July 23, 2015

ADA! Hooray!

A temporary accommodation
I hear from the Instagram grapevine that today is a day for celebrating 25 years of the ADA. So it's the perfect day for a quick post about my experience as a temporarily disabled architect.

Due to a ski accident this winter, I've just undergone knee surgery. I'm walking around on two crutches and my right leg is sporting a long-leg hinged and lockable knee brace. My biggest challenge is the temptation to ditch one crutch: I'm forever trying to carry something in my right hand or move a chair, but that's forbidden. (Those of you who know me are aware of how frustrating it is not to be able to carry my own full teacup!) That's all me, though. Let's talk about architecture.

May 23, 2015

Changes Afoot!

Not my feet. Not my deck. Not far off, except for the rain.
There's been a lot going on at VVAS lately. Here's a taste of what we've been up to. (Look out, we specifiers love lists!)

We've been:

  • Moving into a new server.
  • Moving into a new office.
  • Welcoming a new specifier.
  • Speaking at the CSI Academies.
  • Gearing up to speak at CONSTRUCT 2015.
  • Writing lots and lots of specs!
All this has led to a drought of blog posts nearly as dry as the California weather, but we hope to be back on our blogging feet soon with more on at least some of the news above.

Photo Credit: 40+255 Thunderstorms by Bark on Flickr.

July 24, 2014

Mockups for range - for glass?

Lucky me! I finally caught strain patterns in the wild!
We all expect natural materials to vary in color, pattern, and texture. Concrete, too, and other things that are, let's face it, made of mud. We wouldn't dream of building a major project without demanding mockups for the marble panels or the "Brazilian cherry" wood floors. But we need mockups for glass, too! Who knew?

But glass is manufactured, you say? It's a precise material made and fabricated by experts in a highly controlled environment, right? Well, this is, perhaps, precisely the reason we must specify a mockup. Because glass does vary, and we expect it not to.

December 23, 2013

A California Christmas

This is my favorite evergreen: Our Meyer lemon tree!
To my online family of tweeps, blogging buddies, architects, manufacturers, engineers, representatives, clients, colleagues  all the best wishes for your holidays and 2014!

Photo Credit: Vivian Volz, copyright 2013

September 27, 2013

You might be a specifier!

Wondering if the cows are Division 05 or 12? You might be a specifier.
I'm in a rewarding design career that I love. I'm in demand. At 45, I'm one of the younger members of my specialty. While, in some circles, we have an undeserved rap as a dying breed of old curmudgeons, it just ain't so! This post is written in the hope of helping identify the new, dynamic design professional to join me in this career.

I am here to tell you, there will always be a role for someone with a knack for organizing verbal information in design and construction work. For the sake of simplicity, even though that role has room for evolution, let's refer to this person as a specifier.

August 29, 2013

An Act of Congress and Ceiling Fans

It doesn't take an act of Congress to choose a more efficient ceiling fan.
The kerfuffle in July about House opposition to new ceiling fan standards may have blown over. But when Congress returns from its recess, the Senate's version of the spending bill may offer an opportunity for lobbyists and lawmakers to fan the flames.

August 26, 2013

Zero-VOC: Beyond the Headlines

Did you catch the news back in March that the Federal Trade Commission had settled with PPG and Sherwin Williams over zero-VOC claims for their paints? No? Me neither. This bit of paint gossip didn't surface until I was helping a client check paint submittals for a project for the Department of Veterans Affairs.