August 9, 2014

Solar Decathalon 2002: Trojan Goat

Trojan Goat - by Pakesh Patel
From 2000 to 2002, architecture and engineering students at the University of Virgina worked on the first Solar Decathlon held on the National Mall in Washington D.C. sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Fourteen team designed and built homes powered entirely by the sun. The house won 1st place for architecture (by judges that included Glenn Murcutt) and 2nd place overall. The team also tied for 1st Place in the Energy Balance category, and received several other awards.

August 7, 2014

BIQ House

BIQ House Rendering - src
Hamburg, Germany - The 15 unit Bio intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House, part of the 2013 International Building Exhibition, was built to test the world's first "bio-adaptive" facade, which uses micro-algae to shade the building as well as generate energy, designed by Arup, SSC Strategic Science Consultants and Splitterwerk Architects. As the world's first building powered by algae, the facade's bioreactors use photosynthesis to grow the algae, which is then harvested and converted to biomass for energy generation. This process for generating sustainable, renewable energy creates a shimmering, dynamic green facade for the building. The micro-algae, about the size of bacteria, are generated in reactor panels that are supplied with nutrients and carbon dioxide in order to grow. These panels are the secondary skin of the building envelope covering 2,150 square feet of the southeast and southwest facades.

August 6, 2014

P.F.1 (Public Farm 1) by WORK Architecture Company

Designers: Amale Andraos, Dan Wood
P.F.1 - © Elizabeth Felicella
Public Farm One, by WORK Architecture Company, was the winner of the Young Architects Program, run by the New York Museum of Modern Art and the PS1 Contempoary Art Center, to design a temporary installation in the courtyards of PS1 in Queens, NY in 2008. This temporary installation was a shift from the previous 40 years concept of the Urban Beach into a new leisure revolution, one that created a new symbol of liberation, knowledge, power and fun for the city. The Urban Farm became the symbol for their "generations' preoccupations and hopes for a better and different future." Since cities have become accepted as having superior benefits to the suburbs, including quality of life and environmental impacts, they now have become the place of experimentation. Public Farm 1 (P.F.1) "is an architectural and urban manifesto to engage play and reinvent our cities, and our world, once again." 

January 12, 2014

Walkie-Talkie Building: Melting Cars and Starting Fires

20 Fenchurch Street - src
London, England - The skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie and the Pint due to its odd shape, is causing issues on the surrounding London streets. Local business owners and motorists confronted the building's developers in September of 2013 blaming the building's unique shape for starting fires and other damage due to the building reflecting the sun's rays.

October 20, 2013

Owens Corning World Headquarters

LEED EB Silver

Architects: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
Size:
450,000 square foot

Toledo, Ohio - The Owens Corning World Headquarters in Toledo was built in 1997 and received the LEED Silver certification for Existing Buildings 10 years later in 2007. The building’s program includes office space, cafeteria, conference rooms, mutli-media room, a health clinic and other support facilities. The main office space follows the river’s curve, provides views of the water as well as access to daylight. High efficiency lighting is also used throughout the building. Instantaneous changes in space planning can be completed without outside contractors thanks to the building’s efficient and flexible mechanical system.

September 14, 2013

HVAC: Condensing Furnace

Furnace Diagram
A furnace provides heat through the exchange of heat through a intermediary fluid movement such as air, steam or hot water. A furnace can use different fuel including natural gas, LPG, oil, coal or wood. Combustion furnaces always need to be vented outside. Condensing furnaces are essentially high-efficiency furnaces with a AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) starting at 90% or greater, verses mid-efficiency furnaces with a AFUE in the 80's. This difference in efficiency is the result of heat lost to the flue, or the loss of of some of the heat produced during combustion.

February 18, 2013

Jane Jacobs: The Life and Death of Great American Cities

5th Avenue New York City

In Jane Jacobs’ book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she discusses the particular nature of cities. The introduction focuses on how City Beautiful and the Radiant City differs from how cities truly work and cities have suffered as a result of these ideals.

January 21, 2013

Design Guide: Closet Dimensions

Woman's Reach-in Closet - source

Standard Depth Measurements

For reach-in closets, the standard depth is 24 inches and is used for suits, shirts, dresses, and pants. The 2 foot depth is required to handle your hanger. For coats and jackets, use a depth of 28 inches.
  • Minimum depth 24 inches
  • Use a depth of 28 inches for coats