If you live in an apartment, you may unintentionally know the details of your neighbor's life by overhearing conversations through your shared walls. Or you keep awake when the dog that lives in the apartment above decides to take a walk in the middle of the night. If so, you may live in an apartment with inadequate sound insulation in its walls and/or slabs. As cities grow increasingly dense and builders seek to increase their profit margins, it is not uncommon for acoustic comfort to be overlooked in many architectural projects. When the resulting noise is excessive or unwanted, it impacts the human body, the mind, and daily activities. While not all spaces need to seal all types of sound, creating spaces with an adequate degree of soundproofing improves the quality of life of all users.
Architect and Urbanist graduated from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC). Master in Urban Planning, History and Architecture Program, also at UFSC, with research related to the theme of mobility and urban sprawl. Interested in projects of urban requalification, non-motorized transport and public spaces, among many other subjects. Has been collaborating in ArchDaily Brasil since 2012 and is currently Editor of Architecture Classics and Articles.
Once restricted to luxury or super-tech buildings, home automation is proving to be an increasingly fundamental and affordable addition to architectural projects, whether to new buildings or renovations. While understanding how they operate can be extremely complex, the primary purpose of technology is to make life simpler, safer, and easier. By definition, home automation seeks to be globally intelligent, functioning as a system that facilitates processes without unnecessarily complicating the user's life. The idea is to connect devices, which in turn connect and talk through a centralized control unit, accessible by computers, tablets, and mobile phones. These include lights, appliances, electrical outlets, and heating and cooling systems, but also alarms, doors, windows, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras, and many other sensors and devices.
There exist frequent reports of toilet accidents, as they are often located in tight and slippery places. Although no one is immune to a slip after bathing, it is the elderly who suffer most from falls, and can often suffer serious injuries, sequelae, and functional limitations. Due to the natural reduction of reflexes and muscle mass, the higher the age group, the more prone to falls we become.
To provide more comfortable living conditions as users grow older, the environment must adapt to the new physical capabilities of its occupants. Making toilets safer is critical to reducing the risk of accidents and decreasing response time in the event of a fall. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing toilets for older people:
The way of working has changed, but most offices remain the same.
However, innovating does not necessarily mean breaking down all the walls and creating a play space; the design of an office must take into account the needs and details of each work separately. Of course, for each function, there are better and worse ways to organize the spaces, and some configurations work better for certain activities. The important thing is that the place allows interactions while providing places for concentration and focus.
The way we approach work has changed, and that is undeniable. Our profession no longer defines us as much as past generations, and new forms of work have been incorporated into everyday life. While technology has revolutionized our ability to perform a variety of daily tasks, many professions have disappeared, some will probably not last much longer and, while others were created.
Double skin façades. Almost a self-explanatory name for façade systems consisting of two layers, usually glass, wherein air flows through the intermediate cavity. This space (which can vary from 20 cm to a few meters) acts as insulation against extreme temperatures, winds, and sound, improving the building's thermal efficiency for both high and low temperatures. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of double-skin facades is Foster+Partners' 30 St Mary Ax Building, "The Gherkin."
The airflow through the intermediate cavity can occur naturally or be mechanically driven, and the two glass layers may include sun protection devices.
Food production is directly reliant on bees, and their disappearance could lead to catastrophic effects on humanity. There are alarming reports all over the internet about how these little insects are dying. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 75% of the world's food crops rely on bees. For example, it is only possible to have a juicy and well-developed strawberry if dozens of bees go by the flower at the right time and pollinate it. Without them, it would look more like a raisin.
The history of concrete dates back to ancient Rome, approximately 2,000 years ago. The so-called “Roman Concrete” is composed of limestone, volcanic ash, and seawater and it permitted the construction of aqueducts, highways, and temples; many of them still stand to this day. Some time ago, this original mix was discovered to form a mineral called aluminum tobermorite, which gets stronger as time goes by.
British company Kast has launched a new version of its traditional pigmented concrete sinks. Since concrete is an extremely versatile material, which combines the characteristics of natural stone with the ability to be molded in different forms, the products show carved surfaces with highly defined textures. The exploration of their linear patterns ranges from smooth horizontal ripples to diagonal folds or 'sharp' and vertical grooves. The organic variations in the colors and textures of the surfaces create a different aesthetic that comes directly from the character of the material.
Since the 1970s, humanity’s resource consumption began to exceed what the planet could renew in a year. That is, we are withdrawing and polluting nature more than it can naturally recover. According to the World Bank, if the world's population reaches even the projected number of 9.6 billion people by 2050, it will take almost three Earth planets to provide the natural resources needed to maintain humanity's current lifestyle.
Every day an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through industry, transportation, burning fossil fuels and even respiration of plants and living things. As the consequences of climate change become clearer, both governments and private sector companies are setting targets for carbon emission reductions, since these are regarded as the main greenhouse gases, and their high concentration in the atmosphere lead to air pollution and acid rain, among other consequences.
Picture this. You're in a restaurant and you can hear the conversation of the person in the table next to you better than the person you're sitting with. Then, everyone begins to speak louder, making the environment chaotic. Absorption, reflection, reverberation, frequency, decibels, etc. Although acoustics is a complex science that can render buildings almost uninhabitable when not properly thought out, architects do not always possess the theoretical resources nor have the necessary concern to develop acoustically comfortable spaces.
European children spend approximately 200 days a year at primary school. Even though the academic year in most parts of the world is not as long as in Europe, the place where children and adolescents spend the most time, following their own homes, is usually in educational institutions. These can be places for learning, playing and socializing, and as sad as it may be, they can also be safer places for children living in environments of abandonment, hunger, and violence, providing them with opportunities and even meals. A United Kingdom-wide survey found that the differences in physical characteristics of classrooms accounted for 16% of the variations in learning progress over the course of a year. In other words, the better a classroom is designed, the better children perform academically. According to the study, the factors that most affect children are sunlight, indoor air quality, acoustic environment, temperature, the design of the classroom itself and the stimulation within it.
Ever since Manchester University first isolated Graphene in 2004, it has been widely referred to by its properties as a promising material through diverse research that focuses on reaching a range of uses in the most varied industries. Graphene is known to be one of the strongest materials known to science due to its composition of a single carbon atomic layer in a hexagonal mesh. It is also one of the finest materials known to mankind, 200 times stronger than steel yet 6 times lighter. Plus, it is an excellent heat and electricity conductor, aside from its interesting light absorption qualities. When combined with other elements, including gases and metals, it can produce different new materials with highly superior properties.
This is all quite recent: less than a year ago, a French family became the first in the world to live in a 3D printed house. Short of 20 years, this seemed like a distant dream, this new technology has developed quickly, and it arises as a possible contribution to the housing crisis around the world.