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Insane asylums are hot hot hot right now
by Katy Purviance on 04/02/08 @ 08:11:09 pm
Categories: Articles | 242 words | 1207 views

I just read this article in Reuters called “U.S. construction activity indicator sinks-AIA.”

NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - The deteriorating housing market and sluggish economy slammed U.S. commercial construction in February, according to an architect trade group’s leading indicator of nonresidential building activity released on Wednesday.

The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index tumbled to 41.8 for the month, its lowest level since October 2001, and down from 50.7 in January, the second consecutive monthly decline.

Any score below 50 shows a decrease in billings, a measure of time and effort spent on a project.

“This is a clear indication that there could be tougher times ahead for design firms and a noticeable slowdown in commercial construction projects coming online in the foreseeable future,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker in a statement.

The ABI reflects a nine-months-to-a-year lag time between architecture billings and construction spending, making it a leading indicator of construction activity.

Regionally, the weakest reading was in the Midwest, where the index stood at 42.6, while demand was strongest in the Northeast, with a reading of 51.5.

Nonresidential building has held up relatively well over the past two years, even as the U.S. housing market has slumped.

So what’s an architect to do?

“The one bright spot,” Baker said, “continues to be the institution sector with continued positive conditions for construction projects such as schools, hospitals and government buildings.”

The ABI rating for the institutional sector was 54.9.

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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