Sometimes it’s difficult to sort through all the resources available to design professionals on the internet. We recommend you check out this series of eleven free videos from aecKnowledge, each one an interview with a respected architect in California’s Bay Area.

aecKnowledge Insights video series

Jack McAllister, FAIA

Throughout his long career, Jack McAllister has placed value on understanding how materials were fabricated and buildings constructed, and the importance of working directly with clients, allied design professionals, and the craftspeople building his creations. Above all, Jack learned the value of mentorship, as he describes so poignantly in this in-depth interview curated by Tim Culvahouse, FAIA.

Chuck Davis, FAIA

At age 78, Chuck remains a partner in EHDD, a fabled Bay Area architecture firm with a distinguished international reputation. In this candid interview, Chuck shares his insights about his early years with pioneer Joe Esherick, working with David Packard on the design of the Monterey Aquarium, his post-partum blues, collaborating with clients, the “search and discovery” that makes great architecture, and passing the torch to a new generation of leaders.

Peter Dodge, FAIA

Peter is a founding member of EHDD–one of America’s most distinguished architectural practices. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, Peter is the 2008 AIA California Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In this interview, he describes his circuitous path to architecture and talked about his contributions to the profession.

Visit the aecKnowledge website to watch these interviews. The following is a list of the rest of the interviewees:

  • George Homsey, FAIA
  • Odile Decq
  • Thom Mayne, FAIA
  • Gwynne Pugh, FAIA, ASCE
  • Steven Ehrlich, FAIA

“A hundred years after we began building with tall buildings, we have yet to understand how the tall, high-rise building becomes a building block in making a city… in creating the public realm,” says legendary architect and teacher Moshe Safdie of Safdie Architects in Boston. This is the driving force behind his TED talk on How to Reinvent the Apartment Building.

Emphasizing the importance of light, permeability, and nature, Safdie demonstrates how breaking the mold of the standard residential skyscraper could transform the urban environment and the experience of those living in high-density housing.

We hope you’ve all been having a hot, sporty summer! In that vein, we’d like to congratulate an a/e ProNet client, Keisker & Wiggle Architects, Inc. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) recently named the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as its 2014 Featured Facility Award winner. Keisker & Wiggle, a Capistrano Beach, California firm, did the master plan and layout of the renovation for Stadiums One and Two.

Indian Wells Tennis Garden

In addition, Indian Wells Tennis Garden has been recognized as one of 12 winners of the USTA’s 33rd annual Outstanding Facility Awards Program, recognizing excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.

Opened in March of 2000, Indian Wells Tennis Garden is home to the second-largest tennis stadium in the world, with the main stadium seating 16,100 fans and includes 44 stadium suites, broadcast and media facilities and an 8,000 square foot food commissary.

Representatives will be honored during the upcoming US Open at the USTA Awards Breakfast on Sept. 1, during the association’s Semi-annual Meeting. The award recognizes one facility from among all those that meet the criteria for an outstanding facility award. The “featured facility” exemplifies the highest level of excellence in facility design; court construction; court amenities; and other related components such as strong programming and implementation of 10 and Under Tennis.

“The Indian Wells Tennis Garden has embraced many of our initiatives, including youth tennis utilizing 36- and 60-foot courts, introducing thousands of new players to the sport each year,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “It is outstanding tennis facilities like the Indian Wells Tennis Garden that help us grow the game at the grass-roots level, and for that reason and so much more, we are proud to recognize the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for its ongoing impact and contribution to the sport of tennis.”

Shout-out Credit:

Alicia K. Igram, AAI, VP & Branch Rep
Design & Consulting Liability Specialist
IOA Insurance Services – Aliso Viejo, CA
Email: Alicia.Igram@ioausa.com / Phone: 949-680-1789

Lone Mountain Ranch House by Rick Joy

Ghost town architecture is rarely lauded for its form, style, efficiency, and grace. Enter Lone Mountain Ranch House, located on the turquoise trail between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Lone Mountain Ranch House by Rick Joy - Photo Credit Peter OgilvieThe design by Rick Joy Architects has been called “a light-filled twist on the low-slung form” by the Architectural Record blog.

The American West merges with the Far East on a 27,000-acre Wagyu-cattle ranch in a ghost town called Golden, New Mexico. Tucson-based architect Rick Joy designed a six-bedroom house for a couple who inherited the land. ‘They went to Japan, learned all about [Wagyu], got the stock, and put together this company selling beef around the country,’ says Joy. ‘Interestingly, the house turned out to be very Japanese in feel.’ — excerpted from Laura Raskin’s article for Architectural Record Continue reading “Lone Mountain Ranch House by Rick Joy”

PNN_1312This article reviews some of the issues addressed in a standard Owner/Design Professional Agreement, outlines concerns from the Design Professional’s perspective, and discusses how the Design Professional can reduce liability on a project and ensure equitable adjustments to the contract price and schedule for changed or additional design services. The agreement contemplated by this article is one to be used as part of a traditional design-bid-build approach.

