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Sustainable and small: The tiny house movement

These two sheds showcase the outdoor beauty of ellensburg, washington. The shed on the left serves as a bedroom and the one on the right is a living room, both designed by modern shed.
These two sheds showcase the outdoor beauty of ellensburg, washington. The shed on the left serves as a bedroom and the one on the right is a living room, both designed by modern shed.

As the trend to downsize picks up speed, vertical and lap siding from AIA partner James Hardie has the look, efficiency, and durability to fit right into a tiny design

After years of buying bigger homes, the trend to downsize is picking up speed. You can see it in the tiny house communities across the United States, the slew of reality TV shows on the subject, and an increase in the number of architects specializing in tiny living spaces.

In 2013, the average new house size was 2,598 square feet, 41 percent larger than the average new house size in 1973—and those homes were filled with more family members. Just four years later, the zeitgeist steers toward scaling down on square footage, which includes benefits such as reduced cost and environmental impact. Tiny homes, which typically range from 100-400 square feet, produce about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year as compared to the 28,000 pounds produced by an average-sized home.  

Architects designing for small living spaces, including Ryan Smith of Modern Shed, focus on creating a mixed-use space with a stripped back aesthetic that relates to its surroundings in a big way.

“We design to solve needs for space,” Smith says. “Sometimes singular use, sometimes a full home.” Smith has designed hundreds of customizable sheds that have served as summer homes, winter cabins, offices, meditation rooms, a Seattle Seahawks-colored man-cave, even a sound-resistant recording studio and a sauna.

His structures are panelized and completely adaptable for the client’s needs. All components—the doors, windows and roofing—are all designed and made under one roof, as part of a streamlined and efficient system. Any leftover materials roll into the next shed, which means hardly any scraps, Smith says.  Everything else is used as firewood to heat the space.

“There’s a wonderful modularity and flexibility around the structure itself,” Smith says.

The panels can be carried into and around tight spaces, like between your house and your fence, for fast backyard assembly, or can be completely dismantled and reassembled in a new location.  

“You can literally take it apart. So if you wanted to make modifications to it, you can pull the puzzle pieces off,” Smith says.

Smith uses HardiePanel vertical siding and HardiePlank lap siding because they feels right for the design of the structure, and they’re durable and energy conscious, he says.

When it comes to designing sustainably, modular construction is an interesting way to save it and use it again, Smith says. Small structures like these can have a different lifespan than a larger home.

One project in Central Washington [pictured above] combined two Modern Sheds to create one summer compound for working farmers. The space on the left side—tucked into the hillside with a wall of windows—is the bedroom, and the structure on the right—with a standout water view—is a living space with an office and a living/dining room. The center of the home is the outdoor kitchen, connected and covered by a pergola with a sky-view polycarbonate protection but wall-less and open to interact with the outdoors. Because the spaces are so small, the windows help to heat and light the indoor rooms, which makes having a tiny footprint simple.

“Living small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice,” Smith adds. “Quite the opposite, if you do it right. Living small could mean what’s left is the most important part of the experience.”  

The AIA does not sponsor or endorse any enterprise, whether public or private, operated for profit. Further, no AIA officer, director, committee member, or employee, or any of its component organizations in his or her official capacity, is permitted to approve, sponsor, endorse, or do anything that may be deemed or construed to be an approval, sponsorship, or endorsement of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.

Company: AIA (American Institute of Architects)

Of: James Hardie Building Products

Source: https://www.aia.org/articles/141631-sustainable-and-small-the-tiny-house-moveme

Tags: Architecture | Building | Design

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An Award-Winning Project that Includes StoGuard®

Disney Springs won an award for its contractor and kudos for a key vendor on the project: Sto. Photo: Chad Baumer
Disney Springs won an award for its contractor and kudos for a key vendor on the project: Sto. Photo: Chad Baumer

KHS&S is an international design-assist specialty contractor with a portfolio that includes more than 5,000 casino resorts, hospitals, hotels, entertainment venues, retail facilities, theme parks, attractions and public works projects around the country and overseas. Founded in 1984, the firm is now the second largest specialty wall and ceiling contractor in the USA.

At the recent Florida Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association (FWCCA) convention and trade show in Orlando, the company picked up the award for Project of the Year for the work they did on Disney Springs, an elegant shopping, dining and entertainment complex at Florida’s Walt Disney World. A key partner in the KHS&S supply chain? Sto Corp, who provided wall components for two stucco buildings, that included products from its leading air and moisture barrier system:Sto Gold Fill® and StoGuard Mesh, Sto VaporSeal®, Sto TurboStick™ and Sto DrainScreen.

Sto worked with Disney’s architects on the specification details. Now that the work is done, the results speak for themselves.

The Disney Springs design team specified StoGuard for the KHS&S project. Photo: Chad Baumer

The Disney Springs design team specified StoGuard for the KHS&S project. Photo: Chad Baumer

StoGuard

The handsome brick facing was constructed using StoGuard Vaporseal for protection. Photo: Chad Baumer

Company: Sto Corp.

Product: Air and Moisture Barriers

Of: Tony Cook

Source: http://blog.stocorp.com/2017/07/award-winning-project-includes-stoguard/

Tags: Architecture | Building | Coating | Waterproofing

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Swedish hospital 'takes a chance' on Howe Green

Swedish hospital 'takes a chance' on Howe Green

The New Karolinska Solna University Hospital (NKS) in Stockholm has been hitting the headlines for over a decade. The original Karolinska University Hospital was founded in 1930. Since the 1930's the hospital campus has expanded to cover a vast area with an estate of over 40 separate buildings.

In 2005 Stockholm County Council, who are responsible for delivering healthcare in the city, ran a design competition inviting “visionary thinking, modern design and unconventional ideas to form the basis of the creation of the new hospital”. The competition was won by White Architects from Sweden with their 'Forum Karolinska'.

In 2008 Stockholm County Council took the decision to go ahead with the new hospital. They were the first Swedish healthcare project to adopt the Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework to finance, build and manage a hospital. In 2010 the PPP agreement was made between the County Council and the project company - Swedish Hospital Partner AB, a consortium of Skanska and their investment partner UK based Innisfree.

Skanska employed White Architects and Tengbom Architects to execute the design and coordinate the construction of the £1.5 billion facility.

A significant aim of the project was to create a purpose built environment with a strong focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. Phase One of the building has attained LEED Gold and the Swedish system "Miljöbyggnad" Gold certification

The ethos is to put the patient first and the list of facilities is impressive. It has 730 in-patient beds, 100 rooms for day care, 36 operating theatres, 168 out-patient clinic rooms and 8 radiation treatment rooms.

