From the Government Studio, General

Salt Lake City: Assimilated by the Borg

SLC Federal Courthouse

Learn more about the Thomas Phifer & Partners designed courthouse here: http://www.architectmagazine.com/government-projects/united-states-courthouse-designed-by-thomas-phifer-and-partners_o.aspx [Photo: Scott Frances]

By Jim Nielson, FAIA, Senior Principal of CRSA’s Government Studio

A few years ago I worked with subcontractors, friends, and family members to build a home I had designed for my parents. Today my younger brother, who purchased the home after my mother passed away, reports that while people under the age of 20 fall in love with the home almost universally, the reaction of older visitors is mixed. They either love it or hate it. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

Accessibility: Comprehensive, Early Design Considerations

Successful and comprehensive Accessibility in architecture requires the whole team. From the owner to the architect to the contractor, and all the codes in between, it requires foresight, research, review, and communication. The end is more than worth it, so let us help you get started with this Early Accessible Design info-graphic.

CRSA Accessibility Infographic

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From the Government Studio

Inside the Fence: The Challenges of Working on a Military Base

CRSA-military-fence

This article is adapted from an Interview with the CRSA Government Studio’s David Triplett, AIA and Debbie Adams, AIA. The interview was conducted by Fran Pruyn on October 10, 2014.

So what makes working on a military base unique? Talk about the day-to-day work you do.

Manuals. There are manuals for everything and you have to know them and know how to apply them. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio, General

Their Hubris is Stunning

By Jim Nielson, AIA, Senior Principal and Director of CRSA’s Government Studio

If I have the self-confidence to lead a design team into a newly imagined world no one has ever visited before, that confidence can be the catalyst for creation. But with it I can also lead followers astray. If I am proud of my achievements, that pride may motivate me to accomplish great things—unless I am so proud I become arrogant and start thinking of myself as invincible. Transformative architecture depends to no small degree on self-confidence and pride. Yet unrestrained, pride becomes hubris, also known as arrogance.

Continue reading

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From the Government Studio, General

If you are a Duck…

By Jim Nielson, AIA, LEED® AP. Jim is a Senior Principal at CRSA and a member of the Utah House of Representatives.

A Northrup Grumman official once explained the firm’s award-winning initiative to provide employment for disabled veterans this way:

“If you are a duck, you tend to hire ducks.”

True. As an Oregon Duck myself, I am partial to U of O graduates. But I agree, we should not hire only ducks.

In architecture, we know intuitively how different backgrounds and points of view combine to help us see beyond our own perspective and build something better. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

Welcoming ALL to This Place: Universal Design

sketch of people

By Debbie Adams, AIADebbie is an architect and project manager in CRSA’s Government Studio.

“Traditional” design of buildings has long been oriented towards one “average” physical type: a young, adult male.   As children, as older adults, or as people with physical disabilities—temporary or permanent—none of us are always “average” and many of us are never “average.”

Buildings are built for people, but for which people?  Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 4)

Unintended Consequences

Utah Capitol and FlagJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This final post reviews the difficulty of tracing the outcome of decisions accurately and emphasizes the need to be aware of the consequences.

 

Missed a Part?

Whenever governments or other groups set out as a group to accomplish something, the challenge usually is not so much putting a policy in place and mobilizing resources as it is ensuring that what we do actually accomplishes the objective.

We work together in government and organized groups to accomplish what no one could do individually. What I’ve noticed as a participant in government Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 3)

Taxation, Appropriations, Efficiencies (and Domestic Horse Disposal)

Jim Nielson Swearing InJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment continues to look at new legislation and analyzes its consequences on both our business and personal pocketbooks.

Missed a Part?

Revenue and Taxation

In a more traditional sense, actions by government affect both sides of the public ledger. Some policy decisions, such as taxation and appropriations, modify the ledger directly; others such as economic development incentives and mandates (as discussed in my last post) change things indirectly.
Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 2)


Construction, Incentives and Mandates

Jim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. In this segment, we look at some of the laws passed in 2014 that may impact all of our financial health. This includes legislation that affects the A/E Industry, as well as broader changes.Patriotic Pumpkin

Missed a Part?

 

Construction

We in the design and construction industry see the legislature’s impact on our bottom line quite directly. When the legislature funds and authorizes public construction projects, RFPs for design and construction services follow almost immediately. Earlier this year the Utah Legislature gave the green light to around $200 million in public construction. For many firms, fees from such projects make up a significant part of their annual revenues. Continue reading

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From the Government Studio

First, Do No Harm (Part 1)

Public Policy and our Pocketbooks

Representative Jim NielsonJim Nielson, AIA, is a Senior Principal with CRSA and a Utah State Representative. First, Do No Harm is a series of posts about how what happens on Utah’s Capitol Hill affects public, business, and personal budgets. This segment sets the stage, and will be followed by a look at specific laws passed in the 2014 session.

Years before I decided on architecture school, my first thought was an MBA. As I was deciding, I worked initially as a management analyst for a large defense contractor. Shortly thereafter, I served for several years as a policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington. Continue reading

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