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A snail wearing a hard hat as a shell, signifying the slow but steady improvements in the construction industry per the Architectural Billings Index.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   December 07, 2020

October 2020 ABI Score

The October 2020 Architectural Billings Index holds good news about the recovery of the construction and architecture industries. However, the industry faces the dilemma of limited and/or higher priced construction materials.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   December 07, 2020

October 2020 ABI Score

The October 2020 Architectural Billings Index holds good news about the recovery of the construction and architecture industries. However, the industry faces the dilemma of limited and/or higher priced construction materials.

Architecture

The Joyce Center at Mohawk College in Ontario is a shining example of Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) with a design rooted in an energy budget.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   November 13, 2020

Net Zero Energy Building

November 13, 2020

Explore Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) practices to responsibly produce a building's energy needs through renewable sources while complimenting additional green building practices, like passive house design.

Billing and design contracts ABI scores comparing the months of August and September 2020, showing signs of industry rebound and future work.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   November 11, 2020

September 2020 ABI Score

November 11, 2020

The ABI broke out of its 3-month slump to 47.0 for September billings. Although conditions remain soft in certain specialized sectors, architecture firms are seeing signs of returning to pre-pandemic conditions.

Multiple construction cranes lit up at dusk, signifying the slowdown in commercial construction activities since the onset of the pandemic.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   September 30, 2020

August 2020 ABI Score

September 30, 2020

The AIA recently released the August ABI report, and the news could be better. Billings have stalled at 40.0 for the third consecutive month and design contracts have shown only a moderate increase in value.

Silhouette of two construction workers on scaffolding, signifying the current condition of the architectural and construction industries.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   August 26, 2020

July 2020 ABI Score

August 26, 2020

Amidst a soft market and the end of the PPP, the July ABI report reflects a slowly stabilizing decline in billings with a cautious, but hopeful, industry outlook.

Black and white image of construction of the foundation of a commercial building surrounded by scaffolding, signifying the slowly rising ABI scores.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   July 31, 2020

June 2020 ABI Score

July 31, 2020

The AIA released the June 2020 ABI Score, reflecting a leveling off of business conditions after the slowdown in the economy as a response to the pandemic.

Two people sitting cross legged in gyan mudra position signifying the power of proper architectural design of a meditation room in your new home.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   July 08, 2020

Designing a Yoga Room

July 08, 2020

Don't cheat yourself out of your personal oasis. Work with your architect to design your meditation and yoga room when you are laying out the floor plans so you can capture a calming environment and natural light.

Marty McFly running up the driveway of the 3-story arts and crafts style Gamble House, used as the set for the home of Doc Brown in Back to the Future

Carolyn Feinstein   |   July 03, 2020

Back To The Future - A Tour

July 03, 2020

On the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future, we take a closer look at the architecture of the homes Marty McFly ran to and from in such a hurry while Huey Lewis blasted in the background.

A modern passive house with slatted sun shades, black solar roof tiles, wood siding, and a metal overhang to shade the sliding glass door.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   July 01, 2020

Passive House Design

July 01, 2020

Unlike other green building approaches, passive houses aim to reduce environmental impact using energy conservation. So forget that giant furnace and talk to your architect about a passive design.

Architect in a gray shirt hand drawing building plans for a railing and staircase on a roll of paper with a ruler

Carolyn Feinstein   |   June 24, 2020

ABI May 2020

June 24, 2020

The AIA has released the May 2020 ABI Score showing poor performance for the 3rd consecutive month. Though the unemployment rate fell overall, the architectural sector suffered more job losses.

Rectangular pool with tile pool deck and moveable tile floor that serves as a pool cover when closed with green pasture hills in the background

Carolyn Feinstein   |   June 16, 2020

Pool Cover Art

June 16, 2020

Safety pool covers evolved from the mesh and vinyl tarps anchored to the pool deck, to elegant hidden pools with moveable floors and custom finishes for any pool shape.

An entire neighborhood of tract homes that all look alike, signifying the lack of architectural creativity in planned communities

Joshua Aaron   |   June 03, 2020

Carbon Copy Neighborhood

June 03, 2020

Recent residential architecture has shifted from a client-focused art to the creation of carbon copy cost saving housing, devoid of character and quality.

A 2-story wood frame house under construction halted by the COVID-19 global pandemic

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 28, 2020

ABI Hits Record Low In April

May 28, 2020

The AIA has released the April 2020 ABI score and it has reached another record low. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the industry hard, with furloughs and staffing decreases in the near term.

A 354-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower standing in the background of Shanghai's attempt to replicate the city of Paris, France

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 21, 2020

China Bans Copycat Buildings

May 21, 2020

China has decided they have had enough with copycat architecture. The Chinese government will no longer tolerate plagiarism, imitation, and copycatting in their public buildings.

Evening exterior of stucco Mediterranean mansion in Naples, Florida with circular paver driveway surrounding a large fountain.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 12, 2020

Lighting The Exterior

May 12, 2020

From path lighting to porch sconces, from solar powered to hardwired, you have an endless array of options to illuminate the exterior of your home. Explore the impact these options have on your front entrance.

Tiny houses set atop red toy blocks with the letters HOA

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 08, 2020

HOA - Friend Or Foe?

May 08, 2020

Homeowners associations have the important job of protecting property values, but there are occasions when their desire for conformity has the potential to impact the creativity of the architect.

3d render of a partially built two-story house set amid architectural floor plans and build plans

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 06, 2020

Changing Online Plans

May 06, 2020

Online house plans are growing in popularity as a cost effective alternative to hiring an architect, but beware of the pitfalls of prepackaged plans and the costs associated with modifying them.

Two gentlemen arm wrestling on a table covered with money, signifying that if you do things correctly in the first place, you won't need to struggle.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   May 05, 2020

Austin Permit Office

May 05, 2020

There are plenty of stories of frustration and delays when it comes to trying to get a building permit from the City of Austin. You don't need to do a rain dance or bang your head against the wall. You need plan.

This man's sign points out that good advice costs more. Cheap architectural plans may cost less, but you get what you pay for.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   April 29, 2020

How Much For A Set Of Plans?

April 29, 2020

Blindly estimating costs for a set of plans can lead to losses for you and your client. How do you set expectations and satisfy their curiosity?

The Joyce Center at Mohawk College in Ontario is a shining example of Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) with a design rooted in an energy budget.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   November 13, 2020

Net Zero Energy Building

November 13, 2020

Explore Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) practices to responsibly produce a building's energy needs through renewable sources while complimenting additional green building practices, like passive house design.

Billing and design contracts ABI scores comparing the months of August and September 2020, showing signs of industry rebound and future work.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   November 11, 2020

September 2020 ABI Score

November 11, 2020

The ABI broke out of its 3-month slump to 47.0 for September billings. Although conditions remain soft in certain specialized sectors, architecture firms are seeing signs of returning to pre-pandemic conditions.

Multiple construction cranes lit up at dusk, signifying the slowdown in commercial construction activities since the onset of the pandemic.

Carolyn Feinstein   |   September 30, 2020

August 2020 ABI Score

September 30, 2020

The AIA recently released the August ABI report, and the news could be better. Billings have stalled at 40.0 for the third consecutive month and design contracts have shown only a moderate increase in value.

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