Technology Features
Low Energy, but High Impact

Low Energy, but High Impact
The Passive House system, a design and construction concept with considerable traction in Europe, begins to take hold in the United States.

Working with Water

Working with Water
Coastal cities respond to the threat of rising sea levels with diverse design strategies at multiple scales.

Virtual but Vivid

Virtual but Vivid
A sonic rendering technique known as auralization helps acousticians make the sound of even unrealized spaces tangible.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Designers Transform a Defunct Shipping Complex and Reconnect a City With Its Waterfront.

Zeroing In on Net-Zero Energy

Zeroing In on Net-Zero Energy
With an office building for its Colorado campus, a national research lab aims to prove that super-green can be cost effective and replicable.


An ambitious plan for a world-class research university in Saudi Arabia's desert spurs an unprecedented building project.

Live | Build | Sustain

Live | Build | Sustain
A new green building program aims to push the design and construction industry well beyond current best practices.

Behind the Curtain Wall

Behind the Curtain Wall
Three residential buildings with highly innovative facades rise in New York City.

Beyond Limits
The Burj Khalifa's designers tackle extreme height and extreme climate to create a landmark for the 21st century.

More Than Skin Deep
An integrated facade strategy helps designers create more comfortable and better-performing glass buildings.

Shattering Myths About Glass
As architects and builders put more faith in the structural properties of glass, its use has expanded to all areas of design.

Shattering Myths About Glass
As architects and builders put more faith in the structural properties of glass, its use has expanded to all areas of design.

Testing Timber's Limits
Designers push a traditional material to create longer spans, reach new heights, and find unconventional applications.

Control Freaks
Pervasive sensing and interactive building controls stand to radically reshape the human response to architecture, the city, and even the air we breathe. Call them the new controls.

Performing Arts
Read tech-focused supplements to our Project Portfolio and earn CEU credits.

Getting the Lay of the Land
With several projects nearing completion, Steven Holl Architects spreads out across the Chinese landscape.

Diving Into BIM
For two firms now fully immersed in digital modeling, a group of community libraries proved the ideal medium for trying out new technology

Into Thin Air
While most structures are firmly rooted in the ground, some seem to float through the skies.

Quenching the Built Environment's Thirst for Water
An intricate array of CNC-milled components brings ceilings and walls to life.

When the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts
An intricate array of CNC-milled components brings ceilings and walls to life.

An End in Sight for a Centuries-Old Building Project?
Don't confuse the high-performance glass facades of these new buildings with textbook examples from early Modernism.

Transparency: Literal and Sustainable
Don't confuse the high-performance glass facades of these new buildings with textbook examples from early Modernism.

LEED Looks Ahead With an Ambitious Overhaul
A number of structurally innovative towers defy convention, and gravity, by getting bigger as they get taller.

Tall Buildings Push Limits by Stepping Up, Not Back
A number of structurally innovative towers defy convention, and gravity, by getting bigger as they get taller.

Not-So-Pedestrian Footbridges
A portfolio of projects demonstrates that there is more to creating signature spans than connecting point A to point B.

Image © Shannon Images

"And the award for best sound effects goes to …"
Acoustics get a staring role in the design of a new performing arts center.

Photo © Chuck Choi

Three Buildings, Three Different Approaches
Bay Area projects demonstrate that the retro fit of existing structures demands as much seismic sophistication as new construction.

Image courtesy SOM

Model Behavior: Anticipating Great Design
Cutting-edge projects throughout the Middle East rely on a variety of simulation programs to inform design and predict building performance.

Photo courtesy Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

An Energy-Conserving Technology From Europe Makes Inroads in the U.S.
American architects and engineers are discovering the advantages of chilled beams, a mechanical device that provides cooling and heating. The energy-saving technology has been popular in Europe for more than a decade.

Photo © Peter Vanderwarker

Getting High Design from a Low-Tech Approach
Eschewing complex forms and technology, socially minded architects rely on age-old building techniques to create modern marvels.

Photo © Nicolás Cabrera Andrade

Some Assembly Required
Five firms explore the potential of prefabrication with digital tools, a diversity of materials, and varying degrees of on-site labor.

Photo © MOMA/Richard Barnes

Design Professionals Follow the Physician's Precept: "First, Do No Harm"
Innovative strategies improve air quality inside health care facilities so that patients don't end up sicker than when they arrived.

Photo © John Durant Photography

Inside Beijing's Big Box of Blue Bubbles
A multidisciplinary design team employed an innovative digital process to produce a surprising, highly integrated envelope-and-structure combination.

Photo © Iwan Baan

A Sleek Skyscraper in San Francisco Raises the Profile of Performance-Based Design
The nearly complete tower demonstrates multiple benefits of a nonprescriptive approach.

Photo © Henrik Kam

Let the (Indirect) Sun Shine In
A highly collaborative design process and In-depth analysis produce daylighting systems for two expanding art museums on opposite coasts.

Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Rapidly Renewable Materials' Complex Calculus
Evaluating the environmental impact of alternative building products is more involved than a straightforward examination of the length of planting and harvest cycles.

Photo © J.D. Peterson

Learning to Live on Alternative Energy
Three landmark projects show us how to integrate renewable-energy strategies into architecture, without compromising design.

Photo © Doug Snower Photography

Mutsuro Sasaki

Mutsuro Sasaki
Interviewed in his Tokyo office, the Japanese structural engineer reflects on the dramatic turn his work has taken since Toyo Ito’s Sendai Mediatheque, nearly eight years ago.


In Canada, a rammed-earth wall for the ages
The relationship between architecture and nature rarely gets more explicit than with rammed-earth construction.

Photo © Nic Lehoux

Looking Back and Moving Forward
Postoccupancy evaluations offer a systematic process for assessing completed projects, pointing the way to better-performing buildings.

A base-isolated makeover for Pasadena's historic City Hall
Structural base isolation—effectively "floating" a building on rubber pads to safely ride out an earthquake—is nothing new in California.

Photo Victor Muschetto

California hospitals get a seismic reprieve
The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) moved in December 2007 to allow the reclassification of potentially hundreds of seismically questionable hospitals in the state to avoid possible closure due to code noncompliance.

Architecture, Hot and Cold
The collaboration between two Australian firms on Melbourne's new Council House 2 shows off the design possibilities for building-integrated HVAC

Building Even Better Concrete
Manufacturers, scientists, and designers strive to reduce a vital material's environmental footprint while exploiting its many beneficial qualities

"Smart Glass" on the Verge
After languishing for years outside the mainstream, "switchable glazing" is poised to become a viable alternative and could soon have a significant impact on facade design.

Rendering: © Werner Sobek

(Mis)Understanding Green Products
A dizzying array of green-product certification protocols are overwhelming the building industry—even staunch advocates see a tough road ahead for architects

Safety and Security Without the Fortress Look
Designers of public-sector emergency-response buildings eschew the bunker image and incorporate transparency, sustainability, and state-of-the-art technology.

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The New Age of High-Tech Hospitals
Information Technology and digitally enabled medicine may be converging onto a single system, but are architects prepared to take the lead with their health-care clients?

For Smart Materials, Change Is Good
Our tradition of classifying materials in given categories has tended to obscure the potential for unconventional materials to transform architecture

08/07   Miracle on (and Under) Second Avenue
A New York City off-again, and now on-again, public infrastructure project depends upon intense collaboration between architects and engineers.
07/07   Toward a Cybernetic Site
The artist Mary Miss and architects Marlon Blackwell, Kierantimberlake Associates, and Lake/Flato radically reinterpret site construction in three new projects.

A Revered Jeffersonian Landmark Renewed
With thorough research, testing, and analysis, A Hillier-led design team equips the State Capitol of Virginia for the 21st century, while preserving its rich history.

A Temple to Transparency Rises in Athens
A technically challenging and long-anticipated Museum devoted to the display of ancient artifacts nears completion at the foot of Greece’s most sacred mount.

05/07   Getting Aggressive About Passive Design
Architects cannot approach the final frontier in low-energy, zero-carbon design without addressing that old energy hog—and beloved American friend—air-conditioning.
04/07   Transformative Tools Start to Take Hold
A critical mass of building information modeling projects demonstrates the technology’s benefits and its potential for redefining practice.
03/07   Zero-Carbon Cities
With cities worldwide facing daunting environmental challenges on a global scale, a multidisciplinary team at Arup seeks to create a model for how cities can develop carbon neutrally.

SmartGeometry Conference
The SmartGeometry Winter Conference, hosted by Architectural Record, is a day-long event focused on advanced 3D design tools. Part of this year¹s conference was videotaped, with AR editors interviewing some of the leading practitioners in the field.

Progressive Project Delivery
Engineering News-Record, RECORD’s sister publication, recently published a special feature on “Progressive Project Delivery,” including an opinion piece observing that “Architects Move Belatedly to the Light” and another column, “Could Big Change Happen here?” that warns: “new methods of project acquisition [in Britain]… should send shudders down the spines of American architects and engineers.”

12/06   When Less Powers More
With energy-modeling programs and early input, mechanical engineers are increasingly involved in design decisions that are shaping the look of a new architecture.

SOM's Pearl River Tower
The storied design firm has set its sights on redefining one of its bread-and-butter project types, the corporate headquarters, into a model of high-tech sustainability.

In Search of the Zero-Energy Holy Grail
A Real-world yet hypothetical design problem in a tough climate challenges engineers to think about the measures necessary for reducing a building’s environmental footprint.

An Evolving Edifice That Will Improve With Time
Four universities Envision the Centre for Interactive research on sustainability as a Living laboratory with a lofty mission and ambitious performance goals.

