Architects spend a fair amount of time putting pencils to paper and building small models of what they’d like to construct – but how do they know their designs will work in the real world, and what does it take to get something built. That’s what Virginia Tech hopes to teach in a whole new way. It’s called a Design-Build Laboratory, it’s gaining favor at schools around the country.
To be an architect used to mean being involved in every aspect of a project-- from drawings to ribbon cutting. But like most modern professions, architecture has become specialized and more segmented. Students in a unique design/build program at Virginia Tech do it the old-fashioned way though-- and their efforts won them the American Architects 2012 Building of the Year Award.
Every five years, Virginia requires cities and counties to update plans for development – how and where they’ll grow.
Many communities assume growth is good – and some even offer tax breaks to attract new industries and businesses, but a new report by Charlottesville economist David Shreve and planning consultant Craig Evans suggests that’s not the case if new companies hire people from elsewhere.