West Palm Beach, FL-based Norton Museum of Art opened its new Southwest wing this month, highlighting the completion of a two-year expansion project to enhance the facility’s exhibition and educational space and visitors’ amenities. The 42,000-square-foot project makes the Norton the largest art museum in Florida.This expansion increases the museum’s gallery space by 75 percent, allowing more opportunities for the display of the museum’s renowned art collections. The wing includes 14 new galleries, an elegant enclosed courtyard, and a glass ceiling installation from artist Dale Chihuly. Featuring a cantilevered spiral staircase and dramatic three-story atrium with architectural motifs that evoke artistic statements found in the permanent collections, the wing was designed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners of Centerbrook, CT.KONE and Simon Business Network Form AgreementIndianapolis-based Simon Business Network (SBN) awarded its Seal of Superiority to KONE Inc., Moline, IL. Under their new agreement, KONE will assume responsibility for all elevators and escalators in Simon Property Group shopping centers in the United States. Through the SBN preferred vendor program, KONE’s maintenance services will also be available to all Simon Property Group tenants.Solutia Announces Doc Awards for 2002St. Louis-based Solutia has announced the winners of its 2002 Doc Awards. Presented at Rainbow by Cipriani in Rockefeller Center, the competition recognizes outstanding achievement in projects that integrate color, space, form, function, and materials, including carpet made with Solutia Ultron® nylon 6,6 fiber. Four design firms, six carpet mills, and carpet manufacturers all received the prestigious Doc Award.Safety FirstThe U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has awarded Philadelphia-based construction management firm L.F. Driscoll Co. a Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) merit award for its construction jobsite at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The VPP is awarded to corporate safety programs that enforce proper OSHA safety procedures to ensure jobsite safety.The L.F. Driscoll Co. sought the VPP for its work at the hospital jobsite because of the nature of the construction, the challenging urban location, and the need to not interfere with patient care operations during the construction. This award is one of eight in the country to be held by a construction management or general construction firm.“Safety is our moral obligation,” says Dona File, corporate safety director for L.F. Driscoll Co. “This partnership recognizes our dedication to that obligation of safety for everyone on the job.”NYNV Supports the Mayoral Initiative for Lower Manhattan DevelopmentNew York New Visions (NYNV), a coalition of 21 architecture, engineering, and planning organizations, enthusiastically supports Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for lower Manhattan’s redevelopment as a 24/7, mixed-use, international center. The vision for downtown includes a framework for future specific projects by creating a ring of mass transit connections, public amenities, and development incentives.“The Mayor’s proposal succeeds in terms of the same criteria we will use for evaluating Trade Center plans. It both takes the pressure off those plans to accomplish everything within the 16-acre boundary, but it also raises the bar for how those plans must relate to this new and compelling context,” explains Hugh Hardy, FAIA, chair, Plan Review Task Force, New York City. NYNV supports enhancing New York City and defining lower Manhattan’s public infrastructure.The NYNV’s Plan Review Task Force previously announced its evaluation criteria and it analyzed the Mayor’s proposal in terms of each of its component parts, including memorialization, uses and phasing, transportation and connections, open spaces, feasible program, relationship to context, and overall plan quality. “Although we have continuing questions as to permitting and financing, we are pleased at how the proposal fleshes out the broad themes that New York New Visions has always articulated, at a level of detail and commitment, which has been lacking to-date in the planning process,” notes Marcie Kesner, AICP, co-chair, New York New Visions, New York City. Armstrong’s Environmental ResponsibilityIn an endeavor to conserve natural resources and attain sustainable design, Lancaster, PA-based Armstrong World Industries has compiled a 16-page brochure focusing on the efforts of its Commercial Ceiling Systems and Commercial Flooring.The brochure traces Armstrong’s environmental heritage and involvement with organizations designed to foster environmental stewardship, and also reviews its portfolio of commercial products that contribute to sustainable design.The Ceiling Systems portion describes recycled content levels and the expanding portfolio of sustainable features in Armstrong ceilings. It also discusses the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program, which allows old ceiling tiles to be recycled rather than dumped in a landfill.The Commercial Floors portion explains why the combination of environmentally friendly ingredients and an exceptionally long life cycle makes linoleum one of the “greenest” floorcoverings available. Sustainability of vinyl composition tile and hardwood floors is also explained.To obtain a copy of Armstrong’s brochure, call 1-877-ARMSTRONG or visit (www.armstrong.com).Strategic Alliance Creates Employment Opportunities for Disabled PeopleRecently, a precedent-setting agreement between the General Services Administration, the Public Buildings Services, the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, and NISH was signed in Arlington, VA through the Javits-Wagner- O’Day (JWOD) program to create employment for severely disabled people. “This is a win-win situation for all parties involved,” says Robert Chamberlin, president and chief executive officer, NISH, Vienna, VA.Under this new agreement, the GSA will offer the JWOD program though NISH for all new contracts for custodial services. NISH, formerly the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped, is a national nonprofit organization, which creates employment opportunities for those with disabilities by securing federal contracts.This agreement establishes a strategic alliance for long-term mutual benefit that delivers improved processes for contracting; recognizes the JWOD program as the vendor of choice for the Public Buildings Services; and values market-pricing, job creation, ease of process, flexibility, quality, and industry innovation.The agreement’s goals are to increase the number of new and diverse employment opportunities, employ industry best practices at the best value for taxpayers, and ensure the new agreement will not have an adverse effect on small or minority-owned businesses. Disabled individuals face unemployment rates of