The American Institute of Architects' Architecture Billings Index for February was 52.5 (any score over 50 indicates an increase in billings). Bysector, mixed practice had the best score, 59.9, followed by residential (55.6), institutional (53.5), and commercial/industrial (51.8). The Inquiries Index for the month was 61.9.

Looking for work? Architecture and engineering firm SSOE, which has more than 700 employees and 16 forces worldwide, has launched a nationwide recruitment effort to hire 200 architects and engineers by the end of the year. Job seekers can search for, view, and apply for open positions in any office through the company's website,

In April, the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture appointed Hitoshi Abe as professor and chair of its Department of Architecture and Urban Design. He was recently professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Through June 6, the department is hosting "Body: Hitoshi Abe," an exhibit of six projects designed by Atelier Hitoshi Abe.

The Green Building Initiative now offers free use of the Green Globes environmental assessment and rating system to professional affiliates that join the GBI. For a $2,500- per-year membership, firms that design andconstruct new commercial buildings get unlimited use of Green Globes. Ifunlimited use is not required, firms can join GBI for $500 or $1,500 per year and receive free Green Globes access for one or three projects, respectively.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards has selected the University of Virginia as the $25,000 grand prize winner of the 2007 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy. The university received the prize for "ecoMOD," a project that partners the school's architecture and engineering programs for the creation of affordable and sustainable housing prototypes.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America has established a postgraduate program at the Georgia Tech College of Architecture. The M.S. program, an intensive two-semester course, includes a fall semester in New York (home of the ICA) and a spring semester in Atlanta (home of Georgia Tech), with an option for summer study in Greece and Italy.

In other education news, the Southern California Institute of Architecture will launch its second postgraduate program, MediaSCAPES, this fall. The course will focus on media production and theory and is intended to act as an idea laboratory.

In mid-April, Polshek Partnership Architects announced that founder James Stewart Polshek has given up his partnership interest and has assumed the role of senior design counsel. Polshek will continue to work on select projects and act as adviser to the firm's nine partners.

Tom Galloway, dean of the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech since 1992, died on March 11. He was 67.

Jules Horton, a leader in the lighting design community, died on Feb. 23 at the age of 87. Hewill be honored at the International Association of Lighting Designers Awards Dinner, which will occur this month during Lightfair.

Floyd McCall, co-founder of the company that eventually became the FMI Corp., died on March 20. FMIis a leading consulting and investment banking company for the construction industry.

It probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but a PPG Industries survey of 629 U.S. firms finds that China is the leading international market, accounting for 21 percent of the firms' combined international business. The United Kingdom came in second, at 16 percent.

A study released in late March says that average temperatures in California rose nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the second half of the 20th century. Using 1950-2000 data from 330 weather stations across the state, the authors--one from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the other two from California State University, Los Angeles--find that the greatest warming occurred in the state's big cities and was caused mostly by urbanization, not greenhouse gases.