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As 112th Congress Convenes, the American Institute of Architects Issues Agenda Focusing on Creating Jobs in Design and Construction Sector

The American Institute of Architects today unveiled its top four legislative priorities with the 112th Congress that convenes tomorrow. Each initiative focuses on creating jobs in a design and construction industry that accounts for one in nine dollars of Gross Domestic Product.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/releases/AIAB087088

“When architects work, the nation builds,” said AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. “By following these four core principles, Congress has a chance to enact policies that unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s design professionals, create economic growth and rebuild our struggling communities and aging infrastructure.”

The AIA’s top legislative priorities are:
  • Unfreeze Credit, Create Jobs: Thousands of needed construction projects that would employ millions of Americans are on hold because credit is frozen. Banks received billions in federal taxpayer bailouts; now it’s time to ensure those banks lend. Congress should support efforts to reign in regulatory overkill in the wake of the banking crisis by passing legislation such as the Equal Treatment of Covered Bonds Act,, which would create a market for the kind of bond that has been used in Europe for capital projects and is generally more secure than other securitized bonds, like mortgage-backed securities. Advocates say it could unleash a market for sounder, more straightforward financing. The AIA also supports the Capital Access for Main Street Act, which would help prevent large numbers of commercial foreclosures and free up credit to help small business get back to work.
  • Remove Regulatory Burdens That Hold Small Business Back: Small architecture firms and sole practitioners know all too well the burdens of high tax rates and burdensome paperwork. In 2010, the AIA helped defeat a plan to increase payroll taxes on thousands of small architecture firms that organize as S corporations. Now Congress needs to passthe Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act, which would repeal the expensive and unneeded new Form 1099 paperwork requirement slipped into the health care reform bill.
  • Jumpstart the Market for Building Retrofits as an Engine of Economic Growth: Across the country, building owners, state and local governments and school districts want to lower energy bills by retrofitting their buildings, but lack the financing to do it. By increasing incentives for efficient building designs and renovations that show real results, Congress can create jobs while securing our energy independence. Congress should increase the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction from the current $1.80sf to $3.00sf.
  • Pass a Transportation Bill to Get our Communities Moving Again: Our current transportation system is broken. Crumbling infrastructure and rising congestion have crippled our nation’s competitiveness, reduced safety, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, outdated transportation laws and tax policy have slowed projects down, deprived the public of a voice in the planning process, and forced Americans into longer and longer commutes. The current tax incentives for building/real estate activities do not adequately take into account locating developments near transit systems, for example.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/AIANational

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Growing Number Of Metro Areas - 120 Out Of 337 - Added Construction Jobs Between November 2009 & 2010

Phoenix, Ariz. and Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. Top List of Metro Areas Adding Jobs while Chicago and Napa, Calif. Lose Most Jobs for the Year


Construction employment either increased or remained steady in a growing number of metropolitan areas – 120 of 337 – between November 2009 and November 2010 according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said construction employment is improving slightly thanks in large part to temporary federal funding for stimulus and military construction.

“It is good to see the construction industry finishing the year on a relatively positive note,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “But even if the industry is no longer on the brink, it is still a long way from recovering.”

Phoenix, Ariz. added more construction jobs (3,100 jobs, 4 percent) than any of the 70 metro areas to add jobs during the past year. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. added the highest percentage (33 percent, 300 jobs). Other areas adding jobs included Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. (2,200 jobs, 3 percent); Pittsburgh, Pa. (2,100 jobs, 4 percent); Greeley, Colo. (1,400 jobs, 16 percent); and Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (900, 5 percent). Construction employment was unchanged in 49 metro areas.

The Chicago area lost more construction jobs (-14,800 jobs, -11 percent) than any of the other 217 metro areas where construction employment declined. Napa, Calif. (-1,900 jobs, -33 percent) lost the highest percentage. Other areas experiencing large declines in construction employment included Las Vegas (-13,400 jobs, -23 percent); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. (-8,100 jobs, -7 percent); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga. (-6,400 jobs, -7 percent); and Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif. (-5,900 jobs, -11 percent).

Association officials said that construction employment was up in a growing number of metro areas thanks to ongoing demand for stimulus and other public projects. They added that new hospital, university and power construction were helping to partially offset severe declines in overall private-sector construction demand. Continued state, local and private sector weakness, combined with uncertainty about long-term federal funding for infrastructure could mean more industry job losses in 2011, officials warned.

“Temporary programs like the stimulus helped the construction industry go from really hard-hit to just hard-hit,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Finally passing long-delayed water and transportation infrastructure bills would help give contractors the stability the industry has been lacking for over two years now.”

View construction employment figures by metro area and rank.

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Architecture Billings Index Reaches Highest Score Since 2007
Business conditions continue to vary by sector and region

After stepping back in October reversing into the negative territory, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) rose more than three points in November to reach its highest mark since December 2007. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the November ABI score was 52.0, up from a reading of 48.7 the previous month. This score reflects an increase in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.4, down slightly from a mark of 61.7 in October.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB086873

“While this is heartening news, it would be premature to say the design and construction industry is out of the woods yet,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We continue to hear a wide mix of business conditions, with a good deal of it still indicating flat or no demand for design services. Once we see several months in a row of increasing demand we can feel safe saying we have entered a recovery phase. Until then, we can expect continued volatility in business conditions.”

