April 10, 2009

New and Cool: Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems
Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have been around for almost three decades, but theyíre new to the U.S. HVAC market. As American engineers become familiar with the technology, and especially as they learn of its energy efficiency advantages, more in the industry might be willing to give the systems a try.

Green Intergenerational Housing Development Opens in Chicago
Harley Ellis Devereaux has designed the new Sankofa House in Chicago that opened last February. Sankofa House is a sustainable, affordable housing complex for both kinship families and young adults within the age range of 18ñ23 years who are moving out of the foster care system. Kinship families are non-traditional family structures, the most common being grandparent-headed households. Sankofa House houses three generations of residents: grandparents; young adults who could be parents themselves, aunts, or uncles; and children.

Components Support Out-of-Work Members
In part of two our three-part series on ways AIA components are helping out-of-work members, we describe the services and programs launched by the Boston Society of Architects, AIA Seattle, and AIA Charlotte that assist their out-of-work members.

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Welcome to the Practice Zone
This is the home of the weekly Best Practices column, news of tips and tools that you can use in your day-to-day practice and case studies illustrating “how-tos” and “lessons learned” for all stages of practice. The Practice Zone also features reports of research in architecture and related fields.