Much at Play: Early Learning Center Design Trends

The classroom has always been and will continue to be a core learning space. But why should the learning stop there? Since early learners are constantly on the prowl for new information, today’s early learning centers (ELCs) should offer learning opportunities around every corner. Traditionally, the school corridor has functioned solely to transport students from one classroom to another. That is a wasted opportunity. Breakout areas just outside of classrooms support small-group activities and specialized instruction. They also create a sense of community and arouse curiosity among passing students.…

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Building a Community for a Booming Campus

At 216,000 square feet and spanning nearly an entire city block, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s (UNCG’s) Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness more than doubles the size of the university’s previous recreation building. The facility was designed to provide indoor recreational space for a projected population of 24,000 students, along with faculty, staff and alumni.…

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Freedom Walkway

If you pay a visit to downtown Rock Hill, S.C., you might find yourself in the Freedom Walkway, walking on bands of red and cocoa pavers from Pine Hall Brick Co., laid into a running bond pattern that turns into a basketweave pattern at gathering spots. The Freedom Walkway takes its design from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, commemorating the sit-in, an often-used method of civil disobedience. Black college students adopted the method of going to segregated lunch counters and ordering food. When they were denied, they would refuse to leave and ended up under arrest. Bolstered by a sit-in in February 1960 by four North Carolina A&T State University students at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro, N.C., the movement spread to 250 cities across the U.S. by the end of that month and 400 by the end of the year. In January 1961, the Friendship Nine — so named because eight of the nine were students at Friendship Junior College — attempted to integrate a whites-only lunch counter at the McCrory’s department store in Rock Hill.…

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Choosing Masonry Pavers

If you are an outdoor designer, architect, or stone mason who has worked for some time in our business, you have learned that no two jobs are ever the same. When it comes to masonry designs, our customers are always interested in what is new or hip. Our business has grown at such a fast pace that it is very important to be aware of any new product or techniques of installation, since they make us better at what we do.…

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Justice Reborn on Main Street

For more than 85 years, the Franklin County Courthouse has been a cornerstone of the National Register–listed Main Street Historic District in Greenfield, Mass. Its classical revival style, with Corinthian columns, a pedimented Greek temple-like entrance and decorative brickwork, helped the courthouse stand out as a symbol of justice rooted in ancient democratic traditions.…

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Masonry Magic

Let’s say you’re working on a restoration project and your customer comes to you with a 20-year-old brick asking if you have a match. What do you say? “Don’t have it. Good luck, try somewhere else”? If that is your approach, chances are your potential customer is going to look for another option, such as stucco or vinyl, to avoid the hassle of looking for an acceptable brick match.…

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Color Not Right? Call Stain Gang

The color consistency of a brick building or wall is sometimes achieved by masonry staining. Stain Gang performs staining of brick, mortar joints, precast concrete repair and restoration, and pressure washing. This small company out of Ararat, N.C., uses a water-based stain and often matches the color right on the job.…

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Trash to Treasure

To best understand terrazzo, you have to go back 500 years, when Italian masonry workers used marble scraps from construction jobs to create inexpensive flooring for their homes. While marble remains the aggregate of choice today, the introduction of epoxy terrazzo allows for greater design opportunities.…

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Reducing the Impact of Building Envelopes

Lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are the two largest uses of energy throughout the commercial building sector. In fact, lighting alone accounts for nearly 35–50 percent of total electricity consumption. Within the building envelope, however, lies the opportunity to reduce the energy being consumed and decrease a building’s overall carbon footprint. Achieving sustainability within the building envelope starts with specifying the right products. Choosing eco-friendly products doesn’t just ensure lower energy costs; it can enhance occupant health and reduce any negative impact on the building itself, as well as the environment. …

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The Greenest Buildings: What Architects Should Know About Masonry Restoration and Preservation

Nothing says sustainability more than preserving, restoring and repurposing existing buildings. The greenest buildings today are those already built. Masonry is a sustainable, resilient material that can survive floods and fires. It is the oldest and most permanent building material, exuding a sense of permanence, longevity, quality, reliability and familiarity, yet it is forgiving and flexible. Many brick buildings that were built more than 100 years ago are continuing to fulfill their original purposes, while others have been adapted for new purposes.…

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