Building for Boomers

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Preparing for the changes of aging, including declining mobility, is also a concern. A 2005 study conducted by Vista Market Intelligence of Lake Oswego found that 89 percent of boomers would like to have the master bedroom on the main floor of their home; 79 percent said they would prefer to own a single-story home.

When the phone rings in Trey Davis's office at Coldwell Banker-Flaskerud Realty, there's a good chance a baby boomer will be on the other end.

"I've only been in the real estate business for two years," said Davis, "but the number of my clients who are baby boomers has definitely increased. In most cases, they're getting ready to retire or they have kids that are moving out of the house. They're looking for a change."

Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers total 82 million and represent nearly a quarter of the U.S. population. Because the 50-and-over crowd controls more than 40 percent of the nation's disposable income, contractors and developers are increasingly focused on winning their business. And that means rethinking everything from floor plans to amenities to locations.

Changing the paradigm
A study conducted by "Kitchen and Bath Design News" and "Qualified Remodeler Magazine" reveals that boomers aren't just interested in "getting by."

They want comfort and style, and they have the income to foot the bill. According to the study, boomers estimate that they spend nearly $6,000 per year on home improvements.

"They want something nice," said Davis, "usually a home that is new or recently remodeled. Boomers aren't into fixer-uppers." About 70 percent of those who fit in the boomer demographic are homeowners. Nearly 40 percent say they plan to move during their retirement years, with approximately one-third looking to downsize. The biggest draws for Boomers are proximity to family, warmer climate, and access to activities and amenities.

Southwest housing boom sends out ripples
Developer Del Webb kick-started the adult living construction market in 1960, when he opened Sun City near Phoenix. The age-restricted community -- for people 55 and older -- eventually grew to include 26,000 homes.

Webb continued to create adult communities in the Sunbelt for several decades and is responsible for building more than 450,000 homes.

When Pulte Homes purchased the Del Webb name in 2001, marketing was expanded to 17 states. Twenty-three new Del Webb communities featuring 41,000 homes opened for sale in 2006.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reports that adult living communities featuring high-density, attached housing attract more buyers than those with traditional, single-family homes. In addition, boomers have shown a preference for living in communities located near urban centers rather than rural areas.

Two projects aimed at people over 55 in the Puget Sound area have attracted attention. Jubilee, an adult community developed by Jenamar Communities, opened in Hawk's Prairie in 2003. The development features two golf courses, walking and biking trails, and an 18,000-square-foot recreation center.

Buyers can select from 15 floor plans ranging in size from 1,100 to 2,500 square feet. Home prices range from $200,000 to $500,000. In 2005, Where to Retire magazine named Jubilee one of the top 100 retirement communities in the U.S.

The company is averaging five home sales per month and expects to have closed 900 sales at Jubilee by 2008. Jenamar is also developing a similar community called the Edgewater near Lacey, just north of Olympia. Willow Pointe at Mount Solo: Activity but no stairs

"Baby boomers are changing everything," said Longview developer Larry Wood. "They don't mind spending money, even if it means incurring debt."

The third and final phase of Wood & Wood Development's 58-unit adult living community near Mount Solo Middle School opened to buyers in September, with three units selling the first day. "I'm confident that we'll be able to sell out by summer of '07," Wood said.

Construction is expected to begin on eight single-family homes and six condominiums in January 2007, with prices starting at $199,900. Condominiums in Phase III will have 1,400 feet of living space with two floor plans available. Homes range from 1,750 to 2,800 square feet, and buyers have several options for customizing cabinets, carpets and other interior choices

Wood decided to focus on selling homes to the baby boomers after attending several workshops sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). He also researched developments in Nevada, California and Florida to learn what marketing strategies had been successful there.

Willow Pointe is a gated community that emphasizes "active adult living," while acknowledging the limitations that aging will bring. Units feature stair-less entries, low, step-in showers; and 36-inch doorways for wheelchair access.

"Most people don’t realize that there's no other place in our area like Willow Pointe," Wood said. "It's very progressive."

Three out of four customers at Willow Pointe have come from outside the Longview-Kelso area, said Wood, as buyers from Portland, Vancouver, Seattle, and elsewhere seek affordable homes.

"Most people who live at Willow Pointe are retired or they’re about to retire," he said. "They’re still very active, and they really appreciate the maintenance-free aspect ... No one has to mow the grass at Willow Pointe, so they have time to do what they want."
Although Willow Pointe has no age restrictions, the youngest resident is 45.

