Jumat, 21 November 2008

Concrete Form Liners in Architecture

Concrete form liners are used to add texture to what otherwise would be bare walls showing only the imprint of whatever materials were used when the concrete was poured into a mold. Usually made of styrene or ABS plastic, the formliner (the term is also used as two separate words - form liner) is placed inside the structural forming system and then acts as a mold to imprint a specific texture to the concrete. There are a large variety of patterns available, and they can give concrete a brick, block, or rock pattern. Formliners can also generate wood grain textures, flutes or fractured fins. But what is formliners relevance to art and architecture?

The answer is no farther than a look at the magnificent Ahwanee Hotel located in the Yosemite National Park in California. The Ahwanee is a magnificent structure that was built in the 1920s and has been a national historic landmark since the 1980s. Fitting beautifully into the majestic Yosemite scenery, the hotel is constructed from rough-cut granite and wood. When I first saw the Ahwanee I marveled at its beauty, but also wondered if such extensive use of wood in a remote area did not represent a fire hazard. Well, the wood isn't wood. It is poured concrete that was textured with early formliners and stained to look like redwood and pine bark. When you look at the building from a distance, you see horizontal redwood siding and rough, milled timbers.

What architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood accomplished with the Ahwanee Hotel was an intelligent solution to the challenge of designing a building that fit into the breathtaking grandeur of Yosemite with its rock and woods yet was also resistant to fire. It became an architectural masterpiece and also a monument to innovative use of construction materials. By shaping, texturing and staining concrete, Underwood conjured up the natural beauty of wood, yet without incurring any of wood's drawbacks in terms of cost, safety and longevity. Underwood may not have had the type of plastic formliner we use today, but the idea and concept was the same.

While the Ahwanee was one of the most earliest and most famous examples of formliner architecture and its builders had to overcome many challenges, the concept is readily available today to architects, engineers and contractors. It adds a great degree of artistic and architectural freedom to using concrete as a construction material. Colors and textures become part of the design language, the finish of concrete as relevant as its structural properties.

Adding texture to concrete was a major task an expense when the Ahwanee was built. Today, elastomeric and urethane formliners can be specified and ordered right out of catalogs from companies that specialize in them. Hundreds of patters and textures are available, with top-notch formliner makers able to interpret and produce drawings, provide custom patterns and rustications, while adhering to schedules and budgets.

While concrete has been used as a construction material for thousands of years, it's been the fairly recent advent of concrete form liners that has given architects and engineers a powerful new tool to work with this most flexible of construction materials.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.

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Modern Architecture

Modern architecture is a style found in the buildings that have simple form without any ornamental structures to them. This style of architecture first came up around 1900. By 1940, modern architecture was identified as an international style and became the dominant way to build for many decades in the 20th century. Modern architects apply scientific and analytical methods to design.

Many historians relate the origins of this style of architecture to the social and political revolution of the time, though others see modern architecture as primarily driven by technological and engineering developments. The availability of new materials such as iron, steel, concrete, and glass brought about new building techniques as part of the industrial revolution. Some regard modern architecture as a reaction against ancient building style. Above all, it is widely accepted as a matter of taste.

For the international style, the most commonly used materials are glass for the facade, steel for exterior support, and concrete for the floors and interior supports. The floor plans are functional and logical. But, many people are not fond of the modern style. They find its stark, uncompromisingly rectangular geometrical designs quite inhumane. They think this universal style is sterile, elitist, and lacks meaning.

Modern architecture challenged traditional ideas about the types of structures suitable for architectural design. Only important civic buildings, aristocratic palaces, churches, and public institutions had long been the mainstay of architectural practices. But, modernist designers argued that architects should design everything that was necessary for society, even the most humble buildings.

Architects began to plan low-cost housing, railroad stations, factories, warehouses, and commercial spaces. In the first half of the 20th century, modern architects produced furniture, textiles, and wallpaper - as well as designing houses - to create a totally designed domestic environment. The aesthetics used by modern architects celebrated function in all forms of design, from household furnishings to massive ocean liners and new flying machines.

