What We’re Reading on the Web

May 5, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

From NPR, a great read (and listen!) on miniature homes being used to fight homelessness in lieu of the traditional shelter.

This zip line isn’t just an adventure, it’s an opportunity to time travel! Really!

With a record 16 Tony nominations, it’s safe to say that Hamilton has officially taken the world by storm — and that includes the architecture world! Check out this list of 7 iconic Alexander Hamilton sites open to the public.

This list of ways to successfully knock out your first 90 days in a new job is great, and is still pretty great even if you’ve been in the same position for awhile.


MDOT’s LED Retrofit + Interstate Lighting

April 27, 2016

Texture 1_Misc2

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has long understood the benefits of reducing energy costs by using technologically advanced lighting fixtures. Typically, interstate and state road intersection fixtures run 11-12 hours a day, dusk to dawn. Studies have shown that although traffic is reduced by almost 70% at night, more than half of all fatal accidents occur in the dark. Quality lighting at intersections that see traffic coming from opposing directions is necessary to reduce the potential for an accident. Normally, fixtures using an HID, high-intensity discharge, lamp source were used. These fixtures offered very good light output, reasonable color rendering, and long life – lasting upwards of 25,000 hours of operation before they failed. Unfortunately, these fixtures also consume a lot of energy, most of which is lost as heat. Additionally, at the end of life, these fixtures simply will not light. MDOT has wisely invested in an infrastructure of poles and lowering devices that are in good working order and can last for decades in the field. Reuse of this infrastructure is the most cost effective way to offset the initial investment in new lighting fixtures.

The fastest, most cost effective strategy for MDOT was to replace the existing HID fixtures on a one-to-one basis. This method includes using replacement fixtures that provide the same AASHTO and FHWA required lighting levels, in addition to using the same poles, wiring, and other infrastructure that are already in place. As a result, MDOT personnel could perform the replacements themselves, thereby saving the time and money associated with hiring an outside construction company. Two technologies have come to the forefront as the technology most suitable for one-to-one replacement applications. LED, or Light Emitting Diode, and LEP, or Light Emitting Plasma, fixtures have come a long way from their early days as a flashlight replacement to a technology that can outperform HID fixtures while using half the energy. The LED and LEP fixtures have failure rates measured from 70,000 to 100,000 hours of operation, with estimates of 25 years of useful life. Keep in mind that these numbers are called “L70” numbers. These numbers, referred to as “L70” numbers, indicate that the fixture will fall to 70% of its rated light output after this amount of time. It’s important to note that these fixtures won’t fail completely as their HID counterparts do, rather, they will simply be at 70% of their former output. This is very good news for fixtures located in remote areas far from easy maintenance.

CDFL was engaged to study the myriad of LED/LEP replacement options for HID fixtures which have recently become available. Our focus is on the state road (SR-304) that runs from Tunica County to the I-55 interchange in Desoto County, with a total of seven interchanges being studied. CDFL is providing a Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis to remove marketing data bias while vetting the analysis with a leading economist to understand the discount rates and projected inflation of energy rates, replacement and maintenance costs, and overall operating costs associated with staying with the existing technology verse replacement. Additionally, we are exploring options that would enable us to monitor the fixtures’ energy uses in real time in order to document the resultant energy savings. The results of the study will be presented to the district engineer of MDOT’s Northern District.


Meet the Team: Ben Fulton

April 19, 2016


We concluded our Meet the Team series some time ago, but since then we’ve had the privilege of adding a few new faces to the team. Each week we’ll be introducing one of our new CDFL employees, or as we like to think of ourselves, the “us” in the Power of Plus. This week we are proud to introduce mechanical engineer Ben Fulton.

What do you do at CDFL?
I am the new head of CDFL’s mechanical department.

What exciting thing are you working on right now?
I’m pretty much just diving right into everything going on at CDFL. Outside of the office, though, I just got married a couple of weeks ago – so I would say that’s the most exciting thing going on with me right now!

What do you spend the most time doing outside of work?
I spend most of my time outside of work with my wife. We enjoy spending time with our family and friends, watching college football, and hunting.

How long have you been in the profession?
I have been in mechanical engineering design with the same firm since I graduated from Mississippi State in December 2001. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities as I move forward with my career at CDFL.

What is your favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood?
I would have to say Sal and Mookie’s. There are quite a few others that I have heard about and look forward to being able to try.