<2>River's Edge attracts a mix

Developer Chuck Bond's four-story condominium project south of the Hall of Justice is scheduled for completion in summer 2007. By the time the doors are ready to open at River's Edge, he expects to have deposits on each of the 39 units.

"We've already received deposits for nearly 70 percent of them," Bond said.

River’s Edge has no age restrictions, but he estimates that one-third of the new owners will be middle-aged professionals. The other two-thirds will be baby boomers, many of whom are looking to downsize.

"I call them ‘young seniors,’ " Bond said. "They’re retired, but they're active and able-bodied. They don’t want to stay home on the weekends, mowing the lawn and doing maintenance."

All units have a view of the Cowlitz River and feature gas fireplaces, granite counter tops, and outdoor decks. A community room and rooftop terraces will also be available. Access will be via elevator; the building has no stairs. Prices range from $199,000 to $375,000.

Once street improvements are completed and pilings are driven, work on a parking garage will begin. Framing should be underway by November, Bond said.

Builders help some stay at home
Although a segment of the boomer population is eager to trade in old homes for new ones, many older people can’t afford such a move. Others simply prefer to stay where they are.

For Cary Butler, these people are potential customers.

At Butler Construction Services, Inc. in Kelso, the company motto is "Don’t Move. Improve. Remodel With Us." Owner Cary Butler uses the approach in dealing with all of his customers, but especially those 50 and over.

"Studies consistently show that people want to stay in their homes as long as they can," Butler said. "Our client base is aging, and we're dealing with a new set of needs."

In 2002, Butler earned recognition as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), the CAPS program instructs contractors in making modifications that enable older people to remain in their homes. The program also includes sensitivity training -- how to treat older people with respect and understand their needs.

A 2005 survey revealed that 84 percent of AARP members want to remain in their homes as long as possible, rather than moving to an assisted care facility. However, 87 percent of respondents said their homes needed to be modified to address their age-related needs.

"Older homeowners are often in denial about safety issues," Butler said. "They don’t want to admit that they require help. Our goal is to make the house livable and as safe as possible."

CAPS builders install safety lighting, grab bars, lever handles, and comfort-height toilets. Basic project work can be completed in one to three days and typically costs $2,000 to $3,000.

In homes with stairs, Butler said, it's important to get the washer and dryer moved to the main level. The price can go up significantly if major plumbing, electrical, or dry wall work is required to accomplish this.

Monday, April 16, 2012

iSTAR® the world’s first automatic rapid 360º camera launches in Texas

Camera design and manufacturing company, NCTech, is today launching the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera at SPAR International 2012 in Texas. Eagerly anticipated, the iSTAR® is widely predicted to displace current technology globally across multiple sectors including police, military, engineering, media and heritage.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trimble Introduces New Positioning Solution for Tunnel Construction

PARIS, April 16, 2012 Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) today introduced three new solutions for heavy civil construction professionals, the Trimble® Connected Office, the Trimble Connected Controller and the Trimble Connected Machine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Laser Technologies: Taking the Guesswork Out of Pipeline Condition Assessment

Every year, wastewater managers must make decisions about which portions of their collection system should be maintained, rehabilitated or replaced. With the EPA and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) both projecting hundreds of billions of dollars of investment shortfalls facing our aging wastewater infrastructure, it is more important than ever that our wastewater managers are able to spend these limited funds most wisely to reduce risks and maintain service levels at a low cost.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laser scanner from Faro Technologies measures up to 976,000 points/s

FARO Introduces Next Generation Focus3D Laser Scanner

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do you have permission to scan that building?

ORLANDO, Fla. – If any presentation here at the FARO 3D Documentation Conference truly got attendees thinking it was Tuesday’s talk by Tom Kurke and Michael Weinberg: “It will be awesome if they don’t screw it up: Bringing IP issues in digital documentation into focus.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Autodesk 2010 Certification Now Available for Design Professionals

Certified Associate and Certified Professional exams now available for newest versions of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Civil 3D Software

Friday, June 15, 2007



Thursday, February 15, 2007

3D Laser Mapping Supports Kumba Iron Ore Extraction

Nottingham, UK - 3D Laser Mapping, the UK based specialists in laser measurement technology and software, is helping Kumba Iron Ore to improve the safety of iron ore extraction in South Africa. 3D Laser Mapping has supplied and installed a Riegl LMS Z420i laser scanner, the first scanner of its type in South Africa, which is being used to monitor slope deformation in order to reduce the levels of risk to personnel and equipment that occur as a result of potential slope failure. The system uses the latest laser technology to capture highly accurate slope measurements that are then analysed to identify areas of movement and therefore potential failure.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Certifying As-built or Record Drawings