Key November ABI highlights:

  • Regional averages: Northeast (51.1), Midwest (50.9), South (50.5), West (48.7)
  • Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (54.3), commercial / industrial (49.8), institutional (49.3), mixed practice (45.8)
  • Project inquiries index: 61.4

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spendingon theAIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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Benchmark Estimating Introduces Custom Product Integration With On Center Software
Integrated Software Solution For Takeoffs and Estimating


Benchmark Estimating announces a new custom integration with On Center Software’s estimating software, On-Screen Takeoff®. This new software integration allows Benchmark users to import takeoff data from On-Screen Takeoff into Benchmark Estimating software, providing a custom solution for Benchmark and On Center Software users.

This integration provides both Benchmark and On Center Software users with a more specific estimating solution that is designed to reduce takeoff time and increase accuracy. Benchmark Director Rob MacDonald states, “We are very excited about our partnership with On Center Software. Many of our clients have inquired about digital takeoff solutions, and we are certain that this resultant integration will be of great benefit to them.” Benefits to clients will be instantly apparent as they start completing takeoffs with the On-Screen Takeoff/Benchmark Estimating integration. According Angelo Castelli, Director of Business Development for On Center Software, “The combination of the industry leading On-Screen Takeoff and Benchmark Estimating will provide a new level of productivity and efficiency for estimators everywhere. The flexibility of both the Benchmark system and On-Screen Takeoff will be a key advantage for estimators and project managers.”

The Benchmark/On Center Software custom integration is currently in development. Once it is complete, Benchmark will be in the position to offer On-Screen Takeoff as a product for purchase, in addition to the Benchmark Estimating software line. On-Screen Takeoff training will also be available for clients who purchase On Center Software’s takeoff software through Benchmark.

About Benchmark
Founded in 1996 by its current Director, Rob MacDonald http://benchmarkestimating.com/about/management-team , Benchmark Software is a privately owned, family-run software provider with offices in the Europe and Australia. Benchmark’s goal is to provide construction professionals with a powerful, yet easy-to-use estimating system. Along with Benchmark Estimating http://www.benchmarkestimating.co.uk in the United Kingdom and MacDonald International http://www.miengineers.com in Australia, Benchmark Estimating sells and supports software in Europe and also provides specialist estimating consulting services.

About On Center Software, Inc.
Located in The Woodlands, Texas, On Center Software, Inc. is a privately held company providing software and training to construction-industry professionals. The company’s mission is to transform the estimating, takeoff and production-tracking experiences for construction-industry professionals by developing and supporting innovative, practical, comprehensive software solutions that turn winning bids into profitable projects. The On Center Software line of products includes Quick Bid, On-Screen Takeoff®, Digital Production Control™ and the Digital Takeoff Table®2.

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Clark D. Manus, FAIA, Inaugurated as 2011 AIA President

Clark D. Manus, FAIA, CEO of Heller Manus Architects, was inaugurated as the 87th president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) during ceremonies held on December 17th. He succeeds George H. Miller, FAIA, in representing the nearly 80,000 AIA members.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB086868

“This is our time to demonstrate the value of design in every community in spite of challenging times for the architecture profession,” said Manus. “I look forward to promoting the integrative ‘power of design’ in forging a coherent whole that balances seemingly conflicting issues. Stitching together communities by design—city, country, villages—to form mutually supportive agendas is the future of the globe. From an advocacy standpoint, I want to champion the need to evolve from looking at singular building designs to broader thinking about how buildings relate more effectively to their surroundings communities and the regional perspective.”

Manus served as AIA National Vice President; chairing the Board Advocacy Committee and the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan following service as a Board of Director. He chaired the AIA/USGBC Task Force to best utilize joint resources and the AIA150 Blueprint for America Mosaic. In his hometown and state, he was a former AIA San Francisco President and two-time AIA California Council Board of Director. Manus has long stressed and acted on the importance of industry alliances as well as engaging emerging professionals in leadership.

In San Francisco, his extensive community/urban design leadership and public contribution for two decades emerged following the 1989 earthquake. He chaired successive Mayoral Citizen Advisory Committees facilitating the instrumental reclamation of the Central Embarcadero and enabling the downtown Rincon Hill and Transbay Districts to be catalysts for new residential neighborhoods. Manus is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Design, and the University at Buffalo, School of Environmental Design.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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American Institute of Architects To Sponsor Haiti Rebuilding Conference

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced it was sponsoring a Haiti reconstruction conference in early January that will bring together a host of organizations to identify and coordinate opportunities in Haiti for design assistance teams, building assessments, resources and other programs.

The AIA Summit on Haiti will be held on January 13 – one day after the first anniversary of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 – at the Loew’s Hotel in New Orleans. Organizations participating in the AIA’s Haiti conference include The American Red Cross, National Urban League - Greater New Orleans, Adecco Group North America, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Architecture for Humanity (AFH), National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), Public Architecture and Black Design Network News. More organizations are expected to attend.

The meeting comes as the AIA works to implement a resolution passed unanimously in September by its Board of Directors that expresses support for the Haitian architectural community and commits to developing a process under which AIA volunteers will be able to provide assistance to those affected by the earthquake. That resolution followed a joint AIA/USGBC announcement in July naming Stacey McMahan, AIA, LEED AP, as the Architecture for Humanity (AFH) Sustainable Design Fellow to lead AFH’s sustainable rebuilding efforts in Haiti. McMahan has been working directly with community members in Architecture for Humanity’s Rebuilding Center based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Ms. McMahan will also be attending the conference.

