Practice Management


Practice Management

  • A Difficult Character

    When a leadership consultant reviewed the Myers-Briggs tests of 100 architects, he discovered there really is an “architect type.”

  • SmithGroup workplace practice leader Angie Lee says that parenthood has been one of the best ways shes learned how to deal with staff conflicts. "You love them all the same way," Lee notes, "but sometimes, you have to play referee."

    Dealing With Workplace Politics

    Egos, generational differences, career goals … there are many reasons team members might not see eye-to-eye.

  • When it comes to internships, lawyer Michael Zetlin offers a good guideline: "When you're dealing with an intern, you should make it clear to them that you are not looking at this as an offer or opportunity for full-time employment at the end of the internship period."

    The Unpaid Staff

    Recent standards released by the U.S. Department of Labor bring some clarity to the hiring and use of interns. But it’s still a tricky issue.

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    Bargain-Basement Bids: Necessary Evil or Necessary for Survival?

    The second installment of our series on architectural fees finds that increased competition for even the smallest of projects is leading firms to slash rates. But have things gone too far?

  • Architectural Fees: What's Your Time Worth?

    In the first article of a three-part series on how much architects should charge for architectural fees, we learn why the fixed-fee model has the most traction—not that it's easy to calculate.

  • New AEC Consulting Firm Launches

    On July 1, four former principals of the consultancy ZweigWhite announced the formation of a new business, Rusk O'Brien Gido + Partners, that will offer consulting to AEC firms on business planning, ownership transition, and mergers and acquisitions.

  • Foster  Partners effectively designed two buildings in one, each having its own name and material properties: the glassy Fortaleza Hall and the predominantly masonry Commons. Together, they add 60,000 square feet of employee-focused space to the campus. Fortaleza Halls minimal form consists of an elliptical glazed shell and overhanging roof. The structure is supported by 10 steel columns, made from custom-designed hollow steel sections. Inside each column is a downspout, allowing rainwater that collects on the roof to run off without requiring the clutter of an exposed gutter system. And despite conventional wisdom that would dictate putting as much glass as possible between inside and out (the average January low temperature in Racine is 13 degrees), each of the 85 curved panes is single-glazed laminated glass. We were very keen to avoid distortion in the glass, which you get with toughened glass, partner-in-charge Giles Robinson says. Its regular annealed glass, but laminated to deal with any potential failure, and that system introduced onto the framing system produced what we consider the most elegant solution. Each panel is 7-1/2 feet tall and 16 feet wide. The Commons is a much more solid-looking building. Its brick massincorporating employee amenities such as eateries, a wellness center, a bank, a concierge, and a company storecurves around to envelop the east side of the glass pavilion. In contrast to Fortaleza Halls intentional transparency, the Commons is constructed with self-supporting masonry walls made out of Kasota stone from the same quarry that Frank Lloyd Wright used for the copings of his Administration Building. I think we were very conscious that we didnt want to mimic or ape the Wright building, Robinson adds, but we did introduce the bull-nose curves on the end of The Commons that have a resonance to [Wrights] architecture.

    Fortaleza Hall

    Foster + Partners' glass pavilion and employee amenities building are the new centerpiece of the historic SC Johnson campus in Racine, Wis.

  • Anna Dietzsch and Joaquim Rondon of Davis Brody Bond Aedas in the Vila Madalena neighborhood of S£o Paulo, where theyre designing a linear park in collaboration with the city government and a nonprofit group.

    Emerging Market: Architecture Jobs in Brazil

    Architecture jobs in Brazil could be increasing, as the fast-growing country holds opportunities for U.S. architects beyond the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

  • Border control officers must meet stringent requirements, such as passing regular firearms certification tests. To that end, the program of the border station includes a shooting range. Not required in every GSA border station, this is the only such facility in Maine. The walls and standard lay-in ceiling are clad in an absorbent acoustical foam which has a convex pattern formed into its surface. The back wall, behind the targets, is a bullet trapa surface composed of rubber pellets that collects the bullets and lead and is periodically cleaned out.

    U.S. Land Port of Entry

    A new station on the border of the U.S. and Canada shows that a secure facility can also be well designed.

  • The IFP-25 from Silent Knight by Honeywell has a 25-point fire alarm with addressable technology. Suitable for applications where a two- to five-zone conventional fire alarm system would have been installed otherwise, it features pin-point dentification of trouble locations and false-alarm prevention via detector drift compensation and automatic maintenance alerts. The system features code-wheel-addressed detectors, JumpStart programming, and a built-in programming browser that doesnt require custom software. It also supports combinations of addressable HFS detectors and modules, and runs on a single loop of standard wire rather than a shielded or twisted pair.

    Silent Knight IFP-25

    A 25-point fire alarm system from Honeywell.



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