In late February, national real estate leaders and federal homeland security officials announced a partnership to help protect U.S. real estate assets against any future attacks by terrorists. The partnership seeks to increase communication and information sharing between the federal government and the real estate industry through the development of a new Real Estate Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC).
Once operational, the Real Estate ISAC will send incident reports that may have domestic terrorism ramifications to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC). While this is occurring, a select group of real estate experts with clearances to see classified intelligence will help evaluate threat information and convey warnings to building owners and operators. In partnership with the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the Real Estate Roundtable (http://rer.org), an organization bringing together the nation’s top real estate ownership, development, investment, and management firms with leaders of major real estate trade associations, is working to facilitate the success of the new ISAC.
To find out more about the NIPC or the new partnership, visit (www.nipc.gov).
Long Beach High School Expansion Completed
The three-year expansion of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo Center for Advanced Technology, Long Beach, CA, is complete. “Cabrillo High School only accommodated 800 students when construction began in 1999, and we needed much more space to house our growing student population,” says Kevin Barre, facilities director, Long Beach Unified School District.
Constructed while school was in session, the 240,000-square-foot renovation/expansion project was designed by Thomas Blurock Architects of Costa Mesa, CA, and constructed by McCarthy Building Companies Inc. The completed one-and two-story buildings contain classrooms; science laboratories; a business vocational building; kitchen/cafeteria with three serving kiosks; administrative counseling areas; a gymnasium; and a 565-seat, 19,000-square-foot performing arts theater.
International Architecture at Global Headquarters
When the international, high-tech company ADC Telecommunications decided to locate its global headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN, it wanted a facility that personified its corporate culture and global status. Now completed, the first phase of its 500,000-square-foot campus includes a three- and four-story building housing laboratories and offices, cafeterias, and fitness facilities; a 1,400-car, multi-level parking deck; and a 300-seat auditorium.
The facility’s exposed, white-painted steel structure is a key design element, as are its nine perimeter atriums. The physical manifestation of ADC’s corporate philosophy was translated by Minneapolis-based architects from Hammel, Green and Abrahamson Inc.
Test Evaluates Impact of HVAC Duct Materials Indoors
With Americans spending 90 percent of their lives indoors, it’s critical to know if hazardous pollutants are being emitted from interior products, contributing to irritation complaints and worsening allergies. Air Quality Sciences Inc. (AQS) (www.aqs.com) has formed an environmental air chamber test to evaluate the release of chemicals and particles from HVAC duct materials as air is delivered to occupied building spaces.
New technology allows manufacturers of HVAC materials to evaluate types and levels of indoor pollutants that could possibly be released during normal building operation. The test measures the release of respirable particles, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
This methodology is available to building managers and owners, construction design managers, and others who want to measure contribution of duct materials to indoor air pollution.
Real Estate Online, All the Time
The newest feature on Buildings.com, the site’s Real Estate section, allows users to sell, lease, or buy commercial real estate. Buildings.com has partnered with Cityfeet.com to bring you this unique opportunity. Properties posted on Buildings.com will be viewable on all 30 of Cityfeet.com’s partner websites, including Yahoo!® and many prominent local newspaper websites including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Atlanta Journal Constitution.
For prospective tenants/buyers, Buildings.com’s Real Estate section offers access to thousands of highly accurate office, retail, and industrial listings at the local level via free search tools. Search results are comprised of detailed property listings, including photos, floor-plans, and contact details. After a prospective tenant/buyer has left Buildings.com’s Real Estate site, a SpaceWatch feature allows them to receive e-mail updates on new listings that meet search parameters they specified during their visit.
For property owners/agents, Buildings.com’s Real Estate section offers an easy-to-use, web-based listings account that can be updated and monitored 24/7. The website also provides unprecedented exposure to tenants and their representatives who are actively searching for space. To view this new feature, go to (www.buildings.com/realestate).
State-of-the-art School Blends Old and New
Goodes Hall, the new home of the Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, combines a restored 19th century schoolhouse with a dramatic new wing and atrium.
Queen’s wanted a new, centralized home that could maintain the school’s preeminence by encouraging faculty and student interaction. The atrium was made into the centerpiece of the building and certain features of the original building were retained, including the original school doors. Toronto-based Ventin Group design team seamlessly brought together the old and the new.
The facility also includes a total of 1,300 ports for power, data, and communications. Now, no matter where an impromptu meeting takes place, occupants can easily plug into the system.
“I had trouble visualizing the end product,” says Lew Johnson, acting dean of the business school. “I didn’t see how [the project team] could add to an old brick building and have an integrated and coherent whole. But by making the atrium the centerpiece, it all works wonderfully.”
ULI Reports Growth Issues More ‘Slow Boil’ Than Crisis
A new smart growth survey conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Urban Land Institute (ULI) reveals such urban growth issues as traffic congestion, crowded schools, and the lack of sufficient, affordable housing continue to fester rather than reach crisis proportions.
The first survey, conducted between January and February, drew 176 responses from visitors to a special ULI website, SmartGrowth.net. Forty-nine percent of respondents were private-sector representatives, 39 percent public-sector, and 12 percent were from non-profit organizations or the general public. Of the total respondents, 54 percent were ULI members.
Survey participants were asked to rank the following issues – traffic congestion, crowded schools, lack of affordable housing, loss of open space, deteriorating infrastructure, and opposition to growth – in terms of severity. Rather than ranking issues against each other, participants ranked them separately as “slow boil,” “urgent,” “crisis,” or “no problem.”
The tendency of the group to rank growth issues as an ongoing, nagging condition, rather than a crisis suggests that people may be resigned to accepting such problems as a way of urban life that cannot or will not be changed, notes ULI President Richard M. Rosan.