The Haiti conference is the latest AIA effort this year to assist Haiti with expertise and contributions. Immediately after the earthquake, the AIA offered assistance to its members on where to send financial donations and resources. In April, the Puerto Rico Chapter of the AIA hosted a conference that united Haitian design experts with other Pan Caribbean professionals to examine the current status of Haitian infrastructure, identify strategic areas of support and plan for local, regional and national development. A website was also developed: www.aiaforhaiti.org

“The challenges of Haiti reconstruction are mammoth and daunting, and were of necessity delayed while the need to provide first aid and temporary housing took precedence,” said AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA, who visited Haiti in August. “One of the goals of this conference is to establish a framework for how the architectural profession can provide volunteers for the Haiti reconstruction effort, either through training Haitian architects in the United States or by helping establish best practices for architectural design on the ground in Haiti.”

To learn more about the conference agenda and speakers at: http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAB086727 or contact SherrySnipes@aia.org 202.626.7471

About the American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/AIANational

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Texas-based Jacob White Development Achieves Triple LEED® Platinum

In November, three of Jacob White’s real estate developments achieved LEED Platinum certification, ranking Jacob White, as the only private developer, owner or manager to have earned three or more Platinum certifications. Headquartered just south of Houston, Texas, since 1992, Jacob White is one of world’s leading sustainable real estate innovators, providing integrated, healthy, high performance green building development, design, construction and management.

In November, three Texas projects by one developer – Jacob White Development – achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification: 12941 Gulf Freeway in Houston, 253 Medical Center Boulevard in Webster, and the company’s headquarters at 2000 West Parkwood in Friendswood, all just south of Houston, Texas, near NASA.

Globally, Adobe Corporation and Jacob White Construction are the first companies to have achieved at least three LEED Platinum certifications. 

Notably, Jacob White’s headquarters is the first LEED for Core & Shell 2009 certified in the world. And, the Gulf Freeway office center is the world’s third highest scoring LEED CS 2.0.

Of the world’s 7,321 LEED-certified green building projects, fewer than 400 have achieved the LEED Rating System’s highest level, Platinum, (5.4% by project count and 4.7% by gross square footage). Texas is home to roughly 3% of the LEED Platinum projects in the U.S. by square feet and project count. Roughly 60 million square feet (397 projects) have achieved LEED Platinum certification globally and nearly 40 million of those square feet (351 projects) are in the United States.

Additionally, the Gulf Freeway Office Building earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rare “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” (DEES) certification - placing it among only 250 others with this certification in the U.S. and among the nation’s top 4% of energy-efficient commercial office buildings.

Each of the three LEED Platinum Jacob White buildings has received ENERGY STAR Target Finder scores of 94 to 96 out of 100, placing their intended energy performance among the top 4%-6% of comparable buildings.

Over the past 12 years, the nation has accumulated sustainable real estate experience on 12,200+ ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings (2+ billion square feet), and 7,300+ LEED-certified projects (1.3 billion sq. ft.).  29,000 more LEED projects totaling 6 billion square feet are in the green building pipeline as registered projects.

Jacob White’s expanding green building portfolio is a project of President/CEO and technology enthusiast Jeff Mickler.  Jeff’s wife and business partner, Holly, says, “For Jeff, green building is simply good business.  It’s fun and feels right as parents, good neighbors and business owners.”

Joe Webb, the projects’ lead architect with Webb Architects, says, “Jeff is a true innovator, yet very practical and hands-on. He challenges teams to do their best work, designing award-winning high-performance environments for generations to come.”

“The challenge for many teams on projects like these has been the learning curve related to auditing and documenting intended performance,” says Webb. “Working at the cutting edge – pushing the limits of LEED and ENERGY STAR – makes it difficult to know where we would end up. It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely fun.”

Sustainability consultant and energy management advisor Mark Robinson adds, “Jeff has a great team that works well together. While his team stayed focused on design and construction, he retained Momentum Bay’s team – particularly Green Building Services – for all energy modeling and LEED documentation. GBS managed the publication of the LEED 2009 Rating System Guides, and has consulted on roughly five percent of all LEED certified projects globally.”

“We have always built, owned and managed healthier, more resource efficient buildings,” notes Mickler. “The most successful green building rating systems -- LEED and ENERGY STAR – happen to give us globally recognized, meaningful scorecards and metrics, helping us benchmark our buildings’ design and performance.”

Dr. Norm Miller’s and CoStar’s longitudinal real estate study entitled “Does Green Pay Off?” shows a clear market advantage for developers and owners of LEED and ENERGY STAR certified buildings: certifications yield consistently higher rents, lower cap rates/higher sales prices, higher occupancy rates and faster absorption (http://www.costar.com/josre/doesGreenPayOff.htm).

So far, Jacob White’s experience has matched CoStar’s research. These three LEED Platinum buildings’ innovative, certified combination of visible green features – green roofs, rainwater catchment, outdoor views, and even some wind turbines – along with healthier, resource-efficient strategies, have yielded faster rental velocity, higher occupancies and even traffic jams by passers-by.

Jacob White’s radical, visible, authentic approach to green building stops traffic and really makes sense. Two of the three buildings are 100% leased even in a down economy and in the suburbs.”

Beyond the visible features, two green building strategies are paramount to Jacob White:  ensuring a healthy, productive environment for occupants, and reducing long-term operating costs through energy efficiency.

Energy modeling and ENERGY STAR’s Target Finder tool confirm both. Jacob White’s three buildings are projected to prevent 30%-54% more greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally designed commercial offices and medical office buildings, and use 30%-54% less energy, saving more than $2,126,250 on utility bills over the next 25 years.”