Howe Green Ltd supplied a number of HSE75 Hinged Aluminium Floor Access Covers for the hospital through their Swedish distributor, Elkington AB.  From their base in Stockholm, Elkington have been distributing Howe Green access covers for projects across Sweden since 1999.

The gas assisted hinged HSE75 hatches provide easy and safe access to the underground power stations and escape routes located underneath the hospital. They have been installed in the various areas of the hospital and infilled with both concrete and tiled flooring to provide a seamless, flush floor finish.

The hinged access hatches are ideal for environments where regular access to concealed services is required for maintenance purposes and in public places where health and safety is crucial.

The HSE75 can be infilled with ceramic tiles, marble, terrazzo, concrete, resin, wood or parquet floors and is suitable for pedestrian and vehicle traffic up to a 5 tonne pneumatic tyre wheel load. Supplied as a single cover or a configuration of duct covers in standard sizes from stock or precision made to order.

Options include a top and underside release latch, for added security and safety, a double seal and fire rating up to 3 hours BS 476: Part 20: 1987.

The Howe Green range of access covers are tried and tested in a healthcare setting. They have been specified in hospitals around the world including Southmead Hospital in BristolQueen’s Hospital in Romford, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Lennox Addington Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

Company: Howe Green US

Product: Hinged Access Cover

Source: https://www.howegreen.com/access-covers/projects/nks-hospital-stockholm.php

Tags: Access Covers | Building | Design | Floor

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Summer Birds Nesting on Your Property?

Summer Birds Nesting on Your Property?

Pest birds are always looking for a place to roost and nest on buildings and commercial property. They need a place that’s high enough from ground predators and close enough to food and water sources. Most buildings provide these things. Signage offers warmth, security and shelter for nests. Rooftop AC units do the same, offering the warmth of electrical motors/compressors and shelter from the elements. Rooftop water towers provide all sorts of nooks and crannies for birds to build nests. Many buildings essentially invite pest birds through their open attics.

The most effective way to prevent birds from nesting around your property is to be proactive. And that means making your property less of a bird magnet. Remove any standing water or food scraps, and close all trash containers. Seal up any attics and other lofty holes and cracks where birds can enter. Once you’ve done that, it’s best to install some effective and humane bird deterrents to keep birds away.

Need help choosing the right product for your bird control problems? Contact the experts in bird control.

Company: Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

Source: https://www.birdbgone.com/

Tags: Building | Design | Safety

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Glazing Over Global Trends: Larger Formats and Smaller Sight Lines

Glazing Over Global Trends: Larger Formats and Smaller Sight Lines

Big and bold. Curvaceous and intelligent.

If you are looking for the latest industry insights and trends in building design for 2017, getting together with architects and builders throughout the world is a sure way to fill up your notebook and keep you current.

During the conferences we have recently attended – BAU, the world’s leading trade fair for architectural materials and systems in Munich, Germany; Facades+ in New York City and the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Fla. – common themes have emerged.

For instance, there are new trends in glazing technologies, including larger formats and smaller sight lines. Elegance will always be in, but people really want big units for aesthetics and performance.

Here are four takeaways from the 2017 conference circuit:

  1. Architects are looking for a more monolithic feel and they are finding it by incorporating glazing and products such as Kalwall® that can push the envelope by delivering large panel formats (up to 5’ x 20’ | 1.5m x 6m) set within more attenuated framing.
  2. It used to be about curb appeal. Now it’s about curve appeal. We found significant interest in our Kalcurve® System as curved glazing, even double curve glazing, is becoming more and more popular.
  3. Smart technology continues to be in demand, but the ways technologies are making buildings more intelligent is expanding. We can imagine sensors someday being incorporated into our panels to help regulate light levels and communicate information to the HVAC systems to regulate heating and cooling.
  4. Energy efficiency is still a first order priority for architects, contractors and owners alike. Exhibiting at BAU for the first time was a great way to see how Kalwall’s superior thermal properties drew global interest and admiration.

Getting the opportunity to attend multiple conferences, listening to the different points of view on how to make buildings more beautiful, safer and efficient, helps bring a truly global perspective to what we do.

Sam Keller is the Creative Director for Kalwall. You can reach him at skeller@kalwall.com.

Company: Kalwall Corporation

Of: Sam Keller

Source: https://www.kalwall.com/2017/05/09/glazing-over-global-trends-larger-formats-and-smaller-sight-lines/

Tags: Building | Design

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EXTECH offers LIGHTWALL 3440 translucent wall system with three new glazing options

EXTECH provided anti-reflective (AR) polycarbonate glazing and its LIGHTWALL 3440 system for this entertainment venue. AR polycarbonate enabled lighting effects to be projected onto the translucent facade
EXTECH provided anti-reflective (AR) polycarbonate glazing and its LIGHTWALL 3440 system for this entertainment venue. AR polycarbonate enabled lighting effects to be projected onto the translucent facade

Three new polycarbonate glazing options are available for the LIGHTWALL 3440® interlocking translucent wall panel system from Exterior Technologies, Inc. (EXTECH): Anti-Reflective, Infrared-Blocking and Anti-Graffiti.

  • Anti-Reflective – When high-efficient light transmission is paramount for a building’s design, EXTECH offers anti-reflective polycarbonate glazing. Systems using this UV matte option facilitate a better distribution of light throughout a building’s interior, while reducing reflections and glare. This option is also ideal for entertainment venues that want to project high-resolution images and lighting effects onto a translucent backdrop.
  • Infrared (IR) blocking – When high light levels and solar control are equally important, EXTECH provides polycarbonate glazing with an external surface that filters out unwanted IR and UV waves. EXTECH systems use this material to reduce solar heat gain, ensure comfortable interior temperatures, protect interior finishes from accelerated fading, reduce demand on the HVAC system and save on electric lighting costs.
  • Anti-Graffiti – When a project is in a high-traffic area and is at risk of damage or vandalism, EXTECH can enhance daylighting systems with anti-graffiti glazing that resists vandalism and scratching. Anti-graffiti glazing is also more resistant to natural weathering and typical chemicals, and is easier to clean.

In addition to these functional glazing choices, EXTECH’s LIGHTWALL systems contribute to commercial buildings’ aesthetic, performance, and sustainability goals. Lightweight and easy to install, the LIGHTWALL system helps construction teams facing condensed schedules, and facility managers seeking low-maintenance longevity.

