Colorado State University – Green Energy Building

This ambitious project for CSU is a new student center powered by green energy. The model is built as a cross-section to highlight the many different design elements that keep this structure as a temperature controlled building. The largest element is the Katabatic Tower which collects wind and passes the air though a water mist to cool it before it enters the building. The model highlights nineteen different way that this building is environmentally friendly.

These include using sustainable materials to solar cells as well as more engineering intensive elements like the thermal mass walls and trench ducts. There is also a bike repair shop and electrical charging station for the low energy commuters. Obviously a building like this needs funding and approvals especially for a State University. They commissioned our model as an economical way to show off the many unique elements of this forward looking design.

Scale Trade Show Model for Shopping Malls

Economic Indicators are Pointing Up for
Shopping Center Business & Model Makers

Retail is on the rise. I am grabbing any good economic information I can find these days. If you believe the news reports or articles from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), people are retuning to the stores for some retail therapy. As one reporter described it, there is a “burn out of frugality”.

What does this mean for us in the model making world. Surprisingly enough, shopping centers were at one point a good percentage of our business. Not much has been done with them in the last few years, and as of today I have yet to see a huge upswing in new shopping construction–but I do believe it is coming back even if it is slowly.

With the giant ICSC show is opening in Las Vegas at the end of May, we are expecting to have new models represented on the shows floor as we have in the past. The Las Vegas ICSC show is the place were most major retail deals are made. Attendees know, it is a great showcase for new construction.

I would love to hear from the design and construction industry if you are seeing a change this year because personally, I am ready and looking forward to an economic boom any day now.

International Market Hawaii

Shopping Centers

The international market is being completely rebuilt. In the heart of Honolulu, the area full of smaller vendors will now become a three-level truly international market. To show the views of the market on our model we made several of the surrounding buildings out of clear acrylic to be able to clearly see the features. One important feature was how the mall levels surround and incorporate two existing banyan trees on the site. The model shows three levels of shopping with numerous restaurants on the top floor with outdoor dining. It must be nice to have beautiful weather all year round.

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