News You Can Use

Congratulations are in order!

Congratulations to our friends and engineering partners at Guttmann & Blaevoet for being named one of the 2021 Bay Area Best Places to Work.


We wholeheartedly agree – they are a great company to work with!

Notre Dame Series Pt. 5

The Restoration


Scientists, artists, and historians all play an important part in the restoration of Notre Dame.

In part 5, the last in our series, we look at how many of the original materials (stone and metal) are being deemed safe and reused. And how a beautiful and innovative new spire design fared against tradition.

Above all, we can’t wait to visit and see the work complete! 

How to Contain Construction Costs on
OSHPD-Permitted Renovation Project

When looking at a renovation project in a building with areas of obvious code violations, you may be tempted to bring the entire space up to current code. But if your budget is limited, you can make your project more financially manageable by demonstrating that areas outside the immediate project met code when they were first built. This is a smart strategy that saves money.

Notre Dame Series Pt. 4

The Architecture and History


Notre-Dame is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in existence — from its rib vaulting, innovative flying buttresses, and beautiful rose windows.

​​​​​​​In part 4 of our series, we take a quick look at the history of the site and building itself. 

Notre Dame Series Pt. 3

The Fire: What Was Saved and What Was Lost


Notre Dame de Paris, a Gothic masterpiece, is filled with centuries of art and artifacts. Curious to know what made it out? And how?

In part 3 of this series, we look at which of the many historic artifacts were lost and saved during and after fire. We also tell you how they made it out (think "bucket-brigade") and some of what's being restored. It's a global effort!

Notre Dame Series Pt. 2

The Fire and the Environment


Essentially, the story of the Notre-Dame fire and the environment is the story of lead.

Notre-Dame’s walls and vaulted ceiling are stone, but its roof and spire are ancient 13th century oak sheathed in lead to protect against water damage. The elegant spire—also called a flèche, or arrow—has been rebuilt several times over the centuries.

At 600°, lead oxidizes into microscopic particles, forming an ugly yellow cloud that poured out of the cathedral.

Notre Dame Series Pt. 1 - The Fire

The Unimaginable


Imagine a building you’re familiar with—perhaps your city’s town hall, a nearby apartment complex, or even your own home—bursting unexpectedly into flames. Unimaginable, eh?  

In this article, we set the fire scene. In four subsequent articles, we explore the cathedral’s history, what was destroyed and what was saved, environmental damage, and restoration efforts.

Photo credit: Part of "The devastating Notre Dame Cathedral fire, in 19 photos" by manhhai is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Revisiting Notre Dame – an upcoming 5-part series on the 2-year anniversary of the fire

On 15 April 2019, just before 18:20 CEST, a fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. By the time it was extinguished, this historic building's spire had collapsed and most of its roof had been destroyed and its upper walls severely damaged.
 
What’s happened since then? In the coming weeks, Hilliard Architects will publish a 5-part series on the fire, the environmental impact, and the current state of rebuilding. Join us here or watch for our posts on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Photo credit: Creative Commons Wandrille de Préville

Company Towns: A Whole New Look

We’ve all heard of company towns — often-dismal places where an organization’s employees are paid in scrip and essentially forced into indentured servitude. (Think early-20th century mining towns in Appalachia.)
​​​​​​​
Now, there’s a new twist on the concept, revealed by Jonathan Hilburg in an article in The Architect’s Newspaper.

Here’s an Easy Way to Test Your Double-Pane Windows for Seal Failure

A failed window seal allows moisture in, reducing the insulation value of the glass and discoloring the film that blocks the sun. The windowpane looks cloudy and dirty.
 
To determine which glass panes have failed, you can hire a window installation company to test all of your windows. Or you can do this simple test yourself!
man sealing windowman sealing window

Wooden Skyscrapers – Not Your “Three Little Pigs” House of Sticks

Wooden skyscrapers are capturing the imagination of architects around the world. Commonly referred to as mass timber building, or plyscrapers, they’re built using various laminated lumber products. But they’re no “houses of sticks.” These “sticks” are engineered structural timber produced by laminating several layers of lumber with high-strength adhesive, resulting in a composite that rivals the strength of steel.
wooden scyscraperwooden scyscraper

Surprise! You’ve got Vikings.​​​​​​​

Every Architects’ nightmare is discovering your project site is an archaeological treasure, but in this case that nightmare turned into an incredible way to lure customers into the store. This Irish supermarket Lidl worked with architects and archaeologists to preserve an 11th century Irish Viking house under the new supermarket. A glass window in the floor lets visitors look back in time. Diagrams throughout the store talk about Dublin’s colorful history.
image of supermarket and freezersimage of supermarket and freezers