In recent years, much attention has been given to timber constructions. Being a sustainable and renewable material, which captures a huge amount of carbon during its growth, the innovations related to this material have allowed for increasingly higher constructions. However, when we talk about wood we approach an immense variety of species, with different strengths, nuances, potentials, limitations and recommended uses. While there are extremely hard and heavy woods, with strengths comparable to concrete, there are other soft and soft woods that are suitable for other purposes.
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. Has been collaborating in ArchDaily Brasil since 2012 and is currently Editor of Materials.
With the high population density of cities and voracious appetite of the market for every square meter, it is not uncommon for urban vegetation to be forgotten. For this reason, forests, vegetable gardens, and vertical gardens have aroused much interest and figured into a variety of different innovative proposals. Using the vertical plane to maintain plants in an urban setting is a coherent and common-sense solution, especially when there is little possibility of bringing green to the level of the people on the streets.
Having been utilized as early as the Roman era in buildings of almost every scale, it is almost impossible to think of a building that does not have at least one concrete element. In fact, it is the most widely used construction material in the world, due to its versatility, resistance, ease of handling, accessibility, aesthetics, and other factors. At the same time, its manufacture is also one of the main polluters in the atmosphere, mainly due to the fact that the cement industry emits around 8% of all global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).
In addition to its intensive production, concrete is an extremely rigid material, heavy and composed of cement, water, stone, and sand. Thus, would it be possible to continue to use concrete sustainably after demolition, eliminating its disposal as mere waste and overloading landfills?
We may not give them the importance they deserve, but toilets are fundamental to our daily lives and our health. There are two "golden rules" that articulate their usefulness: they 'separate' us immediately from our waste, and they transport them for treatment, preventing them from contaminating the environment or making people sick.
In addition to being a good place to think about new ideas, browse Instagram, and answer emails, the toilet helps us stay healthy, an attribute we take for granted until we lose access to it.
Unfortunately, we've probably all experienced the unfortunate surprise of finding mold at home. These undesirable black and greenish spots, usually seen in dark, damp corners, may seem harmless at first, but they pose a major problem for buildings and occupants. Because the tendency of mold is to continuously spread, it gradually contaminates other materials and surfaces, causing a characteristic smell and contaminating the air. But how is it possible to control it and, mainly, to prevent it from occurring through architectural design?
With the amount of information and technology we currently have, whether from academic research or from the manufacturers of construction products themselves, there is very little room for empiricism and experimentation when we design on the most diverse scales. Even worse is when design specification misconceptions can pose huge costs and headaches. However, long before construction and occupancy of the building, it is possible to clearly understand how the construction will function thermally, its photovoltaic power generation capacity, and even how much power will be required to cool and/or heat it. There are software, tools and applications that allow you to quantify all these design decisions to avoid errors, extra costs, unnecessary waste generation, and ensure the efficiency of all materials applied.
After the great repercussions of Bjarke Ingels' meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro last week, the Danish architect released a statement on why he came to Brazil. The meeting also brought together a delegation from the Be-Nômade group, which plans to invest in sustainable tourism in the country and the Minister of Tourism, Marcelo Álvaro Antônio. Read on for the text titled "Our Role and Impact in the World.
Michelangelo's sculptures. The ancient Greek temples. Castle interiors and palaces. The iconic Barcelona Pavilion of Mies van der Rohe. When we approach the history of architecture and sculpture, it is inevitable that we speak of marble. Originating from a chemical reaction in limestone when exposed to high pressures and temperatures for thousands of years, this notable material is a metamorphic rock generally found in regions where volcanic activity has occurred. Its extraction, by itself, is already a spectacle.
Since time immemorial humans have constructed their shelter and homes using wood. Gradually these structures grew more complex, but wood has continued to play a fundamental role in architecture and construction. Today, especially due to growing concerns about climate change and carbon emissions, wood has been regaining significance as an important building material for the future, if used consciously and sustainably. Wood’s structural performance capabilities make it appropriate for a broad range of applications—from the light-duty repetitive framing common in low and mid-rise structures to the larger and heavier, often hybrid systems, used to build arenas, offices, universities and other buildings where long spans and tall walls are required.