What new thing is happening in your field?
I think the biggest change lately is the focus on energy efficiency. Across all disciplines, there has been an increased focus on all of a building’s systems working together to produce the most energy efficient designs possible. This has led to major changes in the design thought process over the past few years.

What’s your favorite TV show?
Favorite show would be the Blacklist; gotta love some Raymond Reddington.


What We’re Reading on the Web

April 14, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Architecture legend Zaha Hadid passed away recently, and to commemorate her amazing achievements and contributions to the built environment Architectural Digest has several pieces on her most famous work and her incredible life.

Great read from ArchDaily on how co-living and co-working are changing the way we think of space as a service commodity. And, while you’re checking that out, be sure and read up on mantle co.working, Jackson’s newest co-working space and a recent CDFL project.

7 Essential Lessons From The Harvard Innovation Lab

Book report time! Architectural Record has a brief review of Neil Levine’s new book “The Urbanism of Frank Lloyd Wright.” Be sure and check out their full book review section here.


Mississippi Heritage Trust’s MS Mod

April 13, 2016

The Power of Plus_new

This blog post and the accompanying photography comes courtesy of CDFL associate Chris Myers, AIA.

Earlier this month, Mississippi Heritage Trust continued its MS Mod project with a trip to the Delta. My wife and I were able to take part in a Saturday bus tour that hit sites in Clarksdale, Greenwood, Itta Bena, Indianola, Cleveland, and Mound Bayou, and was followed by an evening reception at Bill and Francine Luckett’s home in Clarksdale.

MS Mod is a project created by the Mississippi Heritage Trust that is intended to raise awareness of our state’s rich collection of mid-century modernist architecture. In a place known for its own brand of classical architecture, modern architecture is often misunderstood.

Last Spring, the project kicked off with a tour of modern buildings in Meridian and a tour of modern homes in Jackson’s Eastover neighborhood. The response was so positive, executive director Lolly Barnes decided to take the show on the road — specifically the flat roads of the Delta. Modernism hit the Delta in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s during a public construction boom where the clean lines and lack of ornament aligned perfectly with the need for simplicity and thrift. On top of that, the flatness of the Delta blends quite well with a long prairie-style elevation.

delta tour 1The Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood | formerly Mississippi Petroleum

delta tour 2 The Museum of the Mississippi Delta, Greenwood | formerly Mississippi Petroleum. A perfectly preserved mid-century office.

delta tour 3Delta Electric Power Association, Greenwood

delta tour 4Wade Equipment (Greenwood), a Delta-owned John Deere dealership, hired a firm partnered with famed modern Mississippi architect N.W. Overstreet to design its headquarters. His “lollipop” sign has become a trademark for the company, and can be seen throughout north Mississippi.


Delta State University (Cleveland) and Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena) both boasted major campus construction in the middle of the century. Modern principles applied to both the layout of these new buildings and the structures themselves.

delta tour 5Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Chapel

delta tour 6Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Library

delta tour 7Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Auditorium

delta tour 8Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena | Auditorium interior hallway

delta tour 9Mississippi Valley State University, IttaBena | Administration Building

delta tour 10Mississippi Valley State University, IttaBena | Cafeteria

delta tour 11Delta State University, Cleveland | Cafeteria

delta tour 12Delta State University, Cleveland | Cafeteria interior

delta tour 13Taborian Hospital, Mound Bayou


Having grown up in the Delta myself, near Marks and Crowder, it was nice to revisit the area as an architect and preservationist and view these familiar sites through a different lens. New construction hasn’t been common in the Delta for the past fifty years, and the condition of most of the buildings on the tour was a testament to preservation for the sake of economy. Even in cases where the buildings have been renovated and re-purposed, there was a certain respect paid to the original design.

At one point during the bus tour, Bill Luckett, mayor of Clarksdale; former gubernatorial candidate; attorney; philanthropist; and our evening’s host, mentioned that his good friend and neighbor Morgan Freeman would be attending the reception. After a lunch of fried chicken and grits at Mississippi Valley State University, that news pushed us through the remainder of the afternoon with a minimal amount of coffee.

The Luckett home, designed for the McNamee family in 1973 by Arkansas architect E. Fay Jones, is a testament to Jones’s training under Frank Lloyd Wright. The sprawling prairie style house appears long and low from the street, but the interior boasts mostly double high spaces including overlooks and lofts in most rooms, including the secondary bedrooms. The house is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens of native plants with almost every room containing a door to the outside.

delta tour 14The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 15The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 16The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 17The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta tour 18The Luckett Residence | Clarksdale

delta 19The author, pictured at the Luckett Residence, with Morgan Freeman.


