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October 17, 2005
Economic and Construction Outlook for the Gulf Coast States
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue….


Welcome to AECWeekly! Design and construction professionals will be interested to note the dour forecast of the AIA as they predict higher prices for building materials such as gypsum and concrete, and a rise in the cost of local lumber and plywood prices as some regional timberlands were destroyed by the hurricane. Read about what's happening in the area of infrastructure and construction in the Gulf Coast region in this week's industry news.


AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.


AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Announcements, Awards, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.
Please send me your comments.

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor


Industry News


Economic and Construction Outlook for the Gulf Coast States

By Susan Smith



President George W. Bush signs an autograph for a volunteer on site in Covington, La. Photo by Kim MacDonald.

President George W. Bush signs an autograph for a volunteer on site in Covington, La. Photo by Kim MacDonald.
Design and construction professionals are probably wondering what areas of opportunity might exist in the Gulf Coast region for building and construction after Hurricane Katrina. A report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) addresses those economics, while the immediate critical need continues to be finding housing for those displaced by the destruction.


The needs of some former residents of the Gulf Coast are so critical that they won't ever be able to go home. Before any massive construction projects take place, the focus is on temporary housing. Bechtel and FEMA teamed up to deliver 5,457 trailers for occupancy, and over 7,700 residents had moved in by last week. About 1,600 people, mostly local suppliers and contractors, are working on the effort. Bechtel was first asked to provide temporary housing by FEMA the day of the hurricane, and by September 8 the first mobile units were installed.


Bechtel has been on the scene for emergency response and restoration work around the world, including rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after 9/11, building Kosovar refugee camps in Albania, and civil reconstruction work in Iraq.


The firm has set up temporary emergency housing operation centers (TEHOCs) in three southern Mississippi counties -- Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson where more than 14,500 people have registered with FEMA for housing. Bechtel has also established seven fully equipped and staffed FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in Biloxi, Gulfport, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, Poplarville, and Waveland. More than 25,000 disaster victims have used those centers to register for FEMA assistance.


Bechtel encourages local contractors and suppliers to register at the
Bechtel Supplier/Contractor Site. There you will find a list of all needed equipment and instructions on how to complete registration in the database. Also for those seeking non-manual employment with Bechtel visit
Bechtel Careers. Those interested in manual employment should call 800-644-7244.


In addition to their hands-on relief efforts, Bechtel and its employees have contributed $1.5 million to the American Red Cross.


Habitat for Humanity is rebuilding a home with the Lindsey family in Slidell, Miss. after their mobile home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The walls for the house were built as a part of Make A Difference Today, which is a partnership between Habitat for Humanity, NBC News “Today” show and Warner Music Group. Last week Rockefeller Plaza was renamed “Humanity Plaza” just for the week, while this home was pre-built - walls framed and sheathed, trusses added - to demonstrate to others what Habitat was building as part of Operation Home Delivery for those left homeless by
Hurricane Katrina.


In all, 65 homes were framed last week, 45 in Humanity Plaza, 14 in Jackson, Miss., and six in Burbank, Calif., and transported to the Gulf region where they will be rebuilt as soon as possible.


The home-building effort in Slidell has drawn volunteers from Detroit Habitat for Humanity, from Whirlpool, which provides a range and refrigerator for every Habitat home, Lowe's, and others, including Harry Connick Jr., a New Orleans native and entertainer, and spokesperson for Habitat for Humanity International's Operation Home Delivery, the ministry's hurricane rebuilding program; Maurice Spencer, formerly of the New Orleans Saints and founder of the Spencer Foundation; U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who represents the district; and U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal, R-La.



Forecast


While efforts are obviously underway to provide housing for people in the affected Gulf Coast region as quickly as possible, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced in a report this week entitled “
The Economic and Construction Outlook in the Gulf States after Hurricane Katrina,” what they believed were key economic components related to the rebuilding process of the affected regions. Design and construction professionals will be interested to note the dour forecast of the AIA as they predict higher prices for building materials such as gypsum and concrete, and a rise in the cost of local lumber and plywood prices as some regional timberlands were destroyed by the hurricane.


Stated AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA: “What is interesting from a labor perspective is that the increased demand for skilled trades in the gulf region is coinciding with an expected national slowdown in residential construction. That translates to a strong potential for a relocation of labor to the hurricane impacted regions.”


Another important factor is that prices for petroleum-based construction products (roofing products, PVC piping, and asphalt paving) will add to the dramatic increases in transportation costs, making the cost of rebuilding extremely high.