Standard of Care

When trying to hold a Design Professional liable for negligence, one of the first legal considerations is the standard of care owed. Absent an express contractual warranty, the law does not require the Design Professional to guarantee that the design will be perfect. Rather, the standard of care that the courts will typically apply is that degree of care which a reasonably careful architect/ engineer would use under like circumstances. However, nothing prevents an Owner from seeking contractual language that increases the typical standard of care owed by the Design Professional to the level of an express warranty of the design; in fact, Owners frequently attempt to do so in their proposed agreements – and courts will enforce such language. This is a danger to the Design Professional, as it is possible that the increased standard of care could go beyond professional liability insurance coverage available to the Design Professional. Thus, the Design Professional should insist on the deletion of any such guarantee as unreasonable.

Similarly, a Design Professional should insist on the deletion of any proposed language that attempts to establish a fiduciary duty between the Design Professional and the Owner, as such language also results in an increased standard of care owed on the Project. Continue reading “Review of the Owner/Design Professional Agreement from The Design Professional’s Perspective”

All over the country this month, engineers participated in local competitions in honor of Engineering Week 2014. ACEC Wisconsin held one such contest and handed out a number of awards, and we want to recognize those achievements:

Drexel

R. A. Smith National, Inc.
Drexel Avenue Reconstruction & Oakbrook Center

“Drexel Avenue was in very poor condition. It was annually inundated with floodwaters, could not accommodate projected traffic volumes and did not have any provision for bicycle or pedestrian traffic. As a major connector of Oak Creek and Franklin, the roadway also needed to be updated to allow for redevelopment opportunities and new businesses. R.A. Smith National was chosen as the civil engineer for the project.” Read More

LaBahn

GRAEF
University of Wisconsin LaBahn Arena
& De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier

“The LaBahn Arena is located in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s downtown campus. Designed with the help of GRAEF, the 120,000-square-foot, four-level facility is adjacent to the Kohl Center Arena. The arena houses an ice sheet for men’s and women’s hockey practice and women’s hockey games, as well as team locker rooms for both home and visiting teams.” Read More Continue reading “2014 Engineering Excellence Awards in Wisconsin”

There are probably many ways for architects to showcase their individual and firm portfolios on the interwebs, but Archilovers has to be one of the best!

archilovers_cindyclackey

This social media network, similar to Facebook, offers architects the unique opportunity to manage an individual profile alongside a professional firm profile. Its online library of contemporary architecture projects is extensive and easily searchable. Alongside the work of internationally renowned architects, you’ll see the accomplishments of smaller design offices and individual designers featured with equal pride.

But Archilovers wants to change the way architecture and design are communicated and consumed. That’s why projects can also be organized (and searched) by Elements, Materials, and Themes! Continue reading “Archilovers: A Fresh, Innovative, International Network for Architects”

Tired of reading article after newsletter after white paper after blog post on risk management? (We hope not! But just in case…) Here’s another option:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2ioR9X05Qo]

Longtime a/e ProNet affiliate Kent Holland of ConstructionRisk, LLC has translated his impressive catalog of resources into a series of short videos available on the ConstructionRisk.com YouTube Channel.

“If you’re involved in the construction project, whether as a contractor, a designer, or a project owner, you will get real benefit from the practical ideas, suggestions, and law presented in these videos.”

A few of the playlists available now:

J. Kent Holland is a construction lawyer located in Tysons Corner, Virginia, representing design professionals, contractors, and project owners.

Don’t forget the popcorn!

PN - Vol. 21, No.2. 2013 - Building Information Modeling (BIM)Embracing the latest technology can set a design firm apart from the crowd, but it can also set you up for a rough road if you’re not adequately prepared beforehand. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is far from “new” at this point, but some wary design professionals have abstained from it anyway, allowing time to tell whether BIM would be a positive thing for the industry, overall. Good news!

“Building Information Modeling (BIM)… [has] not necessarily opened the door to more claims, as several carriers expected. A few [insurance companies] have found BIM projects to be low-risk; some even went as far as giving discounts to design clients that utilize BIM.” — Engineering, Inc., February 2014

a/e ProNet’s latest ProNet Practice Note, authored by Joseph Barra of Robinson & Cole, can take you from here. The following is an excerpt from Building Information Modeling (BIM): Now that you know how to spell BIM, is it right for you and your firm?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of developing a virtual, three-dimensional, information rich model to design, construct, and maintain a building project. BIM is much more than software used to produce a pretty 3D graphic. Because a variety of information can be embedded into the model, BIM can also be used to manage the project’s construction schedule (4D); to track project costs (5D); and, once constructed, facility management (6D).

There are varying levels of BIM adoption and use, from an initial pilot project with one player using BIM tools to a team process with agreed-upon collaborative BIM process goals. In ideal process, all project participants share information.

These times are a changin’…

Because BIM is about process and not just software, it gives designers and constructors a unique opportunity to eliminate the barriers to collaborative thinking. One example is found in the redundancies inherent in the shop-drawing process. In this case, the goal of the BIM process is to abolish the wasteful practice of having to draw the entire project twice. Because BIM facilitates teamwork, many see BIM as an opportunity to reach out across disciplines and reconsider the traditional paradigm. Make no mistake, we still need experienced architects, engineers, contractors, and owners to deliver a successful project. But in today’s BIM-enabled world, the process is becoming more collaborative, which in turn redefines the project team’s risk profile.

To continue reading, download the full PDF version of this newsletter, which outlines Factors to Consider before deciding to use BIM (e.g., Type of Project, Timing, Teammates, Project Delivery Method). And if you have additional questions about BIM and/or professional liability insurance, be sure to contact your local a/e ProNet broker today!