AEC Tech News #18316 Nov, 2006 By: Kenneth Wong
Sustainability on Route 99
Design competition yields ideas for a model 'green' rest area
You can still get your kicks on Route 66, but soon, you’ll be able to get your fix on Route 99 -- of sustainable architecture, that is. If you travel northbound to the heart of California’s Central Valley and pull into the Philip S. Raine rest area (located about 2.5 miles outside the city of Tipton in Tulare County), you’ll be greeted by humble amenities: a weathered restroom next to a dirt road, a few picnic tables, some battered payphones, and a wall plastered with improvised advertisements and scribbled notes. It isn’t exactly a green acre right now, but this spot marks the future site of a “GreenStop,” a self-sustaining, off-the-grid roadside rest area.
In 1998, the California Department of Transportation began upgrading the state's highway rest stops to address structural deterioration and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Eventually, Caltrans came to the conclusion that rehabilitating the sites would cost a lot more than demolishing and rebuilding them -- and that it might as well make the most of the opportunity to start fresh. So it plans to convert the utilitarian structures along the highways into something they’ve never been before: appealing oases where people like to linger. In the department's own words, the rest stops will become “attractive places that benefit the local economy.” Read more>>
By Sara Ferris
Collaboration is vital to AEC projects. In a recent survey, 94% of participants said they collaborate with others on project information, and 92% of those said this collaboration occurs at least once a week.
This past spring, Adobe Systems enlisted Harris Interactive to conduct a follow-up poll to a 2004 survey that examined document exchange practices in the AEC community. The 657 participants in the 2006 online survey included 241 identified as architects/engineering professionals, 223 construction/project management professionals and 193 owners/operators/facility managers. These findings reflect only the survey respondents, as the data were not weighted. Adobe was not identified as the survey sponsor.
One of the most interesting findings this year is that CAD files are reviewed in paper format more often now than in 2004 -- despite improvements in digital markup tools such as Adobe's Acrobat and Autodesk's DWF Composer. Review of CAD files solely in electronic format dropped to 23% in 2006, down from 33% in 2004. Read more>>
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