Modern architecture originated in the United States and Europe and spread across the rest of the world. The characteristic features that made modern architecture possible were buildings, stylistic movements, technology, and modern materials.

Architecture provides detailed information on Architecture, Architecture Designs, Architecture Schools, Landscape Architecture and more. Architecture is affiliated with Residential Architects.

Architecture Schools

Rapid urbanization and buildings turning into art forms has given a boost to architecture studies. Colleges and universities across the USA offer professional courses in architecture and related fields accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). This is an important requirement for being a licensed architect.

The best route in being a registered or licensed architect is a five-year Bachelor or Master of Architecture degree program. If hesitant or unsure of career choice, opt for a four-year bachelor's degree and then move on to graduate school for a 2- or 3-year Masters Degree program in Architecture. To be a licensed or registered architect one needs an internship in an architectural firm working under the supervision of registered professionals, followed by a comprehensive examination.

Different states have their own jurisdiction procedures. Some boards require a pre-professional degree in architecture or a bachelor's degree in any subject. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) follow their own criteria for admission to licensing examinations. Before applying to a college or school, check on the number of accredited programs being offered, or on related degree programs such as a program in historic preservation or architectural engineering with an accredited professional architecture degree program. The coursework is similar to accredited programs but problems arise at the time of license. Sometimes a single school offers several accredited professional degree programs, such as a five-year undergraduate degree for high school graduates and a three-and-a-half-year graduate degree for those who already have a degree in another field. One should check on the accreditation status of the school before applying as new architecture schools cannot have NAAB accreditation until the first professional class graduates.

If still undecided, the best choice is the Bachelor of Architecture programs, which allow flexibility of the yearly components of (2+3, 1+4, 3+2 or 4+1). This allows logical entry and exit points from various phases of a full five-year program. The student's work is carefully reviewed before moving onto the next phase: another architecture program, institution or academic discipline such as landscape architecture, industrial design, graphic design, etc.

If interested in further specialization get a post-professional architecture degree in design theory, health care facilities, preservation, interior design, solar design, etc. One minor hitch is that these studies are not NAAB accredited. Study of architecture should not be cost deterrent. The majority of schools and colleges offer financial aid. Another way to save money on your architecture education is to take admission at a community or junior college, then move onto a more renowned college. Or you can opt for five-year program offering logical curriculum decision points. Picking up non-architectural disciplines such as behavioral sciences, engineering (structural and mechanical), economics, CAD or computer-aided design, history or communication is an added bonus whether interested in buildings or landscape designs.

Architecture provides detailed information on Architecture, Architecture Designs, Architecture Schools, Landscape Architecture and more. Architecture is affiliated with Residential Architects.

Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architecture is the total picture of an enterprise. It incorporates the broad decisions that should be taken by an organization to build its information support system. It also acts as a master plan that coordinates different aspects of a business enterprise. These aspects includes the goals, objectives, and strategies in the business planning process; the business terms, organization structures, processes and data in business operations; application systems and databases involved in automation; and the computers, operating systems and networks that make up the technological infrastructure. Thus, enterprise architecture has become an inevitable knowledge domain for enterprises in the information age.

To address the various issues involved in the business process, enterprise architecture is divided into business architecture, data architecture, application architecture and technical architecture. The objective is to deliver business solutions.

Enterprise architecture works in different ways. It has different applications for different aspects of a business enterprise, such as intellectual capital, organizational learning, strategic planning, organizational design, competitive advantage, business process reengineering, systems delivery, etc. Most business enterprises in the information age thrive on intellectual capital, not equipment or machinery. Thus, people who contribute by means of new ideas, knowledge and skill sets have to be counted as an asset, not a cost. These intellectual assets of the present day business exceed the value of assets that appear on the balance sheet. But tapping intellectual assets requires structural intellectual assets such as manuals, software, and other knowledge. Enterprise architecture helps to procure and exploit the structural intellectual assets.

