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These are the articles and blogs that we selected in June.
Week 22nd-28th of June
Book Review: Transmaterial 2
John in A Daily Dose of Architecture
Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment (2008) by Blaine Brownell Princeton Architectural Press Paperback, 512 pages
Two years ago we were introduced to a catalog of materials illustrating the innovations in materials research and design. This second installment of Blaine Brownell's Transmaterial continues where the first left off, documenting about 200 more innovative materials for various architectural and other design applications. This time the emphasis is on environmentalism over technology, something observed as a general trend by Brownell, not forced by the selection of the materials and products. If anything, this emphasis is apparent but not pervasive, as if those developing and creating materials can only respond to today's "green movement" via the use of recycled materials.
All Purpose Shelters Limited
Ugo Okafor in African Architecture and Design
Their website says that All Purpose Shelters Limited operates as a consortium of Architects, Quantity Surveyors, Structural/Civil Engineers and Mechanical/Electrical Engineers. This Nigerian based firm specializes in residential, retail and architectural restoration projects.
Letters from Sweden - deliver and set
lavardera in LamiDesign Modern House Plan Blog
Its time to wrap up our series on pref-fab house building in Sweden. In previous entries we've looked at how the houses are put together, and the products and technology that have enabled the technique. Today we are going to look at the last part of the process: delivery and installation at the site. As we've hinted at before the panelized method used by the Swedes requires less shipping than a modular technique. Where modular requires a separate truck/trailer for each module box with panelized a few trucks can usually deliver all the parts. All the wall and floor panels can be loaded on one truck, roof trusses and roofing materials on another. Its a denser method of transport compared to the hollow box of modular construction. Remember, Ikea ships their goods flat-packed because it avoids shipping air!
Roots - Laura Facey
mad architect in architechnophilia
On a visit to Devon House, one of the premier Historic Sites in Kingston, Jamaica I came across a magnificent piece of artwork. The sculpture, placed at the entry to the gardens of Devon House, appears at first glance to be corten or rusted metal, resembling industrial waste left out to weather. Roots as the works are called, are actually salvaged from a massive tree trunk, and bear their own story of being carried by hand from the inner countryside of St. Ann.
ext gene 20 promotion by squint opera
lavardera in materialicious
This is a promotional video for a housing exposition in Taiwan. 20 progressive modern houses will be built and open for touring, and an exhibition of the designs will tour the world. Squid Opera has created this video about the exposition, where its presented like an action movie - great stuff. I like the idea of using the language of popular culture to reach people with design.
McGill University’s Molson & McConnell Halls
Cédric Sam in Spacing Montreal
McGill’s Molson and McConnell Halls are adjacent to each other, and both located above Molson Stadium. To outsiders, such as myself (a McGill alumni who did not live in residence), the world of student halls is a foreign one, belonging to some parallel universe. These particular staircases have always fascinated me. Sometime during my undergrad studies, I ventured up the residence area north of McGill’s main campus after dinner time. I saw students climbing these stairs, wearing hoodies or jogging pants, perhaps satisfied with their cafeteria meal, pursuing the conversations from dinner table. The image of these stairs (now deserted for the summer
House Democrats Introduce National Feed-in Tariff for Renewable Energy Projects
Timothy B. Hurst in Green Options
U.S. Representatives Jay Inslee (D-WA), Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Mike Honda (D-CA) introduced landmark legislation [PDF] on Thursday that will provide security for investments in the renewable-energy sector by guaranteeing rates for renewable-energy generation. This policy mechanism, also known as a national feed-in tariff, may be the single most effective tool to expand renewable energy development that we know of. Feed-in tariffs have been introduced in several U.S. states, but none have the bills have been passed into law.
Community Solar Power
Philip Proefrock in Green Options
A community in Canada has an unusual form of solar power that can provide over 90% of the annual heating and hot water needs for the homes, despite being situated in a cold Alberta location where winter temperatures can reach -33 degrees C (-27 F). The Drake Landing Solar Community collects solar energy in a heat storage fluid through an array of solar panels on the roof of each home and covering all of the garages at the back of each home. The heated fluid is transferred to a neighborhood energy center, and then into the ground beneath an insulated layer, where the heat is stored in the earth.
GRID HOUSE: Maximizing Green Space in Urban Infill
Mike Chino in Inhabitat
Moto Designshop recently finished schematics for this beautiful modern residence situated on Pine street in Philadelphia. The Grid House packs a highly efficient floorplan into tight quarters, maximizing daylighting and ventilation via an abundance of open green spaces. The entire front and back façades open to infuse interior spaces with fresh air while the home’s flowing floor plan ensures a seamless transition between rooms. An elevated front garden preserves the residence’s interaction with the street while concealing an underground garage.'