According to Mickler, “We are delighted to have achieved such high scores for exemplary design from the USGBC’s and ENERGY STAR’s green building programs. We are already pursuing ongoing certifications of these buildings’ performance via ENERGY STAR labeling and LEED for Existing Buildings Operations & Maintenance certification.”

Jacob White recognizes that designing, building and operating healthy, sustainable real estate requires a combination of green building strategies:  not only energy efficiency, but also conservation and green power, starting with offsite utility green energy and graduating to onsite generation.

In 2007, Jacob White began purchasing 100% Green-e certified utility green electricity.  Since then, Jacob White has joined the EPA Green Power Partnership as a 100% Purchaser, and became a member of its Leadership Club. “Clearly, Jacob White knows that striving for a healthier, more sustainable future is economical and easy,” says EPA Green Power Partnership’s Director Blaine Collison. “Their green power purchase not only eliminated nearly all of the company’s carbon emissions, but also made Jacob White one of more than 100 Texas members of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership or 100% Purchasers group.”

With grid parity already a reality in some parts of the U.S., in 2010 Jacob White upgraded some of its headquarters’ offsite green power to onsite generation with the installation of two 4-kilowatt vertical axis wind turbines  by Urban Green Energy.

“Like most real estate professionals, we get excited about energy efficiency technologies,” says Mickler. “But, we are most interested in how buildings’ performance impacts occupants’ and communities’ health.”

“Working in a green building can provide savings on operations and maintenance expenses at a reasonable payback.  But, the most important benefit is employee productivity increases of 2%-20%. These benefits resonate with our healthcare, financial and business tenants,” he adds.

In early 2011, Jacob White will co-host a media event day with Texas’ healthiest, most sustainable K-12 school.

Jacob White hopes that its small family business success story will inspire Texas’ other owners, developers, designers, contractors, managers and tenants to join them in creating a healthy, sustainable Texas.

To schedule a tour of any of these green buildings, email tours@jacobwhitecc.com or call 281-286-6666.

Photo Captions –  Gulf Freeway; 253 Medical; Jacob White HQ; Green Roof at Jacob White; Wind Generator at Jacob White.   High resolution images are available upon request.

FACT SHEET
Jacob White’s most notable green building strategies and achievements with these three buildings were:

•       100% offsite, utility Green-e® Certified green power since 2007
•       100% irrigation water from extreme rainwater catchment, gray water & green roof systems
•       100% lush, and even edible, extensive green roofs
•       90%-100% direct outdoor views in regularly occupied space
•       82%-90% construction waste diverted from landfills
•       21%-57% recycled materials
•       32%-60% regionally manufactured materials
•       29%-67% of sites are permeable
•       30-54% less energy and carbon than average, comparable buildings.
•       24%-39% more energy efficient than baseline in 2004 code
•       ENERGY STAR Target Finder scores of 94-96 out of 100, worth $2,126,250 in 25-year projected energy savings

About Jacob White (www.jacobwhitecc.com)

Headquartered just south of Houston, Texas, since 1992, Jacob White is one of world’s leading sustainable real estate innovators, providing integrated, high performance green building development, design, construction and management, such as office, medical office, health care and banking projects. Its specialty lies in the highest scoring “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” and ENERGY STAR buildings, as well as highest ranked LEED® Platinum certified projects. Jacob White is both an ENERGY STAR Partner and U.S. Green Building Council member – the 15th contractor and builder among 255 to have joined the USGBC in Texas. Jacob White is also the 100th Texas member in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, and a member of its 100% Purchasers group and Leadership Club.

About LEED (www.usgbc.org and www.gbci.org)

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Over 36,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 7.8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 127 countries.

Other owners with two or more LEED Platinum certified projects include:

 

# Platinum’s

Total Platinum GSF

Adobe Systems & Cushman & Wakefield as Agent for Adobe

4

1,242,727

Jacob White Development

3

82,001

Bank of America

2

2,215,021

City of Sacramento

2

950,000

Albanese Organization, Inc.

2

632,759

BP

2

411,000

Akridge Real Estate Services

2

297,369

The Tower Companies

2

216,347

Las Vegas Valley Water District

2

112,749

Autodesk

2

100,327

The Christman Company

2

81,090

Perkins+Will

2

64,769

National Audubon Society

2

29,200

National Park Service

2

24,222

About the EPA’s “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” certification (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=new_bldg_design.new_bldg_design_benefits)

Created in 2004, the EPA’s “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” designation is one of two prominent methods to distinguish the building developers’, owners’ and design teams’ commitment to energy-efficient design. (Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction or LEED for Core & Shell Rating Systems is increasingly pursued in conjunction with the EPA’s DEES designation.) Once a building’s Architects of Record has completed the schematic design phase and energy modeling, the architect can submit the building’s DEES application. To date, 264 buildings in the U.S. with roughly 36 million square feet have achieved the rare “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” certification.

About the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and 100% Purchasers Group (www.epa.gov/grnpower/)

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has hundreds of Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, colleges, universities and K-12 schools. Since Texas leads the nation in wind power generation, Texas is among the most affordable states to purchase healthy, renewable electricity and to improve air quality for kids.

About Momentum Bay (www.momentumbay.com) & GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS (www.greenpowerbroker.com)

Headquartered in Houston since 2002, Momentum Bay is a full-service management consulting, marketing and energy management advisor focused on sustainability. The firm equips executives and their teams to plan green strategies and execute specific projects, primarily related to green business, green building and/or green power, from strategy, to procurement, to messaging.