The process of procuring enterprise architecture is called organizational learning.

In other words, it is a process by which people share ideas and knowledge through procedures integrated with the work environment. It conserves the learning or the structural intellectual assets of an organization, by recording it. It records knowledge about ideas, objectives and plans; governance principles and models; business terms and organizational structures; processes and data; application systems and technical infrastructure.

In the information economy businesses can never be planned, they have to be designed. Thus, strategy in the traditional sense ceases to exist as a plan and becomes an enterprise design.

Organizational design is the other factor that makes use of the knowledge building and analyzing mechanisms of enterprise architecture. Adaptive enterprise design, which prescribes a firm-specific governance mechanism, has become important for present-day business enterprises. Enterprise architecture can help with necessary knowledge inputs. It can also help in building modern concepts like manage-by-wire, that builds mechanisms for sensing and responding to changes in the market many times faster than the competition.

Present-day businesses are looking to reduce product development time. In enterprises where the information content of the product is high, enterprise architecture can help product differentiation to occur at a low cost. Business process reengineering is another area where enterprise architecture can assist. Business process reengineering is a fundamental rethinking, suggesting redesign of the business enterprises to achieve improvements in performance by cost, quality, capital, service and speed. Enterprise architecture can provide the necessary information inputs for facilitating improvements.

Systems delivery is the final area which is vital to any business enterprise. The components in systems delivery, such as systems architecture, technical architecture, data and information architecture, can be very well integrated through enterprise architecture. Enterprise architecture has thus become a business solution, rather than a model.

Enterprise Architecture provides detailed information on Enterprise Architecture, Federal Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture Inputs, Enterprise Architecture Planning and more. Enterprise Architecture is affiliated with Contract Management Services.

Online Architecture Training

Many architectural schools require specialty on-the-job training and internships at almost every level, which takes three years.

Students who intend to take online accredited architecture training should check to find out whether the training is accredited from a valid institution or not. The process of taking architectural licensing exams becomes a bit easier if a student takes training from an accredited institution. Online architectural training helps students choose their career path in architecture.

There are many online courses available offering two-year, four-year as well as five-year programs. Taking a four-year bachelor degree program is considered to be a good choice, as it helps exploring options before deciding which graduate program in architecture would be suitable to take.

Scope of Online Architecture Training

Online architecture training can help aspiring architects achieve their career goals. It instructs students in the art and science of designing and constructing buildings. There are many busy people who wanted to pursue an architectural degree, but could not manage it due to lack of time. Online architecture training is the ideal choice for them as it is neither very expensive nor time consuming.

You can easily manage your studies while working. Most reputable institutions accredit all online architecture schools. In a number of regions, architects need to have taken an approved degree program to obtain a license.

Students considering online architecture training programs might also consider looking into options related to technical, vocational schools or community colleges offering online training. This offers a better chance for students to get good internships and placements.

If a student enrolls in a trade school, he or she can earn a certificate, diploma or degree as an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Architecture. This helps students save a lot of time, complete the architecture course and become independent, thereby making a mark in their chosen specialization.

Online architecture training programs offer students courses tailored to learn architectural design. They also update students on a range of modern technologies and building sciences. Students taking online training can expect a considerable gain in knowledge of comprehensive skills like using Computer Assisted Drafting software and three dimensional visualization technologies. Many online architecture-training programs also include graphic design, drafting, design theory and architecture as well as engineering and communication courses.

Employment Opportunities

Online architecture training programs offers a number of employment opportunities to students who have successfully completed their architecture training. Students are generally prepared for entry-level employment such as Architect Technicians, Building Material salesperson, construction assistants, estimators, engineering technicians and several other related professions.

With this online architecture training, you can work with a company or even start a business of your own, provided you have a working license recognized by the state.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions - Six Sigma Online ( http://www.sixsigmaonline.org ) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

Post Crisis Banking Architecture - Cultural Changes

When people think of and talk about changes that are required in the financial system, they bring in a lot of structural elements; the most visible is the risk management system.