“As our most popular product, the LIGHTWALL 3440 offers beauty, durability and economy with vertical panels that can extend up to 54 feet long and eliminate leak-prone horizontal joints,” says EXTECH Director of Product Application and Development Kevin Smith, R.A. “Our LIGHTWALL system does not require framing members within the field of the glazing, which allows for a clean, modern architectural aesthetic.”

In addition to enhancing a building’s appearance, the LIGHTWALL 3440 meets demanding performance specifications, including high wind loads, impact resistance, fire rating, air infiltration, water penetration, thermal (0.25 U-Factor) and structural performance – the LIGHTWALL 3440 possesses some of the highest performance numbers in the industry due to its advanced framing. These attributes support energy efficiency and sustainability goals, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® rating systems.

Smith adds, “The diffusing characteristics of the cellular polycarbonate reduces dependence on electric lighting and reduces solar heat gain into the building envelope, as well as reduces light pollution emanating from the building. Because it is a dry-glazed system, VOC emissions also are reduced.”

LIGHTWALL 3440 also uses highly insulating, 100 percent recyclable, 40 mm structural cellular polycarbonate and 38.95 percent recycled aluminum framing manufactured in Pittsburgh.

To order a sample and learn about EXTECH’s LIGHTWALL 3440, please visit the product web page. For more information on EXTECH’s products and services, please call 800-500-8012 or email info@extechinc.com.

Exterior Technologies, Inc. (EXTECH) is an award-winning manufacturer and designer of wall, window, skylight, canopy and custom façade systems. The company delivers solutions for a variety of industries and applications, and is committed to collaboration, innovation, and exceptional engineering.

Company: EXTECH/Exterior Technologies, Inc.

Product: Translucent Walls

Source: https://extechinc.com/lightwall-3440-polycarbonate-wall-panels/

Tags: Building | Design | Lighting | Wall Panels

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Springtime Means Nesting Birds

Springtime Means Nesting Birds

Pest birds are always looking for a place to roost and nest on buildings and commercial property. They need a place that’s high enough from ground predators and close enough to food and water sources. Most buildings provide these things. Signage offers warmth, security and shelter for nests. Rooftop AC units do the same, offering the warmth of electrical motors/compressors and shelter from the elements. Rooftop water towers provide all sorts of nooks and crannies for birds to build nests. Many buildings essentially invite pest birds through their open attics.

The most effective way to prevent birds from nesting around your property is to be proactive. And that means making your property less of a bird magnet. Remove any standing water or food scraps, and close all trash containers. Seal up any attics and other lofty holes and cracks where birds can enter. Once you’ve done that, it’s best to install some effective and humane bird deterrents to keep birds away.

Need help choosing the right product for your bird control problems? Contact the experts in bird control.

Company: Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

Product: Bird Spikes

Source: https://www.birdbgone.com

Tags: Building | Safety

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10 Must-Have Safety Signs for OSHA Compliance

According to the Hazard Communication Standard from OSHA, organizations must post safety signs that comply with standards from the American National Standard Institute from either 1967-1968 (ANSI Z53.1, Z35.1 and Z35.2) or 2011 (ANSI Z535.1, Z535.2 and Z535.5). The most effective way to communicate warnings and other important safety messages to employees and visitors alike is through the use of safety signs.

For details regarding the specific signs you should hang at your facilities, visit OSHA.com. In the meantime, hang these 10 types of signs throughout your facilities to remain compliant:

10 Must-Have Safety Signs for OSHA Compliance

1. EXIT and Evacuation

According to OSHA, emergency exits and evacuation pathways must be clearly marked at all times. If you have doorways or other passages that could be mistaken for exits, make sure they’re identified as well. All authorized EXIT signs must be visible and illuminated (by a light source or self-illuminating feature), and use distinct colors. Signs must clearly read “EXIT” in letters no less than 6”(H) x ¾” (W).

2. Fire

Identify areas that house fire extinguishers and fire hose cabinets. Doing so will ensure fast action by emergency personnel and properly trained employees during an emergency scenario. Plus, hanging the right signs is essential for compliance with OSHA.

3. Electrical Arc Flash Hazard

Arc flash accidents can be extremely hazardous or deadly in some cases. Because of that, OSHA requires organizations to designate high-voltage areas in their facilities and mark them accordingly using proper signage. According to NFPA 70E-2012, switchboards, meter socket enclosures, panelboards and motor control centers need to be marked with arc flash labels during maintenance.

4. First Aid

Make sure First Aid supplies are easy to locate and available to workers at all times in case of an emergency.

5. Flammable / Combustible

All the areas – and containers – around your workplace that hold combustible or flammable liquids, vapors and other materials, should be properly labeled with visible warnings.

6. Personal Protection

Remind employees and visitors to wear required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when they’re around hazards that can cause physical injury or impairment.

7. Hazardous Area

Keep your employees informed about potential hazards, unsafe practices and area protocol instructions

8. Confined Space

Warn employees about areas that require authorized permits or specific instructions to enter safely.

9. Machine and Equipment

Help employees stay alert when working around heavy machinery or other equipment that could result in personal injury.

10. Slips, Trips and Falls

Are there areas around your facilities that are more dangerous than others? Put up signs in places like staircases, balconies, aisles and narrow passageways to remind workers to be careful.

In addition to our high-quality, OSHA-compliant safety signs, Seton is proud to offer businesses Workplace Sign Reviews to help ensure they have the signs they need to safe and in compliance. With this on-site service, organizations receive:

  • A facility inspection based on your safety concerns
  • A customized report on improvements needed
  • Assurance that you’re keeping workers safe

For only $1,500, you can check to make sure you have all the signs you need to stay in compliance with OSHA. Keeping in mind the minimum fine from OSHA is currently $12,675 (as of Jan. 13, 2017) per violation, Seton’s Workplace Sign Review should be a no-brainer!

Company: Seton

Product: Signs

Source: http://www.seton.com/blog/2017/02/10-must-safety-signs-osha-compliance

Tags: Building | Safety

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Waterproofing One of London’s New iconic Buildings

Moorgate Exchange is one of the first buildings in the UK to achieve both BREEAM Excellent and LEED Platinum ratings, and is an excellent example of how Xypex Admix can be used to simplify the production process of waterproofing and concreting.

