Florida In Bottom 10

As the U.S. Labor Department prepares to announce July’s unemployment rates on Friday, a different rate has been configured that could give a more realistic look at the job picture in Florida.
It is called the underemployment rate, and the Sunshine State is in the bottom 10 in the country with a whopping 17 percent, compared to a 9.2 percent unemployment rate, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The underemployment rate measures not just the unemployed, but also the involuntarily part-time workers who want full-time jobs. The states with the largest underemployment rate — or U-6 rate — are, not surprisingly, Nevada and California, which were hit hardest by the building bust. Their rates are 22.1 percent and 20.3 percent, respectively.

The United States’ U-6 average is 15.3 percent, while the unemployment rate across the country is 8.5 percent.

Top Outdoor Living Trends 2012


Easy living at home in backyards for entertaining with kitchens and dining options, comfortable seating, and water features

Washington, D.C. – The American love affair with the back yard shows no signs of slowing, according to the 2012 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The results show a preference for an undemanding outdoor space for lots of entertaining.

Landscape architects with a specialization in residential design across the country were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements. The category of gardens and landscape spaces, with 94.9 percent rating somewhat or very popular, was followed closely by outdoor livings spaces at 91.5 percent, which were defined as kitchen and entertainment spaces.

Across all categories, 97.4 percent of respondents rated grills as somewhat or very in-demand for 2012, followed by low-maintenance landscapes (96.6 percent), fireplaces/fire pits (95.8 percent), and dining areas (95.7 percent). Lighting features remained a popular choice from 2011 at 93.1 percent, as Americans plan to take more of their lives outside once the sun sets – to an extent.

“The economic recovery continues to struggle, but residential design has remained stronger than other categories throughout the recession,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA.

Americans also love their pools (79.2 percent), but not quite as much as their spas (80.4 percent) and other decorative water elements (89.9 percent), such as waterfalls or bubblers.

Seating and dining areas remain high on people’s lists (95.7 percent), as do installed seating at 86.9 percent and weatherized outdoor furniture at 81.2 percent.

When thinking of gardening, Americans tend toward the practical and sustainable with native plants (86.3 percent) and food/vegetable gardens (81.2 percent), with over half of them preferred to be organic (61.2 percent).

Besides planting locally and organically, other sustainable elements continue their popularity with homeowners. Native or drought-tolerant plants (85.4 percent), drip irrigation (81.7 percent), and permeable paving (71.6 percent) are making their way into outdoor living spaces across the country.

Additional information on residential landscape architecture can be found at http://www.asla.org/residentialinfo.

Outdoor Design Elements (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces) – 91.5%
Gardens/landscaped spaces – 94.9%
Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts) – 78.4%
Sustainable design practices – 70.1%
Turf lawns 50.9%
ADA/Accessible design – 20.7%

Outdoor Living Features (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Grills – 97.4%
Fire pits/fireplace – 95.8%
Seating/dining areas – 95.7%
Lighting – 93.1%
Installed seating (benches, seat walls, ledges, steps, boulders) – 86.9%
Weatherized outdoor furniture – 81.2%
Counter space – 76.0%
Utility storage – 59.5%
Stereo systems – 57.8%
Refrigerators – 55.5%
Sinks – 53.9%
Televisions/projection screens – 48.7%
Showers/baths – 45.2%
Wireless/Internet connectivity – 42.7%
Outdoor heaters – 39.9%
Outdoor cooling systems (including fans) – 33.1%
Hammocks 27.4%
Bedrooms/sleeping spaces – 9.5%

Outdoor Recreation Amenities (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, water runnels or bubblers – 89.9%
Spa features (hot tub, Jacuzzi, whirlpool, indoor/outdoor sauna) – 80.4%
Swimming Pools – 79.2%
Sports/recreational spaces (tennis courts, bocce ball, etc.) – 56.9%
Movie/video/TV theatres – 30.8%

Landscape/Garden Elements (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Low maintenance landscapes – 96.6%
Fountains/ornamental water features – 87.2%
Native plants – 86.3%
Food/Vegetable gardens (including orchards/vineyards etc.) – 81.2%
Xeriscaping or dry gardens – 64.3%
Organic gardens – 61.2%
Rain gardens – 55.6%
Ponds/streams – 52.2%
Rooftop gardens – 38.3%

