Kevin Nute, writing for the Washington Post: A building’s primary purpose may be to keep the weather out, but most of them do such an effective job of this that they also inadvertently deprive us of contact with two key requirements for our well-being and effectiveness: nature and change. In the 1950s, Donald Hebb’s “arousal … Continue reading Should buildings keep weather out, or let it in?
Grenfell Tower, a UK public housing project that caught fire recently, was a true disaster that is most likely directly attributable to incompatible design specifications and implementation by established architecture, engineering and construction professionals. I've been holding off publishing much about the event until there is more consensus from the forensic experts regarding root cause, … Continue reading Was Grenfell’s disastrous fire due in part to an all-too-common risk transfer strategy?
Great Big Story bills themselves as "a global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling." Last year, they produced a great short feature about a team of skilled contractors and archeologists putting ancient building techniques to use in order to construct a medieval castle. Here's the description accompanying the video: It’s hard to fathom how magnificent … Continue reading Really, really old school building methods put to the test
Peter Yost is a building scientist and regularly blogs at Green Building Advisor. A recent post of his chronicled his adventures dealing with some sort of bio-organic growth on the recently added siding at his home — but just at the south side, not the north. Mr. Yost's wife first noticed the issue and began … Continue reading How a Building Scientist tackles mold on the exterior of his home
Energy modeling is not exactly a brand new science, but it certainly hasn't been around very long, either. In essence, energy modeling is a software-based approach to predicting how much energy a given building will use based on its location, orientation, wall/roof/slab design, windows, doors, etc. In California, for example, energy modeling is a critical … Continue reading Why does actual building performance differ so much from energy modeling?