There is however a cultural element that needs to change too. Culture is a broad area, but one essential part is related to the rewarding system. We have been engaged lately in setting up a balanced score card where performance metrics have been the most important indicators. The short-term focus combined with a performance (narrow) focus, has brought a breeding ground for a pseudo-positive-culture.

In this culture the main drive is speed; everything must fit in the goal orientation and any delay costs money. Risk management is a delaying factor in the business process and was seen as a nuisance. "Saying No," strongly disagreeing with propositions, vetoes or negative arguments were banned in such a culture. These would delay the process too much...

Putting risk-management back on the agenda won't be sufficient for banks to function properly. The culture of the organization should change too.
"Everybody is a risk manager," is one way of dealing with this problem. So far the risk manager was one person (department) and an organized from a central role. Risk management is a tough position like that of quality control. If there is a single quality management department, the company will face the same risk as the bank with the central risk management.

Instead, both Risk and Quality should be managed throughout the organization. Otherwise, people can shift the risk or quality responsibility towards these departments. And these departments are consecutively ignored...

The cultural attribute to make this possible has to do with simple communication. If someone is not backing-up a proposal he should receive space to clearly state this, even when this will delay the process. Only if an organization accepts this, the risk or quality system will work; otherwise the old culture of speeding things up will thwart the change initiative towards a more overall risk-sensitive culture.

10 Features of Modern Cape Cod Architecture

When you visit Cape Cod, there is no doubt that you are witnessing a unique style of architecture rooted in colonial times when simplicity and functionality where at their best. There are many characteristics of the Cape Cod architecture style that permeate still in todays modern versions. However, the style has evolved tremendously showcasing more detail and larger living spaces. Here is a list of ten commonly found architectural features found in part of the revival of the modern Cape Cod architecture style:

1. Cedar shake shingles are perhaps the most defining feature of a modern cape cod style home. Although traditionally they could be found with clapboard or brick, cedar shakes have emerged as the most popular modern choice. Visit Cape Cod today and you'll see it everywhere.

2. Traditional Cape Cod homes tend to be small in size, however, more modern versions are definitely modest in size and sometimes can be relatively sizeable compared to the past. This is of course historically how they were built being minimal and affordable. Nowadays, the style is kept alive, but the modern twist of size, functionality, and added detail are important additions.

3. Steep roofs with narrow eaves were used to combat the harsh weather. This is true even in todays modern styles and was part of the minimalist concept that contributes to the plain and simple look. This detail has kept constant and is an important element that defines the style and gives it a unique look.

4. A central chimney was often found that would keep the house warm in an economical manner with several surrounding rooms that could take advantage of the chimneys location.

5. Symmetrical front elevations were common in traditional times. Nowadays, we have garages for modern day cars, which has caused the home to crack this pattern.

6. Dormers are part of the modern revival and are utilized in attics to let light and warmth in. They also help create a larger space as bedrooms in the attic have become increasingly popular.

7. Gables were typical with steep pitched roofs. Modern gables can have decorative accents in them or wainscoting showcasing the evolution of detail that has emerged in this style of architecture.

8. Window boxes seem to be everywhere you look on modern Cape Cod style homes. Visit Cape Cod today and you will see some form of window box gardening on nearly every other home or business.

9. Windows are an important traditional feature. Nowadays, details have overcome simplicity. It's not uncommon to find a bay window or picture window in a modern Cap Cod style home.

10. Try adding functional wood shutters with cutouts in them. This craftsmans touch to a Cape Cod will help modernize it. In the past, shutters were merely decorative accents with no function to them.

Matt Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, a window box company that specializes in affordable no rot window boxes. His window boxes have been featured in many cottage and cape cod style homes showing off an array of beautiful flowers. These no rot window boxes can be made custom and fast anywhere in the country.