The AIA also anticipates that less than half of the lost housing stock in Louisiana is expected to be rebuilt due to decreased population base. The so-called good news is that the short-term spike in construction materials is not expected to translate into long-term increases.



Announcements


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced
BE Conference Europe 2006, being held June 11-15 at the Hilton Prague, Czech Republic. This new learning opportunity for users and their managers in the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) community is modeled after the highly successful BE Conference held annually in the United States. The decision to hold two BE Conferences next year was based on high interest from users in Europe and the Middle East for an annual major training event in their geography.


Sage Software (formerly Best Software) announced that its 2005 Sage Summit customer conference sessions, for the
Sage Timberline Office product suite, now meet re-certification requirements for cost engineering professionals. Sage Timberline Office provides integrated financial and operations software for professionals in construction and real estate.


The company will initiate its program participation at Sage Summit, November 2-5, 2005 in San Diego. The event is also Sage Software's inaugural customer conference. For more information about Sage Timberline Office
construction estimating software and other business management products, please view the
website or call 1-800-628-6583.



Correction:


Last week we ran an excerpt from two press releases which we inadvertently ran together. Our apologies to both companies for this error. The two separate announcements were as follows:


Primavera Systems, Inc., announced the formation of a new public sector group and launch of a public sector-specific project management product suite. Together, Primavera's public sector group and solution offer the federal government a trusted and proven resource for program performance evaluation and management.


“In a time of increasing mandates surrounding program performance and fiscal responsibility, federal agencies require tools that offer increased visibility into, and management of, projects,” said Joel M. Koppelman, CEO of Primavera. “Our public sector solution enables federal agencies to not only develop 'green' Exhibit 300 submissions, but also ensure programs stay aligned with their submitted business plans - executing projects that support mission objectives and increase operating efficiencies.”


Graphisoft, leader in Virtual Building solutions, has signed California-based Gelfand Partners Architects to its worldwide roster of ArchiCAD 9 users. Gelfand Partners selected ArchiCAD based on its proven functionality, interoperability and prevalence of use.


Specializing in designs for public buildings, including schools and community centers, Gelfand Partners previously used AutoCAD® to meet the strict project bid and submission formatting requirements set by local review boards, which only accept files in DWG. The firm sought an advanced 3D modeling software that would allow its staff the freedom of design and still meet the formatting demands of public proposals. Additionally, Gelfand Principals wanted a solution that new employees could already have experience with, or could learn easily, reducing training time.



Awards


SBIC is now soliciting submissions for the 2005 Awards Program. This year, as in past years, SBIC members (only) are encouraged to submit their “Best Sustainable Practice” for consideration. Now entering its fifth year, the Best Sustainable Practice Award will continue to recognize the excellent innovations and sustained contributions SBIC members are making toward building a sustainable future in America.


Please visit
SBIC Awards Website to learn more about the awards program. Entries must be submitted by Friday, October 21, 2005. Federal, state and private sector entries are welcome.


Dexter + Chaney has earned an INNOVATION Award from Electrical Contracting Products magazine for its Forefront(R) Construction Management Software. The competition “recognizes outstanding companies whose products or services have best responded to the $82 billion electrical contracting market's challenges by offering creative and innovative ideas,” according to the magazine.


The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership, the largest architectural firm in Arizona, was named the 2005 Western Mountain Region Firm of the Year by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This award annually recognizes a firm across the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, not only for its innovative design work, but also its commitment to professional and community growth, leadership, and top- quality architectural work.



New Products


Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced the availability of "Rendering With MicroStation," written by Jerry Flynn, the world's leading MicroStation visualization expert, and published by the Bentley Institute Press. The book is a product of Flynn's years of experience helping hundreds of firms and thousands of AEC professionals bring designs to life through photorealistic rendering directly within the design application.


Applied Spatial Technologies, Inc. (AST) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of CAFM Express. CAFM Express provides AutoCAD users who maintain facilities drawings & data with a comprehensive set of facilities management tools that run right inside of AutoCAD and any of its companion desktop applications.


CAFM Express is based on technology developed for AST's flagship FM solution, FMDesktop. It offers a core set of functions targeted at AutoCAD users who are currently managing their facility information with a combination of AutoCAD drawings and Excel spreadsheets.


Nemetschek North America announced the release of its VectorWorks product line, complete with a variety of new features and substantial product improvements allowing users to work faster and smarter than ever before. The company is pleased to reveal its newest offerings: VectorWorks Fundamentals, VectorWorks Architect, VectorWorks Landmark, VectorWorks Spotlight, VectorWorks Machine Design, VectorWorks Designer, and RenderWorks.