Architects should use caution when giving record drawings to clients and when creating “as-built” drawings. Examples of provisional language that might be used to mitigate the risk involved with “as- built” drawings are included.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases

Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases

Monday, January 15, 2007

3D Laser Mapping Launches Telecom Mapping System

3D Laser Mapping has launched a mobile mapping system designed to capture asbuilt 3D measurements of overhead telecom networks. The vehicle-mounted WireFinder system uses laser technology and specially designed software to measure the position of telecom network assets, such as poles and wires.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bentley OnSite Connects Worlds of Civil Engineering Design and Construction Speeds Project Construction, Decreases Project Risk and Costly Rework

EXTON, PA., January 4 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced Bentley OnSite, breakthrough software that connects the worlds of civil engineering design and construction. This new offering automates and streamlines tasks for stakeout, inspection, and measurement in the field, facilitating project management and helping ensure unprecedented levels of accuracy during construction.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

GiveMePower Launches PowerCAD SiteMaster Turn-On-and-Go

CALGARY, Alberta, December 13, 2006 - GiveMePower Corporation (OTCBB: GMPW), today launched two new ultra-mobile computing solutions for building surveying and inspection, construction area estimating and reporting, and facilities asset and information management - featuring hardware from mobility market leaders Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Tablet Kiosk.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

3D Laser Mapping Launches StreetMapper 2

3D Laser Mapping has launched StreetMapper 2, a new modular vehicle-mounted system for rapid 3D mapping on and off road. The portable system uses lasers to 3D map assets and the landscape to millimeter accuracy at speeds of up to 70 km an hour.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Autodesk Supports Visual Studio, .NET Framework, MS SQL

SAN RAFAEL, California, November 8, 2005 - Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Autodesk and Microsoft work together across many technology areas. Autodesk's data management products, built using SQL Server, enable teams to gain greater insight and maximize efficiency by always having instant access to design information. The Microsoft products combined with AutoCAD-based products from Autodesk provide an optimal platform for application developers to realize their ideas in designing and creating a wide range of software applications, from shipbuilding to facilities management, plant design to urban planning, architecture to emergency response.

Monday, November 6, 2006

How can BIM benefit facilities management?

BIM is certainly changing the way buildings are designed and constructed, but is it changing how they're operated and maintained? There is a lot of interest in the industry around using building information for FM (facilities management), but how does this really work? Do the benefits of BIM extend to FM?

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Prime Edge Asbuilt Services proposes a new method for building field data verifications

San Francisco, California. — November 2, 2006 — Prime Edge Asbuilt Services today announced that it is underway to develop a full set of business applications for use by of professionals within construction, property management and design industries. Software applications include estimating software interface is called PrimeCue. EdgeCue is a CAD based software package and PlanCue is a facility plan management interface. Beta versions of these packages have been used by the company for the last two years and the updated version of the products will allow users to take advantage of a patent pending method for building data collection for estimating, drafting and management purposes, making it easier than ever to prepare asbuilt floor plans, estimate amount of work to be performed or provide a detailed information with regard to the occupied space for facility planning purposes. In an effort to make this technology available to the industry professionals Prime Edge had launched AsbuiltEdge Technologies which will be responsible for the software and business development associated with the system.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Building for Boomers

Preparing for the changes of aging, including declining mobility, is also a concern. A 2005 study conducted by Vista Market Intelligence of Lake Oswego found that 89 percent of boomers would like to have the master bedroom on the main floor of their home; 79 percent said they would prefer to own a single-story home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Management of Potential Change Orders with As-builts

Every project is unique and requires an immense amount of skills and expertise to be completed successfully and on time. It is almost given that at some point or throughout the project you will be hiring an Architect and a General Building Contractor to design and build what you have in mind. This article is written with homeowner in mind as a guideline for a very interesting and education experience of remodeling your house which waits ahead of you. First thing that you as a homeowner should understand is the fact that construction project you are about to begin is complex.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Autodesk Releases FMDesktop 7.0 Product Suite

