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Richard Monacchio
There are 18,000 vacant buildings in Chicago, making keeping them safe more challenging than ever, said Chicago Department of Buildings commissioner Richard Monocchio at yesterday's Buildex conference. Reducing its staff from 350 to 290 over the last two years, building inspectors are now eliminating some parts of the building code to save money while still keeping occupants safe. For example, the building department has cut in half the number of signs it inspects from 37,000 down to about 18,000. “With the new city budget $600M in the red, we need to rethink the role of government,” Richard says. “It needs to be protecting, but not overbearing.”
Bisnow Stooge JCHI
Michael Sullivan, Michael Fonda and Paul Heitman
Construction, brokerage, and architecture: their powers combined might not summon Captain Planet, but Peak Constuction's  Michael Sullivan, Avison Young's Michael Fonda, and Heitman Architects'Paul Heitman can put together a great industrial space. They're currently teaming up to broker, design, and build out a 150k SF industrial space for McCollisters Transportation Systems at 525 Shingle Oak Dr in  West Chicago. The building was built in 2007, but this is the first time it's been occupied.
imaging app
Paul also showed us a fun new  app  on his tablet. The augmented reality  application allows the architect to create a to-scale 3-D visual representation of a building stored in a "barcode" (see the black square on the table). The imaging helps clients  visualize their building and can also be used in conjunction with  mapping software to show how it fits and is oriented on a site.