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Links for August 15th through August 19th

by Mel Starrs on August 21, 2009

in News

These are my links for August 15th through August 19th:

  • Track LEED v3 Credits in Project Management Software – It can only be a matter of time before we see a BREEAM focused product like this? :"Tracking LEED credits is a document-intensive process. Just ask any experienced LEED Accredited Professional (AP). Submittal documentation includes drawings, receipts, product spec sheets, photos, commission plans and more. Adding to the clutter, numerous project members will access and edit these documents.
    Project management software, especially web-based systems, act as a repository for the storage and retrieval of critical project documents. Simply upload a document into the system, then attach it to the appropriate LEED-credit log. From there you can track the history of a document, see every change that has been made and who made it."
  • Spillway: The Joy of Sprawl – Lovely blog post on SimCity which almost had me downloading the game straight away: "Realism and terrain constraints help ameliorate this problem, but generally the most beautiful cities are the ones that develop organically, at least in part, with some lack of planning thrown in."
  • RICS survey finds some breathing space before the real storm hits (Brickonomics) – More doom from Brian: "So a less horrific picture than six months ago, but this can only realistically be seen as a breathing space before the nasty onslaught on public sector cuts takes effect.
    On my assessment the industry has about a year to reshape itself for levels of workload far below those to which it has grown accustomed. More importantly, it will need to learn how to live without turnover growth.
    Sadly the signs are that the industry is self-harming in the run up to its biggest challenge in a generation. Not the best preparation.
    Back to two of my big concerns of the moment: lunatic bidding (and it is not just our contracting brethren); and the madnes
  • Why contractors can’t help suicidal bidding when the workload turns down (Brickonomics) – Excellent analysis from Brian (as always): "On the face of it contractors face the "Prisoner's dilemma", the classic game theory problem.
    In expressing the dilemma facing UK contractors in terms of the game we get something like:
    Contractors cannot discuss prices, but they know if they all take a "cooperative" stance and refuse to bid below cost then the industry remains competitive, but without being suicidal. If workloads are shrinking it probably means they each share the pain of reduced turnover, but at least the work they do win remains profitable or at cost. Their vanity may be damaged, but their sanity remains intact.
    But if some break rank, those that hold firm win no work and go out of business.
    So, as the theory suggests, they go for the option where they can best control the level of risk and which offers the least-worst option. This means they all take to bidding below cost.
    This creates a downward spiral where the exit point is collapse of firms who can no longer sustain t
  • Asia Times Online :: China News, China Business News, Taiwan and Hong Kong News and Business. – Good to see hutongs being renovated rather than razed. I'm hoping they can manage to add in WC's to most buildings – last time I was there you still had to pop out of the bar/restaurant and leg it to the public loos on each street – intelligent addition of infrastructure is one of the main limiting factors to keeping areas like this useable: "I believe the next 10 years we will see far greater investment in the city's hutongs," Bechtle continues. "Places such as Nanluoguxiang are already showing how Beijing's alleyways and courtyards can be renovated intelligently. The quality of life is being raised there without sacrificing architectural aesthetics."
  • Blog: Sustainability – the most interesting aspect of London 2012? – London 2012 – James Cracknell is Sustainability Ambassador for London 2012. After watching 'On Thin Ice', I'm in awe of this guy's (sometimes dangerous to himself) drive and grit: "Over the last few years, having rowed across the Atlantic and skied to the South Pole, my perception of the world we live in has changed. But it was the definition of sustainability on a human level – 'the potential for long-term improvements in wellbeing, which in turn depend on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources' – which probably best conveys why this was an area I wanted to try and help LOCOG achieve the targets they've set themselves."
  • Uneconomic Growth – I'm fascinated by this premise, but how to translate from theory to reality?: "At what point do we realize that growth can only take us so far? Initially growth did a lot for our progress, but now we are seeing the impacts of uneconomic growth worldwide. It is time we turned our focus away from growing – getting larger – and push for development – getting better. The steady state economy is the logical next step for a growth economy that has reached the end of economic growth."
  • Real Life LEED: Deconstruction Costs Revealed (aka Sustainable Demolition) – Deconstruction vs. demolition (in addition to the costs, think about time), and the offset of waste 'charges' vs. salvage: "On a 6,800 sf office/warehouse building, deconstruction costs showed a 20.9% ($2,128) premium over standard demolition, but that was more than offset by the retail value of the salvaged material at $3,046."
  • Trends lend support to need for AEC Web 2.0 adoption « pwcom 2.0 – Great post from Paul, but don't forget Gen X cohort will be the 33-54 demographic over the next 15 years, anecdotal evidence suggests Gen Y have more in common with baby boomers (i.e. their parents): "Smaller employment pools will cause skills shortages as the 33-54 cohort decreases by 6 per cent over the next 15 years, creating ongoing recruitment, retention, and reward challenges … Also, Kogan believes, future leaders will want constant communication through technology, which means they’re always in touch and able to work, blurring the line between work and life outside of work – in other words, the classic description of Generation Y (or even Generation Z) and its demand for Web 2.0 tools and techniques to support new ways of working."
  • Design Activism – The 'trouble' with environmentalism. I would never describe myself as an activist, but this Ann picks up this point on the other side of the coin (personal small changes):
    "Protest and direct action are powerful, but also risky and potentially dangerous. By contrast, personal change–drive less, eat organic food–is relatively safe and “easy.” As Derrick Jensen argues, writing in Orion magazine, personal change doesn’t equal political change:
    “Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?"
  • Tories to take axe to Partnerships for Schools – Building – And so it begins: "The Conservatives are preparing to slash the budget of delivery body Partnerships for Schools under proposals to cut the cost of the UK’s school building programme.
    The plans are part of an overhaul of schools policy, including the £55bn Building Schools for the Future programme, being discussed by the shadow Treasury team and shadow schools department. It is likely to see funds diverted from new buildings and major refurbishments towards smaller improvements in areas such as IT and furnishings."
  • Andrew

    Mel,

    Re: Track LEED v3 Credits in Project Management Software

    We’re already doing something similar with a BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes registers in the web based document control system (BiW) we use. Evidence can be logged against particular credits which can then be searched later on and versions of documents tracked.

    Rgds

    Andrew

  • Andrew

    Mel,

    Re: Track LEED v3 Credits in Project Management Software

    We’re already doing something similar with a BREEAM and Code for Sustainable Homes registers in the web based document control system (BiW) we use. Evidence can be logged against particular credits which can then be searched later on and versions of documents tracked.

    Rgds

    Andrew