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Newsworthy …

Dec. 8, 2006
Avian flu concerns outpace preparedness. Shaw announces award winners. University of Iowa’s Art and Art History Building opens. And more.

Shaw Announces Design Is ... Award Winners

Cartersville, GA-based Shaw Contract Group recently commended four organizations for innovative design. The inaugural Design Is ... Award competition was created this year to showcase design solutions that positively impact the people who inhabit the space, as well as the surrounding natural environment.

  • Winner with Award of Distinction: idea|span (pictured above). The design firm transformed Neenah Paper's Atlanta space by using texture, lighting, and materials based on Neenah Paper's business - paper.

  • Winner: VOA Associates Inc. The firm designed a "smart building" with raised flooring, de-mountable walls, and a120-degree furniture configuration for ABN AMRO in Chicago. The result was reduced costs, reduced operational risk, increased flexibility, improved workflow, and the attraction and retention of a high-quality workforce.

  • Winner: Sasaki Associates Inc. When the company relocated to a Union Square space in San Francisco, in-house designers achieved sustainability, preserved historic quality, and increased inter-team communication.

  • Winner: Studio Hive. In its design for Minneapolis-based Little & Co., Studio Hive created a new space that was occupant-centric and introduced significant real estate cost savings.

College's Design Offers One-Stop Shopping for Students
The Student Services Building at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, FL, is designed to mimic a retail mall. Student services are treated like retail stores to help students better navigate the space. The building's 2-story atrium houses offices for admissions and records, counseling and advising, food services, a bookstore, an auditorium, and conference rooms. Orlando, FL-based HuntonBrady Architects received a design award from the Orlando Chapter of the AIA for the 60,000-square-foot building.

U of I's School of Art & Art History Opens New Building
The University of Iowa's new School of Art & Art History Building in Iowa City, IA, designed by New York City-based Steven Holl Architects, gives form to art education. The 70,000-square-foot building is assembled of glass and COR-TEN steel planes, creating new campus spaces along an adjacent limestone bluff. Due to space constraints, an elevated wing housing the library extends over a pond, providing reading spaces with views of the surrounding environment. Inside the building, glass walls line the interior passages to reveal work inside studio classes. The building also includes natural finishes and exposed materials, such as concrete floors and ceilings. Creative construction technologies kept the project within its budget.


Survey: Avian Flu Concerns Outpace Preparedness

A survey from Roswell, GA-based Kimberly-Clark Professional found that worries about an Avian flu outbreak are strong, while preparation in the workplace remains spotty. Seventy (70) percent of respondents believed that Avian flu was likely to hit North America, but only 25 percent answered "yes" when asked, "Has your company engaged in building a plan in the event of an actual outbreak of the Avian flu?" Forty (40) percent expressed concern about an Avian flu outbreak in their workplace. When provided with a list of possible employer actions to minimize the risk of an outbreak, workers overwhelmingly favored posting respiratory etiquette and hand-washing posters or stickers in common areas (93 percent). Other employer actions supported by survey respondents included:

  • Maintaining lists of health-related websites, telephone numbers, and other resources for senior leadership or building management personnel (89 percent).

  • Training workers in the proper use of protective equipment (87 percent).

  • Establishing an emergency plan or kit to identify and treat Avian flu symptoms (86 percent).

  • Establishing a workplace-continuity plan (85 percent).

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