As I learned of the health implications and realized my role in specifying these chemicals into projects I was trying to make healthier, I searched for ways to avoid using them.
The notion of leaving the office healthier than when you arrived is a fairly new discussion and one that the real estate industry is starting to have.
There are tradeoffs to everything; there is no perfect material. Using fly ash as recycled content in concrete solves one problem (how to dispose of a hazardous industrial by-product), but is it perpetuating the justification of burning coal as a fuel source?
A compilation of data on substances in the built environment that may cause or aggravate asthma, a disease of high and increasing prevalence and major economic importance. This is a valuable resource for identifying asthma triggers and asthmagens, minimizing their use in building materials and furnishings, and contributing to our larger goals of fostering healthier built environments.
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.
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 »
ABSTRACT: The paper will discuss the design of a bi-directional thermo-hygroscopic façade as a dedicated outdoor air system to cool and dehumidify outside air. The system is a variant of dedicated outdoor air systems to separate dehumidification and cooling in air-conditioning equipment and locates components within the building envelope. The integrated hybrid-building envelope relies on... Read more »
ABSTRACT: Available energy analysis and optimization methods do not produce fast and accurate enough results to provide guidance to professional design teams making massing and technology decisions. This paper proposes two methods using the reduced-order Energy Performance Calculation (EPC) toolkit with parametric building models and optimizers in Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and MATLAB to provide rapid feedback... Read more »