AVEVA, a provider of engineering lifecycle solutions to the offshore, process, power and shipbuilding industries, announced the general availability of VANTAGE Enterprise NET (VNET) version 3.3. AVEVA has developed VNET, a web-enabled information portal and collaboration solution, in consultation with new and existing customers, including Jacobs, BP, Shell, Petronas, Woodside, J. Ray McDermott and Alstom.


VNET allows information created by experts in one business function to be used by non-experts in other parts of the business or in different organizations. In historical case studies, the use of VNET in a project has enabled significant business process improvements, compressed project completion time, reduced recovery-from-failure downtime.


AVEVA also announces the release of VANTAGE Project Resource Management (VPRM) 9.6: the latest update to the materials and resource management solution from the VANTAGE suite.


Autodesk, Inc. announced it has begun shipping Autodesk 3ds Max 8 software, the latest version of its award-winning 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution. Created to address growing 3D pipeline complexity with new data management, character animation and speed/performance advancements, 3ds Max software is one of the industry's most popular solutions that help customers realize their creative 3D ideas for game development, film and video production and design visualization.



Around the Web


Art museum: Modern or McArchitecture? By Marco R. della Cava, USA TODAY-- The reborn de Young Museum in San Francisco, which opens Oct. 15, is eliciting shudders of (mostly) excitement from this city's arts community, which privately paid for the modernist Goliath to the tune of $190 million.



Upcoming Events
Date:
October 16 - 19, 2005
Place: Lotte Hotel Jamsil

Seoul, Korea (South)
The ICCEM will bring together researchers, engineers and practitioners to present the latest accomplishments, innovations and potential future directions in construction engineering and management. It will provide opportunities for making new acquaintances and strengthen personal relationships with the participants. You can experience beautiful and exotic Korean culture as well.
 
Date:
October 16 - 20, 2005
Place: PALACIO EUSKALDUNA Congress Centre

Bilbao, Spain
The association’s main event is the annual World Congress, which focuses on an international planning theme. The congress takes place in a different country every year, preferably in a different continent. ISoCaRP also organizes smaller scale seminars and publishes reports and other professional documents. It is represented at major international planning events.
 
Date:
October 18, 2005
Place: IA USA
Each year, AIA Iowa holds a booth design contest for all convention exhibitors. The grand prize is a free exhibit booth at the 2005 AIA Iowa Convention. This year's Exhibit Booth Awards winner is Workspace, Inc., in booth 20a. The Exhibit Booth Award encourages quality and excellence in displays at the Exhibit Hall.
 
Date:
October 19, 2005
Place: NAHB National Housing Center

Washington, DC USA
This semiannual conference provides an outstanding opportunity to learn about economic trends, government policies, and developments in the housing industry. Panels of nationally recognized experts will discuss the Outlook for the Ecomomy and Housing, the Regional Housing Outlook, and the results from NAHB's recent surveys.
 
Date:
October 19 - 22, 2005
Place: Westin Century Plaza Hotel & Spa

Los Angeles, CA USA
The AAH annual fall conference, "Realizing a Sustainable Architecture for Health: Resources, Responsibility, and Renewal," will be held at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel & Spa in Los Angeles. Conference topics will include strategic choices: reuse or replace; healthcare design and the LEEDTM process; flexibility and adaptability: what should healthcare facilities invest in—and how much; green materials in healthcare; master planning strategies for healthcare facility renewal and long-term survival; the price of sustainable healthcare design: initial and life-cycle costs; responsible options for energy resource and medical waste management; drawing the “green” line: comparison of designer and owner perspectives; and several case studies. Look for additional
information and a postcard in early spring 2005, and check this Web site for up-to-date information.
 
Date:
October 19, 2005
Place: Boston, MA USA
No matter the project, you need everyone working together. Attend Acrobat 7.0 on Tour and in four short hours, you'll learn how Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional delivers more reliable and secure document exchange to every member on every team.


Discover Acrobat 7.0 solutions tailored to your industry.

We're committed to helping you understand exactly what Acrobat 7.0 can do for your next project.
  • Learn how to solve common document collaboration problems.
  • Discover how companies in your industry have gained a competitive edge with Acrobat 7.0.
  • Participate in exclusive breakout sessions for general business, AEC, legal and manufacturing.
  • Learn best practices to automate, integrate and improve your workflows.

  • Who should attend:

    IT/MIS, Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR and Legal Professionals, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Project Managers, Government, Educators. And anyone looking to work effectively, efficiently and accurately.
    Date:
    October 21, 2005
    Place: Toronto, Canada
    No matter the project, you need everyone working together. Attend Acrobat 7.0 on Tour and in four short hours, you'll learn how Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional delivers more reliable and secure document exchange to every member on every team.


