing the top considerations listed below, you can make some sense of designing your home and make it more fun as well as enjoyable! 1. Rooms Consider the number of...
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Self storage is a necessity for most people today, as it allows you to keep things safe, secure and out of your home and garage. Unfortunately, not all self storage facilities are created equally. Some are designed to only hold regular storage items, like big boxes and maybe some large pieces of furniture. This means that if you want to store something like a vehicle or even a boat, you are going to be out of luck! If you need to store irregular items, then it's important to look for a facility that can accommodate that. Below you'll find out how great architecture is extremely valuable in self storage because of the benefits it offers and some tips for finding...
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about myself

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I guess I am the new boy in the AIA HKC, to start I want to tell a little about myself. I love the fluid stone: concrete for that I first practice by building using my idea of masonry concrete which becomes massive construction with 7,500 homes, eight schools and a shopping center in 15 months in Mexico City, 360 dwellings in one month in other location in Mexico City. Note than Mexico City has earthquakes frequent, no damaged reported in such buildings, which were for people of lower income. In Cancun, one 3 stories hotel and 10 houses, there: hurricanes, no damaged since around 40 years ago, for my masonry concrete practice. Presently In...
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The HUD Green Academy includes the following courses: Course 1: Introduction to Green Building for Affordable Housing (1 ½ days) provides training and knowledge to best incorporate green building energy efficiency practices and what applicable regulations and incentives are in place to promote green building practices. 9.75 HSW/SD Course 2: Executive Decision Making (½ day) provides an overview of the executive decisions necessary to optimize green practices in affordable housing and your organization. This course is aimed at senior staff members that are responsible for medium and high-level decision-making about the new construction,...
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Thus far in the grant process we have decided to divide and conquer. We’ve tried to compile information and have focused on areas of prefabrication history and methods, business contacts for marketing plans, and manufacturing contacts for pricing and partnerships. We have researched the history of various aspects of prefabrication dating back to the mid 19th century. This has helped us gain perspective as to where we place ourselves in history and the lineage of manufacturing in architecture. While incredibly diverse, from methods of building to full buildings to various materials to prefabricated elements, this lineage has been helpful context. This information...
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The InHouse OutHouse is a pre-fabricated residential core that consolidates major trade-dependent systems and finishes into a single deliverable unit. It is designed with enough flexibility to be inserted into existing homes as well used in new construction. More importantly, InHouse OutHouse swerves from these earlier approaches at the point where it pairs the technical and design issues at play with a greater social vision: revitalizing the existing residential fabric of urban centers. Research Since the InHouse OutHouse was initially conceptualized, Andrew, Peter and I have completed our Master of Architecture degrees at the Rice University School...
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Strictly defined, it is based on household size and income compared to the median income of the local county. The median is found by determining the mid point between which 50% of households make more and 50% make less. Generally the categories are as follows: Extremely low (less than 40%), Very Low (40%-59%), Low (60-79%), Moderate (80-120%) of the median. Some communities do not consider any housing beyond 100% for Moderate Income. Above this point the housing is considered Market Rate. This calculation is adjusted at a minimum annually and sometimes twice a year. Household size ranges from one to six with above six given a multiplier. The...
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The term vernacular is derived from the Latin vernaculus , meaning "domestic, native, indigenous"; In linguistics , vernacular refers to language use particular to a time, place or group. In architecture, it refers to that type of architecture which is indigenous to a specific time or place (not imported or copied from elsewhere). It is most often applied to residential buildings. Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernacular_architecture
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As a preface to my commentary on the IGCC, let me address all “single-family residential architects / designers”: Don’t get smug! Once the IGCC (for commercial projects) is formally adopted, the next matter of “green-code” business is formulation of the International Green Residential Construction Code (or some derivation of the name). So don’t think that what I’m reviewing won’t impact you. This is only a foretaste of what’s coming “to your neighborhood”. Forging ahead: To continue my commentary on the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), I lambast the lack of neutrality inherent within the IGCC. Generally, codes are “neutral”...
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Review of Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction, Second Edition, 2010 About a month ago I posted a question on the Residential Knowledge Community board asking if anyone had seen the second edition of Architectural Graphic Standards for Residential Construction , and if so, what they thought. Though I did not get any review comments back, I was fortunate enough to receive a note from the AIA asking if I would like to review the book myself and post my review as a blog on the AIA KnowledgeNet. I accepted, and they sent a copy of the book to me. See below for my review. I have been an architect for many years,...
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I would like to wish all a very happy and prosperous 2011! (I have cross-posted this on the AIA KnowledgeNet Residential and Small Project Forums) As a way to get the ball rolling on making a positive contribution to the AIA that will benefit many of its members (as well as lay persons who are current homeowners or potential home buyers and home builders, contractors and realtors), I would like to propose that we develop (as a "group project" on this KnowledgeNet) a brochure (for print or pdf format) to distribute to the lay public on the benefits of hiring an architect to design single-family residential projects (new and renovation/addition projects)....
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AIA/CRAN creates opportunities for professionals to share indispensable information and techniques for the custom residential practice. Knowledge gained during our exchanges give participating firms an understanding of what is succeeding nationwide. Moreover, this forum presents a unique opportunity to improve your own practice while contributing to the custom residential practices in general. Most importantly, CRAN group of architects that specialize in custom residential design. We have worked hard to supply content directly to residential architects for over four years in the form of on-line dialog, yearly symposiums, and working to provide...
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