The firm’s business unit GREEN POWER 4 TEXAS is also a full-service energy management advisory group providing effective energy management strategies related to demand, procurement, planning, messaging and monitoring. For example, the firm brokers offsite, onsite and mobile green energy – from Renewable Energy Credits and carbon offsets to utility green electricity to wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems to plug-in hybrid electric battery conversion upgrade modules for the 2006-2009 Toyota Prius.

Jacob White Development’s green design team includes:

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Construction Unemployment Rate Jumps To 18.8 Percent As Industry Loses Another 5,000 Jobs Between October And November
Construction Unemployment Rate is Highest for Any Industry, Roughly Double Overall Rate As Federal Projects Remain Only Bright Spot for Hard-Hit Sector

The construction unemployment rate jumped to 18.8 percent in November as the sector lost another 5,000 jobs since October, according to an analysis of new federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The data indicates that the construction sector has suffered more than any other industry during the economic downturn, association officials said.

“The unemployment report shows construction still has not broken free of the recession that has gripped the industry since 2006,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “Other than the stimulus and other temporary federal programs, it has been a pretty bleak four yours for the industry.”

Simonson noted that the construction industry has lost 2.1 million jobs since employment in the sector peaked in August 2006. He added that the sector has continued to lose jobs during the past twelve months even as overall private employment has picked up. Since November 2009, the industry has lost 117,000 jobs while the private sector added 1,088,000 jobs. The industry’s 18.8 percent unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, also was the highest of any industry and roughly double the overall unemployment rate.

The only construction segment to add jobs in the past year has been heavy and civil engineering construction, which has benefitted from federal stimulus, military base realignment, and Gulf Coast hurricane-prevention projects, Simonson observed. Meanwhile, residential construction has lost 79,000 jobs over the past twelve months, while nonresidential specialty trade contractors and nonresidential building – the other two segments in the nonresidential category – have lost 62,000 jobs.

Association officials cautioned that the stimulus and other temporary federal programs would begin winding down in 2011, most likely before private, state or local demand for construction picks up. They urged Congress and the Administration to act on a series of long-delayed infrastructure bills for water, transportation and other infrastructure programs.

“We’re hoping Congress doesn’t cut off federal investments that are almost single-handedly keeping this industry together,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Even the Deficit Commission understands that the one thing we can’t afford to do as a nation is neglect our infrastructure,” Sandherr added, referring to the commission’s proposal to raise the gas tax to fund transportation upgrades.

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Construction Employment Up Or Steady In 1/3 Of Metro Areas Between October 2009 & 2010 Thanks To Stimulus, Other Projects
Phoenix, Ariz. and Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. Top List of Metro Areas Adding Jobs while Chicago and Napa, Calif. Lose Most Jobs for the Year

Construction employment either increased or remained steady in one-third – 113 of 337 metropolitan areas – between October 2009 and October 2010 according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials said construction job gains are becoming more widespread thanks in large part to an increase in power, stimulus and other publicly-funded construction projects.

“It looks like the stimulus, military base realignment and power projects have put a halt to some of the dramatic construction job losses many metro areas have been experiencing,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, referring to construction spending figures released yesterday. “But even as construction employment has stabilized in some areas, the fact remains that construction job losses are still far too numerous and widespread.”

Phoenix, Ariz. added more construction jobs (4,100 jobs, 5 percent) than any of the 67 metro areas to add jobs during the past year. Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. added the highest percentage (44 percent, 400 jobs). Other areas adding jobs included Kansas City, Kan. (1,700 jobs, 9 percent); Columbus, Ohio (1,700 jobs, 6 percent); Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md. (1,500 jobs, 5 percent); and Greeley, Colo. (1,400 jobs, 16 percent). Construction employment was unchanged in 46 metro areas.

The Chicago area lost more construction jobs (-19,200 jobs, -14 percent) than any of the other 224 metro area where construction employment declined. Napa, Calif.(-1,100 jobs, -37 percent) lost the highest percentage. Other areas experiencing large declines in construction employment included Las Vegas (-12,200 jobs, -21 percent); Los Angeles (8,600 jobs, -8 percent); Northern Virginia (-8,000 jobs, -12 percent); Philadelphia (-6,500 jobs, -10 percent); and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-6,500 jobs, -10 percent).

Association officials said that even though private sector demand for construction services remains weak, there’s some room for optimism. They noted that state and local tax receipts appear to be stabilizing while demand for power projects surged between September and October. They added that the recently released proposal from the Deficit Commission calling for an increase in highway, bridge and transit funding underscored some politicians’ commitment to upgrading the country’s aging infrastructure.

“We may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we know it is getting closer,” said Stephen Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Washington can help by putting in place consistent tax and investment policies that encourage greater private sector growth and promote stability within the hard-hit construction industry.”

View construction employment figures by metro area or by rank. View updated state-by-state fact sheets about the current state of the construction market.

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Total Construction Spending Up 0.7 Percent In October, Driven By Surge In Power Projects And Public Construction
Spending on Private Nonresidential and Single Family Home Construction Continues to Languish

Total construction spending increased by 0.7 percent in October, driven largely by growing demand for power projects and public construction, the Associated General Contractors of America noted today in an analysis of new Census Bureau data. The new data, however, indicated continued weakness in many construction categories, including private nonresidential and single family construction, association officials observed.

“Without any upward trend in key private-sector construction components like homes and office buildings, it is hard to feel optimistic about the near future,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “With public construction at risk of cutbacks, it is premature to conclude that construction has awakened from its long nightmare.”