Waterproofing One of London’s New iconic Buildings

Moorgate Exchange is a striking 344,000 sq ft building in the City of London. This commercial development has a green roof, strategic views of St. Paul’s and a two-story basement. Designed for large City occupiers, the building creates open plan floor plates and six green-terraced stepped back roof garden tiers. Floating on V columns, it is designed to cantilever the floors over the Crossrail tunnel beneath. Materials with sustainable properties, such as recycled aggregates in the concrete, were used in the construction process. Recycled rainwater and grey water storage systems have been installed to reduce the amount of potable water used in the toilets and the irrigation system for the ‘living’ walls on the terraces. The building is one of the first in the UK to achieve both BREEAM Excellent and LEED Platinum ratings.

This Skanska project is an excellent example of how Xypex Admix can be used to simplify the production process of waterproofing and concreting—both to be achieved simultaneously. One of the key influences for the decision making process of adopting the Xypex system as the waterproofing strategy was the total cost saving that was achieved through the whole package. Site attendance and quality assurance procedures were implemented to ensure a trouble-free installation of the waterproofing. The entire basement is cast utilising Xypex Admix and Xypex Concentrate for sealing the joints.

Company: Xypex Chemical Corporation

Source: http://xypex.com/projects/project-search/Detail?projectid=6303

Tags: Building | Concrete | Waterproofing

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Global changes in construction: Kalwall's insights from BAU

Global changes in construction: Kalwall's insights from BAU

What happens when you bring together 250,000 people from around the world for six days in Munich, Germany?

  • Ideas are exchanged.
  • Best practices are shared.
  • Deeper levels of understanding are reached.

That was, in a nutshell, BAU 2017, the world’s leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems with the 2,210 exhibitors from 45 countries. More than 80,000 people had, like us, travelled overseas.

From our vantage point at the Kalwall® exhibit – our first time exhibiting at BAU (German for `construction’) – we could see how much the world beyond the borders of the United States is changing and this was a chance to see how architects, owners, contractors and other business people are responding to those changes.

Here are three key takeaways from BAU 2017 affecting daylighting and fenestration globally.

1. Safety and security is no longer just about airports and government buildings

The safety, security and privacy of guests at hotels, students at schools and employees at banks and high finance institutions are becoming harder to ensure. While airport administrators and government facilities have been working with Kalwall for years to find solutions to similar problems, it was interesting to see the volume of private business owners looking for similar answers.Kalwall’s specialty systems meet UFC 4-010-01 blast requirements and can, for example, provide an extra level of safety for guests in a hotel lobby from a car bombing in the street outside. The translucent panels also afford more privacy while providing museum-quality daylighting™ for interior spaces.

2. Canopies need to be rugged and resistant to pollution

Pollution and heat in certain regions of the world take their toll on canopies meant to provide shelter and shade, leaving architects and construction managers searching for alternatives to less durable polycarbonates.The ruggedness and capacity to resist fading in intense heat, along with its ability keep clean where pollution is a concern made Kalwall canopies an appealing option to business people in desert climates as well as industrial cities.

3. Energy is expensive and daylighting solutions are more important than ever

Technology was a dominant part of the conversation at BAU and a major reason why the world is seeking better ways to produce and store energy. I think my grandfather, Kalwall founder Robert R. Keller, would have been smiling. After all, energy efficiency was one of the reasons he developed his translucent sandwich panel in 1955.

Our technology, with its best in industry thermal and solar heat gain performance, was a conversation starter for business people concerned with the high cost of energy and the ways to be efficient. Renovations, in particular, present cladders the challenge of finding energy efficient solutions.

BAU 2017 was an opportunity to expose more people globally to the benefits of Kalwall. They came looking for the latest advancements, but some technology stands the test of time. This was re-affirmation of a technology we developed 62 years ago.

Company: Kalwall Corporation

Of: Amelia Keller

Source: https://www.kalwall.com/2017/02/13/a-kellers-bau-insights/

Tags: Building | Construction | Design | Energy | Lighting | Safety | Security

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Choosing the right finish for coastal projects

Seaside and coastal areas are beautiful locations for commercial and residential buildings, but also pose the greatest challenges in protecting exterior-facing architectural aluminum products from corrosion. Without proper precautions and finishes, corrosion to these aluminum components can damage the building envelope's structural integrity, leading to systemic failure.

One of the most aggressive outdoor environments for aluminum is the seacoast. Of the seacoasts, Florida's coastal regions represent the most corrosive in the continental United States, with Cape Canaveral cited as the most corrosive atmospheric environment.

Corrosion rates vary from place to place and during different times at the same location. Such wide variability makes definitive conclusions difficult.

The primary variables affecting corrosion rates near the coast are the salt content in the air, the time of wetness of the metal surface, the temperature and the level of other atmospheric pollutants. Several environmental factors control these variables, including distance to the ocean, elevation, wind direction, wave action, rainfall, humidity, the degree of shelter and the level of industrial air pollution.

Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral (courtesy of Valspar. Photo by Rip Noel, Noel Studios Inc.)
Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral (courtesy of Valspar. Photo by Rip Noel, Noel Studios Inc.)

Durable Finishes

Painted coatings and anodized finishes are among the most durable finishes for exterior-facing architectural aluminum products.

As a prominent part of the building's exterior, the coated aluminum adds color and design to the project. This coating also protects the building from unsympathetic surroundings. When selecting a coating to withstand harsh corrosive environments, one should specify either:

  • the highest-performing organic paint coating that meets AAMA 2605-13, Voluntary Specification, Performance Requirements and Test Procedures for Superior Performing Organic Coatings on Aluminum Extrusions and Panels; or
  • a Class I anodize coating that meets AAMA 611-14, Voluntary Specification for Anodized Architectural Aluminum.

These two options continue to set the highest standard for architectural coatings, especially in a coastal or highly corrosive environment.

Paint

High-performance 70 percent PVDF coatings offer the capability to select nearly any conceivable color or combination of colors, while shielding the building against weathering, pollution and aging.

The carbon-fluorine bond used in 70 percent PVDF coating is one of the strongest kn own. These paint coatings can withstand enduring and intense UV radiation, which supports their long-term color- and gloss-retention, and chalk-resistance.

The first, and one of the most important, defenses against a paint failure is proper pretreatment of the aluminum. Without proper pretreatment, premature failure of the finish is almost guaranteed. Paint systems are designed to be applied over clean metal that has been properly pretreated.

Pretreatment of the aluminum building components to be used in severely corrosive or coastal environments is crucial.