    Discover Acrobat 7.0 solutions tailored to your industry.

    We're committed to helping you understand exactly what Acrobat 7.0 can do for your next project.
  • Learn how to solve common document collaboration problems.
  • Discover how companies in your industry have gained a competitive edge with Acrobat 7.0.
  • Participate in exclusive breakout sessions for general business, AEC, legal and manufacturing.
  • Learn best practices to automate, integrate and improve your workflows.
  • Who should attend:

    IT/MIS, Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR and Legal Professionals, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Project Managers, Government, Educators. And anyone looking to work effectively, efficiently and accurately.

    Date:
    October 24, 2005
    Place: Philadelphia Airport Marriott

    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Bringing the Best Minds in the Industry Together For You:

    PlantSuccess promises to bring you the latest information about IT integration to help you improve your productivity. We deliver on that promise by assembling leading industry executives and experts to share their experiences with you.


    At PlantSuccess conferences, you’ll hear about what worked and why. You’ll hear about the trends that are about to affect your business and the pressures you may be feeling right now — delivered in an organized, professional format.

     
    Date:
    October 24, 2005
    Place: The Renaissance Vinoy

    St. Petersburg, FL USA
    Tradeline’s 17th Annual Academic Science Buildings Conference! Whether you're setting plans for new science-building construction or renovation projects, formulating new science building standards and guidelines, or pushing to get more utilization from existing research and science teaching facilities, don't sign off on anything until you see the new plans, features, and numbers! Attend Tradeline's 17th annual college and university facilities conference to make sure you build the right facility and to save your institution millions of dollars through new cost-saving options and investment mistakes avoided on biology, chemistry,
    biochemistry, and biomedical research buildings, nanotechnology facilities, advanced teaching platforms, and more. 2004 Academic Science Buildings Conference Highlights: - $5.5 Billion worth of new building projects represented, - $40.4 million average project size per attendee - Projects represented (new, renovation, expansion):

    administration, architectural, biology, biochemistry, biomedical, commerce, chemistry, engineering, health sciences, neurosciences, medical, proteomics, research, research labs, stadium, science, science & teachings, science lab, social science, and wet lab.


    For more information go to http://www.TradelineInc.com/Academic or contact Bill Nothofer @ 925-254-1744 x 19 or via email at bill@tradelineinc.com
     
    Date:
    October 26 - 28, 2005
    Place: USA
    In today’s competitive business environment, architecture firm leaders must successfully develop leadership from within to help them achieve excellence in their practices, win new commissions, and provide outstanding service to their clients. Success in these areas is often due to the ability of skilled leadership teams to build a clear and focused vision, maintain a passion for exploring new ideas, continually adapt to new conditions, and hold a deep conviction to meet long-term goals.


    No longer is the charismatic “bigger than life” leader the answer for many of our best firms. In this conference, the AIA Practice Management Knowledge Community and the
    AIA New York Chapter have invited firm leaders who have committed themselves to building great organizations that will last beyond their tenure and that will thrive in a changing world. Architects from some of our country’s most successful firms will share their knowledge of team leadership, mentoring, business development, and management. They will lead seminars, facilitate workshops, and join us in roundtable discussions that will help define a new model for leadership and a fresh approach for firms that are on the road to “getting to great.”

     
    Date:
    October 27 - 29, 2005
    Place: Los Angeles, CA USA
     
    Date:
    October 27 - 29, 2005
    Place: Hartford, CT USA
    Please join us for completion of our 2005 two-conference series on federal, state, and local advocacy for excellence in learning environments. "Implementing the Dream: Collaboration Required" will focus on exemplary models of state and local advocacy throughout the United States. Watch for more information as it becomes available at
    Date:
    October 28, 2005
    Place: Chicago, IL USA
    No matter the project, you need everyone working together. Attend Acrobat 7.0 on Tour and in four short hours, you'll learn how Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional delivers more reliable and secure document exchange to every member on every team.


    Discover Acrobat 7.0 solutions tailored to your industry.

    We're committed to helping you understand exactly what Acrobat 7.0 can do for your next project.
  • Learn how to solve common document collaboration problems.
  • Discover how companies in your industry have gained a competitive edge with Acrobat 7.0.
  • Participate in exclusive breakout sessions for general business, AEC, legal and manufacturing.
  • Learn best practices to automate, integrate and improve your workflows.
  • Who should attend:

    IT/MIS, Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR and Legal Professionals, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Project Managers, Government, Educators. And anyone looking to work effectively, efficiently and accurately.


    You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.


    To read more news, click here.



    -- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.