Simonson commented that power construction increased by 8.8 percent between September and October at a seasonally adjusted rate, although the total remained 3.9 percent below the year-ago level. Public construction, aided by federal spending on stimulus, military base realignment and Gulf Coast hurricane-control projects, edged up 0.4 percent for the month and 2.2 percent year-over-year.

Private nonresidential construction, however, slumped 0.7 percent in October, leaving the total 20.7 percent below the October 2009 figure. All 11 of the Census Bureau’s private nonresidential categories were below year-ago levels, Simonson added, with only private power and transportation showing gains from September.

Private residential investment jumped 2.5 percent for the month. However, Simonson cautioned that the apparent leap is attributable to a 3.2 percent advance in new multi-family construction and a 6.2 percent rise in improvements to existing properties, whereas single-family construction sank 1.2 percent for the month.

Association officials said that a proposal released today by the Deficit Commission to increase investments in highways, bridges and transit system construction provided some room for optimism. They urged Congress to embrace the transportation proposal, noting it would help the economy over the long run while giving a much-needed boost to short term construction demand.

“The best way to reduce the deficit and simultaneously support a strong and expanding economy is to invest in our aging network of highways, bridges and transit systems,” said Stephen E. Sandherr. “Even as the broader report calls for dramatic reductions in federal spending, it is clear that our country can’t afford to neglect its infrastructure.”

View Census Bureau data.

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DRI-DESIGN® INTRODUCES NEW TAPERED SERIES

Dri-Design® has introduced its new Tapered Series architectural metal wall panel system. The innovative design allows each individual panel face to taper top to bottom, bottom to top, left to right or right to left. Architects and designers can create random patterns or regimented patterns including waves, bonds, running bonds and shingles.

The Tapered Series offers Dri-Design’s proven rain screen water management system and is equally suited for accent areas or entire facades.

“One of the major advantages of the system is that the substrate and the weather barrier that we install on stay in the same plane.” according to Brad Zeeff, president. “Dri-Design continues to set the pace with the type of unique systems and designs that architects are looking for.”

The Tapered Series is available in all Dri-Design materials including painted aluminum, zinc, copper and stainless steel. Panels are available in any Kynar color in both standard and custom sizes and are 100% recyclable.

For more information on the Dri-Design Wall Panel System, call 616-355-2970 or visit www.dri-design.com.

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Simpson Strong-Tie Introduces New Belt Collation Fastening Tool for Metal Roofing and Siding

Simpson Strong-Tie introduces the Quik Drive® BGP300 auto-feed screw driving system, an innovative solution for fastening metal roofing and siding with hex-head screws and washers.

Designed for agricultural post-frame buildings as well as new and replacement residential roofing projects, the Quik Drive BGP300 quickly and easily installs collated fasteners, which eliminates dropped loose (bulk) screws that can scratch or dimple panels. The tool has multiple profile guides to match a variety of panel profiles. These guides allow installers to quickly position the fastener in the ideal location, including the center of the rib. The tool’s locking depth control also ensures a proper fastener seal and prevents overdriving that can damage metal roofing and siding.

The Quik Drive BGP300 is the first tool by Simpson Strong-Tie to feature belt collation. Unlike other belt- collated auto-feed systems that often skip screws, the feeder on the BGP300 senses when a screw is present and will not advance the belt until that screw is driven. The collated fastener belts also can be loaded in either direction for easier operation. Installers can choose from a full range of galvanized or stainless-steel screws as well as color-matched, powder-coated screws to coordinate with metal roofing and siding.

Fore more information and to view the fastener and size color chart, visit www.strongtie.com/quikdrive.

About Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc.
For more than 50 years, Simpson Strong-Tie has focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and buildings. Considered a leader in structural systems research and testing, Simpson Strong- Tie® products are recognized for helping structures resist high winds, hurricanes and seismic forces. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of connectors, fasteners, fastening systems, anchors and lateral- force resisting systems. Product lines include structural connectors, Wood and Steel Strong-Wall® prefabricated shearwalls, Anchor Tiedown Systems (ATS) for multi-story buildings and Strong Frame™ moment frames. Additional product lines include Quik Drive® auto-feed screw driving systems, structural and corrosion-resistant fasteners, and Simpson Strong-Tie Anchor Systems® – anchors and fasteners for concrete and masonry. Simpson Strong-Tie is committed to providing exceptional products and service to its customers, including engineering and field support, product testing and training. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.strongtie.com.

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PPG Introduces GRAYLITE II Tinted Glass
Glass Reformulated To Offer Same Appearance, Better Solar Performance

GRAYLITE® II glassPPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) performance glazings business has introduced GRAYLITE® II glass, a rich, almost-black glass that has been enhanced to provide significantly better solar control performance than original Graylite glass.

In a one-inch insulating glass unit with clear glass, Graylite II glass has a solar heat-gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.21, which is 36 percent greater than the original composition. It also retains the aesthetic appearance of the original glass, but has slightly lower visible light transmittance (VLT) of 8 percent.

Like its predecessor, which was launched in 1960, Graylite II glass is part of PPG’s Earth & Sky collection of nature-inspired tints. As a monolithic glass, Graylite II glass has a SHGC of 0.35 and VLT of 9 percent, which gives it the flexibility to satisfy a variety of glazing applications, including privacy glass.

Graylite II glass is available through members of the PPG CERTIFIED FABRICATOR (R) NETWORK and other qualified suppliers. To learn more, visit www.ppgideascapes.com or call 1-888-PPG-IDEA (774-4332).

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.