A facade must meet steep requirements as both the first skin that protects a building, its interiors, and its materials, and as the first thing a person sees. In addition to weather resistance and durability, its appearance is extremely vital for any architectural project. Prefabricated facade panels provide a clean, precise, and sophisticated finish to buildings and sport high versatility through different patterns and shapes.
All human activities affect the environment. Some are less impactful, some much, much more. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the construction sector is responsible for up to 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Activities such as mining, processing, transportation, industrial operations, and the combination of chemical products result in the release of gases such as CO2, CH4, N2O, O3, halocarbons, and water vapor. When these gases are released into the atmosphere, they absorb a portion of the sun's rays and redistribute them in the form of radiation in the atmosphere, warming our planet. With a rampant amount of gas released daily, this layer thickens, which causes solar radiation to enter and and stay in the planet. Today, this 'layer' has become so thick that mankind is beginning to experience severe consequence, such as desertification, ice melting, water scarcity, and the intensification of storms, hurricanes, and floods, which has modified ecosystems and reduced biodiversity.
As architects, one of our biggest concerns should be the reduction of carbon emissions from the buildings we construct. Being able to measure, quantify, and rate this quality is a good way to start.
It's very common for architects to use more than one program when developing a project. While one software can help us with the conceptual design and image of the project, other programs may work better for the development of technical documents, such as drawings, sections, and details. On the other hand, other software products can help us make a three-dimensional model, and yet others allow us to create renderings. There are also programs used for the postproduction of images, videos, or even to diagram panels and portfolios. The list is long and as a result our computer processors may suffer.
Although with BIM (Building Information Model) programs, this pilgrimage between programs tends to decrease when covering the entire design process, understanding the extensive list of file extensions is not as simple as it seems. In addition, it's not uncommon to find incompatibilities between versions and file types when, for example, the project must be opened on complementary equipment. Next, we review the file extensions most used by architects, focusing mainly on BIM programs.
Human economic activities are naturally dependent on the global ecosystem, and possibilities for economic growth may be limited by the lack of raw materials to supply factory and trade stocks. While for some resources there are still untapped stocks, such as certain metals and minerals, there are others, such as fossil fuels and even water, with serious availability issues in many locations.
Walking into an electrical store can be intimidating. At first glance all the lights are on, and the thousands of chandeliers and lamps are blinding. When you walk toward the lamps, you see shelves with dozens of options, shapes, colors, prices, and uses. In each package, informational tables with numbers that seem to make no sense at all. Lumens, color temperature, wattage. There are so many confusing terms. But before you give up on everything and rush back with the cheapest option, turning the lamp on only for it to make your house or the house you designed feel like a sinister back-country funeral home, some basic information can help you a lot. We know that good lighting design can greatly improve a building or even its occupant's productivity. And poorly designed lighting can ruin it or negatively affect its occupants. To help out, we've gathered some information that can help you the next time a light bulb burns out in your home.
Few things irritate us more than exposure to excessive noise or inability to hear what we need to hear. Whether it's a nearby construction site, highway traffic, air conditioning, or a neighbor learning saxophone, research shows that noise can contribute to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, headaches, hormonal changes, sleep disturbance, reduced physical and mental performance, and the reduction of well-being. On the other hand, in an acoustically "comfortable" environment, in addition to listening to what we want, we focus better and feel calmer.
The concern about creating acoustically comfortable environments is often relegated to cinemas, concert halls and recording studios. But it is particularly important in learning environments, such as classrooms, as it directly influences the teaching-learning relationship. Acoustic discomfort can harm the process of knowledge acquisition, interfering with attention and worsening student-teacher communication.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an increasingly common acronym among architects. Most offices and professionals are already migrating or planning to switch to this system, which represents digitally the physical and functional characteristics of a building, integrating various information about all components present in a project. Through BIM software it is possible to digitally create one or more accurate virtual models of a building, which provides greater cost control and efficiency in the work. It is also possible to simulate the building, understanding its behavior before the start of construction and supporting the project throughout its phases, including after construction or dismantling and demolition.