The most time-tested, proven pretreatment system for architectural aluminum products is a chrome phosphate conversion coating. This process conforms to Type B, Method 5 of ASTM D1730-09 (Reapproved 2014), Standard Practices for Preparation of Aluminum and Aluminum-Alloy Surfaces for Painting, as required by AAMA 2605-13.

Offering the longest lifecycle and true sustainability, chrome phosphate conversion coatings continue to be recognized by the world-class coating manufacturers, Akzo-Nobel, PPG, and Valspar, as the most effective, robust pretreatments for aluminum. As a result, products installed along the seacoast and in other harsh industrial environments may not be warranted-or the warranty length and coverage could be compromised-when a chrome pretreatment system is not employed.

These highest-performing 70 percent PVDF are required to perform to rigorous testing performance standards, including more than 4,000 hours of salt spray, and heat- and humidity-resistance to meet the AAMA 2605-13 specification.

Special Considerations

The shape and machining of the architectural aluminum products also may facilitate or deter corrosion. As examples:

  • Machined holes and cut ends of factory-finished aluminum components are protected by thin, naturally forming aluminum oxide. This oxide, while tenacious in its bond to the underlying aluminum substrate, may be susceptible to attack from strong cleaners or heavy salt deposits.
  • Hems and seams on aluminum components may be formed in a way that will collect sand. With movement, over time, this sand can erode away the painted coating or anodized finish.
  • Components may be shaped with areas that are left holding pooling or ponding water. This often can become a major issue for corrosion.
  • Specific to curtainwall and window systems' aluminum framing, ensure the weeps are large enough to avoid becoming plugged by salt deposits.

Anodize

When extreme hardness is required for the aluminum building components, such as in high-traffic areas like entranceways and railings, an anodized aluminum finish should be specified to meet AAMA 611-14. The hardness of anodized aluminum rivals that of the diamond. (On the Moh scale of hardness, a diamond is 10 and anodized aluminum is 9.)

Architectural anodize is specified for its natural beauty, but also for its long life and low maintenance. It provides excellent wear and abrasion resistance with minimal maintenance in most environments. It resists the ravages of time, temperature, corrosion, humidity and warping.

Anodized aluminum should meet the strict guidelines of Class I specifications of AAMA 611-14, including a minimum oxide coating thickness of 0.018 mm (0.7 mil); minimum of 10 years color retention on the South Florida on-fence testing site; and 3,000 hours corrosion resistance.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Studies have shown increasing levels of atmospheric pollution can have a negative effect on finish longevity in the absence of periodic maintenance. Runoff from adjacent site materials must be considered in a corrosion prevention plan. For example, mortar, cement and even gypsum dust can accumulate as alkaline deposits on aluminum surfaces and must be promptly rinsed. This is especially true of mill finish or anodized surfaces. While somewhat more resistant to alkaline attack than anodized surfaces, high-performance paint finishes can be managed by rough attempts to remove such buildup.

AAMA 609 and 610-15, Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Architecturally Finished Aluminum, and AAMA CW 10-15, Care and Handling of Architectural Aluminum from Shop to Site, are general guides for these precautions and cleaning activities.

Corrosion of architectural aluminum materials is a fact that must be recognized; proper steps must be taken to minimize the potential for its occurrence. With these building considerations and preventive measures in place, finished architectural aluminum retains its intended look and long life, while providing the desired performance in the harshest environments, including the highly-corrosive seacoast. These qualities reduce the need to replace materials and components, conserve resources, optimize labor and save money.

Company: Linetec

Product: Anodizing

Source: http://www.linetec.com/Finishing_Facts/The-right-finish-for-coastal-projects.pdf

Tags: Aluminum | Building | Coating | Color | Design

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Three New Waterstop Profiles for Environmental Engineered Concrete Structures

Three New Waterstop Profiles for Environmental Engineered Concrete Structures

Earth Shield Waterstop is proud to announce three new waterstop profiles designed especially for environmental engineered concrete structures, such as waste and water treatment plants. All three profiles are ⅜" thick and have many interlocking ribs to grab into freshly poured concrete. Highlights of the new profiles include:

  • NSF 61 Certified for drinking water
  • Chemical resistant TPV polymer construction
  • Ozone resistant to 600 PPHM
  • UV resistant
  • Heat weldable thermoplastic

The new profiles can be downloaded in our CAD Library located here.

Company: JP Specialties, Inc.

Product: TPV waterstop

Source: http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d5aa96521259bc7506dadcfb4&id=0274b47a69

Tags: Building | Concrete

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Bird decoys: the hawk vs. the owl

Bird decoys: the hawk vs. the owl

Birds cause millions of dollars in damage to homes across the U.S. each year. Because of the acidity levels in bird droppings, large accumulations of them can actually eat through roofing materials, which could cause leaks if bird populations are not deterred from the property. Bird nests can ruin gutters, cause electrical fires, and block ventilation systems. Gardens aren’t safe either. Birds can destroy young seedlings and fresh fruit, and contaminate food plants with their droppings.

There are a variety of effective ways to control the bird populations around a home and garden. At Bird B Gone, we’ve developed a variety of environmentally friendly bird deterrents that will not harm birds or other wildlife, yet will effectively deter them in most cases.

One of the most popular methods of bird deterrents are decoys such as the Bird-B-Gone Hawk Decoy, designed to scare off birds without the use of loud noises, lights, or other such equipment. Decoys such as the Hawk are low-maintenance options for bird control and usually made of a durable plastic that holds up to a variety of environmental factors. Decoys are commonly created in the shape of a hawk or an owl, predators that hunt the birds visiting a property.

By strategically placing these decoys on a roof, over the patio, on a boat, or in a garden, birds are unable to tell that the decoy is not a live bird—at least for a while. In sunlight, the decoy produces a silhouette or shadow that is equally menacing, but the success of decoy birds relies on human interaction. Moving the decoy to different places on the property is suggested to create a more realistic visual deterrent.

Which Decoy is Most Effective, The Hawk or The Owl?

Owls: The Night Hunters

Birds know that owls are night hunters, so seeing an owl while the sun is shining may not be an effective way to discourage birds from visiting your property. An owl guarding a garden or perched on a wall day by day will eventually lose its effectiveness, and, while birds may have been deterred in the beginning, they will soon learn this owl is not a real threat.  With that being said the Red Tailed Hawk may be the more effective visual deterrent.

