Feb. 23, 2007

Small A/E Firms Face Big IT Challenges
New data shows that even the smallest firms in the architecture and engineering industry can't escape the increasing need for data and file storage. According to ZweigWhite's 2006-2007 Small Firm Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms, organizations with fewer than 25 employees are now up to a median of 18.8 gigabytes of online disk storage space per employee, and firms with 25 to 49 employees have a median of 7.0 gigabytes per person. Across the industry, research shows that online disk storage per employee has increased by close to 500 percent over the past five years. While information technology can be a potentially large expense for a firm of any size, it can take an especially large bite out of the bottom line for small firms. With storage accounting for a growing portion of firms' IT spending, small firm leaders and managers continue to face the challenge of striking the balance between investing in the increasing need for storage space and dealing with the financial constraints of running a small firm.
For more information, visit

ARIDO Raises Funds to Build Schools
At the 2006 Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) Awards of Excellence celebration, Ontario's interior design community raised $12,295 for guest speaker Craig Kielburger's Free the Children charity—enough funds to help build two schools. "I am delighted that we worked with Craig at this year's ARIDO Awards of Excellence," says Lynn McGregor, president of ARIDO. "As interior designers, we are very aware of the built environment's impact on health, safety and well-being. The best way to ensure a better tomorrow is to ensure that the future of the world is placed in the hands of educated, inspired young people that have a healthier perspective on the rest of the world." Kielburger, an accomplished child rights activist and three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, is devoted to sharing his message of good works. He founded Free the Children at age 12 and the charity is entirely driven by children and youth. Through innovative education and development programs in 45 countries, Free the Children works to free young people from the idea that they are powerless to bring about positive social change. Since 1982, the ARIDO Awards of Excellence has been showcasing excellence, innovation and originality in interior design, bringing superior design to the forefront each year.
For more information, visit

HolidayBenefit Hosted by ASID and IIDA Raises More Than $7,000
The Illinois Chapters of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID-IL) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA-IL) jointly announced that the fourth annual Holiday Rendezvous held in December raised more than $7,000 for the Illinois Interior Design Coalition (IIDC)—a not-for-profit legislative political action committee whose membership activities are supported solely by individual and corporate contributions. More than 250 members of the local interior design community attended the event and contributed to the fundraising efforts. The purpose of the Holiday Rendezvous is to bring together Illinois' two major interior design associations in the common interest of protecting a designer's right to practice by raising funds to support the legislative efforts of the IIDC. More than 30 silent auction items were also provided to help raise funds for the IIDC. A sample of the prizes included an 8-by-10 area rug donated by Atlas Carpet Mills, four Chicago Cubs tickets donated by ECI, a digital camera and printer donated by OM Workspace, and a Soho End Table donated by Duralee.
For more information about the ASID-IL Chapter, visit; for more information about the IIDA-IL Chapter, visit; and for more information about the IIDC, visit

KI and RATIO Architects Selected as Finalists for Design Competition
The Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I) selected a collaborative entry from KI and RATIO Architects Inc. as a finalist in the 21st Century Project Design Showcase: the Future of College Housing. KI and RATIO Architects were chosen as one of eight finalists from 46
submissions and will present their designs to a jury late January 2007. For this competition, designers, students, architects and college housing professionals from around the world submitted design proposals for the individual student living unit. Each contestant was challenged to incorporate concepts such as flexibility, sustainability, student development, security, and technology as they created their vision for residence hall rooms and suites 25 years into the future. KI and RATIO Architects' submission focuses on the process of students developing their own customized, modular living spaces at a fictional university. Students will live in groups of private units that are arranged vertically around shared spaces to form a two-story housing suite, combining the benefits of communal and private living spaces. Once a student graduates, the individual housing unit's parts are dissembled and recycled.
For more information about the competition and the 21st Century Project, visit

Green Notes

Green Building Studio Releases New Energy Analysis Web Service
Green Building Studio Inc., a leading sustainability analysis software and services company in the architectural, engineering, and construction industry, recently announced the general availability and release of Version 2.0 of the Green Building Studio Web service. This release includes significant new functionality designed to support sustainability design decisions and make detailed comparisons between different building designs and equipment measures. Version 2.0 improvements include new features that have been based on feedback from hundreds of architects involved in sustainable design. Further, manufacturer products can now be applied with a simple click to understand how specific building products perform when included in an actual building design. The Green Building Studio Web service is specifically designed for architects to use at the earliest phase of design to fully understand the cost-effective opportunities available by maximizing their building's sustainability.
For more information, go to

DC To Become the Nation's First to Implement 'EcoZones'
In a unique public/private partnership designed to forge solutions to the District's most critical environmental challenges, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams recently announced that the city will launch the nation's first 'EcoZone' program—an initiative designed to fund important technologies and solutions to measurably improve the local environment in the areas of air, water, energy and greenspace—at no additional cost to taxpayers. The District has entered into an agreement with EcoMedia to implement the EcoZone program. EcoMedia is a leading environmental media company that brings together government and industry to forge solutions to pressing environmental problems. The initiative will be funded solely through corporate sponsorships, with half of all EcoZone revenues generated from educational outdoor signage going to fund the District's pre-determined environmental and clean energy projects. Under the EcoZone program, educational signage featuring environmental messages will be posted throughout the district. In the District of Columbia, there will be approximately 100 EcoZone signs located throughout the city.
For more information, log on to

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