Will architects use Apple Vision Pro?

Apple released their Vision Pro this week. I haven’t been able to test it, but it reminds me of when the first VR headsets came out about 15 years ago. We did a walkthrough of a mechanical penthouse to see how the coordination was going and then promptly forgot all about the technology.

BIM coordination models are used during the design process and then never updated by facilities departments because of the time investment needed. Plus, the building operations people are getting toward retirement and don’t have a desire to learn how to use BIM in the field.

I work on hospitals so I have always had this vision where we could put goggles like this on and walk through the hospital seeing exactly what was in the walls and above the ceiling before we started a renovation. Or a facility electrician can look up at a diffuser and get information overlaid telling him what filter medium is needed and where it is stored, not to mention which AHU was providing the air and at what current temperature or velocity. This is the kind of technology where once it is adopted by facilities managers, we will wonder how they ever lived without it. One day, this will be integrated into the visor on your safety helmet.

Then again, I had this same feeling 15 years ago and we still don’t have the flying cars that the Jetsons predicted.


December Billings Still Falling

December billings came in at 45.4, which is a continued contraction. The Billings Index declined for eight of the twelve months in 2023. In good news, Design Contracts were flat with a 50.0 rating in December. Project Inquiries were also up at a 53.1 level.

The commentary this month discusses minor employment gains at architecture firms and about 28% of projects have been delayed, put on hold, or cancelled outright.

December: 45.4, November: 45.3, October: 44.3, September: 44.8, August: 48.1, July: 50.0

ABI December 2023: Architecture firm billings remain soft to end the year

: : :

It’s Time to Define Zero Emission Buildings

It seems pretty obvious that a Zero-Emissions Building would have zero emissions, but you would be mistaken. The DOE recently released an RFI to get feedback on what the definition should be. I always found it odd that carmakers would advertise their PZEVs. What is a partial zero emission vehicle? I hope they don’t develop a convoluted definition for buildings.

Biden-Harris Administration Releases Request for Information on Developing a National Definition for a Zero Emissions Building

: : :

When to Work for Free?

Unfortunately, the authors don’t answer their own question (probably because they wrote the article for free), but they did bring up some interesting considerations. In fairness, they can’t answer that question for you, but the standard answer should be almost never.

When, if ever, does it make sense to work for free?

: : :

Speculative Realism

I never see this term used to define an architectural or design movement, but I think we do see it playing out as some forward-thinking clients and architects are starting to think beyond humans and energy savings toward more holistically sustainable designs. I don’t think that name is going to stick.

What Is Speculative Realism and How Can It Revolutionize Architecture?

: : :

On Drawings

It is absolutely critical that we draw for a specific audience. Drawings for clients are different than drawings for contractors. And drawings for a small residential contractor are different than drawings for a multinational contractor building an airport. This is a great podcast to review yourself or to send to a young designer in your office.

EP 143: Architectural Drawings: Excessive or Essential