The Red Tailed Hawk: The Day Predators

The Bird B Gone Red Tailed Hawk decoy is chosen by consumers as the more realistic option for a decoy to use as a visual bird deterrent. Not only do the red-tailed hawks hunt in the daylight hours in a natural habitat, they are readily identified by birds as a predator. The mock predator eye and shiny reflective surface work together appealing to birds’ visual sense. The red-tailed hawk decoy presents a visual warning to the birds, day or night, that danger is near.

While decoys can be effective for small areas or minimal bird concentrations, they are not recommended for larger infestations. The type of bird population, the amount of space affected, and the location of the infestation should also be considered. A combination of bird control methods may be required, including bird netting, repellents, electric tracks or laser deterrents.

For additional information, contact the professionals at Bird B Gone, who can recommend the right type of product to address your bird control problem.

Company: Bird-B-Gone, Inc.

Source: https://www.birdbgone.com/blog/bird-decoys-hawk-vs-owl/

Tags: Building | Safety

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Healthcare Center Gets the PENETRON Treatment

Staying healthy in Minas Gerais: UniMed expanded its Belo Horizonte operations with a new hospital and research facility; the below-ground structures were secured with PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete.
Staying healthy in Minas Gerais: UniMed expanded its Belo Horizonte operations with a new hospital and research facility; the below-ground structures were secured with PENETRON ADMIX-treated concrete.

Confronted with the relatively high water table of the UniMed construction site and the humid climate of Belo Horizonte, the project engineers quickly realized that the PENETRON crystalline products were the perfect solution. Construction of the three new buildings was done by Racional Engenharia (Rational Engineering), an engineering and construction services company.

During the first phase, the concrete for all three foundation slabs was poured. Next, the concrete retaining walls of the below-ground structures went up; all concrete was treated with PENETRON ADMIX during the batching phase. PENECRETE MORTAR, a topical repair compound, was also applied to fill and seal any cracks in the concrete that occurred in the final phase.

In total, about 10,000 m3 of concrete were treated with PENETRON ADMIX to ensure resistance to the hydrostatic pressure of the groundwater present at the construction site. The resulting construction joints were sealed with about 300 meters of PENEBAR SW-55 swellable-type waterstop.

For the above-ground concrete structures exposed to the elements, such as the parking garage ramps, PENESEAL PRO was sprayed directly on the surfaces to protect the concrete against any environmental effects.

PENESEAL PRO is a spray-on liquid sealer that is ideal for waterproofing and protecting exposed concrete surfaces, forming a gel that compensates for the movement of cracks due to thermal expansion and contraction. PENESEAL PRO reacts with the concrete to form a sub-surface barrier that protects against water penetration and seal hairline cracks, pores and capillaries. It remains active inside the concrete and continues to seal any new cracks due to settlement, thermal stress or external action.

UniMed, a Brazilian medical service cooperative and health insurance operator is the largest of its kind in the world, with 367 local member cooperatives. To expand its Belo Horizonte operations, UniMed invested R$250 million/US$125 million in the construction of three new large outpatient units, including a hospital to accommodate 300 doctors and a medical research facility.

Company: Penetron International

Product: Penetron Admix

Source: http://www.penetron.com/news-media/media-releases/view/Healthcare-Center-Gets-the-PENETRON-Treatment

Tags: Building | Concrete

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Iconic TWA Terminal Receives New Life

The TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Photo: Acroterion
The TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Photo: Acroterion

After sitting vacant for 15 years, the Trans World Airlines (TWA) Terminal, located at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, will receive new life as a 505-room hotel. It will be the first on-site hotel for the JFK Airport and is set to open in 2018.

The TWA terminal originally opened its doors in 1962 and was designed by architect Eero Saarinen to resemble a bird in flight. Its layout, featuring a central main terminal with clusters of gates that branch out, was one of the first of its kind. The TWA terminal also featured enclosed passenger jetways, baggage carousels and electronic flight schedule boards. The main terminal is constructed of four curved steel-reinforced concrete shells that radiate out from a central point. Two of the curved concrete shells, the “wings of the bird,” feature purple-tinted glass windows that angle out as they extend upward toward the roof line and offer views of planes landing and departing. The interior spaces maintain the same fluidity as the curved exterior with floors that swoop into stairwells and walls that curve seamlessly into the floors.

Despite its architectural beauty, the functionality of the TWA Terminal was hindered by its ability to accommodate the development of larger airplanes and an increase in passenger traffic. In 1994, the building was voted as an official landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, but after continued financial trouble, TWA filed bankruptcy and the original terminal was shut down in 2001. While ideas were proposed to repurpose the building, most were rejected or failed and the building was left dormant. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and efforts later began to restore the building to its original beauty.

The iconic main TWA terminal will remain intact and become a showcase element in the development of the new TWA Hotel. It will be flanked by two crescent-shaped buildings, which will be home to guest rooms, eight restaurants, and conference rooms. A new cocktail bar and nightclub will also be incorporated into the original building. The ambitious project plans to incorporate technology which will enable the building to generate its own power and is expected to be LEED-certified.

Company: Total Security Solutions Inc

Source: http://www.tssbulletproof.com/iconic-twa-terminal-receives-life/

Tags: Building | Design | Security

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From Art Deco to Modernist with PENETRON

Miami Beach is back: Built on the site of the famed postwar Saxony Hotel, the foundation of the new Faena Hotel Miami Beach is treated with PENETRON technology.
Miami Beach is back: Built on the site of the famed postwar Saxony Hotel, the foundation of the new Faena Hotel Miami Beach is treated with PENETRON technology.

Faena Hotel Miami Beach, which opened in August of 2016, is built on a concrete foundation treated with PENETRON ADMIX SB, a crystalline admixture in soluble bags. This project is the starting shot for a remarkable new Miami neighborhood: the Faena Arts District.

The new Faena Hotel Miami Beach is built on the shell of the 1950s Saxony Hotel, a well-known postwar Miami Beach hotel. The revamped oceanfront hotel has been reinvented in a glamourous Hollywood style and architecture, including an ocean view restaurant under an arching dome that was formed by layering concrete on a balloon. There are 169 guestrooms, which include 111 suites, two haute-cuisine restaurants, a 150-seat cabaret theater, and a spa.

“The restoration and transformation of the art deco Saxony Hotel into the modernist Faena Hotel Miami Beach has become a focal point for the whole district of Mid-Beach Miami,” says Christopher Chen, Director of The PENETRON Group.

The new hotel is a central part of the massive $1 billon Faena Arts District development (and renewal of Miami’s Mid-Beach district) that features not only the new Faena Hotel but also luxury condo towers, one of which is home to a record-setting $60 million residence, as well as an expansive shopping area and an arts/performance center – all yet to open. Alan Faena, the Argentinian real estate developer, enlisted world famous architects Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster to create a stylish city-within-a-city.