11/06   Loblolly House: In Stock and Ready to Ship
KieranTimberlake Associates fabricates the loblolly house in a warehouse, setting up a new supply chain and establishing a base to revolutionize the firm’s future production.
10/06   Sleuthing the Mundane and the Catastrophic
Forensic architects and engineers employ investigative techniques, not to point fingers, but to find the root cause and recommend solutions for problems that plague buildings.
09/06   Selling the Light of Day
Incentive programs and increased demand for building-integrated photovoltaic installations has pushed research and innovation at companies and universities.
08/06   Rooftops Slowly, but Steadily, Start to Sprout
Technology begins to take root on roofs in North America as new research supports claims of environmental benefits, and policies encouraging implementation multiply.
07/06   An Abandoned Airport Brownfield Takes Off
Parsons cleans up a massive brownfield site at denver’s shuttered stapleton international airport, allowing for the development of new neighborhoods for the inner city
06/06   Lightening up the court system
Mitchell/Giurgola Architects transforms an inhospitable brutalist courthouse in lower Manhattan into a light and airy structure more in tune with its neighbors.

Stadium Roofs Offer Much More Than Shelter
A group of recent innovative projects demonstrates that a long-span roof can provide the primary opportunity for expression and a key design and construction challenge.

05/06   One Project, but Many Seismic Solutions
The complex and contextual de Young Museum, set in San Francisco’s lush Golden Gate Park, incorporates an impressive diversity of earthquake-resisting strategies
04/06   Robo Buildings: Pursuing the Interactive Envelope
In recent projects, smarter building skins automatically control daylighting, ventilation, and more to benefit occupants and enhance sustainable design quality
03/06   Can a New Kind of Heat Pump Change the World?
An Electric-bill-burdened Engineer has developed what the HVAC industry has ignored: a heat pump that works when the temperature is below zero. Will consumers beat a path to his door?
01/06   The Perils of Restoring "Less Is More"
Krueck & Sexton architects faced tremendous challenges in the restoration of Mie Van der Rohe’s 1956 masterpiece, S.R. Crown Hall, at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
12/05   H.H. Richardson's Romanesque Revival Masterpiece Prompts Inspired, Green Preservations
In a complex project requiring design savvy and tight logistics, Goody Clancy adds an underground space to Boston's Trinity Church
09/05   No longer just pretty pictures, digital models are becoming workhorses
Slowly, firms are starting to combine digital building models with wider-scale geospatial data and other information as they design, analyze, build, and maintain their projects.
06/05   Spotlight on Systems Research
Four universities strive to improve the way lighting systems, solar-harvesting technologies, and HVAC work.

Rebuilding ancient history, one megabyte at a time
A multinational team of conservation experts have created a system for documenting endangered sites in war-torn Iraq. They’ve got their work cut out for them.


Getting Down to the Wire
Lights, computers, phone systems—the wires that power our buildings are made of a tangle of materials that raise environmental and health questions

06/04   Mass Transportation to Get Sleek and Daring
Architects are being challenged to produce transit shelters and stations that are as innovative as the new and improved systems of moving people around the country
03/04   In the U.S., architects are ramping up the design power of photovoltaics
Solar power is on the rise, and designers are using it to make a statement
12/03   The fabric of an industry has evolved with technology
Designers of carpet and textiles have turned to advanced tools and methods
11/03   Working with telecom consultants
10/03   IT skills: A key to career success
09/03   At long last, hospitals are going high-tech
Innovations are changing how health care is delivered—and how hospitals are designed

A visit with WESKetch Architecture

08/03   Participatory design with the Internet
07/03   High-tech tools help preserve the past

Signs of Life: A New Lesson from Las Vegas
A souped-up shopping center on the strip uses technology to announce itself as a retail, cultural, and civic destination. Mediated Architecture can finally Make a Public Place.

Interview: A Visit with Richard Epstein

05/03   Tablet PCs: Good investment or just hip hardware?
04/03   Licensing: Software by the numbers
03/03   Nondestructive Testing Probes Dome's Safety
Is one of the world's largest unreinforced masonry domes safe just because it looks safe?

Interview: A Visit with BKSK Architects

02/03   Interiors go with the flow
01/03   Design Software for the Home Front

Mapping large-format scanner selection


In tough times, maintain a technical edge
For Rob Fortin, today’s downtrodden economy sometimes has an upside. As director of IT for Arrowstreet, a 100-person architectural firm in Somerville, Massachusetts, Fortin provides the design staff with necessary technology tools while trying to keep costs under control.




E-documents require due diligence




Man As a Meter
At the University of Michigan, an electronic classroom is home to cutting-edge audiovisual research.

Focusing on digital cameras




Taking the pain out of upgrades




Digital tools for age-smart housing




Mapping Places and Spaces
Geographic information systems are important tools for defining the social and environmental contexts of urban design, planning, and architecture

Looking at display devices




The case for a digital master builder




The convergence of CAD standards



  Space Invaders
Pervasive computing technologies promise to revolutionize the way people use buildings - and how architects design them

Tech primer: printers and plotters




Getting onto the digital fast track




From atelier to e-telier: virtual design studios

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