Architects: be safe on the job site

I would like to take a moment to ask everyone who spends time on a job site to pause and recommit to being safe. Construction sites, no matter the size or complexity, are inherently dangerous. There have been a number of high-profile accidents in my city over the past few months.

Architects, interior designers, and engineers are only observing construction. This can cause us to let our guards down, but there are still dangerous activities and conditions around us. Please make sure you are aware of your surroundings and the work going on around you.

Be sure to wear proper PPE and make sure your colleagues are doing the same. Contractors are starting to require more advanced hard hats with chin straps to prevent head and brain injuries. The chin straps keep the hard hat on your head during a fall, much like a cyclist’s helmet.

Also, make sure you are trained to use fall protection if you need to use a harness.

There are a number of OSHA-authorized online training providers who offer 10-hour construction courses for less than $100. Your firm should reimburse you for this if you spend time doing construction administration in the field.

Be safe out there.


Pace of Billings, Contracts, and Construction Starts Slow

The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index fell slightly to 53.2 in June. Design Contracts fell by a more substantial 4.7 points to 52.2. Both of these numbers are above 50 so they still represent growth, albeit at a slower pace as clients evaluate economic conditions. Billing for the New England region fell below 50 to 48.7.

June: 53.2, May: 53.5, April: 56.5, March: 58.0, February: 51.3, January: 51.0

ABI June 2022: Architecture firms continue to report modest billings growth

Total construction starts fell by 5% according to Dodge Construction Network. Non-residential building starts fell by 14% while residential starts fell by 6%. However, non-building starts grew by 13% due to some massive infrastructure projects.

Total Construction Starts Slide 5% in June

While the state of the economy, inflation, and consumer confidence looks concerning, the AIA issued their mid-year Construction Forecast indicating that non-residential construction spending is estimated to grow by 6% in 2023.

What recession? AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel optimistic about the construction outlook for this year and next

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Homes in Traditionally Cool Climates Suffer from Overheating

This article was all over social media this week. The recent heat wave in the U.K. has left many people sweating in homes designed many decades ago to keep heat in. It never used to get this hot and most homes don’t have air conditioning. New regulations require passive measures to help prevent overheating.

British homes were built to retain heat. That’s becoming a problem.

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Chicago Cubs Sued for ADA Violations

This is a good reminder that our clients can be sued in federal court for spaces that are not ADA compliant. They rely on us to design public buildings that are accessible so it is critical that documents are reviewed carefully for both federal, state, and local accessibility standards. It is the law.

U.S. federal court sues Wrigley Field for not complying with ADA requirements

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Tips for Better Architecture Photos

Architizer interviewed architectural photographer, Paul Clemence, about how to create an iconic photograph.

Iconic Images: Paul Clemence on Ambition, Photoshop, Smartphones and More