The beachfront project benefits from PENETRON’s waterproofing and corrosion-mitigating properties needed for a location adjacent to the ocean and the area’s high water table. PENETRON ADMIX SB – in soluble bags – was used throughout the foundation to treat all the concrete in the expanded footprint of the hotel.

PENETRON technology ensures an absolutely waterproof and durable structure in one of the most desirable locations in the Miami Beach district,” adds Mr. Chen. “It’s a showcase project for the city.”

Company: Penetron International

Source: http://www.penetron.com/news-media/media-releases/view/From-Art-Deco-to-Modernist-with-PENETRON

Tags: Building | Concrete

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Waterstop for concrete joints

From Design to Construction... Federally Mandated Guidelines clearly state that concrete vault systems must be “constructed with chemical-resistant water stops in place at all joints (if any)” (Quote is directly from  EPA Title 40 CFR 265.193 [new construction] and Title 40 CFR 264.193 [retrofit]). Earth Shield® products have been helping industry comply with these regulations in the most efficient and cost effective manner. We can assist in all three key phases of major industrial projects.

Waterstop for concrete joints

  • DESIGN — Seminars for Engineers and Owners
  • PRODUCT AVAILABILITY AND COMPETITIVE PRICING — Most orders shipped 1 to 3 days ARO
  • TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR CONTRACTORS — On-site tech service and plastic welding schools

JP Specialties, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of chemical resistant waterstop and related concrete accessories. Our NSF 61 certified Earth Shield® line of chemical resistant waterstop is used throughout the world by major engineering firms and project owners for primary and secondary containment applications, as well as industrial wastewater treatment and ozone contactor structures. We invented and hold the patent on the technology used to mechanically weld thermoplastic waterstops. Services offered include free blueprint take-off and shop drawings, on-site welding certification, and individual corrosion resistance certification for the project owner.

  • We assist the Design Engineer and Project Owner with individual project and waterstop product specification and certification
  • Full takeoff service including shop drawings at no cost to customer
  • Waterstop Shop Drawings including 2-D CAD details and 3-D isometric
  • FAST job site delivery anywhere in the world

Company: JP Specialties, Inc.

Source: http://www.jpspecialties.com/

Tags: Building | Concrete

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The Grand Louvre - Phase I - honored with AIA Twenty-five Year Award

The Grand Louvre - Phase I - honored with AIA Twenty-five Year Award

The Grand Louvre – Phase I - in Paris has been selected for the 2017 AIA Twenty-five Year Award. Designed by I.M. Pei, FAIA, and his firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the 71-foot-high glass and stainless steel pyramid now rivals the Eiffel Tower as one of France’s most recognizable architectural icons. Recognizing architectural design of enduring significance, the Twenty-five Year Award is conferred on a building project that has stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years. Projects must demonstrate excellence in function, in the distinguished execution of its original program, and in the creative aspects of its statement by today’s standards.  The project will be honored in April at the AIA National Convention in Orlando.

Greeted with hostility and derided as a Modernist affront when it was first proposed as the main entrance to Paris’ Musée du Louvre, the project was born of President François Mitterrand’s quest to modernize the Louvre in the early 1980s. Pei’s pyramid thrust the 800-year-old Palais complex into the modern era while simultaneously making the museum more accessible to larger crowds.  

When he was selected as the architect, Pei faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge: reorganizing and expanding the museum without compromising the historic integrity of one of France’s cherished monuments. To execute the project, Pei wove together an unprecedented amount of cultural sensitivity, political acumen, innovation, and preservation skill. As one juror noted, the project has become “an internationally renowned symbol for Paris and an example of the prowess and legacy of I.M. Pei.”

The entirety of the project, known as the Grand Louvre, was executed in two phases over the course of a decade. For the first phase, which gave rise to the pyramid, Pei reorganized the museum around the central courtyard, the Cour Napoléon, transforming it from a parking lot to one of the world’s great public spaces. Twenty-seven years since the project was completed, Pei’s success has been reaffirmed in the museum’s visitorship, which has more than tripled since the expansion. To accommodate the influx, the museum undertook its first renovation of the reception area directly beneath the pyramid recently and took distinct measures to maintain the integrity of Pei’s design.

Despite the rancor that surrounded the design’s unveiling, Pei gave France an unexpected treasure that its citizens and visitors from around the globe value as much as the priceless works of art contained within the Louvre. Bringing “life, action, and beauty to what was already beautiful,” as one juror noted, the project fused modernity with a swell in national pride for a historic building.

The jury for the 2017 Twenty-five Year Award includes: Mark Reddington, FAIA (Chair), LMN Architects; Gregory P. Baker, AIA, HNTB Architecture; David Cordaro, AIAS Representative; Leslie K. Elkins, FAIA, Leslie K. Elkins Architect; Timothy J. Johnson, AIA, NBBJ; William Q. Sabatini, FAIA, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini; Adrian D. Smith, FAIA, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Beatrice Spolidoro, Assoc. AIA, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative and Marilyn Terranova, PhD, Interim Superintendent, Pocantico Hills CSD.

Company: AIA (American Institute of Architects)

Source: https://www.aia.org/press-releases/25096-the-grand-louvre---phase-i-honored-with-aia-

Tags: Building | Design

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Creating a Healthy, Safe, Age-Friendly Work Environment

Creating a Healthy, Safe, Age-Friendly Work Environment

Today’s workforce is comprised of workers of all ages. But older workers still do and will continue to make up a significant portion of the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five American workers will be over age 55 by 2020.

Regarding safety in the workplace, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that older workers may suffer fewer workplace injuries than their younger counterparts. This is attributed to the experience they have acquired over the years and the fact that older workers are generally more cautious.

However, older workers typically require a longer recovery time and chances of them suffering a fatal injury are greater than younger workers. Overall, it makes sense to create a safety culture that is healthy and safe for workers of all ages.

