Social Media for Architects
Sure, most architecture firms already have decent websites, and many even have Facebook pages. But innovative firms take their social media strategy much further.
Micro-Homes are Big!
What’s the biggest thing in residential architecture? It’s also the smallest — microhomes. Microhomes, which are generally smaller than 500 square feet, appeal to folks who don’t think bigger is always better.
One advantage of microhomes is lower cost, naturally. The cost of microhomes varies widely, but with less materials and a smaller footprint, they are much more affordable than a conventional residence.
Not only do these homes take up less space, but most are built with an array of “green” features that reduce the long-term cost of ownership substantially. After all, it’s a lot easier to heat and cool a 300-square-foot house with sustainable technology than it is to do that with a mini-mansion.
What are some common features of microhomes?
Good use of light – lots of windows, skylights, and porches bring in the light, and plenty of mirrors on the walls distribute it.
Simple designs — leave out the fancy amenities and anything else that wastes space or materials. Space for the sake of space is a turnoff to microhome buyers.
Smart storage — under the bed, in the ceiling, above the cabinets — any space that just collects dust in a conventional house is turned into storage in a microhome.
Pre-fab, repurposed, or stickbuilt — Microhomes can be made in a factory; they can be assembled from recycled storage containers; or, probably most common, they can be built from the ground up.
Are Your Documents Fireproof?
AIR Graphics stepped in to scan and archive the surviving documents in Bolton. If another fire hits, the damage will be much less. There’s more, though: The newly scanned documents are much easier to find and access than the paper documents they replaced, and they can be easily updated or revised.
What about your own documents? Are they well organized, easy to access, and safe from fire or flood? If not, a call to AIR Graphics today could pay off tomorrow.
Julia Redfern, AIR Graphics scanning and archive specialist, has been working with hospitals, universities, towns, and corporate headquarters to organize their plan rooms and convert their documents into digital format. “Even in this economy, people realize that a project like this can improve efficiency and reduce operating costs,” says Julia. “It also preserves their valuable building information for future use.”
Export Architecture: Even Small American Firms Look Overseas to Survive
Think America imports too much from around the world? Well, many architecture firms are tipping the balance by exporting their expertise for design projects overseas.
Why are American firms finding working overseas? The answer is a combination of two factors: First, many other countries, particularly in Asia, are enjoying a building boom; and second, in many cases American architectural expertise is valued more than local knowledge.
There are several strategies to expanding internationally. Some firms partner with existing, local firms; others buy local firms; and some start their own, freestanding offices. Which strategy works depends on the country in question and the size of the firms involved.
Naturally, there are pitfalls to international work. Some firms report not getting paid promptly (who wants collection hassles 2,000 miles away?), while others struggle with local customs are regulations. And you can’t forget the travel expense! Burkett Design in Denver, which has an office in Dubai and also works in Sudan, racks up $40,000 a year in travel, founder Amy Burkett says.
Despite those issues, architecture is sure to continue as one of America’s fastest growing exports.
Space Architecture: International Not Far Enough?
AIR Graphics: We Were Green Before it Was Cool
At AIR Graphics, we have worked to minimize the environmental impact of our products since way before it was the popular thing to do. Here are some key dates in our “green” history:
In November 1994, we opened the first all plain paper reprographic center in Boston. Plain paper reprographics equipment reproduces large-format documents without the environmentally hazardous byproducts produced by traditional methods of large-format reproduction.
November 1994 created and Trademarked GREENPRINT to establish a new and accurate description of eco friendly large format printing.
In December 1995, we began recycling all of the paper in our offices.
In August 2008, we began using 30 percent post consumer recycled stock in all of our copies.
What do these initiatives mean for the environment? We expect to save each year:
4,619 pounds of waterborne waste
679,722 gallons of wastewater
75,278 pounds of solid waste
148,056 pounds of greenhouse gases
1,1333,333,333 BTU of energy
Our world is increasingly fragile, and how we use our resources is important. AIR Graphics believes strongly in our responsibility to protect the earth’s resources.
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