SAN RAFAEL, California, October 10, 2006 - Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK)today announced the launch of the Autodesk FMDesktop Product Suite, a powerful, easy-to-use software solution for facilities management. Developed by and for experienced facility managers, the Autodesk FMDesktop 7.0 suite of products, including Facility Manager, Facility Link, Facility Web and Facility Request, helps deliver the power of digital facility management through intuitive and easy-to-use features. The scalable computer-aided facility management (CAFM) suite of products was built on Autodesk's DWF platform, and, by incorporating the latest DWF viewing technologies, provides facilities managers with a simple, accurate method to create, manage and share building operating data throughout the enterprise. This is the first full version of FMDesktop launched by Autodesk, who acquired the application in January 2006 as part of the acquisition of Applied Spatial Technologies.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Ranal Launches CAMeLEAN/PM Project Management Suite

BANGALORE, India, October 9, 2006 – Ranal Software Solutions – one of the leading PLM products and service providers, and part of the Ranal Group – has launched CAMeLEAN®/PM, in India. CAMeLEAN®/PM is a complete project management suite that guides organizations through the entire project management lifecycle.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Your As-Builts Are Your Blueprint for Success

Most contractors know that next to the finished product, the as-builts documentation is essential part of a construction project. As-builts are the final blueprint drawings which reflect changes made in the field during the construction of a new structure or an addition to an existing. As-built drawings consist of a full set of construction documents and detail built structure in every detail. Electrical and Mechanical drawings are especially important part of the documentation due to the much higher cost associated with field changes. Most commercial property owners and property managers keep a set of current as-builts handy at all times to access essential information on daily basis. In fact, some entities consider as-built documentation such important part of the construction process, they require drawings to be completed prior to issuing final occupancy.

Monday, August 21, 2006 and Prime Edge As-Built Services to Combine Forces to Create a New Field in Stock Photography

UNION CITY, California, August 21, 2006 —, an emerging stock photography web site, which have been serving photographing community since 2004 had agreed to work on the development of new stock photography interface with Prime Edge Asbuilt Services, a professional service in SF Bay Area serving a network of Architects, Homeowners and General Contractors.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Autodesk Completes Acquisition of Constructware

SAN RAFAEL, California,April 3, 2006 - Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), today announced it has completed the acquisition of Constructware, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Georgia that provides on-demand communication and collaboration solutions that streamline design, construction and facility management. The acquisition, announced on February 7, 2006, closed for cash consideration of US $46 million (see press release). This acquisition enables Autodesk to rapidly expand its Autodesk Buzzsaw collaborative project management solution with Constructware software’s industry leading cost, bid and risk management capabilities. The acquisition allows Autodesk to more completely meet the needs of its customers as they realize their ideas through the use of on-demand collaborative project management solutions.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Autodesk Updates Building Solutions Complete Portfolio

Autodesk Revit Building 9, Revit Structure 3, ADT 2007, Autodesk Building Systems 2007, Autodesk VIZ 2007 launched.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions

As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions

Friday, May 28, 2004

How big is a square foot? It all depends on your audience

Measuring square footage is not always an exact science. There are a number of rentable square footage measurement standards commonly used in the commercial real estate market. Each method, if used on the same space, would result in a different rentable square foot number.

Friday, January 31, 1997

New BOMA standards clarify lease space

The American National Standard for measuring floor area in office buildings is changing. The new version (officially labeled ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-1996) is an improved method designed to meet the current and future needs of the many industry professionals concerned with the measurement of office buildings.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

BIM and Laser Scanning for As-built and Adaptive Reuse Projects: The Opportunity for Surveyors

In his inaugural speech the new President made many references to using our natural resources more wisely, to reducing our carbon and water footprints, and investing in smart electric grids and other similar new energy-efficient technologies. Energy conservation and sustainability are top priorities and efforts are underway in many states to reinforce that--many offering fast tracked permitting to those projects that are "green". While many in the surveying community may view this as a nice gesture and work for others to do, make no mistake, while nothing is recession proof this opens up many doors of opportunity for surveyors, ones that are profitable and very much in demand.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leica Geosystems Announces the Release of Leica CloudWorx 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D

Leica Geosystems announces the immediate availability of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D. This powerful and easy-to-learn point cloud solution is designed for Intergraph SmartPlant 3D users who want to take full advantage of accurate, laser scan as-built data directly in SmartPlant 3D. Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D is the latest addition to the Leica CloudWorx suite of products that enable professionals to use rich, as-built point cloud data directly in their native desktop design and visualization platform. SmartPlant 3D is Intergraph's next generation plant design platform.