The CDC offers the following suggestions to make a healthy and safe workplace and age-friendly workforce:

  • Prioritize workplace flexibility. Provide workers input into their schedule, work conditions, work organization, work location and work tasks.
  • Match tasks to abilities. Encourage self-pacing, rest breaks and less repetitive tasks.
  • Avoid prolonged, sedentary work. Offer sit/stand workstations and walking workstations. Provide physical activity opportunities.
  • Manage hazards. These include noise, slip/trip and physical hazards.
  • Provide and design ergo-friendly work environments. This includes workstations, tools, floor surfaces, adjustable seating, better illumination, and screens and surfaces with less glare.
  • Utilize teams and teamwork strategies for aging-associated problem solving. Those closest to a situation are best enabled to find a solution.
  • Provide health promotion and lifestyle interventions. These include physical activity, healthy meal options, tobacco cessation assistance, risk factor reduction and screenings, coaching and onsite medical care.
  • Invest in training and building worker skills. This should be done for workers of all ages.
  • Proactively manage reasonable accommodations and the return-to-work process. This should be the standard after illnesses and injuries cause workers to have work absences.
  • Require aging workforce management skills training for supervisors. One component should be how to manage a multi-generational workplace.

What benefits do you see from promoting an age-friendly workforce?

Company: Seton

Of: Marji McClure

Source: http://www.seton.com/blog/2014/11/creating-a-healthy-safe-age-friendly-work-environment

Tags: Building | Safety

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Architects empowered to drive positive change at SXSW Eco

William McDonough, FAIA, gave a keynote at the 2016 SXSW Eco conference that emphasized the need for urban revolution. Image credits: Steve Rogers.
William McDonough, FAIA, gave a keynote at the 2016 SXSW Eco conference that emphasized the need for urban revolution. Image credits: Steve Rogers.

Carbon-positive cities, biophilia, and data-centric decisions define the next American city that architects can help create

In discussing solar orchards, biophilic cities, and illustrative mapping of everything from water surges to public protests, architects at the 2016 SXSW Eco conference brought the audience a dynamic voice for change. In its fourth year, the sister conference to the larger South by Southwest festival has grown into a three-day convergence of all things driving global change under the umbrella of design, technology, and business. Its basic premise is a forum for ideation and connection across industries. Participants arrive from around the globe, united by aspirations to establish new ways of dealing with health, food, water, climate change, clean air, energy, and development.

“Architects provide a fundamental voice in this conference,” notes SXSW executive producer Morgan Catalina. “We are talking about environmental and social change. It is a realm that architects can shape, change, and influence through design.” In fact, design thinking and problem-solving were a priority in much of the conference discussions. Topics ranged from idea-driven calls to action to explanations of developing software tools. Creative solutions involving cross- and multi-disciplinary teams were billed as the most effective ways to address many of the world’s pressing problems. 

Time for a (sustainability) revolution

In his keynote, William McDonough, FAIA, of William McDonough + Partners, called for a revolution as he emphasized the need for carbon-positive cities and work toward climate change reversal. A visionary for more than 40 years, McDonough has been a pioneer in sustainability. He co-created the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, and all his work promotes a complete understanding of material health in the design process coupled with built-in renewable energy and social fairness. 

He is currently working on concepts for a Chinese city that can feed and power itself. In Mongolia, McDonough’s “solar orchards” allow industry and agriculture to live in the same place. Solar collectors are elevated six feet, allowing for grazing animals to occupy the same land. “This is beautiful … grasses come back by themselves,” stressed McDonough. His is a call for a new language to deal with carbon that promotes constant improvement and a reevaluation of the current framework from which architects and designers evaluate their impacts on the environment and the future of human health.

Connections to nature

Likewise, Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, chief executive officer of the International Living Future Institute, noted that architects should change the way they are designing, and recognize that “people are a part of nature, not separate from it.” As part of the workshop on biophilic cities, she presented her research related to biophilic design emphasizing the reconnection of humans and the natural world. Biophilic cities prioritize the integration of green and blue ways throughout urban zones, urban farming initiatives to support food deserts, and integration of wildlife preservation in planning efforts, among others.

“We are talking about environmental and social change. It is a realm that architects can shape, change, and influence through design.” - SXSW executive producer Morgan Catalina

Sturgeon summarized her argument for new design thinking: “Most of architecture is being created with no connection to place, climate, geography, or regional context. With increasing urbanization, and the fact that we spend 90 percent of our time inside, our fundamental connection with nature is disappearing. At the same time, the Paris climate agreement requires that buildings radically reduce their energy use, past the incremental efficiencies that we have been achieving. If we don’t design our buildings to adapt to our climate, we will not get there. I believe this is an urgent issue for the creation of our buildings. Architects must change the way that they design, and we must train our young architects to have the skills and abilities to design in this way.”

Tools to further the profession

Going beyond just understanding a building’s site was part of the inspiration for Perkins+Will associate principal Leigh Christy to develop Hazel, a software tool for optimizing planning for stormwater infiltration, collection, and reuse. Christy sees part of her role as an architect is to engage in larger questions about the future of the environment. “Hazel is a tool for architects and planners,” she said. “The data help analyze cost, identify policy needs, streamline water detention practices, reduce carbon emissions, improve pedestrian thermal comfort, and create new habitats for wildlife.”

Ultimately, the platform provides data fundamental for project site selection. After being awarded a grant from the AIA College of Fellows Latrobe Prize, Hazel was developed collaboratively by the Arid Lands Institute of Woodbury University, Perkins+Will, the Nature Conservancy, and the City of Los Angeles. The design team is still refining Hazel. Christy notes that after presenting Hazel to architects and city planners, the response from the multidisciplinary audience was refreshing. “It was the first time I had someone come up to me and ask if I needed help coding,” she said. 

Another software tool called SPEA (Spatial Practice as Evidence and Advocacy) was developed by a landscape architect–led team. “[We] are of course influenced by the architectural designers that we work with,” said McKenna Cole, research associate at SITU Studio. SPEA visualizes complex spatial narratives like the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine, often using three-dimensional renderings.

“Developing accurate 3-D models allows us to understand events spatially, enabling us to establish known protester and police locations that draws from citizen-captured videos,” explained Cole. The usual outlets for dissemination of the data collected and compiled with SPEA are in the courtroom, through specific publication, or in advocacy reports. SPEA received an honorary mention in the Equity + Inclusion category of the Place by Design competition at the conference.

If this most recent SXSW Eco was an illustration of the prominent role architects can play both as visionaries and as team players working to effect change, the conference also clearly demonstrated that opportunities abound and that people value design thinking. As William McDonough noted, “I’m an architect, and an architect’s job … is to change the way we see, then we rearrange the furniture, and then we build.”

Company: AIA (American Institute of Architects)

Of: Catherine Gavin

Source: http://new.aia.org/articles/22151-architects-empowered-to-drive-positive-chang

Tags: Building | Design | Energy | Sustainability

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