The AIA will be releasing six new contract documents on Oct. 17: a BIM exhibit, two integrated project delivery agreements, two design/build agreements, and a scope of services document. The documents will be available on the AIA website and in paper form.

The University of Washington has changed the name of its architecture school to the College of Built Environments. The dean and faculty felt that “College of Architecture and Urban Planning” did not reflect the responsibilities of a 21st century design school. The school claims it is the first in the U.S. to use the term “built environment” in its name, although it is popular with schools in other countries.

The General Services Administration and the Building Owners and Managers Association have with drawn their challenges to the International Code Council about new requirements for skyscrapers in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. At its September meeting to finalize the 2009 building code, the ICC upheld requirements that office buildings taller than 420 feet must have an additional stairwell and more-robust fire proofing. It also added to a requirement for glow-in-the-dark paint in stairwells of buildings over 75 feet by man dating it for existing buildings, not just for new construction. In a compromise with the GSA, the ICC will waive the requirement for an extra stairwell if a building has an elevator that can evacuate people in an emergency. Still outstanding is a controversial proposal to require sprinklers in all new-home construction.

In other ICC news, the group has released new construction guidelines for hurricane and high-wind areas. The Standard for Residential Construction in High Wind Regions(ICC-600) features wind-resistant construction details and design guidelines. The standard will be available to communities for adoption in their codes and will be a referenced standard in the 2009 International Residential Code.

Charles Thornton, co-founder of engineering and design firm Thornton Tomasetti, has been awarded the 2008 Henry C. Turner Prize, given by the National Building Museum. Thornton is receiving the award for his founding of the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Mentor Program of America, which has affiliate organizations in 31 states and involves 45,000 students nationwide. The Turner Prize comes with a $25,000 cash award.

A. Epstein and Sons International has changed its name to Epstein in order to reflect its current ownership structure and corporate branding. The firm was founded 87 years ago in Chicago and was bought out by employees in December 2005.

HKS has completed its acquisition of London-based Ryder HKS International, purchasing the last third of the stock from Ryder, an architecture firm based in Newcastle, England. The London office of HKS will now be called HKS Architects Ltd.

The Harvard Graduate School of Design has launched a new concentration in sustainable design as part of its Master of Design Studies program. The curriculum will be co-ordinated by associate professor of architectural technology Christoph Reinhart.

Robert A.M. Stern Architects has been tapped to design two residential colleges at Yale University. The colleges will expand the average undergraduate population of 5,250 to about 6,000 and are expected to open in 2013. Yale's 12 existing colleges were designed by James Gamble Rogers and Eero Saarinen.

The Ethisphere Institute has published “2020 Global Sustainability Centers,” a list of 20 large and mid-size cities with the best plans for a sustainable future. New York City and Portland, Ore., are the only U.S. cities on the list. Read the institute's analysis at