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New Englert Website Taps Latest Internet Techniques To Simplify
Metal Roofing And Gutter Research, Decision Making

Englert, Inc. today has unveiled a new company website, www.englertinc.com, featuring the latest in online technology.

The new Englert website is designed to serve as a useful resource for architects, contractors and builders to educate themselves and their customers on metal roofing, gutter products, related environmental building products and renewable energy solutions. The new website features easy navigation with convenient shortcuts enabling architects, contractors and building owners to quickly find information pertinent to their individual needs.

  

For example, the new website employs a dynamic new slider feature to assist the user in navigating through the site instead of the more traditional drop down menus used on most websites, This allows the visitor to easily preview images of projects, products and rollforming machines and then click on them for more information and larger visuals.

"We set out to design an extremely informative website that would serve as a valuable resource and critical destination for architects, contractors, building owners and homeowners,” notes Mitch Gaber, Englert’s marketing director and one of the architects of the new website. “It is purposefully designed so that each target audience group can use a special path to reach information relevant to that specific group,” notes Gaber. “An architect will find information relevant to metal roofing design and specification while a gutter contractor can just as easily zero in on information about gutter accessories, roll forming machines or tips on purchasing gutter coil without having to hunt through a maze of irrelevant information.”

Englert has tapped every available online tool to aid its audiences including:

  • The industry’s most comprehensive metal roofing project photo gallery allowing visitors to conveniently scroll through and select from nearly 100 images of projects by either project type or color.
  • An easy to use roof visualize allowing visitors to choose from a variety of building types and insert an Englert standing seam metal roof into the image they’ve selected. The visitor can easily select from any of Englert’s wide range of UltraCool colors to visualize how the color will look on the building they have chosen.
  • Easy to understand profile installation animation demonstrating how every Englert standing seam metal roofing profile is installed plus essential installation and testing data capsulized on a single web page.
  • Convenient online calculators for contractors, architects and building owners to gauge gutter and metal roofing material requirements.
  • An interesting award winning projects section offering multiple images of each project as well as detailed information about project design requirements and how they were implemented.
  • A host of brief but informative videos and animations sprinkled throughout the website, designed to educate visitors on a variety of topics and products from onsite rollforming to specialty gutters and renewable energy products.

Englert’s new website features time-lapse photography on the home page that dramatizes the beauty of a standing seam metal roof system . A different project is randomly displayed each time a visitor returns to the home page.

The new site employs the latest in website navigation techniques using a dynamic new slider feature to assist the user in navigating through the site instead of the more traditional drop downs menus used on most websites, This allows the visitor to easily preview images of projects, products and rollforming machines and then click on them for more information and larger visuals.

“We set out to design an extremely informative website that would serve as a valuable resource and critical destination for architects, contractors, building owners and homeowners,” notes Mitch Gaber, Englert’s marketing director and one of the architects of the new website. “It is purposefully designed so that each target audience group can use a special path to reach information relevant to that specific group,” notes Gaber. “An architect will find information relevant to metal roofing design and specification while a gutter contractor can just as easily zero in on information about gutter accessories, roll forming machines or tips on purchasing gutter coil without having to hunt through a maze of irrelevant information.”

“Our overall goal was to create a dynamic website that was attractive, interactive and easy to navigate, giving the visitor every opportunity to explore the content efficiently and effectively,” said Gaber.

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Architecture Billings Index Reverts Back into Negative Territory
Inquiries for new projects remain extremely high

Following the first positive reading since January 2008, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped nearly two points in October. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 48.7, down from a reading of 50.4 the previous month. This score reflects a decrease in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.7, down slightly from a nearly three-year high mark of 62.3 in September.

You can see this press release online here: http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB086569

“This is disappointing news, but not altogether that surprising,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “We were anticipating a slow recovery period and it is likely that there will be some fits and starts before conditions show consistent improvement. Right now, reluctance from lending institutions to provide credit for construction projects and a sluggish economy are the main impediments to a revival of the design and construction industry.”

Key October ABI highlights:
  • Regional averages: Northeast (54.5), Midwest (51.8), South (48.6), West (44.3)
  • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.5), institutional (50.8), multi-family residential (49.1), mixed practice (43.2)
  • Project inquiries index: 61.7

About the AIA Architecture Billings Index
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI), produced by the AIA Economics & Market Research Group, is a leading economic indicator that provides an approximately nine to twelve month glimpse into the future of nonresidential construction spending activity. The diffusion indexes contained in the full report are derived from a monthly “Work-on-the-Boards” survey that is sent to a panel of AIA member-owned firms. Participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. These monthly results are also seasonally adjusted to allow for comparison to prior months. The monthly ABI index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 indicating a decline. The regional and sector data are formulated using a three-month moving average. More information on the ABI and the analysis of its relationship to construction activity can be found in the White Paper Architecture Billings as a Leading Indicator of Construction: Analysis of the Relationship Between a Billings Index and Construction Spending on the AIA web site.

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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AIA Urges 112th Congress To Set a Pro-Growth, Sustainable Economic Agenda

On behalf of its 80,000 members nationwide, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) today began sending letters to each member of the new 112th Congress, congratulating them on their election and promising to work with both political parties to foster policies that encourage job creation in the hard-hit design and construction industry.

“As community leaders, architects have seen first-hand the challenges that our nation faces,” wrote AIA President George H. Miller, FAIA. “Since more than 90 percent of AIA architects work for small businesses, they know all too well how the economic crisis has affected Main Street. In fact, the Department of Labor reports that the architecture profession alone has lost a fifth of its workforce since 2008; in some regions, the number is far higher.”

