Published by:
March 17, 2021

Spring Break, or Loving Lambs vs. Lions

This past week in the Midwest, we were blessed with unusually warm temps—a welcome respite from February’s cold and snow. Of course, when it warms, all that snow melts rapidly… I bring this up as moving water was something I encountered not only in my outdoor constitutional, but also in my inbox. Most of this past summer, while walking about, I spent a lot of time contemplating the origins of a limestone drainage channel, and structure, known as the “castle,” that I kept encountering on my sojourn through my river valley community. Months later, research at the local library revealed answers (a story for another day). That said, last week, the channel water was notably cascading, a far cry from summer’s trickle. Sediment and debris, however, accompanied the flow. It brought to mind one of the “Smart Policy” case studies proffered recently by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The project involved the institution of a green belt to front a large multi-family development in the heart of Seattle. While unquestionably adding beauty to the block, its intent was not so much to serve as a park as it was to use landscaping to both slow the flow of stormwater, and filter the water before it entered a nearby waterway. That’s what I call infrastructure. Still, its designers (MIG) did consider humans in adding walkways and benches for residents to take it all in. One of my favorite solutions employed—gabion walls—simple, yet elegant. Here’s a few other products for such work.

New & Noteworthy

A Formula for Stormwater Retention and Reuse

Some reputations die hard. Granted, Pittsburgh’s legacy as a sooty, steel-making city a century ago was well-earned, but it’s also a thing of the past. In its place is a widespread commitment to environmental stewardship that is slowly but surely earning The ‘Burgh’ a new and better standing in the public eye. The latest example of this new era is the Frick Environmental Center, the first municipally owned, fee-free public building in the U.S. to earn Living Building certification, a rigorous protocol by the International Living Future Institute.

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Sustainable Stormwater Relief

Porous pavement system helps protect watershed at Wisconsin’s first land trust, which was founded in 1937 to protect one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state. Design choices that encourage land preservation and conservation were of utmost importance to Door County’s 7400-sq.-ft. Ridges Sanctuary nature preserve center, which must serve as an exemplary example to the community—both homeowners and businesses—of how sustainable and low-environmental impact materials can be included in buildings.

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All Natural

From Stone Forest is a set of unique benches: The Puzzle Bench features a modular set of alternating concave and convex cubes, carved from solid blocks of Antique Grey limestone. The Quad Bench is a parallelogram-shaped, part utilitarian, part modernist sculpture, available in Gregio Sandstone or Antique Grey Limestone. 

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Beautiful Euro Style Partitions

Add European elegance, refined style and high design to your restroom creations with Bradley’s new collection of Euro style partitions, including Float Series, Lucent Series and Loft Series. Characterized by clean, fresh, and modern design elements like enameled tempered glass, minimalist frameless construction and floating-on-air aesthetics, each partition model creates a dramatic backdrop in commercial washrooms and is sure to amaze restroom guests. Advanced new materials, sturdy construction, user privacy and maintainability further complement the sophisticated look of each model.

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2020 Product Innovation Award (PIA) Winner

Lumos Solar lives at the intersection of solar, design and architecture and provides unmatched solar functionality through aesthetically beautiful and cutting-edge architectural solutions. Lumos is committed to bringing the world the most innovative and beautiful solar on the planet and its latest award-winning product, the SolarZone, does just that.

The SolarZone is a customizable seating solution that allows gathering at a safe social distance while providing a comfortable, functional and great looking shaded seating area with solar charging capabilities. Businesses are planning for a reimagined future, so it’s crucial they look at practical and sustainable solutions like the SolarZone.

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Metal Panels Offer a Value Solution

With the introduction of EN-V by Dri-Design, the company aims to restore the true meaning of “value" in value engineering. Without cheapening the metal panel system, the company has optimized its processes to deliver cost savings without sacrificing performance or longevity. EN-V is a surprisingly economical and tested, architectural, dry-joint, pressure-equalized rainscreen system. The product doesn’t compromise on aesthetics either, as it is available in dozens of standard colors as well as custom color-matching capabilities that make the possibilities nearly endless.

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Award-Winning Wood Grain Powder-Coated Finish

Wood you believe? An award-winning finish! Feeney’s Wood Grain Finish for DesignRail Top Rail won a 2020 Product Innovation Award from Architectural Products magazine! Feeney makes it easy for you to have the beautiful look of wood with the durability of powder-coated aluminum. 

  • AAMA 2604 ultra-durable powder-coating with dye-sublimation wood grain pattern
  • 10-year warranty, same as other DesignRail powder-coated components
  • Available on Series 150 and Series 200 top rail profiles, 10 ft. and 20 ft. lengths
  • 3 color options: Cherry, Walnut and Weathered Gray

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New Evolve Cubicles

Achieve evolved privacy, from panel to pedestal. Introducing new Evolve Cubicles, offering resilient, European-style privacy without compromising project budgets. Suitable for standard use and heavy traffic buildings, Bobrick has engineered privacy into every facet of Evolve. With its unique, patented pedestal, 72"-deep, single piece divider panels and a robust aluminum frame, you can rely on Evolve to meet your requirements for design, privacy and budget.

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Economical Solution: Metal Wall Panel Mix

Exterior cladding for SkyVue originally was planned as aluminum composite, which was ruled out through value engineering to utilize PAC-CLAD Flush Panels instead. The 24 gauge panels were finished in Bone White, Stone White and Charcoal colors complemented by 7/8-in. Corrugated in Matte Black.

“We specified the Petersen profiles for the modular construction that was planned,” said Nick Hill, project manager for Niles Bolton. “Panelizing is definitely the way to go to avoid issues with the weather. Installing vertically was more challenging than installing horizontally, but still it was a relatively straightforward job.”

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Acoustical Smoke Vents Curb Exterior Noise

Six double-leaf acoustical smoke vents, manufactured by BILCO, were installed in the campus theater at Middlesex School in Massachusetts. Smoke vents protect property and assist firefighters in bringing a fire under control by removing smoke, heat and gases from a burning building. The vents selected for this project feature an acoustical sound rating to block outside noise from entering the building and motor operation to allow the vents to be open and closed remotely for building ventilation. BILCO smoke vents are offered with STC 50 and OITC 46 sound ratings.

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Sun Controls: The Look…That Works

Sun control products from Airolite are designed to reduce heat transfer while still permitting natural lighting—providing an ideal solution for reducing total energy loads and additional investments in mechanical equipment. The architectural design at this California school incorporated many Airolite custom sunshade products that provide functional thermal reduction while captivating the attention of all who see it.

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