Westbrook Joins CTS

After eight years, Westbrook Architects, a major retail architect, will now be a part of Crafton Tull Sparks.
The firm’s clients include Oklahoma National Bank, Sprint, Owasso Land Trust, Post Oak Lodge, and QuikTrip.
“I am excited about the opportunities to provide our retail clients with full-service architecture and engineering services,” said Randy Westbook, NCARB, vice president of retail.
The firm joined Crafton Tull Sparks as part of a strategy to provide retail architecture and engineering services to major retail companies across the nation.
“We are thrilled to have Randy and Carolyn Westbrook on our team,” said Shane Hansen Fernandez, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, corporate director of architecture. “This is an opportunity for both of us to play a bigger role in the growth of the retail market.”
Founded in 1963, Crafton Tull Sparks has 300 employees.
Convention Center Unveils New Logo
Tulsa Convention Center chose a new, architectural-themed logo in two tones of blue.
Two sets of lines converge to form an abstract letter “T” with the name, Tulsa Convention Center, in a san-serif font below.
“The new logo expresses our upward movement with new construction and improvements in the facility,” said general manager of the Tulsa Convention Center and the BOK Center, John Bolton, CFE.
The inspiration for the new logo, the 30,000 square-foot Tulsa Ballroom, will add 83,635 square feet of space to the Convention Center.
Both the Tulsa Convention Center and BOK Center are managed by SMG.
CTS Engineer, Architect Earns LEED Accreditation
Kevin Vanover, P.E., senior engineering manager for the civil department at Crafton Tull Sparks, has received LEED accreditation.
Vanover has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical design engineering from Oklahoma State University. He has over 19 years of experience in civil engineering.
Nathan Jacob Koob, AIA, director of sports, also received LEED accreditation. He has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Oklahoma State University. Nathan has 10 years of experience in architectural practice.
This brings the company’s total to 43 employees who are accredited in sustainable design.
LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the standard for design and construction of green buildings. The LEED accreditation test is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
1Q Real Estate, Construction Investment Falls
Commercial and industrial investment fell 37.9 percent during the first quarter of 2009, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s April 29 release on the Gross Domestic Product.
Contributing significantly to the plunge in nonresidential fixed investment was a 44.2 percent annualized decline in output related to the construction of nonresidential structures.
“There’s more to the GDP report than meets the eye,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “At first blush, the report appears distinctly negative. After all, the consensus forecast for the first quarter of 2009 was that the GDP would decline in the range of 4 to 5 percent. Instead, the decline in GDP on an annualized basis was in excess of 6 percent.
“However, there were a number of positive indications in this GDP report, including evidence of a rebound in consumer spending. Consumers are apparently more confident than they appear, and this confidence translated into higher consumption of durable goods. This suggests that the ongoing recession may end just as many economists predict – during the latter stages of 2009.”
PMC Recognized by EPA
PMC Homes was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a 2009 ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing Award.
This award recognizes the contribution PMC Homes has made to energy-efficient construction and environmental protection by building more than 78 ENERGY STAR-qualified homes last year. Collectively, these homes will save its customers approximately $34,866 on utility bills each year.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
President of PMC Homes, Steve Harris said, “PMC Homes is committed to build all of our homes as ENERGY STAR. We are proud to have been the first 100 percent ENERGY STAR builder in our area and today.”
ABC Opposes Employee Free Choice Act
Associated Builders and Contractors sent a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, and President Barack Obama, signed by more than 3,000 ABC member companies and construction-related firms that oppose the Employee Free Choice Act.
ABC’s letter to Congress highlights a recent, nonpartisan study that concludes if the Employee Free Choice Act were signed into law it would cost the U.S. economy 600,000 lost jobs in the year 2010.
Cambridge Reports 1Q Loan Requests Down
As the economy continued to falter, Cambridge Realty Capital Companies reports the firm processed 19.5 percent fewer loan origination requests during the first quarter of 2009 than it did for the same period last year.
Cambridge Chairman Jeffrey A. Davis said the company reviewed 74 loan origination requests totaling $1.19 billion through the first three months of this year. This compares with 92 loans requests totaling $1.55 billion for the same quarter in 2008.
For the month of March, the company processed 23 origination requests, compared with 35 for the same month in 2008. Dollar volume for the month was down, from $540.6 million in 2008 to $442.4 million a year later.
Davis points out that lenders close a relatively small percentage of origination requests received. But it’s useful to track this information as an indication of market directions, he believes.
“What the data tells us is that there’s been a marked drop in enthusiasm levels and transaction size, but nothing surprising given the severity of the current economic downturn. We’re finding borrowers are still trying to find ways to get things done despite the credit squeeze,” he said.
OSU-Tulsa Energy Savings Top 22 Percent
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa officials announced a 22.5 percent energy savings during a one-year period at a board meeting today for the OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees.
Dr. Ron Bussert, vice president for administration and finance, said OSU-Tulsa’s energy conservation efforts have resulted in $215,548 in cost avoidance during 2008.

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