The American Institute of Architects' Architecture Billings Index for January was 57.5 (any score over 50 indicates an increase in billings). Regionally, the Northeast posted the strongest month, with a score of 76; the South was second best, at 56.

Construction management and program management service fees have increased to 5.7 percent of a typical project budget in 2007, up from 5 percent in 2000, but operating income for CM/PM firms dropped during the same period, from 14 percent of revenue to 10.5 percent. These are two of the findings in “2007 Comparison of Construction Management and Program Management Costs,” a study conducted for the Construction Management Association of America by industry consultant and investment banking company FMI.

Architect, urban planner, and theorist Denise Scott Brown has been awarded one of two 2007 Vilcek Foundation Prizes. Each $50,000 award is given annually to foreign-born individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. society in the areas of the arts, the humanities, and biomedical research. Scott Brown, who was born in South Africa, is the first architect to receive the prize, now in its third year.

Wall Street will always have a place in American history, but now it's been officially designated as historic: A 36-block area surrounding the famed financial avenue in Manhattan has been entered into the National Register of Historic Places, which will make federal tax incentives available for building owners to renovate and preserve historic buildings.

Architect and educator Charles Colbert, who served as the school of architecture dean at both Texas A&M University and Columbia University, died Feb. 12 at his home in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 85.

Version 1 of the new National Building Information Modeling Standard is now available for review and comment. The document, “Part 1: Overview, Principles, and Methodologies,” can be downloaded at The review period will end May 21.

United Technologies Corp. has made a $1 million gift to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help restore and preserve Abraham Lincoln's former family cottage. Now known as the President Lincoln and Soldiers' Home National Monument, the Washington, D.C., cottage is scheduled to open to the public in 2008. The gift will enable the National Trust to use sustainable technology in the restoration process.

According to Japanese researchers at the Okayama University of Science, air conditioners in large buildings make it hotter outside. The scientists' study compared summer temperatures in downtown Tokyo on weekends versus weekdays. The results? Air conditioners expelled enough heat to raise the city's temperature about 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The findings were reported in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.