Hinds Community College Softball Field Ribbon Cutting

April 7, 2016

Hinds Softball Ribbon Cutting
If you follow us on Twitter*, you know that CDFL was proud to celebrate alongside Hinds Community College and the Lady Eagles softball team at the ribbon cutting for their new home earlier this season. Lady Eagles past and present were on hand to celebrate the unveiling of the new facility together with HCC officials and fans. Alumna Courtney Carson spoke about the impact the new field and accompanying features would have on recruiting and the Hinds athletic program.

The new field is a beautiful addition to the Raymond campus, and is the first piece of a 3-phase project that will include a dual entrance to the softball and baseball fields, a multi-team clubhouse, and will eventually feature 130 permanent grandstand seats plus sideline plazas for overflow crowds. The new multi-team clubhouse will provide much needed locker room space for the softball team, and an updated, more conveniently located home for the baseball locker room. Both the home team and visiting squads are provided with turf bullpens, with the Lady Eagles dugout located adjacent to three combination turf bullpens and batting cages.

Congratulations to the Lady Eagles and the Hinds Community College athletic program. Play ball!

*if you don’t follow us on Twitter, you’re missing out! Follow us for project updates, job site road trips, and more.


Project Update: Topping Out at UMMC’s new School of Medicine

March 31, 2016

School of Medicine Update
This past Monday CDFL celebrated a special milestone with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, other representatives of the design team, and Governor Phil Bryant as the final beam of the new School of Medicine was hoisted into place. The ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the building’s progress and what its opening will mean for healthcare in Mississippi. Attendees heard from Governor Bryant and Vice Chancellor Dr. Louann Woodward on the profound health, wellness, and economic impact the new building and the doctors who learn within it will have on the state. Congratulations to UMMC, project architect Colby Dearman, and the rest of the School of Medicine team on this achievement!


Project Update: Mantle

March 17, 2016

Mantle Blog Header

As the workplace evolves and technology allows us to conduct business from beyond the confines of our cubicles, non-traditional office spaces have become a more viable option for small businesses and entrepreneurs alike. Less expensive than a permanent office location but more dynamic than your home office, co-working spaces are popping up across the country and CDFL is proud to be partnering with Mantle to bring Fondren its first office space of this kind. The new space is located right down the street from our own Fondren digs, above neighborhood favorite Babalu, and is currently under construction. At this time millwork is being installed, restrooms are being outfitted, painting prep is underway, electrical conduits are being installed, and the existing millwork is undergoing a refurbishing process. Much of the original millwork, cabinets, and lockers from the Duling School will be repurposed.

When complete, here are some of the amenities members will enjoy:

– One 1000 sqft lounge area complete with super-plush couches, free coffee, water & snacks; premium tea and a craft beer tap at cost.
– Two 1000 sqft sit, pop, and start, open-concept classrooms outfitted with large format sharable desks, and lightning fast internet connections.
– Eight full-privacy solo-preneur offices: lockable offices with filing cabinets and a blank space to make your own.
– Three team tables that dedicate an entire table to you and your team of up to three other team members.
– Two partial-private booths for having more intimate business conversations with your team are open to all members.
– Two high-tech small conference rooms equipped with wireless mirroring on a 65 inch flatscreen. One relaxed and one for really getting down to business.
– One high-tech large conference room equipped with wireless mirroring on two 65 inch flatscreen and video conferencing.
– Zero: the time you will wait for internet content to load with the fastest internet available with full firewall security both wired and wireless across the entire campus.
– Mail handling for having a real business address.
– Lockers for secure storage of laptops and other items while you leave Mantle for a few hours or overnight.
– File cabinets for keeping paperwork and office materials secure like a more traditional office.
– Keyless access to the Mantle campus available using the Mantle iPhone app (Android coming soon) or keypad access.
– Campus concierge and inApp chat allow Mantle members to share ideas and skills across the Mantle Community.
This list comes courtesy of the Mantle website.

Stay tuned for more updates, and welcome to the neighborhood, Mantle!


What We’re Reading on the Web

March 11, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Book report time! Architectural Digest checks out a new book exploring Japanese architecture’s move toward more eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious design.

Tech Insider has a very cool roundup of some very inventive subterranean architecture.

The standing desk trend seems here to stay, and while it’s a helpful way to keep one moving during the day, it can be an eyesore. Enter Ergotron’s Hub, a convertible desk that bolts to wall and disappears when not in use. Here’s more from FastCoExist.

