PVC is unique within the broad spectrum of plastics because it is a chlorinated plastic. Its chlorinated chemistry is responsible for a range of environmental and human health hazards.
What kind of impacts do the materials we put into our built environments have on us? Every day, we’re discovering new answers to this question. The fact is, all across their lifecycles, the products used to build, furnish, decorate, and even clean our spaces have ripple effects on our health, wellbeing, and environmental footprint. The more informed we can be about the materials we’re using, the better—and safer—our built environments will be.
Many flame retardants are persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic, and the building products that incorporate them can be avoided in many cases.
We recently spent a week at Boston BUILD Space building a complex curvature Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) structural panel; a proof of concept prototype for a landmark project we are designing in Vancouver, and is slated for construction in spring 2017.
Mass timber high-rise construction is gaining momentum in the United States. Developers are finding that along with its beautiful aesthetic and sustainable appeal, mass timber is a cost competitive and schedule-advantaged structural material. Using the mass timber and concrete designs presented by Timmers et al in the report Mass Timber High-Rise Design Research: Museum Tower... Read more »
This study demonstrates a design of a code-compliant, highrise mass timber apartment tower in Los Angeles. Using the existing reinforced concrete Museum Tower Apartment building in downtown Los Angeles as a basis, the study demonstrates architectural, structural and fire performance improvements and trade-offs of the mass timber design compared to the reinforced concrete design. The... Read more »
The facade is one of the most significant contributors to the energy budget and the comfort parameters of any building. Control of environmental factors must be considered during the design process. High-performance facades need to block adverse external environmental effects and maintain internal comfort conditions with minimum energy consumption. The purpose of this research was... Read more »
Driven by a bottom-up architectural approach to integrate phase changing materials and digital fabrication tools, such as industrial robotic arms, this article presents a novel materially generated fabrication process. The process 3D prints and stretches plastics, where the extruding and freezing temperatures, pulling speeds and angles are controlled through highly customized heads mounted on robots.... Read more »
The environmental impact of flooring materials is the aggregate of impacts of raw material properties and composition across all stages of the product life cycle including extraction, manufacturing, packaging and transportation, use and disposal. In this analysis, linoleum, vinyl composition tile (VCT), nylon carpet tile, composite marble tile, ceramic tile, terrazzo, cork and rubber flooring... Read more »
Tall wood buildings are becoming increasingly prevalent around the world, and yet, they are conspicuously missing from the U.S. skyline. Antiquated building code restrictions have put the United States behind its Canadian and European counterparts, preventing the U.S. from even considering the use of wood as the primary structure in a tall building. Recent initiatives... Read more »
Why does no digital platform attempt to present all performance and sustainability characteristics for building materials in a way that side by side comparison is possible? Is the breadth of data too difficult to model? If the data could be visualized, what would it reveal? This article describes a digital platform with criteria that represents:... Read more »