“Until these problems are viewed as intolerable, until they are largely perceived as a crisis, chances are slim that they will be addressed,” he says. “In many urban areas, quality-of-life issues are likely to get worse before they get better.”
ULI intends to change the survey periodically and continue to provide a “snapshot of opinions” related to urban growth issues. Through SmartGrowth.net, ULI seeks to gather and disseminate information that can be used by smart growth advocates in forming efficient development approaches that minimize land consumption and maximize land use flexibility.
State of Texas Rolls Out Mold Information Website
The State of Texas and its attorney general believe the public has the right to know about mold, the health concerns surrounding it, prevention and remediation practices, and general consumer rights as insurance holders.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott shared this view with attendees at the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties’ (NAIOP’s) National Mold Conference, held March 4 and 5 in Dallas. Conference attendees were among the first to learn of the state’s new website that addresses consumer mold concerns and insurance issues (www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/mold_remed.shtml). “The Office of the Attorney General has an obligation to educate the public,” said Attorney General Greg Abbott, during his keynote address at the conference.
Herndon, VA-based NAIOP, which represents owners, developers, investors, and others involved in industrial and office real estate, hosted the conference to provide education and straightforward information on mold, pending litigation, and its financial and collective impact on the commercial real estate industry.
“Mold is a critical issue that continues to impact the commercial real estate industry,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP national president. “It is a major political and environmental issue, and its financial and legal ramifications are seriously affecting NAIOP members and the industry as a whole.”
Texas is a case in point. Already in the 78th Legislature, Texans have seen eight bills introduced that pertain to mold or mold remediation. Addressing such wide topics as limitations of insurance coverage, regulation of mold assessors and remediators, and civil and administrative penalties, the issue is prevalent and will remain in the forefront for future filings, Abbott says.
Church Completed in Eden Prairie, MN
With 6,500 members calling Grace Church home, the facility hired HGA Architects to design a 4,500-seat church on a 62-acre site in Eden Prairie, MN.
An “intelligent lighting” system with user-friendly capabilities, allowing user to turn on pre-set lighting scheme with twist of a knob.
A video, sound, and acoustics system designed for regular services and large events, including “stereo imaging” that allows people to sit anywhere and experience sound from all speakers.
A restaurant-sized kitchen and bookstore.
Four levels broken into recreation, administration, nursery/preschool areas, and student ministry space.
Later additions will include a family center with athletic facilities (basketball court, volleyball court, track, weight room), an education building, nature trails, and a 1,500-car parking ramp.
UNICCO Releases Snapshot of Higher Ed Outsourcing Trends
A recent study by UNICCO® Service Co. reveals that 91 percent of colleges and universities outsource at least one service.
This figure is up nine percent from a similar survey conducted in 2000. The survey also found that 78 percent of higher education institutions outsource two or more services, up from 67 percent in 2000.
UNICCO, a Newton, MA-based integrated facilities services outsourcing firm, conducted the survey in July 2002, polling 112 attendees of the 2002 National Association of College & University Business Officers (NACUBO) conference. The survey covered 20 services outsourced by colleges and universities, including housekeeping/janitorial, food service, bookstore operations, payroll, mailroom management, and endowment fund management, among others.
Complete survey results are available at (www.unicco.com/survey.pdf). Request a printed copy by sending an email to (email@example.com).
New Executive Sports Suite Showcased
These days, people take amenities seriously – sports fans notwithstanding.
In July, facilities managers will get a peek at the latest comfort item for sports lovers – a new generation of premium seating options – when the “Suite of the Future” is unveiled at the 13th Annual Association of Luxury Suite Directors’ (ALSD) conference.
Held July 8-10 in Boston’s Westin Copley Place Hotel, the conference and trade show will preview how the world will “entertain and be entertained” inside executive suites within sporting and entertainment venues.
The exhibit floor’s centerpiece is a 600-square-foot, fully built-out, “forward-looking” executive suite. Designed by the firm Ellerbe Becket, the totally operational suite comes complete with viewing and dining areas, as well as entertainment, technology, security, and food and beverage offerings. Visitors will enjoy plasma screens, HDTV, PDAs, interactive shopping, and ordering technology installed in a futuristic décor.
“The novelty of merely sitting in an executive suite is fading as patrons are increasingly exposed to higher levels of service and technology in boutique hotels and fine dining establishments,” explains Ellerbe Becket Senior Design Interior Designer Carol Napper. “The Suite of the Future will be more interactive, more modular, and far more flexible than in the past to meet the changing needs of those entertaining for business.”
Statistics from ALSD show that the premium seating market has more than tripled since 1990, as has the number of corporate entities buying suites. Since then, 80 of the 112 major sporting venues have been built or renovated. In 1990, only three percent of seats in professional facilities were considered premium. Today’s typical venue offers nearly 20 percent of its total seating as premium.
Green Goes Mainstream
DesignTex and Steelcase, based in New York City and Grand Rapids, MI, respectively, have partnered to introduce The Environmental Impact Collection, an abundant array of environmentally responsible seating and panel fabrics.
Two years in the making, the collection offers nine products that exceed the Association for Contract Textiles standards for quality and performance in both seating and panel fabrics. “We really believe in this,” says Bryan Livingston, vice president, DesignTex, Grand Rapids, MI. Sustainable manufacturing processes are used in the textile production that reduce energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, landfill waster, process water consumption, and petroleum consumption. The collection brings together fabrics from leading mills producing sustainable products.
Among the many innovations coming to the market with Environmental Impact include:
Terratex-branded fabrics that are woven using power from renewable sources.
EcoIntelligent polyester products made antimony-free;
A 100-percent recycled polyester seating fabric with the hand and luster of worsted wool.