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WSU Center Merges UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies

A merger between academic real estate centers at the University of Washington and Washington State University will broaden the reach of the Runstad Center in Seattle, say people connected to the agreement.

In January 2012, the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at WSU merged with the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the UW.

Glenn Crellin, 61, who directed the WSU center, has become associate director of research for the Runstad Center, which is part of the UW College of Built Environments. He brings years of experience in residential real estate to Runstad, which has heavily focused on commercial real estate.

Crellin also hopes to leverage academic research, offering it in white papers, a newsletter and other formats more accessible to real estate professionals.

“We want to make sure that industry can take advantage of the work we do,” Crellin said.

“This merger elevates the role of research at Runstad,” said George Rolfe, who directs the Runstad Center. “Glenn also has a broad reputation, and there has never been a more important time for the Center to understand the economics of residential real estate. This merger makes us more relevant in the largest real estate market in the Pacific Northwest.”

Crellin, who holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland, became interested in residential real estate in the early 1970s, when asked to forecast housing starts for the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Later, at Arthur Young & Company, Crellin advised government clients on economic impact statements, then spent 16 years as a research economist for the National Association of Realtors.

He liked research on the home market. “Residential housing touches everybody, whether they live in an apartment or a single-family home,” Crellin said.

Runstad board members are pleased about the blended centers. “This merger will give the Runstad Center a well-rounded research platform,” said Larry Remmers, board chairman, who is also senior vice president and manager of commercial real estate for Wells Fargo Bank in Portland, Ore.

“With changes in the economy and in academics, as well as the rise and energy of the Runstad Center, the merger makes sense. The synergies between residential and commercial studies could mean that two and two equals five,” said Seattle commercial real estate attorney Anne Lawler, who was chairwoman of the Washington Center board of trustees and now serves on the Runstad board.

The WSU center’s website, as well as its research, will be available until transition to the Runstad Center is complete.

The Runstad Center supports the master of science in real estate degree offered by the Department of Urban Design and Planning. It is a two-year program that includes courses in finance, investment, development and sustainability. -- Catherine O'Donnell

Construction Management Department Engages the Community
The Construction Management Department hosted three successful community events, including the inaugural Construction Industry Research Conference (CIRC), Lean Construction Seminar, and King County Construction Days for High School Students. The College's newest facility - the Pacific Northwest Center for Construction Research and Education - provided an excellent venue for these engagements.

CM Department Hosts Inaugural Construction Industry Research Conference (CIRC)
CIRC Event HeaderThe inaugural Construction Industry Research Conference (CIRC) was held on Nov. 2, 2011. The Conference presented the varied and extensive research accomplishments of the faculty and students of the UW Department of Construction Management and College of Built Environments. It also showcased the work of guests from Central Washington University and the UW's Department of Communication. 

CIRC’s mission is to present research findings on a variety of relevant topics as well as highlight the ways that industry can benefit from research partnerships with academia. It creates an opportunity for industry to learn about past, current and future construction research projects underway, and more importantly how these projects could benefit their own organizations. This year’s focus was on research on BIM, safety, lean construction, ergonomics, education, and communication.  

Industry support of academic work varies from formal funded research projects, hosting case study observations, participation in interviews or surveys, as well as domain expert advisory roles.

Lean Construction Seminar for CM Professionals
cornerstone.jpgIn October 2011, the CM Department held a day-long seminar for construction industry professionals on Lean Construction. The introductory seminar was taught by Prof. Yong-Woo Kim, in the newly completed Cornerstone Classroom at the department’s Pacific NW Center for Construction Research and Education. A follow-up Lean Construction seminar is planned for later this year, as well as seminars on other topics relevant to the Built Environments. 

King County Construction Days for High School StudentsCM
In September 2011, in what has now become an annual tradition, high school students from across King County visited the CM Department’s Pacific NW Center for Construction Research and Education (PNCCRE). The students were participating in the King County Construction Days and spent 6 hours at Magnusson Park learning about construction equipment, apprenticeships, and the UW CM program. CM juniors and seniors served as guides for students all day. In addition, at the PNCCRE, CM seniors in the Methods and Materials Lab described the value of their CM education and how they used the mock-ups to learn more about construction. In the Virtual Construction Lab, Prof. Ken-Yu Lin and CM seniors gave an overview of Building Information Modeling and the capabilities of that facilty.

UDP Studio Project Receives APA/PAW Award
UDP Studio DocumentOn Friday, October 21, 2011, the 2011 American Planning Association (APA)/Planning Association of Washington (PAW) Awards were announced and presented at the Joint Washington/Oregon APA State Planning Conference by the Washington and Oregon Chapters of the American Association in Portland, Oregon. UDP affiliate faculty member Alon Bassok and seven students from his URBDP 508 Transportation and Land Use studio course were presented with an award for their project titled: City of Seattle Bicycle Planning Best Practices and Count Methodology.

Selected juror comments on the APA Washington Chapter website include crediting the award winning UDP student project for contributing “best practices and very innovative techniques that can be used by other cities who want to replicate similar bicycle planning counts & methodology as part of projects."  To learn more about this year's APA/PAW Awards, please visit the 2011 APA/PAW Awards page on the APA Washington Chapter website.

Landscape Architecture Design Studio wins 2012 International SEED Award

The Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Competition Design Awards honor extraordinary design projects and demonstrate that an emerging field of contributing architecture has reached a critical mass. Six projects were selected out of forty-five submitted from fourteen countries.  Studio 503: Design Activism; Escuela Ecologica Saludable Initiative, Parque Primaria, Lima, Peru, and the corresponding Summer Exploration Seminar in Peru, both led by Professor Ben Spencer, are among the top three internationally recognized award winning design projects for their work in the informal settlement of Lomas de Zapallal outside of Lima, Peru.  The project encompassed the design and construction of Pitagoras Primary School Park and of a new classroom building with 10 modular classrooms.  The design incorporates numerous sustainable building strategies including a grey water filtration system and a hydrocarbon densifying play mechanism.Congratulations also to UW Professor of Landscape Architecture Daniel Winterbottom and his Winter 2011 Design Build Studio in Croatia, who received an honorable mention for The Healing GardensRijeka, Croatia. The winning projects will be shown at the Structures for Inclusion conference at the University of Texas, Austin, Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25.


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