up to 70 percent, and this agreement will increase the opportunity for this population to have greater independence.Green Report AvailableLearn what architects, designers, and facility managers really think about manufacturers of green products and services in an all-inclusive report, put together by Buildings magazine and Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute. Measuring the Success of Green explains how well green design is really understood, attitudes toward the LEED rating system, and how decision-makers are currently learning about green products.The objective, market intelligence report contains detailed breakdowns of questions and the 10 industry groups and companies in each group, cross tabulation of key questions, and unedited candid respondent comments. For more information, contact Anne-Marie Senecal, Corporate Realty, Design & Management Institute, 921 SW Morrison, Suite 525, Portland, OR 97205, ph (800) 452-4480, e-mail (squarefootage@attbi. com).HGA Meets Needs of Medical ClinicWith the opening of the Owatonna Clinic at 26th Street, the newest addition to the Mayo Health System in Owatonna, MN, residents in and around the community can receive an additional level of healthcare closer to home.“HGA helped us design a new facility to minister to both the psychology and physical needs of our patients,” notes David Berg, administrator of Owatonna Clinic. Architects in the Minneapolis office of HGA incorporated natural colors, materials, texture, and artwork to establish an atmosphere of healing and calm in the lobby. Large windows provide a restful view of the outdoors, and fireplaces yield a sense of comfort and warmth.Other features in the clinic include:Shorter corridors to improve convenience.Centrally located reception centers to simplify wayfinding.Treatment centers with televisions and large windows to provide relaxing alternatives to patients.A state-of-the-art conference room with video conferencing and computer image projection.Privacy partitions at registration/rescheduling desks to ensure confidentiality.A New ERA in Roofing®The two largest and leading manufacturers of single-ply roofing, have joined to form the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), an independent trade association. ERA’s mission is to educate the public and the construction community about the outstanding history and unparalleled value proposition represented by today’s EPDM roofing systems.“Recognizing that a new era in roofing has emerged, Firestone Building Products and Carlisle SynTec Inc. have joined together to create a vehicle to communicate the proven performance, durability, and energy-saving attributes of EPDM roofing systems,” says Nick Shears, ERA’s newly-elected Chairman of the Board and Carlisle SynTec vice president, sales and marketing. The association was officially formed in January with the election of a Board of Directors consisting of representatives from Firestone and Carlisle as well as leading material suppliers. For more information regarding the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), please contact Carole Rogin, ERA, at (703) 684-5020.Frequent Fliers Open to Personal Identification TechnologyJohnson Controls, a leader in commercial building control systems and services, based in Milwaukee, WI, commissioned a poll of frequent business fliers, which said they would welcome more intrusive personal identification technology if it streamlined airport security check-in. Seventy-five percent of frequent air travelers polled said they would be “extremely” or “very” willing to undergo a fingerprint scan at the airport if it helped to streamline flight check-in time. Nearly two-thirds were equally willing to undergo an iris or facial scan, and over 60 percent were as willing to use a national ID card with thumbprint.The Transportation Security Administration supports the creation of a trusted traveler program that would involve voluntary, in-depth background checks for frequent travelers who would become part of a registered traveler database. “Privacy and security concerns still exist, but many frequent business travelers are more concerned about the amount of time they are spending at the airport,” says Tom Allen, vice president, government market unit, Johnson Controls Security Solutions, Milwaukee.After Sept. 11, 2001, the share of frequent fliers who arrive two or more hours before a domestic flight has jumped from one percent to 30 percent. While the majority of respondents embraced new personal ID technologies at airports, some did express concerns that the measures would not streamline check-in procedures or would be too intrusive. The survey was conducted among 203 adults who had taken four or more airline trips in the past year, were in executive-level jobs, and had a minimum household income of $50,000.Konover Construction Completes Historic RenovationKonover Construction, collaborating with Jeter, Cook, & Jepson Architects, worked diligently to return the 85-year-old, multi-use 960 Main Street building to its former grandeur. Located in Hartford, CT, the building’s unique art deco flare instilled in Konover a need to preserve over 30 percent of the building’s original materials. The renovation of the interior spaces demanded strong attention to detail and a commitment to the building’s historical integrity.Each piece of nickel-plated brass cladding along the escalators was removed and numbered, with the entire process videotaped to ensure accuracy. Damaged marble flooring was replaced with flooring harvested from other areas of the building.The preservation of the building’s historical aesthetics is especially evident on the main floor in the retail center.National Printer Saves Energy with New RetrofitPewaukee, WI-based Quad/Graphics, a commercial printer, has initiated an energy-efficiency lighting project for its printing facilities across the country, which will save an expected 35 million kilowatt-hours annually. The project will take almost three megawatts of power off the electrical grid – enough electricity to power 3,750 homes. Quad/Graphics’ lighting retrofit, which uses Plymouth, WI-based Orion Lighting and Energy Service’s Illuminator fixtures, has profound environment impact. The energy-efficiency project will aid the environment by removing significant amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury and will possibly mitigate the need for future power plants in Southwestern Wisconsin.“Quad/Graphics has long believed that what’s good for business is good for the environment, and this project is proof positive. Our employees are benefiting from better quality light, and the community is benefiting from a reduction in electrical use and its associated impacts,” says Thomas Quadracci, president and chief operating officer, Quad/Graphics, Pewaukee, WI. As a good environmental steward, the company plans to continue applying new technology to protect the planet.