Buildings so ugly, only an architect could love them

In the New York Times Magazine recently, Alexandra Lange asked several of the world’s most famous architects to defend the architectural designs of some of the most hated buildings to blight the skyline of world class cities.

Completed in 1973, the Tour Montparnasse stands at a defiant 758 ft above the city of Paris. The design was so jarring, and so out of place with the surrounding architecture, that the city enacted a height ban as a result. Continue reading “Buildings so ugly, only an architect could love them”

Lessons Learned: Bill Gates’ 20-year old memo on the future opportunities of the internet

Back in 1995, Microsoft dominated the computer world. While hard to imagine for most younger folks, back then the Internet was a new and strange thing—even more mysterious than “the cloud” that we’ve been hearing about for years. The new opportunities and threats posed by the technology behind the “World Wide Web” led to an … Continue reading Lessons Learned: Bill Gates’ 20-year old memo on the future opportunities of the internet

Improving indoor air quality with a visit the local library?

Many people that know me also know that I am very involved with the San Diego Green Building Council. One of the programs I allocate quite a bit of time to is our highly regarded Green Assistance Program (GAP), which gives our volunteer community an opportunity to work on improving the operations and maintenance of facilities belonging to other local nonprofits. A big part of that process includes evaluating indoor air quality and identifying the no- and low-cost upgrades that can improve health for occupants.

Few people, even in the design and construction industry, realize the impact of indoor air quality on human comfort. It is subtle, and often very subjective. However, clear objective standards do exist. Continue reading “Improving indoor air quality with a visit the local library?”

The future of commercial real estate development will be Agile

Back in 2001, several thought-leaders in the software development world got together and tried to reinvent the business processes behind turning code into something useful and marketable. The result is known as the Agile Manifesto and has spurred on a revolution in how software is made, with a pragmatic, market-driven and user-centric approach.

When AirBnB started eating into the profit margins of the established players in the lodging industry, the threat was not taken seriously at first. Savvy and agile investors quickly transformed small apartment buildings and houses into mini-hotels, creating a new class of social media-enabled commercial real estate investment property. Now, municipalities are actively trying to recapture lost tax revenue. Continue reading “The future of commercial real estate development will be Agile”

Manufactured Magic: The story behind the story of Disney World’s $1-billion re-imagineering

Last week, my colleagues and I joined about 1,400 of our closest friends in the construction defect litigation industry at the Disneyland Hotel for a conference. It was my first time staying at the actual Disneyland Hotel. Nice hotel, but really unacceptably poor wifi, and the grounds demonstrate a myopic and blatant disregard for the … Continue reading Manufactured Magic: The story behind the story of Disney World’s $1-billion re-imagineering

Could self-healing bio-concrete reduce future construction defect claims?

As nerdy as it probably sounds, I can’t even begin to put into words how excited I am for products like this. Back in January of 2014, I wrote about the winners of the 2013 Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge, including the inventors of self-healing bio-concrete. Cracked concrete is a frequent allegation in construction defect claims. Continue reading “Could self-healing bio-concrete reduce future construction defect claims?”

The Value of Human Capital in the increasingly technology-dependent legal industry

The more things change, in some way, the more things seem to stay the same. One of the constants in my ongoing education as a marketer in the legal industry is the sage advice of Ed Poll’s LawBizBlog.

A recent post of Ed’s tackles the perennial subject of technology’s impact on labor markets. Specifically, as a legal professional, he focuses on the impact of technology on the legal profession combined with the economic climate of the most recent recession. Continue reading “The Value of Human Capital in the increasingly technology-dependent legal industry”

Lessons learned from the Navy SEALs on what “resilience” really means for the built environment

A short while back, I had a chance to meet an extraordinary young man named Brandon Andrews. As he was transitioning out of the Navy SEALs, he launched a new company called Trident CM LLC, with the brilliant idea to recruit former SEALs to provide construction quality management on DOD projects.

In the built environment, from the Northridge earthquake, to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and other disasters, resilience has become an imperative. But what does that even mean? Continue reading “Lessons learned from the Navy SEALs on what “resilience” really means for the built environment”

Documentary showcases the world’s oldest family-run business still operating – a 1,300 year-old hotel in Japan

Way back in the year 718, an entrepreneur named Houshi or Hoshi (depending on who is translating), opened an inn on the site of a natural hot spring in the Awazu region of central Japan. 46 generations later, the Hoshi Ryokan hotel has remained operated by the same family, making it the oldest family-run business in the entire world. Continue reading “Documentary showcases the world’s oldest family-run business still operating – a 1,300 year-old hotel in Japan”