Finally, an interesting take on the historically-inspired architecture of Washington DC and the future of its evolving cityscape.


Project Update: Affinity Health Group

March 3, 2016

Affinity Blog Update

This project update and accompanying photographs come courtesy of Project Architect Colby Dearman.

With construction completion slated for May, Affinity Health Group’s new Monroe home is a very busy place these days. We are a week away from having the building’s large window openings framed in, and that will follow some large equipment being delivered and hoisted inside. Inside the building crews are working to prepare the walls and ceilings to receive their final finishes. Meanwhile, outside, we have sidewalks, roadways, and raised planter beds being formed and poured.


What We’re Reading on the Web

February 25, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Described as “Instagram catnip,” the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub is finally, after more than a decade, ready for its debut. This stunning and somewhat controversial Santiago Calatrava-designed project will see over 100,000 commuters each day, which leaves this editor wondering about those pristine white finishes. More here.

Check out this really fun interview with the Oscars’ set designer!

From FastCoExist, a team of design students at the Royal College of Art in London has created an incredible jacket that can also transform into a tent for refugees.

Great read on the emerging significance of architecture in Ghana and the homegrown talent flourishing there.

Happy reading, y’all!


What We’re Reading on the Web

February 18, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

Spring Break is right around the corner and if you’re headed to Paris, be sure to check out Architectural Digest’s top 25 landmarks in the City of Light.

And, if you happen to be exploring the rest of France, don’t leave the village of Saint Cirq Lapopie off your list. Stunning doesn’t begin to cover it. [via]

If you’re still loving the cold and enjoying Jack Frost’s company but itching for some exploration, get yourself to Utah and these really cool (intended) ice castles.

This Los Angeles home, designed in 1961 by influential South California architect John Lautner, is such an architectural wonder that it’s being donated to a museum. More here.


CSpire Speedzone

February 11, 2016

CSpire Speedzone

With the opening of The Pavilion at Ole Miss comes the launch of the CSpire Speedzone, a mini-retail store, and exciting new fan space, within the arena.

Opened on January 7, 2016, The CSpire Speedzone made its debut during opening night at The Pavilion. The space is open 7 days a week, including during basketball games. The Speedzone provides an on-campus retail outlet for CSpire mobile service and their popular mobile devices and accessories. CSpire also provides a 1 gigabyte-per-second fiber optic enabled internet network and WiFi access to Speedzone occupants. In an effort to enhance the fan experience through the integration of technology, the team’s roster, stats, a live game feed, library of instant replay video, and social media connectivity will be provided by 24 iPads located within the store.

“Working together with CSpire to help them realize their vision of incorporating cutting edge technology into the fan experience was an incredibly exciting opportunity. We are proud to have helped bring their vision to fruition, and are proud to have been part of this forward thinking team,” said Speedzone project architect Matthew Buchanan.

CDFL is thrilled to have teamed with CSpire to bring The Pavilion, as well as the University of Mississippi and its fans, such a distinctive and dynamic fan experience.


What We’re Reading on the Web

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

This link about post offices with architecture worth traveling for is mostly being used for the endless wordplay opportunities. You’ll go postal giving these post offices a major stamp of approval! They really push the envelope! I’ll stop there, but you really should give these a look – this architecture really delivers! (I’m sorry)

From FastCoExist, a look at Paris’ future urban oasis. Described as “a floating village in the middle of a forest,” this tree-covered building in the middle of the city will double as a pedestrian bridge over a major highway.

23 Home Office Design Ideas That Will Inspire Productivity

And finally, it’s tool time. More specifically, time to talk about the Tools of an Architect. For a glimpse into the things our architects and other design professionals can’t live without, take a look at the CDFL Survival Kit.


What We’re Reading on the Web

February 4, 2016

What We're Reading

As usual, we’ve read the Internet cover-to-cover and rounded up some of the most interesting reads out there for your perusal. Enjoy!

General Electric is in the process of phasing out the once very popular CFL light bulb due to the improved light quality and price of LED bulbs. More from the New York Times here.

We’ve written about the incredible work that the Rural Studio has done in the past, and this project is just more evidence of the ways in which they’re using architecture to change the world for the better.

From Architectural Digest, here’s a wild look at the Tokyo of 2045.

If the future of Tokyo was too much for you to handle, take a step back in time and check out some very old views of America’s most familiar cities.