Rendering vs. Reality
As our tagline says, our work is Your Vision, Realized. Our clients’ work is conceptual, lines on paper that become a built structure. Renderings play an important role to bridge concept to reality. Indeed, renderings facilitate many vital functions for our clients, like communicating design intent, obtaining authority approval, securing funding, and helping with marketing. This may be why our Rendering vs. Reality posts are the most popular on our PRISM social media channels. These posts are also a great way for us to promote our clients’ work. And for our team, many of whom are architects, visiting completed projects and comparing what was built to our renderings is an exciting and fulfilling culmination of their participation in the project.
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Opening in 2018
The following projects are scheduled to open later this year. We look forward to seeing them completed and will be sure to highlight each.
Lone Star College – University Park’s new Center for Science & Innovation, the featured image above, was slated to open in Fall 2017 but had water damage from Hurricane Harvey. The building will open in Spring 2018, providing more space for the rapidly growing student population. Kirksey designed the 50,000 s.f. facility to be a “STEM billboard” and entice more students into a STEM career. The center features a 3-story atrium and includes labs, outdoor learning environments, and a botany garden. There is an observation deck for astronomy courses, and an “innovation space” with classroom and computer areas, plus an interior wall made of rock where geology students can learn about formations.
St. Agnes Academy plans to open Meyer Hall later this year, just in time to host the 30th-anniversary performance of Handel’s Messiah. Studio REDdesigned the multi-functional center. It includes a 9,000 s.f. performance venue with 1,300 seats and a large balcony that doubles as a lecture hall. An integrated student life center has a large commons plus a 120-seat black box theater. There is also a dance studio and a speech/debate space dedicated to the communications curriculum, and additional classrooms.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe, TX plans to open Phase II of their large expansion this summer. The project is a new 1,500 seat sanctuary, designed by Ziegler Cooper. It also includes a new retreat and evangelization center within the existing music building, relocation of the parish office, and a new youth center housed within the former Lone Star Clinic building. The growing congregation now serves about 20,000 members.
2018 forecast – mostly sunny
Regional economists agree that Houston’s economy is looking bright for 2018. Projections are largely dependent on crude prices and production in Texas oil fields. Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston is expecting 70,000 new jobs. GHP’s senior VP Patrick Jankowski, research and regional economist, is more cautious, predicting 45,500 jobs.
In the national AEC sector, the numbers are also positive, though subdued according to ConstructConnect. 2018 commercial construction is forecast to see a 12.4% increase in starts. The AIA Consensus Construction Forecast Panel predicts commercial construction spending to increase 4.0%. The panel separates institutional spending, and expects a 5.8% increase.
The 2018 national development outlook isn’t quite as bright. Colliers International Chief Economist Andrew Nelson, as reported by Bisnow, predicts slowing deal volume and declining commercial property prices. Despite robust job gains, the office sector will see slow growth. As a corollary, wage growth has been comparatively slow, with a negative impact on the multifamily sector. One caveat is the new tax law, which may spur multifamily demand due to reduced tax benefits of homeownership. Industrial real estate is expected to be the top performer. The retail sector has a soft 2018 outlook, as major retailers announce further site closures.
Alive through art
Thanks to our generous clients, PRISM donated $1500 to the MD Anderson Children’s Art Project. These clients commissioned new projects in December 2017:
- Powers Brown Architecture
- STG Design
- The Hanover Company
MD Anderson’s pediatric patients participate in this creativity program to help take their mind off the reality of living with a cancer diagnosis. Valentine’s Day gifts now available!
Judge Jing on the case again
For the third year in a row, ENR Texas & Louisiana magazine invited Jing to participate on the judging panel for their 2018 Top Young Professionals program. The program recognizes up and comers in the regional AEC industry. Congratulations to this year’s group of amazingly accomplished professionals.