We were initially under the assumption that we had to make an all-or-nothing choice: basically a) go 100% electric to get to zero carbon, or b) replace a gas furnace with a new gas furnace and lock in to a carbon-emitting heating system for the next 20 years – the estimated life of the system. That’s a false choice…
Mid-Century Modern design has always appealed to me, the low pitch, butterfly roofs, big beams that shoot through floor-to-ceiling glass, consistent ceiling to soffit transitions, natural materials, quirky cantilevers, open concept Kitchen-Living-Dining areas, what’s not to love? For houses that were designed in this style from the 1940’s through to the 1970’s, the ‘Atomic Ranch’ aesthetic has proven itself to be timeless because it’s good.
We are approaching nearly a year of life with COVID-19, yet the pandemic appears to be only worsening. By the time this gets published, worldwide deaths will have exceeded 2 million, yet few countries seem to have this under control. The purpose of this post is to appeal to Ontario Architects and Engineers to consider how architectural and engineering interventions can reduce the transmission of this virus
Architects can and should use BEM or energy simulation tools for Design Optimization. Furthermore they can and should also be encouraged to use BEM for demonstrating Code Compliance. Lastly, Architects should also be encouraged to seek out professional certifications or designations such as LEED, Passive House and even EnerGuide or R2000 Evaluator designations in order to offer Certification Services, if they wish to expand their scope of practice.
The real promise of BIM/BEM (Building Information Modelling/Building Energy Modelling) is to get more, and better information faster directly from the process of creating architecture. This immediate performance feedback can streamline coordination, increase the parity between the design model and reality, and to optimize results.
This is a forest ecosystem struggling for equilibrium, growth, and intelligence. It was clearcut just 30 years ago, and I have been observing and learning from this place for the past decade.
Originally written as a letter to Barrie City Council, June 10, 2020 I am writing in the context of the increasing pressure for everyone, including place makers, to consider the deep social impacts of urban design and architecture on the well being of citizens. The recent #BlackLivesMatter protests demands across the board reforms that I … Continue Reading
Image top: Seawolf skin-on-frame Kayak, image by Oliver Ludlow I’ve been struggling with an idea for a good thirty years. It has to do with maintenance and time, or entropy, but it can be summed up simply by asking what is the best way to skin a building. I’m not looking for conventional answers, as … Continue Reading
While the current debate over the human diet seeks to settle the question of optimal health, both for the individual and for the planet (keto? veg? local?), few realize what a significant role the air we breathe has on our overall health. The fact that we can’t see, and can only vaguely smell the quality … Continue Reading
1. The Measure of Heaven: Time, Space and Geometry as found in the texts of Enoch. April 19, 1999. UBC Comparative Religion.
2. Fractal Physiology: UBC Biomechanics, for Dr. David Jones.
3. The Farm in European Architectural History: UBC School of Architecture, for Dr. Sheri McKay