Sustainable Design Elements (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants – 85.4%
Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 81.7%
Permeable paving – 71.6%
Reduced lawn – 70.9%
Recycled materials – 58.6%
Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 55.2%
Compost bins – 51.4%
Solar-powered lights – 32.8%
Geothermal-heated pools – 21.7%

Outdoor Structures (Overall rating for 2012)

Percent Rating Popular or Somewhat Popular:

Terraces/patios/decks – 95.7%
Fencing (includes gates) – 90.6%
Arbors – 88.7%
Ornamental water features such as fountains or splash pools – 88.1%
Pergolas – 85.2%
Steps – 81.1%
Decks – 74.5%
Porches – 72.4%
Kitchens/ovens – 70.3%
Art (sculptures, murals etc.) – 60.2%
Utility shed (tool shed, garden shed etc.) – 56.5%
Play structures (tree house, swing set, etc.) – 54.7%
Awnings, including retractable – 52.6%
Pavilions – 52.3%
Columns – 49.6%
Gazebos – 49.1%
ADA-accessible structures (ramps, bars, accessible shelving etc.) – 14.6%

About the Survey
The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals about the estimated popularity of various design elements for 2012. The survey was fielded April 9 through April 18, 2012, with 118 responding.












AECOM Miami located at 800 Douglas Road North Tower Suite 2, Coral Gables, Florida has graciously agreed to host Allyson Humphries of Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone for 4 CEU classes to be offered from 6-10 pm on on August 8, 2012.

Classes offered will be:

Intro to Stone I

Intro to Stone II
Course #0009119

Genuine Stone – A Natural Choice For Sustainable Design Course #0009120

Natural Stone- The Evolving Marketplace Classroom Course #0009121

Our provider # 005029. Classes will be offered in order listed. Larry’s Cap Rock will provide pizza for this working dinner.

Olympic Stadiums: The Best Architecture

Olympic Stadiums: The Best Architecture Over The Years (PHOTOS)
The Huffington Post

With the Olympic ceremonies just one day away, we decided to take a look back at some of the best Olympic Stadium architecture through the years, and see how this year’s stacks up.
Historians trace the origins of the Olympic Stadium back to the 8th Century BC. The 1896 games in Athens marked the return of the ancient event, centered on the Panathinaiko Stadium, which still exists today.
The Olympic Stadium is the centerpiece of any Summer Olympic Games. Traditionally, they are the site of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field competitions. Given the stupefying economics of holding an Olympics, host cities seek to create architecturally significant multi-use arenas suitable for life after the games have gone (or at least that’s what they promise).
Politics aside (well, of course not–the Olympics are politics as well as an advertising mecca, mid-summer entertainment, and oh yes, a test of athletic prowess), we at HuffPost Culture have decided to take a brief look at some of the most striking designs of the modern Olympic era. And yes, this year’s made the cut.
Click through the slideshow to see some notable stadiums through the years.


Dog Days of Summer

This summer heat and humidity is so intense, that every morning I walk outside to go to work, I feel like I am in a hot wet sauna. I can’t seem to take enough showers. Every job site meeting has me feeling like a hot mess. And god bless the men and women that are working this summer. I truthfully don’t know how the landscapers, masons and contractors that build our homes and businesses function during these dog days of summer. I am longing for our winter days already. Today’s post feature unique applications of stone installed in bathrooms and showers. I bet you can’t guess my favorite. I will give you a hint, it’s blue.









Tawdry & Terrific Tan

The summer heat wave with record breaking temperatures has me parched.
Terrific hues of tan hi-lite today’s interior stone inspirations.

Tan is a pale, tawny tone of brown. The name is derived from tannum (oak bark) used in the tanning of leather.[1] my conservative use of color is evident below. I think I need a little David Bromstad and Color Splash in my life.

The first recorded use of tan as a color name in English was in the year 1590.[2]







Top 100 Architectural Buildings in Florida

The wait is finally over, and the results of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places. are in!  “We are elated that so many Floridians took the time to learn about the beautiful structures in their communities,”  said Donald Yoshino, FAIA and Chairman of AIA Florida’s 100th Anniversary Committee. “We intend to keep the conversation front and center as we celebrate 100 years and encourage students across the state to consider a career in architecture — placing their own unique signature on our state’s skyline.”

