The New San Diego Main Library Construction
Representing the 35 year citizen effort to build a new main library for the City of San Diego, the new Central Library is designed for LEED Silver certification. It is a nine-story community gather space that incorporates a new downtown charter high school.
In this video, Turner Construction is using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to improve efficencies in building San Diego's New Central Library. This model shows different elements of the structural build from when the project was at grade through completion in 2013.
For more information on the new San Diego Central Library, visit the San Diego public Library foundation website.
Can Small be Beautiful in the U.S.?
As Population, Consumption Rise, Builder Goes Small
This article is by Christoper Joyce at NPR November 1, 2011:
The planet may not feel any different today, but there are now 7 billion people on it, according to the United Nations.
That number will continue to rise, of course, and global incomes are likely to rise as well. That means more cars and computers, and bigger homes: the kinds of things Americans take for granted. It's that rise in consumption that has population experts worried.
Klaus Lackner, a physicist at Columbia University's Earth Institute, says as economies improve in places like India and Africa — where populations are growing fastest — they're going to want to live more like we do.
"It's very hard to convince people to stop consumption," he says.
But maybe the world's next billion will be happy with Hondas instead of Hummers.
"I would expect consumption in the future gets larger, but we also learn how to do things more efficiently," Lackner says, "so the raw material consumption may well go down."
But Lackner says consumption will eventually go up again; you can only tighten your belt so much. Physicist Daniel Kammen at the University of California, Berkeley, says there just isn't much incentive for rich countries to do that anyway.
"In many parts of the world, energy — and I hate to say this — is simply too cheap," he says.
Kammen, the head of an energy laboratory at Berkely, says cheap energy enables Western countries to live high on the hog. And people want to copy us.
"There's a huge impact of the decisions that we make," Kammen says, "and also we export a lot of technologies."
The problem is there just isn't enough cheap energy or water or land for 9 billion or 10 billion people to live the same way. So what if Americans set a different example? Consume less by living smaller? The Japanese do it. can small be beautiful in the U.S.? Some People think so.
ZETA Communities builds modular homes here. Project manager Scott Wade says they're not like "stick-built" homes — "stick-built meaning they build it one piece at a time," Wade says, "whereas we build it an assembly at a time."One "assembly" is the floor, with duct work; then the walls, the ceiling, and so on. Workers make and assemble the parts for one home — about 1,500 square feet — in a single day.
"It is a higher quality because we have more control over it," Wade explains. "And we don't have the weather delays getting in the way."
Everything from the caulk along the walls to the lumber is certified green or is from sustainable sources. The walls contain extra insulation and every hole is sealed to make the buildings energy efficient. ZETA says that in the right climate, rooftop solar panels could provide the entire home's power — a so-called "net zero" energy home.
ZETA founder and President Naomi Porat sees cities as her company's big market.
"The population all around the world is moving toward the cities," says the former real estate executive. "Land is a vital resource, there's not a lot remaining, so we need to think about creative ways to use space."In cities, modules can be stacked to make a new generation of efficient buildings. At ZETA headquarters, architect Taeko Takagi rolls out a blueprints with one of ZETA's prototypes.
"It is a micro studio," she says. "The units are under 300 square feet."
That's truly micro: smaller than most suburban living rooms. Porat says there's a group that might find this alluring, though: "What I call the technocrati generation that uses the city as its living room and kitchen and goes to practically a dorm room to crash at the end of the day."
But how do you convince someone to live this small?
"The psychology of convincing someone is to provide very simple things, like enough storage," Takagi says. "I like to provide a large sink, so that the person who's using it doesn't feel like they're lacking or living smaller and everything is miniaturized."
Since buildings consume about 40 percent of the nation's energy, they're a logical target for more efficiency. But Berkeley's Kammen says living smaller isn't the ultimate solution. With 9 billion or 10 billion people, rising consumption will overwhelm any efficiency, as well as our current sources of energy. What's needed, he says, is renewable energy that's cheap and won't run out.
"And by essentially every measure," he concludes, "we are not moving fast enough."
Full article can be accessed at :
Taken from the San Diego Union Tribune, Nov. 1, 2011
The takeover of parks, plazas and other public spaces by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a good thing, said a panel of landscape architects on the future of cities Tuesday at the American Society of Landscape Architects convention meeting in San Diego.
"I am so thrilled that we have reclaimed these places as places of protest and how important they are," said Maurice Cox, former mayor of Charlottesville, Va., who now teaches urban design at the University of Virginia.
"These places are meant to be where you could petition your government and be heard. You're seeing it across the county. People are trying to find places across the world where they can get their voices heard. That needs to be enabled... The fact that people are shocked that people would have a protest (in a public plaza)!"
Martha Schwartz, a landscape architect from Boston now working in London, said Americans are rediscovering the role of public spaces in shaping our democracy."It's the American Spring," she said, comparable to the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East.
Schwartz was not taking a position on the issues raised by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement but defending the idea that such debates should take place in public places.
"The rush to privatizing everything is a loss of civic ethic which in the long-term will make us unsustainable," she said. "We will not be able to compete on the global level. The reason why these are good spaces to have and build and fund and to build into a city is to allow for this kind of civic expression."
On another topic, raised by moderator and San Francisco Chronicle columnist John King, is the tendency of cities to copy each other in building iconic landmarks, such as Millennium Park in Chicago or the High Line park on an abandoned elevated railroad in New York City.
"I don't think there's any danger with big ideas" imported from place to place, Schwartz said. "The danger is there are not enough ideas. The idea of something iconic for many cities is very important, because they want to put themselves on the global map. Cities are in real competition. The idea that 'iconoism' is bad... These are all real, important places. It's not all or nothing."
But Philadelphia landscape architect Laurie Olin said cities like Paris didn't develop great streets, institutions or landmarks for the benefit of visitors.
"Historically, most of the things that have produced superb tourism over the long haul have had to do with people building cities for themselves," Olin said.
Charles Waldheim, chairman of Harvard's Graduate School of Design, said it isn't an individual project but a broader urban design view that cities should seek.
"Every city has a powerful idea," he said. "The mistake is to view these projects as typological. It's community development."
However, he noted that some widely heralded projects like the Chicago park and New York High Line originated at the grass roots, not among public officials or planners.
Cox said to influence such development decisions, landscape architects need to be "incredibly close" to decision makers and attend community meetings where members of the public argue about priorities and projects.
"You have to be in the room when you're discovering some incredible resource is going to be violated," he said.
Addressing the economy, the panelists took note that some big projects are on hold and being replaced by what Schwartz termed "meanwhile projects."
"They're not forever but they're for now," she said.
However, just around the corner, she said, are the implications of climate change, which she likened to the shift in an earlier era.
"It will bring massive change around the world," she said. "That makes attention to cities absolutely imperative in the same way the need for a new way of governing ourselves and thinking about people after the feudal ages and coming into the modern age changed the way people thought about design."
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Full article can be found at : http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/nov/01/occupy-protest-sites-good-thing-say-landscape-arch/
andrew carlos | architect