Academics often bemoan that some of their colleagues “teach to the test,” giving students only the information they need to pass the final exam. “Not practical in the real world,” they say. “Inflating the pass rate to make the school look good,” is heard in the halls. With the last year of remote learning, some students haven’t even gotten that level of education; they still fail the final.
Hotels are seeing more traffic as travel restrictions are being eased in a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The American Hotel and Lodging Assn. estimated that COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry in 2020 was about nine times of that from 9/11. In anticipation of a better year, hotel construction is resuming in many areas.
The U.S. led the world in new hotel and room openings during the first quarter of 2021, according to data from STR, a hospitality research firm. Its AM:PM platform showed the country’s construction activity continues to decline in comparison with pre-pandemic levels, however, as over the three-month period, the U.S. opened 220 properties accounting for 26,057 rooms. In addition, the number of rooms currently in construction in the U.S. is down almost 34,000 from the country’s all-time construction peak (220,207 rooms in April 2020). In April, 237,703 hotel rooms are in the planning stage and 186,269 rooms are under construction.
Developers recognize the value of their projects getting LEED certification. Contractors, too, can benefit from having a LEED-like certification of their jobsites. In most cases, contractors didn’t design the building they are putting up, they don’t get to choose the materials or determine the energy efficiency of the equipment used. Other disciplines decide how Green the building will be, how healthy and what the carbon footprint will be.
New York has the Empire State Building, Chicago the Hancock Building, and Seattle the Space Needle. All iconic structures piercing the sky, photographed by millions, and deserving their place in the history of construction. But the old is always subject to being overtaken by the new. The World Trade Center casts a shadow over the Empire State Building and the Willis (nee: Sears) Tower casts shade on the Hancock.
However, the Space Needle still dominates the Seattle skyline. Opened in 1962 for the World’s Fair/Century 21 Exposition, the Space needle was designed to symbolize humanity’s Space Age aspirations. Located at Seattle Center, the Space Needle stands 605 feet tall with restaurants and viewing platforms at the top. It has no rival in the area for visual impression on visitors and residents alike.
While the general public will hardly remember 2020 as a great year, some segment of the economy will look back and see a slightly positive result. For example, 2020 revealed the importance of healthy, green buildings in supporting people and communities. Construction and architecture combined to lend a “green” hue to the year.
The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) has been a leading proponent of the Green Building Movement since the start. With the COVID-19 pandemic still running rampant in many parts of the country, the coronavirus is expected to reduce GDP by nearly $8 trillion through 2030 putting tremendous strain on local economies, businesses, and people. Conservation, of energy and natural resources, will be even more important in the near future as the results of the pandemic are revealed.
Little Caesars Arena is a staple in Detroit. Home to the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, and hundreds of concerts and shows, the stadium has hosted more than 4 million guests to its events since opening in September 2017 and has brought more than 3,900 permanent jobs. It is also committed to improving the guest experience through LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Bentley University, located in Waltham, Mass., is a business school with undergraduate offerings, MBA programs, and seven MS degrees. Back in 2010, Bentley finalized its Climate Action Plan, Bentley University: A Plan for Carbon Neutrality, which serves as a written roadmap to reach this carbon-neutrality goal with interim targets along the way. And now, its new 76,000-sq.ft., arena has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Technology continues to advance, offering new means and methods for constructing smart, energy-efficient buildings. One of the best ways to gain a greater understanding of how technology can help homes and commercial facilities operate is looking at other examples that are already completed or in progress.
Buildings are currently responsible for roughly one-third of global energy consumption, and about 30% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and 20% of total CO2 emissions. To help, two organizations are now partnering in an effort to measurably reduce greenhouse gas emissions through improved energy efficiencies in buildings.