It is worth noting as NPR did that 23 of the 100 places are in Miami-Dade.

 Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.

 Top Ten Buildings (by popular vote)

1st Place – Fontainebleau Miami Beach (Miami Beach)

2nd Place – Mandi’s Chapel (Live Oak)

3rd Place – Baughman Center at the University of Florida (Gainesville)

4th Place – University of North Florida Student Union (Jacksonville)

5th Place – Mar-a-Lago National Historic Landmark (Palm Beach)

6th Place – Saint Paul’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church (Jacksonville Beach)

7th Place – The Breakers Resort National Historic Landmark (Palm Beach)

8th Place – Florida Southern College (Lakeland)

9th Place – City Park Municipal Garage (Fort Lauderdale)

10th Place – Dodd Hall at The Florida State University (Tallahassee)

Know Your Prospect’s Communication Style


Know your prospects’ communication styles

  • When someone says emotive, directive, reflective and supportive, more likely, the first thought that comes to the mind of a typical sales and marketing professional just starting out is psychology. The truth, however, is that knowing how individuals fit within a specific communication style can help a professional secure their next opportunity.

Each individual has their own communication style which makes up a unique part of a personal and professional brand. Knowing where a prospect falls can help determine how to sell a product, solution, or an individual.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to take this first step. Fortunately, it’s simple to make the determination. First, think of where a prospect falls within two different spheres of dominance. They include:

  • Lower dominance and social tendencies – A lower dominance individual lets others take control, and are lower in their assertiveness; being prone to suggestion. In social settings, they tend not to make a splash, acting conservative.
  • Higher dominance and social tendencies – A higher dominance individual tends to take a command and control approach, guided by emotion.

Once a determination has been made, the next step will be to figure out which communication style the prospect falls under. This will then allow for the determination of the best way to approach selling their product, service, or professional brand.

The Emotive

The emotive individual is classified as a highly dominant and highly sociable individual. When this individual goes to a party, they dominate the conversation with stories of their latest personal and professional conquests.

Unfortunately, this also means that they cannot separate professional and personal beliefs. This leads to them expressing strong opinions based on their own point of view to the point of becoming offensive.

To sell to an emotive, a professional must do the following:

  • Move at a pace that holds the attention of the prospect. This will stop the prospect from dominating the conversation.
  • Be enthusiastic, as emotive individuals tend to buy into enthusiasm as a sign of positivity.
  • Plan actions that provide support for the opinions of an emotive, but be prepared to get the prospect back on track if they go off topic.

The Directive

Individuals who are classified as being directive are usually in charge of every facet of operations, appearing quite busy. They might not give the impression of listening, but at the end, they are listening very intently and evaluating you appropriately.

To sell to a directive, a professional must:

  • Keep the relationship as businesslike as possible. In the beginning, a directive is not interested in personal relationships. Keep the personal side out of the equation.
  • Be as efficient and time disciplined as possible. An agenda approach might work to keep things moving along. It’s all about the structure and an end goal.
  • Present facts, talk to goals and ask questions. Directives appreciate the learning process, as they have needed to go through that same process themselves.

The Reflective

A reflective individual tends to be on the lower side of the dominance and social scales. However, these individuals will examine all facets carefully before arriving at a decision. They show little emotion and display a preference to orderliness

To sell to a reflective, a professional must:

  • Keep things well organized and keep a no-nonsense approach – slowly going through the information in a deliberate fashion.
  • Arrive at meetings on-time and be prepared. Otherwise, a meeting with a reflective will not last too long.

The Supportive

The supportive individual is easy to listen to and usually does not express their views in forceful ways. However, while they are quiet and reserved, they are listening intently, evaluating a professional, his or her product, and solution.

To sell to a supportive, one must:

  • Take the time to build a social relationship with the individual and learn more about them.
  • Provide personal assurances that they are making the right decision and at the end, support the views of the individual.

In the end, knowing the right communication styles is critical. Whether targeting a prospect in a sales call, or a new job opportunity, how an individual communicate with the four different communicative styles will differentiate and help to solidify a brand, thus landing new opportunities in the future.