In the letter, Miller ticked off the priorities for the AIA in the new Congress, which include:
  • Restoring Small Business as the Engine of our Nation’s Economy. Every million dollars invested in design and construction yields 28.5 full-time jobs. And yet the credit crunch has left blueprints on the shelf because building owners and developers cannot get the financing they need. The AIA has worked to enact polices that make financing more available for design and construction projects that will put people back to work rebuilding their communities, and tax and regulatory systems that cut red tape and help small entrepreneurs get ahead. But Congress can and must do more to help the private sector create jobs.
  • Returning Economic Vitality to Our Communities. Architects know all too well that a 21st century economy cannot thrive with a 19th century infrastructure. Yet in too many of our communities, aging buildings, roads and bridges have left Americans less safe and America lagging behind the infrastructure of its global competitors such as China. Studies have shown that our economy loses $80 billion per year in lost productivity due to congestion on our roadways. Worse, the foreclosure crisis has riddled neighborhoods in urban, suburban and rural areas with abandoned properties and rising crime. The AIA urges Congress to pass legislation that empowers communities to plan more vibrant and sustainable futures that give people real choices about where they live and how they travel.
  • Improving America’s Energy Independence. Buildings account for 70 percent of electricity use in the United States and nearly half of greenhouse gas emissions. Rising energy prices mean higher bills for homeowners, small businesspeople and taxpayers - who foot the bill for energy costs in government buildings. Architects have solutions that make buildings use significantly less energy. The AIA believes that the next Congress will have an important opportunity to pass legislation to promote energy efficient buildings that cost less to run and are better for the environment.

“America’s architects are Republicans, Democrats and Independents, working in major metropolises and small towns alike,” Miller said. “They are problem solvers who offer common-sense solutions to the challenges our communities and country face. When the 112th Congress convenes in January, we look forward to working with you to address these issues.”

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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Construction Unemployment Rate Climbs To 17.3 Percent Even As Industry Adds 5,000 Jobs Between September And October 2010

Temporary Public-Sector Construction Spending Boosts Commercial Construction Employment, Offsetting Declines in Residential Construction, Association Officials Note

Even as the number of people working in construction increased by 5,000 between September and October 2010, the industry’s unemployment rate rose to 17.3 percent, according to an analysis of federal employment figures released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. Temporary government investments boosted commercial construction employment, offsetting further job losses in residential construction, association officials noted.

“Despite significant help from programs like the BRAC and the stimulus, construction employment continues to lag behind much of the private sector,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “It is yet another indicator that the economy has a long way to grow before demand for new office buildings, retail centers and manufacturing facilities returns.”

Association officials noted that construction employment lagged behind other sectors of the economy. For example, while total private employment rose by 1.1 million during the past 12 months, the construction industry lost 122,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the industry’s unemployment rate is nearly double the unadjusted national rate of nine percent.

Nonresidential construction fared relatively well in October compared to residential construction, association officials said. Nonresidential construction employment added 10,300 jobs since September, while residential construction lost 5,800 jobs. Nonresidential specialty construction added 7,300 jobs and heavy & civil engineering added 4,800 jobs. However, nonresidential building construction employment declined by 1,800 jobs between September and October.

The employment data is consistent with construction spending figures released earlier this week that showed increases in public construction spending offsetting continued declines in private-sector construction. Temporary federal programs like the stimulus and base realignment efforts were driving demand for construction workers from the specialty trades and heavy & civil engineering construction sectors. Meanwhile decreased private-sector activity contributed to the nonresidential building job losses.

While the stimulus has helped protect the construction industry from more severe job losses, construction firms were unlikely to significantly expand payrolls until the long-term market outlook improves, association officials said. They urged Washington officials to act on long-delayed water and transportation infrastructure programs and to provide the tax and regulatory relief needed to boost private sector economic activity.

“These modest job gains are likely to be as temporary as the programs that are driving them,” said Sandherr. “What this industry needs now is the certainty that comes with consistent tax, regulatory and federal infrastructure policies and the opportunity that comes from sustained and robust private sector economic growth.”

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The American Institute of Architects Selects the Recipients of the First Annual Women in Architecture and Design Athena Award

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Women’s Leadership Development Summit Planning Committee has selected the recipients of the first annual Women in Architecture and Design Athena Award.

Recipients were selected based on the following criteria:
  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative within the design professions
  • Provide valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in her community
  • Actively assist women within the design professions in achieving their full leadership potential/Clearly serve as a role model for young women both personally and professionally.

Recipients include:
Women in Architecture and Design ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient: Lori Garrett, AIA, Glave and Holmes Architecture, Richmond, VA.

Women in Architecture and Design ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipient: Lira Luis, AIA, Atelier Luis, Chicago, IL

The awards were presented by Martha Mertz, Director and Founder of ATHENA International on September 24, 2010.

The awards were presented as part of the Women’s Leadership Development Summit. Guest speakers at that event included Jeanne Gang, FAIA, Principal and Founder of Studio Gang in Chicago, IL; Betsy Myers, who most recently served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign; and Rebecca Shambaugh, President and CEO of SHAMBAUGH, a leadership development firm in McLean, VA. The event also included a community service component; volunteers spent the afternoon with the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Inc., and participated in interactive, hands-on activities showcasing architecture and design as a career path for girls.

For more information about the Women in Architecture and Design ATHENA Awards: http://www.aia.org/about/initiatives/AIAB085603

For more information about ATHENA International: http://www.athenainternational.org/

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org. Twitter: http://twitter.com/AIA_Media

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